Articles from The Atlantic

The Family Weekly: What People Actually Say Before They Die

This Week in Family

People’s last words are often nonsensical and borderline bizarre, yet they’ve gotten conspicuously little attention from researchers, since it’s difficult to study people’s final moments without being overly intrusive. Michael Erard writes about the deeper meaning behind people’s last words, and why understanding them is important to ensuring good end-of-life care.

America Scrambles to Catch Up With Chinese and Russian Weapons

“We have some very bad players out there,” President Donald Trump warned from a Pentagon podium on Thursday. Advanced missile technologies are spreading among great powers and rogue actors alike, and with them new threats to the United States. So Trump threatened back. “We’re a good player, but we can be far worse than anybody, if need be.”

Trump’s Entire Shutdown Approach, Encapsulated in One Tweet

Imagine you were charged with choosing an artifact to put in a time capsule so that future Americans could understand the current government shutdown. This is an unrealistic scenario, of course. No single item can explain the current moment, and moreover, there’s no reason to believe that the shutdown is actually going to end.

But playing along with the game, your best bet would be this Donald Trump tweet from Friday morning:

Parenting Looks Nothing Like What the Experts Say

Harvey Karp makes soothing babies look like a cinch. In the video that accompanies his best-selling book The Happiest Baby on the Block, he holds one screaming infant after another, deftly rolls them on their side, and bam!—the crying stops. “Side position” is just one of the techniques to calm a baby in Karp’s repertoire. He also uses swaddling, shushing, swinging, and sucking. Bleary-eyed parents ooh and aah over how Karp can instantly activate a baby’s calming reflex, or “automatic shut-off switch,” using his trademark “five S’s.”