Last week, marking the tenth anniversary of what Dr. Ray Seed once called "the greatest man-made engineering catastrophe since Chernobyl," the circus came to town. No elephants, some clowns. Mainly foundation granters and thumb-sucking journos. Actually, there was an elephant, and they were the blind men. Perhaps the blindest was the walking TED Talk Malcolm Gladwell, who graced Meet the Press Sunday elaborating on his premise that "we needed to destroy New Orleans to save it." The reed on which he rested was a study showing that previously-incarcerated young men who didn't return after evacuation were less likely, statistically, to be re-incarcerated than similar males who returned to the city. Self-deportation for offenders, anyone? Finally, Mitt Romney has a soulmate.
Misinterpreting signals to make them consistent with a pre-determined outcome is, psychologists tell us, a common phenomenon in human nature. Unfortunately, it is also a frequent dynamic in modern financial markets, particularly when it comes to sustainability.
We cannot be held hostage to the theatrics of religious extremists, nor should we allow them to think that supposedly bad "optics" will deter us in demanding our rights.
If you're among the 82 percent who agree "the system is rigged," the question is not what you think about my proposal in the abstract. The question is comparative: How does my proposal stack up to the proposals of others? Whose is more likely to succeed, and at what cost?
While the world's eyes were on Roanoke last week, this week most national and international media have made their exodus from this small community I now call home, and though their focus is on the next horrible breaking news story, it's as if time was frozen here. 8/26/15.
Sometimes, I just want to wake up from this nightmare. Is this really the country in which I want to raise my child? It is a country that I haven't known until now?
Sweet teachers: school just started, and I'll bet you're wiped out and definitely a little lighter in the bank account; but I see you. I see how hard you've worked before the first day of school even started. I see that you chose this job not to get rich or famous.
Kim Davis, as county clerk, is engaging her personal prejudices by refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. That she claims her bigotry is religiously based is immaterial to whether or not she has to do her job.
You don't win foreign peoples to your side by treating them like so many unskilled and tippy children. You don't condescend to them by comparing their efforts to children trying to learn to ride a bike for the first time.
Policymakers have recently sought to regulate the long shadow cast by social media slip-ups. In Europe and California, laws now exist that enable people to take digital erasers to their online activity, deleting stains we once considered permanent. But rather than empower individuals to purify their online personas, our culture needs to become more tolerant of a generation's habit to airs its flaws online.
I've found, now, that my greatest strength has come from embracing the intensity of my emotions and understanding where they come from. I understand, not only my own pain but the obligation that I have to the patients we serve. We cannot abandon them like so many of the people in their lives.
Yo-Yo Ma's remarkable sounds emerge from a collaboration between him and his cello. We choose to view his contributions as more important. We don't view Yo-Yo Ma as mere facilitator of sounds produced by the cello. There's nothing that prevents us from granting the same kind of recognition to humans whose jobs require them to collaborate with computers.
Guaranteeing access to food and water as a universal right means guaranteeing a balanced development of the land in which agricultural and environmental resources are developed, preventing them from being taken away from the population and, as a consequence, impoverishing local economies and/or irreversibly altering local ecosystems.
Obama has blocked all of Iran's pathways to a bomb. But more importantly, he has proven to America that security is better achieved through diplomacy than through militarism.
Public space is shrinking in China for discussion of "Western" views. But "contrary to the general crackdown, North Korea policy seems to be an exception," a U.S. diplomat told me on my recent trip to China. One hears plenty of criticism of Pyongyang.
Somewhere down where we don't like to go, is a place where racism lives. It's automatic and hidden. Binding and resistant to change. No matter how well-meaning we are, no matter how open-minded. Like the "root kit" on a computer, racism is hidden and operating without our knowledge.
There have been decades of decline and a parade of politicians promising help that never materialized. It's hard to believe in the future again after so much disappointment. On the other hand, the evidence of rebirth is overwhelming and economic optimism is necessary to make revitalization possible.
While getting a child equipped for school is never a cheap date, for families who have a limited budget (or no budget at all) this time of year can be stressful, especially with a series of expensive holidays on the horizon.
The economic value of ecosystem services -- specifically nitrogen mineralization and biological control of pests -- could exceed the input costs of pesticides and fertilizers on the global scale, even if adopted on only 10 percent of farmland worldwide.
If you hope to be a good nurse (or coworker, or person with a heart), you're going to spend the majority of your working life doing things you SO mistakenly think are beneath you. The "little" stuff is rarely small. It's heavy and you can't carry it by yourself. So yes, little nursling, you are here to pass trays.
Casual observers of recent media coverage would reasonably conclude that the Hillary Clinton campaign is in serious trouble. Headlines across news sources allege her falling poll numbers and once secure spot of the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Here is what the poll really shows about Clinton.
In my early campaigns people would sometimes come up to me at a grocery store or mall and say, "I know you from somewhere. Is it the PTA? Do you live in my neighborhood?" Always trying to be respectful, I would say, "I don't think so, but maybe you saw me on TV. I'm your county attorney."
In the five days the nation spent grieving Alison and Adam's deaths, 440 other Americans died by guns. And yet, as a nation we do nothing, except watch the special interest gun industry get away with murder without any accountability while their NRA shills buy and intimidate cowardly members of Congress.
Lately, I've been hearing one phrase abused repeatedly, and it's worth a moment's reflection to consider its true meaning. That phrase is "small sample size." I hear this phrase in every broadcast, every hour, before every hard stop for a commercial break.
We're literally missing out on most our own lives, which leaves us feeling shallow, empty and deeply unsettled. The great news is you can learn to be more present and mindful. Here are 10 easy ways you can practice mindfulness in your daily life.
I wanted to just whisper, please cherish that youth. Cherish it and celebrate it. Celebrate the true belief and comfort in watching your children grow, the ignorance of their own mortality.
In roughly the last 15 years, the same time period as the MDGs, we've also seen the growth of the biggest advances in the fight against poverty, the power of good science. A year after a microloan program starts in a village, are the people there making more money than a similar village without the program? (Not as expected it turns out). Does giving cash grants which don't have to be repaid improve food security in Kenya? (Yes, significantly).
I can see in my mind's eye several of nurses, both female and male who have helped me heal. I have had it proven to me that nurses, a heck of a lot of them, really care about their jobs and their patients. And, I am glad so many caring men are among those doing the healing.
One beauty of the new global goals is that they set a common reference for debate. In the coming years, we will likely discover new roadblocks alongside opportunities to jump forward. These should prompt ongoing course corrections as the world veers toward success.
Bernie Sanders will become the Democratic nominee, primarily because people trust him and polls are finally beginning to reflect the energy and momentum of his campaign.
If you're seeing multiple warning signs or a progressive pattern develop, you should be concerned. Be wise, trust your instincts, and protect yourself. If something doesn't sound or feel right, do what's best for you and keep yourself safe.