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What's Another $17 Million for a New Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial?

July 12, 2013 Pity the architect who agrees to design and build a memorial for the National Mall. Just about every such monument has met impassioned opposition and complaints during design and construction. Even the Washington Monument, the capital city's most iconic landmark, was thought to be an unsightly boondoggle by some. "Better,...

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You Can Now Bear Arms in a Post Office Parking Lot

July 11, 2013 Tab Bonidy was polite enough to ask before he brought a gun into a Colorado post office. In 2010 his lawyer sent a letter to USPS asking whether Bonidy would be prosecuted if he brought a firearm inside the facility or left one in his car while, let's say, purchasing...

Lawmakers Introduce a Bill to Establish a National Park on the Moon

July 9, 2013 No human has landed there in 40 years, the U.S. has no current plans to return, and there's no rest stop for the kids between it and the Earth, but Democratic House members have put forth a proposal to establish a national park on the moon. The move, proposed by...

Why College Students Make Better Decisions Than Intelligence Agents

July 9, 2013 Who would you trust with the lives of hundreds of people: federal intelligence agents or a bunch of college students? At Cornell University, psychologist Valerie Reyna wanted to test whether intelligence agents were susceptible to a type of decision-making bias people accrue as they get older. It's called fuzzy thinking....

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This Is Your Brain on Power

July 8, 2013 The powerful people of the world look down upon the powerless. While at Columbia University, Andy J. Yap set up a simple experiment. After manipulating his subjects into powerful or weak states (in the lab, psychologists are the most powerful ones of all), Yap asked them to guess the height...

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Happy Birthday Constitution! Americans Still Don't Get You

June 21, 2013 Just 225 years ago today, New Hampshire ratified the Constitution of the United States. In doing so, the total number of ratifying states rose to nine, which made the document the law of the land. (Yes, we know, "Constitution Day," is generally accepted to be September 17, the date on...

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Kerry Wanted to Bomb Syria

June 19, 2013 On Thursday, President Obama confirmed what reports had been speculating for a few weeks: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons, notably sarin gas, on his own people, and tripping the president's "red line" that would rouse the United States to greater action. The response includes arming and training...

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Analysis: President Obama's Uphill Defense of the NSA Surveillance

June 18, 2013 President Obama is having a hard time defending the gushing leaks from the NSA's surveillance programs. It's not because he finds them indefensible; he seems emphatic that although he was worried about these programs as a senator and candidate, seeing them in action and seeing the oversights in place put...

Is 16 Minutes the Best We Can Do for Tornado Warnings?

May 29, 2013 For those caught in the path of the EF 4 tornado in Oklahoma last week, 16 minutes were all they had to prepare themselves for the 200 mph winds that would flip cars, twist steel, and all but completely destroy a 1.3 mile-wide swath of the town of Moore. Sixty...

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It's the 150th Anniversary of Black Troops Serving in the Military

May 22, 2013 Crowds packed the streets of Boston to watch the newly minted soldiers march toward the Statehouse for inspection. The throng roared as the regiment passed by, many of them cheering "more enthusiastically than ever they had done before," according to one Boston Journal reporter. This first all-black troop was heading...