Short Takes: News From All Over

Graduation Madness: The Road to the Final 4-Year Degree
By Staff, Think Progress
With the NCAA Basketball Tournament this month, Think Progress has begun a campaign to press the major shoe companies into encouraging colleges to ensure that athletes meet academic standards. Think Progress provides a bracket with information on all of the qualifying schools. Alarming stat: ‘Thirty of the sixty-five teams that qualified for the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament do not meet the minimal academic requirements defined by the NCAA.’ — Bennett Gordon

Trouble in the Garden
By Dean Kuipers, Los Angeles City Beat
Why would anyone want 14 acres of community garden in South Central Los Angeles to be destroyed? For a Wal-Mart, of course. Residents have been farming on the plot since 1992 and are now in danger of having it turned into a warehouse for the superstore giant. With community activists butting heads with a wealthy developer and the city of Los Angeles over ownership of the space, the fate of the garden remains unsure. (Thanks, Grist.) — Bennett Gordon

Nanotech Restores Vision in Hamsters
By Ker Than, LiveScience
Researchers have given hamsters a new chance to see the light. Using synthetic nanotechnology, scientists were able to reconnect damaged brain tissue, restoring partial vision to blinded hamsters. While much remains unknown about how this technology works, scientists hope to some day apply it to spinal cord injuries and stroke patients, giving them a second chance at sight. — Bennett Gordon

Autonomous Village Under Siege by Korean Troops
By Contributor, Indymedia
As a part of its Global Posture Review, the United States is attempting to expand its military base in South Korea’s Pyeongtaek region. Local residents, unhappy with what they see as their own government’s complicity in the theft of their land, have declared autonomy and renounced their citizenship. South Korean military riot police have reportedly been closing in on the two communities (Daechuri and Doduri), sporadically attacking the villagers, many of whom are barricaded inside an elementary school. — Nick Rose

Interview with Leslie Savan on Pop Language
By Staff, Stayfree!
In her new book, Slam Dunks and No-Brainers: Language in Your Life, the Media, Business, Politics, and, Like, Whatever, Leslie Savan breaks it down for those of us who aren’t hip to how our culture produces its lingo. Just as slices of pickle slide down the wall after a successful toss, so catch phrases from advertising cling to the popular vernacular, each hoping to stay in the race the longest. If you’ve ever wondered why your parents don’t understand you (or you don’t understand your kids), Savan many have the answer: Modern English is changing so quickly that you can hardly be blamed for not being ‘with it.’ — Nick Rose

Parent-Free Abortion?
A Debate between Kimberly Mutcherson and Teresa S. Collett, Legal Affairs
Legal Affairs has posted a point-counterpoint debate on parental consent laws for young women seeking abortions. In the refreshing antidote to the polarized debate surrounding the issue, Kimberly Mutcherson refers to a study concluding that most young women actually do consult their parents. Those who choose not to, the study suggests, have compelling reasons for not doing so, and laws requiring consent would place those young women in danger. Teresa S. Collett questions the validity of the study, asserting that the young women’s fears were unfounded because the overwhelming majority of parents are supportive of their children. — Nick Rose

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