Can't believe everything you read

A few months ago, I reviewed the book "No Time to Think" by Rosenberg and Feldman. The book is about how the 24/7 news cycle is destroying credible journalism and possibly our society as well. With so many volatile topics in the news these days, I thought I'd share a few key lessons that I learned from the book that might help make you a better news consumer:

Church attendants fail

When I broke my recent news fast, I came across a Pew Forum poll that asked the question: Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified? They found 1) People identifying themselves as Christian and 2) Reported attending church on a weekly basis were more likely to support torture. While I'm relieved that my fellow Catholic support torture less, 51% of my fellow American Catholics said that torture could often or sometimes be justified. This despite many statements from the Church hierarchy all the way up to the Pope that torture is an objective moral evil means which no end can justify.

Remember when TV came to Bush Alaska?

Newcomers to Alaska may be surprised to learn that television was not introduced in much of Bush Alaska until the late 1970s. This allowed researchers to do before-and-after surveys to see how TV impacted villages.

'Wisdom sails with wind'

With the recent start-up of the Nome wind farm, our resident librarian explores the history of wind power in Alaska, a truly breezy state with many opportunities to harness the wind.

Alaska already killed the death penalty once

Your resident librarian researches the history of the death penalty in Alaska, finding that our politicians in 1957 spoke about the death penalty like this before killing it: "It [the death penalty] now only falls on some poor, unfortunate, ignorant, homeless individual who is hornswoggled from the time he gets into court."

When Don Young and Obama agree

At first glance, Alaska's Rep. Don Young and President Barack Obama don't seem to have much common ground. They've disagreed on many issues. But to their credit, both can put their feelings aside and work on common issues.

Virtual community tour

Did you know that Emmonak was originally called "Kwiguk," a Yup'ik word meaning "big stream," or that Bethel is in the process of receiving a $1.2 million state grant to repair a fire station? Your Alaskan librarian walks you through regional virtual information gateways.

How to follow your legislature

On Tuesday, Jan. 20, the 26th Session of the Alaska State Legislature will get underway. If you'd like to follow the activities of your legislature, then bookmark http://www.legis.state.ak.us/, the official site of the Legislature. Here you will find a number of helpful features including:

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