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Examining how primates make vowel sounds pushes timeline for speech evolution back by 27 million years

  • Written by Thomas R. Sawallis, Visiting Scholar in New College, University of Alabama
Baboons make sounds, but how does it relate to human speech?Creative Wrights/Shutterstock.com

Sound doesn’t fossilize. Language doesn’t either.

Even when writing systems have developed, they’ve represented full-fledged and functional languages. Rather than preserving the first baby steps toward language, they’re fully formed,...

Read more: Examining how primates make vowel sounds pushes timeline for speech evolution back by 27 million...

USMCA: The 3 most important changes in the new NAFTA and why they matter

  • Written by Amanda M. Countryman, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics, Colorado State University
Pena Nieto, Trump and Trudeau signed the USCMA in November 2018.AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders agreed on a deal to pass a new trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada that will update NAFTA.

Passing the new trade accord, known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, would be a substantial win...

Read more: USMCA: The 3 most important changes in the new NAFTA and why they matter

Mexican Mennonites combat fears of violence with a new Christmas tradition

  • Written by Rebecca Janzen, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature, University of South Carolina
The countryside around Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, is home to the country's largest Mennonite population. AP Photo/Gregory Bull

Mennonites in Mexico are promoting a bright new Christmas tradition – one born of somber origins.

The “Parade of Lights,” a nighttime procession of decorated vehicles...

Read more: Mexican Mennonites combat fears of violence with a new Christmas tradition

Like 'Little Women,' books by Zitkála-Šá and Taha Hussein are classics

  • Written by Sheila Cordner, Senior Lecturer of Humanities, Boston University
Louisa May Alcott has delighted readers for generations.AP Photo/Steven Senne

I’m a scholar of literature who spends a lot of time thinking about why certain stories continue to be revisited, and what works can be considered classics today.

So I’m looking forward to seeing Greta Gerwig’s film version of “Little Women,”...

Read more: Like 'Little Women,' books by Zitkála-Šá and Taha Hussein are classics

We calculated emissions due to electricity loss on the power grid – globally, it's a lot

  • Written by Sarah Marie Jordaan, Assistant Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment and Canadian Studies, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
In some countries, as much as half of the generated electricity is lost in transmission.yelantsevv/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to strategies for slowing the effects of climate change, the idea of reducing wasted energy rarely gets a mention. But our recent Nature Climate Change article makes the case that reducing wastage in the power sector,...

Read more: We calculated emissions due to electricity loss on the power grid – globally, it's a lot

Not every campus is a political battlefield

  • Written by Graham Wright, Associate Research Scientist, Maurice & Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University
The headlines blare stories about political battles on college campuses in the U.S., but the reality is different.AP/Rick Bowmer

As the House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearings were livestreamed from Capitol Hill, a group of students at the University of Florida launched an attempt to impeach their student body president for his role in...

Read more: Not every campus is a political battlefield

5 new ways for schools to work with families

  • Written by Ann M. Ishimaru, Associate Professor, University of Washington
A new way is needed for schools to engage with parents.Shutterstock

Text messages, email alerts, open houses, fundraising appeals, robocalls – parents know the drill. They are inundated with requests from children’s schools.

These missives aren’t really asking for engagement. Rather they can be viewed as ways for educators to tell...

Read more: 5 new ways for schools to work with families

What happens when black Americans leave their segregated hometowns

  • Written by Christine Leibbrand, Acting Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Washington
More than half of black people in the U.S. live in highly segregated areas.Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

Where someone grows up is profoundly important for their life chances. It influences things like the schools they attend, the jobs, parks and community resources they have access to and the peers they interact with.

Because of this comprehensive...

Read more: What happens when black Americans leave their segregated hometowns

'Robotic blacksmithing': A technology that could revive US manufacturing

  • Written by Glenn S. Daehn, Fontana Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University
Robots already assemble and weld products in factories. Can they make the components parts themselves, too?Factory_Easy/Shutterstock.com

Although it may not be obvious, there’s a close link between manufacturing technology and innovation. Elon Musk often talks of the “machines that build the machines” as being the real enabler in...

Read more: 'Robotic blacksmithing': A technology that could revive US manufacturing

Paul Volcker helped shape an independent Federal Reserve – a vital legacy that's under threat

  • Written by Michael Klein, Professor of International Economic Affairs at The Fletcher School, Tufts University
Paul Volcker was a courageous central banker.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Paul Volcker, who died on Dec. 8, is the poster boy for central bank independence and why it matters.

One of his legacies, as you may have read in the many obituariespublished since his death, is taming the runaway inflation that posed an existential threat to the U.S....

Read more: Paul Volcker helped shape an independent Federal Reserve – a vital legacy that's under threat

More Articles ...

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