Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, explained

We know Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony like we know the Top 40 — that striking opening melody of dun dun dun DUNNNN that builds in tempo and volume to a climactic restatement, leaving the listener in suspense. We’ve heard it in films and commercials. It’s been parodied in Saturday morning cartoons and disco-ized in Saturday Night Fever. The Fifth is a given, so much so that it blends into the background.

But how well do we really know this practically omnipresent piece of music? What’s so special about those famous opening notes? Of all the symphonies of the bewigged classical …

The Senate is back from recess — and still at an impasse over stimulus

The Senate is back from its summer recess this week, though it’s unclear what — if anything — that means for progress on more stimulus for Americans dealing with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

On the one hand, there is some movement: Senate Republicans have announced a vote on a new “skinny” stimulus bill, which is much narrower than what Democrats have proposed, that could take place as early as Thursday. According to Bloomberg, this bill is slated to include $500 billion to $700 billion in aid, a far cry from the $2.2 trillion Democrats have said …

Live results for the New Hampshire and Rhode Island primaries

The second-to-last primaries of the 2020 election cycle take place Tuesday, when voters in New Hampshire and Rhode Island head to the polls.

In New Hampshire, most of the interesting action is on the Republican side of the ticket. GOP voters there will choose nominees who will try to unseat two Democrats: Freshman Rep. Chris Pappas in the First Congressional District, and two-term Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Both of those primaries will test President Donald Trump’s influence with the state’s Republicans. Trump not only endorsed candidates in each race (lawyer Bryant “Corky” Messner for Senate, and former State Department official Matt …

The push for and the pushback against a Covid-19 vaccine by Election Day, explained

Nine companies leading the charge to develop a Covid-19 vaccine released a pledge Tuesday to stick to the science in the development and licensing of a vaccine in what appears to be an attempt to preempt pressure from the White House to rush vaccine approval before the November election.

The vaccine makers said they are committed to “to developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles.”

The statement comes as the Trump administration is expecting significant movement on a Covid-19 vaccine before the presidential election on November 3. The Centers for