Do Culture Wars Mean Ignoring Science?

In Pennsylvania and elsewhere in America, culture wars are heating up in schools. A drive to include creationism in textbooks is emboldened by the recent election. Some schools also propose censoring school reading lists of “immorality” or ‘foul language’ and to allow the distribution of Bibles in schools. “In Texas, the nation’s second-biggest school textbook market, the State Board of Education approved health textbooks that defined abstinence as the only form of contraception and changed the description of marriage between ‘two people’ to ‘a lifelong union between a husband and a wife’.”

New Lobbyists Lobby For Fairer Copyright

A new lobbying group has been formed to argue for copyright laws that are fairer to consumers. “IPac pledges to support candidates and elected officials who fight for a balance in copyright law: The group will support those who advocate for laws that will pay creators without limiting political expression, innovation or research and education, and back laws that foster new creativity. The group says it believes that intellectual property laws should be clear so technologists can innovate without being sued.”

Will Las Vegas Be The New Broadway?

“About 2,500 miles to the west of Times Square, another major U.S. tourist Mecca, Las Vegas, is now being referred to by some as “Broadway West.” Could a growing live-theatre industry in this glittery playground for gambling aficionados and lovers of flashy thrills pose a threat to the Great White Way and to the national theatre-tour market?”

Woman Conductor Breaks Barrier At SF Opera

Earlier this season Sara Jobin made history as the first woman ever to conduct a mainstage opera at the San Francisco Opera. “At this point the only people who have trouble with the idea of a woman conductor are sometimes board members, especially older women who have had to fight the hard battles themselves. They look at me and think, ‘Why would an orchestra pay attention to you?’ But of course the orchestra doesn’t pay attention to me, they pay attention to the music.”

Germany’s Debate Over Public TV

“Under a decades old system, Germany levies a fee of $21 a month on every household with a TV. The resulting $7 billion a year funds the largest public broadcasting system in Europe, encompassing film production, 22 TV channels, and more than 50 radio stations. The British Broadcasting Corp., by comparison, got $5.2 billion from taxpayers in the latest fiscal year. But Germans increasingly wonder whether they’re getting their money’s worth. In terms of substance there is hardly a difference anymore between the public and private stations.”

Should NPR Go Private?

Should National Public Radio be privatized? Its listenership is big enough to compete with commercial radio. “`Morning Edition’ and `All Things Considered,’ NPR’s two signature news shows, are now the second and third most popular nationally distributed shows on U.S. radio (after Rush Limbaugh). Public radio is no longer in the business, or the anti-business, of serving minority tastes.”