Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Saudi Prince’s Plea for Reform

New York Times

THE toppling of the heads of state of Egypt and Tunisia on the heels of huge demonstrations there, and the subsequent manifestations of public unrest in Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Yemen, have generated a wide range of opinion on the root causes of those events. Some analysts see the protests as a natural outcome of the policies of autocratic regimes that had become oblivious to the need for fundamental political reform, while others view them as the inevitable product of dire economic and social problems that for decades have been afflicting much of the Arab world, most particularly its young.

Why the Web may unleash the largest construction boom in history

The rise of ships, trains, and cars transformed cities and the way we live. Now it’s the Web’s turn.
By Bill Davidow
Christian Science Monitor

The Internet has already reshaped our mental space. Thanks to the Web, the way we read, recall, and relate is vastly different from the way it was just 15 years ago. Today, an even bigger change is afoot. The Internet is about to change our physical space. And this change may well usher in the largest construction boom in human history.

And the Oscar for most historically inaccurate film goes to . . . all of them!

By Jeanine Basinger
Washington Post

"The King's Speech" might take home the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday, but judging from the criticisms it's receiving, it won't win any awards for historical accuracy.

It's a bird! It's a spy! It's both

By W.J. Hennigan
Los Angeles Times

A pocket-size drone dubbed the Nano Hummingbird for the way it flaps its tiny robotic wings has been developed for the Pentagon by a Monrovia company as a mini-spy plane capable of maneuvering on the battlefield and in urban areas.

Go Ahead, America, Leave It to Bieber

Wall Street Journal

Justin Bieber got slammed good last week when he opened his yap about abortion in Rolling Stone. Some people objected to his views, others scorched him for the way he phrased them, still others questioned the very notion of a 16-year-old boy offering his opinion on any serious moral, political or legal question.

Mail Call for E.T.

New York Times

I tend to subscribe to the “rare earth” hypothesis propounded by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee, but, hey, you never know. In that spirit, Marc Roberts, the British eco-cartoonist, has been doing a series on alien encounters that’s worth a look:

Rare Diseases Take Spotlight in Annual Event

Rare Diseases Take Spotlight in Annual EventSearch Consumer Updates
Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

Patient groups, researchers, and health organizations are gearing up for the fourth annual Rare Disease Day, a global campaign that aims to raise awareness of the more than 250 million people worldwide who suffer from rare diseases.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Whitens, Brightens and Confuses

Stores Stock So Many Types of Toothpaste, Consumers Are Annoyed; Some Wonder, Does Brand Matter?
Wall Street Journal

It should be so easy: Buy toothpaste. But few shopping trips are more bewildering.

What's an umami burger? How do you get one?

The umami burger is served up by a four-restaurant chain in Los Angeles, which uses Japanese-style ingredients to create savory umami burger creations.
By Laurent Belsie
Christian Science Monitor

Umami Burger, southern California’s new, Japanese-flavored burger chain, is expanding with a new twist – a delicatessen dedicated to umami.

Cellphone Use Tied to Changes in Brain Activity

New York Times

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health have found that less than an hour of cellphone use can speed up brain activity in the area closest to the phone antenna, raising new questions about the health effects of low levels of radiation emitted from cellphones.

How to Safely Remove a Ring

By American Society for Surgery of the Hand
By, Andrew J. Nelson, MD and Richard L. Manzo, MD

There are occasions when a ring needs to be removed with some urgency. Our bodies change over the years causing arthritis of joints which can swell and/or swelling of the tissue under the ring.

When you can’t simply slide your ring off, try one of these techniques:

Oral Allergy Syndrome

By The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)

Oral Allergy Syndrome is a term used to describe itchy or scratchy mouth symptoms caused by raw fruits or vegetables in people who also have hay fever. Symptoms are typically limited to the mouth. This reaction is caused by an allergic response to the pollen that crosses over to similar proteins in the foods. Most people affected by oral allergy syndrome can eat cooked fruits or vegetables because the proteins are sensitive to heating. The condition is also known as pollen-food syndrome.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Are 'quantum dots' the future of TV screens?

New 'quantum dots' displays show full-color picture from a bendable material.
By Prachi Patel
Christian Science Monitor

Researchers at Samsung Electronics have made the first full-color display that uses quantum dots. Quantum-dot displays promise to be brighter, cheaper, and more energy-efficient than those found in today's cell phones and MP3 players.

Good news: Chocolate's sweet health benefits

Chocolate's sweet health benefits
By Shirley Perryman

Is chocolate good for us or not? A valid question, post-Valentine's Day.

Nutrition news changes often, and the latest information isn't always to our liking. The good news for the health-conscious and chocoholics alike is that chocolate is still a healthy choice. Because February is American Heart Month, it's good news to learn there is a healthy and enjoyable treat for heart health.

Painful Shingles Can Strike More Than Once

Wall Street Journal

Having shingles can be a miserable experience. Now, to make matters worse, the long-held notion that people can only get shingles once in their lives appears to be false, according to a study in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings this month.

Searching for Details Online, Lawyers Facebook the Jury

Attorneys Seek Cues on Potential Jurors in Networking Sites
Wall Street Journal

Facebook is increasingly being used in courts to decide who is—and who isn't—suitable to serve on a jury, the latest way in which the social-networking site is altering the U.S. court system.

Make Everybody Hurt

New York Times

Over the past few weeks we’ve begun to see the new contours of American politics. The budget cutters have taken control of the agenda, while government’s defenders are waging tactical retreats. Given the scope of the fiscal problems, it could be like this for the next 10 or 20 years.

‘Friends’ Without a Personal Touch

New York Times

Teenagers who send and receive six to eight thousand texts a month and spend hours a day on Facebook. Mourners who send text messages during a memorial service because they can’t go an hour without using their BlackBerries. Children who see an authentic Galapagos tortoise at the American Museum of Natural History and can’t understand why the museum didn’t use a robot tortoise instead. High school students who wonder how much they should tilt their Facebook profiles toward what their friends will think is cool, or what college admissions boards might prize.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Money Won’t Buy You Health Insurance

New York Times

THIS isn’t the story of a poor family with a mother who has a dreadful disease that bankrupts them, or with a child who has to go without vital medicines. Unlike many others, my family can afford medical care, with or without insurance.