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Harry Potter Fans Think This Is The Answer to J.K. Rowling’s Riddle

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Harry Potter might be making a comeback

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 7

Harry Potter fanatics are putting their heads together to try and solve a riddle J.K. Rowling posted to Twitter on Monday that seems to be in the form of an anagram. Rowling is certainly no stranger to anagrams, as they come up often in the Potter series: With Lord Voldemort’s name, the triwizard tournament and the Mirror of Erised.

Speculation swirled, of course, that Rowling was hinting at another Potter novel. Considering July’s short story she posted to fansite Pottermore about Harry and crew in their thirties sparked similar rumors, a new wizarding world book didn’t seem too far off.

Rowling joined in on the fanatic fun by providing a slew of hints, which reference fictional character Newton Scamander, the author of the book that’s inspiring the film trilogy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, for which Rowling is penning the screenplay.

But fans seem to think the anagram could actually be about the return of Harry himself. Fans posted on Reddit, Twitter and Facebook a solution that reads:

“Harry returns! Wont say any details now. A week off. No comment.”

While this doesn’t quite add up with Rowling’s hint, it does unscramble the words. If Harry made his return to the page, though, the actor who played him in the film series wouldn’t be slipping back into his robes, as he’s repeatedly said he won’t reprise the role. But Emma Watson, who played Hermione, said she’d be up for a cameo in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy.

See if you can solve the anagram yourself with TIME’s interactive solver.

TIME Books

Drunk Poetry Fans and the First Reading of ‘Howl’

Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg in 1965 Jim Johnson—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Oct. 7, 1955: Allen Ginsberg reads 'Howl' for the first time, at San Francisco’s Six Gallery

Before Allen Ginsberg invoked the ire of authorities with the frank (and frequent) depiction of sexual acts in “Howl” — “in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses’ rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too” — he stunned a crowd of drunk poetry fans at San Francisco’s Six Gallery.

On this evening in 1955, Oct. 7, Ginsberg performed the piece in public for the first time at a poetry reading which had been advertised by a postcard proclaiming: “Remarkable collection of angels all gathered at once in the same spot. Wine, music, dancing girls, serious poetry, free satori.”

The wine and the satori — deep understanding, in the zen sense — went hand in hand. In his novel The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac fictionalized the event with a description of circulating gallon jugs of California burgundy among the increasingly raucous crowd, “getting them all piffed so that by eleven o’clock when Alvah Goldbrook [Ginsberg's stand-in in the novel] was reading his wailing poem ‘Wail’ ['Howl'] drunk with arms outspread everybody was yelling ‘Go! Go! Go!’”

Those who were there said the reading felt like a revolution — poet Michael McClure said that it pushed the art form past the “point of no return” — but critics gave the poem mixed reviews. The poet James Dickey called it “a whipped-up state of excitement,” but scolded that “it takes more than this to make poetry.” Poet and critic Paul Zweig was more reverential, saying that “Howl,” “almost singlehandedly dislocated the traditionalist poetry of the 1950s.”

Government officials, meanwhile, found it intolerably vulgar. When it was published about the year after that first reading, U.S. Customs agents seized Howl and Other Poems when it arrived from its London-based printer on grounds that it was indecent and obscene; San Francisco police arrested Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who published it, and Shigeyoshi Murao, manager of City Lights Books, who sold it.

Mid-century America simply wasn’t ready yet for Ginsberg’s offer of free satori, it seemed. In 2007, on the 50th anniversary of the poem’s obscenity trial, Ferlinghetti told the New York Times he believed the charges were related less to the poem’s four-letter words than to the revolutionary ideas it expressed.

A San Francisco judge (and Sunday school teacher) later exonerated both the men and the poem, ruling that Howl had “redeeming social importance.” He may not have supported its ideas, but he was a stickler for self-expression: “Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemism?” the Times story quotes from Judge Horn’s 1957 opinion. “An author should be real in treating his subject and be allowed to express his thoughts and ideas in his own words.”

Hindsight would confirm the judge’s wisdom. In 1985, TIME’s R.Z. Sheppard noted that, “the man once feared as a weevil in the nation’s moral fiber is in a disarming state of equilibrium. Cultural norms have adjusted in Ginsberg’s favor since 1956, when he disturbed the peace with Howl.

Read the 1985 piece about the poet, here in TIME’s archives: Mainstreaming Allen Ginsberg

TIME cyber crime

Just Because a Hate Crime Occurs on the Internet Doesn’t Mean It’s Not a Hate Crime

Hate Crimes in Cyberspace
Hate Crimes in Cyberspace

Danielle Citron is the author of Hate Crimes in Cyberspace.

Let's talk about nude photo leaks and other forms of online harassment as what they are: civil rights violations

Over the past few weeks, a prominent—and nearly all female— group of celebrities have had their personal accounts hacked, their private nude photos stolen and exposed for the world to see. Friday brought the fourth round of the aggressive, invasive, and criminal release of leaked photos.

Whether the target is a famous person or just your average civilian, these anonymous cyber mobs and individual harassers interfere with individuals’ crucial life opportunities, including the ability to express oneself, work, attend school, and establish professional reputations.

Such abuse should be understood for what it is: a civil rights violation. Our civil rights laws and tradition protect an individual’s right to pursue life’s crucial endeavors free from unjust discrimination. Those endeavors include the ability to make a living, to obtain an education, to engage in civic activities, and to express oneself—without the fear of bias-motivated threats, harassment, privacy invasions, and intimidation.

Consider what media critic Anita Sarkeesian has been grappling with for the past two years. After Sarkeesian announced that she was raising money on Kickstarter to fund a documentary about sexism in video games, a cyber mob descended. Anonymous emails and tweets threatened rape. In the past two weeks, Sarkeesian received tweets and emails with graphic threats to her and her family. The tweets included her home address and her family’s home address. The cyber mob made clear that speaking out against inequality is fraught with personal risk and professional sabotage. Her attackers’ goal is to intimidate and silence her.

Revenge porn victims face a variant on this theme. Their nude photos appear on porn sites next to their contact information and alleged interest in rape. Posts falsely claim that they sleep with their students and are available for sex for money. Their employers are e-mailed their nude photos, all for the effort of ensuring that they lose their jobs and cannot get new ones.

Understanding these attacks as civil rights violations is an important first step. My book Hate Crimes in Cyberspace explores how existing criminal, tort, and civil rights law can help combat some of the abuse and how important reforms are needed to catch the law up with new modes of bigoted harassment. But law is a blunt instrument and can only do so much. Moral suasion, education, and voluntary efforts are essential too. Getting us to see online abuse as the new frontier for civil rights activism will help point society in the right direction.

Danielle Citron is the Lois K. Macht Research Professor & Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. She is an Affiliate Scholar at the Stanford Center on Internet and Society and an Affiliate Fellow at the Yale Information Society Project. Her book, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, was recently published by Harvard University Press.­­­­

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Books

5 Shocking Secrets That Celebrities Revealed in Autobiographies

2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Night 2 - Press Room
One Direction poses in the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Night 2 Steve Granitz—WireImage

We hope the One Direction memoir is just as scintillating as these five classics

Tuesday marks the release of the One Direction’s autobiography Who We Are — that’s one memoir for all five of them, which we guess means they’re officially a single entity — which promises to provide, per the publisher’s description, “intimate insights” into their lives. But, considering the band’s need to appeal to young fans, it’s hard to believe that the revelations will be all too shocking.

Not that it never happens: celebrities have been known to disclose jaw-dropping tidbits of what happened behind the scenes.

Here are five controversial moments revealed in the highest-brow genre of all genres: The celebrity autobiography.

Christina Crawford, Mommie Dearest
Crawford’s hard-hitting 1978 memoir was one of Hollywood’s first and darkest celebrity tell-alls. Predating the film, Mommie Dearest outline’s Joan Crawford’s abusive parenting — including beating her daughter after discovering she had hung her clothes on wire hangers in the closet. While the “no more wire hangers!” line has become kitsch since the release of the film, its revelation in the autobiography was chilling.

Melissa Joan Hart, Melissa Explains It All:
The fact that Hart didn’t like her animatronic cat co-star Salem on Sabrina The Teenage Witch only scrapes the surface of the shocking revelations of Hart’s tell-all. The former child star claims to have taken Britney Spears to her first club, hooked up with Ryan Reynolds and done her fair share of making out with girls while on hard drugs on the way home from a Playboy Mansion party.

Andre Agassi, Open
The tennis star admits to lying about using crystal meth in 1997. He writes: “I snort some. I ease back on the couch and consider the Rubicon I’ve just crossed. There is a moment of regret, followed by vast sadness. Then comes a tidal wave of euphoria that sweeps away every negative thought in my head. I’ve never felt so alive, so hopeful — and I’ve never felt such energy. I’m seized by a desperate desire to clean. I go tearing around my house, cleaning it from top to bottom. I dust the furniture. I scour the tub. I make the beds.”

Rosie O’Donnell, Celebrity Detox
The 2007 memoir tackled everything from O’Donnell’s difficult relationship with Barbara Walters on The View — and with Donald Trump in essentially every medium — to dark times in her childhood. O’Donnell reveals that she used to break her own limbs using a baseball bat and wooden hanger, “My hands and fingers usually. No one knew. It was a secret…[as] proof I had some value, enough to be fixed.” O’Donnell hints but doesn’t expand on another potential motivation: “There were many benefits to having a cast. In the middle of the night, it was a weapon.”

Morrissey, Autobiography
Sure, Morrissey writes about his first relationship with a man (at 35), falling victim to an attempted kidnapping and his near death during childbirth. But the real stunner is the fact that he could have had a role on Friends and said no. He writes, “I am asked if I’d jump in on a newly jumbled plot-line with the character Phoebe in the Central Perk diner, where I am requested to sing ‘in a really depressing voice.’ Within seconds of the proposal, I wind down the fire-escape like a serpent, and it’s goodbye to Hollywood yet again.”

Read TIME’s original review of Mommie Dearest here, in the archives: Joan Crawford’s Other Life

TIME Books

J.K. Rowling Teases Fans With Cryptic Tweet

Author J.K. Rowling attends a photocall ahead of her reading from 'The Casual Vacancy' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sept. 27, 2012 in London. Ben Pruchnie—Getty Images

Can you solve the conundrum in the Harry Potter author's tweet?

Updated 12:40 p.m. ET

J.K. Rowling fans are not strangers to riddles and anagrams. The Harry Potter series’ villain created his name–Lord Voldemort–by making an anagram of the name he was born with. And there were tons of hidden riddles and anagrams throughout the Potter series: The poison potion riddle that could stop Harry and co. from getting to the sorcerer’s stone, the golden egg hint during the Triwizard tournament, and the inscription on the Mirror of Erised.

But now fans have a new one to solve. Rowling, who’s typically active on Twitter, hopped on the social media platform on Sunday after a brief absence to let fans know what she’s been up to.

The screenplay is undoubtedly that of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a Potter spinoff and trilogy. But when a fan expressed excitement over what that mysterious unnamed novel might be, the bestselling author chimed in, writing: “See, now I’m tempted to post a riddle or an anagram. Must resist temptation… must work …”

Clearly, she wasn’t working terribly hard, as early Monday morning she returned to Twitter with a mysterious conundrum:

What could it mean? Speculation is swirling, and Potter fans are jumping at the idea that she could be hinting at another Potter novel. Rowling sparked rumors of more Potter adventures in July with a short story updating fans on what Harry, Ron, Hermione and others were like as thirtysomethings.

Fans haven’t seemed to solved it just yet. And Emma Watson, who played brainiac Hermione in the Potter films, hasn’t joined the conversation either, but Rowling offered hints via Twitter for fans eager to solve it referencing fictional character Newton Scamander, the author of the book that’s inspiring the film trilogy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

If only we could hop in the Prefects Bathroom, the answer might just come to us easily. In the meantime, you can give it your best shot with TIME’s interactive anagram solver. The winner gets 50 points for Gryffindor.

TIME Books

What Are the Top 5 Books You Must Read?

Stack of books
blackred—Getty Images

Eric Barker writes Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

I post about a *lot* of books. Most people don’t have the time to read them all but a number of readers have requested a post where I break down my must-reads.

I have a number I want to cover so I’ll do it over a few posts. Obviously I’m posting only books related to the blog’s usual subject matter — don’t be upset there’s no James Joyce on here.

1) Influence

What is it?

Most consider it the single best book on the psychology of persuasion.

What did I learn from it?

There are universal principles that make something influential: scarcity, authority, social proof, liking, reciprocity, and consistency.

This video is a great introduction to Cialdini’s research:

Check out the book here.

2) Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

What is it?

The best, most accessible research-based book on what motivates us.

What did I learn from it?

For jobs that require creativity and problem solving, research shows we’re motivated by a desire for autonomy, mastery and purpose. Money is really only a motivator for work that does not inspire passion or deep thought. The single best motivator is progress, and the best predictor of success is “grit.”

My notes from the book are here. Watch Dan Pink’s TED talk here.

Here’s a great animated video about the book, narrated by author Dan Pink:

Check out the book here.

3) The Power of Habit

What is it?

An engaging read that explains the science of how habits work — and how we can change them.

What did I learn from it?

About 40% of the actions we perform in a day are habits — so we’re on autopilot almost half our life. Identifying what triggers your habits is key. Assigning new habits to established triggers is how you change a bad habit into a good one. Friends can be a major part of whether you’re able to change for the better.

Here’s a great interview with author Charles Duhigg about the book:

Don’t have time to watch the full 40 minute interview? Here’s a 4 minute version.

Check out the book here.

4) The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study

What is it?

They studied over 1000 people for the duration of their lives – from childhood until old age — giving them regular physical and psychological tests and tracking the results.

What they discovered confirmed some things we all believe about what it takes to live a good, long life — and more interestingly they found out where our common beliefs are wrong.

What did I learn from it?

There’s a lot of overlap between what makes us happy and what promotes a long life. Stress isn’t all bad. The good do not die young. Women don’t live longer than men because of biology. Relationships are more important than exercise if you want to live a long life.

The authors discuss the study, the book and the counterintuitive things they learned in this video:

Check out the book here.

5) The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

What is it?

A Harvard researcher’s very practical book on how to be happier and how happiness can improve your life.

What did I learn from it?

Happiness increases productivity and makes you more successful. The 20 second rule can make you a much better person. There are a lot of simple little things that can make you much happier.

Here’s author Shawn Achor’s


Check out the book here.

Again, they are:

Join 25K+ readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.

Related posts:

What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life?

What do people regret the most before they die?

What five things can make sure you never stop growing and learning?

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Books

Gone Girl Book Sales Surge Before Movie Release

Sales doubled in the week prior to the movie's release

As the Friday release of Gone Girl dominated Oscar buzz and captured the attention of celebrities, the book that inspired the movie has also had a surge in popularity. Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel by the same title has claimed the top spot on Amazon books.

More than twice as many books were sold this week compared to last week, according to an Amazon Books spokesperson. More impressively, sales tripled in the days following the release of a trailer in July.

Flynn is no stranger to best-selling success. Gone Girl spent 91 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, where it debuted in the number two spot in 2012.

TIME Crime

This Case Is the Real-World Version of Gone Girl

Modesto Police Search For Missing Pregnant Woman
A Missing poster from 2002 shows Laci Peterson Getty Images

Gillian Flynn has said that the book and movie can be linked to this real-life murder mystery

This weekend, the much-anticipated movie adaptation of the New York Times bestseller Gone Girl hits theaters, and though the thriller is fictional, it turns out there may be a kernel of truth at the heart of the story: author Gillian Flynn said in a 2012 interview with Entertainment Weekly that, though she didn’t base the novel on any true-crime tale, she did see a parallel between her story and the Laci and Scott Peterson case.

We’re not going to spoil any of the plot twists for those who haven’t yet read the novel or seen the movie, but here’s the real-life case, as reported in 2003 by TIME, that at least partly inspired the novel. (Again, for those avoiding spoilers, not everything in the Peterson case has a parallel in Gone Girl, so you can safely read up on the real-life mystery without ruining the fictional one; if you don’t want to have even a fuzzy idea of the set-up, stop here.)

On Christmas Eve of 2002, 27-year-old Laci Peterson went missing from the home she shared with her husband, Scott, in California. Laci, a substitute schoolteacher, was eight months pregnant with the couple’s first child. Before she went missing, Laci had already picked out a name for the baby — Connor — and painted the nursery blue with a nautical theme.

Scott, 30 at the time, said that he had last seen her leaving their home to walk their dog, a golden retriever named McKenzie, as he departed for a fishing trip to the Berkeley Marina. The next morning, a neighbor found the dog wandering the neighborhood and returned it to the house where Laci’s car was still in the driveway. Scott reported her missing to the police after returning from his trip that evening.

Laci’s family organized a vigil and search for her, and in the first days search parties of hundreds of people hunted for her. The Petersons were an attractive couple, as Flynn pointed out to EW, and the case quickly drew media attention.

In the early stage of the search, Laci’s family told the media that Scott was a loyal and loving husband. They even supported him after he stormed out of a press conference in response to a reporter’s question about whether he was a suspect. They stood by him as the police began to search his home, his boat and his car, and as authorities told the press that Peterson was not being fully cooperative in their investigation.

That changed when Amber Frey, a massage therapist, told the police that she and Scott had been having an affair. Scott, she said, had not told her he was married when they met about a month before Laci disappeared. Soon after, police discovered that Scott had taken out a $250,000 insurance policy on his wife after she became pregnant. Meanwhile, Scott sold Laci’s car and contemplated putting up the house for sale as well.

“I’m only left to question what else he may be hiding,” said Laci’s brother Brent Rocha, after hearing about the affair. “Because we have so many questions that he has not answered, I am no longer supporting him.”

In April of the next year, police found Laci’s body, carrying a full-term male fetus, washed up on the shoreline 90 miles from where the couple had lived.

Police tracked down Scott, who had since dyed his hair, grown a goatee and moved to San Diego, where his parents lived. Fearing that he would flee for the Mexican border, authorities arrested Scott before DNA tests were completed on Laci’s body.

Scott Peterson was convicted of first degree murder for Laci’s death and second degree murder for the death of their prenatal son in 2005. He is currently on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

Read Lev Grossman’s Sept. 25, 2014, TIME profile of Gillian Flynn: Gillian Flynn’s Marriage Plot

TIME Books

Author of The Notebook Sued Over Alleged Racism, Homophobia, Anti-Semitism

Author Nicholas Sparks discusses his book "The Longest Ride" presented by Books and Books at Chapman Conference Center at Miami Dade College on Sept. 30, 2013 in Miami.
Author Nicholas Sparks discusses his book "The Longest Ride" presented by Books and Books at Chapman Conference Center at Miami Dade College on Sept. 30, 2013 in Miami. Vallery Jean—Getty Images

The former headmaster of the school alleges that Sparks made bigoted comments and did not support diversity

The former headmaster of a private school founded by Nicholas Sparks alleges in a lawsuit filed Thursday that the best-selling author, along with other school officials, forced him out of office after he tried to recruit black students and faculty.

Saul Hillel Benjamin’s lawsuit claims that he was also forced to endure anti-Semitic comments and was penalized for supporting a bullied group of gay students.

Benjamin says that when he tried to recruit black students and teachers, The Notebook scribe told him “diversity should not be measured by percentages of minority students enrolled or minority faculty employed,” according to the lawsuit. Sparks allegedly criticized Benjamin for attending an NAACP event to meet potential students and parents and “indicated that Mr. Benjamin should utilize less public and visible means if he sought to meet with African-Americans.”

Benjamin also alleges that Sparks and other officials made bigoted remarks against Jews and homosexuals. The suit claims that during one meeting “Sparks insisted that Mr. Benjamin stop talking about Islam, Judaism or any other non-Christian religion” at school functions because “that’s not what parents like to hear.”

Trustees allegedly pressured Benjamin not to support a club that was created by bullied students to discuss their sexual identities; they said Benjamin was “promoting a homosexual culture and agenda.” The lawsuit also accuses Sparks of locking the former headmaster in a room and yelling at him.

Sparks has made his name writing romance novels that are often turned into films, including The Notebook, Dear John and, most recently, The Best of Me which will be released in theaters later this month.

Benjamin said he feared for his safety when he resigned. His suit seeks damages from Sparks, three other members of the board of The Epiphany School of Global Studies in New Bern, North Carolina, and the Nicholas Sparks Foundation.

“As a gay, Jewish man who has represented Nick for almost 20 years, I find these allegations completely ludicrous and offensive,” entertainment attorney Scott Schwimer said in a statement released by Sparks’ publicist, according to the Associated Press.

TIME ebola

Plagues on the Poor: What Ebola Can Learn From Malaria

The Malaria Project
The Malaria Project Courtesy Penguin/New American Library

Karen M. Masterson is the author of the forthcoming book, The Malaria Project: The U.S. Government’s Secret Mission to Find a Miracle Cure, out next week.

If the U.S. spent more money on disease prevention and clinics—and less on vaccines and drugs—everyone in the world would stand to benefit

Our highest ranked public health officials have answered questions about Ebola. Most come from reporters centering on who dropped the ball, and why no treatment exists. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has tried to give the real answer: Don’t blame a lack of drugs, or bad practices at the World Health Organization; blame the absolute lack of good public health for people in poor countries.

Famous experts, ranging from Paul Farmer to Jeffery Sachs, have tried to use reason to show why investments in clinics go further to stop diseases like Ebola than do investments in vaccines and drugs. Their arguments are simple: build clinics and train medical staff to care for people, and they will be competent to tackle whatever problems emerge. (The teach-a-man-to-fish argument.) If such a clinic existed in the rural village in Guinea where the current outbreak’s original case of Ebola broke, its staff could have advised the community on how to contain the infection. That didn’t happen, and now the CDC is predicting a million infections by January.

The U.S. commits roughly $9 billion annually to global health programs that target infectious diseases that spread in poor countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea—the three now experiencing the worst Ebola outbreak ever. More than 75 per cent of that goes to treating three diseases: malaria, HIV and tuberculosis, with the vast majority of that going to drugs and vaccines. That’s three diseases, over $6 billion dollars, from one country. By comparison, the percentage going to in-country capacity for delivering good health care is miniscule.

No better rubric illustrates why Ebola spread so rapidly and uncontrollably. This Ebola outbreak has taught us that the world needs—right now—a redistribution of global health funding that places a much higher priority on infrastructure, not new medications.

This doesn’t happen, in part, because “infrastructure” fails to produce variables that accountants need to justify dollars spent. Disease-specific programs distribute a measurable number of drugs to a measurable number of people and save a measurable number of lives—bean counters are happy, funding continues to flow.

Policy makers are trapped, tied to drug and vaccine development, even though these technologies are too imperfect to eradicate their target diseases. They require huge investments up front and large clinical trials that use people like guinea pigs, only to be neutralized by resistance.

This paradigm has held since it was first cast during World War II. Malaria, at the time, had crippled forces in the Pacific and Mediterranean theaters. A half million troops contracted the disease, mostly in the first two years of America’s role in the war. In response, the U.S. government launched the largest effort ever made to fight a single disease. Thousands of psychotic patients, incarcerated criminals, and even soldiers were used as human guinea pigs to test a hundred of the best compounds—out of 14,000 made. From these trials emerged a new malaria drug called chloroquine.

This so-called “miracle cure” was used after the war in the World Health Organization’s first attempt to control a single disease, malaria. From the 1950s to 1970, through the WHO Global Malaria Eradication Programme, people in poor countries took chloroquine like aspirin. Broadly used against the world’s most prevalent infectious disease, it is today credited with saving more lives than any synthetic drug ever made. But chloroquine failed to solve the malaria problem because nature found a way around it—the parasites that cause the disease developed resistance. This is the fate of every drug ever made to fight malaria.

Before the war, the U.S. fought this mosquito-borne disease through anti-poverty programs and health care delivery, including relocating people from swamps and into homes with screens. Yet chloroquine changed that. Despite loud objections from experts, policy makers chose the easier option, and they continue to do so today. Global health programs rely heavily on drug and vaccine development, and building capacity to deliver them to the infected—be it malaria, TB, HIV, or the so-called neglected tropical diseases, like schistosomiasis, filariasis, leischmaniasis, dengue, chagas and others.

Ebola is the newest plague on impoverished people; and now it’s the latest silo for targeted spending for drug development and delivery. But while its characteristics are far scarier than the others, Ebola has one thing in common with them all: it spreads best where people lack basic health care.

Redirect global health programming to build health care infrastructure for disease prevention—not just capacity for drug delivery—and wealthy countries will get more for the money. They will also target all at once HIV, TB, malaria, the neglected diseases, Ebola, and the next scary infectious disease to emerge from the caves.

Karen M. Masterson is the author of The Malaria Project: The U.S. Government’s Secret Mission to Find a Miracle Cure, out next week.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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