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Only 26% of Americans say they get at least eight hours of sleep

If you’re feeling — YAWN — sleepy or tired while you read this and wish you could get some more shut-eye, you’re not alone. A majority of Americans say they would feel better if they could have more sleep, according to a new poll.

But in the U.S., the ethos of grinding and pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps is ubiquitous, both in the country’s beginnings and our current environment of always-on technology and work hours. And getting enough sleep can seem like a dream.

One likely reason for Americans’ sleeplessness is cultural — a longstanding emphasis on industriousness and productivity.

Jennifer Sherman has seen that in action. In her research in rural American communities over the years, the sociology professor at Washington State University says a common theme among people she interviewed was the importance of having a solid work ethic. That applied not only to paid labor but unpaid labor as well, like making sure the house was clean.

A through line of American cultural mythology is the idea of being “individually responsible for creating our own destinies,” she said. “And that does suggest that if you’re wasting too much of your time … that you are responsible for your own failure.”

“The other side of the coin is a massive amount of disdain for people considered lazy,” she added.

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Associated Press
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Plankton Worlds

Ancient bacteria, single cells and long strands of strange little plants, plus minute single celled animals and weird fantastical animal larvae – these are the members of the Earth’s massive and hugely important planktonic ecosystems. Come with Nan Evans as she talks with Dr. Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens about this strange world and its significance to global ecology and human well being. Consider eutrophication, the world’s biggest threat to water quality or cyanobacteria and one of the causes of toxic algal blooms such as the ones in our local Andeson Lake.

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KPTZ.org

The Trump Revival

To a growing contingent of right-wing evangelical Christians, Donald Trump isn’t just an aspiring two-term president. He’s an actual prophet.

There’s a new entry in the warm-up material at Trump rallies, sandwiched between the classic-rock anthems and the demagogic diatribes of various local political leaders. It’s a two-minute video that Trump posted to his Truth Social account just prior to the third anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. Called “God Made Trump,” the campaign spot is brazenly messianic in tone and substance alike, directly paraphrasing the “So God Made a Farmer” speech made famous by the conservative radio personality Paul Harvey.

At the center of this transformation is a new ideological upsurge of activism on the evangelical right, sparked by the rapidly growing revivalist campaign known as the New Apostolic Reformation. The NAR is rooted in a long-standing alliance of charismatic worship and business-driven grievance politics, dating back at least to post–World War II.

The spiritual insurgency of January 6 also underlined another defining trait of the NAR movement: Its interest in democratic governance, like its interest in other features of political and cultural life, is purely instrumental—and once a democratic result defies prophecy, as it did in 2020, that outcome gets instantly discredited as another show of demonic strength.

“It’s fascinating,and it explains how they’re different as an interest group,” says Washington State University historian Matthew Avery Sutton, who specializes in American prophecy belief. “For them, the idea of democracy and majority rule doesn’t matter. It’s not part of any equation for us to expect them to concede an election—it’s not thinkable. You can’t have majority rule when the devil rules the majority. You can’t negotiate; you can’t compromise.”

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The Nation

‘Growth mindset’ improves first-generation college students’ grades

A study conducted by Washington State University (WSU) has found that notifying students of their instructors’ growth mindset results in better grades for first generation students.

Growth mindset refers to “the belief that abilities are not innate but can be improved.”

WSU psychology researcher and lead author of the study Elizabeth Canning and graduate student Makita White used an 400-student introductory biology class to conduct their research. Dividing the class evenly into an experimental and control group, Canning and White found that first-generation students who received growth mindset emails after taking their initial exams did better in the course overall than students who received standard emails without any mention of the growth mindset.

Averaging one-third of a grade higher, the research showed that first-generation students from the experimental group performed just as well as students whose parents had graduated college, which the release refers to as “continuing-generation” students.

“It’s a pretty sizable effect,” said Canning. “Many studies have shown that continuing generation students outperform first-generation students, but in the condition where we sent emails from the instructor that had growth mindset language, we saw that difference in performance completely go away.”

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Inside Higher Ed
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Mattis accepts inaugural Foley Award for Distinguished Public Service

In accepting the first Thomas S. Foley Award for Distinguished Public Service, former Secretary of Defense and retired general James Mattis on Tuesday called on those in the audience to reject political division and cynicism for this country.

“I trust some of you young folks in the audience will leave tonight refusing to adopt the childish practices you see too often on our television screens. Rather, resolving to embrace the courage, the conviction, the civility and the dignity of Tom Foley,” Mattis said.

At the center of Mattis’ message was for Americans to reject disunity.

“At home, we see Americans engaging in contempt for each other and seemingly unaware of the delight they create in Bejing and Moscow — hoping Americans will turn cynical and lose their selfless spirit,” he said.

It was a message WSU senior and Foley Institute intern Nicholas Wong called “inspiring” for someone who wants a career in public service.

“Mattis very much spoke to the idea of just being human and how it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, we all want largely the same stuff,” he said. “It felt like he was semi-directly talking to me. It means a lot to hear from a person of his position to not be cynical when it comes to our country.”

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The Spokesman-Review
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