The government shutdown and the raising of the debt ceiling — such things are not usually grist for our cultural mill. But all of that changes when a cultural theorist pins the blame for Washington’s dysfunction on the acolytes of a pseudo-philosopher.[...]
In late September, the US military declared the hunger strikes at Guantánamo Bay over. “At its peak,” writes Charlie Savage in The New York Times, “106 of the 166 prisoners … were listed as participants” in the strike.[...]
Forget putting a bird on it. Put on a dinosaur on it for a surefire hit in our market-driven economy. Director Stephen Spielberg certainly didn’t skimp on the “terrible lizards” when adapting Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park for the screen, and things turned out pretty well for him.[...]
We’ve already featured former Black Flag frontman and current spoken-word artist Henry Rollins explaining why, to his mind, only education can restore democracy. He also believes it can cure something he calls “disaster capitalism,” and you can hear more from him about it in the Big Think video above.[...]
Russian punk performance art collective Pussy Riot will not be deterred. Despite two of their members still languishing in prison labor camps for a musical protest in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the band continues to rail against its country’s corruption and abuses.[...]
It turns out that the fleeting pronouncements we post on Twitter are catnip for academics and others eager to find the elusive pulse of American society. Since Twitter launched in 2006, researchers have been hard at work figuring out how to turn those 140-character musings into tea leaves with something meaningful to say about us all.[...]
The United States has only five percent of the world’s population, but somewhere between 35 and 50 percent of the world’s privately owned guns. Is it a surprise, then, that we have significantly higher rates of gun violence?
According to research published by the National Institutes of Health, homicide rates in the U.S. are 6.
In the early ’90s, the so-called “Iron Archives” of Russian political documents from the Cold War era opened up to historians, shedding light on the earliest days of Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin’s diplomatic alliance.
But not all of the Russian documents were declassified at that time.
This week, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments about gay rights in America. And, no matter how the court decides, these cases will enter the history books.[...]