greg wirth

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What Happens If China Makes First Contact?

As America has turned away from searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, China has built the world’s largest radio dish for precisely that purpose.<p>Last January, the Chinese Academy of Sciences invited Liu Cixin, China’s preeminent science-fiction writer, to visit its new state-of-the-art radio …

UC Berkeley

ESPN Can’t Stick to Sports. But Can It Stick by Its Talent?

<i>“Use your best judgment at all times.”</i><i><br>—Jed Drake</i><p>That’s how a high-ranking ESPN executive hilariously described the company’s approach to commentary …

Jemele Hill

The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea

On the ground in Pyongyang: Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into a devastating confrontation?<p>1. The Madman Theory<p>The United States has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, so there is no embassy in Washington, but for years the two countries have relied on the “New York …

North Korea

Flamingos In The Men's Room: How Zoos And Aquariums Handle Hurricanes

When you're building a zoo disaster plan, there's one thing to keep in mind: Murphy's law. Anything that could go wrong, will.<p>Just ask the flock of flamingos that weathered Hurricane Andrew in a public restroom at Zoo Miami in 1992.<p>Or, you could ask the zoo personnel across the coast who've been …

Extreme Weather

A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise That Should Never Have Been

As Hurricane Irma prepares to strike, it’s worth remembering that Mother Nature never intended us to live here.<p>ORLANDO, Fla.—The first Americans to spend much time in South Florida were the U.S. Army men who chased the Seminole Indians around the peninsula in the 1830s. And they hated it. Today, …

U.S. Army

Is This Real, Cleveland?

I’ve got a lot to say about the insanity of this season, about the Cowboys being up and the Seahawks down, about the Patriots being left for dead on …

This Town Needs a Better Class of Racist

It's easy for polite American society to condemn Cliven Bundy and banish Donald Sterling while turning away from the elegant, monstrous racism that remains.<p>The question Cliven Bundy put to his audience last week—Was the black family better off as property?—is as immoral as it unoriginal. As both …

A Eulogy for Twitter

The beloved social publishing platform enters its twilight.<p>We've been trying to figure out the moment Twitter turned, retracing tweets to see whether there was something specific that soured the platform.<p><i>Something is wrong on Twitter.</i> And people are noticing.<p>Or, at least, the kind of people we hang …

This Weekly Meeting Took Up 300,000 Hours a Year

How much time does your organization squander? My colleagues and I gathered data about time use at one large company and found that people there spent <i>300,000 hours a year</i> just supporting the weekly executive committee meeting. Click the arrow below to find out where all those hours went:<p></p> …

Why Michael Sam Might Not Be Drafted

One of the big names at this week's NFL Draft is Michael Sam, the SEC's co-Defensive Player of the Year who came out as gay. Some around the NFL think there's a chance he will go undrafted for reasons other than his sexual orientation.<p>Transcript<p>ARUN RATH, HOST:<p>This week, the NFL will hold its …

Sommeliers' Favorite Wines Under $20

You might not want to shell out a fortune on wine for a weeknight dinner or picnic in the park, but that doesn't mean you want to drink plonk. There are loads of delicious <i>and</i> affordable wines out there—if you know where to look. We asked our crew of sommeliers from around the country for their …

Ask a Bartender: What Do At-Home Bartenders Do Wrong?

A lot of us cocktail enthusiasts are occasional at-home bartenders, trying our own hands at mixing up drinks. But we could all do with a few tips from the pros. We asked bartenders across the country: What do most amateur bartenders get wrong? Here's what they had to say.<p>Ingredients and</b> …