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The nail-biting narrative arc of the Trump presidency, as told through front-page headlines

The New York Times published its collection of page-one headlines for the first 100 days of the Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush presidencies. They make instructive reading. Bush’s are a melange of domestic and foreign stories. Obama’s have slightly more narrative, since many are …

Donald Trump

These seven photos show how France’s far right has become normalized over 15 years

In 2002, the openly anti-Semitic French far right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen shocked the world by reaching the second round of his country’s presidential election, with 17% of the first round vote.<p>Spontaneous protests of tens of thousands of people erupted across the country the day after the vote …

France

Trump made 28 promises for his first 100 days. We made him a scorecard

The build-up to US president Donald Trump’s 100th day in office has been, as is his custom, conflicted.<p>Worried about negative publicity, Trump has recently tried to downplay the 100-day mark as an “artificial barrier.” Which it arguably is—but he set it himself, declaring a bold set of 28 promises …

Donald Trump

Almost everything Republicans get wrong about the economy started with a cocktail napkin in 1974

The sealing of America’s fiscal fate began in 1974, over cocktails.<p>As afternoon faded to evening on December 4, Dick Cheney and a young economist named Art Laffer shuffled into a booth at the Two Continents restaurant in the iconic Hotel Washington—it had appeared in scenes from the <i>Godfather II</i> …

Economics

Hawaii has emerged as an unexpected leader in the fight against Trump

Last month, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked the Trump administration from proceeding with its travel ban on people from certain Muslim-majority countries. US attorney general Jeff Sessions isn’t a big fan of that decision—or of Hawaii, apparently.<p>“I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an …

Hawaii

Anna Wintour and Gwyneth Paltrow are turning Goop into a magazine

Henceforth goop shall take solid form.<p>Goop, the lifestyle site of actor Gwyneth Paltrow, is launching a collaboration with publishing group Condé Nast. The “multiplatform content partnership” includes a quarterly “special interest publication,” also known as a magazine, and it will be called Goop. …

Fashion

When the White House correspondents’ dinner was actually funny

The annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, where journalists, politicians, and celebrities don their best attire and pretend to be friends, is a notoriously difficult event to emcee. Presidents try to get big laughs to appear funny, the crowd is famously difficult for comedians to …

Political Satire

The five universal laws of human stupidity

In 1976, a professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley published an essay outlining the fundamental laws of a force he perceived as humanity’s greatest existential threat: Stupidity.<p>Stupid people, Carlo M. Cipolla explained, share several identifying traits: they are …

Behavior

If This Wall Could Talk: A Tremendous Tale

Chapter 1: Bigly and Beautiful<p>It was the summer of 2015 and The Wall was stoked. His life had just flipped over into an exciting new chapter. He was going to be “big and beautiful,” and he would stretch across the southern border of the US–almost 2,000 miles. And Mexico was going to pay for him! He …

U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security

SpaceX is launching a spy satellite for the US government

Elon Musk got his first taste of what goes into a top-secret space mission back in 2006, when his company SpaceX was experimenting with a new rocket at a US Air Force base. For fear that the space startup’s work would disturb efforts by competitors Boeing and Lockheed Martin to launch a secret …

SpaceX

The world’s most famous man gave a TED talk and many in the audience didn’t know who he was

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada<p>Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan may well be the most famous person in the world. In terms of audience for his dozens of films, he’s the biggest movie star. But at the TED conference in Vancouver, many in the audience had little clue who he was.<p>Still, the beloved …

Public Speaking

What it would take to pull the US into a war in Asia

Whether he intends to or not, US president Donald Trump is making a lot of people nervous about the prospects of an American attack on North Korea. This week, he said that “a major, major conflict” is a possibility, and he summoned the entire Senate to the White House for a briefing on the rogue …

North Korea

One married his mother, the other killed her father: The Freudian French presidential race

There are entire books of political analysis that could be written about the ideals and effects of France’s two leading presidential candidates, Emmanuel Macron and Marine le Pen. But for psychoanalysis-minded pundits, an irresistible theory has emerged: The two candidates exemplify Sigmund Freud’s …

France

The People’s Climate March isn’t even pretending to be non-partisan

Since January 2017, marches along the National Mall have become more or less a feature of weekend life in Washington, DC.<p>The largest were the Women’s March, the day after president Donald Trump’s inauguration, and the March for Science last week, organized to coincide with Earth Day. But there have …

Climate

The one thing video can’t fix about American policing

On the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, video footage from those April days easily brings to mind a war zone, where buildings are burned-out shells and tanks are on the streets instead of cars. But many of the images and soundbites from that time also seem quite familiar to anyone …

Policing

All the ways Emmanuel Macron could still lose the French election

Pollsters, and even a few confidantes in his inner circle, are already declaring Emmanuel Macron the next president of France.<p>In their reckoning, extreme right candidate Marine Le Pen, an anti-immigrant Europhobe who bashes globalization, has no credible path to victory in France’s May 7 run-off. …

France

In defense of Coachella, after watching Fyre Festival burn to the ground

The skeptics were absolutely right. Fyre Festival was too good to be true.<p>At up to $250,000 a ticket, the sold-out luxury music festival in the Bahamas slated to begin this weekend was meant to be an all-out bacchanal, complete with resort housing, jet skis, and yachts. What it ended up being was a</i> …

Festivals

Bots aren’t spreading fake news on Facebook; humans are

Facebook published a new paper this week outlining how it’s dealing with government-backed attempts to influence politics in other countries, or what it’s calling “information operations.” One of its findings refutes the notion that bots are the primary distributors of fake news. “Most false …

Fake News

Donald Trump’s purposely destructive first 100 days set the stage for a new era of US government

Okay, so Donald Trump has not managed to build the border wall, repeal Obamacare, or reform the US tax system in his first 100 days in office. But to call the beginning of his presidency unproductive would be a mistake.<p>Unlike previous presidents, historians and political observers say, Trump’s …

U.S. Dept. of Labor

A well-timed Oval Office photo perfectly illustrates Trump’s revelation that being president is hard

No one thought it would be easy, except, apparently Donald Trump.<p>Nearing his 100th day in office, the US president sat down for an interview with Reuters on Thursday (Apr. 27)and spoke candidly about the trials of his job. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier,” …

Donald Trump

It’s taken more than a century but Major League Baseball finally has its first African player

This week, Gift Ngoepe made history as the first African to play in a Major League Baseball game.<p>The 27-year-old played in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ win over the Chicago Cubs on April 26. “It was emotional, and I had to fight back the tears,” Ngoepe said after the game, according to ESPN. “I thought …

Africa

Guests who spent thousands for a luxury music festival in the Bahamas found a squalid tent city

Fyre Festival was supposed to be an epic event. Guests who paid $3,200 to $4,400 for a ticket would be flown on a customized plane from Miami to the site on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas, where they would stay in geodesic domes, eat amazing food, and enjoy a lineup of musical acts …

Luxury

The global economy isn’t like your country’s economy—it’s like Azerbaijan’s

What is the most “normal” country in the world? Economically speaking, the answer may surprise you.<p>It’s not the US, China, India, Germany, or any other big and influential country. It’s Azerbaijan.<p>The oil-dependent nation of 10 million people situated at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, is the …

Economics

The true meaning of the hipster beard, according to an evolutionary biologist

As a clean-shaven man, I’ve looked with astonishment at the renaissance of beards in the 21st century. Hirsute hipsters dominate the young and trendy enclaves of London, New York, and Sydney, while many of my own friends and neighbors seem to be taking their grooming cues from <i>Vikings</i>.<p>And yet, as an …

Beards

A popular psychology technique is being used to reform the prison system

The key to crime prevention may lie in a traditional therapy method.<p>Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has become world-renowned for its impressive results in helping people change their behavior. Originally used to treat anxiety and depression, CBT is based on the idea that dysfunctional behavior …

Psychology

Everything sucks and it’s the internet’s fault

The world runs on one thing: people’s feelings. And no, I don’t mean the coddled, “Oh, we’re spoiling the youth” kind of feelings. I mean emotions. Emotions rule the world.<p>This is because people primarily spend money on things that make them feel good. And where the money flows, power flows. So, …

Mind

Startups are America’s job engine, so give workers tax credits, not tax cuts for big corporations

A newly elected democratic congressman from Silicon Valley has an ambitious alternative to the republican’s corporate tax cut: a giant negative income tax for the average American. Under Ro Khanna’s still-forming plan, the government would massively expand its existing annual income matching …

At the edges of America, Blockbuster video stores (stocked with actual DVDs) still exist

In Bend, Oregon, tourists come for the ski slopes, golf, and fresh mountain air, but stay for the Blockbuster Video. The resort town is home to one of the 12 or so remaining Blockbuster franchises in the US. There are also some in Alaska; there was one left in Texas but it closed last weekend.<p>The …

Netflix

The on-demand economy is a bubble—and it’s about to burst

Enjoy on-demand services while you can.<p>Whether it’s getting a lift whenever you want or ordering pad thai from the comfort of your couch, the rise of the on-demand economy has made a lot of people’s lives more convenient. But many of the services we know and love might not be around in a few years. …

Uber

Mark Zuckerberg is way nicer than you think

Mark Zuckerberg has a complicated public image. In early interviews, the Facebook chief often appeared awkward. The 2010 film <i>The Social Network</i> portrays him as a chilly, socially inept, narcissistic boy-genius. And the media has often depicted him as a ruthless, ambitious lone-wolf type, willing to …

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