A rowdy, harrowing, vital book: My Times review of ‘Galileo’s Middle Finger,’ by Alice Dreger.

I’ve a review of Alice Dreger’s latest book in this week’s New York Times Sunday Book Review; it just appeared online.   “Galileo’s Middle Finger” is many things: a rant, a manifesto, a treasury of evocative new terms (sissyphobia, autogynephilia, phall-o-meter) and an account of the author’s transformation “from an activist going after establishment scientists […]

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Read 2: Trouble at Vassar, peace in Rwanda, success at the Strand. Plus Angela Merkel’s secret & how brains create agency.

The Astonishing Rise of Angela Merkel. By George Packer at The New Yorker John Kornblum, a former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, who still lives in Berlin, said, “If you cross her, you end up dead. There’s nothing cushy about her. There’s a whole list of alpha males who thought they would get her out of the […]

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Why Do Military Brats Kick Butt in Reading and Math?

Helen Epstein, in an aside in her fine piece on public-health innovator Sara Josephine Baker, suggests it rises partly from the excellent healthcare, daycare, and social services we give our military: [T]here is one group of Americans that receives high-quality government-subsidized child-care services, including day care, preschool, home-visiting programs, and health care: the US military. […]

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How The Deniers Win: Question Motives

Updated 06/17/2013 11:16am EDT (see tail end of story) James Gilbert has the goods over at The Conversation: Climate sceptics have won, Martin Wolf lamented in the Financial Times, despite near-universal scientific consensus against them. The sheer longevity of this “debate” indicates deniers attract disproportionate attention – partly due to one of their main lines of attack: scientific bias. […]

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Do Big Governments Make for Small People?

That’s what John Boehner said last night. Ezra Klein brings the fact-check: “You know,” Speaker John Boehner said last night, “I’ve always believed the bigger the government, the smaller the people.” That led Jonathan Cohn to tweet that the “Netherlands has 45% GDP from gov’tM spending and the world’s tallest people.” What I’ve always believed is […]

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