Some will surely consider this a sacrilege. But could we use a bit of a break from our dear friend Jon Stewart? Writing in Salon.com this week Daniel D’Addario suggests that Steward may be reaching just a tad too far in some of his humor, which we all know can get a bit grating at times:
“Jon Stewart departed “The Daily Show” last night in favor of guest host John Oliver — Stewart will return in September after spending the summer directing a movie. His break is coming none too soon.
“As he prepares to shoot his film (a Middle East-set drama called “Rosewater“), Stewart’s continued to rely on the same tics — goofy accents, for instance — he has since taking over the show in 1999, and seemingly has struggled to find ways to cover Barack Obama’s second term. Earlier this week, he led the show with a sequence about the Iraq War culminating in a joke about George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” banner. Timely — for a time traveler from the days when we were all waiting for the fall of Speaker Dennis Hastert and looking forward to seeing “Wedding Crashers.” (The joke also includes Stewart’s most maddening accent, one where he imitates “The Simpsons”‘s Professor Frink to goose audience laughter.) Continue reading “Jon Stewart may need a break”
Want to be a better person? Spend more time thinking about science.
That’s the implication of newly published research, which finds people who study science — or who are even momentarily exposed to the idea of scientific research — are more likely to condemn unethical behavior and more inclined to help others, reports Salon.com.
“Thinking about science leads individuals to endorse more stringent moral norms,” report psychologists Christine Ma-Kellams of Harvard University and Jim Blascovich of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Their research is published in the online journal PLOS One. The researchers describe four experiments, all conducted at UCSB, that back up their surprising conclusion. Continue reading “Are science students more moral people?”
Contemporary American politics cannot be understood apart from the North-South divide in the U.S., as I and others have argued, writes Michael Lind in today’s Salon Magazine. “Neither can contemporary American economic debates. The real choice facing America in the 21st century is the same one that faced it in the 19th and 20th centuries — Northernomics or Southernomics?
“Northernomics is the high-road strategy of building a flourishing national economy by means of government-business cooperation and government investment in R&D, infrastructure and education. Continue reading “The other sin of the American South”
Last week Worlding.org brought you the story of the Iranian monkey reportedly launched into outer space. Now we are worried about the little guy.
“The United States expressed doubt on Monday about Iran’s claim that it safely returned a monkey from space, saying it is questionable that the monkey survived — or if the flight happened at all,” reports today’s Salon.com.
“State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said a lot of questions remained ‘about whether the monkey that they reportedly sent up into space and reportedly came down was actually the same monkey, whether he survived.’
“’The Iranians said they sent a monkey, but the monkey that they showed later seemed to have different facial features,’Nuland told reporters. ‘He was missing a little wart.’ Tehran blames the confusion on Iranian media for initially using a photo of a backup monkey. It says the monkey orbited and returned safely, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad added Monday that he would consider being Iran’s first astronaut in space.Nuland described Ahmadinejad’s proclamation as an “interesting choice,” but was more diplomatic than Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who joked about Ahmadinejad’s ruminations earlier Monday. Continue reading “Worries about Iran’s space monkey”