The Art of Giving a Gift
An oft-heard homily—"It's the thought that counts"—is put more lyrically by the Chinese—"To walk a thousand li and present a swan feather; the gift is light but the friendship is solid."
Whether a gift is intended to transform a life, or merely light up a moment, there's an art in deciding what to give and how to present it. For splashy giving, it's hard to trump Catherine the Great of Russia. Famously generous, she presented her lover Count Grigory Orlov with the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg, the nearby Gatchina country estate and several hundred serfs. But now that feudalism is out of fashion, how's a world leader meant to make an impression? A peek at the records kept by the White House, specifically by the Protocol Gift Unit, reveals how the G-20 set handles these delicate decisions.
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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