Ian Baird in The Japan Times: Locals reap little benefit in Laos’s controversial hydroelectricity ambitions

Mountainous and landlocked Laos, known as the “Battery of Asia,” is building dozens of dams at breakneck speed so it can sell energy to power-hungry neighbors as a fast track out of poverty. But the communist country’s ambitious power plans are highly controversial

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Bob Dylan’s electric guitar and leather jacket inspire a dissertation

Rivka Maizlish studies folk music, folklore, folk art, folk medicine – but she is not a folklorist. Maizlish is an intellectual historian, about to embark on a fellowship with the Smithsonian Institute to dive more deeply into the question, how did people in 20th century America define folk?

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In the Journal Sentinel: 21-year-old college student bypasses bigger opportunities to take reins at small hometown Mondovi newspaper

Some college kids come home for summer and wait tables, paint houses or grab internships

Nash Weiss is serving as interim editor of his local weekly newspaper, the Mondovi Herald-News.

He's 21 years old, an incoming senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he's studying journalism.

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Physics Professor Sau Lan Wu in Wired

One of the many women who, in a different world, might have won the physics prize in the intervening 55 years is Sau Lan Wu. Wu is the Enrico Fermi Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an experimentalist at CERN, the laboratory near Geneva that houses the Large Hadron Collider.

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In On Wisconsin Magazine: How to trust a robot

Mathematics and computer sciences alum Bill Hibbard (BA'70, MS'73, PhD'95) and other artificial intelligence experts want to ensure that AI meets its potential for good — and avoids dystopian scenarios.

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Can plants and trees change the weather?

By this time next year, an army of towers will be keeping watch over a plot of land in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest of northern Wisconsin. They will be joined by a turbo-prop plane, an ultralight aircraft, a state-owned Cessna, ground-based atmospheric instruments, and a troop of students and scientists, each playing a role in helping to understand how plants and trees contribute to weather patterns on a local scale.

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Patricia Devine in the NY Times: Confronting implicit bias in the New York Police Department

While explicit bias remains part of the fabric of life in the United States, elected leaders and chiefs of police have increasingly focused on what is often called implicit bias, inherently unintentional yet more pervasive.

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In the LA Review of Books: Jennifer Ratner Rosenhagen on ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’

“Should Pirsig’s ZAMM be read as a primer on Zen? No. But neither should it be dismissed as a period piece of the ’70s counterculture. To do so would be to miss how it subtly works with some of the insights of Zen and Pirsig’s own academic and para-academic experiences as one long comment on higher learning, which is still surprisingly resonant today,” Rosenhagen writes.

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