Talking points

  • Grigori Perelman, a Russian mathematician, won a $1 million Clay Mathematics Institute Millenium Prize for his solution to a problem that mathematicians have been trying to solve since 1904. But Perelman, who is unemployed and lives in a small apartment with his mother, has turned the money down. This is not the first time he refused a prize.
  • Everyone knows the story of how Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag. But what everyone doesn’t know is that Ross was a smart businesswoman, was married three times and made several more flags during the Jefferson and Madison administrations. It seems the real story is much more interesting than the legend.
  • A doctor in Florida is dosing pregnant women with an experimental hormone meant to prevent their unborn daughters from becoming lesbians. Some scientists believe that the hormone dexamethasone might prevent the development of ambiguous genitalia in female babies, but this application toward sexuality is taking things a step too far. Endocrinologist Maria New thinks the hormone could also prevent girls from tending towards traditionally male behaviors. I say she’s a bit off in the head.
  • A new tumblr, Tea Party Jesus, puts the Tea Party’s words right in Jesus’ mouth. Party propaganda or clever satire? I’m hoping it’s the latter.
  • Casablanca Rick’s Bar of Kabul, a landmark for the UN in Afghanistan, is shutting down. It has been serving alcohol and atmosphere to foreign dignitaries since the late 1970s.
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