Kevin barkholz

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A case against killing spiders

An entomologist explains why it’s a good idea to be nice to the spiders you encounter and consider a live-and-let-live policy.<p>I know it may be hard …

Insects

Sweden distributes 'be prepared for war' leaflet to all 4.8m homes

Defence pamphlet shows how population can prepare in event of attack and contribute to country’s ‘total defence’<p>The Swedish government has begun sending all 4.8m of the country’s households a public information leaflet telling the population, for the first time in more than half a century, what to …

Fake News

A Battle for the ‘Soul of America’? It’s as Old as America, One Historian Notes

<b>THE SOUL OF AMERICA</b> <b><br>The Battle for Our Better Angels</b><br>By Jon Meacham<br>Illustrated. 403 pp. Random House. $30.<p>At the close of his First Inaugural Address, President Abraham Lincoln entreated the seceding slaveholders to “swell the chorus of the Union” until the nation was touched “by the better angels of …

Political Science

Delivering the Mail Was Once One of the Riskiest Jobs in America

On May 15, 1918, as hundreds of thousands of American troops fought from the trenches of Western Europe, a small number of U.S. Army pilots took on a …

U.S. Army

Jimmy Kimmel Challenged People On The Street Name ANY Book & It Went Extremely Badly

You've probably heard the abysmal facts: according to Pew Research, the average American adult reads 12 books in a year, and the typical American …

Books

How Silent Letters in Words From the English Language Reveal Their Specific Etymological Origins

In an taciturn episode of their incredibly informative whiteboard series for Mental Floss, linguist Arika Okrent and illustrator Sean O’Neill …

Linguistics

The Surprisingly Intolerant History of Milk

On May 8, 1858, <i>Frank Leslie</i><i>’s Illustrated Newspaper</i> ran a scandalous article on a seemingly benign topic: milk. In a 5,000-word expose, the paper …

San Francisco

10 Nonfiction Books That Make Great Conversation Starters At Parties And On Dates

Is there anybody in the world that actually likes small talk? For me, the best way to blow pat that awkward phase of chit-chat is to bring up a …

Books

Abbot's death notice dictated by Henry VIII goes on display

King decided to show mercy by only hanging priest, rather than drawing and quartering him too<p>It was little consolation to the abbot of Norton Priory but, in 1536, Henry VIII changed his mind and decided to show mercy. Instead of having him hung, drawn and quartered, and his body parts posted off to …

Henry Viii

The Scottish island that buried America's dead

<b>It is the whisky-making Scottish island, world famous for its peaty single malts and warm hospitality.</b><p>But the isle of Islay, in the Inner Hebrides, is now being recognised for an almost forgotten example of huge courage and humanity.<p>A hundred years ago, Islay was on the frontline in the battle at …

Royal Navy

American Experience

The Mine Wars | Timeline<p>Labor Wars in the U.S.<p>After the Civil War, the United States entered a new phase of industrialization. Railroad magnates …

History

The Real Villain Behind Our New Gilded Age

The comedian Chris Rock once said, “If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.” Populist revolts throughout the world may not count as street riots, but they do reflect disenchantment with not just our government but also liberal democracy itself.<p>In the past …

Economics

What If Robert F. Kennedy Had Become President?

A new Netflix documentary about his 1968 campaign and assassination seems to ask that question.<p>The most surprising thing about <i>Bobby Kennedy for President</i>, a new four-part documentary that debuted Friday on Netflix, is how every frame of archival footage of Robert Kennedy seems to feature a hundred …

Robert F. Kennedy

Jeff Bezos Banned PowerPoint in Meetings. His Replacement Is Brilliant

Narrative memos have replaced PowerPoint presentations at Amazon. Here are three reasons why.<p>In his 2018 annual letter, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos repeated his rule that PowerPoint is banned in executive meetings. What Bezos replaces it with provides even more valuable insight for …

Public Speaking

Why Teddy Roosevelt Is Popular On Both Sides of the Political Aisle

A president’s career can extend well beyond his death, as family, friends, and fans work tirelessly to maintain his legacy and image.<p>For roughly 10 …

End of the American dream? The dark history of 'America first'

When he promised to put America first in his inaugural speech, Donald Trump drew on a slogan with a long and sinister history – a sign of what was to follow in his presidency<p>“Sadly, the American dream is dead,” Donald Trump proclaimed when he announced his candidacy for president of the United …

Political Science

How You React When Startled Is a Window Into Your Soul

The startle reflex evolved to protect the body, but it also reveals your thoughts and feelings.<p>To understand the expressive range of the human face, nothing beats watching a colleague scream his head off in slow motion. When my lab began to study protective reflexes in the early 2000s, the video …

Personal Information

A teen missed the bus to school. When he knocked on a door for directions, a man shot at him.

The 14-year-old was walking to high school after sleeping late and missing the bus when he decided to ask a neighbor for directions.<p>It was a banal request, but it nearly got the student from Rochester Hills, Mich., killed Thursday.<p>The woman who opened the door after Brennan Walker, who is black, …

Crime

How does alcohol affect your golf game? An investigation

As I watched my new, and inebriated, friend Chris top shot after shot on the range, it dawned on me I was watching the living embodiment of a proverb, one etched on pub walls across the world:<p>“Alcohol is necessary for a man so that he can have a good opinion of himself, undisturbed by the …

Golf

The Data Tells All: Teacher Salaries Have Been Declining For Years

Economists following the teacher protests in Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona say they saw this coming. As the costs of living, higher …

Education

India's 'cheating mafia' gets to work as school exam season hits

Vast network profits from the desperation of students and parents to get ahead in a country where university places and jobs are limited<p>A few minutes into the final year maths exam at his Delhi high school, Raghav asked to use the bathroom. Inside, he texted pictures of the test paper he had …

Education

Guns are responsible for the largest share of U.S. homicides in over 80 years, federal mortality data shows

The much-discussed spike in homicide rates between 2014 and 2016 is due almost entirely to gun homicides, a Wonkblog analysis of federal homicide data reveals.<p>The spike was so drastic that in 2016, gun homicides accounted for a greater share of all homicides than at any point in the federal record, …

Guns

Jesus Died Only to Rise Again. Where Did the Concept of the Resurrection Come From?

To Homer, as to the rest of the ancient world, what became the Christian idea of personal resurrection was preposterous. “You must endure, and not be brokenhearted,” Achilles tells Priam in the 24th book of the “Iliad,” perhaps the West’s most moving evocation of the tragic nature of life. …

Theology

Sir Joseph William Bazalgette and the Great Stink of 1858

“The Silent Highwayman” (1858). Death rows on the Thames, claiming the lives of victims who have not paid to have the river cleaned up.<p>On March 28, …

We hear too many white, male voices on history – let's have a wider range

A high-profile conference featuring only white, male speakers was nicknamed the “Stanford sausage fest”. It shows why history must improve its diversity<p>Who gets to have a say about history? About what happened in the past, and what that might tell us about today? According to one recent conference …

Higher Education

Guns and Cognitive Dissonance in America

Unfortunately, in the U.S. we have conflicting "facts" about guns. We also have facts that are suppressed and, therefore, they remain unknown to most …

Michigan university paid firm to monitor Nassar victims' social media: report

(Reuters) - A public relations firm billed Michigan State University for more than $500,000 for January as it tracked social-media activity surrounding the case of convicted physician Larry Nassar that often included the accounts of his sexual assault victims and their families, USA Today reported …

Social Media

How Portraiture Gave Rise to the Glamour of Guns

<i>The Men of Progress</i>, an 1862 painting by Christian Schussele, held in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, features 19 of …

The Lessons of a School Shooting—in 1853

How a now-forgotten classroom murder inflamed the national gun argument.<p>This weekend, thousands of people are expected to gather in cities and towns across America for the “March for Our Lives,” a national response to the horrifying school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Will it change policy? …

Guns