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  • Peculiar Eyesight Question

    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones
    Kevin Drum
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:14 am
    I'll be asking my optometrist about this shortly, but just for fun I thought I'd throw it out to the hive mind to see if anyone knows what's going on. Over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that my distance vision is a little fuzzy. Time for new glasses, you say, and you're probably right. But here's the odd thing. I keep all my old glasses, and last night I tried them all on just to see if an older prescription worked better than my current glasses. What I discovered was a little strange. Right under my TV I happen to have two LED clocks. One uses red LEDs and the other uses blue LEDs.
  • Book Review: Chasing the Scream

    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones
    AJ Vicens
    28 Mar 2015 | 3:15 am
    Chasing the Scream By Johann Hari BLOOMSBURY The drug war is viewed by many as a 40-year-old waste of resources. But in this beautifully written book, British journo Johann Hari shows that its roots extend as far back as the early 1900s, when young Harry Anslinger heard the shrieks of a neighbor in withdrawal; he grew up to lead the Bureau of Narcotics, the DEA's precursor, pioneering ruthless drug policies that endured for decades. Knowing his work would be scrutinized due to a past plagiarism scandal, Hari spent three years meticulously researching and footnoting the book, which puts a…
  • Peculiar Eyesight Question

    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones
    Kevin Drum
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:14 am
    I'll be asking my optometrist about this shortly, but just for fun I thought I'd throw it out to the hive mind to see if anyone knows what's going on. Over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that my distance vision is a little fuzzy. Time for new glasses, you say, and you're probably right. But here's the odd thing. I keep all my old glasses, and last night I tried them all on just to see if an older prescription worked better than my current glasses. What I discovered was a little strange. Right under my TV I happen to have two LED clocks. One uses red LEDs and the other uses blue LEDs.
  • Forget Elizabeth Warren. Another Female Senator Has a Shot to Fill the Senate's New Power Vacuum.

    Political Mojo | Mother Jones
    Patrick Caldwell
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:58 pm
    In the nanoseconds after Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid announced Friday morning that he will give up his leadership post and retire in 2016, liberal groups raced to promote their go-to solution for almost any political problem: Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Much like the movement to draft Warren for president, the idea of putting her in charge of the Democratic caucus was more dream than reality. Warren's office has already said she won't run, and as Vox's Dylan Matthews explains, putting Warren in charge of the Democratic caucus would prevent her from holding her colleagues accountable when…
  • Illegal Pot Farms Are Literally Sucking California Salmon Streams Dry

    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones
    Josh Harkinson
    27 Mar 2015 | 1:06 pm
    Outlet Creek watershed in Northern California's Mendocino County. Scott Bauer Northern California pot farmers are using up all of the water that normally supports key populations of the region's federally protected salmon and steelhead trout. That, at least, is the conclusion of a new study, published last week in the journal PLOS One, that examined four California watersheds where salmon and trout are known to spawn. In the three watersheds with intensive pot cultivation, illegal marijuana farms literally sucked up all of the water during the streams' summer low-flow period, leaving nothing…
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    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones

  • Peculiar Eyesight Question

    Kevin Drum
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:14 am
    I'll be asking my optometrist about this shortly, but just for fun I thought I'd throw it out to the hive mind to see if anyone knows what's going on. Over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that my distance vision is a little fuzzy. Time for new glasses, you say, and you're probably right. But here's the odd thing. I keep all my old glasses, and last night I tried them all on just to see if an older prescription worked better than my current glasses. What I discovered was a little strange. Right under my TV I happen to have two LED clocks. One uses red LEDs and the other uses blue LEDs.
  • Should We Welcome Saudi Arabia to the Fight in the Middle East?

    Kevin Drum
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:01 am
    I have occasionally griped in this space about the fact that putative Middle East allies like Saudi Arabia and Jordan basically use the American military as a sort of mercenary force to fight their own tribal battles. Sure, they provide basing rights, and sometimes money, but they want us to do all the fighting, and they complain bitterly about American naiveté when we don't fight every war they think we should fight. Recently this has changed a bit, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan launching independent air attacks against various neighbors and Saudi Arabia even making noises…
  • Book Review: Chasing the Scream

    AJ Vicens
    28 Mar 2015 | 3:15 am
    Chasing the Scream By Johann Hari BLOOMSBURY The drug war is viewed by many as a 40-year-old waste of resources. But in this beautifully written book, British journo Johann Hari shows that its roots extend as far back as the early 1900s, when young Harry Anslinger heard the shrieks of a neighbor in withdrawal; he grew up to lead the Bureau of Narcotics, the DEA's precursor, pioneering ruthless drug policies that endured for decades. Knowing his work would be scrutinized due to a past plagiarism scandal, Hari spent three years meticulously researching and footnoting the book, which puts a…
  • Book Review: The Powerhouse

    Josh Harkinson
    28 Mar 2015 | 3:15 am
    The Powerhouse By Steve LeVine VIKING Arguably no existing technology holds more potential to slow climate change and reboot the economy than the lithium-ion battery. Quartz reporter Steve LeVine chronicles the global race to develop a battery cheap and durable enough to supplant the internal-combustion engine. The field is littered with hype and people left in the dust—including LeVine, whose book, in its slow march to press, didn't get to the solid-state battery technology that's now at the cutting edge. Even so, he offers a revealing deep dive into the challenges of creating a killer…
  • The Often Overlooked Role of Natural Gas in the Israel-Palestine Conflict

    Michael Schwartz
    27 Mar 2015 | 4:10 pm
    Known oil and gas fields in the Levant Basin US Energy Information Administration/Wikimedia This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website. Guess what? Almost all the current wars, uprisings, and other conflicts in the Middle East are connected by a single thread, which is also a threat: these conflicts are part of an increasingly frenzied competition to find, extract, and market fossil fuels whose future consumption is guaranteed to lead to a set of cataclysmic environmental crises. Amid the many fossil-fueled conflicts in the region, one of them, packed with threats, large and small,…
 
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    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones

  • Book Review: Chasing the Scream

    AJ Vicens
    28 Mar 2015 | 3:15 am
    Chasing the Scream By Johann Hari BLOOMSBURY The drug war is viewed by many as a 40-year-old waste of resources. But in this beautifully written book, British journo Johann Hari shows that its roots extend as far back as the early 1900s, when young Harry Anslinger heard the shrieks of a neighbor in withdrawal; he grew up to lead the Bureau of Narcotics, the DEA's precursor, pioneering ruthless drug policies that endured for decades. Knowing his work would be scrutinized due to a past plagiarism scandal, Hari spent three years meticulously researching and footnoting the book, which puts a…
  • Book Review: The Powerhouse

    Josh Harkinson
    28 Mar 2015 | 3:15 am
    The Powerhouse By Steve LeVine VIKING Arguably no existing technology holds more potential to slow climate change and reboot the economy than the lithium-ion battery. Quartz reporter Steve LeVine chronicles the global race to develop a battery cheap and durable enough to supplant the internal-combustion engine. The field is littered with hype and people left in the dust—including LeVine, whose book, in its slow march to press, didn't get to the solid-state battery technology that's now at the cutting edge. Even so, he offers a revealing deep dive into the challenges of creating a killer…
  • The Often Overlooked Role of Natural Gas in the Israel-Palestine Conflict

    Michael Schwartz
    27 Mar 2015 | 4:10 pm
    Known oil and gas fields in the Levant Basin US Energy Information Administration/Wikimedia This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website. Guess what? Almost all the current wars, uprisings, and other conflicts in the Middle East are connected by a single thread, which is also a threat: these conflicts are part of an increasingly frenzied competition to find, extract, and market fossil fuels whose future consumption is guaranteed to lead to a set of cataclysmic environmental crises. Amid the many fossil-fueled conflicts in the region, one of them, packed with threats, large and small,…
  • Ellen Pao Loses Her Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Against Silicon Valley VC Firm Kleiner Perkins

    Hannah Levintova
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:16 pm
    This is a breaking news story. We'll be updating this post regularly. Ellen Pao's $16 million lawsuit against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, has captivated Silicon Valley for the past month. Pao, now the interim CEO of Reddit, sued her former employer on charges of gender discrimination and retaliation. Many have called the trial Silicon Valley's version of the Anita Hill hearings, in part because it offers a rare glimpse into the challenges faced by women at the Valley's elite companies, where cases of this rank usually settle rather than go public. At 2 PM…
  • We Could Stop Global Warming With This Fix—But It's Probably a Terrible Idea

    Jeremy Schulman
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    Mount Pinatubo erupting in 1991 Bullit Marquez/AP Back in the late 1990s, Ken Caldeira set out to disprove the "ludicrous" idea that we could reverse global warming by filling the sky with chemicals that would partially block the sun. A few years earlier, Mount Pinatubo had erupted in the Philippines, sending tiny sulfate particles—known as aerosols—into the stratosphere, where they reflected sunlight back into space and temporarily cooled the planet. Some scientists believed that an artificial version of this process could be used to cancel out the warming effect of…
  • add this feed to my.Alltop

    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones

  • Peculiar Eyesight Question

    Kevin Drum
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:14 am
    I'll be asking my optometrist about this shortly, but just for fun I thought I'd throw it out to the hive mind to see if anyone knows what's going on. Over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that my distance vision is a little fuzzy. Time for new glasses, you say, and you're probably right. But here's the odd thing. I keep all my old glasses, and last night I tried them all on just to see if an older prescription worked better than my current glasses. What I discovered was a little strange. Right under my TV I happen to have two LED clocks. One uses red LEDs and the other uses blue LEDs.
  • Should We Welcome Saudi Arabia to the Fight in the Middle East?

    Kevin Drum
    28 Mar 2015 | 9:01 am
    I have occasionally griped in this space about the fact that putative Middle East allies like Saudi Arabia and Jordan basically use the American military as a sort of mercenary force to fight their own tribal battles. Sure, they provide basing rights, and sometimes money, but they want us to do all the fighting, and they complain bitterly about American naiveté when we don't fight every war they think we should fight. Recently this has changed a bit, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan launching independent air attacks against various neighbors and Saudi Arabia even making noises…
  • Friday Cat Blogging - 27 March 2015

    Kevin Drum
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    Today I get to spend six hours in a chair getting Cytoxan pumped into my body. So this is it. No more tests or consults. This is the first actual step in the second stage of my chemotherapy. Following this infusion, I will spend a week injecting myself with a drug that (a) stimulates white blood cell production and (b) will apparently make me feel like I have the flu. Next, I spend a week in LA sitting in a chair several hours a day while they extract stem cells from my body. Then a week of rest and then the stem cell transplant itself, which will put me out of commission for a minimum of…
  • Democrats Should Pass the Doc Fix Bill

    Kevin Drum
    26 Mar 2015 | 2:07 pm
    A bill to permanently reform the ridiculous annual charade over the Medicare "doc fix" passed the House today: The House overwhelmingly approved sweeping changes to the Medicare system on Thursday, in the most significant bipartisan policy legislation to pass through that chamber since the Republicans regained a majority in 2011. The measure, which would establish a new formula for paying doctors and end a problem that has bedeviled the nation’s health care system for more than a decade, has already been blessed by President Obama, and awaits a vote in the Senate. The bill would also…
  • More Welfare = More Entrepreneurs? Maybe!

    Kevin Drum
    26 Mar 2015 | 11:09 am
    Walter Frick writes in the Atlantic about recent research which suggests that a strong social safety net increases entrepreneurship. For example, one researcher found that expansion of the food stamp program led to a higher chance that eligible households would start new businesses: Interestingly, most of these new entrepreneurs didn’t actually enroll in the food stamp program. It seems that expanding the availability of food stamps increased business formation by making it less risky for entrepreneurs to strike out on their own. Simply knowing that they could fall back on food stamps…
 
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    Political Mojo | Mother Jones

  • Forget Elizabeth Warren. Another Female Senator Has a Shot to Fill the Senate's New Power Vacuum.

    Patrick Caldwell
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:58 pm
    In the nanoseconds after Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid announced Friday morning that he will give up his leadership post and retire in 2016, liberal groups raced to promote their go-to solution for almost any political problem: Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Much like the movement to draft Warren for president, the idea of putting her in charge of the Democratic caucus was more dream than reality. Warren's office has already said she won't run, and as Vox's Dylan Matthews explains, putting Warren in charge of the Democratic caucus would prevent her from holding her colleagues accountable when…
  • Harry Reid Announces His Retirement

    Inae Oh
    27 Mar 2015 | 5:21 am
    Update, 12:26 p.m.: Shortly after announcing his retirement, Reid endorsed Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to replace him. "I think Schumer should be able to succeed me,” he told the Washington Post in an interview at his DC residence.  Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced on Friday he will not be seeking reelection when his term comes to an end next year. He announced his retirement in a YouTube video: My life’s work has been to make Nevada and our nation better. Thank you for giving me that wonderful opportunity. https://t.co/dwy2rDWYhO — Senator Harry…
  • This Lawmaker Publicly Discussed Her Rape and Abortion. And Some Dude Laughed.

    Inae Oh
    26 Mar 2015 | 1:42 pm
    While speaking out against a proposed bill in Ohio that aims to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) revealed on Wednesday she had been raped during her time in the military and chose to have an abortion. "You don't respect my reason, my rape, my abortion, and I guarantee you there are other women who should stand up with me and be courageous enough to speak that voice," Fedor said before the state senate. "What you're doing is so fundamentally inhuman, unconstitutional, and I've sat here too long." Her testimony comes just weeks after an Arizona…
  • Wondering What Happens in the Cockpit of a Crashing Plane? Read This Story.

    Tim Murphy
    26 Mar 2015 | 10:52 am
    An international airliner falls out of the sky, seemingly for no reason. A cryptic recording from the cockpit voice recorder. The crash of Germanwings flight 9525 on Tuesday has, at least in the early going, left investigators with a lot of puzzling questions. It's also drawn obvious parallels to an earlier incident—the 1999 crash of EgyptAir 990 off the coast of Massachusetts. That crash, which killed 217 people, was ultimately chalked up to "manipulation of the airplane controls," according to the National Transporation Safety Board. But that euphemism left a lot unsaid. In a…
  • "Everything Could Be Taken Away From Me": Watch This Woman Bravely Fight an Anti-Transgender Bill

    Inae Oh
    25 Mar 2015 | 4:37 pm
    As Florida lawmakers continue to consider a bill aiming to make it a criminal act for transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice, we'd like to direct your attention to Cindy Sullivan, who spoke out against the bill in incredibly brave and emotional testimony earlier this month. "I see this bill as effecting not just my business but my partner's business," Sullivan said. "If I go to use the restroom, everybody in that restroom has the ability to sue me and my family, affect my child, affect my reputation. Everything could be taken away from me." "You could put me in jail for being…
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    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones

  • Illegal Pot Farms Are Literally Sucking California Salmon Streams Dry

    Josh Harkinson
    27 Mar 2015 | 1:06 pm
    Outlet Creek watershed in Northern California's Mendocino County. Scott Bauer Northern California pot farmers are using up all of the water that normally supports key populations of the region's federally protected salmon and steelhead trout. That, at least, is the conclusion of a new study, published last week in the journal PLOS One, that examined four California watersheds where salmon and trout are known to spawn. In the three watersheds with intensive pot cultivation, illegal marijuana farms literally sucked up all of the water during the streams' summer low-flow period, leaving nothing…
  • Japan Wants You to Believe That These Coal Plants Will Help the Environment

    Tim McDonnell
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:26 pm
    Japan is at it again. Back in December, the country got caught trying to pass off $1 billion worth of investments in coal-fired power plants in Indonesia as "climate finance"—that is, funding to fight climate change. Coal plants, of course, are the world's single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions. Today, the Associated Press discovered over half a billion more: Japanese officials now say they are also counting $630 million in loans for coal plants in Kudgi, India, and Matarbari, Bangladesh, as climate finance. The Kudgi project has been marred by violent clashes between police…
  • Should Your State Be Able to Ignore the Nation's Most Important Pollution Law?

    Tim McDonnell
    25 Mar 2015 | 10:20 am
    Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) proposed a bold solution for any state that doesn't like President Barack Obama's flagship plan to slash carbon emissions: Just ignore it. The new rule, issued under the Clean Air Act, aims to reduce the nation's carbon footprint 30 percent by 2030. It would require every state to devise a plan to cut the carbon intensity (pollution per unit of energy) of its power sector. By simply ignoring the mandate, McConnell reasoned, states could delay taking steps like shuttering or retrofitting coal-fired power plants until the rules…
  • Our Meat Obsession May Kill Us. But Not How You Think.

    Kiera Butler
    24 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    The world is using more antibiotics than ever before—and showing no signs of stopping. A new analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science predicts that worldwide consumption of the drugs will grow 67 percent by 2030. Over the same period of time, in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, the authors expect that antibiotic use will double. The reason for the dramatic increase in antibiotic use, say the authors, mostly has to do with the planet's ever-increasing appetite for meat. Since the 1970s, meat producers have been dosing livestock with regular,…
  • Bad News for Those of You Who, Like Us, Drank Cheap Wine Each and Every Night of Your 20s

    20 Mar 2015 | 4:09 pm
    Update, 3/20/15: Wine industry groups have begun to contest the lawsuit's contentions and motive. The California wine trade group, the Wine Institute, released a statement saying, "While there are no established limits in the U.S., several countries, including the European Union, have established limits of 100 parts per billion or higher for wine. California wine exports are tested by these governments and are below the established limits." A representative of The Wine Group, one of the defendants, says that the plaintiffs "decided to file a complaint based on misleading and selective…
 
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    Politics | Mother Jones

  • Ellen Pao Loses Her Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Against Silicon Valley VC Firm Kleiner Perkins

    Hannah Levintova
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:16 pm
    This is a breaking news story. We'll be updating this post regularly. Ellen Pao's $16 million lawsuit against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, has captivated Silicon Valley for the past month. Pao, now the interim CEO of Reddit, sued her former employer on charges of gender discrimination and retaliation. Many have called the trial Silicon Valley's version of the Anita Hill hearings, in part because it offers a rare glimpse into the challenges faced by women at the Valley's elite companies, where cases of this rank usually settle rather than go public. At 2 PM…
  • Forget Elizabeth Warren. Another Female Senator Has a Shot to Fill the Senate's New Power Vacuum.

    Patrick Caldwell
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:58 pm
    In the nanoseconds after Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid announced Friday morning that he will give up his leadership post and retire in 2016, liberal groups raced to promote their go-to solution for almost any political problem: Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Much like the movement to draft Warren for president, the idea of putting her in charge of the Democratic caucus was more dream than reality. Warren's office has already said she won't run, and as Vox's Dylan Matthews explains, putting Warren in charge of the Democratic caucus would prevent her from holding her colleagues accountable when…
  • When Jeb Met Jeb: The Tragic True Story of a Governor and a Manatee

    Sam Brodey
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    It was the kind of feel-good photo op that campaigns love: A manatee nursed back to health from the brink of death and now set to be released back into the wild. And a GOP gubernatorial candidate seeking to show voters his softer side. As if in some made-for-TV movie, the manatee and the politician even shared the same name: Jeb. Jeb the manatee was rescued on March 23, 1998, having ventured too far north from the temperate waters of South Florida where these mammals thrive. The nine-foot-long, half-ton manatee was scarred with lesions comparable to severe frostbite injuries in humans, and he…
  • Yes There's a Bush and a Clinton, but the 2016 Elections Represent Something Scary and New

    Tom Engelhardt
    26 Mar 2015 | 3:10 pm
    This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website. Have you ever undertaken some task you felt less than qualified for, but knew that someone needed to do? Consider this piece my version of that, and let me put what I do understand about it in a nutshell: based on developments in our post-9/11 world, we could be watching the birth of a new American political system and way of governing for which, as yet, we have no name. And here's what I find strange: the evidence of this, however inchoate, is all around us and yet it's as if we can't bear to take it in or make sense of it or even say…
  • Indiana Just Made It Easier to Discriminate Against Gay People—And Just About Anyone Else

    Molly Redden
    26 Mar 2015 | 12:55 pm
    Over loud objections from Indiana business leaders, GOP Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law Thursday that protects business owners who refuse service to gay and lesbian customers on religious grounds. Organizers of mass events in Indianapolis, including the NCAA's Final Four, immediately decried the law as discriminatory, and suggested that the bill might cause the state to lose out on future business. The law allows Indianans who are sued for discrimination to cite their religious beliefs as a defense. It applies to a broad range of situations. An employer who refused to hire Jewish…
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    Environment | Mother Jones

  • We Could Stop Global Warming With This Fix—But It's Probably a Terrible Idea

    Jeremy Schulman
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    Mount Pinatubo erupting in 1991 Bullit Marquez/AP Back in the late 1990s, Ken Caldeira set out to disprove the "ludicrous" idea that we could reverse global warming by filling the sky with chemicals that would partially block the sun. A few years earlier, Mount Pinatubo had erupted in the Philippines, sending tiny sulfate particles—known as aerosols—into the stratosphere, where they reflected sunlight back into space and temporarily cooled the planet. Some scientists believed that an artificial version of this process could be used to cancel out the warming effect of…
  • NYC Building Collapse Was Probably Gas-Related

    Edwin Rios
    26 Mar 2015 | 4:16 pm
    Update: The New York Daily News reports that at least two people are missing, as firefighters continue to contain the fire. The injury toll has risen to at least 19, with four people in critical condition.  An apparent gas explosion caused two New York City buildings to collapse on Thursday, injuring at least a dozen people, with at least three in critical condition.  #BREAKING: Aerial view of building collapse @NYPD9Pct. Numerous rescue units on scene #SOD #ESU #K9 #Aviation #FD pic.twitter.com/d9iX4GOBUd — NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops)…
  • The Real Reason to Worry About GMOs

    Tom Philpott
    26 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    In a recent column, the New York Times' Mark Bittman makes an important point about the controversy around genetically modified foods. "[T]o date there's little credible evidence that any food grown with genetic engineering techniques is dangerous to human health," he writes. Yet the way the technology has been used—mainly, to engineer crops that can withstand herbicides—is deeply problematic, he argues. Here's why I think Bittman's point is crucial. The below chart, from the pro-biotech International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, gives a…
  • 5 Ways You Can Live Forever

    Indre Viskontas
    26 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    Last summer, at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, I sat in a room full of scientists, innovators, and thought leaders. Someone asked how long everyone would like to live. To my great surprise, most people agreed that somewhere in one's 90s was a good time to kick the bucket. Given that this was a collection of curious and optimistic people whose religion is science, I was shocked that—unlike me—more of them didn't want to live forever. I later found out that this reaction is actually representative of the general population: Among the attendees was fellow science writer…
  • The Navajo Nation Will Soon Have the Country's First-Ever Junk-Food Tax

    Leilani Clark
    25 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    A version of this piece was originally published by Civil Eats. Next month, after three years of legislative tug-of-war, the Navajo Nation will become the first place in the United States to impose a tax on junk food. The Healthy Diné Nation Act of 2014, signed into law by Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly last November, mandates a 2 percent sales tax on pastries, chips, soda, desserts, fried foods, sweetened beverages, and other products with "minimal-to-no-nutritional value" sold within the borders of the nation's largest reservation. Authored by the Diné Community…
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    Culture | Mother Jones

  • Jeremy Piven Wants You to Know That He's Not an Asshole

    Michael Mechanic
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:20 am
    Jeremy Piven wants you to know he's boring. Or, rather, he's nothing like Ari Gold, the brash, utterly tactless, yet somehow likable Hollywood agent he portrayed over eight seasons of HBO's Entourage—racking up three Emmys and a Golden Globe for best supporting actor. Piven grew up a long way from Tinseltown. His parents were founding members of Chicago's Playwrights Theatre Club—which spawned famed improv troupe the Second City—and the Piven Theatre Workshop, whose well-known alumni include the Cusack siblings, Aidan Quinn, Lili Taylor, and Piven himself. After earning a…
  • Courtney Barnett's Debut LP Captures the Absorbing Minutiae of Everyday Life

    Jon Young
    23 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit Mom + Pop Although this beguiling opus is being billed as Australian Courtney Barnett's debut LP, she previously produced an album's worth of material in the form of two EPs, a highlight being "Avant Gardener," her engagingly offhand account of an asthma attack. She follows that tune's deceptively ingenious template on Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, which blends agreeably slackerish vocals, ramshackle yet catchy guitar pop, and understated songs devoted to capturing the absorbing minutiae of everyday…
  • This Secret CIA Video Showed Ronald Reagan How the Soviets Viewed America

    Dave Gilson
    20 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    When President Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, he became the first president to receive Central Intelligence Agency briefings in video format. The CIA produced more than 40 short informational videos for Reagan, ranging from evening-newsy looks at topics like the Chernobyl nuclear accident (below) to profiles of foreign leaders. Not an '80s sitcom. CIA Bob Woodward and others have maintained that Reagan preferred these videos since he was not keen on heavy reading. Not so, says CIA historian Nick Dujmovic. "This myth is supported by Reagan's purported preference as a former career actor in…
  • 12 Great Government GIFs

    Dave Gilson
    16 Mar 2015 | 3:30 am
    Spend enough time browsing government websites and you're sure to come across a GIF*. Not the bite-sized pop-culture kind, but low-res relics of the days when a GIF was a way to spice up a Web 1.0 site without slowing down Netscape users' dial-up connections. Here are a dozen taxpayer-funded GIFs you may not be able to stop looking at:   Stinky toxic sludge EPA Ronald Reagan meets a turkey National Archives This winking, whisker-wagging feline CDC This adorably suicidal moon meteor NASA This rabid raccoon CDC The touch-typing Data Ferrett! US Census (sadly now defunct) The Wright Flier…
  • Seriously Exciting New Sounds From Brit Band Evans the Death

    Jon Young
    16 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    Evans the DeathExpect Delays Slumberland If she'd been around four decades ago, Katherine Whitaker might have become a tender chanteuse in the tradition of Brit-folk greats Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention) or Maddy Prior (Pentangle). But the other three members of London's Evans the Death have different ideas, matching her sweetly melancholy voice to rougher, unlikely textures, producing seriously exciting sounds. "Terrified" and "Enabler" are grubby, rumbling rock and roll that turns profound unease into an exhilarating raveup, while "Don't Laugh at My Angry Face" captures the tortured howl…
 
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