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?

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less