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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
Trudy Lieberman reports on the failed promise of the Affordable Care Act, Sarah A. Topol explores Ukraine’s struggle for a national identity, Dave Madden spends a week in Hollywood’s toughest comedy club, and more
Number of insect fragments allowed by the FDA in a standard jar of peanut butter:
It emerged that, in trying to count her rings, marine geologists had accidentally killed a 507-year-old clam named Ming.
A resident of Chalk Level Township in Missouri discovered the bodies of three dogs packed inside dog-food bags.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”