State Dept. Struggles: Though Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is getting heavy criticism for his plan to eliminate nine special envoy positions, diplomats inside his department have long been skeptical of the utility of such positions. Tillerson is also clashing with the White House over whether to sanction Venezuela for its authoritarian actions—which illustrates the rifts in the Trump administration’s foreign policy.
Missile Message: North Korea’s test of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan had important strategic value for Pyongyang: Not only does the threat send a message to the U.S., it also may lead Japan to question the risks of an American alliance.* Amid high stakes and high tension, Trump has warned he’s considering all options, but he can’t start a war against North Korea without approval from Congress.
In 2000, the Audio Engineering Society’s (AES) women in audio committee—which is now, tellingly, defunct—loosely estimated that 5 percent of those working in the field were female. A 2016 survey by AES found 7 percent of its members were women, though that number is incomplete because participants could opt out of reporting their gender. According to Women’s Audio Mission, a nonprofit that trains women for sound careers, that number is probably lower. With men holding the vast majority of technical jobs in audio, it follows that virtually all the music we hear—on the radio, over headphones, or in a live venue—has been shaped by a man.
Keep reading here, as Lanzendorfer looks at the history and future of women in the audio industry.
What Do You Know … About Science, Technology, and Health?
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Huey Long, the infamous populist governor and senator of Louisiana, was born on this day in 1893. In our April 1940 issue, David L. Cohn described his role in the state’s history:
Liberty means far less to thousands of Americans than many of us would like to believe. Freedom of speech to the bitterly poor of Louisiana was merely the freedom to grumble over their lot; the right of free movement was the right to shift from one foot to another as they looked for a job; the right of free assembly was to assemble in church and pray that in heaven they would be granted that which was denied them on Earth. These “rights” they were willing to swap for a sack of corn meal, a side of meat, a pair of shoes.
It was therefore relatively easy for Huey Long, with a mind as superior to that of the local politicians and patricians as the elephant's is to the flea's, to come upon the scene and, with his tireless energy, his extraordinary resourcefulness, his superior showmanship, greater ruthlessness, more flamboyant promises, keener understanding of the mass mind, to buy the legislature, pack the courts, and win the elections.
When I was around 12 years old, I attended a Christian church summer camp for a week. My group leader learned I had never been baptized. She wanted me to accept Christ as my savior or I risked going to Hell. I asked her about all the people in the world, like Buddhists or Jews or atheists or Muslims, who didn’t believe in Christ—were they all going to go to Hell? I couldn’t believe a loving God would do that to his children. I still don’t believe that. I do believe in the Urantia Book because I find its message logical, cohesive, reassuring, and even scientific. It is beautifully written.
See more readers’ responses on what attracts them to new religious movements here, and find a related discussion on religious choices here.
Happy birthday to Tristan’s father, Tapio (born around the time Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court); to Neil’s child Micah (a year younger than the International Space Station); to Sarah’s mother, Sue (born around the time of the fourth Geneva Convention); to Tom’s wife (a year younger than the Super Bowl); and to Jane’s son Lucas (the same age as Wikipedia).
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*This newsletter originally described the missile as an ICBM. We regret the error.