Worth Reading - 5/4

English is the language of Shakespeare and the language of Chaucer. It’s spoken in dozens of countries around the world, from the United States to a tiny island named Tristan da Cunha. It reflects the influences of centuries of international exchange, including conquest and colonization, from the Vikings through the 21st century. Here are 25 maps and charts that explain how English got started and evolved into the differently accented languages spoken today.
Sometime in the mid-1990s, sickened by what I perceived as the shallowness of evangelical culture in suburban Wheaton, Illinois, I launched into the post-hippie, proto-hipster nightlife of Chicago. I roamed not yet fully gentrified streets with dropouts and homeless people, under the L-tracks and along the wind-battered shores of the third coast. The counter-culture then radiated from Belmont Avenue, which I imagined to be something like what Haight-Ashbury (since colonized by Ben & Jerry’s) must have been in 1969.

Following one such night of seeking suburban Wheaton’s opposite, I experienced a moment of transfixing beauty. I wandered into Lincoln Park Zoo at dawn and had it all to myself—a solitary Adam among the animals. Then, as I watched sea lions frolic in the shallows of their tank I braced myself for a return to Wheaton College where I would reluctantly (and barely) finish my undergraduate degree. In my arrogance, I may have even thought to myself that I was returning to splash in the shallows with evangelicals like the animals before me.

3. Free Trade Frees Us - And the Poor - For Better Things:

The problem with affluence and prosperity in 2015 is that there isn’t enough of it for enough people. Right now somewhere in the third world there is a woman walking to a dirty waterhole where animals bathe. She is collecting water for cooking and drinking and doing the backbreaking work of hand-washing clothes for her family. She doesn’t get to come home and fill a plastic cup with ice and clean water fortified with fluoride. Our scenario is unfathomable to her but mundane to us. The lack of free trade keeps the poor in chains.

On both economic and moral grounds, free trade is a no-brainer. For the sake of those who do not yet fully benefit from it, we should encourage as much of it as possible. Let’s hope Congress has enough wisdom to realize that

4. A recent report from Duke University indicates that the infamous noose that made national headlines was not a racist emblem, but a insensitive pun from another student:

A University investigation into the noose hanging in a tree on the Bryan Center Plaza April 1 found that the action was caused by a lack of cultural awareness and was not a statement related to racism, Duke announced Friday afternoon.What do you think?

The student who hung the noose has gone through the student conduct process and after receiving a sanction is eligible to return to campus next semester. The student left campus the day after the incident occurred and has written an open letter of apology to the Duke community, which can be viewed below. What do you think?

Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta declined to comment on the timeline of the student conduct investigation and the time at which the letter was sent.What do you think?

”My purpose in hanging the noose was merely to take some pictures with my friends together with the noose, and then texting it to some others inviting them to come and ‘hang out’ with us—because it was such a nice day outside,” the portion of the letter explaining the cause of the action reads.What do you think?

All other investigations by law enforcement have also been closed.