Above the Law – “Key data reveals the state of the legal profession. What is the Legal Trends Report and how can this report help law firms better their practice? In this On the Road report from the Clio Cloud Conference 2018, host Laurence Colletti and I welcome George Psiharis to discuss how much time lawyers lose everyday on average, Clio’s three basic components, and why less billing could help a firm earn more money. Psiharis also explains where the data comes from when reporting about lawyers and how that data differs from client expectations. George Psiharis is the chief operating officer at Clio.”
The kingdom's state news agency dismissed suspicions of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder as "falsehoods" — and pledged Saudi Arabia's "total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it."
(Image credit: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images)
A large new study finds people who grew up in book-filled homes have higher reading, math, and technological skills
Home Libraries Confer Long-Term Benefits – “We’ve known for a while that home libraries are strongly linked to children’s academic achievement. What’s less certain is whether the benefits they bestow have a long-term impact. A new large-scale study, featuring data from 31 countries, reports they do indeed. It finds the advantages of growing up in a book-filled home can be measured well into adulthood. “Adolescent exposure to books is an integral part of social practices that foster long-term cognitive competencies,” writes a research team led by Joanna Sikora of Australian National University. These reading-driven abilities not only “facilitate educational and occupational attainment,” the researchers write in the journal Social Science Research. “[They] also lay a foundation for lifelong routine activities that enhance literacy and numeracy.” The researchers analyzed data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Competencies. Its surveys, taken between 2011 and 2015, featured adults (ages 25 to 65) in 31 nations, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Singapore, and Turkey.
All participants were asked how many books there were in their home when they were 16 years old. (One meter of shelving, they were told, holds about 40 books.) They chose from a series of options ranging from “10 or less” to “more than 500.”Literacy was defined as “the ability to read effectively to participate in society and achieve personal goals.” Participants took tests that “captured a range of basic through advanced comprehension skills, from reading brief texts for a single piece of information to synthesizing information from complex texts.” Numeracy tests measured the “ability to use mathematical concepts in everyday life,” while IT-related tests “assessed the ability to use digital technology to communicate with others, as well as to gather, analyze, and synthesize information.” The results suggest those volumes made a long-term difference. “Growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills in these areas beyond the benefits accrued from parental education, or [one’s] own educational or occupational attainment,” the researchers report. Not surprisingly, the biggest impact was on reading ability. “The total effects of home library size on literacy are large everywhere,” the researchers report…”
The cold open revisited West's bizarre White House soliloquy, while Simon performed an emotional rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
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Brookings report – Half the world is now middle class or wealthier: “…Our “middle class” classification was first developed in 2010 and has been used by many researchers. While acknowledging that the middle class does not have a precise definition that can be globally applied, the threshold we use in this work has the following characteristics: those in the middle class have some discretionary income that can be used to buy consumer durables like motorcycles, refrigerators, or washing machines. They can afford to go to movies or indulge in other forms of entertainment. They may take vacations. And they are reasonably confident that they and their family can weather an economic shock—like illness or a spell of unemployment—without falling back into extreme poverty. By classifying all households in the world into one of these four groups, using income and expenditure surveys from 188 countries, we are able to derive measures of the global distribution of income. Our social enterprise World Data Lab—the maker of World Poverty Clock—has refined these estimates and created a new interactive data model to estimate all income brackets for almost every country for every point in time until 2030 by combining demographic and economic data. A lot has been written about the world’s progress in reducing the number of people living in extreme poverty, as highlighted in the recent Goalkeepers report put out by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We believe that another story relates to the rapid emergence of the global middle class. This middle class story is probably bigger in terms of the number of people affected. In the world today, about one person escapes extreme poverty every second; but five people a second are entering the middle class. The rich are growing too, but at a far smaller rate (1 person every 2 seconds)…”
Via More in Common – Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape, October 2018, by Stephen Hawking, Daniel Yudkin, Miriam Juan-Torres, and Tim Dixon: “This report lays out the findings of a large-scale national survey of Americans about the current state of civic life in the United States. It provides substantial evidence of deep polarization and growing tribalism. It shows that this polarization is rooted in something deeper than political opinions and disagreements over policy. But it also provides some evidence for optimism, showing that 77 percent of Americans believe our differences are not so great that we cannot come together. At the root of America’s polarization are divergent sets of values and worldviews, or “core beliefs.” These core beliefs shape the ways that individuals interpret the world around them at the most fundamental level. Our study shows how political opinions stem from these deeply held core beliefs. This study examines five dimensions of individuals’ core beliefs:
- Tribalism and group identification
- Fear and perception of threat
- Parenting style and authoritarian disposition
- Moral foundations
- Personal agency and responsibility
The study finds that this hidden architecture of beliefs, worldview and group attachments can predict an individual’s views on social and political issues with greater accuracy than demographic factors like race, gender, or income. The research undertaken for this report identifies seven segments of Americans (or “tribes”) who are distinguished by differences in their underlying beliefs and attitudes. Membership in these tribes was determined by each individual’s answers to a subset of 58 core belief and behavioral questions that were asked together with the rest of the survey. None of the questions used to create the segmentation related to current political issues or demographic indicators such as race, gender, age or income, yet the responses that each segment gives to questions on current political issues are remarkably predictable and show a very clear pattern…”
SSRN – “We are pleased to announce the creation of the Criminal Justice Research Network (CJRN), which focuses on 10 major areas of scholarship. SSRN’s newest network provides a worldwide online community for criminal justice scholars and for the sharing of ideas across a broad spectrum of early-stage research.SSRN had added a new collection of e-journals on criminal law. Subscriptions are currently free. [time period not specified]. You can browse or search the entire CJRN collection of eJournals.”… [h/t Mary Whisner]
“Dozens of new initiatives have launched to confront fake news and the erosion of faith in the media, Axios’ Sara Fischer reports:
- The Trust Project, which is made up of dozens of global news companies, announced this morning that the number of journalism organizations using the global network’s “Trust Indicators” now totals 120, making it one of the larger global initiatives to combat fake news. Some of these groups (like NewsGuard) work with Trust Project and are a part of it.
- News Integrity Initiative (Facebook, Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, Ford Foundation, Democracy Fund, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks)
- NewsGuard (Longtime journalists and media entrepreneurs Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz)
- The Journalism Trust Initiative (Reporters Without Borders, and Agence France Presse, the European Broadcasting Union and the Global Editors Network )
- Internews (Longtime international non-profit)
- Accountability Journalism Program (American Press Institute)
- Trusting News (Reynolds Journalism Institute)
- Media Manipulation Initiative (Data & Society)
- Deepnews.ai (Frédéric Filloux)
- Trust & News Initiative (Knight Foundation, Facebook and Craig Newmark in. affiliation with Duke University)
- Our.News (Independently run)
- WikiTribune (Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales)”
The New York Times – “On this page you will find maps showing almost every building in the United States…Created by Times graphic designer Derek Watkins and former Times editor Tim Wallace, the project relied on a Microsoft database of building footprints that The Times team turned into graphics, in which buildings are black and open space is white…”
“Every black speck on the map … is a building, reflecting the built legacy of the United States.” Explore the interactive map by city or ZIP Code…Today we are inviting you, simply, to look. On this page you will find maps showing almost every building in the United States. Why did we make such a thing? We did it as an opportunity for you to connect with the country’s cities and explore them in detail. To find the familiar, and to discover the unfamiliar. So … look. Every black speck on the map below is a building, reflecting the built legacy of the United States. Use the search bar here to find a place and explore the interactive map…”
Vienna had a problem: A key construction site threatened the habitat of dozens of hamsters — yes, common hamsters, a protected species in Austria. Here's how the developers saved the little animals.
(Image credit: Courtesy of Michaela Vondruska)
In a ceremony at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican, Pope Francis declared the sainthood of the murdered Salvadoran archbishop, the former pontiff and five other people.
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Songbirds have been in decline for decades, and it's becoming clear that climate change is a factor. Scientists are finding that old-growth forests may help the birds cope with rising temperatures.
(Image credit: Greg Davis/OPB)
When 39-year-old Charlie Hinderliter got the flu last winter, he ended up in a medically induced coma and spent 58 days hospitalized. Serious, even fatal, complications can hit patients of any age.
(Image credit: Neeta Satam for NPR)
Nearly 70 percent of voters say Republicans and Democrats fail to adequately represent the American people. One group is trying to help elect more unaffiliated candidates.
(Image credit: Joe Amon/Denver Post via Getty Images)