Tech Futures: The growing start-up scene in Beijing could soon give Silicon Valley a run for its money. And philanthropists in the tech world make significant donations to charity, but not much of their money makes it to California’s communities. Here’s why.
When I began looking into the Pearl of Lao Tzu, I heard about a woman in Florida who knew more than anyone else about Victor Barbish’s 25-year ownership … Laura became an unknowing accessory to Barbish’s schemes, all the while believing equally in the legends of the pearl and the man. By the time she learned she’d been living a lie, she’d endured unimaginable tragedy, and had nothing left. “Everybody ends up defending the pearl until they lose,” she said. “And they lose big.”
The story she told, and what I discovered during my own yearlong pursuit of the pearl, braided fact and fiction into a theater of the American absurd. From contract killings to alien abductions, Chinese emperors to Osama bin Laden, the Pearl of Lao Tzu’s story kept getting weirder with every detail I uncovered. And, as I’d learn, this artifact has come back on the market, and is only waiting for the next set of hands to pry it loose.
Keep reading, as LaPointe tells the story of how the Pearl of Lao Tzu became the center of a hoax “that has left a trail of wreckage across the United States.”
What Do You Know … About Education?
In the past decade, many American schools have sought to move away from harsh punishments for misbehaving students. But top-down approaches to implementing reforms have yielded mixed results. One school in Columbus, Ohio, is trying a different, promising method: After helping staff members understand factors such as trauma that affect students’ behavior, the school lets them work with the students to find techniques that help calm and motivate each individual child. This photo essay shows some of the ideas they’ve put into action, including glitter jars, trampolines, and positive feedback.
Can you remember the other key facts from this week’s education coverage? Test your knowledge below:
1. In Oprah Winfrey’s commencement address at the USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, she urged graduates to “____________”
In our January 1987 issue, Mary Jo Salter, who was living in Rome at the time of the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, described living under the cloud of radioactive fallout that drifted over Europe:
Although we were living in an increasingly nuclear-powered world, we had also been living in ignorance of the nature of radiation. I did not know that the estimates of the tolerance of humans to radiation exposure, originally based on the effects of Hiroshima, are now thought by many radiologists to be at least twice as high as they should be. I did not know that one person might be two or three times as sensitive to the same dose of radiation as another person, or that radioactive elements have different effects, depending on what part of the body absorbs them and how quickly they are excreted ...
Almost everyone I knew in Rome had learned at least some of these facts within a few days—a few days not after we learned of the Chernobyl disaster but after we learned that la nube [the Chernobyl cloud] had passed over us.
I would argue that people waiting until they are financially stable to have children is a good thing, as well as advancements in fertility treatments and fewer teen pregnancies, not to mention women making the decisive choice that they do not want to be mothers, a choice that was suspect and disapproved of in the past. To speak of “decline” seems to suggest that the above mentioned situations are negative rather than the mark of a freer, more equal, more responsible society.
Sonja is concerned about what it takes to achieve financial stability:
Young people can’t live and support families on wages with the jobs available to them today. Both must work to equal the buying power of what a family in the past with one wage-earner would make ... No wonder they don't start families.