08 November 2012

Mid-Week Reads - Hacking the President’s DNA & Faces, Places, Spaces

  • Hacking the President’s DNA. (Atlantic)
The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace.
The West made history, but the East drove it. Though Europe saw itself as the pilothouse of fate, in truth it was more like a fort, which had been shaped by the constant assault of those horsemen.
  • Why don't Chinese leaders swim anymore? (Foreign Policy).
    Chinese Communist leaders have long used swimming to prove that they're healthy and competent enough to rule. Mao was a master, using his prowess in the water to demonstrate his power and keep his political rivals off balance. Against the pleadings of his physician and his security guards, Mao would drift "miles downstream with the current, head back, stomach in the air, hands and legs barely moving, unfazed by the globs of human waste gliding gently past...

  • How Obama secures his legacy. (BBC)
    Americans understand that his first term was no picnic, that he faced a dogged opposition willing to fight him with every weapon in its arsenal, including a record number of filibusters. That's one reason why, despite the disappointments, Americans opted to give him a second term. But now they are depending on him to deliver.

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