8 Things You Need To Know This AM — Oct 28 2015

The FBI is conducting a civil rights investigation into a South Carolina police officer’s violent arrest of a student at Spring Valley High School. A graphic and maddening video that one student captured during class at South Carolina’s Spring Valley High School has been making the rounds on social media. It's a stark depiction of police violence and the race-based nature of excessive force. In the video, a white resource officer is seen dragging a young Black student out of her seat and throwing her across the room for allegedly refusing to go to the office. According to County Sheriff Leon Lott, the FBI and the Department of Justice will conduct an investigation into the incident. The officer, deputy Ben Fields, was placed on administrative leave shortly after the video was released. (Refinery29)
President Obama wants to limit the amount of standardized testing in schools, meaning soon it’ll be the perfect time to pull a Never Been Kissed and re-enroll in high school. The Obama administration is calling for a reform in how schools approach standardized testing. In an effort to “reduce over-testing” and promote a vision of learning that is “about so much more than filling in the right bubble,” the President announced a new “testing action plan” that would place a 2% cap on the amount of class time spent on standardized tests, and ensure that tests aren’t biased to a particular demographic of students. (The Atlantic)
SXSW canceled its panels on GamerGate and harassment due to “threats of violence,” meaning organizers were treated like a woman in gaming for one day and couldn’t deal with it.

Texas’ South by Southwest festival is more than a few months away, but it’s already embroiled in controversy thanks to GamerGate. SXSW Interactive, a branch of the festival dedicated to technology and innovation, originally scheduled two panels on the current state of the gaming community, one called “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games,” and the other called “SavedPoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community,” which featured numerous GamerGate supporters. In an email sent to the panelists, SXSW announced that both events would be canceled due to “numerous threats of violence.” Unfortunately, what SXSW fails to realize is that the threats are proof enough that a panel on digital harassment needs to happen. (Slate)
The owners of Hobby Lobby are under federal investigation for possibly smuggling Biblical artifacts from the Middle East. Hobby Lobby, the craft store that found infamy after its owners refused to adhere to the Affordable Care Act's birth control provision, has returned to the public eye, this time as the subject of an investigation. Authorities believe the chain’s owners, Oklahoma City’s Green family, may have illegally imported ancient artifacts from Iraq for a biblical museum they plan to launch in Washington, D.C. Investigators intercepted a shipment addressed to the “compound of the Hobby Lobby corporation” that included hundreds of clay tablets that are “inscribed in cuneiform…and thousands of years old.” (Daily Beast)
A new study labels sugar “toxic,” linking it to higher incidences of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. First they came for bacon and now sugar — truly, nothing gold can stay.

Scientists are really on a mission to ruin your upcoming holiday feasts: After the World Heath Organization shared the tragic news yesterday that processed meats like bacon and sausage cause cancer, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, have released a study of their own that calls sugar “toxic.” After replacing added sugar with starchy, processed carbs in the diets of 43 obese kids, scientists found that their subjects’ health improved dramatically. Although participants didn’t lose weight, their blood sugar, blood pressure, and levels of insulin and bad cholesterol all dropped. “I have never seen results as striking or significant in our human studies,” said the study’s senior author Jean-Marc Schwartz. (New York)
A Chinese economist suggested an, uh, inventive solution to his country’s gender imbalance: Men can share their wives! Fact: having an entire country run like a giant ‘70s key party is not a good idea. At the end of 2014, there were around 33 million more men living in China than there were women, and recent census data released by the National Bureau of Statistics suggests that the gender imbalance won’t be corrected any time soon. What are Chinese bachelors supposed to do when there are just not enough women to marry? According to Xie Zuoshi, an economics professor, the solution lies in one of the basic tenets you learned in preschool: sharing. “High-income men can find a woman because they can pay a higher price,” Xie wrote in a now-deleted blog post. “What about low-income men? One solution is to have several take a wife together… I am not joking. Any reasonable person applying critical thinking will come to the same conclusion.” (National Post)
Walmart is seeking permission to test a drone-delivery system. May we suggest testing the drones by delivering a family-sized box of Velveeta to the Refinery29 offices? Amazon better watch out: Every mom’s favorite superstore has applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to test delivery drones. The store is pursuing a system that would bring goods out to customers in Walmart parking lots as well as to their doorsteps. Walmart also plans to use the drones to make inventory checks, and to make warehouse and distribution center maintenance more efficient. “There is a Walmart within five miles of 70% of the U.S. population, which creates some unique and interesting possibilities for serving customers with drones,” a Walmart spokesman told Reuters. (NPR)
Museum janitors accidentally threw out an art installation. Either that or they’re the shadiest art critics ever. If you’ve never taken an art history survey before or have been known to make jokes like “I think I made this painting with my babysitter when I was five” while standing in front of a Jackson Pollock, you’d probably sympathize with a group of Italian janitors who accidentally tossed one of the Museion Bozen-Bolzano museum’s contemporary art pieces. Called “Where are we Going to Dance Tonight?”, the installation by Goldschmied & Chiari features a mix of empty champagne bottles, cigarette butts, confetti, and one disco ball. Officials from the museum believe they’ll be able to reinstall the artwork since the cleaners were conscientious enough to sort everything into recycling. (Huffington Post)

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