Psychologist Jonathan Haidt can tell you why you feel so righteous about your politics, but will you listen?
Please to tone down the heated political rhetoric in America tend to suffer the same fate as sensible-eating guidelines: endorsed in principle and ignored in practice. It’s clear enough why. The views of liberals and conservatives rest on fundamentally different foundations, making it difficult to locate common ground. Lacking a basic understanding of their opponents’ motivations, partisans view those on the other side of the ideological divide warily, often assuming the worst.
In his essential new book, The Righteous Mind, psychologist Jonathan Haidt offers no easy way out of this mutually assured derision. But he provides a deep understanding of what has driven us to this point, and out of that could come a rebirth of respect. In the past two decades, American politics has increasingly been cast, by both sides, as an issue of good versus evil. Haidt argues it would be both more helpful and more accurate to think of the left and right as yin and yang — worldviews that arose together, neither of which can exist without the other. Each brings something essential to the table.
I interviewed Haidt three years ago, when he was a scholar in residence at the University of California, Santa Barbara (see “Morals Authority,” May-June 2009). At the time, his framework for the different moral universes of liberals and conservatives struck me as a brilliant breakthrough. It let me hear politicians or pundits make pronouncements and instantly recognize the underlying ethics responsible for their certitude. This understanding didn’t change my own point of view, but it gave me a better handle on both the basis of my own beliefs and of others’.
Sun/Moon Rise and Set “The Old Farmer’s Almanac features everything that makes an Almanac an Almanac, including its sunrise and sunset times, tide tables, and weather predictions for the entire year.”
It takes 3650 peanuts to fill a 5-pound container of peanut butter. Half of all edible peanuts consumed in the US are used to make peanut butter. – Provided by Reference.com
There will never be a single cure for cancer and although its incidence will gradually diminish over the next 50 years, it will never be entirely eliminated, according to Britain’s top scientist.
Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said that scientific advances have helped to understand the fundamental mechanisms that turn a cell cancerous but because cancer is so many different diseases, a universal cure is not possible.
“There’s never going to be a cure for cancer because cancer is a generic term to describe a set of widely differing diseases, with widely differing causes, that happen where cells divide out of control. And most of the time, cancer is a disease of old age,” Sir Paul said in the Radio Times.
“We have repair systems working to repair all cell damage but over time, those damaged cells will ‘escape’,” he said. “Now this knowledge is fantastic … It means we’re in a position where we could create drugs that will be more specific for a particular cancer. My view is that over decades – it could be 50 years – the incidence of cancers will gradually come down. It’s never going to be zero.”
Back in my blunted-out days in high school, I played in one of those coed softball leagues for which the sole purpose is to provide an outlet for parking lot drinking, revealing costumes, and the occasional feat of strength. My friends back then were mostly nerdy, shy kids who channeled their social frustration through the relatable yet thoroughly foreign avatars who populated our favorite hip-hop songs. In the softball league, our cultural tourism expressed itself through the names we stenciled on the backs of our jerseys. Our shortstop, a spindly, vaguely sexless kid who would go on to star in the aeronautics field, was U-God. Our first baseman, a thick, stoic dude who now works as a lawyer of some sort, was Chef Raekwon. Our right fielder had the lucky distinction of being Method Man. It was your typically stupid suburban scene — a bunch of white kids and the token Asian celebrating “ghetto” things in the most condescending manner possible. Always the diva, I gave myself several nicknames: the Mental Oriental, the Raging Asian, Chink-opotamus, Chinkletoes, and so on.
In a game against our nerdy doppelgangers in the senior class, I walked up to the plate. When a friend of mine saw that I had drawn the Wu-Tang “W” on the back of my jersey, he said, “If you ever tried to hang with the Wu, they’d murder your stupid Asian ass like the grocery store owner in Menace 2 Society.” There was a hard edge in his voice that I, despite having grown up as an anomalous minority in the South, had never heard before.
[March 1,new privacy rules for Google go into effect]
[UPDATE 2/22/2012] It is important to note that disabling Web History in your Google account will not prevent Google from gathering and storing this information and using it for internal purposes. More information at the end of this post.
Here’s how you can do that:
World War II was a period of dramatic change across the globe. But along with all the political machinations and military strategies, some seriously bizarre stuff happened. Here are five of the most mysterious incidents from World War II.
The Baffling Battle of Los Angeles
A few months after Pearl Harbor, America was pretty on-edge, especially along the west coast. Everyone was scanning sky and sea in fear of another Japanese attack. In fact, a Japanese submarine had shelled the Ellwood oilfield near Santa Barbara in February of 1942. Later that month, the mounting tension exploded into full-blown hysteria. An AWOL weather balloon triggered the initial panic. After that, flares were fired into the night sky, either to illuminate potential threats or signal danger. People saw the flares as more attackers, and a barrage of anti-aircraft fire soon filled the night.
The activity continued for several nights. In the end, the only casualties from the whole affair were three heart attack victims and three dead due to friendly fire. No Japanese aircraft were found, and the Japanese later denied having anything in the air near L.A. at the time.
That’s the official story, at least.
Record Chain of Kidney Donations
The world’s longest chain of organ donations, involving 30 living kidney donors and 30 recipients, has been completed in the US. The chain matched up donors, most of whom had wanted to give a kidney to a relative or friend but were incompatible, with suitable recipients who also had someone willing to donate a kidney on their behalf. Still, none of it would have been possible without a Good Samaritan from California who decided he wanted to donate a kidney to a complete stranger. His surgery in August was the first in the chain of 60 operations that gave 30 grateful people a second chance at life. More …
Detroit will fight crime, by banning toy guns!
Are these people truly that stupid?
State lawmakers are currently reviewing legislation that targets the use of certain toy guns. A planned proposal before the Senate would make it a crime to possess a toy gun that has its required markings removed or by having a real gun that is made up to look like a toy.
State Senate Republican Rick Jones said that this has become a major problem, especially within the gang community. “People are taking imitation firearms that look real, cutting off the orange end and then threatening people,” he said.
Supporters of the proposed legislation have also cited a recent case where a police officer was forced to shoot a gang member who was aiming a toy gun without its required markings. Jones believes this proposal will be vital in preventing incidents such as this from occurring in the future.
Battle of the Alamo Begins (This Day in 1836)
In the 1835 Texas Revolution, the predominantly American settlers of Texas sought independence from the Mexican government. In December, they took the Alamo, an old chapel in San Antonio. When Mexican forces arrived in February, the Texians were outnumbered and unprepared to withstand the 13-day siege. Nearly all of them were killed. The loss became a rallying point for Texians, who went on to win the war. What short-lived independent nation did they establish that year? More…
Research In Motion, whose BlackBerry phones pioneered wireless email, no longer holds the commanding heights in the smartphone market. With Android, iOS, and even Windows Phone gaining market share, the Waterloo, Ontario, company finds itself in a battle for relevancy. The past year has been especially hard on the once-innovative RIM, but it may be at a turning point. Or the beginning of the end.
Last April, Mike Lazaridis sat in a BBC studio, holding his company’s future in his hands: a svelte seven-inch tablet, black, with the word “BlackBerry” emblazoned across its front. The PlayBook.
The company was Research In Motion, the Canadian firm whose BlackBerry virtually created the smartphone market. Success had come almost naturally to the company, until five years ago, when Apple released the first iPhone and upended RIM’s long-held strategy of appealing primarily to email-addicted professionals. Apple expanded the market by building a smartphone not just for business people, but for the great mass of well-heeled, tech-hungry consumers. Apple’s success opened the door for another large, deep-pocketed competitor: Google, with the acquisition and development of Android. The mobile landscape shifted dramatically — new players, new customers, and new alliances — and RIM made costly missteps scrambling to adjust.
Despite the Turkish denial of a massacre of the Armenians, here to refute that is T.E. Larwence, from his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Quentin Rowan published a novel, called Assassin of Secrets, under a pseudonym last year. It had been on sale for 5 days before anyone noticed that almost every word of it was plagiarised. Half of the novel alone is made up of various extracts from Charles McCarry’s writing, and the other half stitches bits and pieces of Robert Ludlum, John Gardner, Adam Hall, and a couple of others together. As is inevitable in these cases, it soon came out that much of Rowan’s past work was plagiarised too, but Assassins of Secrets makes for an interesting case study in modern plagiarism.
Although the entire novel is plagiarised, Rowan cut and pasted excerpts from more than a dozen different novels in such a way that the finished work could almost look like a homage in the right light. It isn’t, and Rowan has been clear and apologetic about his plagiarising, but by skillfully combining the best fragments of various other novels — McCarry’s prose, Ludlum’s plot premises, and so on — he created a hybrid spy novel unique enough to fool numerous friends, authors, reviewers, and editors on its way to publication.
His home was a dense area of rainforest and he lived on the wild coconuts that grew in abundance.
Hiroo Onoda: never surrender
His principal enemy was the army of mosquitoes that arrived with each new shower of rain. But for Hiroo Onoda there was another enemy – one that remained elusive.
Unaware that the Second World War had ended 29 years earlier, he was still fighting a lonely guerrilla war in the jungles of Lubang Island in the Philippines. His story is one of courage, farce and loyalty gone mad.
The U.S. has been flying the U-2 spy plane since the mid-1950s, and the slim, long-winged aircraft seems not so much aging as ageless. It first gained notoriety 50-plus years ago in the thick of the Cold War when the Soviet Union downed the U-2 piloted by Francis Gary Powers, and has continued much more recently to turn in reconnaissance and surveillance flights over war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Defense Department once had retirement for the U-2 penciled in for last year, with unmanned Global Hawk drones taking over the high-flying mission, but that didn’t happen. In fact, the draft of the Pentagon’s 2013 budget, unveiled this month, gives the U-2 (also known as the Dragon Lady) a longer lease on life.
Our nation of moaners
New research is shedding light on the question: Why do some people make so much noise during sex?
Every night in my building I’m treated to a concert of loud sex. Like clockwork, at 6:30, the soundtrack begins and “Ooh ooh ooh ooh!” rings out with the same rhythmic regularity and decibel level. Frequently – “Oh God!” – the Lord is called upon to listen too. And between the young heterosexual couple down the hall and the man who regularly visits my door to slip a miniature Bible under the crack, I sometimes feel like I’m living in a Baptist meetinghouse.
But why is it always the woman making all the noise? And is it an expression of pleasure, or something else? As it turns out, recent science offers some tantalizing hints.
Researchers Gayle Brewer of the University of Central Lancashire and Colin A. Hendrie of the University of Leeds wondered too. In a 2011 study on copulatory vocalization (i.e., sex noises), published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, they asked a group of 71 sexually active, heterosexual women, ages 18 to 48, to answer a questionnaire about their vocalizations during sex and whether or not they correlated with orgasm. The answer most often was yes – but not with their own.
A German historian has discovered how the SS in Nazi Germany recommended its members – including death camp guards – practice yoga to enrich their ‘mind, bodies and spirits.’
The first ever book probing the Third Reich’s fascination with the ancient discipline – intended to attain ‘perfect spiritual insight and tranquility’ – was published this week, entitled Yoga In National Socialism by historian and yoga expert Mathias Tietke.
It shows how S.S. overlord Heinrich Himmler was fascinated with the discipline and perverted it and its ancient roots into a philosophy to justify the Holocaust.
How an 1870s marine expedition changed oceanography and drove eight sailors insane
When was the first voyage of the Challenger? No, not the Space Shuttle — the original Challenger, a sea ship that sailed in 1872. The HMS Challenger traversed the world’s oceans for four years, drove some of its sailors completely insane, caused about a quarter of the crew to jump ship, and forever changed the face of ocean science.
Is there a way to scroll past the nature channels without seeing one that describes the richness of the ocean and the life that teems in its depth? In the early 1800s, the ocean was something to fish in and to get across. What happened below 1500 feet was of no concern to anyone, although scientists calculated that the pressure, the temperature, and the lack of sunlight meant that no life existed below. The bottom of the ocean was presumed to be as lifeless as the surface of the moon, though it was far less known. In 1872, the HMS Challenger was sent out to circumnavigate the globe, with a crew of around 240 sailors and scientists. When it got back in 1876, it had 144 people aboard, losing people to madness, death, sickness, and sheer desperation to escape the voyage. It also held a wealth of information that launched a new era of exploration, and a new field of science.
The HMS Challenger sounds like a dream assignment to anyone who has ever imagined exploring new territory or making a contribution to science. It was set to go around to the globe, via some of the most beautiful islands in the world, taking reading and collecting life from regions never studied. Then reality set in. The routine of the Challenger was this: the ship would sail to a certain part of the ocean, send down lines to a certain depth, take temperature and pressure readings, send nets or dredgers down, and haul up whatever life they could find. It would do this at several points nearby, should it find anything interesting. Then it would move on and do the same the next day. And the next. For the scientists it was a thrilling, if stressful, time. For the crew it was excruciating. The manual labor was repetitive and backbreaking. To maintain accuracy of readings, the work also had to be extremely precise.
Erik Johansson takes photo editing and manipulation to new levels with his ever-growing collection of creative, innovative and amazing scenes of altered architecture and unbelivable built environments, distorted objects and twisted imagery – all while preserving an eerie photo-realism from the original photographic subject.