President Obama on Wednesday launched another effort to lay out his vision for how to strengthen the U.S. economy with a midday speech at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., in which he hit themes familiar to those who followed his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.
In general terms, there are two eras that characterize the 200,000 years or so of human presence on Earth: first, and for most of this time, the hunter-gatherers, nomadic groups that roamed the land in search of food and shelter. Then came what we call "civilization," product of the fixation of larger groups around fertile areas. Presumably, the first were the Natufians some time around 10,000 BCE, along the swath of land between Israel and Jordan.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:35 pm
Note added on Aug. 23, 2013: When we wrote this post and its headline — "Sales Of New Homes Rise Again, Hit Five-Year High" — the data said that was true. Now, the agencies that produce the numbers have issued revisions that indicate sales of new homes in June were the second-best in the last five years. Go here to read about that.
Menthol gives cough drops, lip balm and other drugstore remedies that cool minty taste and slight numbing quality. Now the Food and Drug Administration has taken a long-awaited step toward saying that in cigarettes, those same qualities do more harm than good.
Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 12:04 pm
Monkey See contributor/longtime nerd Glen Weldon recently attended San Diego Comic-Con. He kept a diary during one of the largest media events in the world.
8:28 p.m.: Jennifer and Matthew Holm are an adorable brother-sister team. They are standing at a podium less than 6 feet away from me and thanking their publisher, because their charming book, Babymouse for President, has just won the Eisner for Best Publication for Early Readers.
For the next two-plus weeks, I'll be in California, hearing all about the next six months in television. It's the annual press tour of the Television Critics Association, and it's always a combination of interesting discussions, weird little stories, and increasingly punchy critics.
You can see, for instance, all of last year's coverage here.
Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 10:43 am
Professor William Barklow was on vacation when this happened. He was in Tanzania sitting on a river bank gazing about, when all of a sudden a hippopotamus pushed its head out of the river right in front of him, opened its huge mouth and bellowed.
It was really loud. Barklow could feel sound waves hitting his chest, his neck; he could hear the cry echoing along the riverbank. He knew next to nothing about hippos being himself a bird man, a specialist on the North American loon, but he was intrigued by what happened next.