Is Gambling the Economic Prescription We've Been Looking For?

The reigning American casino havens, Las Vegas and Atlantic City, are feeling the pinch in this frosty economic climate. So why does the rest of the normal world want to legalize gambling?

Generally, American states are allowed to set their own gambling policies and the boost to state coffers gambling provides is not lost on legislators. Delaware and Pennsylvania are waging a small war over the market for slot machines; Delaware had them first but saw their popularity wane when Pennsylvania opened parlors in 2006. Montana is one of the rare states that allows betting on sports. Oregon did as well until they ended their $25 million sports lottery program in 2007 amid threats from the NBA and NCAA.

Getting wind of the $1.1 billion Pennsylvania’s seven casinos generated between January 1 and March 15 of this year, Ohio is weighing a casino ballot proposal. But the big news is the federal lawsuit filed against the Justice Department to overturn the national ban on sports betting. Filed in Newark, the suit lists U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder among the defendants and maintains that the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is unconstitutional because it allows special privileges to the four states--Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon--that allow sports betting.

Plaintiff and New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak claims the law deprives his state of $100 million in annual tax revenue. Not surprisingly, a number of high-ranking legislators, including Governors Jon Corzine of New Jersey and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, are exploring taxes on everything from sports betting to video poker. And regulating industries as contentious as gambling often require much more than luck.

The world and workforce need wisdom. Why don’t universities teach it?

Universities claim to prepare students for the world. How many actually do it?

Photo: Take A Pix Media / Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Many university mission statements do not live up to their promise, writes Ben Nelson, founder of Minerva, a university designed to develop intellect over content memorization.
  • The core competencies that students need for success—critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and cross-cultural understanding, for example—should be intentionally taught, not left to chance.
  • These competencies can be summed up with one word: wisdom. True wisdom is the ability to apply one's knowledge appropriately when faced with novel situations.
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What the world will look like in the year 250,002,018

This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now

On Pangaea Proxima, Lagos will be north of New York, and Cape Town close to Mexico City
Surprising Science

To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.

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From zero to hero in 18 years: How SpaceX became a nation-state

SpaceX's momentous Crew Dragon launch is a sign of things to come for the space industry, and humanity's future.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk celebrates after the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the manned Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center on May 30, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Earlier in the day NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley lifted off an inaugural flight and will be the first people since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 to be launched into space from the United States.

Photo:Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • SpaceX was founded in 2002 and was an industry joke for many years. Eighteen years later, it is the first private company to launch astronauts to the International Space Station.
  • Today, SpaceX's Crew Dragon launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS. The journey will take about 19 hours.
  • Dylan Taylor, chairman and CEO of Voyager Space Holdings, looks at SpaceX's journey from startup to a commercial space company with the operating power of a nation-state.
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Six-month-olds recognize (and like) when they’re being imitated

A new study may help us better understand how children build social cognition through caregiver interaction.

Personal Growth
  • Scientists speculate imitation helps develop social cognition in babies.
  • A new study out of Lund University shows that six-month-olds look and smile more at imitating adults.
  • Researchers hope the data will spur future studies to discover what role caregiver imitation plays in social cognition development.
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