"It is estimated most human beings only use 10 percent of their brains' capacity," says Hollywood's favorite voice of authority Morgan Freeman — during a college lecture — in the trailer for the upcoming action thriller Lucy. "Imagine if we could access 100 percent. Interesting things begin to happen."
Lucy is playing on a widely-reported piece of folk wisdom: that human beings use only 10 percent of their brains, and that unlocking the other 90 percent will give us an array of staggering mental powers. It's a "fact" that has been widely quoted for more than a century — and it is utterly, empirically false.
65 percent of Americans believe the "10 percent of the brain" myth. Nearly 50 percent of science teachers believe it. So now, once and for all: despite Hollywood's persistent obsession with the concept, there is absolutely no truth to the idea that we only use 10 percent of our brains. Don't believe me? Watch the video below, which explains how normally functioning humans use 100 percent of our brains — and why that makes use so special. --Scott Meslow
Hillary Clinton will testify this month before a congressional panel investigating the Benghazi embassy attack, a lawyer for the former secretary of state said Monday. Despite saying there was "no basis, logic, or precedent" for the committee's demand that Clinton testify, Clinton's lawyer said she was "fully prepared to stay for the duration" of the hearing.
Clinton has already testified about the attack before Senate and House committees, and a handful of previous federal investigations found no evidence to support allegations of serious wrongdoing on her part. However, Republicans conducting yet another investigation called for Clinton to testify once more following revelations about her use of a private email account during her tenure in the Obama administration. Jon Terbush
President Obama on Monday announced the formation of a nonprofit organization intended to expand opportunities for young male minorities, saying the work would remain a mission "for the rest of my life."
"America's future depends on us caring about this," Obama said at an event in New York to unveil the organization.
The nonprofit, the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, is an offshoot of the My Brother's Keeper initiative Obama launched last year to help young men of color reach the American dream.
The rollout came as racial unrest continued to roil Baltimore following the death in police custody of an unarmed black man, Freddie Gray. Though Obama did not address the incident as directly as he did last week, he touched on the same themes of discontent and disconnect at the heart of protests surrounding Gray's death when arguing for the nonprofit's importance.
"The only difference between me and a lot of other young men," Obama said. "is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving." Jon Terbush
Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto said Sunday that there is no place for homosexuality in his country.
"The Republic of Kenya is a republic that worships God," Ruto said. "We have no room for gays and those others."
A spokesperson for Ruto later doubled down on the remark, calling homosexuality "unnatural and un-African."
The remark came on the same day Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kenya to discuss regional security. President Obama will visit Kenya in July. Jon Terbush
In a Fox News interview Monday, Mitt Romney criticized Hillary Clinton's recent speech on police reform, saying Clinton was trying to "get more support in the African-American community."
Last week, Clinton called for the use of body cameras in every police department to increase transparency. During her speech at Columbia University, Clinton said that millions fewer Americans would live in poverty if it weren't for the U.S.' mass incarceration practices.
Romney, meanwhile, is having none of it, calling Clinton's speech "political in nature" and "very inappropriate."
"I was concerned that her comments really smacked of politicization of the terrible tragedies that are going on there," Romney said on Fox & Friends Monday, referencing the events in Baltimore. "We don't have mass incarcerations in America. Individuals are brought before tribunals, and they have counsel, they're given certain rights. Are we not going to lock people up who commit crimes, is that what she's suggesting?"
Watch Romney's interview in the video below. —Meghan DeMaria
At least, according to this Star Wars-themed promotional missive in honor of Star Wars Day:
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) May 4, 2015
On Friday, the Pentagon released its annual report on sexual assaults in the military. Now, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has released her own report criticizing the Pentagon's data.
"I don't think the military is being honest about the problem," Gillibrand told The Associated Press. Gillibrand's critique alleges that the Pentagon didn't provide her with accurate assault figures from several military bases, and she says the actual number of sex crimes is more than what the Defense Department reported.
Gillibrand analyzed 107 military assault cases and found that in most cases, the punishments were "too lenient," AP reports. Less than a quarter of the cases went to trial at all, and only 11 led to a conviction for a sex crime. The Pentagon's report stresses that offenders "will be held accountable," AP reports, but Gillibrand questions that claim. As an example, she cites the case of an airman accused of sexual assault by three different victims who was discharged from the military without going to trial.
One of Gillibrand's main issues with the Pentagon report is her concern for the spouses of service members and for civilian women who lived near military bases. Gillibrand said that these people are "especially vulnerable" to assault, AP notes, but they aren't included in the Defense Department's reports. A Defense Department spokesperson, meanwhile, told AP that the department "does not have authority to include civilians in its surveys." Meghan DeMaria
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has strenuously denied that he was aware of the events surrounding the Bridgegate scandal until after the fact, but a new poll from Monmouth University shows that a majority of New Jersey adults don't believe him.
The poll, which surveyed 500 people across the state, found that 56 percent of New Jersey adults believe Christie knew about the politically motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as they happened in 2013. Only 33 percent agreed that Christie learned about the lane closures after the event. In addition to believing Christie knew about the lane closures, 50 percent of respondents believed Christie was "personally involved" in the decision, while just 34 percent said Christie was not involved.
Unsurprisingly, the poll was sharply divided by political affiliation. Seventy-one percent of Democrats believed Christie knew about the lane closures as they occurred, versus just 35 percent of Republicans. The poll's release comes as two former Christie aides, Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges connected to the lane closures.
No matter their views on Bridgegate, members of both parties agreed on one thing, though: 54 percent of respondents believed Christie is not doing a good job. Meghan DeMaria