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What's Got MDC Buzzing?

What's Got MDC Buzzing?

Yesterday, Arvind Mahankali won the Scripps National Spelling Bee and since a links post is no place for persiflage (def: frivolous bantering talk), we decided we’d throw in some of the new vocabulary we learned at this year’s spelling bee. A few we couldn’t even find in our Merriam-Webster, but they’re on the Scripps website and they made those kids spell ’em, so we’re including them, too. Here’s hoping there’s not a smellfungus (def: one given to faultfinding) among our readership.  

Did you hear that ecphonesis (def: a sudden exclamation)? It was probably someone getting excited about this new report from Anthony Carnevale and Ban Cheah at the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce. Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment, and Earnings drives home—in some lovely charts and graphs—the point that Carnevale’s been making for a while: you’re better off with a college degree, but you’d best be careful about what you major in. The report looks at sector-specific effects and includes detailed data on field of study and related employment and earnings.

Ezra Klein is no morosoph (def: a learned fool); we think he’s quite learned and not the least bit foolish (except when he tweets pictures of baby animals. Which we love). In this post, he provides some commentary on Avik Roy, “equality of opportunity,” and the principles that underlie conservative (and liberal?) reform efforts. Klein says that while there’s an awful lot of talk about “equality of opportunity,” what most people actually believe in is “sufficiency of opportunity.” And that comes down to personal philosophy and principles—not necessarily policy. Klein argues that policy discussions have got to be about policy because “changing principles requires little more than changing rhetoric.”


Social and economic mobility in the United States is sussultatory (def: having up and down vibrations). (I know…that one is a bit of a stretch…). This upcoming CLASP webinar looks at how the neighborhood you live in can influence test scores and health outcomes, along with housing prices. 

Pricing your hepatectomy (def: removal of the liver)? Nate Yau at Flowing Data has a run-down on cost-comparison resources derived from the recently released Medicare provider charge data.

And one for our local readers: we think you’ll agree that Partnership for a Healthy Durham deserves laureation (def: crowning for an achievement) for this great resource guide of free and low-cost services in Durham County, North Carolina. You’ll find everything from health and dental services to housing to transportation—and much more!