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August 1979

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The easy chair

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Bits and pieces of experience

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Rooms without windows·

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The death of a mailman

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How the government rids itself of troublemakers

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The health of science·

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Has American research lost its vigor?

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Hiding from the bomb–again·

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Civil defense is back

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Neon India·

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A song celestial for rock band and sitar

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From alpha to X ray·

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A glossary of scientific terms

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Down with public television·

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The Carnegie Broadcasting System

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The President and the bishop

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Nine Bloomsberries

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Other things being equal

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American miscellany

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Illustration by Darrel Rees. Source photographs: Kim Jong-un © ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Alamy Stock Photo; Donald Trump © Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom

Acres of mirrors in Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City:

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Former foster children are twice as likely as Iraqi war veterans to suffer post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Donald Trump admires North Korean state TV, the Supreme Court upholds Ohio's ability to purge voters from its rolls, a woman sues NASA to keep her moondust

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"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

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