If you’re wondering whether our country is still more or less a democracy (let alone the kind of state that might help bring about whirled peas or whatever), you must not have read the Washington Post series on Dick Cheney and his frightening influence on the country these past six years. He’s been astonishingly effective and to the most destructive ends. We are indeed deeply fucked.
On the other hand, if you’re thinking about bringing children into this world and want to make sure their names fall into that crucial unusual-but-not-so-common-as-to-be-banal bracket, you might check out this historic baby-name frequency graph. Were your parents trendsetters or just followers?
Finally, if you’re just setting out on a journey of self-discovery and wondering where you fall on that delightful rainbow-colored scale of sexual orientation, you might consider a variety of unreliable-looking research about physical “tells” for homosexuality. The finger-length thing gets a bit complicated, but I’m an oldest son whose index fingers are longer than his ring fingers, and also gay, so there must be something to this here science business. (On the other hand, my hair swirls clockwise.) If only this research had been published when I was in high school, I could have avoided all that awkwardness at junior prom.