Ed Koch Explains How To Pass the Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Amidst a recession and against the rigid political order that dominated New York in the early 1980s, Ed Koch managed to pass a landmark bill for New York City prohibiting discrimination by the government based upon sexual orientation in the areas of employment, housing, and education. As the former Mayor explains in today’s Big Think interview, the process wasn’t exactly straightforward; it involved a good deal of clever political maneuvering on his part--something we’ll need to see done in Albany if the state is ever to legalize same-sex marriage.

Koch has some other advice for politicians today, particularly for President Obama: get out of Afghanistan. Fighting a war with waning international support and no real prospect of victory will not only severely damage the Democratic Party, it will make him a single-term president.

Koch also reflected on his time as Mayor of New York, explaining the most significant challenges that came with the position as well as his biggest mistake. The quintessential New Yorker also weighs in on what it takes to be a New Yorker—not ten years, as is traditionally prescribed, but 6 months and a faster stride.

Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
Keep reading Show less

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

  • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
  • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
  • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
Keep reading Show less