"No quere ... dormir," mumbles Olivia as her breathing deepens and her eyes finally stay shut. She means "no quiero dormir," "I don't want to sleep" in Spanish, but her conjugations haven't quite come in yet. I don't care. It's been an hour and a half, she's finally asleep in any language, and I tiptoe out.
Unless Earth is special beyond reason, you can confidently assume there are plenty of societies out there. That doesn't mean that they'll come to Earth (or, as many believe, already have). Interstellar travel, despite what you've seen at the local multiplex, is hard. But we could easily get in touch via radio signals or flashing laser lights.
The month of November is Native American Heritage Month. A recent editorial by Kevin Gover, director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, suggests that "the vast majority of Americans have a limited -- and often mistaken -- understanding of Native American history."
Using names or acronyms of mental illnesses to hyperbolize innocuous idiosyncrasies and experiences has become pervasive in our cultural dialogue. It is important we end this trend, because making these flippant references trivializes how devastating the illnesses can be and perpetuates myths and misunderstandings.