Greener Pastures

How to Fix the Organ Transplant Shortage

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 15:08

The plight of Sarah Murnaghan made headlines over the past several weeks. The 10-year-old girl suffers from cystic fibrosis, a crippling respiratory ailment. She was dying, but she was deemed ineligible—then, after an uproar, eligible—for an adult lung transplant. She received a new set of lungs on June 12.

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Why Don’t Cops Believe Rape Victims?

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 14:12

When Tom Tremblay started working for the police department of Burlington, Vt., 30 years ago, he discovered that many of his fellow cops rarely believed a rape victim. This was true time after time, in dozens of cases. Tremblay could see why they were doubtful once he started interviewing the victims himself. The victims, most of them women, often had trouble recalling an attack or couldn’t give a chronological account of it. Some expressed no emotion. Others smiled or laughed as they described being assaulted. “Unlike any other crime I responded to in my career, there was always this thought that a rape report was a false report,” says Tremblay, who was an investigator in Burlington’s sex crimes unit. “I was always bothered by the fact there was this shroud of doubt.”

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Bubba in the Holy Land

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 13:49

JERUSALEM—Anyone who showed up today to hear Bill Clinton accept the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Israel’s highest honor, might have expected the firebrand orator, the fierce campaigner who so adeptly served as id to Barack Obama’s superego last fall. But the Clinton who spoke today, to a packed, largely English-speaking audience at Jerusalem's International Convention Center, was elegiac, almost wistful, something of a paradox at the opening session of a presidential conference with the theme “Facing Tomorrow.”

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Which Is Safer: City Streets or Prison?

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 13:29

Paul Mannina, the Labor Department lawyer charged with assaulting a colleague using handcuffs and a stun gun, was found dead in his Washington, D.C., jail cell with his throat slashed on Tuesday. It’s not yet clear whether his death was a murder or suicide, but jail and prison murders are regularly in the news. A Missouri man was charged on Tuesday with strangling his cellmate, and a California jury is now considering the death penalty for a 2005 prison murder. Are you more likely to be murdered in jail or on the Washington city streets?

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Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 11:27

Summer is here, and again I am seething with frustration. Why? Every year I scan the beaches for men in Speedos and every year I am disappointed. The ridiculous board-shorts trend shows no sign of waning. I had high hopes for change after last year’s Olympics, when the entire nation was gripped by the spectacle of those jackknifing water sprites in their micro-briefs. (Those preposterously teensy swim skivvies worn by Tom Daley et al could only be explained by some kind of harsh polyester-rationing scheme: “Sorry, boys, but only 1 square inch of fabric per customer. Don’t worry. It is quite stretchy.”) I just assumed that, come this summer, one might see an increased willingness on the part of the U.S. male to embrace a little European savoir-faire. But, yet again, all I see are men in billowing shorts.

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Superman Needs More Time

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 11:07

What does the recent mass firing of National Basketball Association coaches have to do with the rapid turnover of school chiefs? Each illustrates our craving for instant gratification—and each comes at a high cost.

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Dear Prudence: Errant Dildo

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 10:09

In this week's video, Prudie counsels a woman after her fiancé mistakenly shipped a sex toy to his parents.

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The Audio Book Club on Tenth of December 

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 09:01

To listen to the Audio Book Club discussion of Tenth of December, click the arrow on the player below. 

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The Culture Gabfest “Hurry Up With My Damn Croissants” Edition

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 08:49

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 248 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and June Thomas with the audio player below.

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My Kind of Town, Stink Onions

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 07:30

It’s easy to think of words such as California or Texas or New York as just the places on the map, but those words actually meant something, once, and those meanings offer a little glimpse into history. The above map, designed by cartographers Stephan Hormes and Silke Peust, labels states, cities, and landmarks with the literal meanings of their official names.

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They Deactivate Droids, Don’t They?

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 07:00

The war crime plays out like so.

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The Pain Threshold

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 06:46

You can also listen to William Saletan read this piece.

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Skyjacker of the Day

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 06:20

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the United States suffered through a skyjacking epidemic that has now been largely forgotten. In his new book, The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking, Brendan I. Koerner tells the story of the chaotic age when jets were routinely commandeered by the desperate and disillusioned. In the run-up to his book’s publication on June 18, Koerner has been writing a daily series of skyjacker profiles. Slate is running the final dozen of these “Skyjacker of the Day” entries.

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Seven Seconds in Heaven

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 06:07

For a few moments, on a few nights each year, a fact that often seems fuzzy becomes absolutely clear: Watching sports is totally, unquestionably worth our time. Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals was tense, baffling, infuriating, and cathartic. The Heat eventually beat the Spurs in overtime, 103-100, ensuring there will be a winner-take-all Game 7. But no matter what happens next, I’ll think back to the end of regulation on Tuesday night, and the seven seconds that revealed why we watch all these games and what we gain by watching.

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The Messiah Will Be Tweeted

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 06:00

On a Sunday evening in early June, thousands of Hasidic men in long coats and black hats braved the heat to attend two outdoor anti-Internet asifas (or gatherings in Yiddish) organized by leaders of the ultra-Orthodox Satmar community of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, N.Y. Women were forbidden, but the real temptation for the men was already in their laps, where they covertly thumbed their smartphones.

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Approaching Death

Slate.com's Green Room - Wed, 06/19/2013 - 04:30

This essay originally appeared in I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse, a collection edited by Lee Gutkind, out now from In Fact Books.

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Trent Franks Feels Your Pain

Slate.com's Green Room - Tue, 06/18/2013 - 20:17

It’s the day of the vote for one of the biggest bills of his career, and Arizona Rep. Trent Franks has been sidelined. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (no easy acronym), which had been a pipe dream in the last Congress, was coming to the floor and expected to pass. The trial of Philadelphia’s illegal-late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, and the attendant gross-out media attention, powered the bill out of committee. So, typically, the bill’s author would lead the debate on his product.

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The Second-Term Slump

Slate.com's Green Room - Tue, 06/18/2013 - 18:05

Barack Obama's poll numbers are sliding. Around Christmastime, his average approval rating, according to RealClearPolitics, was nearly 54 percent, 12 points higher than his average disapproval rating of 42 percent. Now his numbers have flipped. His average approval rating at 46.6 percent is roughly 2 points lower than his disapproval rating at 48.3 percent. If these numbers hold, President Obama is never going to get re-elected. 

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The Whitey Bulger Trial

Slate.com's Green Room - Tue, 06/18/2013 - 17:53

Boston tough guy John Martorano gets back on the stand this morning. I think all 20 of Martorano’s confessed murders have been covered in detail by the end of direct questioning. It’s possible we glossed over a few. The prosecution wraps up by asking him, “Do you regret your life of crime?”

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Drop the Taper Talk

Slate.com's Green Room - Tue, 06/18/2013 - 17:17

Investors will be sitting on the edge of their seats Wednesday at 2 p.m. to hear the latest pronouncement from the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee. FOMC releases are always highly anticipated, but this one more than most. And the word on everyone’s lips on Wall Street all morning will be “taper”—which has become Fed-speak for reducing the FOMC’s current pace of $85 billion worth of bond purchases per month. The question is: Will the tapering begin this month, or will it be delayed? And if it is delayed, what kind of hint will the FOMC give as to when the tapering will begin?

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