Schools not Troops?

In case you missed it, Nicholas Kristof had an interesting piece about Afghanistan late last week where he posits that instead of a doomed-to-fail...

In case you missed it, Nicholas Kristof had an interesting piece about Afghanistan late last week where he posits that instead of a doomed-to-fail attempt at counterinsurgency, we should spend the money on education instead. Why? Because "for the cost of a single additional soldier stationed in Afghanistan for one year, we could build roughly 20 schools there."He builds the argument well, citing awesome organizations that have successfully built and maintained schools in the country-none of which get closed or bombed by the Taliban as some might like to say. There is plenty of evidence that education transforms countries for the better, and very little that a military strategy, such as the one currently underway, will produce such great results. With the death toll mounting-including that of an explosives expert just yesterday-it's a nice time to be contemplating other strategies.While I agree that it's money better spent-in general and also in terms of so-called nation-building-it doesn't quite address what we should do right now in Afghanistan. It's sort of like like saying "Would you like an apple or a pear?" and someone saying "I'd like a pizza." (Who wouldn't?) At the same time, it's out-of-box thinking that will likely provide the smartest move forward.So what do you think? Schools not bombs?Image from Greg Mortenson's nonprofit Ikat, which has opened many schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

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It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

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via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

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