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Shouting may increase transmission of COVID-19

Truly Toxic Speech: When It Comes to Pandemics, We Really Talk Too Much

This was already in the news last December, and not in the context of the global Covid-19 pandemic. A UC-Davis study had found that “the louder people talk, the more airborne particles they emit, making loudness a potential factor in spreading airborne diseases.” Particle emission during talking had other factors, but loudness was a consistent […]



Big Data Can Track Students. Can It Improve Education?

From the EdSurge news page, we learn that colleges and universities are discovering the benefits of big data. It’s no secret that colleges and universities have to do a lot more with less these days—or face closure. Whether because of high administrative costs, a declining number of applicants (the result of widespread economic insecurity that […]


High-Tech Treehouse Roundup

Even for the most austere person who doesn’t need lavish, exotic, or elaborate surroundings, there is something fascinating about treehouses. Not the kind that are every kid’s dream and every parent’s bad trip. If you were a kid who grew up in neighborhoods with lots of yard flora, including trees, you may have dreamed of […]



Voter Turnout: Throw More Parties?

On voting, Americans tend to swing widely between the hyperbole of having an inviolable moral obligation to vote in every single election for every single position, to believing that if elections could really change anything, “they’d make them illegal.” United States voter turnout has generally increased from “zero” to a tiny percentage of the population […]




Corporate Spending on 2019 Municipal Elections: Mixed Results in Seattle

The story that will emerge from the 2019 Seattle, Washington elections should be of interest to anyone working in campaigns, from data appending and other management services to more ephemeral strategists. The big picture part of the story is this: Some big corporations were fixated on the outcome of very local elections, for very localized […]


Time Travel Roundup

Writing for Live Science, Adam Mann suggests that the concept of time travel might be hardwired into our brains. Our tendency to conflate time and space in our linguistic structures is possible evidence of this “structural” tendency to believe that time is elastic or relative to space. Adam gives several examples using the work of […]