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Cultural Commentary

After DOMA and Prop 8, what now?

Edie Windsor (C) reacts to cheers as she arrives for a news conference following the U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 ruling striking down as unconstitutional the Defense of Marriage Act, in New York June 26, 2013 (Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar)The Wall Street Journal said of yesterday's DOMA and Prop 8 decisions, "Supreme Court Rulings Boost Gay Marriage." Huffington Post rejoiced: "Ding! Dong! DOMA is dead!CNN called the rulings a "historic victory" for supporters of same-sex marriage.

I'm not so sure.

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Getting ready for DOMA and Prop 8

A bookcase with spotlight on legal tomes in a law library, representing the Supreme Court justices and their upcoming decision on DOMA and Prop 8 (Credit: SNEHIT via Fotolia) The Supreme Court has announced that it will deliver its much-anticipated rulings on same-sex marriage today at 10 AM EDT.  We don't yet know what the court will decide, but here are the options.

The court could uphold Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.  Or it could overturn it through one of four decisions.  One: those supporting the ban in court lack legal "standing" to do so.  Two: voters are not entitled to withdraw this right, since it had previously been established by the California Supreme Court.  These two decisions would affect only California.

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Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

A Muslim pilgrim prays atop Mount Al-Noor during the annual hajj pilgrimage in Mecca November 9, 2010 (Credit: Reuters/Mohammed Salem)Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently visited a Muslim mosque in New York City.  There he met with Muslims and other faith leaders.  He told them, "I thank God that this day has arrived.  I thank you for your welcome, I thank you for making me feel like a friend and a member of a family."

Then he made this statement: "You love God, we love God and he is the same God."

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How will the world look in 2045?

The Real You, a painting by Aaron Jasinski (Credit: Aaron Jasinski)The Global Futures 2045 Congress concluded recently in New York City.  Geneticists, technology entrepreneurs, inventors, and futurists gathered to discuss how the world will change over the next three decades.  Here's some of what they predict.

Your brain will be healthier and more effective, thanks to "brain maps" now being developed.  Neurological diseases will become treatable; brain implants will be common; genetic and cognitive enhancements are on the horizon.

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Learning from James Gandolfini's death

A photo of James Gandolfini is displayed in the window of a restaurant in Little Italy, New York in tribute to the actor (Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer)James Gandolfini was known to the world as Tony Soprano, the mythical mob boss who won three Emmy Awards.  The announcement of his death made global headlines yesterday.  He was only 51 years old.

If such a successful, wealthy star cannot guarantee himself another day, who can?

Gandolfini joined the ranks of Whitney Houston, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Heath Ledger, all celebrities who were even younger when they died.  On the other hand, Betty White and Clint Eastwood are still stars at the ages of 91 and 83, respectfully.

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