While the Bulletin fretted over Ebola terrorism, the everyday scourges of tuberculosis, AIDS, malaria, and infant diarrhea were killing hundreds of times as many people. Doomsday theorizing gets infectious disease threats backwards: it’s not the genetically modified bugs hatching from high-tech labs that should worry us, but old-fashioned germs that thrive in poverty, underdevelopment, and failed states.
In a related blast from the past (seriously, no pun intended), the August 1946 issue of The New Yorker chronicles the entire day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in minute detail, told through interviews with a few civilians. Riveting and horrifying.
Cognitive linguist George Lakoff, whose work kept me studying linguistics longer than was necessary for my degree, has written a great post about conceptual metaphors used in contemporary politics, explaining how politics is always moral, the Strict Father vs Nurturant Parent metaphors of government, and why we should argue from our own framework rather than negate the other side’s argument on their terms. Written in November, it has been followed up with an interview in Salon.
Columbia University has produced an extensive report detailing its connection to and profits from slavery. The NYT and Atlantic have coverage, and the full research project is available here. It includes the story of Joe, a slave owned by George Washington’s stepson as a student.
NASA has made all of their research available FREE.