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Former Navy Seal
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Bryan Cranston
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Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
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Amaryllis Fox
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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Gay Talese On The Oprah Effect

Gay Talese:  The little I do know about it, which is what most writers know about it is it’s good. Why is it good? Because she gets people to read and it’s very hard to get people to read, more now than ever, more now than ever. I mean to sit there and read means that you can almost do nothing else and we’re in a multitask society. They’re on the phone and they’re driving a car and they’re feeding the baby and, you know, everybody’s doing three things at once. When you’re reading, I don’t think you can even be listening to a concert. I don’t think you should be driving a car if you’re reading. If you’re reading and you’re in a train and someone’s got the stupid cell phone then even that’s an intrusion. So I think that Oprah is a great positive force because what she’s doing through her power as probably the greatest persuasive personality on television as a hostess of a television show, she’s bringing people into connection with the act and discipline of reading a book. And when you read a book, you are devoted to or have to be devoted to or dedicated to the act of reading at the risk of doing something else that while it might be easier to do like watching television, watching Oprah, she has also created a market- helped to create a market for the selling and reading of books. Publishers do not have the money or interest in advertising books as much as when I was young and starting out. It’s too expensive. And as I said before, the challenges that people have or the distractions that people have and the sense of instant gratification that people have always had to a great degree are sometimes at the expense of reading books. And Oprah, unlike anyone else, has done that and so I feel nothing but gratitude and I’m sure a lot of other writers feel that way to her.

Oprah keeps books alive in a "multi-task society."

Study details the negative environmental impact of online shopping

Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
  • Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
  • Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
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Childhood sleeping problems may signal mental disorders later in life

Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.

Personal Growth
  • We spend 40 percent of our childhoods asleep, a time for cognitive growth and development.
  • A recent study found an association between irregular sleep patterns in childhood and either psychotic experiences or borderline personality disorder during teenage years.
  • The researchers hope their findings can help identify at-risk youth to improve early intervention.
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    Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

    Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

    Credit: Neom
    Technology & Innovation
    • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
    • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
    • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
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    Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

    Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

    Videos
    • From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
    • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
    • Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.

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