Schools Are Open for Swine Flu

Today the Centers for Disease Control urged public schools not to close in the fall when they expect a resurgence of swine flu to strike school children across the country. Thus far the H1N1 influenza virus has been thankfully mild, and there is no evidence, the CDC said, that it is morphing into a deadlier threat. Medical authorities are quick to acknowledge, however, that they can't predict the future course of the virus.

In the Big Think panel discission on Swine Flu and the Next Pandemic, I was amused when Peter Palese of Mt. Sinai Medical Center, who is perhaps the world's leading authority on influenza, said that he finally found an advantage of old age: it provides some immunity to swine flu.

Car culture and suburbs grow right-wing populism, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less