Democracy and philanthropy are a dangerous mix, U.S.-Israel relations reach a low point, celebrity teachers might not be the best learning guides, and more...

This Week on

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Is Philanthropy Bad for Democracy?

Progressives are hypersensitive to way the big money in politics perpetuates advantage and inequality, but seem blind to the dangers posed by largely unaccountable donors.

Gara LaMarche

The Willy Wonka of Sriracha: Behind the Gates of David Tran's Factory

Huy Fong's chief talks about his successes, his challenges, and his imitators.

Adam Chandler

Sponsor Content: Shell

Dense Is the New Smart

How dense cities can serve as a model for how we can make every type of city more efficient and sustainable.

The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here

The Obama administration's anger is "red-hot" over Israel's settlement policies, and the Netanyahu government openly expresses contempt for Obama's understanding of the Middle East. Profound changes in the relationship may be coming.

Jeffrey Goldberg

Redesigning the Social Network

There's an artistic vision behind Ello, the latest Facebook competitor to trigger hype and backlash.

Steven Heller

Charles Barkley and the Plague of 'Unintelligent' Blacks

A history of respectability politics, from the postbellum period to today

Ta-Nehisi Coates

The New Heroin Epidemic

Ten years ago, prescription painkiller dependence swept rural America. As the government cracked down on doctors and drug companies, people went searching for a cheaper, more accessible high. Now, many areas are struggling with an unprecedented heroin crisis.

Olga Khazan

Battery Life

Esther Takeuchi has more patents than any American woman, and she's ready to revolutionize the battery.

Rose Eveleth

The Uncanny Power of Weird Fiction

From Leonora Carrington to Haruki Murakami, disparate writers tap into something universal when they channel the bizarre.

Jeff VanderMeer

When Your Teacher Is a Celebrity

Star professors can boost admissions—but can they actually teach?

Michele Willens

Magazine: Death and Mrs. Doubtfire

The secret ingredient of Robin Williams’s greatest role: grief

James Parker

Video: Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly. James Hamblin discusses the etiquette of asking questions about pregnancy with senior editor Becca Rosen.

The Many Lives of Darth Vader

Since his debut in the 1977 movie Star Wars, Darth Vader has been a rather busy Sith Lord. Over the years, news photographers have captured Lord Vader at premieres, rallies, promotional events, conferences, and sporting events, and even caught him at some low points, including a bank robbery.

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