Renee Pasciak

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Being rational all the time isn’t going to do you any favors

When Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky published their paper on Prospect Theory in 1979, few people could have imagined the long-term implications.<p>The findings were still elementary at the time, and they hadn’t yet developed a full framework around it, but the seeds of change were there.<p>They had …

Critical Thinking

Free the Most Oppressed First

Do we still need to talk about identity politics? In the wake of the 2016 election and amid the ongoing parody that is the Trump administration, the …

Feminism

25 Of The Absolute Scariest Psychological Horror Books

The scariest writing for me is not the bloodspattery, gore-filled prose. It is not even the kind that keeps me up at night, wondering if a killer is …

Horror

14 Brilliant Pieces of Literature You Can Read in the Time it Takes to Eat Lunch

It's mighty easy to feel like you don't have time to read — especially quality literature. Life is hectic, jobs are busy and it's much easier to …

Books

Why Our Brains See the World as "Us" Versus "Them"

Is there something in our neural circuits that leads us to find comfort in those like us and unease with those who may differ?

Psychology

Hidden portraits: rare photos of African American life get a spotlight

In 1861, African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass took the stage at Boston’s Tremont Temple Baptist church and declared: “To the eye and spirit, pictures are just what poetry and music are to the ear and heart.”<p>It was part of his speech Pictures and Progress, one of the most historic …

Black History

'The evil was profound': Fanny Burney letter describes mastectomy in 1812

Fanny Burney’s graphic account of her mastectomy without anaesthetic in 1811, in which the novelist writes to her sister how she “began a scream that lasted unintermittingly during the whole time of the incision – & I almost marvel that it rings not in my Ears still! so excruciating was the agony” …

Literature

Brandon Teena was murdered 25 years ago. Why the journalist who wrote about it is apologizing today.

This week, Donna Minkowitz, a cisgender lesbian journalist, apologized for her story about the murder of a transgender man in 1993.<p>At the time, she …

Trump’s move on family separations won’t address the core policy change he approved

It all begins with President Trump’s assessment of the nature of immigrants crossing the border illegally from Mexico.<p>To Trump, those immigrants by fault constitute an “infestation” (as he put it on Twitter this week), the criminals and rapists he excoriated at the launch of his presidential …

Immigration

DC voters approve giving tipped workers the full minimum wage

Opponents warned that passing the ballot measure would ruin the DC restaurant scene. But it’s all (probably) going to be just fine.<p>Hotels, restaurants and other businesses in the nation’s capital will eventually have to start paying the full minimum wage to all their workers.<p>Voters in Washington, …

The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?

The epidemics of the early 21st century revealed a world unprepared, even as the risks continue to multiply. Much worse is coming.<p>Image above: Workers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center's biocontainment unit practicing safe procedure on a mannequin<p>At 6 o’clock in the morning, shortly …

Disease

The Stanford Prison Experiment was massively influential. We just learned it was a fraud.

The most famous psychological studies are often wrong, fraudulent, or outdated. Textbooks need to catch up.<p>The Stanford Prison Experiment, one of the most famous and compelling psychological studies of all time, told us a tantalizingly simple story about human nature.<p>The study took paid …

Psychology

Why the Finns don’t want to be happy

Finland came out on top in the 2018 World Happiness Report, but what if the Finnish people don’t agree?<p>A ballet dancer leaves her purse on a park bench. She walks away, absent-mindedly leaving behind the little bag with her money and belongings in it. Fifteen minutes later, she realises it’s …

Behind the Picture: Medgar Evers' Funeral, June 1963

Myrlie Evers comforts her son, Darrell Kenyatta Evers, at the funeral of murdered civil-rights activist Medgar Evers, Ju<p>... VIEW MORE<p>John …

Here's what America would look like if Libertarians got their way

These four libertarian/conservative dystopias are offered, as Rod Serling used to say in “The Twilight Zone,” “for your consideration.”<p><b>The</b> …

A debate over plant consciousness is forcing us to confront the limitations of the human mind

The inner life of plants arouses the passions of even the mildest-mannered naturalists. A debate over plant consciousness and intelligence has raged in scientific circles for well over a century—at least since Charles Darwin observed in 1880 that stressed-out flora can’t rest.<p>There’s no doubt that …

Consciousness

Democrats’ ongoing reevaluation of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, explained

A struggle over history and the meaning of #MeToo.<p>Bill Clinton has a new book out, not a memoir but a thriller co-authored with James Patterson called <i>The President</i> <i>I</i><i>s Missing</i><i>.</i> But courtesy of a tough interview with NBC News’s Craig Melvin on the <i>Today</i> show, the promotional tour has rapidly become a …

How Robert Kennedy’s Assassination Changed American Politics

Robert F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for president in the grand Senate Caucus Room on March 16, 1968, declaring that the United States, mired in war and riven by racism, ought to “stand for hope instead of despair.”<p>Eighty-one days later, he celebrated victory in California’s Democratic primary …

Robert F. Kennedy

Israel lets Jews protest the occupation. It doesn’t let Palestinians.

The images and video of Israeli soldiers shooting live ammunition into masses of mostly unarmed Palestinians on the other side of the Gaza border fence over the past several weeks horrified observers around the world. Starting March 30, Israeli troops suppressing protests in Gaza killed 118 people …

Israel

Why Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs on US allies are so dangerous

This is how trade wars start.<p>The first shot in President Donald Trump’s trade offensive against American allies will be fired at midnight.<p>Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Thursday morning that hefty tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from the European Union, Mexico, and Canada will go …

‘Barbaric’: America’s cruel history of separating children from their parents

A mother unleashed a piercing scream as her baby was ripped from her arms during a slave auction. Even as a lash cut her back, she refused to put her baby down and climb atop an auction block.<p>The woman pleaded for God’s mercy, Henry Bibb, a former slave, recalled in an 1849 narrative that is part …

Black History

The age of punk: Debbie Harry looks back on a defining era

When most people see a beat-up car abandoned on a street, they rubberneck for a second and move on. When Debbie Harry saw one lying upside down on a midtown Manhattan street in 1976, she thought, what a great place for a photo shoot! “It seemed really funny and glamorous to get a shot of me …

Debbie Harry

The 15 Most-Anticipated Thrillers & Mysteries Of Summer 2018, According To Goodreads

Looking for something to spice up your summer reading list? I've got a list for you. The 15 mysteries and thrillers below are getting major hype on …

Why are ‘incels’ so angry? The history of the little-known ideology behind the Toronto attack.

On April 23, according to Canadian police, Alek Minassian drove a van onto a busy Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people, most of whom were women, and injuring 14 others. Police said Minassian allegedly posted a “cryptic message” on his Facebook account minutes before he began driving the van, an …

Feminism

Debunking the myth that “identity politics” is bad for the Democratic Party

Racial justice energized the party in the past. It can today too.<p>As the Democratic Party struggles to regain its once-solid national majority, journalists, academics, commentators, and politicos keep reverting to an irresistible narrative: that the party’s commitment to racial equality has …

When society said she existed for men’s pleasure only, she said no thanks and started feminism

Mary Wollstonecraft started out as a writer, became a renegade during the French Revolution, and pioneered women’s rights<p>“I am going to be the first …

The Timeless Myth of Medusa, a Rape Victim Turned Into a Monster

Since Ancient Greece, the snake-haired Gorgon has been a sexualized symbol of women's rage.<p>Hanging on the esteemed walls of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, there is a painting by Caravaggio depicting a feminine creature with slithering locks. Its subject is so majestic and terrifying that the 16th …

Ancient History

Nursery rhymes: How murder, theft and fake news found their way into the tales we tell our children

Murder, animal cruelty and dishonesty aren’t generally considered child-friendly topics, yet they’re the basis of many much-loved nursery rhymes. …

Fake News

This is what Americans will face as they grow older

This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org.<p>Four of Next Avenue’s 50 Influencers in Aging recently spoke to a standing-room-only …

Health Care