Our natural instinct is to shield our children when we hear bad news. Sometimes, however, shielding our children means talking to them about some very messy topics, to equip them to handle the situation best.
The conversation about events in Ferguson involves race, but maybe not in the way you think. While a new study showed that most white Americans don't have non-white friends, many people say it shouldn't be taken as an indicator of personal racism but rather large-scale issues that deserve the real attention.
Memory can be slippery, especially when there's incentive to forget, or misremember. In the Polish village of Jedwabne, residents long said Nazis were responsible for the massacre, one hot day in July 1941, of hundreds of Jews in the village. Then evidence emerged that the villagers of Jedwabne had killed their own neighbors.
It's Nobel Prize season. While scientists throughout the world will be awarded this prestigious prize, there's a good chance all of their research was written up in English. Michael Gordin, a professor of the history of science at Princeton, wrote a new book, "Scientific Babel" that explores the intersection of the history of language and science.
Hawaiian is often offered up as a language revitalization success story, a model for other endangered languages to follow. But language revitalization isn’t so simple. While activists are reviving the Hawaiian language, opening up pre-schools, teaching thousands of second language learners, there still is a small group of native speakers who have never lost the language, a group of native Hawaiians from the island of Niihau.
The Etruscans lived in central Italy more than 2500 years ago. They were "the teachers of our teachers," the Romans. Yet we still can't be sure where they came from. The key to unlocking the Etruscan enigma may lie in genetics and linguistics.