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3 things that keep poor kids out of the sciences

There is some truth to the American ideal of meritocracy. But there's a lot of myth, as well. Biologist Danielle Lee describes her experience coaching poor kids in St. Louis on science fair projects — an activity that often becomes a stepping stone to a career in the sciences. But, for the kids Lee met, intelligence and a good idea aren't enough to overcome the institutional barriers working against them. This is how discrimination happens. It's not simple and easy to fix and it isn't pretty to watch. Maggie

Minnesota defeats discriminatory marriage amendment

Last night, Minnesota became the first state to vote against a constitutional amendment banning gays and lesbians from marrying. We still don't have marriage equality in this state. But two other states — Maine and Maryland — voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage and a third, Washington, looks like it might do the same. Meanwhile, Iowans voted to retain a judge who played a role in making same sex marriage legal in that state.

To celebrate — especially on the Minnesota front, where we also rejected a voter ID amendment — I present this video of the Swedish Chef making meatballs.

Open thread: "Same sex couples should be able to get married"—Barack Obama, May 9, 2012

Photo: At a bar in San Francisco, Horst Linsen of Germany watches TV as President Obama voices support to same-sex marriage. (Reuters)

U.S. President Barack Obama said today he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, taking a stand that is likely to please his political base and upset conservative voters. Your thoughts on the news, and what it means for the presidential election season in America, are welcome in the comments.

Narrow the Gap: ending income inequality for women

From Gina Trapani, a project to address the fact that in 2012, women still get paid less than men for the same work: Narrow the Gap. Happy International Women's Day.