Appreciating Contemporary Poetry
"American poetry is in a period of 'fertile uncertainty'—in other words, it's confused. That's a good thing." The Atlantic begins a series on appreciating contemporary poetry.
"Poetry, as a genre in the U.S., remains paradoxically flexible—carrying expectations, habitual moves, and taboos, for sure, but also within these boundaries the expectation that they continue to be violated, expanded, collapsed. This extreme adaptability gives poetry plenty of chances to remain relevant in today's contemporary culture, where memes and high-speed Internet rule the roost. And poetry's patience (or obliviousness, you could call it)—the degree to which it is exceedingly insulated (unlike the art world, say, or fiction) from an economic and cultural sphere increasingly dominated by finance capital and advertising—gives it a chance to play a vital cultural role in an era of pressing ecological and economic crisis."
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.