Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
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Dark tourism: Inside a new, morbid kind of travel

If your dream vacation involves a luau, dark tourism probably isn't for you.

(Paula Bronstein/ Getty Images)
  • A new form of tourism that focuses on visiting sites associated with death and tragedy is growing in popularity.
  • Some call it exploitative, and some call it respectful. Still others consider it to be far too dangerous for reasonable people.
  • In any case, dark tourism showcases humanity's irresistible fascination with death.
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Map shows U.S. effort to feed Europe after WWI

This 100-year-old map, originally made for American consumption, highlights the famines that swept across Europe after WWI.

Image: University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries
  • Exactly a century ago, a massive U.S. relief effort kept Europe, including communist Russia, from starving to death.
  • This map shows the areas worst affected by famine, but ignores the food emergency in Germany.
  • Drawn up between the Armistice and the Treaty of Versailles, it also shows a few intriguing countries and borders, never seen since.
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Where the water wars of the future will be fought

A new report warns about the increasing likelihood of international conflicts over water.

Abd al-Ibrahim, whose home was destroyed during fighting, as he rests on his trip to supply water to his family at the house they are squatting in the northern Syrian city of Raqa. October 15, 2018. (Photo credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • A study finds that serious conflicts over water are going to arise around the globe.
  • The 5 hotspots identified by the paper include areas of the Nile, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Indus, Tigris-Euphrates, and Colorado rivers.
  • It's still possible to change course if we are prepared to address the effects of climate change.
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Nearly every country wants universal healthcare (except for one)

Most other countries don't have universal healthcare because of poverty or war. Why does the U.S. keep clinging to a bad system?

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
  • It's long been known that the U.S. is the only wealthy country without universal healthcare. But even significantly poorer countries also have some kind of universal healthcare system.
  • The reasons why the U.S. doesn't have a universal healthcare system are unique in the world but aren't insurmountable.
  • In order to join the rest of the developed world, the U.S. needs to realize that not having universal healthcare is something countries do out of necessity, not out of choice.
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