Thomas Jefferson believed in renewing democracy by regularly shifting the dominant social paradigm. Jefferson argued that constitutions should be rewritten every generation, declaring the “dead should not govern the living.” That explains why contemporary Americans are so fractious: we’re overdue for a new paradigm. -more-
When we think of “resistance,” what mostly comes to mind is guerrilla warfare: Vietnamese closing in on the besieged French at Dien Bien Phu; Angolans ambushing Portuguese troops outside of Luanda; Salvadorans waging a war of attrition against their military oligarchy. But resistance doesn’t always involve roadside bombs or military operations. Sometimes it is sprayed on a Teheran wall, or rapped in a hip-hop song in Gaza. It can be a poem in Medellin, Colombia—arguably one of the most dangerous cities in the world—or come from a guitar shaped like an AK-47. In short, there are few boundaries or strictures when it comes to the imagination and creativity that people bring to the act of defiance.
That art can be powerful stuff is the central message that Brazilian filmmaker Iara Lee brings to her award-winning documentary “Cultures of Resistance.” Her previous films include “Synthetic Pleasures,” about the impact of technology on mass culture, and “Modulations,” on the evolution of electronic music. Her most recent film is “The Suffering Grasses,” about the civil war in Syria. -more-
Those of you who don’t listen to NPR either may have missed an intriguing story about the insects that have been attacking California’s eucalyptus trees, and how they may have gotten here. -more-
With many medical conditions, doctors and patients seek the "magic bullet" that hypothetically cures the illness and allows the patient to live happily ever after. In some instances it is found, such as with penicillin and the various types of infections that it cures. Another example is treatment for cataracts, in which vision is restored without much likelihood of complications, and with a relatively simple and relatively painless surgery. -more-