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Stephen Mihm
The 1960s protests, rooted in civil rights and anti-war movements, convulsed campuses nationwide for nearly a decade, while recent protests lack comparable breadth and intensity.
COMMENTARY / World
May 6, 2024
Comparing Gaza protests to the ’60s is wrong — and dangerous
Confusing a few weeks of pro-Palestinian activism with a more than decade-long movement could lead to needless tragedy.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, a pilgrimage site for Christians since the fourth century 
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 3, 2023
Many evangelicals see Israel-Hamas war as part of a prophecy
The bloodshed in Israel is seen by some as a sign of Second Coming of Christ, a worldview held by significant number of evangelical Christians.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jun 26, 2023
A fulfilling job is a luxury of modern times
The idea that your work should pay emotional dividends — and not just the bills — would have seemed strange to most people before the 20th century.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 23, 2023
Magnets will be minting tomorrow’s billionaires
“Lodestones” started out as lightning-infused magical rocks that could cure baldness. Now they’re an essential part of our machine-driven world.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 26, 2023
U.S. government has been dancing around UFOs for 75 years
A legacy of UFO hype, hysteria and fraud is undermining legitimate inquiry into those strange objects in the sky.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 1, 2023
ChatGPT sounds exactly like us. How is that a good thing?
For 70 years, programmers have tried to make computers more like people. Now they’ve succeeded — sort of.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 27, 2022
How Christmas has turned into an orgy of consumption
The Christmas holiday rooted in pagan rituals was transformed into a celebration of commerce by writers, artists, retailers and Madison Avenue.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 26, 2022
Fusion skepticism follows a century of genius, fraud and hype
Before we shrug off the latest fusion achievement as just another small step on a long road, consider the miles we've come since the idea of tapping the power of the sun was first conceived.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 30, 2022
American book-banning tradition is as old as the Mayflower
One activist said, 'Why is everyone so upset? Controlling what children read is entirely different from controlling what adults read.”
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jul 23, 2021
Is air rage caused by class warfare?
In a typical year, the Federal Aviation Administration logs between 100 and 200 incidents. In the first three months of 2021, it reported a whopping 1300 despite few fliers.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 14, 2021
How pandemics change the course of history
When COVID-19 first arrived last year, everyone’s go-to historical parallel was the 1918 influenza pandemic. Precisely because it was so fleeting, it’s hard to find evidence that it caused a sweeping reorientation of everyday life. In its wake, most people simply forgot what happened. Other global...
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Aug 5, 2020
How to fight disease in the 1880s: Fresh air
People learned the health advantages of open windows — and then closed them for air conditioners.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 23, 2020
The Great Depression paradox: children survived, then thrived
National crises can actually have positive effects on the young, building character as much as destroying it.
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 25, 2020
Dangers of age segregation exposed
For most of America’s history, the idea that people over the age of 65 would voluntarily herd themselves into special communities built around their needs would have seemed absurd, even dystopian. Yet a largely voluntary movement toward segregating people by age has reached extreme levels in recent...
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 24, 2020
Coronavirus exposes dangers of age segregation
America's embrace of retirement communities and nursing homes has led to a unique vulnerability.
Japan Times
WORLD / Society / Commentary
Feb 20, 2020
The ugly history of blaming ethnic groups for disease outbreaks
As the coronavirus outbreak grows in scale and scope, a nasty side effect spreads: discrimination. Inside China, people from Wuhan have been treated like lepers. Outside, we're seeing numerous reports of verbal and physical abuse aimed at ethnic Chinese, and an aversion to Chinese restaurants and other...
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 18, 2019
Sleazy journalism can serve the public good
Long before Bezos's battle with the National Enquirer, a fight involving a scabrous newspaper led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision expanding freedom of the press.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 2, 2018
Does corruption matter to voters? It depends
Democrats' main target should be the Republican Party, not the president.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 9, 2018
FDR's gun-control strategy was based on taxes
His administration gave gangsters 3,700 reasons to stop buying machine guns.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 26, 2018
Amazon's labor-tracking wristband has a history
Jeff Bezos is stealing from a 19th-century playbook.

Longform

Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals