Notes in the Margins: Guns, tuition and a cultural genome

Scholars Elicit a ‘Cultural Genome’ From 5.2 Million Google-Digitized Books The English language is going through a time of huge growth. Humanity is forgetting its history more rapidly each year. And celebrities are losing their fame faster than in the past. (

Oklahoma State Student Paper to Begin Charging Non-Local Web Readers Starting soon, certain visitors to the online home of The Daily O’Collegian must pay to enter. The student newspaper at Oklahoma State University recently entered into an arrangement with Press+, an ”e-commerce platform . . . that enables digital news publishers to collect revenue from readers.” (

Roots of British Student Unrest Unresolved As students return to campuses this week after a series of violent protests against proposals to raise tuition fees, the dispute seems far from over. (

Charge of Illegal Lobbying Rejected U.S. Education Department officials did not engage in illegal lobbying in 2009 when they encouraged higher education leaders to publicly endorse legislation that overhauled the student loan programs, the agency’s inspector general said in a report Monday. The report by the inspector general’s office came in response to accusations made by Republican Congressional leaders in late 2009 that the department’s political leaders had violated federal law in a series of public and private exchanges with college officials that year over the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which gutted the lender-based guaranteed student loan program and poured tens of billions of dollars into the Pell Grant Program, among other things. (Inside Higher Ed)

Group asks that permit holders be allowed to carry guns on campus A gun rights group behind legislation to allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry a gun openly likely will ask lawmakers to specifically authorize permit holders to carry a gun on a college campus. Steve D. Jones, chairman of Arkansas Carry, said he believes the opinion issued by then-Attorney General Mike Beebe incorrectly includes universities or colleges in the concealed carry law’s definition of “entities” that can put up signage. The Legislature meant for the term to include only private businesses, Jones said. (

State Schools Rethink Tuition Levels Public universities across the U.S. are arguing for freedom to reap more revenue and create more efficiencies to offset dwindling state dollars. One way, they say, is to raise tuition. At California University of Pennsylvania, a 158-year-old state school serving 9,400 students, enrollment is rising for all but the poorest students, which, in part, has led to a novel idea: replace the “low tuition for all” policy with a market-rate policy. (Wall Street Journal)