It was early in the morning, but he knew exactly what was happening in his chest and woke my mother to ask her to call an ambulance. Our telephone was in the living room, but before she could leave their bedroom to use it, he asked for something else. My father asked that the ambulance not use its siren.
Weeks later, when the fear of death had receded like some strange tide, my mother asked him about the siren. My father said simply that he worried it would have woken and frightened his three sleeping daughters. It is true that we were all light sleepers and that our farm was usually blanketed by the polite silence that comes from having no close neighbors, but what impossible kindness there was in my father’s request.
I have called it an act of kindness, which I think it was. It was considerate in a way I cannot begin to understand; generous in a way no one would expect, much less demand. Years later I still do not comprehend how in what very well might have been the final moments of his life, my father thought to ask for quiet so that his daughters might continue sleeping.
Kindness is like holding an ice cube in your hands. It stings, but then the cold dissolves; what at first you could barely hold becomes something you cannot let go. My father’s request for a quiet ambulance came from a man so familiar with kindness that the sting was completely gone: the ice was no longer cold, but one with the flesh.
In the interest of our competitiveness, security, economy, and democracy, in the 21st century every single citizen of the United States of America should know what science is. All citizens should be able to apply the scientific method — a majority of the country should have the propensity to do so — and everyone should appreciate science’s limits… .
It is important to underscore that knowing what science is and making decisions solely based on science are not the same goal. This is about raising the tide and assuring the honesty of the public sphere. If as a country we choose to periodically reject scientific evidence or thinking — in lieu of an economic, political, or religious lens, for example — at least we will be on the same page when we do, employing and transparently weighing scientific evidence in our deliberations not debating the merits of scientific evidence.
This PSA from the Internet Advertising Bureau, created by illustrator Dominic Owen and animator Will Samuel, is an essential form of modern literacy: A kid’s guide to how internet ads work.
Then again, the very necessity for such warnings demonstrates that the concept of ad-supported media isn’t, at the end of the day, in the public interest. As soon as we deem something a "necessary evil" perilous enough to warrant a PSA for our children, we also implicitly acknowledge the “evil” part.
Massachusetts-based photographer Stephen Tourlentes‘ series Of Length and Measures is a collection of photographs of U.S. prisons shot at night. After stumbling upon a newly built prison on the outskirts of his hometown in Illinois, Tourlentes became intrigued with these spaces. “The night sky was punctuated with a brilliant glow that changed my perception of the horizon. This transformation of the landscape revealed an unseen human cargo held in time and place,” he recalls.
The last couple weeks have been hard and the world has been less than helpful. But it’s okay because…