What You Said About …
Jeffrey Kluger’s Nov. 10 cover story on the science of the film Interstellar brought out enthusiastic fans of both fields. “I am certain that Dr. Kip Thorne [the consultant on the film] would advise you that gravity sufficient to slow time by a factor of 60,000 (one hour = seven years) would instantly crush the crew, or rather the gravity gradient would rip them apart,” wrote engineering consultant Bill Alston of San Jose, Calif., who added, “Nevertheless, I’ll be first in line to see the movie.” Jerry Mobley of St. Cloud, Fla., meanwhile, praised Kluger’s piece: “I can’t wait to see Interstellar based on a beautifully written introduction by Jeffrey Kluger. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Joe Klein’s article on what to watch for in the midterm elections elicited passionate defenses of Ronald Reagan. Klein’s comment that Reagan’s tax cuts blew “a giant hole in tax revenue” and that Fed Chair Paul Volcker worked his “magic” to revitalize the economy led David Steele of Leander, Texas, to write, “To state that revenues fell due to Reagan’s tax cuts and then were rescued by Paul Volcker’s interest rate is simply borderline insanity. In fact, it was Volcker’s federal funds rate of 20% that was most contributory to choking off business activity, making money extraordinarily expensive to borrow, and resulting in the recession of 1981–82.”
DEMOCRATIC ELECTION ADS
An Ideas piece on TIME.com by Obama digital guru Joe Rospars pleaded with Democrats to stop relying on a stale model of “nearly campy, scary, negative ads” in TV advertising and email fundraising efforts. Covered by the Hill and other media, Rospars’ piece struck a chord with readers. “Thank you!” wrote zieglerisabelle5 on TIME.com. “As a communications consultant who also works with a local Democratic Party, I agree their electronic mail campaigns are deadly and self-defeating. Nobody likes to be played.”
“@ZekeJMiller cracks the code on one of best bennies federal employees get,” read journalist Robert Caruso’s tweet about Miller’s exclusive story on Obama officials’ cut-rate vacations at the Brinkerhoff lodge in Grand Teton National Park. While “Perks and Recreation” drew praise on Twitter, some readers found the controversy overblown. “Wow, TIME does a two-page exposé on a cabin for government officials that is being used by government officials,” wrote Dave Wilson of Tucson, Ariz. “Now maybe Time can redirect its investigative instincts to Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal and other real abuses.”
Jeffrey Kluger’s Ideas essay in the aftermath of the crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo–in which Kluger criticized Virgin founder Richard Branson’s amateur space effort–generated colorful conversation. For Slate, Phil Plait wrote, “I was frankly disappointed with it … Branson hired qualified people … If a Virgin Atlantic plane crashed, would we immediately blame Branson for it?” On Twitter, as Kluger observed in a follow-up piece, the criticism was at times profane. But others found Kluger’s argument persuasive. “I think many of the commenters are missing the point. At no point did Mr. Kluger express opposition to the idea of commercial spaceflight,” wrote southmost on Time.com. “Suborbital flight is not real spaceflight. Calling them the same thing is like saying that you can fly because you jumped off a high-diving platform.”
This appears in the November 17, 2014 issue of TIME.