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The Economics of Your Face


Beauty, closely studied, seems nearly indistinguishable from quick math. Men seem to prefer women with a low waist-to-hip ratio.

Obama Says America Tortured, but That's Not Enough


President Obama nearly made it through a press conference Friday afternoon without answering questions about the CIA's admission that it spied on a Senate committee overseeing it, then lied about that to the Justice Department.

Would a Name Change Help Malaysia Airlines?


After an hour-long mechanical delay, ValuJet Airlines Flight 592 took off from Miami International Airport at 2:13 p.m.

The Power of Relatability


When Ira Glass stepped out of a performance of King Lear this week and declared, "No stakes, not relatable ... Shakespeare sucks," I don't know what he was thinking.

Is Putin Looking for a Way Out of Ukraine?


Sometimes it's a good idea to pay attention to what Andrei Kolesnikov writes. The Kommersant columnist is one of the Kremlin's anointed court scribes and is often described as President Vladimir Putin's favorite journalist.

The Link Between Birth Control Pills and Breast Cancer


The birth control pill is regularly hailed as one of the greatest medical advancements for women. Breast cancer, meanwhile, is considered one of the biggest health threats.

The Future of Iced Coffee


I have seen the future of iced coffee. There I was, wandering the grocery-store aisles—when suddenly, next to the kombucha, opposite the rotisserie chickens, I spotted something I never thought I’d live to see.

The Coded Clothes of South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters


Last week, a sea of red jumpsuits surfaced in Johannesburg. Nearly 300 supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)—a self-declared Marxist-Leninist political party that has formed in opposition to the dominant African National Congress (ANC), and adopted red overalls as its uniform—gathered at the legislative building of South Africa’s Gauteng province.

For Jobs, 2014 Has Been the Best Year of the Recovery—By Far


Today's jobs report fits my Boring Economy theory that month-to-month gyrations have obscured a safely cruising, slow-and-steady recovery.

The Most Dangerous Moment in Gaza


It is too early to say anything definitive about the Hamas decision to apparently break the ceasefire and attack an Israeli position, except that if it is true, as reports indicate, that Hamas militants came through a tunnel and carried underground and back into Gaza a live Israeli captive, then this moment could represent not another terrible, dispiriting incident in a terrible, dispiriting mini-war, but a fairly decisive turning point in which all swords are unsheathed.  This is assuming—as seems probable, but not 100 percent certain—that this raid is even what the Hamas leadership wanted (for what it's worth, its leaders, at the moment, seem to be owning this raid, suggesting that they are indeed doubling down in their war on Israel).

How the Remote Control Rewired the Home


Eugene Polley, the inventor of the first wireless television remote control, once said that “the flush toilet may have been the most civilized invention ever devised, but the remote control is the next most important.” Which makes sense.

Littering and Following the Crowd


Loretta Brown walked along Bishop’s Beach near Homer, Alaska, looking for plastic bottles, Styrofoam cups, beer cans, cigarette butts, and old fishing nets.

Guardians of the Galaxy: A Likable Mess


No Spider-Man? No X-Men? No Fantastic Four? No problem. In 2007, when Marvel Studios began producing films in-house under newly anointed president Kevin Feige, the rights to its best known—and most lucrative—franchises were held by other studios.

Israel's Bedouin: Caught Between the Iron Dome and Hamas


Tel el-Barad, a village in Israel’s Negev region, is home to 300 people, all of them related to each other.

Does John Brennan Know Too Much to Be Fired by Barack Obama?


When John Brennan assured the country that the CIA hadn't improperly monitored the Senate team that compiled a report on Bush-era torture, he fed us false information.

Actually, Some Material Goods Can Make You Happy


It's been the refrain of behavioral economists and, in my case at least, my wise husband for years: Spend your money on experiences, not things.

On David Frum, the New York Times, and the Non-Faked "Fake" Gaza Photos


1. A colleague at the Atlantic made a major journalistic error this week. As he has himself admitted, in the first half of a post on our site.

U.S. Senator Urges White House to Mount Criminal Probe of CIA


Senator Mark Udall, a member of the committee that conducts oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency, declared Thursday that the CIA should be investigated by an independent counsel for violations of the U.S.

The End of Paper-and-Pencil Exams?


Are fourth graders computer-savvy enough to have their writing skills measured in an online assessment?


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