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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
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Ratio of the amount J. P. Morgan paid a man to fight in his place in the Civil War to what he spent on cigars in 1863:
The Food and Drug Administration asked restaurants to help Americans eat less.
Pope Francis announced that nuns could use social media, and a priest flew a hot-air balloon around the world.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”