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|Could Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams Make a Messy, Cliché-Ridden TV Show?|
Believe, NBC?s new, glossy J.J. Abrams?produced and Alfonso Cuarón?directed drama, begins in medias car chase, when an SUV carrying a kind couple and a sweet little girl singing a creepy lullaby is driven off the road in the rain by a female assassin hunting that same girl, whose name is Bo (Johnny Sequoyah). (People of television: Do not get in cars. Your chances of getting in a wreck are 90 percent.) The grown-ups get their necks snapped, the kid gets rushed to the hospital, and Believe is off, cycling so fast through clichés that it briefly seems like they are being deployed playfully, as with Abrams? best work, remixed in a knowing way. They are not.
You Can Make Batteries From Viruses?
Biological engineer Angela Belcher is genetically modifying viruses to create batteries that can be recharged thousands of times and then decay harmlessly
The Republican Party is having a debate about its future. Before it can have the debate, its leaders must agree on just how it should take place. At the Conservative Political Action Conference this week, there emerged several distinct theories about how to approach the GOP split.
The most startling thing about the crisis in Ukraine is how horribly all the actors have played their hands.
Did You Invent Bitcoin?
Newsweek reintroduced itself to the world this week with a fascinating and meticulously researched cover story that definitively proves that the mysterious creator of bitcoin is in fact ? well, might be ? er, at least has several things in common with a 64-year-old Los Angeles-area man whose birth name was Satoshi Nakamoto. But is that Satoshi Nakamoto the Satoshi Nakamoto? Or does the real Satoshi Nakamoto still lurk among us, chortling to himself or herself or themselves as he/she/they post(s) laconic denials on obscure social networks?
The Audio Book Club Live in Seattle!
This month Slate?s Audio Book Club hits the road for a live show at Town Hall Seattle. Dan Kois, Hanna Rosin, and special guest star Hugh Howey (Wool) discuss Kurt Vonnegut?s classic novel of war and space aliens, Slaughterhouse-Five. The trio discuss Vonnegut?s deep depression, the way Billy Pilgrim?s travels through time mimic the vagaries of memory, and the nature of fan fiction ?especially in relation to Howey?s story set in the ?Vonnegut world,? ?Peace in Amber.? Listen along!
?We Are Going to Reform the Whole System?
SANTIAGO, Chile?On Tuesday, Michelle Bachelet will become president of Chile for the second time. Imprisoned as a young woman with her mother during the rule of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Bachelet was later forced into exile before returning to Chile and working as a pediatrician and human rights activist. She eventually served as the country's president from 2006 to 2010. An enormously popular politician, Bachelet nonetheless faces daunting challenges, including a student movement demanding free education for all and a slowing economy. Just days ahead of her inauguration, Bachelet, 62, sat down with Lally Weymouth to discuss inequality, education, and Chile's relationship with Washington. Excerpts:
Why CPAC Isn?t As Grassroots As You Think
This week hundreds of college Republicans and men sporting Founding Father costumes are in National Harbor, Md., down the Potomac from Washington, D.C., for the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual meeting of the American Conservative Union. Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist calls it ?Woodstock for conservatives.?
Missing Persons Report
The latest edition of the Bureau of Labor Statistics report is out, and it shows that, statistically speaking, the U.S. added 175,000 new jobs in February and its unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.7 percent. The insta-reaction world greeted the report as better news than expected. Much of the discussion, and almost all of the headlines, revolved around the unemployment rate. While it?s hardly surprising that our public discussion gets reduced to one easily digestible statistic that goes up or down at regular intervals, the rate itself is perhaps the least important piece of information, even as it garners the most attention. These jobs reports are replete with valuable data and information, most of which gets lost in the annexes and tables that the BLS assiduously compiles and that few people actually read.
?Coming From the Hip-Hop Culture, It?s Important to Be Fresh at All Times?
Daniel Muessig came up as a freestyle rapper from the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, traveling the world under the pseudonym Dos Noun. Then he got a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, went into criminal defense, and, this week, released the most honest advertisement for legal services that the Internet has ever seen. I talked to Muessig, 31, about his fresh courtroom style, what freestyle rap can teach lawyers about criminal defense, and why it?s crucial for your lawyer to have street knowledge. (You can follow Muessig on Twitter @ThanksDanEsq.)