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The Informed Reader

A survey of insights from media around the world.

Last Build Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2013 22:42:08 +0000

Copyright: copyright © 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Informed Reader Signs Off

Sat, 02 Feb 2008 01:09:57 +0000

We have had an exciting — and informative — year bringing you what we thought was some of the best in journalism from sources around the world. We are retiring Informed Reader in order to focus on other journalistic pursuits, but we didn’t want to leave without highlighting a few stories from the past year […]

A Global Warming Skeptic Is Challenged

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 22:11:30 +0000

Global warming hasn’t stopped, as a prominent science writer claimed recently in the New Statesman, a generally liberal British weekly. In fact, the pace of climate change has accelerated, and saying otherwise misleads readers and gives unnecessary ammunition to conspiracy theorists, declares Mark Lynas, the magazine’s environmental correspondent. Mr. Lynas takes on a controversial article […]

How the U.S. Gave Iran the Upper Hand

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 21:47:17 +0000

The U.S. government so badly mishandled the findings on Iran’s uranium-enrichment program that the world now faces a far greater risk of nuclear-weapons proliferation, the Economist says. In a cover story some two months after U.S. intelligence services concluded that Iran had halted its nuclear-weapons program in 2003, the British newsweekly says the report undid […]

As Glaciers Melt, Can Artificial Ones Fill the Gap?

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 23:19:13 +0000

Can artificial glaciers help compensate for the disappearance of naturally forming ones? Scientists and aid agencies are studying communities in mountainous regions of India and Pakistan that have a long tradition of assembling glaciers by grafting together ice and snow masses, reports the New Scientist. In these areas, glaciers serve as a regular and reliable […]

Iraq’s Policewomen Are Again Allowed to Carry Guns

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 23:09:16 +0000

Policewomen in Iraq have won back their right to carry guns, although Tina Susman warns in the Los Angeles Times that the victory does little to advance equality in police ranks. Late last year, she reported on a little-noticed order for policewomen to give up their guns, which Iraqi officials said was necessary to prevent […]

Some Nuclear Secrets Need to Be Shared

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 15:29:10 +0000

Some U.S. nuclear secrets would be more valuable if they were shared among law-enforcement officials, allies and even some enemies, says Michael Levi in science magazine Seed. Blanket security was a sensible approach when no one knew the basic principles that could be used to build a nuclear bomb. But today, scientists overestimate how much […]

A Novel Way to Cut Waste: Lose the Cafeteria Trays

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 00:22:35 +0000

Do cafeteria patrons waste food because of the ubiquitous food tray? That is the conclusion of some university administrators, who have found that removing trays from dining halls cuts down on the amount of food and drink that gets thrown in the trash. The idea is that without the convenience and space that trays afford, […]

Can the Novella Save Literature?

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 22:06:34 +0000

As the novel loses out to the ever-declining attention spans of the digital age, perhaps it’s time for serious literature to hitch itself to the novella, says Jean Hannah Edelstein on the Guardian’s books blog. With a length somewhere between a short story and a novel, the novella can deliver a sophisticated read without draining […]

Why Technology Didn’t Help Find Steve Fossett

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 15:50:35 +0000

Why were searchers unable to locate millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett’s lost plane despite huge advances in information technology? Tools like Google Earth satellite imaging and GPS locators can come up short, especially in mountainous places like Nevada. Successful searches still depend largely on volunteer pilots’ stamina, sharp eyes and high tolerance for motion sickness, as […]

Why Doesn’t Acid Hurt the Naked Mole Rat?

Tue, 29 Jan 2008 23:32:26 +0000

The naked mole rat is highly sensitive to touch, but when it comes to chili peppers or acid, the hairless, sausage-like creatures are immune to the sting. That resistance has raised hopes that the animals might hold clues about how to treat chronic pain in humans, reports Charles Q. Choi in Found in oxygen-starved […]