Best Of The Web
“I won’t presume to know your family or your friend group, but I’m willing to bet there’s a decent chance that at least one person you know doesn’t believe that the Earth is curved. Instead they argue, with either a mountain of plausible-sounding statements or just vague deflections about government secrets and conspiracies, that the Earth is flat. That orbits are an illusion. That astronomy is a lie. That the truth is hidden.
What are you to do, with your science-loving heart and evidence-based thinking? The natural thing, of course, is to argue. To lay it out. The puzzle pieces, one by one. To convince.
But wait, how do you know that the Earth is round? Well, you’ve seen pictures from space. Lots of curves going on. But you didn’t take the pictures yourself. You haven’t seen the Earth with your own eyes. And even if you did, aren’t we taught since elementary school that our senses deceive us, lie to us, misrepresent the world to us? Isn’t that what makes science so powerful, because it moves past (or at least implacably grinds through) human weaknesses?”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."
"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."
"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"
"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."
"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""
"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "
"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."
"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"