MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/blogs_and_articles/sites/all/modules/patched/service_links/images/digg.pn/sites/all/modules/patched/service_links/images/digg.png http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Don't Feel Bad for Tall People on Planes. They Probably Make More Money Than You. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/tall-people-make-more-money-short-people <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Amid the raging, only-in-August debate over whether it is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/upshot/dont-want-me-to-recline-my-airline-seat-you-can-pay-me.html?rref=upshot&amp;abt=0002&amp;abg=0" target="_blank">ever okay</a> <a href="http://gawker.com/dont-want-me-to-spit-on-you-when-you-recline-your-airli-1627457239" target="_blank">to recline</a> <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/cwnevius/2014/08/26/the-tyranny-of-reclining-your-airplane-seat/" target="_blank">your airplane seat</a>, a good dose of schadenfreude has been directed at the vertically advantaged, as summed up by this tweet from one of my own bosses:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p>Tall people: the pain you feel when someone reclines their airline seat is a small taste of your lifelong privilege: <a href="http://t.co/up4wZ5Caql">http://t.co/up4wZ5Caql</a></p> &mdash; Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) <a href="https://twitter.com/ClaraJeffery/statuses/504661352485765120">August 27, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>It's true: Being of above average height, particularly if you're a man, does come with significant perks beyond having <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/tall/comments/1c5qfz/hows_the_weather_up_there/" target="_blank">your own weather patterns</a>. As a <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15161403" target="_blank">2004 paper</a> on the economic advantages of height explains, researchers have found that taller people are seen as more persuasive, more attractive, and more likely to become leaders: "Indeed, on the latter point, not since 1896 have U.S. citizens elected a President whose height was below average; William McKinley at 5 ft 7 in. (1.7 m) was ridiculed in the press as a 'little boy'." That paper calculated that a 6-foot-tall person can expect to earn $166,000 more over a 30-year career than someone who is 5-foot-5. In another <a href="http://www.nber.org/papers/w10522" target="_blank">2004 article</a>, researchers concluded that "a sizable fraction of the population" might consider taking Human Growth Hormone as teenagers to ensure bigger paychecks as adults. (They estimate that teens see a 1.9 to 2.6 percent increase in future earnings for every additional inch of height.)</p> <p>That tall dudes get an extra leg up in the job market is borne out by data from the Centers for Disease Control's <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/brfss/">Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System</a>, a survey of more than 500,000 Americans' health and demographics.</p> <p>The average American adult male is <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/body-measurements.htm" target="_blank">5-foot-9</a>. According to a <a href="http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/s_broker/WEATSQL.exe/weat/freq_Year.hsql" target="_blank">crosstabulation</a> of the CDC's 2011 data, men of slightly below-average height are at an income disadvantage: Around 28 percent of men between 5'5" and 5'8" earn $35,000 or less, compared with 19 percent of men between 5'9" and 6'0". And at the other end of the scale, 56 percent of men between 5'5" and 5'8" earn $50,000 or more, compared with 66 percent of men between 5'9" and 6'0".</p> <p>And the really tall guys tower over everyone else: Just 5 percent of them earn less than $20,000, and nearly 69 percent earn $50,000 or more. And the really short guys have it rough: 35 percent earn less than $20,000 while 23 percent earn $50,000 or more.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/axHMz/8/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>The height-income gap for women isn't quite so stark&mdash;or predictable. The average height for women is <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/body-measurements.htm" target="_blank">5-foot-4</a>. Around 31 percent of women between 5'1" and 5'4" earn $35,000 or less, compared with around 26 percent of women between 5'5" and 5'8". And 53 percent of women between 5'1" and 5'4" earn $50,000 or more, compared with 58 percent of women between 5'5" and 6'8".</p> <p>Yet unlike men, women beyond a certain height pay a penalty. Women between 5'5" and 5'8" are more likely to earn more than $50,000 than women over six feet. And, surprisingly, women over six feet are more likely to earn less than $20,000 than women of average height. However, women under 5'1" are far more likely to earn less than $35,000 than taller women. But compared to their male counterparts, they do better&mdash;they're more likely than the very shortest men to earn more than $75,000.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/t7wZn/4/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>What does any of this have to do with modern air travel? Nothing. Just don't be a jerk.</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Economy Income Inequality Top Stories Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:00:09 +0000 Dave Gilson 259246 at http://www.motherjones.com Your Cell Phone Company Says Your Location Info Is Private. Think Again. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/cell-phone-carriers-privacy-location <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Sunday, the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/for-sale-systems-that-can-secretly-track-where-cellphone-users-go-around-the-globe/2014/08/24/f0700e8a-f003-11e3-bf76-447a5df6411f_story.html" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em></a> published an expose revealing that private companies are peddling surveillance systems to foreign governments that track the location of cell phone users in the US and abroad. The report raised a basic question: How can this be happening when cell phone companies generally promise not to disclose their customers' location information without their consent? The main problem is that location information is available on a global network that can be accessed by thousands of companies. And in the wake of the <em>Post</em> story, US cell phone companies are refusing to discuss how this squares with their privacy policies, or say what they are doing to keep their customers' whereabouts confidential.</p> <p>Here's what's going on: Carriers collect location information from cell phone towers and share it with each other through a global network called SS7. This allows a US carrier to find a customer even if she hops a plane to India. But according to the <em>Post</em>, surveillance systems makers have gained access to SS7 and are using it to grab location data, allowing these firms to pinpoint people within a few city blocks.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2014/08/cell-phone-carriers-privacy-location"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics Tech Top Stories Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Dana Liebelson 259151 at http://www.motherjones.com Remember the Wendy Davis Filibuster? The Law She Fought Is Driving Dozens of Abortion Clinics Out of Business http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/texas-wendy-davis-sb5-abortion-surgical-center <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7jr4Ec_zwNw" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>At the new Planned Parenthood clinic in Dallas earlier this month, exam rooms were stocked, desks, chairs, and computers were installed, even a few phones had started to ring. Construction workers came in and out, and the waiting room stood empty, save for a corner stack of moving boxes.</p> <p>"We're just waiting for furniture," said Kelly Hart, senior director of government relations for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, while giving a tour of the clinic, which opened to patients two weeks ago.</p> <p>This facility, a pre-existing ambulatory surgical center that Planned Parenthood purchased and refurbished, will cost the organization $6.1 million. It's an unexpected bill they've spent months fundraising to cover, because a year ago, Planned Parenthood had no plans for a new Dallas facility: A different clinic already provided safe, legal abortions and vasectomies to patients.</p> <p>"It was working just fine," says Hart.</p> <p>But come next week, abortions can no longer legally be performed at that old facility thanks to HB 2, the omnibus abortion bill that made national headlines last summer after Texas Sen. Wendy Davis' 11 hour filibuster. The law requires that abortions&mdash;though not vasectomies&mdash;be performed in ambulatory surgical centers, hospital-like facilities that specialize in outpatient surgery. This provision goes into effect on September 1.</p> <p>Ahead of this deadline, women's healthcare providers have raced to meet HB 2's burdensome requirements, spending millions of dollars and countless hours of fundraising and construction labor. Converting a medical facility into a full blown ambulatory surgical facility can be very expensive. Texas has <a href="https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&amp;ItemID=8589979245" target="_blank">114 pages</a> of regulations governing ASCs, which mandate wide, gurney-accommodating hallways, larger operating rooms, and sterile ventilation. According to one <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/us/foes-of-texas-bill-say-it-would-restrict-legal-abortions.html?_r=1&amp;" target="_blank">Texas provider</a>, it will cost them about $40,000 more each month to operate an ASC than it would a regular clinic.</p> <p>In the face of the law's requirements, all but eight abortion clinics in the state will close by September 1. Many were forced to lock their doors earlier this year as <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2014/08/13/arguments-trial-over-abortion-restrictions-wrap-/" target="_blank">other HB 2 provisions</a> went into effect, including a rule that required doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where they perform abortions by the end of October 2013.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Texas-GraphStaticFinal.jpg"></div> <p>While supporters of HB 2 argue that the ASC requirements are vital for women's health and safety, medical groups, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have <a href="http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/16/2/gpr160207.html">repeatedly</a> <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/06/27/obgyn-docs-say-provisions-in-filibustered-texas-abortion-bill-dont-make-sense">noted</a> that typical doctor's offices are fully able to perform medically-safe abortions, and that ASCs do little to enhance the standard of care. (Texas has required that second-trimester abortions take place in ASCs <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/24/us/texas-border-checkpoints-deter-noncitizens-seeking-second-trimester-abortions.html">since 2003</a>.)</p> <p>Come September 1, about 750,000 Texas women will live 200 or more miles from the nearest abortion provider. There were only 10,000 women in that situation just a year ago.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/QQk0O/4/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2014/08/texas-wendy-davis-sb5-abortion-surgical-center"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics Charts Video Reproductive Rights Sex and Gender Top Stories Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Hannah Levintova and Kristine Stolakis 259131 at http://www.motherjones.com Martin Scorsese/Leonardo DiCaprio Films, Ranked http://www.motherjones.com/contributor/2014/08/martin-scorsese-leonardo-dicaprio-films-ranked <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>1. <em>The Aviator</em></p> <p>2. <em>The Departed</em></p> <p>3. <em>The Wolf of Wall Street</em></p> <p>4. <em>Gangs of New York</em></p> <p>5. <em>Shutter Island</em></p></body></html> Contributor Film and TV Thu, 28 Aug 2014 05:03:01 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 259301 at http://www.motherjones.com In Wake of Arizona Uzi Killing, NRA Tweets About Kids Having Fun With Guns http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/nra-arizona-uzi-tweet-guns <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>There's no shortage of grim gun news in the United States, including numerous <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/children-killed-guns-newtown-anniversary" target="_blank">killings involving children</a>, but there was something particularly disturbing about an incident on Monday in which a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot her instructor to death with an Uzi. The tragedy unfolded at an Arizona gun range catering to tourists <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/us/arizona-firing-range-instructor-killed-by-girl-9-in-accident.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;version=HpHeadline&amp;module=second-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">called Bullets and Burgers</a>. How on earth was such a child allowed to fire such a powerful weapon on fully automatic, by a person who knows enough about firearms to have <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/08/27/year-old-girl-death-at-shooting-range-stirs-debate-over-children-and-automatic/" target="_blank">served in the Army</a> in Iraq and Afghanistan? See video of the incident below via the <em>New York Times</em>; the clip doesn't show the actual moment of tragedy, but it's plenty chilling nonetheless.</p> <p>Reactions to the news, as you might expect, have ranged from somber to mystified to angry. But with the story making the rounds on social media, only those latter two applied to a tweet posted on Wednesday afternoon by <a href="https://twitter.com/NRAWomen" target="_blank">NRA Women</a>, which is part of the National Rifle Association's <a href="http://www.nrawomen.tv/" target="_blank">Women's Programs</a> and is sponsored by gun manufacturing giant Smith &amp; Wesson. "<a href="https://twitter.com/markfollman/status/504746540628705280" target="_blank">7 Ways Children Can Have Fun at the Shooting Range</a>" the tweet announced, linking to <a href="http://www.womensoutdoornews.com/2014/08/7-ways-children-can-fun-shooting-range/" target="_blank">a recent story</a> that details how kids can get bored with target practice if not properly entertained. NRA Women posted the tweet at 1:51 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday; by about 3 p.m. it had been removed, but not before I and others took a screen shot of it:</p> <center> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/nra-women-again.jpg"></div> </center> <p>The list of options in the article included firing at animal, zombie, and even exploding targets, but surely there was a better time to promote them. Historically the NRA is known for its disciplined and effective messaging. But more recently, as it has branched out to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/crickett-rifle-marketing-kids" target="_blank">cater to children</a> and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/nra-bloomberg-video-astroturfing" target="_blank">women and minorities</a>, America's top gun lobbying group seems to be misfiring, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/nra-phony-school-shooting" target="_blank">again</a> and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/nra-open-carry-guns-backlash-texas" target="_blank">again</a>.</p> <center><iframe frameborder="0" height="373" id="nyt_video_player" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000003078131&amp;playerType=embed" title="New York Times Video - Embed Player" width="480"></iframe></center></body></html> Politics Guns Top Stories Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:43:18 +0000 Mark Follman 259271 at http://www.motherjones.com Have We Reached Peak Kevin? http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08/have-we-reached-peak-kevin <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In the <em>Guardian</em> today, Paula Cocozza writes about her effort to hunt down the origin of the phrase "peak X." She turned to linguist Mark Liberman, who runs the Language Log <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_matterhorn.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">blog, but he says <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/aug/27/have-we-reached-peak-peak-rise-ubiquitous-phrase" target="_blank">it's a hard idiom to track:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>There is some good news, though. Liberman remembers the first time he noticed the phrase. It was in 2008, when the US writer John Cole blogged that "we may have hit and passed Peak Wingnut", a derogatory term for rightwingers.</p> <p>Cole's post is nearly six years old, but can he recall what inspired the phrase? "I came up with 'peak wingnut' because I was shocked," Cole says. "The Republicans seemed to get crazier and crazier. The source of it is [US blogger] Kevin Drum. At the <em>Washington Monthly</em>, one of the things he was always talking about was peak oil."</p> <p>This comes as news to Drum, who now writes for the web magazine <em>Mother Jones</em>. He was not the only person writing about peak oil, of course, but he was the one Cole read. "I'm very proud of that," he says. "I had no idea that I had been so influential."</p> </blockquote> <p>So now I have three items for my future obituary: creator of Friday catblogging, popularizer of the lead-crime theory, and just possibly the kinda sorta inspiration for the Peak X meme. Not bad!</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Energy Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:28:48 +0000 Kevin Drum 259256 at http://www.motherjones.com "The Troll Slayer": Don't Miss This Fascinating Profile of Mary Beard http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/08/troll-slayer-dont-miss-amazing-profile-mary-beard <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Here is a partial list of things for which the British&nbsp;historian <a href="http://timesonline.typepad.com/" target="_blank">Mary Beard</a> has gained reverence and notoriety:</p> <ul><li>Positing that Pompeiians had <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=6pio0ecjN9kC&amp;pg=PA9&amp;lpg=PA9&amp;dq=pompeii+bad+breath&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=dc8LaYIsE5&amp;sig=do6J7fMjzLQNpngHl1eXdzNqknU&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=HzP-U5-CKceIjAKLhYGgDg&amp;ved=0CDMQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&amp;q=pompeii%20bad%20breath&amp;f=false" target="_blank">bad breath</a>, based on tartar levels on their fossilized teeth.</li> <li>Theorizing that Romans <a href="http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/9223531/laughter-in-ancient-rome-by-mary-beard-review/" target="_blank">didn't smile</a>, since Latin lacks words for anything resembling one.</li> <li>Being the world's foremost scholar on how Romans pooped.</li> <li>Going on television without wearing makeup or dying her gray hair.</li> <li>Retweeting a message she got from a 20-year-old calling her a "filthy old slut."</li> <li>On 9/11: suggesting that on some level, the United States&nbsp;"<a href="http://www.lrb.co.uk/v23/n19/nine-eleven-writers/11-september" target="_blank">had it coming</a>."</li> <li><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/sep/08/gender.uk" target="_blank">Disclosing that she was raped</a> when she was 20 in an essay on rape in ancient Rome.</li> </ul><p>You can read all about it in Rebecca Mead's <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/01/troll-slayer" target="_blank">excellent new <em>New Yorker</em> profile</a> on the endlessly fascinating&nbsp;Cambridge don. It opens on a lecture that Beard gave earlier this year at the British Museum, titled&nbsp;"Oh Do Shut Up, Dear!," on the long literary history of men keeping women quiet, from the <em>Odyssey</em>'s&nbsp;Penelope ordered upstairs to her weaving by her son&mdash;"Speech will be the business of men," he says&mdash;to the death threats, rape threats, and general nastiness that Beard and other outspoken women get online.&nbsp;("I'm going to cut off your head and rape it," read one of her tweet mentions.)&nbsp;For her part,&nbsp;Beard does not subscribe to the "don't feed the trolls" school of thought when it comes to dealing with online assailants. She engages, both publicly and privately, often with&nbsp;surprising results:</p> <blockquote> <p>She has discovered that, quite often, she receives not only an apology from them but also a poignant explanation&hellip;After a "Question Time"&nbsp;viewer wrote to her that she was "evil,"&nbsp;further correspondence revealed that he was mostly upset because he wanted to move to Spain and didn't understand the bureaucracy. "It took two minutes on Google to discover the reciprocal health-care agreement, so I sent it to him,"&nbsp;she says. "Now when I have a bit of Internet trouble, I get an e-mail from him saying, 'Mary, are you all right? I was worried about you.'"</p> </blockquote> <p>Fun stuff. And when you're done with Mead's piece, check out Beard's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Laughter-Ancient-Rome-Tickling-Classical/dp/0520277163" target="_blank">latest book</a>, <em>Laughter in Ancient Rome: On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:40:15 +0000 Tasneem Raja 259241 at http://www.motherjones.com The Dirty Secret Behind Europe's Renewable Energy Industry http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/08/why-europe-burning-us-forests-renewable-energy <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em>This <a href="http://grist.org/climate-energy/europe-is-burning-our-forests-for-renewable-energy-wait-what/" target="_blank">story</a> was originally published by <a href="http://grist.org" target="_blank">Grist</a> and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk&nbsp;collaboration</em>.</p> <p>If you're driving through the South and you see a denuded field filled with stubby new plantings where lush forest once stood, the blame might lie with an unlikely culprit: the European Union and its well-intentioned clean energy rules.</p> <p>In March 2007, the E.U. adopted climate and energy <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/package/index_en.htm" target="_blank">goals</a> for 2010 to 2020. The 27 member countries set a goal of reducing carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020 and increasing renewables to 20 percent of their energy portfolio. Unfortunately, they underestimated the carbon intensity of burning wood (a.k.a. "biomass") for electricity, and they categorized wood as a renewable fuel.</p> <p>The result: E.U. countries with smaller renewable sectors turned to wood to replace coal. Governments provided incentives for energy utilities to make that switch. Now, with a bunch of new European wood-burning power plants having come online, Europeans need wood to feed the beast. But most European countries don't have a lot of available forest left to cut down. So they're importing our forests, especially from the South.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/environment/2014/08/why-europe-burning-us-forests-renewable-energy"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Environment Climate Change Climate Desk Energy Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:40:42 +0000 Ben Adler 259211 at http://www.motherjones.com New Discovery Cuts Brainwashing Time in Half http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08/scientists-make-momentous-advance-brainwashing <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The frontiers of science <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/scientists-experiment-with-reworking-memory-in-mice-1409158818?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories" target="_blank">continue to expand:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>In experiments on mice, scientists rewired the circuits of the brain and <strong>changed the animals' bad memories into good ones.</strong> The rewriting of the memory wasn't done with drugs but by using light to control the activity of brain cells. While science is a long way from achieving a similar feat in people, it adds to a body of research that is starting to uncover the physiological basis of memory.</p> </blockquote> <p>Yes, I know what you're wondering. And the answer is yes:</p> <blockquote> <p>The researchers said they were able to do the opposite as well&mdash;<strong>change a pleasurable memory in mice into one associated with fear.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>So I guess that wraps up both <em>Brave New World</em> and <em>1984</em> all in one nice, neat package. What could go wrong?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Science Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:43:55 +0000 Kevin Drum 259236 at http://www.motherjones.com Quote of the Day: Let's Just Drop a Few Bombs and See What Happens http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08/quote-day-lets-just-drop-few-bombs-and-see-what-happens <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/27/bill-kristol-bomb-isis_n_5721582.html?&amp;ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000021" target="_blank">From Bill Kristol,</a> during an appearance on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham's show, bringing his megawatt analytic powers to bear on the problem of ISIS in Iraq:</p> <blockquote> <p><img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/images/Blog_Bill_Kristol.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 8px 0px 15px 30px;">What&rsquo;s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens? I don&rsquo;t think there&rsquo;s much in the way of unanticipated side effects that are going to be bad there.</p> </blockquote> <p>You can't make this stuff up. We liberals often accuse folks like Kristol of mindlessly advocating military action all the time, no matter what. But we're exaggerating, aren't we? Nobody literally wants to unleash an air campaign just to see what happens. Nobody just casually ignores the possible drawbacks. That's ridiculous! Why do we insist on juvenile caricatures like this?</p> <p>I don't know. Why do we?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Iraq Military Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:45:06 +0000 Kevin Drum 259231 at http://www.motherjones.com