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Things Are Getting Better, So Why Are We All So Gloomy?
At the end of last year on CapX, I documented the constant stream of technological, scientific and medical breakthroughs that are improving the lives of billions of ordinary people. Given all this good news, the real question is why people are so unbelievably pessimistic. Judging by a 2016 poll of close to 20,000 people in some of the world’s richest countries, you could barely overstate the extent of the gloominess. In response to the question “All things considered, do you think the world is getting better or worse, or neither getting better nor worse?”, just 10 per cent in Sweden, 6 per cent in the US, 4 per cent in Germany and 3 per cent in France thought things were getting better. Why? Because, it turns out, we are pessimists by nature.
Astronaut John Young, who walked on moon and commanded first space shuttle flight, dies at 87
Legendary astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight, has died, NASA said Saturday. Young was 87. The space agency said Young died Friday night at home in Houston following complications from pneumonia. NASA called Young one of its pioneers - the only agency astronaut to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs, and the first to fly into space six times. He was the ninth man to walk on the moon.
Trump says he’s ‘like, really smart,’ ‘a very stable genius’
If there were any doubt these are political times like none before, consider that the American president felt compelled Saturday to let the world know he’s playing with all his marbles and is among the brightest cookies around.
Is Epiphany plausible?
The Feast of the Epiphany in the church’s liturgical calendar is based on the events of Matt 2.1–12, the visit of the ‘wise men’ from the East to the infant Jesus. There are plenty of things about the story which might make us instinctively treat it as just another part of the constellation of Christmas traditions, which does not have very much connection with reality.
An expert in the geology of Central Washington warned Friday that a landslide from Rattlesnake Ridge near Yakima could be much more destructive than government officials project, slamming into Interstate 82 and the Yakima River. Bruce Bjornstad, a retired geologist from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and an independent consultant, said a past landslide nearby appears to have spread quickly and covered much of the valley floor. “This situation has all the elements needed for a big landslide,” he said. “When, and if, that thing goes, it could wipe out dozens of cars on the interstate, it could potentially dam the river and affect that whole valley.” But other geologists, including an engineering firm hired by the quarry where a large crack first appeared in October, say any slide is likely to be slow-moving and mostly contained by the mined-out pit, sparing the freeway and river.
Paul Ryan-backed super PAC supporting Cathy McMorris Rodgers in 2018 contest
National Republicans plan to throw a counterpunch in Washington’s 5th Congressional District, which has become a midterm bull’s-eye for energized Democrats. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee able to raise unlimited cash and backed by House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, announced this week it would open a field office in Eastern Washington. The office, one of 27 the organization has launched since the beginning of last year, will support Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, whose seat is the only one in Washington currently receiving support from the group.