The viral power of online media has proven how fast creative ideas can be spread and adopted, using tools like cellphones, digital cameras, micro-credit, mobile banking, Facebook, and Twitter. A perfect example? The way the Green Movement in Iran caught fire thanks to social media.
Who was Amanda Knox? Was she a fresh-faced honor student from Seattle who met anyone's definition of an all-American girl - attractive, athletic, smart, hard-working, adventuresome, in love with languages and travel? Or was her pretty face a mask, a duplicitous cover for a depraved soul?
The 2008 financial crisis is usually attributed to vampire squid greed. There was certainly a lot of that. But it was also just as likely to have been caused by the chaos of process created by those big, sexy bank mergers when, in the name of 'economies of scale,' critical members of the trust and responsibility chain were cavalierly eliminated.
Along with all those books about Lincoln, Obama might read some biographies of Napoleon. The general who established the Legion d'Honneur understood that people fought as much for medals as for morals.
It always seemed to me ironic that the McCain campaign kept referring sneeringly to Obama's meager resume - 'a mere community organizer!' - before he entered electoral politics. It was Obama's experience as a community organizer that proved such a killer app when he applied that skill to the Internet.
Until 1869, when they were banned, debtors' prisons were the great incinerators of British reputations. Those who were unable to pay their bills were jailed until their creditors were paid - an unlikely event, given that the prisoner was unable to work.
TV journalism is a much more collaborative, horizontal business than print reporting. It has to be, because of the logistics. Anchors are wholly dependent on producers to do all the hustling.
Celebrity these days is completely for sale; it's not remotely mysterious. But there's something that remains glamorous and mysterious about royalty.
An enormous number of mothers in the U.S. are working double time, graveyard shifts, and more than one job just to put food on the table for their kids.
The no-secrets era of social media makes one consider the built-in risk factor of nominating high-testosterone men to positions of power at all. Everyone is under too much scrutiny now to take a chance on candidates who suddenly blow up into a comic meme, a punchline, a ribald hashtag.
It's as if inside the White House the belief in Obama's inspirational charisma is still such that every time the ugliness of brute politics intrudes, it's a startling revelation.
It's Obama's bad luck that he got elected just as the mayhem of the foreclosures, the banking collapse, and the General Motors disaster was accelerating the surge in unemployment to warp speed.
The women of Afghanistan, left behind as their men fought, did what the women of World War II did - used their wits and resourcefulness to preserve some semblance of civilization.
Back in his Chicago Senate days, when he was seeking greater black credibility, Obama was happy enough to attend the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ.
For Sarah Palin, the least experienced on the world stage, the stress of maintaining the fiction that she was qualified to be vice president sent her over the deep end almost immediately. She went off on a ferocious spending spree that might have killed a lesser woman. Katie Couric's straightforward questions unraveled her.
It's one of the biggest fibs going that American newspapers are now being forced to give up their commitment to investigative reporting. Most of them gave up long ago as their greedy managements squeezed every cent out of the bottom line and turned their newsrooms into eunuchs.
Obama has figured out the best method to prepare the way for his verbal Houdini acts: Use political noise as the tune-up din before the aria. Perhaps his body temperature is so low, it sometimes takes him too long to break out the song.
Obama's gift for delivering set-piece oratorical tours de force had special resonance to Americans fed up with a president who could hardly string two words together without a collision of syntax and whose idea of clever was the single entendre.
Even as the whole world tries to hang on to its job, there is also this weird parallel sense - almost a covert longing - that the old corrupt structures on which that job depends needs to be, ought to be, swept away.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was fortunate: He didn't take office until nearly four years after the Wall Street crash, by which time the Republicans' responsibility for the Depression was taken for granted.