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This Happened

This Happened — August 29: Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. on this day in 2005.

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What was Hurricane Katrina?

Hurricane Katrina was a Category 3 hurricane at the time of its landfall, with sustained winds of around 125 miles per hour (200 kilometers per hour). It was one of the most powerful hurricanes to strike the United States in recorded history. Hurricane Katrina primarily impacted the Gulf Coast region of the U.S., particularly the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The city of New Orleans, Louisiana, was one of the most severely affected areas.

What were the major impacts of Hurricane Katrina?

Hurricane Katrina had devastating impacts. The storm surge and subsequent flooding caused extensive damage to infrastructure, homes, and businesses. Many levees protecting New Orleans failed, leading to catastrophic flooding. The hurricane resulted in the loss of an estimated 1,200 to 1,800 lives, displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, and economic and environmental damage.

Was the response to Hurricane Katrina effective?

The response to Hurricane Katrina faced significant criticism for being slow and inadequate, particularly in the early stages of the disaster. There were challenges in coordinating rescue and relief efforts, evacuating residents, and providing essential supplies and medical assistance. The response highlighted the need for improvements in disaster preparedness and response systems.

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When Finding Your “Better Self" Means Not Caring About Others

Many of the contemporary philosophies that promise to help us improve our lives and well-being also require cutting off relationships with other people — one of the most important parts of living in a society with others.

image of a woman with her hand on her chest

Finding inner peace

Darius Bashar/Unsplas
Carlos Javier González Serrano


MADRID — Abundant, insidious… Everyday, everywhere we go, everywhere we look, we receive, whether surreptitiously or explicitly, messages inviting us to acquire and feed our subjective autonomy through personal development exercises, emotional coaching, self-improvement techniques, some dubious self-help method or through different esoteric or "healing" paths, like astrology, tai chi, flower therapy, energy therapies, which promise individual fulfillment.

The rules are simple, but stupefying and, most worryingly, require severe emotional discipline: "Show your self-love," "Be your own universe," "You forge your absolute self," "Embrace your being and it will embrace you” and other similar nonsense and trivialities.

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These sayings, which aspire to be heirs of the Enlightenment (whose Kantian motto – sapere aude! "Have courage to use your own reason" – intended to provide individuals with the intellectual tools to achieve independent free will) or of stoicism, hide a dangerous and alienating political (or apolitical) drift.

Through the trivialization and commercialization of people's emotional insecurity, submerged in an intellectual narcotization caused by various contemporary malaises which have become endemic, these personal development maxims rob us of one of the most essential elements of a healthy society: the ability to feel affected by others.

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