Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:30 pm
If you haven't heard, yesterday was World Toilet Day, and its sponsors, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and the World Toilet Organization, suggest you take a moment to consider the profound luxury of good sanitation. A mind-boggling 2.6 billion people on Earth don't have toilets, and WSSCC and WTO are among the parties set on bringing that number down.
Imagine going to college and finding an oil rig on campus. That's becoming increasingly likely as oil and gas companies use a controversial technique commonly referred to as fracking to extract resources from land underneath campuses across the country.
Environmental science professor Jeffery Stone will never forget the day the earth shook on Indiana State University's campus in Terre Haute.
"They did it like in eight-second pulses, and you could feel the whole sidewalk wobble like an earthquake almost," Stone says.
When your dad owns a zoo in India, as Pi's dad does, it's perhaps natural to regard animals as your buddies. Cool if you're talking goats and turtles; less cool if the animal you decide you want to pet is a Bengal tiger.
"He's an animal, not a playmate," his terrified father shouts. "Animals have souls," the boy replies gently. "I have seen it in their eyes."
The Grand Place in downtown Brussels can be a feast for the senses: the wafting scent of hot waffles, shop windows chock-full of chocolate, exquisite Baroque architecture.
But that's not all you'll find on the quaint cobblestone streets as the city that serves as both the capital of Belgium and the headquarters of the European Union. There's also puke, dog poop, trash, spit, drug addicts, drunks and brawls.
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity cut a wheel scuff mark into a wind-formed ripple at the "Rocknest" site to give researchers a better opportunity to examine the particle-size distribution of the material forming the ripple. The rover's right Navigation camera took this image of the scuff mark on the mission's 57th Martian day.
At 86, legendary singer Tony Bennett says he's at the top of his game and more passionate than ever about his art.
"I want to try to prove that at 100, I could sing as well as I was singing when I was 45 or 43," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I'd like to prove that if you take care of yourself, you can actually not regret the fact that you've become an old-timer, but you can just still improve and actually get better."
It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last Wednesday, we discussed the dangers and benefits of high school football. Walt in Bakersfield, California wrote to say: I learned teamwork, perseverance and sacrifice of personal goals for larger good through football. At work, the word coachability is applied to people who will listen with humility and attentiveness. Other sports are more individualistically oriented. Please, consider these losses before you drop football.
You've got questions about the health law? The Obama administration has some answers. Finally.
Now that the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act constitutional and the president's re-election made clear that big chunks of the law will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, the administration is finally releasing rules of the road that states and insurance companies have been clamoring for.
At first glance, a novel in which the main character eats herself to death may not seem like the most felicitous pick for Thanksgiving week; but The Middlesteins turns out to be a tough but affecting story about family members putting up with each other, even in their most unlovely, chewing-with-their-mouths-open life moments. If you have a Thanksgiving family reunion looming before you that doesn't exactly promise to be a Norman Rockwell painting, The Middlesteins may just be the perfect literary corrective to overindulgence in high-calorie holiday expectations.