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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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Jeffrey Toobin on the Next Supreme Court

Question: Is the bench too politicized?

Jeffrey Toobin: Yeah, I don’t think that’s true. I think the Supreme Court has a lot of independent authority. Just take this term. You know, it may be that the City Council of Chicago, of New York, of LA wants to ban handguns in their city. Well, as of this year, too bad, Supreme Court says you can’t do it. You know, that… that is real power. One of my favorite quotes about the Supreme Court comes from Robert Jackson who said, “We are not…” Justice Robert Jackson who said, “We are not final because we are infallible. We are infallible because we are final.” Somebody has to have the last word, and in our country, it’s the Supreme Court.

Question: What is your judicial philosophy?

Jeffrey Toobin: Gosh, well, that’s what we call a farfetched hypothetical in the law school world. Well, I don’t think I have a judicial philosophy to speak of. I think, I… I guess, you know, in my book, in my analysis, I am somewhat cynical, realistic, whatever you want to call it, about the political nature of judging when it comes to the Constitution. When you are addressing questions like does the Constitution protect a woman’s right to choose abortion? Does the Constitution allow a university to consider race in admissions? I don’t think those questions have right or wrong answers when it comes to interpreting the Constitution. I think there are reasonable views on both sides as a legal matter. What I think is that they’re political. That it depends on what you think in terms of your political philosophy. I think political philosophy means more than legal competence or expertise in deciding the big constitutional issues.

Question: Who the great minds in American justice today?

Jeffrey Toobin: Minds… Well, I mean, I think there are… I think there are terrific thinkers about the Court. I like reading Cass Sunstein. I like reading Larry Tribe. I like reading Richard Posner. I like reading Ronald Dworkin. But this is not a moment where there are a lot of judges out there who are legal philosophers in the way that there have been in the past. There are people with distinctive philosophies that they apply in interesting and important ways. But, I don’t think there are a lot of geniuses in the way that they were… they were when there was Holmes and Learned Hand walking the earth.

Jeffrey Toobin on judicial genius.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

Parenting could be a distraction from what mattered most to him: his writing.

Ernest Hemingway Holding His Son 1927 (Wikimedia Commons)
Culture & Religion

Ernest Hemingway was affectionately called “Papa," but what kind of dad was he?

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The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

Videos
  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
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Masturbation boosts your immune system, helping you fight off infection and illness

Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Image by Yurchanka Siarhei on Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
  • The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
  • Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
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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.

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