Why did you endorse Barack Obama?

John Legend:  The reason why I’ve endorsed him is, I think, first is a character thing. Like I said, I think if you look at the issues, everybody wants all Americans to get health insurance.

Among John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, all of them, I think, feel like we made a lot of mistakes in foreign policy and want to improve our standing in the world. But all of them want to take care of our poor more effectively and our working class. And I think all those things are very important.

But I think when I look at Barack, and how he’s carried himself, I look at the things he’s written over the years, especially “Dreams of My Father”, his first major book; if I look at his biography, I look at the things he says now during his speeches, I feel like I’m seeing someone who has true integrity, has a true sense of himself, and is comfortable with himself, and I trust him. It’s that simple. I trust him. And because of that, it makes me believe that he’ll do the right thing.

Because a lot of the circumstances that are going to happen to a president are unpredictable. Like no one would have predicted that George [W.] Bush would have had to handle 9/11, for instance. And because things are unpredictable, you can’t just rely on their specific issue stances right now. You have to somewhat rely on the kind of judgment you think they have as a person, and the kind of integrity they have, and what their moral compass is. And I honestly believe when it comes to that criteria, Barack is clearly the most qualified to be president.

Recorded on: Jan 29, 2008

It's a character thing, Legend says.

Is this why time speeds up as we age?

We take fewer mental pictures per second.

Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash
Mind & Brain
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  • In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
  • The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
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New alternative to Trump's wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security

A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.

Credit: Purdue University photo/Jorge Castillo Quiñones
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
  • The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
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Climate change melts Mount Everest's ice, exposing dead bodies of past climbers

Melting ice is turning up bodies on Mt. Everest. This isn't as shocking as you'd think.

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Surprising Science
  • Mt. Everest is the final resting place of about 200 climbers who never made it down.
  • Recent glacial melting, caused by global warming, has made many of the bodies previously hidden by ice and snow visible again.
  • While many bodies are quite visible and well known, others are renowned for being lost for decades.

The bodies that remain in view are often used as waypoints for the living. Some of them are well-known markers that have earned nicknames.

For instance, the image above is of "Green Boots," the unidentified corpse named for its neon footwear. Widely believed to be the body of Tsewang Paljor, the remains are well known as a guide point for passing mountaineers. Perhaps it is too well known, as the climber David Sharp died next to Green Boots while dozens of people walked past him- many presuming he was the famous corpse.

A large area below the summit has earned the discordant nickname "rainbow valley" for being filled with the bright and colorfully dressed corpses of maintainers who never made it back down. The sight of a frozen hand or foot sticking out of the snow is so common that Tshering Pandey Bhote, vice president of Nepal National Mountain Guides Association claimed: "most climbers are mentally prepared to come across such a sight."

Other bodies are famous for not having been found yet. Sandy Irvine, the partner of George Mallory, may have been one of the first two people to reach the summit of Everest a full thirty years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay did it. Since they never made it back down, nobody knows just how close to the top they made it.

Mallory's frozen body was found by chance in the nineties without the Kodak cameras he brought up to record the climb with. It has been speculated that Irvine might have them and Kodak says they could still develop the film if the cameras turn up. Circumstantial evidence suggests that they died on the way back down from the summit, Mallory had his goggles off and a photo of his wife he said he'd put at the peak wasn't in his coat. If Irving is found with that camera, history books might need rewriting.

As Everest's glaciers melt its morbid history comes into clearer view. Will the melting cause old bodies to become new landmarks? Will Sandy Irvine be found? Only time will tell.

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