Is American Business Corrupt?

While an actual level of shady and dishonest practices is probably impossible to measure, the U.S. has slipped from 19 to 22 in the latest ranking of perceived public corruption.

Looking at perceived corruption in the public sector, a report last month found that the United States had slipped from being the 19th least corrupt nation—behind Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore, and its neighbor Canada—to 22nd, behind Chile and Ireland. "Our rating is pretty awful," says Frank Vogl, cofounder of Transparency International, which puts together the annual report. He figures the drop has been influenced by a series of scandals at the state and city level, such as the September arrests of the mayor and city manager of Bell, Calif., accused of taking $5.5 million from the city.

Why “shooting the messenger” is a real condition, explain scientists

Harvard psychologists discover why we dislike the people who deliver bad news.

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Surprising Science
  • A new study looked at why people tend to "shoot the messenger".
  • It's a fact that people don't like those who deliver them bad news.
  • The effect stems from our inherent need to make sense of bad or unpredictable situations.
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Philosopher Alan Watts on the meaning of life

He reminds us that meaning is wherever we choose to look.

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Personal Growth
  • Alan Watts suggests there is no ultimate meaning of life, but that "the quality of our state of mind" defines meaning for us.
  • This is in contradiction to the notion that an inner essence is waiting to be discovered.
  • Paying attention to everyday, mundane objects can become highly significant, filling life with meaning.
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How to detect life on Mars

If life exists on Mars, there's a good chance it's related to us, say researchers.

NASA/JPL/USGS
Surprising Science

When MIT research scientist Christopher Carr visited a green sand beach in Hawaii at the age of 9, he probably didn't think that he'd use the little olivine crystals beneath his feet to one day search for extraterrestrial life.

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