Real or artificial? A forestry scientist explains how to choose the most sustainable Christmas tree
Every year, Americans buy somewhere between 35 million and 50 million Christmas trees, and many more pull an artificial tree out of storage for the season. In all, about three-quarters of U.S. households typically have some kind of Christmas tree, surveys show. People often ask which is more sustainable – a real tree or an […]
Braun campaign ad begs the question: What is he running for?
I was watching the IU men’s team play its first Big Ten game against Maryland with a friend on Friday night when I saw it. During the game’s first time out, Mike Braun’s newest commercial in his campaign for Governor of Indiana ran. When it was done, we turned and looked at each other for […]
Why is the Hoosier state still unfriendly for immigrant neighbors?
With 2023 coming to an end, it’s worth taking a moment of reflection for the year passed. As a religious leader, I understand my place in humanity by my religious perspective. The Christian Bible gives us the concept of the “least among us” as the most important. The Torah says you shall love the stranger […]
Status-quo session: A history of the short session
When the General Assembly returns January 8, it is clear nothing about the session will be bold, aggressive or transformational. Republican leaders have cautioned so. They’re starting a few days later than usual and likely leaving early to focus on elections for 125 lawmakers. That means there likely won’t be any meaningful action to help […]
Supreme Court to consider giving First Amendment protections to social media posts
The First Amendment does not protect messages posted on social media platforms. The companies that own the platforms can – and do – remove, promote or limit the distribution of any posts according to corporate policies. But all that might soon change. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear five cases during this current term, […]
The resurgence of union power is bigger than money
The Portland Public Schools (PPS) and the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) reached a tentative agreement to their labor dispute on Sunday. The impasse had led to a three-week strike, cancelling eleven instructional days in Oregon’s largest school district. Students returned to the classroom Monday. The highlights of the dispute weren’t novel. Teacher pay was […]
Santa memory shows reliability problems with eyewitness accounts
Perhaps my earliest memory – I could not have been more than five – involves Santa Claus. The memory is dark, lit only by a single porch light. It was probably Christmas Eve. I recall coming home with my parents and coming out of or around the detached garage within sight of our front door. […]
What the first Thanksgiving dinner actually looked like
Most Americans probably don’t realize that we have a very limited understanding of the first Thanksgiving, which took place in 1621 in Massachusetts. Indeed, few of our present-day traditions resemble what happened 400 years ago, and there’s only one original account of the feast. As an anthropologist who specializes in reconstructing past diets, I can […]
From mission creep to mission critical: Bringing health care and education together
The idea that healthy kids perform better in schools seems obvious, but bringing health care and education together in tangible ways has proven to be tougher than one might expect in Indiana. Offering health care in schools has often been called “mission creep” by Hoosier policymakers. This perspective is defended by the sheer existence of […]
Giving like Carters and Corums is worthy of thanks
It’s that time of year again. The emotions, expectations and traditional series of events converge for six weeks to make up what we refer to as “the holidays.” Viewing the goings on around us this opening week of the season might lead one to believe that we all kind of approach Round One the same […]
Taking care of women must be first priority
Let’s call it what it is. “Maternal mortality” is a clinical term that really means women dying while pregnant, giving birth or before their baby is a year old. It’s sobering that more women die like this in Indiana than in 47 other states. It’s sobering that more Black and Brown women die this way […]
Holcomb makes water moves but will it be enough?
The feud over water is heating up, and Gov. Eric Holcomb this week tried to tamp it down by shifting a water supply study from the Indiana Economic Development Authority to the Indiana Finance Authority. Is it too little, too late? For months momentum has been building against a proposed pipeline and Holcomb’s actions late Monday […]