Tagged: smart

Bravo, Connecticut: Joe, Ned, and the Iraq War

The front-page of the news yesterday announced that the incumbent Democratic senator from Connecticut, Joseph Lieberman, had lost his party’s primary election, only the third time this has happened to a sitting senator in 30 years. Normally, voters decline to return their representative to congress only in the most egregious cases of misconduct; and even...

Poem: Our Penchant for Bombing

If you had a million billion dollars with which you could Do anything you please Would you build a schoolhouse or a hospital or Bring Arabs to their knees?   If the purse strings of the Treasury were under Your control Would you vaccinate a child or Blow up a larger hole?   With riches...

The Problem with Cirque d’Soleil

Montreal’s famed “circus without animals” has delighted audiences around the globe with its amalgam of acrobatics, clowning, original music, and spectacular lighting effects — all without tortured elephants and disgruntled tigers. The company — or, more accurately, the corporation — has as a hand in seemingly every other show in Las Vegas, where its productions...

Athletic Noise

If you’re a betting man, someone who likes to play the odds, chances are you would wager against the proposition that a professional athlete will say something insightful, useful, enlightening, touching, or even partially intelligent in a post-game interview. Sure, million-to-one longshots occasionally pull through, but is it really worth spending a lifetime of ESPN...

Our Unusual Species

Thanks to sciences like biology and books like the Bible, we humans see ourselves at the apex of nature’s dominion, and not just because we’re at the top of the food chain. We’re special. We’re chosen. We’re God’s favorite of all the creatures. We have feelings, and languages, and the ability to make things that...

Is There a Correlation?

We invite scientists looking for fresh hypotheses to prove (or disprove) to investigate these suppositions, applying academically rigorous methodology in the pursuit of truth. Or we can all simply agree that they’re true, knock off early from work, and have a glass of red wine. Is there a correlation between a person’s tendency to litter and...

Poker in Perspective

The World Series of Poker main event — the world championship — begins on July 28th. I’ll be playing in it for the fifth time, after a hiatus of several years. When I first joined the competition, in the late 90s, I think there were fewer than 300 entrants. This year the organizers are expecting...

The Charity Enigma

I saw a beggar (and his dog) on Sunset Boulevard the other day. They — well, the human — were soliciting cash donations for “food” from pedestrians. A well-meaning but foolish fellow threw a few bucks at the doleful couple, thereby cleansing himself of whatever sins he had committed in the name of acquiring his...

Guzzling Taxpayer Money

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the five oligarchs who administer an annual budget of nearly $20 billion that affects more than 10 million residents, have at their collective disposal a fleet of 64 automobiles. Most of these cars are assigned to their staffers and factotums. Each supervisor, though, has a car paid for...

Why Global Warming Tends to Go Unnoticed

CLIMATE STRIKE WEEK at MICHAELKONIK.com, 9/15-21 Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, explains how our brains abandon us when the fate of the planet is at stake: He says that no one seems to care about the upcoming attack on the World Trade Center site. Why? Because it won’t involve villains with...