Seven years later Robert was still mentally impaired and his personality far different than before the accident, but he knew his family, knew he had had a brain injury that upended their lives, and asked lots of questions. He carried with him at all times a reporter’s notebook, in which he had written the information most important to him: his daughters’ ages — 9 and 11 — and that he has “known my honey” 18 years.
He could remember snippets of his pre-injury life — the made-up song he and [his wife] Page sang to their girls, his nicknames for colleagues, that he had been an Eagle Scout. And though he still broke Page’s heart every day with a sweet and childlike simple-mindedness — repeating his plans to “take meds, wash hands and brush teeth” like a mantra, or excitedly announcing that he’d won a candy bar at a penny toss “and didn’t cheat at all” — once in a while, he would say something insightful and completely on point.
Just days earlier, at the Sunrise assisted-living facility where he lived for several years, Robert had looked at Page with earnest eyes and the relaxed demeanor he used to have and asked if it was hard for her to pack up the house: “Does that cause you distress, darlin’? Make you sad?” Page took his hand, and her eyes filled with tears. “We had the best days of our lives and the worst days of our lives in that house,” she said quietly. “So, it’s very bittersweet to leave it.”
“It is bittersweet,” Robert echoed.
We read this one all the way through. Heartbreaking, but uplifting.
People who live at the bottom of the social order, especially at the bottom of more than one of its hierarchies, are frequently condemned to a life of crippling disadvantage. The existence of such mutually reinforcing power hierarchies calls the social order itself into question as a matter…
The idea that an ugly face might hide a subtle mind has attracted scientific inquiries for many years. At first, scientists wanted to know whether it was possible to read someone’s intelligence from the shape of his face. In 1918, a researcher in Ohio showed a dozen photographic portraits of well-dressed children to a group of physicians and teachers, and asked the adults to rank the kids from smartest to dumbest. A couple of years later, a Pittsburgh psychologist ran a similar experiment using headshots of 69 employees from a department store. In both studies, seemingly naive guesses were compared to actual test scores, and turned out to be accurate more often than not.
Nigeria has closed its borders, as the United Nations shares a report warning that Nigeria’s Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, may have established links with the north African affiliate of Al Qaeda. The border closures are designed to prevent infiltration by such groups.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” reportedly aims to “abolish the secular system and establish an Islamic state” in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, and has been blamed in the deaths of 510 people in the past year. Its techniques have largely been of an unsophisticated sort, with gunmen spraying gunfire into crowded areas such as Christian churches and businesses. But it has shown increasing sophistication with car bomb attacks on the nation’s capital of Abuja and the use of suicide bombers.
On Tuesday night, gunmen opened fire on customers at a local beer hall in the town of Potiskum in Yobe state, killing eight civilians and four policemen.
Tension in Nigeria – Africa’s largest oil exporter – has been felt far outside its borders, as the violence and an ongoing series of protest strikes contributed to the rise of crude oil prices, with the price of Brent Crude rising 83 cents to $113.28 on Tuesday.
In New York, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon met with Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru to discuss the current troubles in Nigeria, and the regional rise of violent militant groups.
Mr. Ban shared a report with Mr. Ashiru, which flagged “growing concern in the region about possible linkages between Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” a north African terror group that has been blamed for terror attacks, assassinations, and kidnappings inMauritania, Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso.
Citizens groups and interfaith networks have called on the Nigerian government to deal with the Boko Haram threat. In the northern state of Kaduna, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed – head of an interfaith group called the Kaduna Roundtable – issued an appeal for help.