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David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
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Bryan Cranston
Actor
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Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
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Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Can Satire Aspire to Leadership? The Case of Stephen Colbert

Can the comedian's critique of campaign finance make a difference or is it too easily dismissed as comedy? Today, Colbert urged South Carolina to vote for Herman Cain, who is no longer running.

What's the Latest Development?


Today in Charleston, South Carolina, comedian Stephen Colbert urged the state's citizens to vote for Herman Cain in Saturday's primary election. Cain dropped out of the presidential race long ago but will still appear on the ballot, thanks to South Carolina's election laws. That proved a hilarious convenience to Colbert, who has been making fun of the nation's campaign finance laws since starting his own Super PAC, an extension of free speech rights made possible by the Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

What's the Big Idea?

The same strict laws that will keep Cain on the primary ballot have kept Colbert off. So to satirize what the comedian thinks is an electoral system run amok, Colbert is stumping for Cain, urging that a vote for Cain represent a vote for Colbert. The comedian's Super PAC has at least tens of thousands of dollars which it has used to run comedic political attack ads in South Carolina. But Colbert's rally today was attended mostly by college students holding ironic signs of support. Is Colbert's brand of engaged satire enough to stir change?

Photo credit: wikimedia commons

Is the universe a graveyard? This theory suggests humanity may be alone.

Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?

According to the Great Filter theory, Earth might be one of the only planets with intelligent life. And that's a good thing (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team [STScI/AURA]).
Surprising Science

Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.

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Study details the negative environmental impact of online shopping

Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.

A truck pulls out of a large Walmart regional distribution center on June 6, 2019 in Washington, Utah.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
  • Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
  • Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
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Childhood sleeping problems may signal mental disorders later in life

Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.

A girl and her mother take an afternoon nap in bed.

Personal Growth
  • We spend 40 percent of our childhoods asleep, a time for cognitive growth and development.
  • A recent study found an association between irregular sleep patterns in childhood and either psychotic experiences or borderline personality disorder during teenage years.
  • The researchers hope their findings can help identify at-risk youth to improve early intervention.
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    Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

    Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

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