Finn Brown

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The End of Pluralism

Politics is being rejected in favor of violence across the Middle East. And it's more complicated than "ancient hatreds."<p>A believer in the possibilities of coexistence, Sayed Kashua is, or perhaps was, the most prominent Arab-Israeli author writing in Hebrew. Punctured with staccato prose, his …

Will Free Online Courses Ever Replace a College Education?

Two years into their existence, MOOCs haven't stolen students away from brick-and-mortar universities. Instead, they've become a genre of their own.<p>It’s 10:44 am on a Tuesday, and I’m lounging at home in my pajamas, sipping chamomile tea. I am, at the same time, taking a class at Harvard. Professor …

What People Think of You Based on Your Photo

A new study pinpoints the facial features that contribute to others' snap judgments.<p>In his recent story on the analysis paralysis of online dating, <i>New York Observer</i> reporter Matthew Kassel wrote, "I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent swiping through Tinder, in a state of confused arousal, to …

The Health Benefits of Trees

They prevent $7 billion in health costs every year by filtering air pollution—not to mention their psychological effects. New research says the closer you can live to trees, the better off you are.<p>John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman stomped through the Midwestern winter snow with bare feet. His cloak …

How World War I Launched Mapmaking at National Geographic

The far-off battles of WWI created an appetite for maps—and National Geographic was at the ready.<p>In the summer of 1914, Americans began reading news accounts of a conflict that would soon be called the Great War—and that would draw the United States in three years later.<p>But it was <i>National …