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Daily Archives: April 8, 2018

NYT – The Case of Hong Kong’s Missing Booksellers

New York Times Magazine – As China’s Xi Jinping consolidates power, owners of Hong Kong bookstores trafficking in banned books find themselves playing a very dangerous game: “…The Chinese government has long sought to shape and control information, but the scope and intensity of this effort was something new — and its origins could be traced to a 61-year-old bookseller and a few stacks of forbidden titles. “I never expected anything like this, just as a poor man never dreams of striking it rich overnight,” Lam said. Throughout his ordeal, he had to remind himself that in China, as in his books, the line between the outlandish and the ordinary is often too thin to register. “Contemporary China,” he said, “is an absurd country.”…Ask a publisher in Hong Kong and he or she will tell you that the phrase “banned books” is something of a misnomer. No one within Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese territory, wanted to squash the publishing industry. That dictate came from Beijing and held limited legal force in Hong Kong. For 60 years the city had protection from direct interference, first as a British colony and then, since 1997, under an agreement with Beijing known as “One Country, Two Systems.”…”

‘Gag Clauses’ and Prescription Drug Prices – Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports – “When you fill a prescription at your local drugstore, you probably assume that using your insurance is the best—maybe even the only—way to pay. So you might be surprised to learn that you can sometimes pay less if you don’t use your insurance. And there’s a good reason that counterintuitive cost-saving strategy… Continue Reading

Berkeley offers its fastest-growing course – data science – online, for free

Berkeley News: “The fastest-growing course in UC Berkeley’s history — Foundations of Data Science — is being offered free online this spring for the first time through the campus’s online education hub, edX. Data science is becoming important to more and more people because the world is increasingly data-driven — and not just science and… Continue Reading

National Volunteer Month: a reading list

OUPBlog: “On 20 April 1974, President Richard M. Nixon declared National Volunteer Week those Americans whose unpaid “efforts most frequently touch the lives of the poor, the young, the aged and the sick, but in the process the lives of all men and women are made richer.” Since that time, this commemoration has been extended… Continue Reading

Paper – Advancing Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion

Advancing Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion January 2018 by Kathryn Imboden, Toronto Centre. Kathryn is a Policy Advisor at CGAP, focusing on financial inclusion work with global standard setting bodies. “Women’s inclusion in the usage of financial series is broadly recognized as a key driver of women’s participation in the economy and of household well-being, leading… Continue Reading

Seeking to normalize and expand biking centric cities

Fast Company: “Mikael Colville-Andersen rides his bike everywhere in Copenhagen, but he would never introduce himself as a cyclist. “I’m just one of the 400,000 people riding a bike in this city because it makes our daily lives more effective,” he tells Fast Company…At the center of…Colville-Andersen’s mission: To renormalize the bicycle. A successful cycling… Continue Reading

House Committee Markups: Manual of Procedures and Procedural Strategies

CRS report via FAS – House Committee Markups: Manual of Procedures and Procedural Strategies: “A principal responsibility of House committees is to conduct markups—to select legislation to consider, to debate it and vote on amendments to it (to mark up), and to report recommendations on passage to the House. This manual examines procedures and strategy… Continue Reading

Experts explain blockchain initiatives and opportunities for research, digital rights management, peer review

“In this interview, Joris van Rossum (Director of Special Projects, Digital Science) and author of Blockchain for Research, and Martijn Roelandse (Head of Publishing Innovation, Springer Nature), discuss blockchain in scholarly communications, including the recently launched Peer Review Blockchain initiative…We’ve explored the possibilities and initiatives in a report published by Digital Science. The blockchain could… Continue Reading

Record number of women running for congress

Christian Science Monitor: “A total of 309 women have filed candidacy papers to run for the House. With many House seats up for grabs, this election may present one of the best opportunities for women to make real representational gains, experts say. A surge of women into this year’s midterm elections had been expected since… Continue Reading

The World’s Wilderness: Going, Going and Soon Gone?

Outside: Recent studies have arrived at the same blunt conclusion: the world’s last, big wildlands are disappearing at an alarming rate. Is there anything to be done? ““We are running out of wilderness,” James Watson, director of the science and research initiative at the Wildlife Conservation Society, told fellow scientists last summer at the International… Continue Reading