What Good Are Personal D.N.A. Tests?

It's natural to watch a child closely to see where he or she might excel. But surveillance that drills down to the subatomic level via personal D.N.A. testing is ridiculous.

Do parents go too far when they order D.N.A. kits to assess their children's strengths and weaknesses? "To be sure, some of us are born with natural talents—great aim, the ability to draw what we see, perfect pitch. But these abilities mean little without years of hard work, supportive relationships with mentor and family and luck. Meanwhile, it's unclear whether a variant discovery means much anyway. Scientists estimate that as many as 80 percent of all people have the wished for ACTN3 variant. The estimated 20 percent who do not include an Olympian in the long jump."

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • 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
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A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
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