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Can Twitter fill in the gaps for social research? Twitter page via www.shutterstock.com

Survey research can’t capture everyone’s opinion – but Twitter can

Understanding public opinion can help officials target messages during a health crisis. But current survey methods aren't good at generating representative samples. Can Twitter fill in the gaps?
Should the EPA figure the cost of reducing mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants for health reasons? Adam

Justices debate benefits and costs of EPA mercury power plant rule

A Supreme Court case could undo a key piece of the Obama's environmental agenda, which hinges on whether the EPA should consider the costs of air pollution controls from coal plants.
Still a few kinks to be worked out. Cory Doctorow

Will next-generation wearable sensors make us healthier?

We can already track plenty of body data, but to really make a difference, wearables need to consistently collect clinically valuable information that can be used to improve health.
Sicily 1943: whose blood was this US soldier getting? NARA

Desegregating blood: a civil rights struggle to remember

In December 1941, a few days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II, a Detroit mother named Sylvia Tucker visited her local Red Cross donor center to give blood. Having…
Does King Salman have what it takes? Reuters

New Saudi king should reform economy before it’s too late

Ever since its unification as a nation state in 1932, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been an oil-dominated economy. Most improvements and setbacks in its economic and social indicators can be invariably…
One more SOTU to go Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The State of the Union 2015 – theater, traditions, politics

Editor’s note: “The state of the union is good,” and the attitude of President Barack Obama in his annual speech to Congress was upbeat. Good economic news and no more election campaigns were the backdrop…
A demonstrator is held down during a simulation of waterboarding outside the Justice Department in 2007. Reuters

Outsourcing war and security: problems and solutions

The release of the CIA Torture Report in December re-opened the debate about using contractors to perform national security functions. Indeed, when Saturday Night Live mocks contractors for their role…
Just one of the Great Society programs: the Civil Rights Act Cecil Stoughton

The speech that launched the Great Society

In May 1964, Lyndon Johnson described his vision of a great society in a commencement address delivered to the University of Michigan. The audience could not have been more receptive to his message. Speaking…
A change in a few beads on an abacus could cost millions of jobs, according to critics of a proposed change in accounting rules. Shutterstock

Could a corporate accounting change cost millions of jobs?

A modest change in an accounting rule is normally too much inside baseball to attract notice. But a proposal by the institutions that set accounting standards for publicly traded companies is prompting…
Is it ever okay to depict the assassination of living person? KCNA/Reuters

The Interview, Hollywood and the politics of ridicule

Sony’s decision to cancel the Christmas Day release of its film The Interview is drawing harsh criticism from Hollywood’s elite. George Clooney is asking everyone to stand up against the cancellation…

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