Commentary

FDR sits at his desk with pen in hand

How FDR could have rescued Jews

BY: - October 5, 2022

The latest film from Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein, “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” has aroused controversy with its claim that President Franklin D. Roosevelt did his best to help save Jews from the Nazis. In the filmmakers’ view, FDR’s hands were tied in the 1930s by domestic antisemitism, and in the 1940s […]

Two people walk past the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is back in session – here’s what to expect

BY: - October 4, 2022

Following a dramatic year of controversial rulings, the Supreme Court began hearing new cases on Oct. 3, with a full agenda. The court overturned abortion rights and expanded gun rights in June 2022 as the new conservative supermajority began to exert its influence. Some of the court’s most important upcoming cases focus on the future […]

Native Americans’ decades-long struggle for control over sacred lands is making progress

BY: - October 3, 2022

Who should manage public land that is sacred to Native Americans? That is the question that the United States government and some states hope recent policy changes will address by giving Indigenous people greater input into managing such land. Co-management, as the policy is called, might alleviate the friction that emerges when sacred landscapes are […]

A girl carries a lunch tray with a sandwich, orange, yogurt and milk at school

Food for thought: The single most important thing we can do to support our students

BY: - September 30, 2022

The other day in my freshman English class, I announced that we had to move the lunch block. Normally, they eat at 11:42, but for what was a legitimate reason on this particular day, I needed to move it to 12:15. Or so I thought. You would have thought that I had announced that I […]

A person in silhouette running on a beach with the sun low in the sky and an orange haze in the sky

Solar geoengineering might work, but local temperatures could keep rising for years

BY: , , , and - September 29, 2022

Imagine a future where, despite efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions quickly, parts of the world have become unbearably hot. Some governments might decide to “geoengineer” the planet by spraying substances into the upper atmosphere to form fine reflective aerosols – a process known as stratospheric aerosol injection. Theoretically, those tiny particles would reflect a […]

Editor’s Notebook: The rocket science of renewal

BY: - September 28, 2022

My family and I have big plans this weekend: We’re heading to a local pharmacy to get the latest COVID-19 booster along with a round of flu shots. Back at home we’ll toast to good health with Smartwater and Gatorade in hopes of avoiding the worst of the vaccine hangover. And then, through autumn and […]

A woman reads a book to two young boys in a park

Study seeks to explain ‘Mandela Effect’ – the bizarre phenomenon of shared false memories

BY: and - September 26, 2022

Imagine the Monopoly Man. Is he wearing a monocle or not? If you pictured the character from the popular board game wearing one, you’d be wrong. In fact, he has never worn one. If you’re surprised by this, you’re not alone. Many people possess the same false memory of this character. This phenomenon takes place […]

A man sits on a set of stairs during a heat wave

America’s summer of heat, floods, and climate change: Welcome to the new abnormal

BY: - September 23, 2022

The summer of 2022 started with a historic flood in Montana, brought on by heavy rain and melting snow, that tore up roads and caused large areas of Yellowstone National Park to be evacuated. It ended with a record-breaking heat wave in California and much of the West that pushed the power grid to the […]

An illustration showing a crowd of gray shaded people with one person bright red

Conspiracy theories are dangerous even if very few people believe them

BY: - September 20, 2022

There is an open question among pundits and researchers: Do more Americans believe in conspiracy theories now than ever before? But as a scholar of conspiracy theories and their believers, I am concerned that focusing on how many Americans believe conspiracy theories can distract from their dangers. Even if most people dismiss conspiracy theories or […]

A gas burner

Is your gas stove bad for your health?

BY: - September 19, 2022

Cooks love their gadgets, from countertop slow cookers to instant-read thermometers. Now, there’s increasing interest in magnetic induction cooktops – surfaces that cook much faster than conventional stoves, without igniting a flame or heating an electric coil. Some of this attention is overdue: Induction has long been popular in Europe and Asia, and it is […]

Serena Williams: The power, and danger, of a single story

BY: and - September 15, 2022

Earlier this month, we joined with millions of other sports fans in watching Serena Williams play the final match of her dazzling tennis career at the U.S. Open. We ooh’d and ahh’d as she served up 11 aces to her opponent’s three, adding to her record stockpile of 4,131 aces since 2008 alone. We cowered […]

‘The past echoes in the present’: A review of ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’

BY: - September 12, 2022

This story was updated on Oct. 2 at 8:30 a.m. The three two-hour episodes of “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” a documentary by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein, debut on PBS beginning Sept. 18. Toward the end of “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” the new documentary by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah […]