Today's Takeaways: Justice for Sale, A Visual Microphone, and Morgan Spurlock

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

A woman and her children walk to the Transit Centre to find water in Dolo Ado, Ethiopia (AFP PHOTO / William Davies/Getty)

1. Justice for Sale | 2. Ethiopia Through the Eyes of Author Dinaw Mengestu | 3. Good Vibrations: A Bag of Potato Chips and the Science of Sound | 4. Morgan Spurlock's Latest Horror Show: '7 Deadly Sins'

Justice for Sale

Judicial elections were once considered simply a formality, but increasingly they are playing a major role in the changing political landscape. Today Tennessee voters will decide whether to keep Chief Justice Gary Wade and Justices Connie Clark and Sharon Lee on the state supreme court. The justices have faced an expensive re-election campaign, with conservative groups spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in an effort to see them replaced.

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Ethiopia Through the Eyes of Author Dinaw Mengestu

Dinaw Mengestu has spent most of his life in America, straddling between Ethiopian and American identities. It's this personal journey between Addis Ababa and Peoria, Illinois that gives him a unique perspective on the cultural, economic and political relationships forged in D.C. this past week at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

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Should we Do Deals with Dictators?

Tutu Alicante is the executive director for EG Justice and and an Equatoguinean living in exile. His home country has one of the worst human rights records on the continent and is ruled by Africa's Longest serving dictator, Teodoro Obiang Nguema. Tutu says that the United States should use the U.S.-Africa Summit to address the human rights abuses occurring in Africa with the same zeal it’s approaching trade and investment opportunities.

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Is an Ebola Vaccine on the Horizon?

Two American health workers infected in Liberia were treated with an experimental serum before they returned to the U.S. for treatment last week. That treatment is still in the trial phase, likely years away from clinical use. 

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Good Vibrations: A Bag of Potato Chips and the Science of Sound

Every day, sounds waves are hitting us and moving us, and if a camera is running we now know that sound can be reconstructed from the motions of the room. That's thanks to Abe Davis, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT who recently reconstructed the audio of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” using only video images of the small distinct vibrations of the sound hitting items in the same room, such as a bag of potato chips or a house plant.

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Morgan Spurlock's Latest Horror Show: '7 Deadly Sins'

Vices are what make us human. But they're also what push the limit of our humanity —and sometimes make us grotesque.  

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