Weekly Round Up! Opportunity Gaps and Developments in Hollywood

Rinku Sen on NPR in Connecticut, discussing the implications of Connecticut’s plan to desegregate its public schools, reframes racial “achievement gaps” in education as opportunity gaps: “the achievement gap language puts a lot of the onus on students themselves, whereas the opportunity gap language begins to get us looking at what are the opportunities available to all kids.”


Kyle Thiermann writes at the Huffington Post and Surfing Magazine about the threat of trash in Bali and Indonesia, as captured in his popular video, and spotlights Project Clean Uluwatu, which works to address waste disposal in the area, as well as destructive human consumption habits from tourists and locals alike.


The work of consumer advocates like Stacy Malkan at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics continues to see results: Target is the latest company to respond to consumer safety concerns by making a plan that San Jose Mercury News hails as “one of the most expansive initiatives from a major retailer to give consumers safer options.”  Using a scale of zero to 100, Target will assign ratings for the personal care and cleaning products it sells.  Packaging that is less environmentally destructive will earn points, whereas every harmful chemical will detract points, as will the use of animal testing.  Stacy Malkan comments, “The largest retailers are now, for the first time, indicating in a very public way that they want their vendors to move away from the most hazardous chemicals and be more forthcoming about what’s in their products.”  If you want to relive Malkan’s reaction to WalMart’s step forward last month, here is her Huffington Post op-ed.

Ebony covers Ntozake Shange’s staging of her 2011 book, Lost In Language & Sound: Or How I Found My Way to the Arts.  About living with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, she announces “I am not gonna stop … I think being involved in this project has enlivened me. I have become more myself than I’ve been in a long time ‘cause I am involved in making art. As long as I make art and think about it I feel good, like life is normal even though I know it’s not.”


RawStory covers a moment from a recent episode of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s radio show Star Talk, wherein a reader asked a question inspired by a visit to the Creation Museum.  Tyson summarizes his take on creationism with, “Just don’t confuse it with actual science.”  Elsewhere, a listener highlights Dr. Tyson’s take on ghosts and the science behind spooky things.


With the seventh season of Burn Notice concluding, Bruce Campbell talks about his plans and activities.  He is developing a new show for USA, “But develop is a very nebulous Hollywood word. It doesn’t mean anything. It means they give you a little teeny bit of money until they figure out what they might want to do with you. So we’ll see.”  He also confirms that a sequel to Army of Darkness is being planned, with him starring, but not to expect it too soon given the vagaries of the filmmaking business, which he specializes in illuminating.  “Ash would have to stop occasionally from chasing some deadite to catch his breath … Fight in a walker … Hit them with my cane.”