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    Expert Predicts Increase in Shark Attacks This Year, but There’s Still More Reason to Fear Pretty Much Everything Else
    Photo: Getty

    Beach season has arrived, which means its time to stock up on sunscreen, flip-flops, and a heightened awareness of your own mortality.

    The University of Florida’s George Burgess told Reuters that he predicts more shark attacks in 2016 than in previous years. Burgess is director of the university’s International Shark Attack File, so he should know.

    “We should have more bites this year than last,” Burgess told Reuters.

    Rising levels of shark-on-human aggression have been attributed to an increase in water temperatures (from El Niño and due to global warming), which leads people to want to swim more. Go figure.

    In 2015, there were 98 reported shark attacks worldwide, resulting in six fatalities. There were 26 fewer attacks the previous year.

    Reuters reports, “fatal shark attacks, while undeniably graphic, are so infrequent that beachgoers face a higher risk of being killed by sand collapsing as a result of overachieving sand castle builders.”

    This is admittedly a less graphic scenario in that it’s difficult even to visualize. According to Yahoo News, though, the real danger is digging a giant sand hole that accidentally collapses on you. Anyway, be afraid.


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    Cancer Researchers in the UK Are Investing Their Pensions in the Tobacco Industry
    Photo: Getty

    A good way to quit smoking: start associating cigarettes with pension funds.

    The Guardian has revealed that thousands of academics in the UK invested their pensions in the tobacco industry, including scientists funded by Cancer Research UK,

    The fund for university staff, called the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), was worth around $55 billion last year. According to the fund’s latest annual report, it invested $235 million in British American Tobacco between March 2014 and March 2015.

    BAT wasn’t the largest investment though, that honor goes to Royal Dutch Shell at $380 million.

    Of course, some of the academics didn’t realize their money was being held in the death grip of cigarette companies. A scientists funded by CRUK told The Guardian she was shocked and disturbed by these revelations:

    “All the work of this institute is done under the guidance of CRUK, and we are, quite rightly, regularly reviewed to ensure that CRUK money is being spent effectively and efficiently in the global fight against cancer. How can this possibly be in line with the fact that most of us will retire comfortably on money earned from tobacco investments?”

    The Guardian also got comment from Universities UK, an advocacy group for vice-chancellors and principals, which defended USS’s investment choices, explaining that ethics are nice, but assets are even better. “USS, as part of its investment duties, takes into account wider social, ethical, and environmental and governance issues,” the UUK spokesperson said, “so long as that ensures that the assets of the scheme are invested in the best financial interests of members and their beneficiaries.”

    The UUK spokesperson suggested that investing in tobacco companies can yield social benefits as well, namely, e-cigarettes. “USS is also a responsible and engaged investor,” said the spokesperson. “They have, for example, undertaken engagement with tobacco companies on marketing approaches and regulations around e-cigarettes.”

    It case you were wondering, it’s not exactly easy to avoid having your pension stew in tobacco stocks. Fifteen years ago the tobacco industry was declining, investors fleeing on a global scale, but it’s turned around since. Now even California’s Public Employee’s Retirement System, which divested its pension fund from tobacco companies in 2000, is considering getting back on the carcinogenic gravy train.


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    A Dutch Company Is Training ‘Low-Tech’ Eagles to Fight Drones
    Photo: Getty

    People are always getting worked up and anxious over whether new technology will make them obsolete. This is precisely what an eagle does not worry about. Not just because of their avian consciousness, but, also, the role they might one day play in fighting drones.

    A duo of Dutch men who run the company Guard From Above have teamed up with police in the Netherlands to train eagles to intercept drones, the New York Times reports. The idea is that drones carrying contraband, conducting surveillance, or flying in a dangerous manner can be snatched up in the talons of a well-taught hunting bird and brought to the ground. Eagles could be safe alternative—preferable, for instance, to shooting the drone out of the air—because they probably wouldn’t crash land (they’re birds), nor would they be set off course due to strong winds.

    Scotland Yard has also expressed interest in using birds to take down drones, while Toyko police have experimented with capturing rogue drones in flying, robotic nets.

    In an interview with the Times, the project’s creator Sjoerd Hoogendoorn referred to the eagles as, “a low-tech solution to a high-tech problem,” and suggested this is part of what attracted authorities to the strategy.

    This project also makes sense, according to Mark Wiebes, a detective chief superintendent in the Dutch police, because eagles are already used at some airports to scare away other birds that might get sucked into the planes’ engines.


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    At Rolling Thunder Rally, Trump Tries to Win Back Veteran Support by Trashing Undocumented Immigrants
    Photo: AP

    Today Donald Trump indulged in a special Memorial-Day-weekend flavor of bigotry, because there’s no holiday from this man’s rhetorical hell.

    Speaking at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally in D.C., Trump told the crowd that immigrants in the United States who don’t have a legal status are better cared for than American military veterans. This from a man who once criticized Arizona Sen. John McCain’s military service in Vietnam by saying, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

    The Rolling Thunder rally honors soldiers who are missing in action or prisoners of war, and raises awareness about veterans issues.

    Trump told the crowd, “We have a lot of things to straighten out in this country,” and, “ We need to rebuild our military.” He also reminded them of that wall he plans to build.

    Trump has said on several occasions that veterans love him.


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    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More

    Calvin Klein clothes, Cuisinart grilling gear, and an ergonomic mouse lead off Sunday’s best deals.

    Bookmark Kinja Deals and follow us on Twitter to never miss a deal. Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more.


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    Calvin Klein Gold Box

    In celebration of Memorial Day weekend, Amazon’s running a massive one-day sale on Calvin Klein apparel today.

    Inside, you’ll find hundreds of clothing options for men, women, and kids, all marked down to great low prices. It’s a lot to take in, but you can use the sidebar tools to help you narrow down the options. Just note that like all Gold Box deals, these prices are only available today, and the best stuff could sell out early.


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    Sharkk Ergonomic Vertical Mouse, $15

    Whether your current mouse is giving you chronic wrist pain, or you just want to try something different, this 4.3 star rated ergonomic vertical mouse is only $15 today. In addition to the clever design, it even comes with three adjustable DPI settings, which is pretty rare at this price level.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016MXPQMA?...


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    Inateck 33W 2-Port USB Car Charger, $8 with code LKB929LS

    In addition to two USB ports, this car charger also includes a built in Lightning cable, and you can save $8 today with promo code LKB929LS.

    http://www.amazon.com/Certified-Inat...


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    Cuisinart Grilling Gold Box

    Today only, Amazon’s discounting a few pieces of Cuisinart grilling gear, including burger presses, tools, and even a portable gas grill.


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    Refurb Philips BR-30 Hue Starter Pack Bonus Kit with Extra Hue Lux Bulb, $135

    When we see deals on Philips Hue starter kits, they almost always include standard A19 bulbs. But if you’re more interested in BR-30 bulbs for recessed lighting, Woot has you covered today with a refurbished starter kit for $135 shipped. You’ll even get an A19 Hue Lux bulb, which doesn’t change colors, but it can be dimmed and controlled remotely.

    http://gear.kinja.com/how-to-get-sta...


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    Intex Pool Volleyball Game, $9

    Come on, if you own a pool, why wouldn’t you spend $9 on this thing?

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002V1H0W2/...


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    X-Chef Barbecue Grilling Gloves, $8 with code DKUQBAU8

    Unlike cloth oven mitts, you can use these silicone gloves to handle foods directly when necessary, and since you’ll have the use of all five of your fingers, you should be less prone to dropping your dinner.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014F1RHLE?...


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    DBPower Jump Starters, $27-$62 with code XHXFO8KL

    We see deals on car-starting battery packs just about every week, but even by our standards, $27 is a really fantastic starting price (with code XHXFO8KL) for a 300A model. And for owners of larger cars, 400A and 600A versions are also on sale. No matter which one you choose, they all include a DC charger to juice it back up inside your car, and they’re all small enough to fit in your glove box.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013UJ2JCE?...

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YE5Q182?...

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YE5Q0Q0?...


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    iBobber Smart Fish Finder, $75

    This clever little gadget gives fishermen a sonar view down to 135' on their phone (or even on their smart watch) to spot fish, and you can pick one up for just $75 today as part of an Amazon Gold Box deal.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LEA2FS0/...


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    Takeya Cold Brew Maker, $20

    Update: Now up to $20

    Iced coffee is a brilliant way to sell people ice for the price of coffee (which is mostly water to begin with). Cold brew on the other hand is a different process that results in less acidity, among other benefits, and you can do it yourself at home with this $19 $20 Takeya.

    http://www.amazon.com/Takeya-Coffee-...


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    Sabrent USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station, $60, use code SLIKRICA

    This versatile USB 3.0 dock is also a tablet or laptop stand, and adds HDMI, USB charging ports, ethernet, and more for just $60 today.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Univer...


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    Anker PowerCore 10000, $19

    Anker’s PowerCore 10000 is part of your favorite line of USB battery packs, and you can pick one up on Amazon today for just $19, an all-time low. That comes complete with an 18 month warranty and a nice travel pouch, but the real reason to get this thing is the size. If you’ve owned other ~10,000mAh battery packs, you’ll be shocked how small and light this thing is.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B14ANLY?...


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    FoodSaver FM2000, $60

    We’ve all had to throw away leftovers or cuts of meat and cheese that spent a little too much time in the fridge or freezer, but vacuum sealing your foods can keep them safe from freezer burn pretty much indefinitely, and dramatically extend their shelf life everywhere else.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LUGK5XA

    It sounds like an expensive proposition, but today, Amazon’s selling this well-reviewed FoodSaver Starter Kit for just $60, complete with everything you need to get started. Of course you can use this to store meats in the freezer for a long time, but it can also keep cheese from molding, lettuce from wilting, or cookies from going stale, just for starters. Think about how much food you throw away, and you’ll get a sense of just how quickly this purchase could pay for itself.


    Sunday's Best Deals: Calvin Klein, Grilling Gear, Compact Jump Starters, and More
    Indochino Premium Suits, $375, use promo code KINJA

    You voted Indochino your favorite custom clothing company by a wide margin, and today you can dress yourself in one of their premium suits for an exclusive new low price. $375 puts you in a premium suit that typically runs $700-$800, just don’t forget promo code KINJA.

    Read lots more about this deal here:

    http://deals.kinja.com/heres-the-best...

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    Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter. We want your feedback.


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    As Many as 900 Migrants Heading Toward Italy Died This Week at Sea
    Photo: AP

    The UN Refugee Agency announced on Sunday that more than 700 migrants crossing from Libya toward Italy may have died in the Mediterranean this past week. The death toll could be as high as 900.


    There have been at least three confirmed instances of capsized boats this week. One of these boats, which sank on Thursday, may have been carrying as many as 670 passengers, far more than the initial estimate of 400.

    These latest drownings raise the number of migrant who have died in the Mediterranean this year to 2,000. Last year, 3,700 migrants died making this similar journeys.

    Most of the migrants who have arrived in Italy recently are from sub-Saharan African countries, like Nigeria, Eritrea, Ghana and Gambia.

    In one of the busiest weeks of migrant transit between these countries, some 14,000 people have been rescued at sea since Monday.

    Federico Fossi, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees told the New York Times, “This was a very intense and exceptional week for the number of fatalities.”

    Tommaso Fabri of Medecins San Frontieres emphasized to Reuters that Europe must step up and offer these migrants a haven without them having to risk the dangers and indignation of being smuggled to safer shores. “It’s time that Europe had the courage to offer safe alternatives that allow these people to come without putting their own lives or those of their children in danger,” Fabri said.


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    Stripping Libertarian Candidate Exercises Right to Bare Arms, Legs on Live TV

    The Libertarian Party’s circus of a convention ended with a surreal final act on Sunday when a candidate for party chairman demonstrated his commitment to Enlightenment ideals by taking out the goods and shaking ‘em around on stage.

    During a weekend filled with jeering, candidate James Weeks’ laissez-faire performance managed to draw more boos than the Civil Rights Act, driver’s licenses and not selling heroin to kids combined.

    After finishing his striptease, Weeks explained that it was “a dare,” but the man running for the bachelorette wing of the Libertarian Party was kicked out anyway.

    Apparently, the party’s commitment to individual liberty does not extend to big hairy fellas embarrassing them during their moment in the national spotlight.

    Better luck next year?


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    2 Dead, 6 Injured After Gunman Opens Fire on Cars, Police Helicopter in Houston
    Photo: Facebook/Houston Police Department

    One suspect and one civilian were killed in Houston on Sunday when at least one gunman began shooting at cars in an apparently random and unprovoked attack, CNN reports. Three bystanders, two police officers and one possible suspect were also wounded, though none of them seriously.

    According to witnesses, the attack began when a gunman walked up to a man who had just parked his car at an auto body shop and shot him in the head. From Reuters:

    The gunman fired on the first officer to respond to the scene, riddling his car with bullets, including many that struck the windshield, [police spokesperson John] Cannon said. At least five shots also struck a police helicopter, he said.

    The officer escaped injury and called for help. A shootout ensued with arriving officers before a SWAT team member shot the suspect dead at about 11:10 a.m., about an hour after police arrived at the scene, Cannon said. Two constables were wounded, not seriously, one struck in the hand and other in his bulletproof chest vest, he said.

    A second person, still considered a possible suspect, was also shot, possibly by the primary shooter, Cannon said. He was interviewed at the hospital to give police his version of what happened, Cannon said.

    Police say the dead suspect was armed with a pistol and an AR-15 rifle. A motive for the shooting was not immediately clear.

    “We do not know what started this,” acting Houston Police Chief Martha Montalvo told reporters, “but what we do know is they were shooting randomly, just at whoever.”


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    "Hater" Judge Attacked by Trump Orders Trump University Records Unsealed
    Photo: AP

    Just days after Donald Trump went on a 10-minute rant calling federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel “negative,” a “hater” and a “Mexican, which is great,” the judge overseeing the class-action lawsuit against Trump University unsealed hundreds of internal documents related to the case, Reuters reports.

    Since February, the presidential candidate has suggested Curiel’s ethnic background has caused him to be “extremely hostile” towards Trump and asked the judge to recuse himself from the case.

    http://gawker.com/donald-trump-s...

    “I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel,” said Trump at a campaign event on Friday. “The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great, I think that’s fine.”

    Curiel (who was born in Indiana) ruled against Trump’s lawyers on Sunday, who, citing trade secrets, sought to keep Trump University documents requested by The Washington Post sealed. From The Wall Street Journal:

    Among the documents to be unsealed are two sets of Trump University “playbooks,” outlining rules and procedures for running Trump University events and employee scripts for engaging with customers.

    Some of the documents have already surfaced online. Online political website Politico in March posted a 2010 Trump University playbook, which instructed employees to rank students by liquid assets to help determine what kind of course packages they could afford to buy.

    Other documents would be made public for the first time, including a sales playbook the judge said contained marketing techniques for selling Trump University programs. The unsealed versions will redact phone numbers and noncorporate email addresses.

    In his order, Curiel acknowledged that Trump had questioned “the integrity of these court proceedings” but ruled that the public interest clearly outweighed the alleged commercial value of the largely “very routine and commonplace information.”

    “Defendant’s assertion that the information retains any commercial value is speculative given the lack of any support for the statement that [Trump University] ‘may’ resume operations after six years,” wrote Curiel. “At the same time, the Post makes a strong argument that the public interest is heightened in this case.”


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    Striking Verizon Workers Win Major Gains in Deal with the Telecom Giant
    Photo: AP

    After nearly seven weeks of striking, 40,000 Verizon employees will go back to work on Wednesday after inking a deal with their backpedalling corporate overlords.

    The Communications Workers of America union announced on Monday that the new agreement includes 1,300 new call center jobs, $1,250 signing bonuses and health care reimbursement for new workers, and three 1 percent increases in pensions.

    If the resolution is passed, as it is expected to be, Verizon workers will also receive nearly 11 percent raises over four years and, for the first time, Verizon wireless store workers will have a contract.

    The work stoppage began after 10 months of bargaining between Verizon union workers and management ended in a stalemate. The workers were primarily concerned about job security, reducing outsourcing of plant and customer service jobs, limiting the company’s ability to transfer workers to new jobs away from their families, and protecting pensions.

    Speaking to the Associated Press, CWA President Chris Shelton called the new contract, “a victory for working families across the country and an affirmation of the power of working people.”

    Verizon has also claimed the agreement is a triumph for the company. If true, they might have come to this conclusion quite a bit earlier. According to the New York Times Verizon believes its new commitment to create 1,000 unionized call center jobs over the next few years will help the company’s bottom line by decreasing the frequency of transfer calls.

    Verizon spokesperson Richard J. Young told the Times, “It’s all about minutes here and there. Minutes add up to hours; hours add up to jobs.” Inspiring stuff.

    Members of the two unions that went on strike—the CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers—must vote on the agreement, which is expected to take place in the next two or three weeks.


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    Eric Holder Finally Admits That the Snowden Leaks Were an Act of ‘Public Service’
    Photo: AP

    Sometimes it takes a really long time to find the words to describe the act of tipping off the international community to the entrenched government and corporate surveillance structures that have massively encroached upon its rights.

    Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told former Senior Advisor to the President David Axelrod on his podcast “The Axe Files” that Edward Snowden performed a “public service” by igniting an international debate about surveillance, power, and privacy rights.

    This is a step farther than the Democratic and Republican presumptive presidential nominees have hazarded to go. Hillary Clinton claimed during a presidential debate in October that Snowden’s actions were wrongheaded, that he is not a whistleblower but a thief, and that he should return to the U.S. to stand trial.

    In 2013, during an interview with “Fox & Friends,” Donald Trump implied that Snowden should be executed.

    Holder also said that, should Snowden return from exile in Russia to face trial in the U.S., he would hope the judge take into consideration the ways in which these revelations have elevated the public discourse around surveillance issues.

    Earlier this month, Snowden reminded the audience at a University of Chicago event that such arguments are unlikely to move a judge. “As I think you’re quite familiar, the Espionage Act does not permit a public interest defense,” Snowden said.

    Holder conceded that Snowden still could have done a better job of alerting Americans to the Orwellian state of their government. “I would say that doing what he did—and the way he did it—was inappropriate and illegal,” Holder said.

    Snowden tweeted a link to a forty-six seconds of the interview containing Holder’s “public service” comment.

    Holder helmed the Justice Department when the Snowden leaks were first publicized in 2013. Even then, Holder acknowledged that Snowden’s unauthorized disclosures had led to a “healthy conversation.” It just took him a few years to ascribe that “conversation” to Snowden.


    0 0

    Ben Carson Says America is Like a Cruise Ship and We Might All Die on it
    Photo: AP

    Once again, Ben Carson has gone overboard with his analogies.

    In an interview with Fox News on Monday morning, the former Republican presidential hopeful described America as, “like a cruise ship that is about to go off of Niagra Falls with tremendous carnage and death,” according to a report from Politico.

    I’m not saying life for most Americans is peachy—in fact, it is nothing like the experience of being on a cruise ship, which is quite pleasant. But it doesn’t seem right either to say that America is a scenic, all-inclusive, family-friendly vacation that none of us will survive.

    “What you have to do first is recognize the problem, stop the ship, turn it around and then move in the other direction,” Carson advised.

    Thanks, Ben, we’ll do that.


    0 0

    Cincinnati Zoo Defends Killing Gorilla After a 4-Year-Old Boy Fell Into Its Enclosure 
    Photo: AP

    Before a backdrop of palm fronds, the director of the Cincinnati Zoo, Thayne Maynard, told the press on Monday, that the zoo made the right call in shooting 17-year-old gorilla Harambe on Saturday, after a four-year-old boy accidentally fell into his enclosure.

    The boy remained in the gorilla enclosure (and in Harambe’s grip) for 10 awfully tense minutes, during which time it was unclear to viewers if Harambe was acting aggressively toward the boy, sheltering him, or some combination of the two. The boy sustained injuries, none serious, and was rushed to the hospital immediately after the gorilla was shot dead.

    Reuters reports that Maynard told journalists at the press conference, “The gorilla was clearly agitated. The gorilla was clearly disoriented.” He added that the zoo staff did their best under the circumstances. “Looking back, we would make the decision,” Maynard said.

    The backlash to the zoo’s decision has been swift and vociferous. On Monday morning, animal rights activists held a vigil for Harambe at the Cincinatti zoo. More than 200,000 people have signed Change.org petitions in opposition to the shooting.

    Harambe was a Western lowland gorilla, a threatened species of which fewer than 175,000 remain in the wild in Africa.

    The zoo has said in press releases that they ruled out using a tranquilizer on Harambe, fearing that it might agitate him or not take effect in time.

    At the press conference on Monday, Maynard described the meter-tall barrier to the gorilla enclosure as “adequate,” but added that the zoo would conduct a review of the barrier.

    Perhaps barrier reform is not far off.


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    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More

    Printers you won’t hate, a workhorse laptop, and Callaway golfing gear lead off Memorial Day’s best deals.

    Bookmark Kinja Deals and follow us on Twitter to never miss a deal. Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more.


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    Brother HL2300D Monochrome Laser Printer, $65 | Brother HL2380DW Monochrome Laser Printer, $100

    Brother laser printers dominated the voting in our Kinja Co-Op for best printer, and it’s easy to see why: They basically never jam, toner is much cheaper than ink (and it never dries out if you don’t use it), and they print much faster than any other consumer-level printer; on the order of 25-30 pages per minute, even when printing duplex. The glaring trade-off is that they don’t print in color, but it’s easier to live without that than you might think.

    http://co-op.kinja.com/brother-s-hl-l...

    http://bestsellers.kinja.com/bestsellers-br...

    Update: The 2380DW has sold out on Amazon, but you can get it from eBay for the same price.

    The two models on sale today both include all of the advantages seen above, but the $65 HL-2300D is a USB-connected, barebones affair, while the $100 HL-2380DW adds a scanner, a touchscreen, and wireless networking, including AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. Both prices are the best we’ve seen in months, so do yourself a favor and lock in your order before they sell out.

    http://www.amazon.com/Brother-HL-L23...


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    Uniqlo Memorial Day Sale: Men | Women

    To celebrate memorial day, Uniqlo is offering great deals on summer-ready Airism clothes, chino shorts, graphic tees, and more for men and women, plus free shipping on every order, with no minimum.

    http://gear.kinja.com/keep-cool-and-...


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    Lenovo ThinkPad E450, $350

    If you’re in the market for a rugged workhorse of a laptop, this discounted ThinkPad should fit the bill. $350 gets you an i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD (which you could swap out for an SSD later), a 14" screen, and even a fingerprint reader. Sure, there are better laptops out there, but few with this sort of value. Just note that it’s a Gold Box deal, meaning this price is only available today, or until sold out.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SCQHUSO/...


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    Callaway Gold Box

    Congratulations, you’re most likely a better golfer right now than Tiger Woods! Celebrate with with some fresh Callaway clubs, clothes, and gear, on sale today only.

    http://screengrabber.deadspin.com/tiger-woods-at...


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    Rubbermaid Easy Find Lid Food Storage Set, 42 Piece, $16

    If you’ve ever spent more than 5 seconds sorting through your mismatched food containers to find the right lid, it’s time to throw them all out and upgrade to this 42-piece Rubbermaid system.

    The set comes with 21 containers in six different sizes, and yet you only have to deal with three different sizes of lids, making it much easier to find the right one. Personally, I prefer glass storage sets like this one from Pyrex, but if you want to maximize the number of containers you get for your money, this is your best bet.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00COK3FD8/...


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    TCL 55" 4K Roku TV, $650

    55"? 4K? Built-in Roku? This TV checks a lot of important boxes for just $650.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C6XHQWS/...


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    Kmashi Quick Charge 2.0 20,000mAh Battery, $20 with code 8KZNDJ7M

    $20 is a very good price for any 20,000mAh USB battery pack. But when you consider that this one includes Quick Charge 2.0 for your newer Android devices, it’s a no-brainer. Conservatively, you should get 4-5 phone charges out of this thing, making it perfect for sharing during a long flight or camping trip.

    http://www.amazon.com/KMASHI-20000mA...


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    Jackery iPhone 5/5s/5se Battery Case, $20 with code JKRLEAF5 | Jackery iPhone 6/6s Battery Case, $21 with code JKRLEAF6

    Not happy with your iPhone’s battery life? These ultra-cheap battery cases should give you power for days.

    http://www.amazon.com/iPhone-Battery...

    http://www.amazon.com/iPhone-Battery...


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    TRINITY Stainless Steel Cooler with Shelf, $152

    If you have a patio, I can almost guarantee that you’ve wanted one of these stand-up coolers at some point. Personally, I can’t think of a better day than the unofficial start of summer to treat yourself.


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    Zwipes 24-Pack Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, $10

    Microfiber cloths are great for cleaning everything from your face to your computer monitor to your car, and this 24-pack is just $10 for Prime members today on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Zwipes-Microfi...


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    BlenderBottle 28 Ounce, $7

    The classic BlenderBottle is great for mixing everything from pancake batter to protein shakes, and it’s a no-brainer purchase at this price.

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    U.S. Polo Assn. Shoes, $35 or less

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    X-Chef Barbecue Grilling Gloves, $8 with code DKUQBAU8

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    DBPower Jump Starters, $27-$62 with code XHXFO8KL

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    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    Takeya Cold Brew Maker, $20

    Update: Now up to $20

    Iced coffee is a brilliant way to sell people ice for the price of coffee (which is mostly water to begin with). Cold brew on the other hand is a different process that results in less acidity, among other benefits, and you can do it yourself at home with this $19 $20 Takeya.

    http://www.amazon.com/Takeya-Coffee-...


    The Best Memorial Day Deals: Laser Printers, Cheap ThinkPad, Golfing Gear, and More
    Indochino Premium Suits, $375, use promo code KINJA

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    http://deals.kinja.com/heres-the-best...

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  • 05/31/16--07:08: Strikes Still Work
  • Strikes Still Work
    Photo: Getty

    For the vast majority of working Americans, wages have been almost flat for the past 35 years. How can regular working people get more money? Organize. And strike.

    http://gawker.com/5944890/strike...

    Unionized Verizon workers—the sort of skilled but blue collar jobs that are accessible to people even without expensive college educations—have just ended their strike of more than six weeks. Here are a few of the things they secured in their new contract:

    • Profit sharing
    • The protection of pensions
    • Double-digit raises over four years

    Here are a few things that the vast majority of working Americans will never see in their comparable but non-unionized jobs:

    • Profit sharing
    • The protection of pensions (or any pensions at all)
    • Double-digit raises

    Strikes work. Strikes have always worked. Strikes still work. Pro-business forces like to deride unions as socialist parasites, but strikes are, in a sense, one of the purest free market actions that workers can take: the refusal to sell labor at a price that is deemed to low. This has the effect of raising the price of labor. Though “Economics 101" idiots like to pretend that the free market will always magically produce the perfect wage for every job, the reality is that working people—people with less money—are always at a disadvantage when it comes to asserting the leverage necessary to raise their own wages, because they can’t afford to stop working and lose a paycheck. This is the biggest hurdle that strikes have to clear. It’s hard for working people to leave work, demanding better wages and working conditions. It’s a gamble. But it tends to pay off.

    As much as workers need wages, businesses need labor even more. The free market has not raised your wages in decades. The government has not raised your wages in decades. You need to raise your own wages. Organize. Then strike. It’s always good to be reminded that it works.


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    The New York Catholic Church Paid Lobbyists $2.1 Million to Block Child Sex-Abuse Law Reform
    Governor Andrew Cuomo and Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Photo: AP

    From 2007 to the end of 2015, the New York Daily News reports, the New York Catholic Conference, led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, paid top Albany lobbyists more than $2.1 million to help block legislation, including the Child Victims Act, that would make it easier for victims of child sex abuse to seek justice.

    If passed, the bill—a version of which is still pending—would change New York state law to allow a one-year window in which victims older than 23 could bring lawsuits against their abusers. (Such victims are restricted from suing under the current law.)

    State records show that the conference, a group representing the bishops of the state’s eight dioceses, retained lobbyists to work on a number of issues associated with “statute of limitations” and “timelines for commencing certain civil actions related to sex offenses.”

    “We believe this bill is designed to bankrupt the Catholic Church,” Catholic Conference spokesman Dennis Poust told the New York Times in 2009.

    In addition to the Church’s own internal lobbyists, the conference retained Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, Patricia Lynch & Associates, Hank Sheinkopf, and Mark Behan Communications.

    Patricia Lynch’s involvement is of particular note: According to court filings in the corruption case against Sheldon Silver unsealed earlier this year, Lynch and the disgraced speaker carried on a longstanding, mutually beneficial affair.

    http://gawker.com/what-does-havi...

    Her involvement signaled a turning point in the legislation. From 2006 to 2008, the state Assembly passed four different version of the Child Victims Act, the Daily News reports. After PLA was hired in 2009, the measure was never voted on again.

    In a letter to the judge in Silver’s case submitted late last year, John Aretakis, a former lawyer and an advocate for child sex abuse victims, specifically criticized the former speaker for obstructing reform as a result of his relationship with Lynch.

    The New York Catholic Church Paid Lobbyists $2.1 Million to Block Child Sex-Abuse Law Reform
    The New York Catholic Church Paid Lobbyists $2.1 Million to Block Child Sex-Abuse Law Reform

    Lynch’s firm was paid $7,500 a month, the Daily News reports. The firm’s contract with the Catholic Conference was terminated not long after Lynch was identified as Silver’s mistress. Lynch said that contract ended by “mutual consent.”


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    Animal Rights Protestors Storm Sanders Rally Over Literally Least Important Election Issue

    Activists with the animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere attempted to derail a Bernie Sanders speech last night in Oakland, wasting precious minutes of everyone’s time before being hauled away.

    CNN reports that Secret Service agents surrounded Sanders when members of Direct Action Everywhere attempted to climb onstage mid-speech and were promptly pulled out of the event. According to CNN, the group says its protest was spurred by Sanders’ support for “animal agriculture,” and they, in their words, “expect Bernie Sanders, the progressive candidate, to support more radical action to provide animals not just with improved conditions but with legal rights to be free from harm.” In an election in which the rise of an actual fascist regime, the future of drone warfare, the threat of ISIS, the economy, and other enormous issues are at stake, the urgency of animal liberation ranks somewhere between last and almost last.


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    Manhattan Nightclub Abruptly Closes One Day After Hosting Far-Right Skinhead Punk Festival
    An Offensive Weapon fan Sieg Heils the band at a show in Boston. Still: YouTube

    The downtown Manhattan nightclub Santos Party House will be shutting its doors for good, DNAinfo is reporting, just one day hosting the NYC Oi! Fest 2, a concert of bands that have been associated with far-right politics and neo-Nazism. A Santos employee told Gawker the closure is unrelated to the controversy surrounding the show.

    Santos, which is owned in part by Andrew WK, hosted the Oi! Fest on Sunday. The lineup included the likes of Offensive Weapon, a New York band whose previous performances have prompted venues to apologize to fans and to cancel them outright. Pure Impact records, a label that has released Offensive Weapon’s music, describes itself as “specializing in music and bands with a white race pride theme,” and a Brooklyn venue that booked them in 2013 described in a statement how fans were openly racist to venue staff. The other bands on the bill, such as Close Shave and Battle Zone, are cut from a similar cloth.

    Shortly after the concert, the venue’s events coordinator sent an email to upcoming performers that read in part, “If you have an event after the previously mentioned date, please consider it cancelled,” DNAinfo reports.

    As of Tuesday morning, Santos had not made a public statement about the closure, and its calendar shows upcoming events in June and July. A Santos Party House employee who answered the phone said that the reports about the venue’s closure are true. “I’m cleaning out the place right now,” he said. However, he noted, the closing was “definitely not” related to the Oi! Fest fracas.

    “It was a 10 year lease,” Santos manager Sean Kane told DNAinfo. “Our lease is up and we’re not renewing it.”

    Black Bear Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, hosted the first night of the festival on Saturday, and cancelled the second after pressure from groups like the anti-fascist activists NYC Antifa and the Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as from fans on social media. The bar initially struck a defensive tone in response to the backlash, but ultimately expressed its “deep remorse” for booking the show in a statement.

    Both Black Bear Bar and a third-party promoter who was involved in booking Oi! Fest claimed ignorance of the associated artists’ politics. (Time for a weird disclosure: My band has played at least one concert booked by New Island Entertainment, the promoter. They weren’t the best promoters we’ve ever worked with—as I recall, they charged a cover at the door and didn’t pay the bands with it, which is a pretty sleazy thing to do in my opinion—but they definitely didn’t seem like Nazis.)

    The bands of Oi! Fest, as the festival’s name implies, are associated with Oi! music, a working class-oriented subgenre of punk that emerged in the 1970s in the UK, fans of which tend to present as skinheads. The history and politics of the skinhead and Oi! movements are tangled, and associated bands have embraced both right-wing and left-wing politics, with some skinheads even declaring anti-racism as the core tenet of their philosophies. However, the bands on this week’s Oi! Fest were firmly in the right-wing camp, as an SPLC blog post explains:

    The efforts of those organizing NYC Oi! Fest –– a long-standing crew calling itself the 211 Bootboys, of which Davilia is a member –– aren’t wholly dissimilar from the National Front’s attempts to attract skinheads to their worldview.

    Those driving this scene in US today, like Davila, are motivated by varying far-right movements and events –– none more so than England’s “Rock Against Communism” (RAC) skinhead music scene.

    The first of its kind, “RAC” is what the National Front titled its campaign to interweave skinhead subculture and music. Its success hinged on one band: Skrewdriver, led by Ian Stuart Donaldson. Donaldson would go on to found the neo-nazi skinhead network Blood & Honour (B&H), which to date has cultivated convicted terrorists and fosters innumerable acts of hate violence.

    The account New York Year Zero posted several photos from outside the event on Twitter, including a car with bumper stickers that read “Burn Your Local Mosque,” and “Rock Against Communism,” a known white-supremacist movement:


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    The Scarlet Letter of Academia
    Illustration by Jim Cooke

    America’s colleges and universities are out for the summer. For students, it’s a time to party. For the low-paid adjunct professors who make higher education function, it is a time to wonder whether they made a terrible mistake.

    http://gawker.com/the-misery-of-...

    Adjunct professors have the honor of being the best-educated low-wage workers in America. We are publishing their true stories. These are the people who enable the existence of all those prestigious colleges.

    The Scarlet Letter

    I graduated with my MFA in 2008 and have been an adjunct instructor for 8 years. I am fortunate in that, I was given a three-quarter time position in 2012, so I do receive benefits now. I make 28,000 a year and work summers to boost my income. The department for whom I work has never, in the 8 years I have worked there, given a part–time employee a full-time position. It is not done.

    As you know, to advance in a career in academia, one needs to take part in research. In my case, I am an art instructor and it is imperative that I produce work and exhibit nationally, if I want to find a full time position at another institution. However, because I don’t make enough money to live off of , I have to work a second job. This leaves me very little time to produce career advancing work.

    I am also burdened with student debt that I will never be able to pay off. I have been in forbearance for several years now simply because I can not afford the payments, even on the income based repayment plan. I live a simple life, and yet I barely get by on my pathetic excuse for an income. My student loans are coming into repayment within the next month, and I have no idea what I’m going to do. I can’t pay them because even with a second job, I don’t make enough money.

    As a three-quarter time adjunct, I am only allowed to teach 3 courses per semester. I have all but begged for 4 courses, but they will not give me the extra course. This would make a huge difference in my financial situation. To help make ends meet, I teach summer courses. This summer, I will be teaching clustered classes. For the first half of the day, I will teach painting 1,2, and 3 all at the same time and get paid for one class. The second half of the day, I will teach drawing 1,2,3 and mixed media all at the same time. While this is not fair to me as the instructor or the students taking the class, I am grateful for the extra income.

    I now wear the label of “Adjunct” like The Scarlet Letter. Had I known this is where my useless degree would lead me, I would have never chosen this futile career.

    Adjunct and new mother

    I was pregnant with my second child when I was offered my first class [as an adjunct at an NYC-area school]. I was due to give birth the third week of school. Desperate for the opportunity to gain teaching experience I took the job and agreed that I would only cancel class for one week after my baby was born. Yes, that’s a one week maternity leave for a job that was paying me $3,000 for four months of really involved work. After my week was up, I had friends and family take turns coming to school with me so that I could nurse my newborn before and after class. When my child was old enough for daycare (a cost that almost exceeds my pay) I had to do the breast pump thing. By then, I was teaching three classes. Having no office and unwilling to pump in a bathroom, I asked the administration for a private place to pump and they offered me a storage closet (full of stuff). The classes were lecture heavy and for the most part I was left to develop my own syllabus so I was working day and night to juggle the workload. The prep time is enormous, so is the commute time. Each of my schools is an hour away. Factor gas and childcare and I’m almost at a negative balance. I am six years out of grad school at USC film school with school debt higher than many mortgages. At a certain point it feels like a scam...

    I have become involved with the unionizing efforts at [my school]. The administration has fought the organizing attempts with ugly rigor. It’s really a slap in the face, we’re not asking for much. After toiling for 2 years and conferring with my husband, I’ve decided that I need to stop trying to make a living as an adjunct. Maybe I’ll continue teaching a class or two because I love teaching, but to make ends meet, well there’s always Walmart, right?!

    How to find a good school

    When someone asks me whether [X] is a good school to send their son or daughter, I don’t tell them to look at rankings (which are based on absurd criteria like what % of alumni donate), or ratings (which are often biased by trivial criteria like whether students approve of the school’s gym). I tell the parents to search online for the rate their school pays adjuncts. Then I ask if they think any smart adult would stand in front of a class at that rate for a semester. If that answer is no, the school is a waste of their money. They’ll pay $160,000 for a piece of paper.

    The pay rate for adjuncts isn’t always below the poverty line. It varies by a ridiculous amount across schools. I’ve been an adjunct professor (it’s more often called a visiting lecturer) in [redacted] at Boston University ($5k per class), Wellesley College ($20k for 2 classes), and MIT ($17.5k for one class!?), and seen job postings for nearly every school in the area, so I have a good sense for this market. It’s true that the more expensive schools pay more, but not always. Simmons College (tuition $37,500 per year) advertises adjunct pay at $3,000 per class. Can you find *someone* with a PhD/ABD willing to work for that rate? Probably. But no decent, dedicated teacher accepts that rate unless they’re truly forced to.

    Keep the customer satisfied

    My most recent tax returns at age 55, after solid consistent and award-winning college teaching since 1991, show $37,243. I have no health insurance, tuition remission, retirement, reimbursements for materials/transportation/parking or any other incidental costs, professional development, sick leave, parental leave, or assurance of re-hire beyond the 3 month contract of each semester at any of my colleges. In other words, I subsidize my colleges by providing my own computer, paper, ink, telecommunications, etc. without any renumeration...

    My Community College is delightful and inclusive, sensitive and supportive. I love teaching there. The private “non-profit” college that has employed me steadily since 1997 is another story. I, and my colleagues who as “adjuncts” outnumber the “full time faculty” by two to one, are routinely and systemically ignored and treated as invisible or slightly shameful slaves. The last time I had a grade dispute, when a student demanded an A instead of a B+, the advisor told me “Well, you know, you have to keep the customer satisfied”. I didn’t change the grade up, and never got another assignment in that department. Everyone at that college seems anxious as hell and constantly sucking up to whatever the currently perceived pyramid of power happens to be. The administrative stress trickles down to the faculty and to the students who are signing on to a ridiculous, obscene amount of debt to be there at all. The whole thing makes me sick at heart.

    Good enough, but not good enough

    Some stats: I’m an adjunct English instructor at four colleges in Southern California. I drive 380 miles a week between my four schools. This semester I teach at two schools each day, often getting up before dawn (5 am) to drive in rush hour traffic to be in class by 8 am. I have approx. 210 students (that is my max capacity; the true number now is less, as it is near the end of the semester and students drop for various reasons). I will grade approximately 1,000 essays this semester. (Again, this is the max I would grade in a semester if every student turned in every assignment).

    I do not get paid for office hours.
    I do not get paid to grade. Or lesson plan.
    I do not get paid for my driving time.
    I am not provided healthcare.
    I always owe money on my taxes...

    I grade during and between classes. I grade on weekends, at night after work, and sometimes before class starts when it is still dark out. I spend my breaks, which are unpaid because I am hourly, lesson planning, prepping, and designing my curriculum. I have to teach summer school to make ends meet. (And this is always a gamble in our currenty economy, so I always need at least three months of rent saved in case I’m not asked to work). I do this because I love my students, and honestly want to make a difference in their lives.

    I also want to be treated fairly.

    This semester I applied for seven full-time positions. I got three first round interviews—all at schools where I currently work. I did not get second round (“President”) interviews at any of them. The message? I’m good enough to work there, just not good enough to work there.

    At the school’s mercy

    I was an adjunct professor at [a community college in Maryland]. During my time there, I barely made more than $18,000 a year. We had no benefits, no sick time, and our course load was based entirely on what the department chose to gave us. Once the affordable care act was instituted, our credit hours were capped so they would not have to provide us health care. We were completely at their mercy...

    When I finally reached critical mass, I began two projects simultaneously. I began talking to other adjuncts about unionizing as adjuncts had not seen a raise in over five years, and despite being the wealthiest county in Maryland, our college paid the lowest wages to its adjuncts. I also began to desperately search for other work away from higher education. As incompatible as those two ideas were, they shared the same root. Lying to my students about the importance of college was becoming harder and harder for me... Now I work for the [city government]. I still haven’t made over $30,000, and I still miss teaching college students, but at least I’m working somewhere with health care.

    At the bottom

    For all the praise and positive feedback I’ve received during my time in academia, at the end of the day, we live in a capitalist society, and when it comes to down to it, you can tell, to some extent, where you stand in that society as a matter of dollars and cents. The reality is, I’m at the bottom. I made as much money delivering pizzas in high school as I make right now teaching college students, many of whom plan themselves to go on to be educators. After I leave academia, or once I receive a tenure-track job that grants me the privilege of being honest about these matters in a public way, I dream of blowing the whistle on just how corrupt academia has become, how incredibly different the reality of it is than what most parents think they’re buying when they take out enormous loans to pay for their kids’ education. But then again, I’m also fearful that such an expose would fall on deaf ears, because I worry that this is the system that a lot of people in the U.S. in positions of power want—your most well-educated and therefore probably most vocal critics struggling to make ends meet and in fact being mocked by their peers, superiors, and even their clients for having the audacity to think that they could have contributed something to society besides sales figures or marketing strategies...

    In your post you also asked about what I, as an adjunct, think should be done. The first most obvious thing is that universities should be making it a goal to eliminate adjunct labor, not encourage it. At least in my state, I know that they have the means to do this because I collect unemployment every summer! Wouldn’t it be more efficient to have me teach more using that money or (god forbid!) give me a course release so I could do more research or help with curriculum development? The CSUN system is literally robbing Peter to pay Paul when they ask taxpayers to subsidize the livelihood of the employees who do most of their teaching. It’s a crooked system led by a majority of administrators who frankly look at colleges not as institutions of higher learning but moneymaking schemes who are downright resentful of educators who might imagine that college could do anything more meaningful than create wealth. (Many of the administrators are failed academics themselves.) I honestly don’t know what we’re paying these people for when it seems like an obvious marketing strategy for an up-and-coming university could be that it does not use adjunct labor, that all of its faculty are on the tenure-track and therefore healthier, happier, and more committed to their students.

    Previously

    All of our true stories from adjunct professors can be found here.


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