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Governments, groups striving to become as agile as Ebola virus

The news out of West Africa in recent days — good and bad — has demonstrated a fundamental challenge in the fight against Ebola: The virus is more nimble than the human response to it. The landscape of infection and disease has changed dramatically in recent weeks, even as institutions have largely stuck to blueprints drafted months ago.

Information wars’ roots go back a century

One hundred years ago this month, after German troops marched into Belgium, Britain declared war and scarcely an hour later it sent its cable ship Alert into the English Channel. By dawn, amid heavy rain and wind, the crew had severed Germany’s five most important Atlantic cables. For the duration of the war, Berlin’s ability to communicate abroad, even with many of its embassies, was impaired.

Major League Baseball’s first black player?

On June 22, 1937, Joe Louis knocked out James Braddock with a right to the jaw to become the world heavyweight champion. At a time when Major League Baseball was still a decade from integration, Louis’ victory in Chicago’s Comiskey Park was a triumph for black America, and for racial progress. “What my father did was enable white America to think of him as an American, not as a black,” Joe Louis Jr. told ESPN in 1999. “By winning, he became white America’s first black hero.”

Read this if you want to be happy in 2014

I have no expertise whatsoever on the topic of happiness. But I do have a knack for observation and simplification. That’s what I do for my day job as the creator of Dilbert. Today — as some of you are already backtracking on those New Year’s resolutions — I’m going to strip out all of the mumbo-jumbo around the topic of happiness and tell you the simplest way to get some.