Recent Articles

Bush’s new plans for Iran, Syria and Lebanon

Bush’s new plans for Iran, Syria and Lebanon

| February 25, 2007 | Reply

If you want to sleep well and not worry about Bush’s new plans for the Middle East, don’t read this New Yorker article by Seymour Hersh: “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” 

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The U.S. should stop characterizing China as an inevitable military threat.

The U.S. should stop characterizing China as an inevitable military threat.

| February 25, 2007 | 3 Replies

Dick Cheney and other conservatives constantly warn us of the “China threat.”  Check out these headlines and articles: Chinese bid for Unocal, Pentagon worries over military spending lead to fresh discussion of Chinese ‘threat’.  Revving Up the China Threat  US exaggerates China defense – report Cheney, the Neocons and China  This belligerent U.S. attitude that […]

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Stop your paltering!

Stop your paltering!

| February 25, 2007 | 2 Replies

You don’t know the word “palter”?  I didn’t either, until I read a recent paper by Frederick Schauer and Richard J. Zeckhauser of Harvard.  The paper’s abstract defines this incredibly useful term, palter: Abstract:      A lie involves three elements: deceptive intent, an inaccurate message, and a harmful effect. When only one or two of these […]

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To the Power of N

To the Power of N

| February 24, 2007 | 2 Replies

This is not about math. I just had a pre-somnolent image of a cluster of words that I just have to let out. In less pretentious language: I thought of this as I dozed off last night. “A mnemonic pneumonic gnu’s knees.” Nglish is a weird language. Note that of the 4 words that are […]

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Is it theoretically possible to be unselfish?

Is it theoretically possible to be unselfish?

| February 23, 2007 | 3 Replies

Such a strange question to ask!  Here’s what brought it on.  Yesterday, I attended a lecture by Sarah Brosnan, a post-doc who works with Frans de Waal at Emory University (I’ve written about de Waal’s work several times).  Brosnan’s lecture, “Fairness and Prosocial Behavior in Non-Human Primates,” was sponsored by the Washington University School of […]

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300 foot sinkhole in the middle of Guatemala City

300 foot sinkhole in the middle of Guatemala City

| February 23, 2007 | 1 Reply

I didn’t know that a sinkhole this size was possible.  But here it is, right in the middle of Guatemala City.  This makes me wonder what you can do to deal with a hole this big.

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“Rapture Wreaks Havoc On Local Book Club”

“Rapture Wreaks Havoc On Local Book Club”

| February 23, 2007 | Reply

Anyone familiar with The Onion already knows the publisher of this sad story.  The headlines are often the best part of the story, and that’s not to sleight the stories. Or check out this story:  “MLB No Longer Accepting New Players” I don’t know how those guys do it so well so often . . .

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James Fallows to Dick Cheney:  “Shut up.”

James Fallows to Dick Cheney: “Shut up.”

| February 23, 2007 | Reply

Who’s the best person to lecture China on a recent test that suggests China’s interest in militarizing outer space?  According to James Fallows, it’s not Dick Cheney.

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Bloggers challenge corporate journalists to do real journalism

Bloggers challenge corporate journalists to do real journalism

| February 23, 2007 | 1 Reply

Marty Kaplan comments on a report by Glenn Greenwald from the National Press Club this week.  One panelist, Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe responded to criticism by bloggers that journalists are not doing their job: Our role is to ask questions and get information. It’s not a chance for the opposition to take on the government and […]

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