Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 11:58 am
Do vegetarians and vegans think they are better than the rest of us? Judging from personal experience, a good number of people who aren't vegetarian or vegan would offer a resounding "Yes" to this question.
Those individuals who publicly tout eating no meat, especially when their stated reason has to do with caring about animals, are thought to be telegraphing a message of superiority: My dietary choices make me a better person than you.
Two Missouri farmers have been infected with a brand-new tick-borne virus that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling the Heartland virus.
The men recovered but suffered serious illness that required hospital care and weeks of convalescence. Symptoms included fever, severe fatigue, headache and nausea. Their platelet counts plummeted, but even though platelets are necessary for blood clotting, the men didn't suffer abnormal bleeding.
Isaac might not be in the same league as Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, but the latest storm to batter Louisiana's Gulf Coast is punching above its weight class in more ways than one, scientists say.
Hundreds of protestors rallied, this week, in Albany, New York. They are trying to put pressure on New York's Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo. They want him to reject a plan to expand natural gas drilling. Specifically, Cuomo's expected to decide in the coming days whether to allow more aggressive hydraulic fracturing to reach gas deposits that are locked deep underground. As North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann reports, people on both sides are mounting eleventh-hour campaigns to try and sway the governor.
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 9:42 am
Credit Olivier Lantzendorffer / iStockphoto.com
Babies are lovely but altogether helpless creatures.
Wouldn't it be better if tiny humans were born able to walk, like horses, or generally were readier for the rigors of the world, like, say, chimps?
Among primates, human have the least developed brains at birth, at least when compared to adult human brains. If humans were born as far along on cognitive and neurological scales as rough and ready chimps are, though, human pregnancy would have to last at least twice as long. Eighteen months in the womb, anyone?
Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 1:26 pm
By Adam Frank
Credit Pierre Andrieu / AFP/Getty Images
Thermodynamics — the branch of physics dealing with heat and its relation to other forms of energy — is profound stuff.
Rooted in the engineering realities of engines and air conditioners, it also rises above these day-to-day realities to embrace heady, universal principles in complexity, order, chaos and organization. Thermodynamics touches everything that really matters in human life, including — most famously — the nature of time. It is profound and slippery.
If you're a student, you may have harbored the fantasy of learning lessons while you sleep. Who wouldn't want to stick on a pair of headphones, grab some shut-eye with a lesson about, say, Chinese history playing in his ears — and wake up with newly acquired knowledge of the Ming Dynasty?
Sadly, it doesn't work. The history lesson either keeps you from going to sleep, or it doesn't — in which case you don't learn it.
Mike and Nancy Leighton's problems began on May 19, just as Mike was settling in to watch the Preakness Stakes. A neighbor in Leroy Township, Pa., called Mike and told him to check the water well located just outside his front door.
"I said, 'I'll be down in 15 minutes.' I wanted to see the race," Leighton said. But as the horses were racing, Leighton's well was overflowing. Typically, there's between 80 to 100 feet of head space between the top of the well and its water supply. But when Leighton went outside, the water was bubbling over the top.