Weekly Random Links

China woman who married 26 times in legal jam

BEIJING: A Chinese woman who married 26 times is now caught in a legal tangle. Her problem is not the marriage law, but the rules concerning the government’s family planning policy.

Robin Williams 1951-2014

He could make us laugh. He could fill us with wonder at the speed with which his inventive mind worked. He could make us cry. We never thought – feared – however, that Robin Williams would leave us in stunned silence. The Oscar-winning actor has died at the age of 63.

What All This Bad News Is Doing to Us

So when people overestimate the world’s awfulness, there do appear to be real consequences. And while, as has eternally been the case, there are certainly pockets of the planet that really are getting worse on a daily basis (Syria), on a broader level there’s solid evidence — perhaps gathered most comprehensively by Steven Pinker — that the world is in the midst of a decades-long trend of actually becoming better: safer and healthier and more humane. We just have the bad stuff shouted into our ears louder than ever before.