Saturday, August 21, 2010

What Spreads Faster Than Bedbugs? Stigma

By Emily B. Hager
New York Times

Jeremy Sparig spent months fighting bedbugs. Now, to some people, he is like a mattress left on the street, something best avoided in these times.

“They don’t want to hug you anymore; they don’t want you coming over,” said Mr. Sparig, of East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “You’re like a leper.”

U.S. Inaction Lets Look-Alike Tubes Kill Patients

By Gardiner Harris
New York Times

Thirty-five weeks pregnant, Robin Rodgers was vomiting and losing weight, so her doctor hospitalized her and ordered that she be fed through a tube until the birth of her daughter.

DOD Releases Final Fort Hood Review

The United States Department of Defense

The Department of Defense (DoD) released today the final review of the recommendations from the independent report “Protecting the Force: Lessons Learned from Fort Hood.”

History of the Internet

MBA Online
Via: MBA Online

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Design Campaign for Bananas

By Rob Walker
New York Times

If you’ve ever wondered why it seems impossible to fill a grocery cart without adding at least one item whose packaging has been redesigned, the answer to your question is the fact that you’ve asked it. “New look! Same great taste!” openly confesses the blatant goal of catching your eye for no substantial reason. Humans have always noticed novelty, but it’s harder to get our attention in the multicolored and abundant context of a megamart, where one heap of bananas looks much like another.

Math Lessons for Locavores

By Stephen Budiansky
New York Times

IT’S 42 steps from my back door to the garden that keeps my family supplied nine months of the year with a modest cornucopia of lettuce, beets, spinach, beans, tomatoes, basil, corn, squash, brussels sprouts, the occasional celeriac and, once when I was feeling particularly energetic, a couple of small but undeniable artichokes. You’ll get no argument from me about the pleasures and advantages to the palate and the spirit of eating what’s local, fresh and in season.

But the local food movement now threatens to devolve into another one of those self-indulgent — and self-defeating — do-gooder dogmas.

Shaping the Values of Youth: Sunday School Books in 19th Century America

Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Salmonella from Eggs

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

A bacterium, Salmonella Enteritidis, can be on both the outside and inside of eggs that appear to be normal, and if the eggs are eaten raw or undercooked, the bacterium can cause illness.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

[Egg] Recall -- Affected Brands and Descriptions

Egg Safety Center

Watermelons Get Small

By Kim Severson
New York Times

IN this dusty field filled with experimental watermelons off Highway 174, there is but one sound that matters.

It’s a deep, soft pop, like a cork slipping free from a wine bottle. You hear it when a pocket knife cracks the green rind on a watermelon so full of wet fruit that the outside can barely contain the inside. Also: How to Choose a Watermelon

Summaries for Patients: Does Admitting Mistakes to Patients Lead to More Lawsuits?

By Annals of Internal Medicine

Simplifying the Lives of Web Users

By David Pogue
New York Times

I’m about to make your life better. No need to thank me.

But first, a warning: On the way to understanding how your life will get better, you’ll have to read about some technical, fairly arcane topics. Trust me: it’ll be worth it.

The Six-Figure Fish Tank Catches On

By Jennifer A. Kingson
New York Times

KARIN WILZIG has a hard time choosing a favorite color from among the 64 that she and her husband can use to illuminate the 14 1/2- foot, 450-gallon aquarium in their TriBeCa town house. The default is fuchsia, which turns the dozen koi a deep pink. Slide Show

New Words in the ODE

By Time Magazine

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Web Connection Raises Chances of Romance

Study found having Internet access helps those having tough time finding a mate
By Amanda Gardner
United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

MONDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Folks with Internet connections are more likely to be in a romantic relationship than folks without access to the Web, a new study shows.

Gun-toting soccer moms a scary thought in D.C. area, but not out west

By Fredrick Kunkle
Washington Post

PHOENIX -- In the red rock and sand of the Arizona desert, just past the retirement villages and golf greens that have made this sun-worshipping city famous, sits the biggest public shooting range in the United States.

eBrary Cyber Bullying Searchable Information Center

The World's Best Countries


CONSUMER ALERT: EPA Advises Care When Selecting Pesticides for Bedbug Control

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to alert consumers that there has been an increase of individuals or companies who offer to control bedbugs with unrealistic promises of effectiveness or low cost. Because bed bug infestations are so difficult to control, there have been situations where pesticides that are not intended for indoor residential applications have been improperly used or applied at greater rates than the label allows. While controlling bedbugs is challenging, consumers should never use, or allow anyone else to use, a pesticide indoors that is intended for outdoor use, as indicated on the label. Using the wrong pesticide or using it incorrectly to treat for bedbugs can make you, your family, and your pets sick. It can also make your home unsafe to live in – and may not solve the bedbug problem.

Bankruptcy Filings Up 20 Percent in June

United States Federal Courts

Bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, according to statistics released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. A total of 1,572,597 bankruptcy cases were filed in federal courts in that period, compared to 1,306,315 bankruptcy cases filed in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2009. This is the highest number of bankruptcy filings for any period since many of the provisions of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 took effect.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

UK archivist says uncovers real-life Quasimodo


(Reuters Life!) - A British archivist believes he has uncovered the real-life inspiration for French novelist Victor Hugo's mysterious character Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

High in the Andes, Keeping an Incan Mystery Alive

By Simon Romero
New York Times

AN CRISTÓBAL DE RAPAZ, Peru — The route to this village 13,000 feet above sea level runs from the desert coast up hairpin bends, delivering the mix of exhilaration and terror that Andean roads often provide. Condors soar above mist-shrouded crags. Quechua-speaking herders squint at strangers who arrive gasping in the thin air.

Study: Surgery May Reduce Diabetics' Need for Drugs

By Jennifer Corbett Dooren
Wall Street Journal

The majority of people with diabetes who had bariatric surgery to lose weight were able to stop taking their diabetes medications, which led to a significant decline in health-care costs, according to a study released Monday.

Beloit College Mindset List

Beloit, Wis. – Born when Ross Perot was warning about a giant sucking sound and Bill Clinton was apologizing for pain in his marriage, members of this fall’s entering college class of 2014 have emerged as a post-email generation for whom the digital world is routine and technology is just too slow.

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. The creation of Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation. The Mindset List website at, the Mediasite webcast and its Facebook page receive more than 400,000 hits annually.

Becoming a Squinter Nation

Glasses Can Correct Near and Far, but What About Those Screens in Between?
By Melinda Beck
Wall Street Journal

There isn't a name for it and few eye doctors test for it. But many people are having trouble seeing in the middle distance that demands so much of our focus.

Some 80% of us use computers, staring intently on screens set well between typical distance and reading range, often for many hours each day. Add in laptops, pagers, e-readers, smartphones, personal-digital assistants and hand-held video games, each with its own optimum distance and tiny flickering screen, and the demands on human eyes today would baffle even Benjamin Franklin, inventor of the bifocal in the late 18th century.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Start-Ups on a Shoestring

The tales of three entrepreneurs who launched companies—for less than $150
By Colleen Debaise, Sarah E. Needleman and Emily Maltby
Wall Street Journal

You don't have to break the bank to start a business.

For many would-be entrepreneurs, money is the insurmountable hurdle. They hunger to strike out on their own, but don't have a big pile of cash to invest in a start-up that might not churn a profit for years to come. And they're reluctant to stake what cash they do have while the economy is still shaky.

Another Threat to Economy: Boomers Cutting Back

By Mark Whitehouse
Wall Street Journal

America's baby boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—face a problem that could weigh on the economy for years to come: The longer it takes for the economy to recover, the less money they'll have to spend in retirement.

Rise of the Ratfish in Puget Sound

By Sandi Doughton
Seattle Times

ASK A NORTHWESTERNER to pick the creature that epitomizes Puget Sound, and odds are the answer will be orcas or salmon.

Ask Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Wayne Palsson, and he'll tell you the ugly truth: Ratfish rule.

Moose Offer Trail of Clues on Arthritis

By Pam Belluck
New York Times

In the 100 years since the first moose swam into Lake Superior and set up shop on an island, they have mostly minded their moosely business, munching balsam fir and trying to evade hungry gray wolves.

But now the moose of Isle Royale have something to say — well, their bones do. Many of the moose, it turns out, have arthritis. And scientists believe their condition’s origin can help explain human osteoarthritis — by far the most common type of arthritis, affecting one of every seven adults 25 and older and becoming increasingly prevalent.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Your Card Has Been Declined, Just as You Wanted

By Ron Lieber
New York Times

Coming soon: credit and debit cards that cut you off when you disregard your own monthly budget.

In the next couple of days, MasterCardis expected to announce that Citigroupwill be the first company in the United States to issue MasterCards with special features intended to protect consumers not only from thieves but also from themselves.

Medical treatment carries possible side effect of limiting homosexuality

A prenatal pill for congenital adrenal hyperplasia to prevent ambiguous genitalia may reduce the chance that a female with the disorder will be gay. Critics call it engineering for sexual orientation.
By Shari Roan
Los Angeles Times

Each year in the United States, perhaps a few dozen pregnantwomen learn they are carrying a fetus at risk for a rare disorder known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The condition causes an accumulation of male hormones and can, in females, lead to genitals so masculinized that it can be difficult at birth to determine the baby's gender.

Same-Sex Marriage Debate Has Roots Going Back Centuries

By Stephanie Pappas
Live Science

In the late 1700s, something disturbing happened to marriage in Western societies: It began to change. Young people had revolutionary new ideas about the institution and what it meant to them.

Japan, Checking on Its Oldest, Finds Many Gone

By Martin Fackler
New York Times

TOKYO — Japan has long boasted of having many of the world’s oldest people — testament, many here say, to a society with a superior diet and a commitment to its elderly that is unrivaled in the West.

That was before the police found the body of a man thought to be one of Japan’s oldest, at 111 years, mummified in his bed, dead for more than three decades. His daughter, now 81, hid his death to continue collecting his monthly pension payments, the police said.

Amish settle in Colorado's San Luis Valley, diversifying to support families

By Ann Schrader
The Denver Post

MONTE VISTA — Faced with challenges to their traditional agricultural lifestyle, the Amish are adapting to vastly different economic opportunities in their new Colorado settlements. Graphic: Amish Population Changes

Back-to-school PCs cheaper, show more pizazz

By Peter Svensson
(The Associated Press)
Seattle Times

Looking at getting a new PC for the fall semester? Here's a jolt of cheer in these uncertain times: PCs are not only cheaper than ever, there's real innovation going on, yielding interesting new choices.

This is a rundown of options in several price categories.