The standardized state of US schools today grew from the Reagan blueprint, ‘A Nation at Risk.’ Why that legacy matters now.
A 2013 roundup of Monitor reporters' backstories on the big stories. 'What I did on my way to a headline' can be as interesting as the big story itself. Here are some tales – from dirty laundry to drone attacks – that you’d hear if you sat down at a dinner party with a Monitor correspondent.
In the states, the battle over gay marriage is gathering steam. Federal judges have preempted local efforts toward legal gay marriage in some states, while activists in other states are gearing up for ballot measures. One state may be moving toward a stronger defense of traditional marriage. Here's the state-by-state rundown.
Americans are using bicycles for transportation and recreation in record numbers as the fitness and green movements, as well as high energy costs, spur a two-wheel revolution.
Tragic events such as Sunday's Mother's Day parade shooting in New Orleans will fuel the debate over gun control in America, even if legislation is stalled. For a more productive conversation, what if we shelve policy debate and focus on understanding why people hold the views they do?
More than 300 amendments were submitted for possible inclusion in a sweeping immigration reform package – at least 100 of them from two Republicans, Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Here are eight notable changes GOP lawmakers want to see in bill, as the Senate Judiciary Committee takes up amendments between now and Memorial Day.
Shane Todd, a US citizen working in Singapore, believed he had access to restricted tech. His death in 2012 was by suicide, say local authorities. But his family, suspecting murder, wants the FBI to take part in the investigation.
It's prom season. What's your prom proposal/promposal going to be?What? Wait wait wait, hold on. You're telling me you didn't write an original song, choreograph a routine for it, and present it flash mob-style to your dream high school prom date? Well, listen up rookie, you've got a lot to learn. Promposals these days are elaborately produced mating rituals — think of Planet Earth's Birds of Paradise and mash it up with your favorite episode of Glee. Then upload it to YouTube because this isn't about your exuberant manifestation of true love, it's about that special someone. Don't they deserve Internet fame? Sometimes done well enough to gain national attention – I'm looking at you Kate Upton fan – sometimes too cringeworthy to view, here are 11 promposals you need to consider before planning your own.
The 100 richest people in the world gained $241 billion in net worth last year, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index. Americans dominated the list, occupying five of the top 10 spots. This countdown of the top 10 wealthiest Americans features a casino mogul, software tycoons, and a lot of Wal-Mart money.
Most inventors strive for weeks, months, or years to perfect their products. (Thomas Edison tried thousands of different light bulb filaments before arriving at the ideal mixture of tungsten.) But sometimes, brilliance strikes by accident. Here's a salute to the scientists, chefs, and everyday folk who stumbled upon greatness – and, more important, shared their mistakes with the world.UPDATE: After great reader feedback, we've added five additional accidental inventions: Stainless steel, plastic, ice cream cones, Post-it Notes, and matches.
Why do books get banned from schools and libraries? Even readers who disagree with the practice of banning can comprehend that books heavy on sex and/or violence can polarize decision-makers when it comes to young readers. But there are other books – titles like "Where's Waldo?" or "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" – whose presence on a banned book list seems completely mysterious. The following 20 books seem innocent to many, but they have nonetheless raised reader objections at one time or another.
Urban farming's trendy frugality is drawing converts in an age of economic uncertainty.
According to Forbes, Bill Gates, the co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, is the wealthiest man in the United States with a net worth of $59 billion. Born to an upper middle class family in Seattle, Mr. Gates took an interest in computer programming in the 8th grade.
According to Amnesty International’s annual Death Sentences and Executions report, at least 527 people were executed in 23 countries in 2010, plus thousands in China. The number of people executed worldwide since 2007 is more than 2,500. Here are the five countries registering the most executions since 2007:
UPDATE: Steve Jobs passed on Wednesday. In this cover story, first published last month, Alan Webber explores what made Steve Jobs (and Apple) exceptional. Apple knew what consumers didn't want and understood the power of being itself. A look at what the company can teach corporate America.
Janice Lathen brought more than computers to a remote part of Tanzania. She brought a window on the world.
Today's Good Reads look into whether Islamists are taking over Libya, as Qaddafi warned, if Bush's war on terror instigated the Arab Spring, and how the FBI is training agents to see mainstream Muslims as radicals.
Wal-Mart announced Wednesday that it will spend $20 billion on goods and services from US businesses owned by women. Other expenditures and projects are in the works as well.
If you've read a newspaper or been anywhere online in the past few weeks, chances are you've seen the distinctive black cover of "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern. Here are five reasons that this book is suddenly popping up wherever you go.
A US appeals court in California says a public high school teacher has no constitutional right to display posters in his math class preaching his 'views on the role of God in our nation's history.'
While Americans and Europeans bemoan the cost of gasoline at the pumps, people in some other parts of the world enjoy filling up their tanks cheaply thanks to subsidies provided by wealthy, oil-rich governments. But fuel subsidies tend to benefit the rich (who own motor vehicles) more than the poor. The IMF estimated that 65 percent of the fuel subsidies in Africa benefit the richest 40 percent of households (2010). Only 8 percent of the $410 billion in government fuel subsidies worldwide went to the poorest 20 percent of the population (International Energy Agency - estimates, 2010). The British insurance firm Staveley Head has released the latest list of the world’s gas pump prices. Here are the 10 cheapest countries on Earth to fill a gas tank.
For a planet to support life, it faces long odds: It has to be the right size, right composition, and right distance from its star. On Monday astronomers announced a trove of new planet 'candidates.'
Polls show that the public thinks Rick Perry is the GOP presidential candidate with the best chance of beating President Obama. The punditry disagrees. Why the perception gap?
Many of those who died on 9/11 jumped from the upper floors of the World Trade Center in New York. San Francisco doctor Kevin Stone has invented the "Rescue Reel" personal escape device that might have saved lives that day.
The terrorist attacks have become this generation's Pearl Harbor – an epic event that has changed young peoples' view of the world and America's place in it.
Most of the 9/11 commission's recommendations have been implemented, but three reforms, in particular, have failed to fully take shape since 2001.