James Harden, one of the greatest players in basketball, has the greatest beard in sports: long, wiry and full. And he wouldn't be allowed to keep his beard in the Xinjiang region of China, where more than a million Chinese Uighur Muslims have been imprisoned in reeducation camps and "abnormal" beards are outlawed as a sign of dissidence.
Mike Pompeo graduated first in his class at West Point in 1986, became a tank commander, went to Harvard Law, became a Beltway lawyer, Kansas businessman, congressman, CIA director and, now, secretary of state.
"There's no doubt West Point impacted who I am," Mr. Pompeo has said. "It has an enormous emphasis, not only on military aspects, but character development. Whether it's the honor code, or the interactions you have ... every place you are is a character test.
President Trump stepped into the role of a tycoon on a television reality show before he was elected president of the United States. The path of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine may be even more improbable.
Mr. Zelenskiy played Vasyl, a nebbishy high school teacher who lives with his parents in a cramped old Soviet-style apartment, in a television series called Servant of the People.
Cokie Roberts was fierce and funny, hard-nosed and kindhearted. She was steeped in politics, as the daughter of two Louisiana pols, Hale and Lindy Boggs, and enjoyed the game. But she also elevated politics with her elegant reporting.
Cokie wasn't fooled by the blather of politicians, but also wasn't smug about journalism. We covered a few primaries and papal trips together, and Cokie used to caution young reporters with preconceptions, "Stories are so simple until you actually cover them."
Inspired by her father's passion for military service, Denise Baken joined the Army in 1975 at age 24, looking to follow in his footsteps.
But the retired colonel didn't realize how closely her father's experience in the military mirrored her own until she faced challenges — both as a woman and an African American — over her 28 years of service.
It takes only a few paragraphs in Genesis for the Earth to take shape, sprout with life, and then human beings. Of course, that development actually took millions of years.
But this week, as the world watched a huge hurricane gather in the Earth's warming waters, and wreak terrible destruction on life in the islands of the Bahamas and other places, there was another humbling reminder that human beings really only play a supporting role in the history of the Earth.
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Imagine you're on a paddle board in the East River - that's all I'd ever do, imagine it. Near the Brooklyn Bridge, you're admiring that Gershwin tune Manhattan skyline when you spot something red. You paddle closer, closer and suddenly see...
One of the most anticipated pop albums of the year was released last week - set off one of those social media firestorms. The album is by Lana Del Rey. We can't say its full name on the air. We'll just call it "Norman Rockwell." We won't use the profanity the artist placed between the painter's first and last names. Her album received a lot of praise.