Saturday, October 23, 2010

Paul Miller was a giant among peers

Professor Steven Miller was a dwarf. Though the genetic condition defined his physical life, he did not let it impede his ambitions, or his achievements.
By Maureen O'Hagan
Seattle Times

Paul Steven Miller commanded a room. He had a larger-than-life personality, a booming voice, a grand sense of humor.

New Way to Help Chickens Cross to Other Side

New York Times

Shoppers in the supermarket today can buy chicken free of nearly everything but adjectives. It comes free-range, cage-free, antibiotic-free, raised on vegetarian feed, organic, even air-chilled.

Coming soon: stress-free?

Credit Cards Soon to Get a Makeover

New York Times

The simple credit card is about to get a makeover.

An array of multifunction credit cards. The familiar plastic cards may one day be overtaken by credit-transactions over cellphones.

Abraham’s Progeny, and Their Texts

New York Times

The sweep of the new exhibition at the New York Public Library — “Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam” — is stunning. It stretches from a Bible found in a monastery in coastal Brittany that was sacked by the Vikings in the year 917, to a 1904 lithograph showing the original Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue. It encompasses both an elaborately decorated book of 20th-century Coptic Christian readings and a modest 19th-century printing of the Gospels in the African language Grebo. There are Korans, with pages that shimmer with gold leaf and elegant calligraphy, and a 13th-century Pentateuch from Jerusalem, written in script used by Samaritans who traced their origins to the ancient Northern Kingdom of Israel.

Tibetans in China Protest Proposed Curbs on Their Language

New York Tijmes

BEIJING — Thousands of Tibetan students in western China have protested since Tuesday against proposals to curb or eliminate the use of the Tibetan language in local schools, according to reports fromTibet advocacy groups and photographs and video of the protests circulating on the Internet.

Google Doodles

Christian Science Monitor

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Moon Not Only Has Water, but Lots of It

Wall Street Journal

There is a lot more water on the moon than previously believed, according to an analysis of NASA data being published Friday, a finding that may bolster the case for a manned base on the lunar surface. [Slide Show]

Schools target dangerous binge cocktail

"Drunkorexia" act swaps food calories for alcohol
By Kristen Browning-Blas
The Denver Post

While "drunkorexia" is not a medical term, it has become easily understood slang for the practice of swapping food calories for those in alcohol.

Teen car crashes on the decline

By Frederik Joelving

(Reuters Health) - The number of teen drivers involved in deadly car crashes is plummeting, U.S. government researchers said Thursday in a bit of good news to parents with youngsters behind the wheel.

People Less Likely to Buy Junk Food When Paying Cash

Credit, debit cards seem to encourage impulsive shopping for unhealthy items, study finds.
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

THURSDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- People are less likely to buy unhealthy foods if they use cash instead of credit or debit cards to pay for groceries, a new study finds.

Man saved by God, and by dog who says grace

By Jessica Ravitz

The video was meant to simply make some Facebook friends, and his mother in particular, smile.

Steven Boyd, 39, had taught his dog Djaingo how to "say grace," and one late September morning, camera in hand, he coaxed the sleepy pup out to the living room and into prayer.

Video Link: Dog taught how to "say grace"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The World’s Vanishing History

[Slide Show]

Take the horror out of Halloween

Silly costumes are one thing, but bloody artifacts of horror are another. Why do we expose children to Halloween's cult of death and call it 'fun'? We have no idea what we are nurturing.
By Walter Rodgers
Christian Science Monitor

When I was a boy, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. My friends and I would scamper from house to house ringing doorbells and trick-or-treating. We had, at best, meager costumes. But fecund imaginations transformed us into pirates or hobos or the Lone Ranger.

Battling The Earbud Blues

New York Times

Do you have trouble making iPod earbuds stay in your ears? Does the least bit of exercise make them fall out?

NOAA: Year-to-Date Global Temperature Ties for Warmest on Record

Arctic sea ice reaches its third lowest minimum extent on record
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U. S. Department of Commerce

The first nine months of 2010 tied with the same period in 1998 for the warmest combined land and ocean surface temperature on record. The global average land surface temperature for January-September was the second warmest on record, behind 2007. The global ocean surface temperature for January–September was also the second warmest on record, behind 1998.

20.10.10 World Statistics Day

Improper Use of Decorative Contact Lenses May Haunt You (Consumer Update)

College completion rate among men has stalled, new report finds

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post

A new report on minority achievement in higher education sounds an alarm about a stark reversal of fortune for an unlikely minority group: men.

How To: Clean malware from your PC

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm Very, Very, Very Sorry ... Really?

We Apologize More to Strangers Than Family, and Why Women Ask for Forgiveness More Than Men

Wall Street Journal

I'd like to tell the man whose cab I stole in the rain last week that I'm very sorry. But to my mom, whose driving I criticized recently? Not so much.

Study Finds Adversity Does Make Us Stronger


Friedrich Nietzsche was right—sort of.

The German philosopher's oft-quoted adage, "What does not destroy me, makes me stronger," was put to the test as part of a national study of the effects of adverse life events on mental health by researchers at the University at Buffalo-the State University of New York and the University of California, Irvine.

In Kansas, Climate Skeptics Embrace Cleaner Energy

New York Times

SALINA, Kan. — Residents of this deeply conservative city do not put much stock in scientific predictions of climate change. [Slide Show]

From Junk to Collectible, Shaped by Time and Tide

New York Times

HYANNIS, Mass. — Laura McHenry started walking Cape Cod beaches searching for sea glass a few years ago, when her marriage was breaking up and she was looking for something she and her daughter Katie, could do together for fun.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Magic by Numbers

New York Times

I RECENTLY wound up in the emergency room. Don’t worry, it was probably nothing. But to treat my case of probably nothing, the doctor gave me a prescription for a week’s worth of antibiotics, along with the usual stern warning about the importance of completing the full course.

Income Inequality: Too Big to Ignore

New York Times

PEOPLE often remember the past with exaggerated fondness. Sometimes, however, important aspects of life really were better in the old days.

The Secret to Turning Consumers Green

It isn't financial incentives. It isn't more information. It's guilt.
Wall Street Journal

A real-life experiment in engineering green behavior unfolded recently in the nation's capital.

Tea in Kabul

New York Times

A few vignettes to explain why I believe America’s strategy in Afghanistan isn’t working:

The Sound of Spirit

New York Times

Emigrating from the Soviet Union to the West in January 1980 with his wife, Nora, and their two small sons, the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was stopped by border police at the Brest railroad station for a luggage search. “We had only seven suitcases, full of my scores, records and tapes,” he recalled recently. “They said, ‘Let’s listen.’ It was a big station. No one else was there. We took my record player and played ‘Cantus.’ It was like liturgy. Then they played another record, ‘Missa Syllabica.’ They were so friendly to us. I think it is the first time in the history of the Soviet Union that the police are friendly.” He was joking, but not entirely. Later, when I asked Nora about that strange scene at the border, she said, “I saw the power of music to transform people.” [Be sure and access the audio files that are part of the article]

In Mexico, Scenes From Life in a Drug War

New York Times

Incidences of drug-related violence in Mexico and on the border continue to make news. We tend to hear about the crimes that touch American lives — like the reported killing of a man riding a Jet Ski on the Rio Grande. What we don’t hear as much about is how drugs and violence shape the everyday lives of Mexicans. So here are dispatches from four writers on how drug trafficking has changed their parts of the country. They were translated by Kristina Cordero from the Spanish.

‘Culture of Poverty’ Makes a Comeback

New York Times

For more than 40 years, social scientists investigating the causes of poverty have tended to treat cultural explanations like Lord Voldemort: That Which Must Not Be Named.

Secrets of Centenarians

New York Times

Esther Tuttle is nearing the end of the 10th decade of a remarkably productive and adventurous life. If all continues to go as well as it has to date, next July 1 she will join the rapidly growing clan of centenarians, whose numbers in the United States have increased to 96,548 in 2009 from 38,300 in 1990, according to the Census Bureau. [Audio Slide Show]

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Those with a desk job, please stand up

By Michael S. Rosenwald
Washington Post

Some people can't stand working. Mark Ramirez works standing.

He is not a waiter or factory worker - he is a senior executive at AOL. Ramirez could, if he wanted, curl into the cushiest leather chair in the Staples catalog. No, thanks. He prefers to stand most of the day at a desk raised to above stomach level.