Patriotism vs. Nationalism
A lot has been made of Barack Obama's no longer wearing a flag lapel pin, and among other things, the ado about that got me thinking about patriotism and nationalism from both a historical and a present-day perspective. I believe that nationalism, as it developed historically and as it's practiced today (among some who don't even know they fit the category) is not only dangerous, but malevolent. Historically, it has led to more wars and murders than I can list here. Currently, it has led to dangerous abuses of civil rights and liberties in the U.S. and across the globe. Patriotism, at least from my perspective, is a benign process, though one that can easily be abused by politicians and the media and transformed into dangerous nationalism. Patriotism leads to chants of USA! USA! at the Olympics; Nationalism leads to calls to "obliterate" entire countries from the map.
There's a line between the two, but it's not so fine a line that people who venture across it can't be identified and held to account.
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A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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