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World War I soldier’s room untouched for almost 100 years

January 6, 2015

His torn military jacket still hangs by his desk and his shoes are still tucked neatly by his bed — relics of a life lost long ago. In the small village of Bélâbre in central France sits the room of Hubert Rochereau, untouched for nearly a century as a memorial to the fallen solider, who died during World War I.

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Why Things Fail

January 6, 2015

Product failure is deceptively difficult to understand. It depends not just on how customers use a product but on the intrinsic properties of each part—what it’s made of and how those materials respond to wildly varying conditions.

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Afghanistan in the 1950s and 60s

January 5, 2015

Fractured by internal conflict and foreign intervention for centuries, Afghanistan made several tentative steps toward modernization in the mid-20th century. In the 1950s and 1960s, some of the biggest strides were made toward a more liberal and westernized lifestyle, while trying to maintain a respect for more conservative factions.

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Why Sweden has so few road deaths

December 31, 2014

LAST year 264 people died in road crashes in Sweden, a record low. Although the number of cars in circulation and the number of miles driven have both doubled since 1970, the number of road deaths has fallen by four-fifths during the same period.

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Grumpy People Get the Details Right

December 29, 2014

Feisty personalities, although unpleasant, can be tremendously effective. The psychological agility we’re advocating here would expand your repertoire to give you access to the tougher, more direct, and sometimes more effective approach.

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The Cold-Medicine Racket

December 29, 2014

Consumer confusion, or misplaced trust, is compounded by the fact that a drug store is likely to have upwards of 300 cold-and-flu products. Some are generic, and some are branded concoctions with increasingly opaque names. Remember when Mucinex was Mucinex?

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Why is everyone so busy?

December 29, 2014

These feelings are especially profound among working parents. As for all those time-saving gizmos, many people grumble that these bits of wizardry chew up far too much of their days, whether they are mouldering in traffic, navigating robotic voice-messaging systems or scything away at e-mail—sometimes all at once.

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The World Is Not Falling Apart

December 29, 2014

The only sound way to appraise the state of the world is to count. How many violent acts has the world seen compared with the number of opportunities? And is that number going up or down? As Bill Clinton likes to say, “Follow the trend lines, not the headlines.” We will see that the trend lines are more encouraging than a news junkie would guess.

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