The nature-versus-nurture debate is an old one. It stands to reason that extremism on either side is likely to be misguided. The mind is not a blank slate. But nor are we born with fully intact cognitive, linguistic and social capacities. What we do, as individuals, and as members of society, depends on our make up. But it also depends on the landscapes where we find ourselves and the resources available. What is striking is the remarkable degree to which we — all living beings — make it so.
This is a couple of days old and it escaped us somehow. But it struck our curiosity so that we'll share it anyway: This past Wednesday, the far northern latitudes saw a rare solar eclipse at midnight. Here's how Wired explains it:
FRANKFORT — Officials from the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and the Federal Emergency Management Agency Friday announced that six additional Kentucky counties have qualified for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, bringing the total to 17 counties. Kentuckians in Ballard, Daviess, Henderson, Lawrence, McLean and Pike counties who have lost work or whose businesses were damaged due to severe weather that occurred beginning April 22 may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
FRANKFORT – After aerial spraying successfully reduced high mosquito populations in flooded areas of Western Kentucky, the state will launch the second part of its mosquito abatement initiative. Beginning Monday, crews will target mosquito larvae in standing flood waters. Professional contractors conducted aerial spraying of more than 700,000 acres across Western Kentucky last week.
FRANKFORT - Gov. Steve Beshear Friday announced funding for water supply projects in several Eastern Kentucky counties. Residents living along or in KY HWY 476 (Breathitt), Mudlick/Franks Creek (Johnson), Paintsville Lake area (Johnson), Dry Creek/Clear Creek (Knott), Treadway Road (Lee/Owsley), Trace Fork/Spicy Ridge (Martin), Whoopflarea (Owsley/Perry), South Perry (Perry) and Vicco (Perry/Letcher) should be noticing the construction of a water supply project funded by the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands in their communities.
FRANKFORT – The state announced Friday the awarding of nearly $75 million in highway projects. They include funding for bridge deck repair, road maintenance, highway safety improvements and a new, state-of-the-art “double crossover diamond” interchange in Fayette County. All the contracts were awarded on the basis of competitive bidding. The Transportation Cabinet received and announced the bids on May 20, according to a press release.
After initially fighting one of its key provisions, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday aimed at cracking down on clinics that frivolously dispense pain pills, feeding a nationwide prescription drug abuse epidemic. "Florida will shed its title as the Oxy Express," Scott said at a bill signing ceremony in Tampa, according to the St. Petersburg Times. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear reacted to the news by issuing a statement:
On today's Planet Money, we hit the streets of Manhattan with economist Tim Harford. In his new book, Adapt, Harford argues that success always starts with failure.
Harford takes us on a failure tour of New York. Highlights include a Gutenberg Bible (turns out the Bible business wasn't so good to Gutenberg) and the Woolworth Building (Woolworth's had some great innovations in its day, but eventually got beat by big-box stores).