Tag Archives: Weekend Reads

Weekend Reads | A Model for Prosecuting Trump

by Kevin Schofield


Many of us have spent the past several weeks wondering what is going on behind the scenes at the Department of Justice as it tries to move forward with its investigation of former President Donald Trump and his removal of government documents to Mar-a-Lago. The tight-lipped DOJ has given us only a few clues as to the status of its case: a handful of court filings to a federal judge and the “special master” appointed to review the evidence it seized in its search, and, more recently, the appointment of a special prosecutor to handle the case now that Trump has declared his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election. We, of course, want to know if Trump will ultimately be charged — and if so, when.

Continue reading Weekend Reads | A Model for Prosecuting Trump

Weekend Reads | Is Playing Video Games Good for Kids’ Brains?

by Kevin Schofield


Last weekend, I talked about the benefits for Black students of having a Black teacher, benefits that were proven in a long-term study of students in Tennessee. This weekend’s read is a result from another valuable long-term study, this time on children’s brain development. Called the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, it recruited 11,880 children ages 9–10 from 21 sites across the United States and will look at how those kids’ experiences and their bodies’ changing biology affects their brain development over the following several years. Like the study on students, this one is likely to produce dozens, if not hundreds, of research papers with new discoveries.

Continue reading Weekend Reads | Is Playing Video Games Good for Kids’ Brains?

Weekend Reads | The Impact of Black Teachers on Black Students

by Kevin Schofield


Back in the 1990s, the state of Tennessee began a field experiment looking at the impact of class size in its elementary schools. Called Project STAR (Student-Teacher Achievement Ratio), it randomly assigned students to a certain teacher and classroom. It found, not surprisingly, that class size mattered a lot: Students in smaller classes did better (as measured by end-of-year test scores).

Continue reading Weekend Reads | The Impact of Black Teachers on Black Students

Weekend Reads | Your Windshield May Have Important Data Splattered on It

by Kevin Schofield


Growing up in a rural area, as I did, one learns that a regular rite of summer is bugs getting smashed on your car windshield. There’s the odd one here and there, and then occasionally when driving by a field a swarm will cross the road and … well, it’s pretty disgusting. But over the past couple of decades, many people have started to notice that there don’t seem to be nearly as many flying insects as there used to be. At the same time, scientists have been gathering data that seems to confirm the phenomenon: Insect populations are in decline in many parts of the world.

Continue reading Weekend Reads | Your Windshield May Have Important Data Splattered on It

Weekend Reads | Seattle’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

by Kevin Schofield


This weekend’s read is a new report from the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, which provides an inventory of the city’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2020. It looks at both the magnitude of GHG emissions as well as the sources, and it gives us an interesting and insightful look at what it will take to make meaningful reduction in the city’s contribution to global warming.

Continue reading Weekend Reads | Seattle’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Weekend Reads | Trying to Understand Long COVID

by Kevin Schofield


For many people, contracting COVID-19 is the gift that keeps on giving, with symptoms persisting potentially for months after the initial illness. People with “long COVID” complain about some combination of fatigue, body pain, and ongoing respiratory and cognitive problems. However, the exact symptoms vary from person to person, as does the length of time they persist. That’s made long COVID a huge challenge for the medical community to understand, diagnose, and treat. But as time has passed, more long COVID cases have been documented, and more studies have been completed, we’re starting to get a better understanding of its parameters.

Continue reading Weekend Reads | Trying to Understand Long COVID

Weekend Reads | Is It Getting Harder or Easier to Vote?

by Kevin Schofield


This weekend’s read is a research paper by a trio of researchers looking at the relative “cost of voting” in each of the 50 United States. By “cost of voting,” they mean how much effort it takes to register to vote and ultimately cast one’s vote.

Continue reading Weekend Reads | Is It Getting Harder or Easier to Vote?

Weekend Reads | Coyotes and Gray Wolves and Dogs, Oh My!

by Kevin Schofield


Do you remember the “tree of life” that we all studied in high school biology classes, the one that documented how the species on Earth today descended from common ancestors? For hundreds of years, species ancestry was pieced together the hard way: by comparing the phenotypes of organisms. A phenotype is the set of observable characteristics of a species, everything from basic size, shape, and color to specific body parts, such as fingers, toes, wings, and eyes. Understanding that evolution is a long series of small adjustments, rather than large leaps, biologists looked for physical resemblances to make judgments about how closely related two species are.

Continue reading Weekend Reads | Coyotes and Gray Wolves and Dogs, Oh My!

Weekend Reads | The Midlife Crisis and White Supremacist ‘Gangs’

by Kevin Schofield


Elliott Jaques, a 20th century psychoanalyst, is credited with coining the term “mid-life crisis” in an article he wrote in 1965, though he in turn credits author and artist Richard Church for defining it in his autobiography:

There seems to be a biological reason for men and women, when they reach the middle thirties, finding themselves beset with misgivings, agonizing inquiries, and a loss of zest.

Continue reading Weekend Reads | The Midlife Crisis and White Supremacist ‘Gangs’