XT

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Does Beauty Drive Economic Success?

During the first debate before the 1960 Presidential election, Vice-President Richard Nixon looked so haggard that his mother called to ask if he was ill. His opponent, Senator John F. Kennedy, was relaxed, confident, and authoritative, and pundits were quick to declare Kennedy the victor. But not …

Psychology

Political Scene: News to Be Happy About

On this week’s Political Scene podcast, Hendrik Hertzberg and Ryan Lizza join host Dorothy Wickenden to take a look back at the year in politics, with a particular focus on the news we can be happy about.<p>Most recently, Congress passed a budget deal with bipartisan support, which will insure that, …

Brazil

Inside the White House N.S.A. Report: The Good and the Bad

On several occasions this year, I’ve criticized the Obama Administration for its obfuscations on intelligence matters and its overly defensive reaction to Edward Snowden’s revelations. At this stage, the President needs to fess up and say that the intelligence agencies went too far—a fact confirmed …

Surveillance

Sweet Morsels: A History of the Chocolate-Chip Cookie

The chocolate-chip cookie celebrated its seventy-fifth birthday this year. Unlike the anonymous inventors of such American staples as the hot dog, the grilled-cheese sandwich, and the milkshake, the creator of the chocolate-chip cookie has always been known to us. Ruth Wakefield, who ran the …

Dessert

The Power of the Hoodie-Wearing C.E.O.

If you’re a billionaire in Silicon Valley, you can wear what you want on your feet. Mark Zuckerberg, the C.E.O. of Facebook, has made numerous public appearances in a hoodie and Adidas slide-on sandals. Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google, is not shy about his Vibram FiveFingers barefoot-style …

Psychology

Same-Sex Marriage, The Legal Deluge

When a federal judge ordered Utah to allow same-sex marriage on Friday, did you hear the outraged response?<p>Neither did I. The Mormon Church, once a leader of the anti-marriage-equality fight and a major force in Utah, was practically apologetic in its disagreement with the decision. “The Church has …

Equality

The Life of a Fast-Food Striker

When Shonda Roberts was a high-school senior in San Jose, California, more than twenty years ago, she learned that she was pregnant, and dropped out. She gave birth to a daughter, and, a couple of years later, another followed. When she was twenty-three, she had a son. Roberts’s mother mostly …

Bob Marley

'In Meat We Trust' Argues We Got The Meat Industry We Asked For

The meat on your dinner table probably didn't come from a happy little cow that lived a wondrous life out on rolling green hills. It probably also wasn't produced by a robot animal killer hired by an evil cabal of monocle-wearing industrialists.<p>Truth is, the meat industry is complicated, and it's …

Economic Inequality: A Matter of Trust?

“I’ll just give you a few statistics,” President Barack Obama said in a speech Wednesday in Washington, D.C. He had a lot of them, demonstrating America’s growing economic inequality (“The top ten per cent no longer takes in one third of our income—it now takes half”) and the concurrent loss of …

Equality

What Separates A Healthy And Unhealthy Diet? Just $1.50 Per Day

If you want to eat a more healthful diet, you're going to have to shell out more cash, right? (After all, Whole Foods didn't get the nickname "Whole Paycheck" for nothing.)<p>But until recently, that widely held bit of conventional wisdom hadn't really been assessed in a rigorous, systematic way, says …

Upset Over Divisive Political Culture? Blame Burke And Paine

Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep talks to writer Yuval Levin about the origins of the American political right and left. In his new book <i>The Great Debate</i>, Levin traces the birth of the left/right divide to the views of two men: Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine.<p>Transcript<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST:<p>The writer …

BlackRock Is The Biggest Investor In The World — Is Its Dominance A Problem?

One firm unlikely to feature on their list is BlackRock, an investment manager whose name rings few bells outside financial circles. Yet it is the single biggest shareholder in all the companies listed above. It owns a stake in almost every listed company not just in America but globally. (Indeed, …

Investing

The Artful Accidents of Google Books

“It was while looking at Google’s scan of the Dewey Decimal Classification system that I saw my first one—the hand of the scanner operator completely obscuring the book’s table of contents,” writes the artist Benjamin Shaykin. What he saw disturbed him: it was a brown hand resting on a page of a …