The Week: Most Recent Home Page Posts recent posts.en-usWed, 16 Apr 2014 06:23:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Home Page Posts from THE WEEKWed, 16 Apr 2014 06:23:00 -0400Why I'm a pro-life liberal<img src="" /></P><p>Though public opinion on abortion actually reflects a very nuanced debate, with opinions based around factors like the pregnancy's term and the reason for termination, there are really only two positions debated in the media: ardently for the unrestricted availability of abortion regardless of motive, or ardently against abortion under any circumstances &mdash; and how <em>dare </em>anyone suggest otherwise. And since these positions tend to cleave along party lines, a stance on abortion that shows a political affinity different than the typical left-right divide is almost untenable, at least if one hopes...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/elizabeth-stoker" ><span class="byline">Elizabeth Stoker</span></a>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:23:00 -0400Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science<img src="" /></P><p>If you are constantly running late or finding yourself behind on deadline, admit it: You're a procrastinator.</p><p>And you're not alone. A study in <em>Psychological Bulletin</em> by University of Calgary professor Piers Steel showed that the percentage of chronic procrastinators has grown from about five percent in 1978 to 26 percent in 2007. (Other researchers have put more recent numbers at around 20 percent, but it&rsquo;s clear the problem is on the rise.)</p><p>So what's going on?</p><p>Part of the reason may have to do with technology, Steel hypothesized. There&rsquo;s so much to do online, and so many different...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michelle-castillo" ><span class="byline">Michelle Castillo</span></a>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:21:00 -0400One more time: Natural gas is not good for the environment (yet)<img src="" /></P><p>As I've written before, one of the most environmentally damaging &mdash; and least publicized &mdash; consequences of drilling for natural gas is the release of methane. Natural gas burns cleaner than any other traditional fuel, but is composed mostly of methane, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide if it leaks before it can be burned. Now there are indications that the situation is worse than we thought. Researchers just finished a new study on methane leaks in Pennsylvania natural gas wells, and the results are very, very bad:</p><p >Drilling operations at several natural...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryan-cooper" ><span class="byline">Ryan Cooper</span></a>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:21:00 -0400India's Supreme Court enshrines 'the right of every human being to choose their gender'</P><p>India's Supreme Court was roundly criticized for reinstating a 1861 ban on gay sex, so it may seem odd that the same high court just made India one of the foremost nations in recognizing transgender rights. The Indian Supreme Court not only created a legal "third gender" category, it also broadly declared that "it is the right of every human being to choose their gender."</p><p>The ruling applies only to transgender people, or hijra (a term that also encompasses transvestites/cross-dressers and eunuchs), not gays and lesbians. But the justices asked the government to consider transgender Indians a ...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:16:00 -0400Out with the old, in with the new SAT</P><p>The College Board has decided to abrogate the old SAT, and bring in a redesigned, more pellucid test that better gauges the acumen needed to succeed in college and the professional world, rather than relying on obfuscatory questions.</p><p>In more quotidian terms, the SAT is unveiling a new test in 2016, with one huge change: the vocabulary section will no longer include obscure words that no one ever uses (see above). According to <em>The New York Times, </em>the vocab portion will emphasize "'high utility' words that appear in many contexts, in many disciplines &mdash; often with shifting meanings &mdash;...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaWed, 16 Apr 2014 04:49:00 -0400Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly thinks the pay gap helps women find husbands</P><p>Phyllis Schlafly, perhaps best known for her decades of professionally telling other women not to work, is back with a <em>Christian Post</em> op-ed published on Tuesday. In it, the conservative commentator has a novel warning: If we don't solve this little problem of women having the audacity to ask for equal pay, marriage as we know it will be over.</p><p>"While women prefer to <em>have</em> a higher-earning partner, men generally prefer to <em>be</em> the higher-earning partner in a relationship," she wrote.</p><p >This simple but profound difference between the sexes has powerful consequences for the so-called pay gap. Suppose...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaWed, 16 Apr 2014 03:58:00 -04002 dead, hundreds missing after South Korean ferry sinks</P><p>Two people are confirmed dead and 295 are missing after a passenger ferry slowly sank off the southwest coast of South Korea on Wednesday. South Korean officials had said earlier that only about 100 passengers were unaccounted for. The death toll is expected to rise.</p><p>A majority of the 474 passengers on board were high school students, and many of them were rescued after jumping into the freezing water. According to CNN, authorities are unable to say what caused the ship to sink. The ferry, which was headed from the port city of Incheon to the resort island of Jeju, sent out a distress signal at...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaWed, 16 Apr 2014 02:23:00 -0400Male cop becomes Amish woman to catch a criminal</P><p>It's <em>Mrs. Doubtfire </em>meets <em>Witness: </em>One Pennsylvania police officer was willing to go undercover as an Amish woman to apprehend a flasher.</p><p>In January, Pulaski Township Sgt. Chad Adams donned a dark blue dress and apron, black bonnet, and long coat in an attempt to catch a man who was exposing himself to Amish children walking home from school. According to CBS News, the Amish residents of Lawrence County, near the Ohio border, did not want their children to have to testify in court against the suspect, and were happy to lend their clothing to Adams in exchange for his help.</p><p>In a message on Facebook...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaWed, 16 Apr 2014 00:55:00 -0400Brain scans might predict recovery potential for vegetative patients</P><p>Researchers have found that scans that look for signs of metabolic activity in specific areas of the brain could help doctors predict whether a person in a vegetative state will regain consciousness.</p><p>The findings were published Tuesday in the journal <em>The Lancet. <span ></span></em>Researchers in Belgium tracked about 120 subjects &mdash; diagnosed as either minimally conscious, locked in, or unresponsively wakeful (vegetative) &mdash; for at least one year. When images of the brain were taken with a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, the researchers accurately predicted 74 percent of the time if a patient...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaTue, 15 Apr 2014 23:21:00 -0400What is the likelihood you will get audited by the IRS?</P><p>Budget cuts and additional responsibilities are hitting the Internal Revenue Service hard, and there are fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since the 1980s, <em>The Associated Press</em> reports. If that's the case, what are your chances of getting audited?</p><p>According to the <em>The Washington Post</em>'s Christopher Ingraham, pretty slim. Ingraham dug through annual IRS reports, and found that last year was the first time audit rates fell below 1 percent since 2006. Rates were at their highest in the 1980s, when more than 2 percent of taxpayers were audited.</p><p>Ingraham went on to explain that audit rates...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaTue, 15 Apr 2014 21:17:00 -0400New Domino's pizza uses fried chicken as a crust</P><p>If cheese and even hot dog stuffed crusts weren't doing it for you, you're in luck with the latest creation from Domino's. The brand's "Specialty Chicken" will include traditional pizza topping options, but instead of a doughy crust, the toppings will be layered on a bed of fried chicken.</p><p>"Our new Specialty Chicken is one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had," Russell Weiner, Domino's Pizza chief marketing officer, said in a press release. "Our pizza chefs have taken chicken to a whole new level."</p><p>Specialty Chicken will hit U.S. Domino's locations on April 21 and will...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/meghan-demaria" ><span class="byline">Meghan DeMaria</span></a>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:43:00 -0400NYPD ends secret program that spied on innocent Muslims</P><p class="p1">In a striking sign that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) will part ways with his predecessor when it comes to law enforcement and civil liberties, the New York Police Department has terminated a controversial program that spied on the city's Muslim communities, reports <em>The New York Times</em>.</p><p class="p1">In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the NYPD used plainclothes officers to keep tabs on Muslim community leaders, mosques, and charities. Yet officers often had no reason to suspect their targets were guilty of any wrongdoing, prompting a fierce backlash &mdash; and multiple lawsuits &mdash; when the program...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:28:00 -0400Listen to Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner reflect on the show's legacy<img src="" /></P><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true"></iframe></p><p>Read more on this story.</p><p>Read more of Scott's television reviews:</p><ul><li><em>Mad Men</em> premiere recap: "Time Zones"</li><li><em>Game of Thrones</em> recap: "The Lion and the Rose"</li></ul><p><strong><br />Listen to more of The Week's mini podcasts:</strong></p><ul><li>The tragic price of ivory</li><li>Your weekly streaming recommendation: <em>Terriers</em></li><li>How modern capitalism is re-segregating baseball in the 21st century</li></ul><p ><strong><br />*You can also find The Week's mini podcasts on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Swell.*</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-meslow" ><span class="byline">Scott Meslow</span></a>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:25:00 -0400A Minnesotan's guide to Fargo<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Tonight, FX is set to premiere a limited, 10-episode series based on the Coen brothers' legendary 1996 film <em>Fargo, </em>which scored with audiences and critics alike by infusing a twisty neo-noir narrative with a healthy dose of Minnesota nice. Having seen a few episodes, it's clear that the <em>Fargo</em> series is more than a mere cash-grab attempting to capitalize on the movie's legacy; this is a smart, beautifully acted miniseries that honors its source material while carving out some new ground in the crowded TV landscape.</p><p class="p1">Some critics have lavished praise on the new series; others have been more skeptical...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-meslow" ><span class="byline">Scott Meslow</span></a>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:06:00 -040049 percent of Texas women prefer Wendy Davis' opponent to her</P><p class="p1">Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) was always a long shot to become the Lone Star State's next governor, and a new PPP poll casts even more doubt on her odds of pulling a stunning upset.</p><p class="p1">In the survey, Davis trails Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) by a daunting 51 percent to 37 percent split. As if that weren't bad enough, Davis also trails Abbott among female respondents; 49 percent of women say they prefer Abbott, while 41 percent pick Davis. Meanwhile, only one-third of female respondents say they have a favorable impression of Davis.</p><p class="p1">Those findings are surprising given that Davis rose to national...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:31:00 -0400How to make homemade marshmallow Peeps<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The world <em>wants</em> us to make Peeps.</p><p>I had an all-around bad feeling about finding appropriate Peep-making tools following a string of failed attempts to locate recipe supplies in North Dakota. Brisket was only available frozen, daikon was nearly nonexistent, tapioca balls cost a fortune. It's a tough life sometimes, the small town one.</p><p>But then, I found myself in an actual DIY Peeps section in my two local stores. As I stood there going back and forth between the metal mold and the two (two!) silicone varieties, I thought I might be dreaming.</p><p><br /></p><p>I debated whether it would be a cop-out to spend...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Molly YehTue, 15 Apr 2014 16:20:00 -0400