2015 School Crime and Violence Statistics

The 2015 edition of Indicators of School Crime and Safety has just been released. It contains a plethora of data ranging all the way up to college statistics. Overall, there is a downward trend in crime with the notable exceptional of sexual assaults on campus – they have more than doubled. Numerous figures add to the utility of this document. Here is a brief report from The Chronicle of Higher Education on this iteration.

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Recent Reports on Water

Both national and international bodies have issued important documents pertaining to water scarcity and its implications. The World Bank has published High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy. This report details how the lack of potable water will exacerbate already bad conditions in areas where water scarcity already exists as well as impacting areas that presently do not have to contend with this issue. If left unabated, climate change will affect the supply of water to the world’s cities by 2050, in some cases  by two-thirds. These conditions will give rise to mass migrations, “water wars”, and otherarmed conflicts that will in the long run reduce the economies of many of the world’s countries by up to 6%.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued Municipal freshwater scarcity: Using technology to improve distribution system efficiency and tap nontraditional water sources and an E-Supplement containing the survey of 1300 municipal water systems upon which the report is based. As stated in the highlights page: “Of all municipal services, providing a safe and adequate supply of water is perhaps the most essential. Reports about lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, Michigan and ongoing drought in several regions of the United States highlight some of the challenges water utilities are facing. In times of shortage, conflicts over limited freshwater resources—including for irrigation, power production, and municipal water use—increase. Further, freshwater shortages are expected to continue into the future.”

The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has produced Climate Change, Water Scarcity, and Adaptation in the U.S. Fieldcrop Sector that states:”Projected changes in climate are likely to alter growing conditions across important agricultural regions in the United States.”(Summary 1) Reductions in crop yields are expected by 2020.

A search of PMC (PubMed Central) shows over 700 articles on water scarcity; over 350 articles are in DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals); and more than 100 articles can be found courtesy of HighWire Press.

 

 

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EdTech Reports – April 2016

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The Oriental Institute

We admit that we have been lucky that back in the day we walked the streets of Palmyra and gazed upon the Temple of Bel, visited “The Treasury” at Petra while marveling at the ingenuity of the water supply system there, tread the ruins of Carthage and recalled the phrase uttered by Cato at every speech-making opportunity (abbreviated as “Carthago delenda est”,  and strolled among “The “Houses of the Dead” at Meroe. So it should come as no surprise that we recommend the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago with its wealth of online publications. Its entire corpus of 700+ works has been digitized for free access; these works encompass both scholarly and more popular items. Tomes range from Picturing the Past that highlights restoration efforts, whether in line drawings, digital reconstructions, or actual rebuilding to the Assyrian Dictionary, a multi-year project.

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Does Exercise Really Help You Lose Weight?

This recent report, that reviewed dozens of scientific studies on the relationship between weight loss and exercise states: “The evidence is now clear: Exercise is excellent for health, but it’s not important for weight loss. The two things should never be given equal weight in the obesity debate.” Reviewing metastudies, tracking back decades-old research as well as incorporating work as recent as this year, interviewing experts in the field, and providing cogent graphics and links, this report should give one pause when thinking that the key to weight loss is exercise. While exercise is great for your health, the study says, it does little for weight reduction. The secret? Eat less food! It would seem to be a no-brainer, but as the article points out, most of us operate under the assumption that we burn off what we eat. And that is much too simplistic a viewpoint.

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National Security Reports – April 2016 Update

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Digest of Education Statistics, 2014

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