GOOD

Making Sense of the Shocking Stabbing of a U.S. Ambassador

The extremist activist who assaulted Mark Lippert last week had longstanding grievances against the U.S. that many South Koreans share.

U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert heads for the hospital in Seoul after the attack. Kim Ju-sung/Yonhap/AP Photo

For many Americans, news of a knife attack on U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert in Seoul last Thursday came as a shock. Given the strong, longstanding relationship between our two nations, it may seem like there’s no rational explanation for such a violent attack. Stories covering Lippert’s recovery from the deep gash to his face and five wounds in his left arm (none of which did any serious damage), yet going into very little detail on his assailant, a 55-year-old South Korean man named Kim Ki-Jong, have only increased that sense of mystery. The result has been the impression that Ki-Jong was a shocking aberration, an unstable agent with a violent history being manipulated by the sinister North Korea—South Korean police have been quick to point out that the assailant visited North Korea seven times between 1999 and 2007, and North Korea’s giddy and self-righteous coverage of the attack is suspect.

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The Good News About Cuba is Bad News for the FBI’s Most Wanted Woman

What normalizaton of U.S.-Cuba relations means for the Feds’ epic pursuit of an exiled Black Panther.

Photo by Flickr user dignidadrebelde.

When President Obama announced that the U.S. was preparing to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba on Wednesday, the news provoked mixed reactions – opponents of the Castro government were dismayed and some Cuban immigrants celebrated, eager to return home. And yet, one name kept reappearing over and over in ancillary discussions on the lifting of the embargo: Assata.

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Food for Thinkers: Sputnik Hotdogs

Space archaeologist Dr. Alice Gorman looks at the cultural history of food shaped like spacecraft.


Dr. Alice Gorman is a space archaeologist at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, and the author of an excellent blog, Space Age Archaeology, where she posts about extra-terrestrial mining, abandoned Venusian probes, space beer, and more.

As part of Food For Thinkers, Gorman has turned her attention to the edible culture of the space age, with a post about "the influence space exploration has had on terrestrial food." In particular, she is interested in the history of food shaped like Sputnik: recipes and dishes that, she writes "can be regarded as a sort of performance, half way between tangible and intangible heritage, as they exist only in the moment of their manufacture and disappear in the act of consumption." She writes:

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