Jon Stewart's Ironic Rally
"Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are entering uncharted territory by seeming to elevate ironic detachment to the level of a political manifesto with their rally in Washington."
"In 1985, the year after George Orwell's dystopia did not exactly happen, the late New York University academic and media critic published 'Amusing Ourselves to Death,' which argued that the greater threat to serious democratic discourse would not come from Orwellian censorship but from TV entertainment 'values' that would act as a mind-numbing drug. 'Western democracies,' Postman wrote, 'will dance and dream themselves into oblivion.' If so, the National Mall in Washington is an especially ironic scene for that last tango. It was during a time of economic crisis much like our own—in 1894—that the first large-scale protest march arrived at the capital's great space."
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How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.
- Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
- Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
- As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
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