West Indies

Soccer Triumphalism Turns Ugly
June 15, 2010

I've been a long-time, tongue-in-cheek participant in the regular soccer Kulturkampf. But there seem to be a lot of people who take this issue deadly serious, and it's a little frightening. Max Bergmann at the Center for American Progress rounds up some of the unhinged conservative rhetoric about soccer. So let me say that, as a confirmed non-soccer fan, the prospect that America will one day become a soccer-loving nation does not strike me as dangerous in any way.

Race Against History
June 11, 2007

It seemed like just another harmless moment on daytime TV: Oprah Winfrey began an "Ask Dr. Oz" segment with the physician Mehmet Oz, and the two arrived at the subject of excessive sweating. Oz cited high blood pressure as a major cause and then asked Winfrey if she knew why black Americans experienced hypertension at disproportionate rates. No problem so far. But then Winfrey answered Oz's question by reviving what scholars have called the "slavery hypothesis" of hypertension.

The Seas
October 31, 1970

Twenty-two years ago the Norwegian author-explorer, Thor Hyerdahl, sailed his balsawood Kon Tiki raft halfway across the Pacific Ocean, and he remembers that he and his small crew were “thrilled by the beauty and purity of the ocean.” When Hyerdahl eased into the West Indies this summer after crossing the Atlantic in a boat built of papyrus reeds, he was visibly shaken by the flotilla of bottles, tubes and industrial scum that had bobbed endlessly past him.