Tom Friedman on Scientific American Podcast

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Scientific American has a great podcast, especially for those of us who believe in whacky theories like evolution, climate change and gravity. Tom Friedman has some great perspectives on why dealing with climate change is a good bet, even if the theory is wrong. To the doubters, he argues that our national security depends on […]

Turtle Index: Healthcare, Ethanol and Video Games

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For this month’s Turtle Index: focus on healthcare in America. The number in square brackets refers to the source, given below. 4 dollars: portion of the cost of a $299 iPod made in China that actually stays in China, according to University of California study [1]. 160 dollars: amount that stays in the United States […]

Celine on The Value of Education

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I was recently listening to someone on the radio who had worked with the Rwandan truth and reconciliation commission and she was saying how one of the things that surprised her was how the people who participated in and fomented the genocide were often the best educated. Priests, doctors, teachers. The heros she found were […]

What is 'Middle Class'?

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How much does the middle class earn in America? Most Americans like to think of themselves as middle class, but it takes less money than you might think to be middle class and, if you really are middle class, it takes more money than you might think to be upper class.

A Modest Plea for Biblical Literalism

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A friend’s wife joined a good Christian church where they believe in beating the children in order to save their souls. Seems like a reasonable enough trade. But then, we’re talking beating with sticks and belts. We’re talking bruises, welts and blood. I suppose it will make the little tykes righteous. The friend was unable […]

Rent or Own? Some thoughts on the true value of real estate

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I’m always telling people that historically speaking, real estate has never been a good investment. Now, I don’t really invest because 1) I don’t have any money and 2) I have the worst sense of timing anyway. So good investment/bad investment is generally irrelevant, but I do like to track social trends and lately, whenever […]

Bush Administration Cites Success of Inquisition as Model

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The Bush administration responded forcefully today to critics of “aggressive interrogation”, known euphemistically as “torture lite.” Critics, including the FBI, have alleged that torture is ineffective and does not elicit quality information from suspects. The Bush administration has pointed out, however, that these techniques have been extremely effective in the past. Notably, press secretary Tony […]

Drink more, earn more

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According to a recent study, social drinker earn more — lots more. That’s all interesting enough, though it should be noted that drinking alone at home doesn’t count. What’s more interesting, though, is that barhopping without drinking apparently doesn’t count either. What’s interesting here is that, having been alerted by Paul Graham to listen to […]

Bowling Deaths Double

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Rise of extreme bowling blamed by industry Consumer protection advocates have released a study today showing that bowling-related deaths have seen a 100 percent increase through the first half of 2006 compared to the same period last year. From January 1, 2005 until June 30, 2005, combined data from the International Bowling Federation (IBF), the […]

Switzerland declares neutrality on Sweden

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In a move that shocked the international diplomatic community, Switzerland today declared neutrality on Sweden. The small land-locked European nation is best known for declaring neutrality on Nazi German during World War II and on Turkey during the latter nation’s struggle with Kurdish separatists. A small group of neo-con scholars thinkers commentators have long noticed […]