The Drink That Took The Man

In Japan, they have a saying: first the man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes the man. Or, at least in the case of former Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa, the drink take's the man's job. 

Nakagawa pulled a Boris Yeltsin at last weekend's G7 summit; press videos show him rambling, slurring, and imploring with his eyes that a recess be taken so that he might rush to the men's room. Nakagawa quickly resigned, claiming he had been partying on cough syrup and jetlag.

Nakagawa had been in the political drunk tank before. (The last time this happened it was getting three sheets to the wind on "back medicine.") But this performance came at a time of widespread unpopularity for PM Taro Aso and his cabinet. It's certainly not the first time a politician has been blasted for being blasted, with the 2006 resignation of British MP and opposition party leader Charles Kennedy as the most recent high-profile example.

Meanwhile, Obama's reinstitution of a presumably moderate drinking culture in the White House has raised renewed interest in presidents and their libations. After leaving office, Franklin Pierce is supposed to have sighed, "There's nothing left to do but get drunk," and boy did he. But here's the question no one seems to be asking: is it disgraceful that Shoichi Nakagawa managed the world's second-largest economy while tanked out of his mind...or impressive?

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
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  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
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Strange Maps
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Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
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Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
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