U.S. Edge on Ideas

China and India will always train more scientists and engineers. But at least America's still got the best environment for ideas to grow.

Obama suggested increasing U.S. investment in R&D, a good and welcome step. But what will really determine U.S. competitiveness in the global ideas market isn't the money we can pour into the system. It's the strength of the system itself — the social, political, and cultural institutions that shape ideas from start to finish. As long as the U.S. maintains its comparative advantage — an open and flexible culture and a web of institutions, attitudes, and relationships that move ideas from the lab to the marketplace — there's no reason why the future isn't in its grasp.

California wildfires death toll climbs to 50

Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.

(Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
  • 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
  • On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
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Too much sleep results in cognitive decline, researchers find

We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.

Photo: Vladislav Muslakvo / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
  • Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
  • Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
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Russian reporters discover 'tortured' orcas and belugas jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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