But will the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov damage people's beliefs in the power of government to solve problems?
By Seth Masket
With their new book Who's Bigger? Where Historical Figures Really Rank, Steven Skiena and Charles Ward try to quantify history's most significant human beings.
By Ryan O'Hanlon
Yes. But if the Christmas culture warriors took an honest look at the history of this holiday in our country they may not like what they find.
By John Fea
- Want Blue Energy? Then Trade Risk for Information
There are a lot of unknowns about the ecological effects of ocean-based renewable energy. A screwy permitting process, a new analysis argues, makes answering those questions that much harder.Did Don Ho Have a Solution to Global Warming?
Talk about global warming quickly turns to the question of carbon in the atmosphere. But the more fundamental observation about how much sunshine the planet bounces back into space should probably precede any mention of greenhouse gases.Will the Sun Set on the Union Jack?
Surely what happens to the Union Jack is one of the more minor concerns that would follow Scottish independence—except that it's not.
- Long-Distance Relationships Really Can Work
While there are certain tradeoffs, researchers report long-distance romantic relationships can be highly satisfying.Report Paints Grim Picture of Arts, Culture Economy
Production of cultural goods and services took a huge hit with the recession, and has been slow to rebound.The Biggest Losers Aren’t Necessarily More Healthy
An analysis of 21 diets finds scant evidence that losing weight promotes better health.
- Into the Eyeballs of Syrian Refugees
Is it really a good idea to scan the irises of thousands of vulnerable people?When Crime Labs Go Criminal
Annie Dookhan, the forensic scientist sent to prison last week for falsifying evidence, is just the tip of the iceberg.Why Don’t We Just Shoot Condemned Inmates?
If we’re going to kill people, there's only one good way to do it.
- Jesus Christ: History's Most Successful Meme
With their new book Who's Bigger? Where Historical Figures Really Rank, Steven Skiena and Charles Ward try to quantify history's most significant human beings.Before Drones, We Used Airplanes for Home Delivery
Once upon a time, you could get all kinds of home goods delivered to your house in less than 30 minutes—as long as you lived near a golf course.In Praise of Pumpkin Pie, the Only Reason to Celebrate Thanksgiving
Some people are trying to eliminate pumpkin pie from your Thanksgiving. These people are not to be trusted.
- 'The Atlantic' Is Wrong About Married Parents Producing Richer Kids
Sure, kids with married parents appear to have better outcomes by some measures. But a narrow reading of the data ignores strong evidence about the viability of alternative family structures.Seeking a Better Measure of Inequality, 50 Years After ‘I Have a Dream’
Severe inequities remain between whites and non-whites in American economic life. But it isn’t clear that employers are as much to blame as one might expect.How Parents Shape Their Kids’ Risk Tolerance
A new working paper outlines how mom and dad can influence their child's levels of risk tolerance and trust, traits that have a significant impact on career outcome.
- No, Obamacare Is Not President Obama's Vietnam
But will the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov damage people's beliefs in the power of government to solve problems?The Little-Known but Highly Valuable Vacancy Committee
Politicians in five states have a tricky way of getting around certain kinds of pressure from voters. We saw this at work last week when Colorado Senator Evie Hudak resigned her seat.You Don't Need to Worry About the Senate Becoming a Second House of Representatives
Even if the filibuster is eliminated.
- Identity: State of Mind or State of Place?
The ongoing debates about gentrification boil down to nothing more than one big turf war.YURPs, Burps, and Globalizing Big Easy
The effects of gentrification in New Orleans.Transit Oriented Boondoggle: The Problem With Detroit's Streetcar System
Investment in any kind of transportation should aid production, not consumption.
- Will Tweaking the Food Stamp Program Save It?
A Brookings report takes the "mend it, don't end it" approach to the embattled SNAP program.Is Your Local Judge Hiding Something?
A Center for Public Integrity investigation argues for better rules on judicial conflicts of interest.With Gifts, It Actually Is the Thought That Counts
But giftees think a little too hard.
- Cigarette Smuggling: It Adds Up
The “Tobacco Trail” tempts two-bit crooks and big-time smuggling rings.The Emotions That Prosecutors Elicit to Make Jurors Vote Guilty
Jurors experiencing “moral outrage” will be more likely to convict, and changes in technology are making this a bigger factor.The Unique Needs of Veterans in the Legal System
Vet courts, like drug courts, treat the underlying factors for first-time offenders.
- Are Varsity Sports Destroying Exercise and Ruining America's Schools?
Students who get a lot of exercise perform better academically. But competitive varsity sports limit the availability of rigorous activity in schools.What a Real War on Christmas Looks Like
A history lesson for former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and other conservatives worried about "a secular clown posse" set on destroying Judeo-Christian traditions.
- The Secrets We Keep (Are Making Us Sick and Screwing With Our Brains)
Four ways keeping a secret is bad for you.The 'Officially Amazing' People Who Try to Break Guinness World Records
What kind of person wants to become the world's fastest cucumber eater?
- Meet the Flexians
A new professional class of movers and shakers—people who serve overlapping roles in government, business, and media with smiling finesse—is controlling the flow of power and money in America. The anthropologist Janine Wedel is bent on making us understand just how dangerous this new normal can be.The Environmental Defense Fund Is Pissing Off Fellow Environmentalists
Has the large advocacy group allowed itself to be “co-opted by industry interests"?
Most Recent Stories
December 9, 2013 • By Michael Todd
Say you get a traffic ticket (if you can’t imagine that, I have plenty I’d be willing to share). Does that ticket suggest you’ve been caught and chastised, and having repented will now drive ... Read More
December 9, 2013 • By Nina Martin
A dispute between a Colorado cardiologist and the hospital he works for has highlighted a growing area of concern among patient advocates and civil libertarians: gag rules imposed on doctors and ... Read More
December 9, 2013 • By Lisa Wade
A new study has discovered that 48 percent of the nation’s 50 million public school students are living in low-income households, as measured by whether they qualify for free or reduced-priced ... Read More
December 9, 2013 • By Michael White
The Food & Drug Administration provoked a furious controversy when it recently ordered the personal genetics company 23andMe to stop selling its popular, direct-to-consumer genetic testing ... Read More
December 9, 2013 • By Tom Jacobs
In an era when job opportunities are limited, professionals pursuing a career are often tempted to move to another city. But if your significant other can’t—or isn’t willing—to pick up and ... Read More
December 8, 2013 • By Jim Russell
A young couple, both 3rd generation Vermonters living on the right side of the Connecticut River, celebrate their first born in a hospital on the wrong side of the river in New Hampshire. The prodigal ... Read More
December 7, 2013 • By Charles Ornstein
Now that the front-end of HealthCare.gov appears to be working properly, the media's focus is quickly shifting to the back-end systems that are supposed to provide insurance companies with accurate ... Read More
December 6, 2013 • By Jim Russell
Say goodbye to authentic New Orleans. Gentrification on a national scale is rapidly remaking the landscape. The influx from America's urban alpha dogs: "You trying to run us out of New Orleans," ... Read More
December 6, 2013 • By Michael Todd
Renewable energy isn’t always as “green” as we’d like. Wind turbines kill birds and bats, solar projects can cover up pristine habitat, and some biofuels ultimately are more greenhouse gassy ... Read More
December 6, 2013 • By Charles Ornstein
For Missouri public radio reporter Harum Helmy, the Affordable Care Act is more than just a story she covers. It is also a story she's living. "I know — an uninsured health reporter," she wrote ... Read More
December 6, 2013 • By Martin Hart-Landsberg
According to an article at the Wall Street Journal, the average income for the bottom 90 percent of families fell by over 10 percent from 2002 to 2012 while the average income for families in all of ... Read More
December 6, 2013 • By Lauren Kirchner
While schools and states hem and haw about how to best regulate e-cigarettes, it seems that the lo-fi versions are still causing just as much of a headache. On Monday, the Virginia State Crime ... Read More
December 6, 2013 • By Lauren Zumbach
Grade inflation has upgraded the gentleman’s C to a B or even an A at many top colleges and universities, but the only school that made a serious public effort to curb rising GPAs appears to be ... Read More