Stephen Levitt calls him the “main character” in his TEDTalk on crack economics: Sudhir Venkatesh, the young grad student who infiltrated a Chicago crack-dealing gang. His research brought back reams of sociological data — and offers an unfiltered glimpse into gang life. In his new book, Gang Leader for a Day, Venkatesh writes about his experiences during the six years he spent with the Black Kings gang in Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes. Venkatesh is interviewed on NPR, whose site also offers an excerpt from his book, while the Chicago Sun-Times has an MP3 of the author reading his work.
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Could unemployment be a factor that leads to terrorism? In today’s talk, peace strategist Mohamed Ali (not to be confused with the boxer) introduces us to the youth of Mogadishu, Somalia — 70 percent of whom are unable to find jobs. In this talk, Ali highlights just how appealing the messages of terrorist organizations and […]
No one is exactly sure who invented thumb wrestling. According to Wikipedia, Julian Koenig — the advertising copywriter who helped coin the slogan “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” for Timex — claimed to have invented the game in 1936 while at summer camp. Meanwhile, author Paul Davidson says that his grandfather was […]