Short Takes: News From All Over: March 31, 2005

The Consequences of Race for Police Officers’ Responses to Criminal Suspects
By E. Ashby Plant and B. Michelle Peruche, Psychological Science
Eliminating a police officer’s racial bias is proving to be as easy as playing a video game. Researchers at Florida State University used a computer simulation to study 48 officers’ split-second decisions on whether or not to shoot virtual suspects. E. Ashby Plant and B. Michelle Peruche found that in early trials the officers were more likely to shoot black suspects by mistake, but after extensive training with the program, they eliminated their bias. — Grace Hanson

Coke: The New Nike
By Michael Blanding, The Nation
There’s a new corporate hood in town. It goes by the name of Coke. It’s got a lot of college students angry, and that means boycotts. Students all over the world are gearing up to take on the soda giant, which stands accused of complicity in the murders by paramilitaries of union members at the company’s Colombian bottling plants. — Hannah Lobel

Evolving the American Troubadour: Newtopia Interviews Protest Singer Stephan Smith
By Tamra Spivey and Ronnie Pontiac, Newtopia Magazine
With his jumble of backgrounds rolled into one — Iraqi, Austrian, Sunni Muslim, Kurdish, Catholic, Jewish, and American Southerner — protest singer Stephan Smith is well positioned to make a persuasive argument for creating music that disposes with record companies’ marketing categories in favor of music that crosses boundaries to reach diverse audiences. And he practices what he preaches, as a sampling of his newest project, Slash and Burn, testifies. — Hannah Lobel

The Naked Chef Shakes Up the Menu at UK Schools
By Gaby Hinsliff and Amelia Hill, The Observer
TV Chef Jamie Oliver, father of two, has taken on one of the culinary artist’s worst nightmares — school cafeterias. In the Channel 4 series ‘Jamie’s school dinners,’ Oliver revamped the menus for schools in Greenwich, southeast London, with fresh, healthy foods. It’s no surprise that kids missed their sugary, processed edibles. But Oliver’s Feed Me Better Campaign also sparked a clamor that’s led Prime Minister Tony Blair to vow to bring fresh, organic, and local meals to schools. — Hannah Lobel,15643,1442579,00.html

And the Winners Are…
By Staff, C2C HOME
Back in October, Utne wrote about the C2C (Cradle to Cradle) Home Competition — a contest meant to spur the practical realization of environmentally sustainable design. The jury’s in, the winners have been announced, and the top proposals are up on C2C’s site for perusal. — Hannah Lobel

The Green Dream: The Man Who Invented Ecotopia
By Geov Parrish, Seattle Weekly
Alternative transportation, green building, sustainable cities, and recycling are all familiar concepts today. But in 1975, when Ernest Callenbach’s bestselling novel Ecotopia — in which the Pacific Northwest secedes from the U.S. to form an environmental utopia — introduced many of these ideas to the broad public, they constituted a radical revisioning of America’s future. In an interview in the Seattle Weekly, Callenbach assesses the state of Ecotopian ideals today. — Leif Utne

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