Archives for 2015

Lack of Funding Could Derail Train Safety Technology (The Atlantic)


After a history of railroad accidents, the industry is ready to implement life-saving technology that can prevent train collisions and derailments. The problem? Positive Train Control (PTC), the technology in question, may not be implemented in all commuter rails because of insufficient funding from Congress.

“If PTC is not fully implemented by January 1, 2016, we can and should expect there to be accidents in the months and years to follow that PTC could have prevented,” says Sarah Feinberg, the Federal Railroad Administrator. Read the article here.

Applications of Neuroscience in the Courtroom (Slate)

Phrenology, a 19th century  pseudoscience, is getting a second look thanks to advances in neuroscience. While contemporary neuroscientists disagree with 19th century phrenologists that certain areas of the brain have localized functions, there is reason to think that multiple areas of the brain may contribute to moral cognition and behavior. Geoffrey Holtzman from Slate explains what the legal implications of this means for criminals whose brains may be damaged or abnormal. Read the article here.

The Aggressive Comedy of Hari Kondabolu ’04

Hari Kondabolu '04. Photo by Karsten Moran '05.

Hari Kondabolu ’04. Photo by Karsten Moran ’05.

In concert with two December shows at London’s SoHo Theatre, The Guardian ran a profile of Hari Kondabolu ’04, in which the comedian speaks about his album Waiting for 2042 — a reference to the year white people are predicted to become a minority in the U.S. — and his experiences as an Indian-American bringing aggressive comedy to the fore. Read the profile.

New Saudi-led Military Alliance Seeks to Counter ISIS (Brookings Institute)

UnknownOn the heels of criticism by President Obama that the Saudis and their allies were not doing enough to counter ISIS, the Saudi Minister of Defense recently announced a new Islamic military alliance to fight terrorism.

The alliance includes 34 members, with several countries, including Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan notably absent. “The Arab world has been talking about military alliance since the 1940s…this latest move may be a step in that direction,” writes Bruce Riedel for Brookings Institute. Read the article here.