Mic Check: Obama to Spend $100 Million to Map Your Brain


Trending In Our News Feeds Iran agrees to contain nuclear program, but North Korea reopens nuclear plant. International officials claim that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has agreed to keep his country’s nuclear program within limits demanded by Israel in order to bolster his political power ahead of Iran’s June elections. Israel has demanded that Iran keep its stores of enriched uranium below 550 pounds – the amount required to make one atomic bomb. Officials claim that Khamenei will look to oust President Ahmadinejad in the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, tensions with North Korea continued to rise as Pyongyang announced it will restart its Yongbyon nuclear facility, with the aim of increasing the country’s nuclear weapons “in quality and quantity.”

White House to unveil brain mapping initiative. President Obama will announce the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) project today, a research initiative that will match government agencies with private companies in order to better understand the brain. The $100 million project may lead to improved treatment of diseases linked to the brain.

Connecticut to pass strict gun laws, but similar legislation in other states unlikely. Connecticut legislators expect to pass the country’s most extensive package of gun control legislation on Wednesday. The proposed laws include mandatory government-issued certificates for the purchase of rifles and shotguns and universal background checks. They also require weapons offenders to register with the state and expand Connecticut’s assault weapons ban. It seems unlikely that other states will pass similar laws. NPR analyzes polls conducted by CNN, ABC, and Pew and concludes that attitudes towards guns have returned to their pre-Newtown levels.

Saudi Arabia threatens to ban Skype, WhatsApp. The Saudi government has warned it will ban Skype, WhatsApp, and Vibe if the products do not adhere to regulatory requirements. CNN speculates that illegal protests organized using WhatsApp are the cause of the crackdown. The threats shouldn’t be taken lightly: In 2010, Saudi Arabia banned BlackBerry messenger for failing to meet requirements.

Elite colleges post rejection letters online. Elite schools posted acceptance rates as low as 5.7% this year, while 27% of students applied to seven or more schools. As a result, colleges are taking to the Internet to share decision letters with applicants. Greg Roberts, the dean of admission at the University of Virginia, shares the secret to a good Internet rejection letter: “The trick is to convey a sense of sympathy, understanding and respect through an online blurb.”

Status Updates #CleanAndMean. Our friends at the Truman Project have launched an online petition to urge Congress to support clean energy in the military. You can sign the petition, here. Truman is also hosting a panel with DoD Assistant Secretary Sharon Burke, tomorrow. Learn more, here.

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Must Reads From PolicyMic Facebook Data Reveals Very Few Southerners Posted the Viral Red Equals Sign(Zainab Akande)–Facebook created a map of the popularity of the Human Rights Campaign’s red equals sign across the country. Guess which part of the country didn’t show any love to the viral graphic?

[13 Mics, 26 Comments, 2 Shares]

The Daily Mail Used the Term “Cried Rape” in 54 Headlines in the Last Year (Elizabeth Plank, @feministabulous) The Daily Mail’s coverage of sexual violence illustrates how the media shapes the discourse surrounding false rape allegations.

[7 Mics, 2 Comments, 0 Shares]

Fort Colville Elementary Fifth Graders Planned to Rape, Murder Classmate (Christine Salek, @christinesalek) – Two fifth-grade boys were put on trial on Friday when it was discovered that they were planning on raping and murder a female classmate.

[7 Mics, 19 Comments, 68 Shares]

Is Nelson Mandela Lucky to Be Dying? (Zak Cheney-Rice) – The former South African president has been battling a severe lung infection, but his longevity remains a historical anomaly among human rights icons. Is he lucky to have lived for so long?

[6 Mics, 3 Comments, 7 Shares]

How Kevin Ware’s Leg Injury Exemplifies Everything Wrong With College Sports(Tom Mandel, @TheGameTheSame)–Many college athletes are professionals at their jobs, but aren't being treated that way by the NCAA. Here's how we fix that.

[5 Mics, 3 Comments, 0 Shares]

What We’re SharingAmerica is raising a generation of interns(The Week).

How Curtis Wilkerson was sentenced to life in jail for stealing socks worth $2.50 (Rolling Stone).

Doh! Meet the man who created the first search engine, but forgot to patent the idea (Huffington Post).

Your brain on electricity: Scientists rediscover a method of electro-therapy that supercharges your brain (Slate).

Ronan, the beat-keeping sea lion, is changing our understanding of how rhythm is learned (Verge).

Ahead of the sixth season of Mad Men: What the show owes to Lost (NY Mag).

The 10 most valuable teams in the MLB (Forbes).

Making whiskey at George Washington’s distillery. BONUS: Whiskey art (Washington Post, NPR).

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