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The New York Times reports today that BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Total—which is to say, five of the six largest oil companies on Earth—“are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq.”
This may be one of the least surprising developments in human history, yet that very predictability may also give some comfort to those of us who would like to believe, against all other evidence, that we live in a rational–albeit unjust–universe.
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”