Sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami, and…carbohydrate?
Discover why scientists think we have a sixth taste via NOVA Next.
This isn’t surprising given the speed at which muscle cramps respond to pickle juice. But it’s definitely cool.
The gloves came off: four simple words. And yet they express a complicated thought. For if the gloves must come off, that means that before the attacks the gloves were on. There is something implicitly exculpatory in the image, something that made it particularly appealing to officials of an administration that endured, on its watch, the most lethal terrorist attack in the country’s history. If the attack succeeded, it must have had to do not with the fact that intelligence was not passed on or that warnings were not heeded or that senior officials did not focus on terrorism as a leading threat. It must have been, at least in part, because the gloves were on—because the post-Watergate reforms of the 1970s, in which Congress sought to put limits on the CIA, on its freedom to mount covert actions with “deniability” and to conduct surveillance at home and abroad, had illegitimately circumscribed the President’s power and thereby put the country dangerously at risk. It is no accident that two of the administration’s most powerful officials, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, served as young men in very senior positions in the Nixon and Ford administrations. They had witnessed firsthand the gloves going on and, in the weeks after the September 11 attacks, they argued powerfully that it was those limitations—and, it was implied, not a failure to heed warnings—that had helped lead, however indirectly, to the country’s vulnerability to attack.
Mark Danner, “US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites”
Never underestimate how far people are willing to go to rationalize why horrible things that might be their fault could not possibly be their fault and, moreover, are clearly the fault of someone else whom they are predisposed to dislike.
By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient. You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse. The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful.
Bill Gates, “Three myths that block progress for the poor”
This is something I say aloud to myself from time to time: “The world is better than it has ever been.” It’s surprising how much better it makes me feel about trying to do important things.
This year, barring a last-minute outbreak of philanthropy among the editors of The New Yorker, I will be joining the 99.9 per cent of fans who watch the World Cup from their favorite couch or bar stool. It’s not quite the same as singing “Knees up Mother Brown” while dancing in circles outside Azteca following a three-to-nil victory over Paraguay, but it sure beats listening to Darrell Issa or John McCain criticizing the Obama Administration for this, that, or the other.
Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America, on “the internet itself,” specifically its qualities that government could and should adopt
If you want to know why net neutrality matters, it’s because those three qualities are the basis for all of the internet’s creativity. And those three qualities are manifestly the opposite of what a tiered internet can be, by definition.
If you want a more profane version of this case, listen to John Oliver.