“Some would dismiss these concerns as an exaggerated Jeremiad: After all, human societies have survived for millennia, despite storms, earthquakes and pestilence. But these human-induced threats are different: They are newly emergent, so we have a limited timebase for exposure to them and can't be so sanguine that we would survive them for long – nor about the ability of governments to cope if disaster strikes. And of course we have zero grounds for confidence that we can survive the worst that even more powerful future technologies could do.
“The 'anthropocene' era, when the main global threats come from humans and not from nature, began with the mass deployment of thermonuclear weapons. Throughout the Cold War, there were several occasions when the superpowers could have stumbled toward nuclear Armageddon through muddle or miscalculation. Those who lived anxiously through the Cuba crisis would have been not merely anxious but paralytically scared had they realized just how close the world then was to catastrophe. Only later did we learn that President Kennedy assessed the odds of nuclear war, at one stage, as 'somewhere between one in three and even.' And only when he was long-retired did Robert MacNamara state frankly that '[w]e came within a hairbreadth of nuclear war without realizing it.' ”
From “2013: What should we be worried about?” at edge.orgHow many U.S. presidents have been an only child?“You're never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose.”– Lou Holtz““A tough fight to push a bill through a bitterly divided House of Representatives: Winning it required the president to make a lot of unsavory deals that had nothing to do with the big issue. ... I wouldn't know anything about that.” – Former President Bill Clinton in introducing the film “Lincoln.”Not a single one.filch (FILtch), v. – to steal (especially something of small value); pilfer, as in: “The editorial writer was not amused when the politician filched his parking spot.” Origin unknown.On this date in 1903, a new bicycle race was announced – the Tour de France.The inner ear is the only sense organ to develop fully before birth. It reaches its adult size by the middle of pregnancy.