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Former CIA Clandestine Operative
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George Takei: America, You've Come a Long Way, Baby

The actor and activist dishes on same-sex marriage and the historical precedent for granting additional freedoms to the oppressed and disenfranchised.

George Takei: Marriage is a union between two people who love each other, who are committed to each other, who care for each other, as the phrase goes, "till death do us part." The opponents of the equality for the LGBT people want to define it strictly as man and woman. The interesting thing is that those unions end up in divorce. The divorce rate is half the marriages that happen today break up in divorce. That lacks that essential element of a marriage: love that leads to commitment to each other, two people who are committed to each other. And so the Supreme Court recognizing that equality for two people who love each other who may be of the same sex is a major step forward. Again, throughout history we have been expanding equality to more and more people. When the nation was founded, the shining ideas were articulated by our forefathers who kept other human beings as slaves. When they said all men are created equal, they meant that literally. Women couldn't vote, couldn't own property, didn't have rights over their own children. So equality granted to the LGBT community now is in that American tradition of expanding equality to more and more people.


"Equality granted to the LGBT community is in that American tradition of expanding equality to more and more people," says actor and social activist George Takei. Anyone who claims same-sex marriage is un-American fails to recognize the historical precedent for granting freedoms to the oppressed and disenfranchised. The idea that "all men are created equal" becomes truer and truer as this country continues to develop and grow.

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Women who go to church have more kids—and more help

Want help raising your kids? Spend more time at church, says new study.

Culture & Religion
  • Religious people tend to have more children than secular people, but why remains unknown.
  • A new study suggests that the social circles provided by regular church going make raising kids easier.
  • Conversely, having a large secular social group made women less likely to have children.
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Bubonic plague case reported in China

Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.

(Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Getty Images)
  • The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
  • Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
  • Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
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Leonardo da Vinci could visually flip between dimensions, neuroscientist claims

A neuroscientist argues that da Vinci shared a disorder with Picasso and Rembrandt.

Christopher Tyler
Mind & Brain
  • A neuroscientist at the City University of London proposes that Leonardo da Vinci may have had exotropia, allowing him to see the world with impaired depth perception.
  • If true, it means that Da Vinci would have been able to see the images he wanted to paint as they would have appeared on a flat surface.
  • The finding reminds us that sometimes looking at the world in a different way can have fantastic results.
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Education vs. learning: How semantics can trigger a mind shift

The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.

Future of Learning
  • The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
  • Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
  • Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
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