Saturday, November 13, 2010

Qing Dynasty Relic Yields Record Price at Auction

New York Times

LONDON — As treasure-in-the-attic stories go, the 18th-century Chinese vase sold at a suburban auction house in outer London on Thursday night will be hard to beat.

The delicate, decorative 16-inch vase started at a not-inconsequential $800,000, but after a half-hour of unexpectedly spirited bidding, the gavel fell at $69.5 million. It was the highest price ever paid at auction for a Chinese antiquity. [picture]

For Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived

New York Times

The rite of exorcism, rendered gory by Hollywood and ridiculed by many modern believers, has largely fallen out of favor in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Kid-friendly Fact Sheet: The Pertussis Disease Villain
Meet pertussis, a disease villain from BAM! Body and Mind, that leaves its victims literally gasping for air.

Real name: Pertussis
Also Known as (AKA): Whoopie Doopies
Known aliases: Bordetella pertussis (the bacteria that causes pertussis illness); whooping cough (for the "whoop" sound of someone gasping for air after a coughing spell)
Microbe type: bacterium

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Rise of the Lazy Locavore

Why grow your own food when you can kick your feet up and watch somebody else farm your backyard?
Wall Street Journal

There could hardly be a loftier culinary class than that of the locavore, a movement whose members eschew food grown outside a 100-mile radius of their homes. With copious outputs of money and labor, locavores earn bragging rights (we put up 50 jars of beets!), complaining rights (we went without wheat all winter!) and the right to believe they are doing their part to save the planet (we support local farms by paying $10 a pound for cherries!).

For Cats, a Big Gulp With a Touch of the Tongue

New York Times

It has taken four highly qualified engineers and a bunch of integral equations to figure it out, but we now know how cats drink. The answer is: very elegantly, and not at all the way you might suppose. [Graphic] [Video]

‘Cool’ Climate Film Takes On ‘Truth’

New York Times

An earnest non-scientist probing the relationship of people, climate and energy travels the globe describing his menu for avoiding dangerous global warming.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Doubts Rise on Bedbug-Sniffing Dogs

New York Times

If any heroes have emerged in the bedbug epidemic sweeping households, movie theaters, retailers, schools, offices, you-name-it nationwide, it is surely bedbug-sniffing dogs.

Stress-Free Holiday Travel

By: Jess | November 10, 2010 | Category: Travel
GovGab: You U.S. Government Blog

With Thanksgivingjust a few weeks away, holiday travel season is upon us. That tends to make for a lot of stressed out travelers trying to get to and from their families' houses or vacation spots as quickly as possible.

The Cost of Driving Away With the Gas Pump

New York Times

After filling up her car’s tank with gas, a friend of Bucks recently started to drive away with the gas nozzle still in the car.

Resisting the Online Tracking Programs

New York Times

If you have ever worried about specifically aimed ads that seem aware of your private moments on the Web, such as looking at sites for kitten-heel pumps, eczema medications or how to get out of debt, here is something else to fret about.

'Fake Marijuana' Users Showing Up in Emergency Rooms

Called 'K2' or 'Spice,' the drug is legal in many states.
By Jenifer Goodwin

THURSDAY, Nov. 11 --(HealthDay News) -- A form of synthetic marijuana known as "K2" is sending young people to the hospital with racing heart beats, extreme anxiety and hallucinations, toxicologists warn.

FDA Wants Your Input on Cigarette Warnings

Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

Federal regulators are testing the waters with the first proposed changes to cigarette packaging and advertisements in more than 25 years—bold health warnings with color images that show the tragic consequences of smoking.

CDC Releases Two Reports on Excessive Alcohol Use and Related Harms

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC's Guide to Community Preventive Services has released two reports on "Maintaining Limits on Days and Hours of Sale of Alcoholic Beverages to Prevent Excessive Alcohol Consumption and Related Harms". These reports were posted online today by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and will be published in their December 2010 issue.

The reports show that increasing the number of hours and days when alcohol can be sold in bars, restaurants, and liquor stores leads to greater alcohol use and related harms, especially motor-vehicle crashes. National, state, and local policies that remove previously banned alcohol sales on weekend days (usually Sundays) or that increase the hours of sale by 2 or more hours contribute to excessive drinking and many dangerous outcomes, including driving after drinking and alcohol-related assault and injury.

America Recycles Day - November 15th

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

PHILADELPHIA (November 9, 2010) - - Everyday Americans recycle their trash because they know it’s an important activity that can have a positive impact on the environment.

But once a year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets aside November 15 to remind everyone that recycling plays a dramatic role in reducing pollution. It’s a great day to recommit to recycling, and to consider adding some additional recycling activities to our daily routines.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

'Old fogies' obsession: Turning waves into power

While many of their buddies were golfing or winding down in other ways, four former Boeing engineers — ranging in age from 74 to 92 — threw themselves into one of the holy grails of green energy: how to tap the unceasing power of ocean waves.
Danny Westneat
Seattle Times

Recently a group of Boeing engineers created a little buzz at a scientific conference, when they unveiled their invention for harvesting energy from the ocean.

Cold remedies: What works, what doesn't, what can't hurt

There's no cure for the common cold. But what about cold remedies that claim to make you feel better faster? Find out what's effective — and what's not.
By Mayo Clinic staff

Cold remedies are almost as common as the common cold, and many are nearly as ancient. The use of chicken soup as a congestion cure dates back centuries. But is longevity any guarantee that a cold remedy works? Do effective cold remedies even exist? Here's a look at some common cold remedies and what's known about them.

Passengers enjoy free Wi-Fi for the holidays

November 20, 2010 through January 2, 2011

This holiday season, Google Chrome has teamed up with AirTran Airways, Delta, and Virgin Americato offer free Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi on every domestic flight from November 20, 2010 through January 2, 2011. These participating airlines have outfitted their entire domestic fleet with Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi, and we expect more connected passengers this holiday season than ever before!

At Legal Fringe, Empty Houses Go to the Needy

New York Times

NORTH LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Save Florida Homes Inc. and its owner, Mark Guerette, have found foreclosed homes for several needy families here in Broward County, and his tenants could not be more pleased. Fabian Ferguson, his wife and two children now live a two-bedroom home they have transformed from damaged and abandoned to full and cozy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Study Says Drowsy Drivers Are Involved in 17% of Fatal Car Crashes

New York Times

Driving while drowsy and falling asleep at the wheel are responsible for more deadly crashes than previously thought, according to a new study released on Monday.