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Ursula Le Guin accepting the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at this year’s National Book Awards

Science fiction writer Ursula Le Guin: ‘We will need writers who can remember freedom’

In the midst of all the end-of-the-year lists and reminiscences, there is a speech that made the social media rounds recently that we thought deserved a special mention.
Hattie McDaniel as "Mammy" in "Gone With the Wind" (TCM)

Racism versus realism: The difficult questions around ‘Gone With the Wind’ and the antebellum South

Seventy-five years after its release, Gone With The Wind is recognized as a Hollywood masterpiece. But when news first spread that Margaret Mitchell’s Civil War romance was to become a movie, David O. Selznick was accused of glorifying Southern racism.
Couple toasting wineglasses in a luxury restaurant (Shutterstock)

Resveratrol: The compound behind all those stories about red wine being good for you

If you’re a teetotaller, your friends have likely tried to convince you to taste red wine by swearing on its multiple health benefits. These benefits have been credited to a compound found in red wine: resveratrol. But claims for this compound have been a subject of major debate – while some argue that it can prevent cancer and promote heart health, others say there is no proof.
Law enforcement officers turn their backs on a video monitor as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during the funeral of slain New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Rafael Ramos near Christ Tabernacle Church in the Queens borough of New York December 27, 2014. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Hundreds of NYPD officers turn backs on de Blasio during funeral address

Hundreds of New York City police officers turned their backs on Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio as he gave his remarks at the funeral for slain police officer Rafael Ramos on Saturday.
US soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division take shelter inside a bunker in Afghanistan (AFP)

Feds bar companies’ long-distance lawsuits against soldiers

Federal regulators reached a settlement last week with the owners of two high-priced lenders over what they alleged were illegal debt collection practices against service members.
Hayes Mansion, San Jose (Shutterstock)

‘Some sort of hell’: How one of the wealthiest cities in America treats its homeless

The city refuses to provide affordable housing, yet won’t tolerate people living outdoors.
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman smiles during the World Business Forum in New York (AFP)

Paul Krugman offers 4 reasons to be cheerful at the end of 2014

Despite all the miserable messages about a world spinning out of control and a government completely not up to the task of confronting tough problems, "a number of major government policies worked just fine."
Undated photo released on August 31, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visiting the renewed October 8 factory (AFP)

After calling Obama a ‘monkey,’ North Korea’s Internet reportedly down

North Korea’s Internet and 3G mobile networks were paralyzed on Saturday evening, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Bruce Press/Wikimedia Commons)

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Christmas morning jokes ignite pious furor on Twitter

Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson spent his Christmas morning composing a series of holiday-themed tweets that annoyed and outraged some Christians.