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You Don't Know America

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What Do Expats Think of America?

It’s actually not half bad! Well, except for the guns.

Prospector

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How Farouk al Kasim Saved Norway From Its Oil

After growing up watching the benefits of Iraqi oil elude the Iraqi people, a young executive insisted that Norway do things differently.

 

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Europe Now Looking Over Its Shoulder at Syrian Polio Outbreak

As feared, the possibility of once rare or neglected diseases slopping out of the cauldron that is Syria is becoming more real.

 

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Artists Report High Job Satisfaction

New research from Europe finds those in creative professions are relatively low-paid, more likely to be unemployed—and robustly satisfied with their work.

 

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History Is Your DNA

New research finds that recent European history shows up in the genetic material of those living on the continent.

 

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Guess What? Traditional Marriage Doesn’t Exist

Worried about the government accepting gay marriages? It only pretty recently started accepting straight ones.

 

The Invisible Sea Creatures Worth More Than Uranium, Silver, and Kobe Beef Combined

Baby eels: the new hot thing to exploit for financial gain.

 

Syringe on the Ground

Would Breaking Bad’s Czech Meth Scheme Work?

Two lessons for Walter White: European meth users are locavores, and there’s not that many of them anyway.

 

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Letter from Spain: Inside The Maternity Ward

At Barcelona Maternity, obstetric nurses are considered the backbone of one of Spain’s most beloved institutions. Today they are weathering longer shifts and dramatic cutbacks. How austerity is about much more than money.

 

Wood Pellets Energizing Europe, Timber Industry

A thriving transatlantic trade in compressed wood scraps is creating New World timber jobs and meeting Old World clean energy requirements.

 

The Dutch Can Handle Their Pot

A researcher who compared the Netherlands’ marijuana use with that of other European countries and the U.S. finds the Dutch regime of tolerated small sales of cannabis does not lead to a drug free-for-all.

 

High-Speed Rail Will Impact America’s Freight Trains

America’s very successful freight train system will have to make some compromises to accommodate high-speed rail, but those needn’t be the end of the world.

 

High-Speed Rail’s Weak Link Is Security

Keeping trains safe and keeping trains moving has been a balancing act in Germany, and so far all the weights are on the side of no waiting.

 

Irish Government Moves to Abolish Senate

Caught in a devastating economic crisis, Ireland considers killing off this political body, Seanad Éireann, which many see as a vestigial organ from the country’s bifurcated founding.

 

Report: Europe Competed to Sell Libya Weapons

An international report on arms transfers suggests Europeans were eager to sell weapons to Gadhafi before Libya’s uprising this winter.

 

Researchers Say Guinness Beer More Enjoyable in Ireland

In a tongue-in-cheek analysis appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day, four intrepid researchers conclude that Guinness beer is more enjoyable when surrounded by Ireland.

 

‘Shooting Galleries’ Take Aim at Illicit Drug Market

The idea that governments can reduce both addiction and street crime — and maybe bleed black markets dry — by managing drug distribution has gained momentum.

 

Contending With Afghan Heroin (And How Not To)

European governments have taken two divergent paths in dealing with the resurrected flow of narcotics from Afghanistan, legalization and an American-style war on drugs.

 

Why Should I Buy Health Insurance?

Europe has answered that question to its own satisfaction with a mandatory system that treats health care as a social insurance handled by private firms.

 

The Swiss and Their Guns

The relationship may be changing in Europe’s best-armed nation, which next month votes on how to store guns for its standing militia.

 

Combining Heat and Power

An old American idea to capture and use waste heat from electricity generation, adopted by Europe, needs to come back home for a visit.

 

Funding Mosques from the State Treasury

Secular European governments give money to Muslim congregations in an effort to defang radicalism imported from foreign sources.

 

Europe’s Muslims Get to be the Continent’s New Jews

Issues swirling around Europe’s non-assimilation of its Muslim population recall its anti-Semitic past, according to scholar Reza Aslan.

 

Mixing Europe and the Middle East

It’s a long and sorrowful history. But is the new Islamophobia also “anti-Semitism”?

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Love and Hate in Israel and Palestine

Psychologists find that parties to a conflict think they're motivated by love while their enemies are motivated by hate.

How to Water a Farm in Sandy Ground

Physicists investigate how to grow food more efficiently in fine-grained soil.

Unlocking Consciousness

A study of vegetative patients closes in on the nature of consciousness.

Advice for Emergency Alert Systems: Don’t Cry Wolf

A survey finds college students don't always take alerts seriously.

Brain’s Reward Center Does More Than Manage Rewards

Nucleus accumbens tracks many different connections in the world, a new rat study suggests.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

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