August 16, 2013 |
Climate change presents two distinct problems. The first is linear: A little more warming causes a little more damage. The second is nonlinear: A little more warming pushes some part of the climate system past a tipping point and the damage becomes catastrophic. We need smart climate policies that address both problems, so we can slow incremental damage while also taking out an insurance policy against the growing risk of catastrophic damage. The Arctic is a prime example of a potential tipping point.
July 25, 2013 |
Some 6,000 refugees pour out of Syria every day, straining humanitarian aid resources and destabilizing the country's neighbors. Cumulatively, they already make up 10% of the population of Jordan. And there is no end in sight. Antonio Guterres, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, says the displacement of people has not risen "at such a frightening rate" since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The absolute size of the humanitarian catastrophe may not yet match the largest of recent times, such as the 2010 floods in Pakistan, but Syria is working hard to catch up. Moreover, its political effects are potentially far greater than those of any tsunami or earthquake.
July 1, 2013 |
Life is all about collisions. Having them, avoiding them, learning from them. A recent day brought one between Jim Brown and Buddy Miley. The former is famous and the latter is not. That added to the fascination. Brown is one the better football players ever. He led the NFL in rushing eight times as a member of the Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965. He also appeared in several dozen movies, some of them quite good. He is 77. Miley was a football player at a suburban Philadelphia high school in 1973.
June 4, 2013 |
Vaudevillian elements notwithstanding, the absurdist theater isn't typically associated with slam-bang entertainment value. Based on the works of Eugene Ionesco, “Ionescopade” at the Odyssey brings slapstick firmly to the fore in a surprisingly light-hearted divertissement. Yet in fine Ionesco style, the general inanity yields horrific hints of a world gone mad. Director/choreographer William Castellino, working with longtime collaborator Mildred Kayden (music and lyrics)
February 16, 2013 |
MOSCOW - As Russian authorities searched Saturday for remnants of the space object that startled residents of the southern Ural Mountain region a day earlier, scientists called its shock wave a loud warning that they hoped would inspire action to prevent potential catastrophes. "When a small piece of rock would fall on the Earth 100 years ago, it could have caused minimal damage and would have stayed largely undetected, but Friday's accident fully demonstrated how vulnerable the technological civilization of today has become," Vladimir Lipunov, head of the Space Monitoring Laboratory with Moscow State University, said in an interview.
January 31, 2013 |
Cities all around the world are having to come up with creative solutions to their budget problems as the economic slump continues. The city of Dijon, the capital of the Burgundy region of France, has an unusual asset to sell. The picturesque town (also home to the mustard of the same name), held an auction to sell off half of its 7,000-bottle wine cellar to fund social services. The municipal cellar is used to entertain visiting dignitaries. An article in Bloomberg reported: "Dijon sold half the stock in its wine cellars, raising 151,620 euros ($203,929)