What Are America's Main Functions?

What Are America's Main Functions?

Look at America’s most notable characteristics, and you’ll find its critical functions. For example, we have a dominant military, the largest economy, we generate the most patents, we invented the iPhone and online shopping, boast the most advanced research universities, and make the most popular music and movies. Given these traits, you might say America’s key functions are to be powerful, rich, innovative, and creative.

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The Space Pen Myth

The Space Pen Myth

Government missions actually work best in areas of high uncertainty, such as space. Failures not only get spread throughout society, where they can be absorbed without shock to a particular sector or system; those “failures” often turn into business successes. The seeming wastefulness of NASA got encapsulated in an urban legend about the so-called space pen. 

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Crystals in Space

Crystals in Space

Imagine a Dr. Mary, a young assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Maryland. Mary wants to combine a set of different molecules to form a crystal, one that she believes might offer unparalleled insulating qualities. Her problem is, her Earth-bound laboratory can’t produce the kind of perfect crystal that she needs to prove her hypothesis. Gravity has a tendency to distort the way crystals form.

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