Extra Credit: Our pick of stories from around the web that bridge the gap between news and scholarship. Brought to you each Tuesday from the editors of JSTOR Daily.
The age of ginseng (The Boston Globe)
By Kevin Hartnett
In the eighteenth century, ginseng was an important part of Chinese medicine, and it grew wild in North America. As Harvard historian Shigehisa Kuriyama explains, those two facts helped shape the era’s trade patterns.
What’s so great about an “earth-like” planet? (Wired)
by Sarah Scoles
The discovery of Proxima Centauri B, a planet similar to Earth in some ways, has received a lot of media attention. Astronomers explain that we probably haven’t found a new home away from home, but there’s still reason to be excited about the development.
One way inequality for kids is declining (The New York Times)
by Sean F. Reardon, Jane Waldfogel, and Daphna Bassok
In a departure from the usual bad news about widening inequality, a new study has found that the gap in math and reading skills between rich and poor kindergarteners narrowed between 1998 and 2010. The change may partly reflect the way ideas about parenting have spread across social classes.
Segregation and the “model minority” (Pacific Standard)
by Anjali Enjeti
Suburbs are becoming more segregated than ever, thanks to continuing white flight. Research (and an author’s personal experience) shows the particular dynamics at play when the neighborhood white families are leaving is a prosperous, majority-Asian one.
The new science of body-mind connections (The Atlantic)
by James Hamblin
Do you feel less stressed if you do yoga or pilates? New research suggests there’s a good reason you might. Ties between stress responses and parts of the brain that control physical movement—particularly in the core—are much more significant than scientists once believed.
Have you seen a story online that does a good job of bridging the gap between the news and scholarship? Or something that seems particularly well-researched? Let us know and we may include it in next week’s roundup. Email us at jstordaily_submissions (at) jstor (dot) org.