TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 24

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Lee Kuan Yew didn’t think Singapore could survive true democracy. After his death, Singapore must do just that.

By Max Boot in Commentary

2. Resilience means more than flexible infrastructure. Cities must open doors to creative vibrance through the arts.

By Jason Schupbach at 100 Resilient Cities

3. Why does China need the next Dalai Lama?

By the Economist

4. The robots of the near future aren’t threatening. They’re boring.

By Erik Sofge in Popular Science

5. Can we truly redesign the experience of death?

By Jon Mooallem in California Sunday

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

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 China

Seven People Were Killed By Falling Rocks at One of China’s Top Tourist Spots

Seven tourists killed in rockfall at China beauty spot
Stringer—Imaginechina/AP In this screenshot, the huge rock is seen at the accident site after it fell off a mountain, killing seven tourists and injuring 19 tourists, at the Diecai Mountain scenic area in Guilin city, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 19 March 2015.

The tragedy happened at the famed Diecai Mountain in Guilin province

Boulders tumbled down a mountainside in China Thursday, crashing into a group of visitors waiting to board a boat at one of the country’s most picturesque travel destinations, killing seven.

State media outlet Xinhua reports that 19 others were injured.

The incident happened at Diecai Mountain near in the southern city of Guangxi. The scenic area is famous for its karst mountains dramatically rising out of rivers and lakes.

TIME Music

Toto Bassist Mike Porcaro Dead at 59

Photo of Mike PORCARO and TOTO
Paul Bergen—Redferns Mike Porcaro and TOTO

Porcaro battled with Lou Gehrig's Disease, also known as ALS

Toto Bassist Mike Porcaro, who brought music-lovers hits including “Africa,” died early Sunday after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, also known as ALS. He was 59.

“Our brother Mike passed away peacefully in his sleep at 12:04 AM last night at home surrounded by his family,” Steve Porcaro, Mike’s brother and bandmate, posted on Facebook Sunday. “Rest in peace, my brother.”

He continued on Twitter:

Toto, which has a new album out this month, has previously partnered with the ALS Association to raise money and awareness for the disease during tours.

Read next: Glee Stars Open Up About Final Days on Set

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME europe

Huge Numbers of Europeans Will Die From Air Pollution in the Next 20 Years

Eiffel Tower in a thick smog in Paris, France on January 6, 2015.
Apaydin Alain—Sipa USA/AP Eiffel Tower in a thick smog in Paris, France on January 6, 2015.

Europe is failing on a range of environmental indicators from air to water and biodiversity

Hundreds of thousands of people in the E.U. — perhaps millions, if present trends continue — will suffer premature death in the next two decades because of toxic air, a new report says.

Tuesday’s State of the Environment Report for 2015, from the European Environment Agency (EEA) blames governments for inaction and says that in 2011 alone — the most recent year for which there is a reliable tally — over 400,000 Europeans died prematurely from air pollution.

Europe’s environmental performance also lags behind in areas like urbanization, biodiversity loss, intensive farming and maintenance of inland freshwater systems, the Guardian reports.

“Our analysis shows that European policies have successfully tackled many environmental challenges over the years. But it also shows that we continue to harm the natural systems that sustain our prosperity,” EEA’s executive director Hans Bruyninckx told the Guardian.

[The Guardian]

TIME Research

Eating Peanuts May Be a Low-Cost Way to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

Closed Up Image of a Black-colored Plate Filled With Peanuts.
DAJ—Amana Images RF/Getty Images

But don’t go nuts

Eating peanuts could be associated with a longer, healthier lifespan and particularly a reduced risk of cardiovascular-related deaths such as heart attacks and strokes, a new study has found.

Researchers from Vanderbilt University and the Shanghai Cancer Institute examined nut intake for people from different ethnic groups and lower-income households.

As peanuts (which are actually legumes) are rich in nutrients and are inexpensive to buy, they could be a cost-effective way to improve cardiovascular health, reports Science Daily.

“In our study, we found that peanut consumption was associated with reduced total mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality in a predominantly low-income black and white population in the U.S., and among Chinese men and women living in Shanghai,” said author of the study, Xiao-Ou Shu.

Previous studies have linked eating nuts to a lower mortality but had generally focused on higher-income, white populations. Researchers claim the new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine is the first to discover all races could potentially benefit from eating nuts.

They examined three large groups involving more than 70,000 black and white men and women living in the U.S. and more than 130,000 men and women living in Shanghai.

The results found that those who ate peanuts across all three groups had improved total mortality and less cardiovascular disease.

But scientists warn that the study was based on observational data collected from questionnaires, rather than clinical trials, so they cannot determine whether peanuts are specifically responsible for a lower risk of death.

“The findings from this new study, however, reinforce earlier research suggesting health benefits from eating nuts, and thus are quite encouraging,” said William Blot, co-author of the study.

While peanuts may be linked to better cardiovascular health, experts caution against eating too many, especially salted nuts, as they are high in calories.

Researchers say a small handful of nuts could be beneficial if eaten as part of a well-balanced diet.

[Science Daily]

TIME remembrance

First Black NBA Player Earl Lloyd Passes Away Aged 86

Earl Lloyd
Edward Kitch—AP Earl Lloyd, Oct. 30, 1972.

The Virginia native was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003

Earl Lloyd, the first black professional NBA player, passed away Thursday at the age of 86.

Known as “the Big Cat,” the 6’5″ forward made his league debut in October 1950, playing for the Washington Capitals. During his legendary career, Lloyd averaged 8.4 points during 560 regular-season NBA games.

Lloyd was also twice included in the CIAA All-America team and was three-time all-conference selection. Lloyd retired in 1960, after serving in the U.S. army, playing for the Detroit Pistons and winning the 1955 NBA championship for the Syracuse Nationals. He was also the NBA’s first black assistant coach in 1968 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Born in Alexandria, Va., Lloyd is survived by a wife and three sons.

[Charleston Gazette]

TIME Television

Parks and Rec Co-Producer Harris Wittels Has Died, Aged 30

The cause of death has not been confirmed, but police responded to a 911 call about a possible drug overdose

Harris Wittels, a co-executive producer and writer on Parks and Recreation, was found dead in his home in Los Angeles on Thursday.

The 30-year-old was discovered by his assistant around 12 p.m. on Thursday, and police subsequently responded to a 911 call about a possible drug overdose, writes the Hollywood Reporter. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed, however.

In addition to writing and producing Parks and Rec, which airs its series finale next week, Wittels had a small on-screen role, playing an employee from the animal-control department.

He also worked on series such as Eastbound and Down and The Sarah Silverman Program, was a stand-up comedian and is credited with coining the term “humblebrag,” meaning a boast disguised as modesty.

Tributes to the young writer-comedian poured onto Twitter.

[THR]

TIME People

This Husband Passed Away But Arranged to Send His Wife Flowers Every Valentine’s Day

Close up of bouquet of roses
Jamie Grill—Tetra images RF/Getty Images

Now that is true love

A devoted husband took romance to an ethereal level on Valentine’s Day by sending his wife a bouquet of flowers from beyond the grave.

Jim Golay, from Casper, Wyo., was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor almost exactly one year ago. He wanted to make Valentine’s Day special for his wife but he knew he wasn’t going to be around for much longer, reports KCWY13.

So before he died, Golay hatched a plan with the local florists to send Shelley Golay a bouquet of flowers each Valentine’s Day for the rest of her life, just to remind her how much he loved her.

“He’s such an amazing man and he just can love beyond boundaries,” Shelley Golay said. “There is no boundaries with him, even in death. He’s just amazing.”

The flowers arrived two days before Valentine’s Day. When Shelley saw they were from her deceased husband, she phoned the florists and found out about his eternal Valentine’s Day plan.

[KCWY13]

Read next: Watch a Husband Surprise His Wife With the One Thing She Always Wanted

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Education

Princeton Receives $300M Rare Book Collection, University’s Largest Gift Ever

Blair Hall on the campus of Princeton University
John Greim—Getty Images Blair Hall on the campus of Princeton University on Aug. 5, 2012

Donation includes the earliest Bible prints, the original print of the Declaration of Independence and Beethoven's signed music sketchbook

Princeton University declared Monday that it received a donation of books and manuscripts worth approximately $300 million, amounting to the most generous gift in its history.

Class of 1936 alumnus William Scheide died last year at age 100, bequeathing a 2,500-volume rare book and manuscript collection to the Ivy League university. The haul includes historic treasures like the six earliest prints of the Bible and the original printing of the Declaration of Independence. He also gifted the 1746-founded seat of learning with Beethoven’s music sketchbook, signed by the composer himself.

It is “one of the greatest collections of rare books and manuscripts in the world today,” said Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber in a statement. “I cannot imagine a more marvelous collection to serve as the heart of our library.”

The collection will be fully digitized to increase its accessibility to the public, which can view it upon request. It will remain in Princeton’s Firestone Library.

TIME Music

1980s Pop Pioneer Steve Strange Has Died

He pioneered a look and sound that inspired many of the era's biggest acts, including Boy George and Duran Duran

Steve Strange, the former lead singer of popular 80s band Visage, best known for their breakout single Fade to Grey, died of a heart attack in Egypt on Thursday.

Strange, 55, was in a hospital in Sharm-el-Sheikh, the BBC reported.

Born Steve Harrington, Strange co-founded the Blitz Club in London’s trendy Soho district, a venue that pioneered the New Romantic movement and gave several top U.K. acts of the 1980s — including Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Boy George’s Culture Club — a stepping stone on their way to global stardom.

Members of all three bands expressed their condolences on social media.

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