A survey to document discrimination

In some classes this term, students have been making surveys to collect information about people’s knowledge, experiences, and opinions on a variety of themes. I happened across this article this morning that has an interesting survey. They want to know: “Have you experienced or witnessed hate?” Their goal is to collect people’s stories to better understand hate crimes and discrimination.

This survey appears to be only collecting information about discrimination and hate from the U.S., but it’s a good discussion starter and may help you with your own surveys.

The right to recline

In recent years, there have been countless incidents on airplanes in which passengers get into fights about space: Who gets the armrest? Is it ok to recline? This article talks about ways to prevent such arguments:

“How to Resolve Fights over Reclining Airplane Seats: Use Behavioral Economics” (Evonomics, May 12)

Reading this reminded me of a bus ride I was on in Cambodia. Across the aisle, I saw a man reclined in his seat, sleeping peacefully, while the mother and child behind him looked less than comfortable.

What do you think? Should the man have checked first before he reclined fully? Or is it the responsiblity of the bus manufacturer to design better buses, trains and plances, to make sure kids-on-laps aren’t squished?

“A brief respite from modern life”


This is a short video (in Chinese with English subtitles) about a group of young Chinese people who have chosen to live a simple life up in the mountains.

“By the time you get to school, life becomes a repetition of (going from) point A to point B. When you graduate and get a job the repetition continues.”

I think there are ways to break out of your rut without running for the hills, but it’s a good reminder that when we do feel stuck in a rut, we should do something about it. To find something that helps you put your “mind is resting and your heart is at peace.”

The part about them having to go to the top of the mountain to get a signal in order to send text messages was pretty funny. If it were harder for us to use our phones, we might appreciate them more.

He’d like to teach the world to sing

Even if you only have the time to read the first few paragraphs of this article, it’s worth it. It’s about karaoke, and the guy who “invented” it (students in some classes will remember the name Daisuke Inoue from our Nobel/IgNobel activity, I hope). The reason he did so is pretty funny.

“Sing to Me” (from Real Life)

This video of the IgNobel prize ceremony is cued to the part where Mr. Inoue starts singing (it will open in a new tab).

Daisuke Inoue IgNobel

I categorized this in “peace” too, because of the IgNobel he won “for inventing a machine which teaches people to bear the awful singing of ordinary citizens  … and enjoy it anyway.”