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Columns

On Mountain Day, Students Bond With a Peak Experience

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It happens once a year, and with only a couple of minor breaks, has been happening for over 150 years. It’s Mountain Day at Colby-Sawyer College. Its date is always a well-kept secret among a few administrators and professors, but our TV crew had been let in on it so we could be here to climb the mountain with the students and film the event. I have no idea how …

In Hong Kong, Crackdown Is the Threat

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What’s worse for big business in Hong Kong: street protests, or the tear gas fired to disperse the protests? That’s the uncomfortable question now confronting Hong Kong’s button-down business community, which has coexisted relatively peacefully with the city’s Communist overlords since the handover to Chinese rule in 1997. For 30 years, nobody — other than perhaps China’s growing middle-class — has benefited more …

Column: Let Others Stand for Health and Fitness; Seated I Shall Remain

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stand up, if you want to live.” This seems to be a theme, lately, among health writers. If you stand more and exercise more, you will be healthier than if you simply exercised more. Stand up. Stand up right now. Keep standing up. Write everything standing. It lengthens your telomeres and, as far as we can tell, lengthening your telomeres is the way …

Column: Preserve the Forests to Protect the Planet

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Two contradictory facts reign supreme with regard to climate change. The first is that the atmosphere and oceans of our planet are heating up. The catastrophic consequences of this reality are already baked into the environment, and most …

Column: Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage, and Pot

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

This is the year of the Seinfeld midterms, we are told — an election about nothing in particular, lacking dominant themes. Yet the election also highlights how we are becoming a Seinfeld society. When it comes to two cultural issues that were once taboo, gay relationships and marijuana …

Column: The Coming Era of Unlimited, Clean and Free Energy

Monday, September 22, 2014

In the 1980s, leading consultants were skeptical about cellular phones. McKinsey & Company noted that the handsets were heavy, batteries didn’t last long, coverage was patchy, and the cost per minute was exorbitant. It predicted that in 20 years the total market size would be about 900,000 units, …

Column: Five Myths About the NFL, From concussions to Socialism

Monday, September 22, 2014

Over the past few weeks, Americans have been confronted by a slew of scandals besieging our most popular sport. Outrage over the off-the-field violence of star running backs Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson has been accompanied by the revelation that the National Football League expects almost one-third of …

Column: ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ Deserves Its Status

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Last weekend marked the 200th anniversary of the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner. Over the years, many debates have surrounded the national anthem — involving its meaning, its quality and the circumstances under which Francis Scott Key came …

Column: Shed a Tear for the iPod

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Quietly, even stealthily, Apple last week brought about that moment that many of its most loyal followers dreaded would happen: It killed off the iPod. Oh, the name lives on for now, attached to a suite of weird …

Column: Princeton’s Faculty Stands With Students Against Sexual Violence

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Amid increasing national pressure on colleges and universities to more aggressively tackle sexual assault, Princeton University has finally decided to overhaul its policies and procedures. At 4 p.m. on Monday, university faculty members packed storied Nassau Hall for their first regularly scheduled meeting of the year. Arguably the …

Column: Birds Need a Fighting Chance in the Face of Climate Change

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Maryland could lose the flashy orange-and-black Baltimore oriole — its state bird and the mascot of its Major League Baseball team — before the end of this century because of global warming. The common loon, Minnesota’s state bird and an iconic species across much of the northern United …

Column: I Know All About the Paddle and the Pain

Friday, September 19, 2014

Washington Adrian Peterson, the NFL running back, has been indicted for injuring his 4-year-old son. According to sources in law enforcement, Peterson used a tree branch to discipline the boy, leaving cuts and bruises. Peterson’s lawyer says his client meant no harm. “Adrian is a loving father who …

Column: Can Tweets Help the Police and Public Engage?

Friday, September 19, 2014

In the tiny town of Jun, Spain (population 3,000), meeting rooms in city hall have their own Twitter accounts. When residents want to reserve them, they send a direct message via Twitter; when it’s time, the door to …