In 1965, James Baldwin, by then internationally famous, faced off against William F. Buckley Jr., one of the leading voices of American conservatism, in a debate hosted by the Cambridge Union in England. The debate proposition before the house was: “The American dream is at the expense of the American Negro.”
Nicholas Buccola’s “The Fire Is Upon Us” tells the story of that intellectual prizefight as well as the larger story of Buckley’s and Baldwin’s lives.
Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week in politics, including whether public impeachment hearings are making President Trump more or less vulnerable, what stood out about the witnesses who testified so far, whether Trump’s Ukraine dealings are surprising or “in character” and the latest dynamics among 2020 Democrats.
The Polarstern research vessel will spend 1 year locked in an Arctic ice floe. Aboard the ship and on the nearby ice, researchers will take measurements of the ice, air, water, and more in an effort to understand this pristine place. Science journalist Shannon Hall joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about her time aboard the Polarstern and how difficult these measurements are, when the researchers’ temporary Arctic home is the noisiest, smokiest, brightest thing around.
After that icy start, Sarah talks also with Tanmoy Samanta, a postdoctoral researcher at Peking University in Beijing, about the source of the extreme temperature of the Sun’s corona, which can be up to 1 million K hotter than the surface of the Sun. His team’s careful measurements of spicules—small, plentiful, short-lived spikes of plasma that constantly ruffle the Sun’s surface—and the magnetic networks that seem to generate these spikes, suggest a solution to the long-standing problem of how spicules arise and, at the same time, their likely role in the heating of the corona.
“A simple example would be copper and fiber wires. When you’re putting wires in a new facility, it’s easier to put in many more than you need that moment because putting them in 5 years from now or 10 years from now is quite hard. Something like 85 percent of our copper wires and fiber optic cables are dark right now because we know we’re going to need them in the future.”
When you consider the fast pace of technological advances today, you wonder how do you go about building a new hospital and keep the technology relevant for 10, 20 or even 50 years? I put that question to Stanford Health Care’s technology wiz Gary Fritz. He told me:
“We try to do something we call future-proof the hospital. We tried to make design decisions and technology decisions that allow us to move to the current or the next generation technology as easily as possible.”
One of the immune system’s jobs is to protect us from harmful bacterial. And the beneficial organisms that we refer to as probiotics contribute to this effort in a number of ways. In the gut, a robust population of beneficial bacteria can help crowd out harmful bacteria, making it harder for them to thrive. In addition, probiotic bacteria can influence the activity of our own immune cells, regulating inflammation, barrier function, and cell-to-cell signaling.
One way to foster healthy intestinal bacteria is to eat more of the foods these bugs like to eat—namely, fiber. Increasing your intake of plant fibers from vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds is like filling a bird-feeder with the kind of seeds that the beautiful songbirds you want attract like best. If you feed them, they will come!
And if we want to attract a lot of different types of songbirds—er, bacteria—then we want to put out a variety of foods. That means you don’t just want to get all your fiber from a single source, such as a fiber supplement. You want to get it fiber from lots of different kinds of vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds.