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If the past is any guide to the future, people will do to us what we have done unto others, and they’ll have a hard time believing that so primitive a people as us could have harnessed nuclear power. After all, we lacked computers, uranium refineries, missiles, lasers, and dozens of other fundamental pieces of equipment in the 1940s. No one even knew about nuclear fission until 1939. And we’re supposed to believe a few labcoats in the desert built a bomb from scratch? –“Will the Manhattan Project Always Exist?” by Sam Kean, 3 Quarks Daily (via)
After training was complete, the Jews for Jesus materialized around town for the month of July—their activity brief yet fervent—like cicadas during mating season. Some Jews for Jesus came from nearby Brooklyn, while others journeyed from as far as Los Angeles, Russia, and Israel. From dawn till dusk, about thirty campaigners stationed themselves at street corners and subway stairwells, proffering tracts, rapid-fire, like Chinese menus. “Who do you think Jesus is?” they asked passers-by. They distributed 400,000 tracts, helping thirty-six people become born again into new lives. The Brooklyn Bridge on a Friday night, Bryant Park at lunch hour—three-dozen New Yorkers found Jesus during the Summer Witnessing Campaign. –“Jews for Jesus,” Kiera Feldman, n+1
The limited-edition Mahatma Gandhi pen, priced at Rs1.1m ($23,000, €15,800, £14,400), has an 18-carat solid gold, rhodium-plated nib, engraved with Gandhi’s image, and “a saffron-coloured mandarin garnet” on the clip. The pens were unveiled this week, before the national holiday on Gandhi’s birthday. Dilip R. Doshi, chairman of Entrack, Montblanc’s distributor in India, said the pen embodied Gandhi’s timeless philosophy of non-violence and respect for all living creatures. “We are creating a thing of simplicity and beauty that will last for centuries,” he said. –“Fountains of Dismay Greet ‘Gandhi Pen’,” Amy Kazmin, Financial Times
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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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.”