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Surf’s up in Rivendell

So you know that whole thing about how the elves in The Lord of the Rings are all, so, we’re getting in our fancy boats and sailing off into the sunset on our exclusive party cruise? Well, they said that’s what they were doing, but I think “west” must be code for “settling down in […]

How to Start Learning a New Language (Right Now. Today. Seriously).

Let me ask you a question: If you really wanted to learn a new language, what would you be doing right now to make that happen? The thing with language learning, and really with any goal or desire we have in life, is that we spend a lot of time thinking about what we want and talking about […]

Word Crimes

For his new album Mandatory Fun, Weird Al Yankovic has crafted the ultimate peever's anthem: "Word Crimes," to the tune of last summer's big hit, "Blurred Lines." It's a cleverly composed parody, despite the inevitable "cunning linguist" joke: I hate these word crimes You really need a Full-time proofreader You dumb mouthbreather Well, you should […]

Do You Have to Learn How to Get High?

If you stop and think about it, alcohol is just the worst. Almost every one who drinks has experienced the pain of a mean morning hangover (at least once). Also, the experience of being drunk… why is that enjoyable? When drunk you slur your words, it’s hard to think straight, you’re liable to say or […]

Kure Beach Mayor’s Support for Seismic Airgun Blasting Spurs Public Outcry

Kure Beach citizens show their opposition to Kure Beach Mayor Dean Lambeth’s support for seismic airgun blasting. (Photo: Oceana / Randy Sturgill) In January, Kure Beach, North Carolina Mayor Dean Lambeth voiced his support for the American Energy Forum’s push to approve seismic airgun blasting off the Atlantic coast. Show More Summary

“Trophy Scarves”: Race, Gender, and the Woman-as-Prop Trope (NSFW)

At the end of last year, Robin Thicke took a lot of heat for both the lyrics of his song, Blurred Lines, and the accompanying video.  The latter is a transparent  instance of a very common strategy for making men look cool: surround them with beautiful and preferably naked women. It seems especially effective if the men […]

Advertising Co-opts Social Science

By Sally Raskoff Have you seen the videos circulating that purport to be stories informed by social science? They are passed on to “enlighten” us about social issues and solutions. I have a few examples to share with you. The...

Saturday Night at the Oldies: Self-Pity

Marianne Faithfull, The Boulevard of Broken Dreams Warren Zevon, Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me. The female version by Linda Ronstadt. She blows Zevon's version clean out of the water, and she is prettier too. Beatles, I'm a Loser Ted Daffan, Born...

Influencing Climate Policy on the Back of a Lame Horse

Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels Global Science Report is a feature from the Center for the Study of Science, where we highlight one or two important new items in the scientific literature or the popular media. For...Show More Summary

The SWP's Moral Vacuity

Revolutionary politics has long been a fringe pursuit in Britain. The parties and organisations representing this tradition have barely got two activists to rub together. It has next to zero purchase in the media and as for elections, forget it. Show More Summary

Assorted links

1. Milton Friedman chats with a young David Brooks. 2. Indiegogo for an electronic library of Leonard Read. 3. Robot writes Torah at Berlin’s Jewish Museum.  And Michael Covel interviews me about many things. 4. Why hasn’t the internet made labor market search easier? 5. Future Grammys to have a Chinese feel. 6. What the […]

Object 40077 'Belly Flops' Over Australia

A few Australians might have assumed the worst last night as a truck-sized fireball raced across the sky. But it wasn't a meteorite spelling out Earth's doom—or the plane crash some feared on Twitter—but "object 40077," an ejected piece of Russia's Soyuz rocket, which on Tuesday was used...

Google Co-Founders Sergey Brin & Larry Page: Health Care Regulation Is Blocking Innovation

Michael F. Cannon At a forum sponsored by Khosla Ventures, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page discussed the burden of health care regulations in the United States. When asked, “Can you imagine Google becoming a health company?”, Brin responded: Health is just so heavily regulated, it’s just a painful business to be in. Show More Summary

How to travel the world for life (and work while you travel)

In the 21st century travelling the world for cheap is more than possible. In this post I summarized everything you need to know about finding affordable flight tickets, accomodation, working abroad and enjoying life to the max. Click here to....

'Melbourne Shuffle' secures data in the cloud

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — To keep data safe in the cloud, a group of computer scientists suggests doing the Melbourne Shuffle. That may sound like a dance move (and it is), but it's also a computer algorithm developed by researchers at Brown University. read more

is sociology a poor source of policy stories?

A few years ago, I bought a copy of Charles Tilly’s Why?, just for fun sociology reading. All the Important sociology reading got in the way, and I never read Why? But while I was unpacking this week I came across it and thought I’d bring it along on a car ride to Providence over […]

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