'Dear Poppa'

The JFK library in Boston will soon display a letter J.D. Salinger wrote to Ernest Hemingway from a German hospital during the Second World War.

The JFK library in Boston will soon display a letter J.D. Salinger wrote to Ernest Hemingway from a German hospital during the Second World War. "It was the summer of 1946 when a young and war-fatigued J.D. Salinger reached out to another writer whose career had also been shaped by war, a writer he had arranged to meet while both had been in Europe. 'The talks I had with you here were the only hopeful minutes of the whole business,' Salinger writes at the close of his letter to Ernest Hemingway, which will be displayed publicly for the first time on Sunday at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. The letter, which has been available to and referenced by scholars over the years, is part of the Ernest Hemingway collection that has been kept at the JFK Library for 30 years. It offers a fascinating glimpse of a sardonic Salinger, then serving in the Army, in the period before the 1951 publication of 'Catcher in the Rye.'"

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Is this why time speeds up as we age?

We take fewer mental pictures per second.

(MPH Photos/giphy/yShutterstock/Big Think)
Mind & Brain
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  • The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
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New alternative to Trump's wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security

A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.

Credit: Purdue University photo/Jorge Castillo Quiñones
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
  • The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
  • It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
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Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

Videos
  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.