Man Made Disaster

Tokyo Dispatch: Skyscrapers, Earthquake Science, and the Odds of Another Disaster
March 13, 2011

Tokyo, Japan—Back in 1976, I worked as an English teacher in Sendai, the large city closest to the epicenter of Friday’s horrendous earthquake. Once a week I would go to the campus of Tohoku University—the city’s pre-eminent university—for an afternoon of “English discussion” with a group of professors and grad students. Their research involved the effects of earthquakes on buildings.

Today at TNR (November 5, 2009)
November 05, 2009

Obama’s Sudan Envoy Is an Embarrassment. Fire Him. by The Editors Is Barack Obama Causing a Real Estate Boom in the West Bank? by Sarah A. Topol The One Conservative Argument Against Health Care Reform That You Should Take Seriously, by Jonathan Cohn Tall, Bronze, and Hideous: The Worst Statue of Bill Clinton EVER, by James Gardner Democrats Should Be Worried About Voter Disaffection, Not a Resurgent Right Wing, by E.J.

Will Rick Perry Get Away with Murder?
October 14, 2009

Not murder in the literal sense, of course, though in this case the metaphor is less distant than one would prefer.

The Bloodlust State, Ctd.
October 05, 2009

Every time it seems that Texas's application of the death penalty cannot become a greater moral disgrace, officials in the state find a way to outdo themselves.

Can Biofuels Clean Up Chernobyl?
July 10, 2009

It's definitely not advisable to grow food in southeastern Belarus. The region is still so contaminated by fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident that crops grown there will be unfit for human consumption for hundreds of years—until the radioactive isotopes decay. (Thanks to wind patterns during the disaster, which happened in Ukraine, about 70 percent of the fallout splashed over onto Belarus.) For years, Belarus has been racking its brains trying to figure out a way to decontaminate soil in the region—which is home to about 1.5 million people.

Good Cop, Bad Cop
June 04, 2009

The Hill reports that while Senate Republicans have publicly distanced themselves from the activists attacking Sonia Sotomayor's nomination, the behind-the-scenes message is a different one: Lanier Swann, an aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), told a private meeting of conservative activists Wednesday to keep up their pressure on Sotomayor.“Swann told us she wanted to encourage all of us in our talking points and that we’re having traction among Republicans and unnerving Democrats,” said an attendee of Wednesday’s weekly meeting hosted by Grover Norquist, the president of A

The Movie Review: 'Angels & Demons'
May 15, 2009

How do you make a sequel to a blockbuster when the star of your film declines to return for a second go-round? I refer, of course, to Tom Hanks’s hairdo in The Da Vinci Code. Slipshod and plodding though that film was, the mullety muss adorning Hanks’s pate was a source of nearly inexhaustible amusement.

Steele Handcuffed?
May 06, 2009

 It sure looks like it: Capitulating to critics on the Republican National Committee, embattled Republican Party Chairman Michael S. Steele has signed a secret pact agreeing to controls and restraints on how he spends hundreds of millions of dollars in party funds and contracts, The Washington Times has learned... Under nearly constant fire from conservatives since his Jan. 30 election, Mr. Steele last Wednesday accused the resolution's proponents of a power grab "scheme." It looked like an impasse, with a showdown - and a possible no-confidence vote in Mr.

The War On Obama's Nuclear Agenda
April 29, 2009

In 2007, John Bolton wrote that Republicans had achieved "the end of arms control." He was referring to a string of conservative successes, starting with the U.S. Senate's rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1999, that signaled a dramatic shift in the way the United States interacted with the rest of the world. Essentially, Bolton and his ideological brethren wanted to create a world in which the United States would never limit its sovereignty through any negotiated agreement.

Jim Demint's Honkin' Big Book Deal
March 04, 2009

In today's slide show, below, Katie singles out South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint for being one of Congress' most inane twitterers (twits?). Well, Katie, I beg to disagree. If DeMint were so inane, how come he just signed a big ol' book deal? From Publishers' Lunch: U.S.