Beezus may be the queen of apocalyptic sci-fi novels destined for movie adaptations starring Charlize Theron and Joseph Fiennes, and Katy may run shiz when it comes to vampire love stories written by sexually frustrated middle-aged ladies from the South for whom funfetti icing is a major food group, but I’m no illiterate fool.
I admit it: I read the fewest books in the Feinberg family. But what I lack in paperbacks I make up for tenfold in esoteric news items from around the internets that feed my conspiracy theories, keep me sharp for political arguments, and reinforce my unimpeachable mastery of Jeopardy/NYT crossword factoids.
Here are some articles that really revved my engine this week:
- More than a third of all cargo enters the United States on passenger jets
- U.S. transportation authorities are required to screen all of these shipments
- TSA has fallen short on screening all cargo from other countries
- That has raised security concerns, in the wake of the 2010 printer bomb scare
- In the right combination with other traits, novelty-seeking is a crucial predictor of well-being.
- Adventurous people are more likely to possess a “migration gene,” a DNA mutation that occurred about 50,000 years ago, as humans were dispersing from Africa around the world. The gene is more prevalent in the most far-flung populations, like Indian tribes in South America.
- Neophilia spurs us to adjust and explore and create technology and art, but at the extreme it can fuel a chronic restlessness and distraction.
- Decades of research have consistently shown that brainstorming groups think of far fewer ideas than the same number of people who work alone and later pool their ideas.
- The increasing complexity of human knowledge, coupled with the escalating difficulty of those remaining questions, means that people must either work together or fail alone
- Criticism allows people to dig below the surface of the imagination and come up with collective ideas that aren’t predictable.
- When the composition of the group is right—enough people with different perspectives running into one another in unpredictable ways—the group dynamic will take care of itself.
- Mitt Romney stuck Seamus, the family’s Irish setter, in a crate and strapped to the roof of his car on a 12 hour ride to Canada.
- Romney’s sons told reporters in an off-record conversation that the dog ran away when the family got to Ontario.
- Such a revelation, if true, gives the lie to Romney’s now nearly five-year-old claim that Seamus liked riding on top of the station wagon.
- America continues to track right, according to polling data
- The ongoing economic crisis only appears to have deepened conservatism’s hold.
- As American states become more religious, they also become more conservative.
- Conservative states are less educated and less diverse.