According to a report from the Southern Education Foundation, 51% of children in public schools qualified for free or reduced-price lunches in 2013. That’s up from 38% in 2000.

As marriage equality goes to the Supreme Court, AG Holder announced that DOJ would be filing a friend of the court brief “that will urge the Supreme Court to make marriage equality a reality for all Americans.”

In the category of things that should be obvious: If you’re running for president and your message to the leaders of your party is, “I am not crazy” …you’re losing.

Here’s a great story from Lauren Williams:

In the wake of recent high-profile cybersecurity attacks, the Obama Administration awarded $25 million to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) Thursday to expand their cybersecurity degree programs.

With the announcement of the Academy Award nominations and the upcoming celebration of Martin Luther King Day, there is a lot of chatter about Selma – both the movie and the historical event. The one person who can talk with authority about the former because he actually lived the latter is Rep. John Lewis.

Speaking of the Academy Award nominations, what no one is writing about is whether or not Clint Eastwood got snubbed as the director of American Sniper. A friend of mine is a member of the Academy and thinks his fellow members never forgave Eastwood for that racist unhinged rant to the empty chair at the 2012 Republican Convention.

And finally, from Pachamama Alliance, a group called BeautifulNow held a competition for “the most beautiful sound in the world” in collaboration with SoundCloud and The Sound Agency.

Entitled Dusk by the Frog Pond, this recording captures the incredible sounds of the rainforest as recorded in Kubah National Park in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo in Malaysia…

Chosen by sound expert Julian Treasure, the most beautiful sound is the dusk chorus, which, according to Anderson, “has to be one of the richest bioacoustic experiences on the face of the planet”.

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.