In Africa, an Election Rejects Chinese Involvement
“Too often, thinking on China and Africa blindly obeys an ideological divide in which the author’s biases are neither concealed nor inspected. China is either the new imperial power preparing to ravage a helpless continent (and snatch it from the West), or China is a benign and misunderstood giant, a transformative actor, and by that one should read for the good. Reality is much more complex than the bashers or the boosters realize, or at least admit to themselves. But the Zambian elections should particularly give the latter contingent pause. Zambians, too, have been told that China is good for them, notably by their leaders of most of the last decade, and the least one can say in the wake of their vote is that they haven’t been altogether persuaded.”
AdverseEvents: Why Big Pharma Is Scared Of This Startup
"AdverseEvents, a California-based startup, is pushing the debate out into the open with a centralized database of how many side effects are happening from what drugs and what the patient outcomes are—and according to co-founder Brian Overstreet, "it scares the crap out of the pharmaceutical companies."
The Death Penalty: Why We Fight for Equal Justice
"That last part is true. Of course, defendants like Duane Buck get more justice than their victims. That’s the whole point of our criminal justice system — and of the rule of law. That’s why we outlaw lynching, why angry mobs can’t storm jailhouses, and why we have judges. It’s why we have a Constitution. In America, we aim to give the guilty more justice than they deserve. We do so because of how that reflects upon us, not upon how it reflects upon the guilty. And when we fail to do so it says more about us than it does about the condemned. Although Let’s look just at Texas, again, for a moment…
I don’t want to meet Duane Buck. I don’t consider him any sort of a victim on a par with the victims whose lives he took and altered in 1995. And I certainly don’t want him released from prison. But that doesn’t mean I have to happily accept the fact that Texas now has screwed him over, not once, but twice. If we are to continue to pride ourselves on being a nation of laws, if the individual guarantees of the Bill of Rights are to continue to mean anything against the tyranny of the majority, even men like Buck have to be sentenced fairly in capital cases, without the ancient specter of racism further inflaming a southern jury’s work. We don’t just owe Buck that. We owe that to ourselves.” via theATLANTIC
I don’t want to meet Duane Buck. I don’t consider him any sort of a victim on a par with the victims whose lives he took and altered in 1995. And I certainly don’t want him released from prison. But that doesn’t mean I have to happily accept the fact that Texas now has screwed him over, not once, but twice. If we are to continue to pride ourselves on being a nation of laws, if the individual guarantees of the Bill of Rights are to continue to mean anything against the tyranny of the majority, even men like Buck have to be sentenced fairly in capital cases, without the ancient specter of racism further inflaming a southern jury’s work. We don’t just owe Buck that. We owe that to ourselves.”
"My son’s high-speed adventure raised the question long asked by people who have pondered the class of humans we call teenagers: What on Earth was he doing? Parents often phrase this question more colorfully. Scientists put it more coolly. They ask, What can explain this behavior? But even that is just another way of wondering, What is wrong with these kids? Why do they act this way? The question passes judgment even as it inquires."
Catchafire: The eHarmony Of Volunteering For Busy Professionals
“If you’re not volunteering because you want to really make an impact, this new matching site—now expanding out of New York—can link you to an organization that needs your exact talents.”
Healthy Eating Plate
“A picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s why nutritionists use symbols and shapes to answer the question, “What should I eat?” For nearly two decades, the U.S. government distilled its nutrition advice into pyramids. These efforts didn’t accurately show people what makes up a healthy diet. Why? Their recommendations were based on out-of-date science and influenced by people with business interests in the messages the icons sent. This year, the U.S. government scrapped its MyPyramid icon in favor of the fruit-and-vegetable rich MyPlate—an improvement, yet one that still doesn’t go far enough to show people how to make the healthiest choices.”
The Hardware Scavengers of Ghana
You have to admire the resilience of these kids, who’ve come up with a way to make a living on the margins of society. But it’s a tough, nasty business. If they need to separate rubber from copper, they burn it, so they inhale the fumes day after day. Many live in Agbogbloshie, so they’re exposed to all the chemicals in the e-waste that moves through the place. These kids are shortening their lives, but they don’t have any other options.
What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?
"Duckworth’s early research showed that measures of self-control can be a more reliable predictor of students’ grade-point averages than their I.Q.’s. But while self-control seemed to be a critical ingredient in attaining basic success, Duckworth came to feel it wasn’t as relevant when it came to outstanding achievement. People who accomplished great things, she noticed, often combined a passion for a single mission with an unswerving dedication to achieve that mission, whatever the obstacles and however long it might take. She decided she needed to name this quality, and she chose the word “grit.”"