Nikki Scheidecker

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Obama proposes publicly funded community colleges for all

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday proposed to bring the cost of two years of community college "down to zero" for all …

How Obama Could Make College Free For Everyone Without Spending A Dime

On Friday, President Obama will announce a plan to make community college free for students who maintain their grades.<p>The program would be available …

'Haunted Technology': An Interview with Erik Davis, Scholar of the Weird

We talked about conspiracy theories, confronting the void, and modern-day magic.<p><i>Illustration of Erik Davis by Craig "Questions" Scott</i><p>Erik Davis is an author, scholar and connoisseur of the weird. He's spent over 20 years exploring fringe movements, occult covens, and liminal cyberspaces, finding …

The Christmas Question: PS4 Or Xbox One?

Christmas is less than a week away, and it’s time to make some big purchasing decisions, if you haven’t already. Out of every question posed to me by readers (and even Forbes staffers), one comes up more than any other. PS4 or Xbox One?<p>Obviously there are other gaming options this holiday season, …

The Shady For-Profit Company Poised To Take Over DC Prison Healthcare (Updated)

The DC City Council was scheduled to voted Wednesday on a three to five-year contract for the notorious prison healthcare company Corizon to operate …

Thousands Of Vets Are Getting ‘Less Than Honorably’ Discharged Because They Have PTSD

Two months after attempting suicide and receiving a less than honorable discharge from the Army, Kristofer Goldsmith received a post-traumatic stress …

White House Releases Guidelines To Help Hospitals Prepare For Climate Change

The White House released guidelines this week aimed at helping hospitals adapt to the impacts of climate change, including increased risk of extreme …

Did Google Earth Spot A Sea Monster In New Zealand?

It's too big to be a shark, and too quick to be a whale. So what is it?<p>Probably a glitch. But some people are convinced that this mysterious shadow that appears in the waters of Oke Bay, off the coast of New Zealand's North Island, is a sea monster:<p>Engineer Pita Witehira, who first spotted the dark …

There is no meritocracy: It’s just the 1 percent, and the game is rigged

The game is rigged: We elected Obama to hold the 1 percent accountable. So why are they still running everything?<p>The big news after President Obama’s State of the Union address in January was that he didn’t really talk about the issues of inequality that everyone expected him to talk about. …

35 countries where the U.S. has supported fascists, drug lords and terrorists

<b>Soldiers stand guard next to bags of marijuana being displayed to the media at a military base on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico. (Reuters/Tomas Bravo)</b><p>As the situation in Ukraine continues to fester, a handy history guide — from A (Argentina) to Z (Zaire)<p>Nicolas J.S. Davies<p>March 8, 2014 3:00pm …

How The Dalai Lama Made A 'Grumpy' Reporter's Day

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is visiting Washington D.C. this week and the religious leader made a self-described "grumpy" reporter's day much better.<p>Buzzfeed Capitol Hill reporter Kate Nocera told Business Insider she was in a bad mood before she had a close encounter of the Lama kind while riding …

"Toxic Twitter Wars": Is online culture paralyzing feminism?

“Feminism’s Toxic Twitter Wars” landed on <i>The Nation</i>’s website on Wednesday like an earthquake, with tremors still rippling throughout all the …

Texas Overhauls Textbook Approval To Ease Tensions Over Evolution

The Texas Board of Education, which has long been an ideological battleground for the teaching of evolution, says it will limit the use of citizen review panels and instead give priority to teachers in determining science and history curricula.<p>Because Texas public schools represent such a large …

Your Life in a Backpack: What to Pack For 6 Months Traveling Abroad

Think back to your last vacation. I bet your suitcases were so stuffed you had to sit on them just to get the zipper closed, and that was just for one week! Now imagine if you had to pack absolutely everything you needed for six months on the road, or even a year, and it all had to fit into one big …

10 Ways to Prepare Your Cell Phone for a Trip

Charge up that phone the night before a trip: Most of us have this straightforward -- yet vital -- task down pat. But that's not all you need to do before bringing a phone abroad. Here are 10 additional tips that smartphone-wielding travelers should heed before hitting the road, from adding travel …

Myanmar violence between Buddhists, Muslims threatens reforms

THABYUCHAING, Myanmar — U Abdul Samat spent his life farming the rice paddies that stretched, brilliant green, in all directions. Now he was nearly 90 years old, a great-grandfather who walked with a cane.<p>He was also a Muslim, and the men who stormed his village with machetes were Buddhists looking …

Should Parents Praise Their Children?

In today’s post, I would like to return to the question of praise and engage in collegial debate with fellow PT blogger, Alfie Kohn. In several …

Newly discovered asteroid flies past Earth

A newly discovered asteroid flew "close" to Earth this week and is likely to return in 2032, NASA has said.<p>However, the US space agency added there was almost no risk of the 410m-wide rock hitting the planet.<p>The asteroid known as 2013 TV135 came within 6.7m kilometres of Earth on September 16, …

'God Loves Uganda': How Religion Fueled An Anti-Gay Movement

Four years ago, a bill was introduced in Uganda's parliament that would criminalize same-sex relations. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill has not yet become law, but it has drawn international attention to the animosity against gays in the African nation.<p>In the documentary <i>God Loves Uganda</i>, director Roger …

The Surprising Story Of 'Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an'

Thomas Jefferson had a vast personal library reflecting his enormous curiosity about the world. Among his volumes: a Quran purchased in 1765 that informed his ideas about plurality and religious freedom in the founding of America.<p>In her book <i>Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders</i>, author …

Tea Party Leaders Unwilling To Rebrand

Polls show the Republican Party is taking the biggest hit politically for the government shutdown, and leaders are wondering how to appeal to more diverse voters nationwide. But Tea Party leaders are holding the line on the shutdown, and have no interest in muting their message. Host Scott Simon …

For Myanmar's Kachin Rebels, Life Teeters Between War, Peace

Despite progress in its transition to democracy, Myanmar has struggled to end all the ethnic insurgencies that have long divided the country.<p>Now the Kachin — the last of the insurgent groups that have been fighting the government — have signed a preliminary agreement that could end the conflict.<p>The …

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Christie: 'If I was in the Senate right now, I'd kill myself'

<i>By Matt Katz</i><p>Slideshow<p>The many faces of Gov. Christie<p>Gov. Christie today blamed Republicans and Democrats for the government shutdown, saying "it's …

Moral Mondays: A Cry for the Old North State

It’s true that by some standards I am not North Carolinian, nor or am I Southern. I was not born there — I have no extended family there. I don’t …

Christianity and Gay Marriage: The Right Has It Wrong

It has been nearly a month since the Supreme Court decided to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal government's legal discrimination against gays and lesbians, and I still find myself unsettled by the reaction from some in our society, especially those who call …