Who is Paul Barrett?
Question: How did your background shape you?
Barrett: I grew up primarily in suburban New Jersey not far from New York City where my parents worked. And I think I’m very much a product of the, you know, middle class, upper middle class, suburban environment that I grew up in – an environment in which achievement in school and achievement in the professional world beyond school were, you know, very, very high values. And I think that, you know, shaped me tremendously.
Question: As a child, what did you want to do professionally
Barrett: Well I usually say I got into journalism because it was the family business. My parents met when they were the successive editors of the undergraduate newspaper at NYU where they were both commuter students. My father went on to spend his entire career in journalism, primarily at the late great New York Herald Tribune, and then for 35 years at Time magazine. So I grew up carrying a little reporter’s pad and pencil in my pocket just imitating my father. And as a child a big adventure for me was to come into the city from New Jersey to visit him at the Time and Life building and send messages through the old pneumatic tubes, and play ping pong in the hallway with the other journalists – people who I thought were these exotic, kooky, off the wall people. And I thought it was just the coolest thing in the world that my father worked with these people. So as a kid I just assumed I would become a journalist because that’s what people did when they got older.
As the son of journalists, Paul Barrett assumed journalism was "what people did when they got older."
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How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.
- Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
- Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
- As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
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