IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

August 5, 2020
IU in the News is a daily review of the important news stories relating to Indiana University. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive gathering of news, and no editorial revisions are made to the content, which is presented as it was initially published or broadcast.

Big News

COVID-19 hurting vulnerable populations already struggling to pay utilities

This story has been covered by: Axios, The Indianapolis Star, The Conversation, NPR, EarthBeat, Fox 59.

Chatbots can ease medical providers' burden, offer trusted guidance to those with COVID-19 symptoms

This story has been covered by: Healthcare Global, Healthcare Finance News, Pharmacy Times, Healthcare Finance, Becker's Health IT.

IU Making Headlines

The Wall Street Journal

Retailers, beware: Shoppers don't like to be watched online

As shoppers well know, retail sites often make product suggestions based on consumers’ browsing history. New research suggests that may be a mistake. The reason is that consumers dislike being observed while deliberating -- to the point that many may react by not making a purchase if they think their shopping is being monitored, or by avoiding retailers that they know will watch them browse. That’s the gist of a recent paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research by Yonat Zwebner, an assistant professor of marketing at the Arison School of Business at the Interdisciplinary Center, a university in Herzliya, Israel, and Rom Y. Schrift, an associate professor of marketing at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Across 10 studies, the pair investigated how consumers react when they are being observed while deciding whether to make a purchase.

IU Voices in the News

The New York Times

How hot is too hot?

I asked Zachary Schlader, a researcher at Indiana University who studies how our bodies handle extreme heat, about the hottest temperature a normal human could tolerate under ideal conditions. He sent me a 2014 study by Ollie Jay, of the Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory at the University of Sydney, and colleagues. The study found that a person who is at rest, wearing minimal clothing, in a very dry room -- 10 percent relative humidity -- and drinking water constantly could probably avoid overheating in temperatures as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. ... Models of human thermoregulation like the one in the 2014 paper don't usually cover such extreme conditions, but I tried adjusting their formulas to approximate what would happen under extreme evaporation and high wind. The results suggested that, with the help of a pool of water and a powerful fan, a human could conceivably tolerate heat of up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit in air with 10 percent humidity. That seemed awfully high, so I ran the number by Dr. Schlader. "Doing some rough calculations, I come up with a similar number," he said. "Honestly, I was surprised." But, he added, these models are likely not reliable at such extremes. "I would interpret such findings with caution."

The London Free Press

COVID-19: Behind its toll on long weekends, ritual and resiliency

Normally in London, at this time of year, there are the ritual visits to Ribfest in Victoria Park and Fanshawe Pioneer Village (which is open), and leisurely activities like taking in a London Majors game on a sunny afternoon or visiting Storybook Gardens. Most of that’s not in the cards this year, because of the pandemic, and what survives looks different. At Fanshawe Pioneer Village, for example, where staff dress in the clothing of a 19th-century farming village, facial masks to guard against the 21st-century pandemic are the new norm. Yet, expert observers say, people will still try to do their best to embrace such yearly rituals -- that’s how important the annual calendar events are to our lives. "(The virus) is forcing us ... to modify our rituals. Calendar rituals are entirely human constructs, and we modify them constantly," said Moira Marsh, a folklorist and librarian at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. ... "Calendar customs are a reminder that we are not alone. For any given calendar ritual, we can be assured that there is a host of other people -- not everyone in the world, but a large number of like-minded folk -- who are marking the occasion along with us," echoed Marsh.

Business Insider

Hannity quietly changed cover of his new book after realizing its Latin motto was full of mistakes

Fox News anchor Sean Hannity's new book had the incorrect Latin motto on its front cover quietly altered after a student in Indiana pointed out the error. ... A March 6 video on (Sean) Hannity's website, taken from his Fox News show, shows him promoting the book. The cover has the incorrect motto: "Vivamus vel libero perit Americae." Unaware of the mistakes, he told viewers: "The Latin at the bottom says 'Live free or America dies.'" Hannity was corrected some time later by Spencer Alexander McDaniel, a Classics major at Indiana University Bloomington. McDaniel pointed out the errors in a May blog post, which called the motto "complete and utter gobbledygook." He continued: "The words in Hannity's motto are real Latin words, but, the way they are strung together, they don't make even a lick of sense." Latin, unlike English, has a vast system of grammatical forms for every word which dictates their meaning and relationship to each other.

The Cut

Why are parents so bad at teaching their own kids?

Nora Painten worked for years as a preschool teacher, but for some reason, teaching her own kids feels impossible. ... As Painten joined millions of other parents in the daunting task of supervising her kids' education from home, she was frustrated to find that every time she and her son picked up a new book, it felt like starting from scratch. ... Teachers undergo years of education to do their jobs, and it's obvious that kids are going to suffer without in-person instruction from trained educators. But even for those like Painten who have teaching degrees under their belts, the transition to home-learning has presented unexpected challenges. While an estimated 1.7 million kids were being homeschooled in the U.S. as of 2016, homeschooling experts emphasize that suddenly being thrust into distance learning is a much different situation. "Homeschooling is hard enough to do when you're totally committed to it," says Dr Robert Kunzman, the managing director of the International Center for Home Education Research and a professor at Indiana University.

Indiana Public Media

GDP numbers not affected much by federal aid, shows more is needed

The most recent measure of the U.S. economy showed a historic drop due to the coronavirus. This comes even after the federal government gave aid to businesses and individuals. The latest gross domestic product numbers, or GDP, recorded the greatest quarterly decline since it was first recorded more than 70 years ago. Federal aid tried to boost the economy by giving $1,200 stimulus checks to individuals, forgivable loans to small businesses, and an extra $600 per week unemployment benefit. Kyle Anderson is an economist at Indiana University Kelley School of Business. He said GDP shows how and where consumers are spending money, and while the aid did help, it wasn’t going to drastically change the GDP numbers. "Even though there was a lot of government stimulus to help folks get by, really in the second quarter, a lot of us weren't able to get out very much and spend that money," said Anderson.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

We'll still share dessert, and all the other ways we won't change restaurant behavior after COVID-19

In Auckland, New Zealand, where restaurants and nightclubs are busy again -- even in the absence of tourists -- bar owners report that customers are sampling each other's drinks. ... "It's just a recalibration," said Rebecca Spang, a historian at Indiana University and author of "The Invention of the Restaurant." "The thing about restaurants is that the norms that govern our behavior in them ... you don't even know you've learned them," Spang said. "And now we're all sort of having to relearn and rethink it. And that is how institutions like restaurants change." But, Spang notes, restaurants == rather than customer behavior == are more likely to reconfigure themselves in the wake of COVID-19. "And customers, whether they want to or not, are going to find themselves with different kinds of options. And the question is," she said, "whether customers will get accustomed."


AUDIO: Health disparities among people with disabilities

The pandemic has introduced a lot of new challenges for Indiana, but it's also highlighted issues that have long existed. For people with intellectual and physical disabilities, getting in-person care can be crucial, but stay-at-home orders and a shortage of nurses have created huge problems for a lot of disabled Hoosiers. Today we talk about health disparities among people with disabilities, and find out what options are available for people facing discrimination. Guests include Dr. Mary Ciccarelli, professor of clinical medicine and clinical pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine.


Battle over mail-in voting could leave both parties with doubts about results in November

The pandemic has already presented unprecedented challenges in the primaries, bringing a massive surge in demand for absentee ballots, a shortage of volunteers willing to work at polling sites, and long delays in tabulating results. Voters in Georgia waited in lines for hours to cast votes in person, more than 20,000 ballots submitted by mail were rejected in Wisconsin, and New York election officials have taken over a month to determine who won some races. "It is irresponsible for political officials to suggest that the United States cannot conduct a valid and legitimate election during a pandemic," said Elizabeth Bennion, founding director of the American Democracy Project at Indiana University South Bend. "At the same time, it would be irresponsible to assume that it should be business as usual."

Foreign Policy

India and the United States need each other mostly because of China

Written by Sumit Ganguly, a distinguished professor of political science and the Rabindranath Tagore chair in Indian cultures and civilizations at Indiana University, Bloomington. On Dec. 15, 1971, the USS Enterprise, the largest aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy at the time, entered the Bay of Bengal as the spearhead of a naval task force of the U.S. 7th Fleet. The task force had been dispatched to help evacuate beleaguered Pakistani forces in East Pakistan as the Indian military steadily advanced toward Dhaka, the regional capital. But Dhaka fell to Indian forces on Dec. 16, and the task force's entry into the Bay of Bengal seemed to be futile. East Pakistan soon became Bangladesh, and India gained a grateful new regional ally. Washington's main goal, it turned out, was to send a signal to Islamabad and Beijing that it was a reliable ally that would stand by its commitments at a time of need. The message to China was especially important because Henry Kissinger, then-secretary of state, had recently made a clandestine trip to Beijing using Islamabad as an interlocutor. Kissinger's mission, as is now well known, was the opening gambit in Richard Nixon's outreach to China.


A mostly-Latinx city in Northwest Indiana is hit hard by COVID-19

In East Chicago and nationwide, Latinix populations are showing higher rates of COVID-19 partly because many people don't have jobs that allow them to work from home. "Minorities in general, Hispanics in particular, are significantly more likely to be employed in essential jobs," said Dr. Nir Menachemi, a professor at the Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. "It's just more challenging for them to take a day off of work when it might affect their livelihood, if they are hourly wage," he said. Menachemi led a recent statewide random sample study, the first of its kind in the U.S., to measure the spread of COVID-19 in Indiana's general population. Between April 25th and May 1st, researchers tested more than 4,600 Hoosiers for viral infections and antibodies for COVID-19. At the time of the study, it found that the virus infected about 2.8% of people in Indiana -- but the rate was 8.3% in Latinos.


How can an online education save time and money?

While college immediately brings to mind images of campus activities and social events, the reality can be very different for adult students who are pursuing a degree while also holding down a job. Attending class can mean driving to campus before or after work, spending long hours in the car, missing time with family, and facing the constant demands of getting everywhere on time. Couple any of those pressures with financial strain and you have a recipe for frustration and stress. "There are mental and emotional challenges that come with having to be somewhere at a designated time," says Chris Foley, Associate Vice President and Director, Office of Online Education at Indiana University, "especially if you live in a big town like Louisville and you're commuting to campus. It's possible you've already worked an eight- to 10-hour day. Now you're going to spend up to an hour in the car driving to and from campus and then sit in class for a couple of hours. If you can avoid those things, it saves you a lot of time and energy."

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