Paul Krugman on Meeting President Bush and Going into Government

Question: What was it like meeting President Bush?

Paul Krugman: Everyone was on their best behavior. No, this is not the point to make a scene. He knew that, I knew that, so it was just a slightly awkward occasion. My wife went to the great job of making small talk. Question: Did you have much of a conversation? Krugman: No. Not much. I was grateful to her for doing better at it than I did. Question: Why don’t you go into government Krugman: I think… Well, two things. One is, temperamentally, I’m really unsuited. I mean, you really have to ask yourself, you know, would you deal well with this and I’m, you know, I’m not tactful, I’m not very good at negotiating bureaucratic stuff, and I’m the world’s worst organizer, so I don’t want to do that. And, look, I’ve got, courtesy of the New York Times, I’ve got a pretty good bully pulpit of my own there. I think I probably have as much ability to weigh in on the issues and indirectly effect the policy debate from where I am, as I would in anything short of being Secretary of Treasury, and I would be a disastrous Secretary of the Treasury, so I think I like where I am right now.

Krugman talks about meeting President Bush after winning the Nobel and why he has decided not to go into government.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

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Harvard: Men who can do 40 pushups have a 'significantly' lower risk of heart disease

Turns out pushups are more telling than treadmill tests when it comes to cardiovascular health.

Airman 1st Class Justin Baker completes another push-up during the First Sergeants' push-up a-thon June 28, 2011, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Participants were allowed 10 minutes to do as many push-ups as they could during the fundraiser. Airman Baker, a contract specialist assigned to the 354th Contracting Squadron, completed 278 push-ups. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Janine Thibault)
Surprising Science
  • Men who can perform 40 pushups in one minute are 96 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease than those who do less than 10.
  • The Harvard study focused on over 1,100 firefighters with a median age of 39.
  • The exact results might not be applicable to men of other age groups or to women, researchers warn.
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Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

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