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.
Why thousands are deserting the Syrian military (The Washington Post)
By Dorothy Ohl, Kevin Koehler, and Holger Albrecht
Interviews with deserters from the Syrian military offer clues to the state of the conflict. They also suggest a way the international community could weaken the military without supporting other violent forces in the region.
Fight, Flight, and Reason (The New York Times)
by Joseph LeDoux
In a crisis, our instinctive responses sometimes hamper our ability to do the things that would really protect us. Research on rats, and observations of humans, offer suggestions about how this works and what we can do to be safer.
Understand Yoda you can (The Atlantic)
By Adrienne LaFrance
Yoda’s way of talking is easy for us to understand and imitate, even though it’s not really how English is supposed to work. Linguists take a look at how the ancient alien’s syntax works, and how it mirrors some lines from Walt Whitman and William Shakespeare.
“Blood curdling” is not just a metaphor (Pacific Standard)
By Tom Jacobs
A new study shows that we were right to describe terrifying movies as “curdling your blood.” Watching scary stuff literally thickens viewers’ blood.
Nostalgic mice are happier (Psychology Today)
by Hal McDonald
A recent study found that triggering happy memories in mice helped them recover from depression more powerfully than giving them new opportunities for good times.
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.