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Michael Todd

Michael Todd
Most of Michael Todd's career has been spent in newspaper journalism, ranging from papers in the Marshall Islands to tiny California farming communities. Before joining the publishing arm of the Miller-McCune Center, he was managing editor of the national magazine Hispanic Business.

Recent posts

True Crime

columbine-shootings

The Simple Facts About Mass Shootings Aren’t Simple at All

The first step in stopping future mass shootings is figuring out what we know and working from there. Unfortunately, the real first step is getting rid of a bunch of stuff we “know” that turns out to be wrong.

What Makes Us Politic

capitol-building-dc

As an Experiment, Let’s Put More Scientists in Congress

A new-ish political action committee wants to see professionals from science, technology, math, and engineering stop carping from the political sidelines and start running for elected office.

 

pika

What an Unbelievably Cute Ball of Fur Can Teach Us About Climate Change

It’s an unpalatable truth, but since we’re already late in attacking climate change we better learn how to adapt.

 

italy

Mafias, Migrants, and a New Kind of Graft

Italy’s fumbled effort to dilute bad apples by placing them in barrels of good ones failed spectacularly, but it offers lessons about migrants and organized crime for today.

 

sick-day-calendar

Absence: A Users Guide for Bosses and Employees

Tis the season to be gone from work. A leading researcher on going AWOL offers his observations about global customs, mild deviance, an improving job scene, and showing up at the office to spread viruses along with the holiday cheer.

 

david-goliath

The Math Equation That Explains David and Goliath

From babies’ tantrums to labor strikes to guerrilla wars to global terrorism, there may be one simple math equation, a power law, that benchmarks them all. Better yet, it may allow us to predict these confrontations’ future.

 

lottery-ticket

Lorde Knows Why Poor People Play the Lottery

On the eve of a monster MegaMillions draw, here’s another explanation of why those who can least afford it play the lottery: It helps them blow off steam.

 

workplace-safety

Don’t We Want to Reveal the Good News About Workplace Safety?

Rather than keeping information of workplace injuries under wraps, Americans should be happy to learn we’re seeing fewer of them.

 

traffic-ticket

Do Traffic Tickets Tamp Down Bad Driving or Merely Log It?

A study of Israeli drivers finds that being in a serious accident suggests you’ve probably gotten a ticket in recent years.

 

verdant-power

Want Blue Energy? Then Trade Risk for Information

There are a lot of unknowns about the ecological effects of ocean-based renewable energy. A screwy permitting process, a new analysis argues, makes answering those questions that much harder.

 

sun-reflection

Did Don Ho Have a Solution to Global Warming?

Talk about global warming quickly turns to the question of carbon in the atmosphere. But the more fundamental observation about how much sunshine the planet bounces back into space should probably precede any mention of greenhouse gases.

 

union-jack-sunset

Will the Sun Set on the Union Jack?

Surely what happens to the Union Jack is one of the more minor concerns that would follow Scottish independence—except that it’s not.

 

netherlands-water

The Soggy Saga of a Tax on Groundwater

An effort to cut income taxes and improve water quality in The Netherlands foundered by doing lots of things not too well.

 

chimp-personhood

Seeking a ‘Citizens United’ Victory for Chimpanzees

A series of lawsuits attempting to establish legal personhood for chimpanzees has been unleashed in New York. While its backers cite precedents like slavery and gay rights in their pleadings, perhaps an example from the boardroom is in order.

 

syria-bombing

One in Every 10 People Killed in Syria’s War Is a Child

Once again we’re reminded that it’s not just those who choose to put themselves in harm’s way who die during a war.

 

crimea-fireworks-painting

The Imperial Tradition Dies Hard in Potemkin’s, Umm, Putin’s Russia

When entertaining dignitaries, cover-ups are always in vogue.

 

cash-clunkers

Grading Cash for Clunkers: Give It an E for Effort

Now that Uncle Sam is no longer a back-seat driver for the auto business, this is a good time to pull over and remember one of his signal acts while in the car.

 

habanero-pepper

A Hot Time in the Old Archaeological Dig Tonight

Ancient people of Mesoamerica apparently liked a hot drink in the morning, too. A spicy hot drink, that is.

 

kudzu-georgia

Not Ready for Prime Time: Making Fuel Out of Invasive Plants

When it comes to making ethanol, taking a hard, second look at seemingly great ideas is smart policy.

 

gorongosa-vegetation

Seeking Peace Through Superior Flower Power

Restoring Africa’s peace could be helped by restoring its fabled—and endangered—fauna.

 

burger-king

Another Data Point That Picks Away at Obamacare

More evidence from Dr. Brian Elbel shows that menu labeling isn’t really working.

 

shell-station

We’re Buying Fewer Cars, Driving Fewer Miles—and Buying Less Gas

Evidence keeps mounting that Americans’ love affair with the car, while hardly over, has entered a new phase.

 

riyadh

A Lesson in Democracy From Driving Down the ‘Arab Street’

Reconciling democracy and shari’a is certainly do-able, but the results may not enthrall the West.

 

empty-high-school

Even for Dropouts, Being on the Right Side of the Digital Divide Matters

If you drop out of high school, odds are you’ll end up in a dead-end job for life. But the odds get a lot better if you happen to have some computer skills.

 

12-years-slave

The Financial Meltdown of the New Orleans Slave Market

As you watch 12 Years a Slave recall that the market in humanity really was a market—with dizzying asset price changes, speculative bubbles, and a fear of volatility greater than a fear of civil war.

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Politicians Really Aren’t Better Decision Makers

Politicians took part in a classic choice experiment but failed to do better than the rest of us.

Earliest High-Altitude Settlements Found in Peru

Discovery suggests humans adapted to high altitude faster than previously thought.

My Politicians Are Better Looking Than Yours

A new study finds we judge the cover by the book—or at least the party.

That Cigarette Would Make a Great Water Filter

Clean out the ashtray, add some aluminum oxide, and you've (almost) got yourself a low-cost way to remove arsenic from drinking water.

Love and Hate in Israel and Palestine

Psychologists find that parties to a conflict think they're motivated by love while their enemies are motivated by hate.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

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