Pop culture does not mean celebrity culture; I have perhaps said this more often than anyone you're going to meet. Who dates, who gets a divorce, who has a tantrum, who has surreptitious photos snapped of him by mangy, grim opportunists — these things are not culture of any kind, popular or otherwise, unless there is something else at stake. They are curiosities, and given that we are curious creatures, their pull is not surprising, nor is it new, nor was it invented by the internet, or television, or Americans.
Angelina Jolie just became part of a medical trend: More women are deciding to have their breasts removed to reduce the risk of cancer.
Over the past decade, doctors have noticed a big increase in the number of women choosing prophylactic, or preventive, mastectomies.
Some, like Jolie, have a genetic mutation that makes it much more likely that they will have breast cancer. Her mother died of the disease at age 56. Jolie is 37. She wrote about her decision in The New York Times.
Under the fluorescent lights of the boxing ring, the boy can barely see out beyond the elastic ropes that surround the fighting stage. The crowd and the festival that press in around him are shadowy outlines. But the boy can hear them.
"Chai Lorlam, 9 years old, 22.9 kilograms [just under 50 pounds]," the announcer says.
Solved! A bee-buzzing, honey-licking 2,000-year-old mystery that begins here, with this beehive. Look at the honeycomb in the photo and ask yourself: (I know you've been wondering this all your life, but have been too shy to ask out loud ... ) Why is every cell in this honeycomb a hexagon?
Bees, after all, could build honeycombs from rectangles or squares or triangles ...
But for some reason, bees choose hexagons. Always hexagons.
Currently, more than 95 percent of Japan's racehorses are born and raised in the southeast of Hokkaido, an island in northern Japan. The region was known for its war horses until the early 1900s. The intensity of competition at the horse races increased to the point that the new motto is "Losers must disappear." Because of this competitive climate, about 90 percent of horses born with any kinds of defects are transformed into cat food, dog food and food for human consumption. Through this project, I hope to bring awareness to the life and use of horses in Japan.
The federal health care overhaul makes some notable improvements in insurance coverage for young adults.
They can now stay on their parents' health plans until they turn 26. Next year they can also look for subsidized coverage on the state-based insurance marketplaces, also called exchanges. And they may qualify for Medicaid, if their income are less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($15,856 in 2013).
Subway entertainers are a mixed bag, but in the arts mecca of New York City, they're often overqualified — so much so that bands and other musical acts need to audition to even set up underground. And those are just the "official" performers.
"Russia's counterintelligence agency has detained a CIA agent in Moscow trying to recruit an officer of the Russian secret service, the Federal Security Service (FSB) announced. The agent was operating under guise of career diplomat."
According to Reuters, the Russian foreign ministry has summoned U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul for a discussion.
If you live in France, you might be paying more, soon, for smartphones and tablets, like the iPad. If the government moves ahead with a new tax proposal, the move could worsen an already tense climate between the Socialist government in France and some technology giants.
When we die, hopefully we leave the people who knew us with memories. For the closest friends and family, we might even leave some material possessions. But what about our digital possession: our emails, computerized documents and Facebook accounts?
Stan Alcorn reports on how businesses are helping people handle their online remains.
In 2011, Jessica Buchanan was an aid worker in northern Somalia, helping to raise awareness about how to avoid land mines. The north was the relatively safe section of the country; that October, she traveled to the more dangerous southern region for a training. The night before she left, she texted her husband, Erik Landemalm, also an aid worker in Somalia. She asked him a question: "If I get kidnapped on this trip, will you come and get me?"