Tag Archives: China

The right way to fact-check President Trump

During the election, media organizations were forced to create new and inventive ways to communicate Donald Trump’s new and inventive relationship with the truth. Here’s one famous example:

Such efforts went over so well that some people have clamored for the networks to deploy such correctives on a more regular basis:

Continue reading The right way to fact-check President Trump

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You might have expected archaeologists in Israel, of all places, to get this one right

Archaeologists in Israel announced yesterday their “one of a kind” discovery of a “2,000-year-old bronze mask larger than a human head.” According to the archaeologists, the mask depicts Pan, the ancient god of shepherds, who is half man, half goat (or in China, half man, half goat-or-sheep.). Here’s how they could tell:

Continue reading You might have expected archaeologists in Israel, of all places, to get this one right

Does Bibi really belong on this list of 21 world leaders who stifle free speech?

Daniel Wickham made recent headlines for contrasting the presence of 21 world leaders at Sunday’s march in Paris with their actual commitments to a free press. He kicked off the litany as follows —

Continue reading Does Bibi really belong on this list of 21 world leaders who stifle free speech?

Did all that litter really undermine the People’s Climate March?

We’re coming up (tomorrow) on the two month anniversary of the People’s Climate March, which was the largest climate gathering in history, and which has been credited by some (OK, by one of its organizers) as laying the groundwork for the recent landmark agreement between China and the United States.

But the parade also left behind another legacy: the need for mountain-trash removal. Predictably, cynics (and some with more nefarious intentions) penned headlines that screamed “People’s Climate March Leaves Trail Of Trash” and gleefully linked to tweets depicting — and commenting on — the mess left behind, like so:

Continue reading Did all that litter really undermine the People’s Climate March?

The surprising American consensus on coal

While reading the New York Times coverage of Obama’s new carbon compact with China, I was stunned to learn that only “twenty-one percent of Americans think producing electricity from coal is a good idea.” For the sake of comparison, a study published in February found that twenty-six percent of Americans could not correctly answer, “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?”

Continue reading The surprising American consensus on coal

Mitch McConnell’s outrage over Obama’s deal with China is certainly ironic

I was sitting in bed reading about climate change when I idly fired up the NYTimes app on my phone. New stories quickly updated, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that “US and China Reach Climate Deal After Months of Secret Talks“. Under the plan, China committed for the first time to capping its emissions (rather than simply slowing growth), while the United States promised to accelerate the pace of its decarbonization efforts. All in all, a positive step that will hopefully pave the way to a worldwide agreement next year.

But some have expressed skepticism over Obama’s ability to follow through on his commitments, both now and after he’s gone. From the AP story:

Continue reading Mitch McConnell’s outrage over Obama’s deal with China is certainly ironic

How to improve the CIA’s Osama bin Laden action figure

Via The Washington Post:

Beginning in about 2005, the CIA began secretly developing a ­custom-made Osama bin Laden ­action figure, according to people familiar with the project. The face of the figure was painted with a heat-dissolving material, designed to peel off and reveal a red-faced bin Laden who looked like a demon, with piercing green eyes and black facial markings.

The goal of the short-lived project was simple: spook children and their parents, causing them to turn away from the actual bin Laden.

The code-name for the bin Laden figures was “Devil Eyes,” and to create them the CIA turned to one of the best minds in the toy business, said those familiar with the project.

Unsurprisingly, the operation seems to have fallen somewhat short of success:

Continue reading How to improve the CIA’s Osama bin Laden action figure

Your obligatory post-atrocity reminder post, Part II

Newtown made headlines again recently when it was revealed that the most recent shooter who killed three people and injured sixteen more at Fort Hood was known to have vented about Adam Lanza, the individual who — as you well know — brought an assault rifle to Sandy Hook Elementary School and shot 26 people and then himself. Some people blame easy access to guns for enabling these tragedies. Other people blame this country’s treatment of mental illnesses. I think they’re both right — but I also don’t think that the existence of one problem excuses dealing with the other.

What follows is a selection of statuses that appeared in my Facebook newsfeed following the events of that fateful December event. I’m citing them as a representative sample, since I’m way too lazy to search the internet for others. But I’m sure you’ve seen this sort of thinking before, so I’m not going to lose too much sleep over being somewhat less than scientific:

Continue reading Your obligatory post-atrocity reminder post, Part II