Research provides regimen for healthy brain – By Susan A. Masino
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Susan A. Masino, the Vernon Roosa Professor of Applied Science at Trinity College, studies links among metabolism, brain activity, and behavior.
Brain disorders are expensive, and their costs to families and society can never be calculated fully. As a neuroscientist, I know that despite heroic research efforts our current medical treatments rarely cure neurological problems – and often can’t treat them effectively. Devastating and complex problems with our fragile and amazing nervous system span all ages. Alzheimer’s disease, mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, and more are all-too-common. We need more research, and we also need to be more proactive: Keeping a brain healthy and resilient will benefit the body, as well. It’s time to go on the offense with explicit recommendations for brain health during health-care conversations and as part of treatment plans…

Radioactive decay of manganese-54 is not affected by the seasons, says physicist
Physics World
A new study of the radioactive decay of manganese-54 counters previous measurements that suggest that the rate of decay is influenced by Earth’s orbit of the Sun. [Jarvis Professor of Physics] Mark Silverman of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, analysed decay-rate data taken over a three-year period and found no evidence for an annual variation to within one part in 104 Radioactive decay is a quantum-mechanical process whereby the probability that a nucleus will decay is a fixed value for that specific isotope. This means that for a sample containing a large number of identical nuclei, the rate at which decay events occur will fall exponentially as time progresses.  While exponential decay has been observed in the vast majority of nuclear-decay studies, several anomalies appear to have cropped up over the 10–15 years. One involves the decay rate of manganese-54, which has been reported to vary annually by researchers at Purdue University in the US. The same team has also reported drops in the decay rate that occurred during solar flares. One possible explanation for these anomalies is that the decay rate is affected by neutrinos emitted by the Sun – however, there is currently no known physical mechanism for this to occur…

Is America Facing a Police Crisis? – By Edward P. Stringham
The Wall Street Journal
Ronald Reagan famously stated, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” But should we apply such thinking to the police? The answer depends on whom we ask. Many liberals who otherwise defend every government program and unionized job believe that the police are increasingly abusing their power. Many conservatives who otherwise complain about unaccountable government officials consider the police department beyond reproach and say that any form of de-policing will make America less safe. Crime has decreased significantly in the past two decades, and many attribute that outcome to the proactive “broken windows” policing first advocated by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in a 1982 article. The theory goes that arresting offenders for minor crimes like loitering or drinking in public leads to a mien of order that in turn discourages major crimes. Citizens will be better off with, and thus prefer, police playing an active role in the community. Surveys today, though, show citizen confidence in the police at its lowest point in 20 years…
Mr. Stringham, the K.W. Davis Professor of Economic Organizations and Innovation at Trinity College, Hartford, is the author of “Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life.”

A Reading List for America
New York Public Library
Last night while reading about the horrific events in Baton Rouge, Minnesota and Dallas, I also read “Death in Black and White,” an Op-Ed essay by acclaimed public intellectual and best-selling author Michael Eric Dyson for the New York Times. Professor Dyson writes about what white America fails to see.  As a librarian who works at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a 91-year old research library recognized as the world’s leading repository focusing on materials related to the global Black experience, I present this reading list as a response to recent events and to help foster literacy of the American Black experience. … Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter edited by Jordan T. Camp, Christina Heatherton [assistant professor of American studies] (2016). In Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter, writers, activists, poets, scholars #BlackLivesMatter co-founder Patrisse Cullors and Ferguson activist and St. Louis University law professor Justin Hansford discuss the global rise of the “broken-windows” strategy of policing. First established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton, this doctrine has vastly broadened police power and contributed to the contemporary crisis of police brutality and killings. Combining first-hand accounts from organizers with contributions by leading scholars, Policing the Planet presents a probing collection of essays and interviews addressing police brutality and racial injustice…

On location in Poland: Based on a book by Trinity College professor Sam Kassow, a new documentary reveals a secret Warsaw Ghetto treasure
Connecticut Jewish Ledger
…Among the researchers who examined the chache in the mid-‘90s was Dr. Samuel D. Kassow, a history professor at Trinity College in Hartford. In 2007, Kassow brought to life the tragic story of Ringelblum and his heroic determination to use historical scholarship to preserve the memory of an endangered people. Hailed by reviewers as an invaluable Holocaust-era resource, Kassow’s book, Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive, is now being made into a documentary film, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Roberta Grossman (Hava Nagila; Above and Beyond) and Katahdin Productions. Nancy Spielberg is executive producer. “Roberta read the book, really liked it, and decided to buy the rights to film it [in 2013],” says Kassow, who served as a consultant on the project. In April, Kassow spent three weeks on set in Lodz and Warsaw during the filming. Because there is not a lot of documentary footage of the Warsaw Ghetto, Grossman relied on reenactments, employing hundreds of extras – including Kassow’s wife, Lisa Pleskow Kassow, director of Trinity College Hillel. Their daughter, Serena, had a bit part in the film…

How American Politics Went Insane
The Atlantic
It’s 2020, four years from now. The campaign is under way to succeed the president, who is retiring after a single wretched term. Voters are angrier than ever—at politicians, at compromisers, at the establishment. Congress and the White House seem incapable of working together on anything, even when their interests align. … Like campaign contributions and smoke-filled rooms, pork is a tool of democratic governance, not a violation of it. It can be used for corrupt purposes but also, very often, for vital ones. As the political scientist Diana Evans [professor of political science] wrote in a 2004 book, Greasing the Wheels: Using Pork Barrel Projects to Build Majority Coalitions in Congress, “The irony is this: pork barreling, despite its much maligned status, gets things done.” In 1964, to cite one famous example, Lyndon Johnson could not have passed his landmark civil-rights bill without support from House Republican leader Charles Halleck of Indiana, who named his price: a nasa research grant for his district, which LBJ was glad to provide…”