News and Views

This past week, a story went viral that calls into question the media's ability to separate fact from fiction, even when handed a story that is obviously not true.

The story centered around a married couple, Akahi Ricardo and Camila Castello, who define themselves as "breatharian." They claim to not need food and water because they possess the ability to live solely off the energy of the universe with comments that this is "not possible when you don't have the state of mind. When your mind doesn't believe it's possible, it won't be possible."

What they failed to mention in the story is that they also eat. They must - there is simply no way around it. Not eating food leads to death - breatharian state of mind or not. It doesn't take a physician, scientist, nutritionist or...

The Breakthrough Dialogue is an annual meeting of a politically diverse group of scientists, professors, journalists, think-tankers, and others who discuss technological solutions to environmental and social problems*. Referring to themselves as "ecomodernists," they represent everything environmentalism should be: pro-science, pro-technology, pro-human, and bipartisan.

One of the featured speakers at this year's Dialogue was the preeminent Harvard scientist Steven Pinker. He is an optimist who believes that, in general, the world is getting better. (Sadly, only 6% of Americans agree with him.) Dr. Pinker concluded his talk with the following insight:

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For those who live in a specific corridor between the Pacific Northwest and the Atlantic Southeast, get set to experience a breathtaking celestial event that hasn't occurred in nearly a century.

That's when night will interrupt day for a couple minutes.

In less than two months time, the entire continental United States will witness a total eclipse of the sun, the first time that will happen in 99 years, according to a NASA officials in public statements released yesterday. The event will take place on August 21, when those living in a 70-mile-wide band between Oregon and South Carolina will be able to watch the moon completely block out the sun (adjacent graphic courtesy of NASA) while providing them a rare, naked-eye glimpse of the...

There are evil people in this world. Then there are the people who ran the 'Breast Cancer Survivors Foundation' (BCSF).

The seven year old organization took in millions of dollars in the name of breast cancer. They misled their donors with a made up system of medical services for breast cancer patients, making a few small donations to clinics and taking the rest of the money for themselves.

How much money, exactly, did they take? 92 cents of every dollar. So, basically, all of it. 

Thankfully, Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, went after this group and exposed them as the frauds that they are. The office of the Attorney General has a program named 'Operation Bottomfeeder" that targets charities that act unscrupulously, with individuals profiting...

With information —bad, good and worse— overload from all media forms at all hours of the day and night, it is no surprise that public confidence in the medical realm is precipitously plummeting. So says a new report identifying that only 37% of the public trust evidence from medical research as opposed to 65% who prefer the experiences of friends and family. (1)

This latest work out of The Academy of Medical Sciences which, according to their website, is an “independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science” whose “mission is to advance biomedical and health...

Dr. Tim Farnum, anesthesiologist and founder of the nonprofit Parents Against Underage Smartphones (PAUS), is spearheading legislation that proposes a smartphone ban for children under 13 years of age. The proposed law would be a first should it hit the 2018 Colorado ballot as desired— the rate limiting step will be getting 300,000 required signatures of support.

The initiative includes financially punitive along with administrative logistical issues for retailers. It suggests verification by state government of who these businesses are selling to and whether...

How we care for our patients at the end of their lives periodically bubbles up into the consciousness of the general public as well as health professionals. The media often cover the high cost like how much Medicare spends on beneficiaries in their last six months of life (28% of their budget in 2011). And among health professionals, there has been a push to initiate end of life care discussions. In 2016 Medicare began physician payments for specifically discussing these issues with patients or their care-givers and the Conversation Project, “dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care” has been widely publicized. In this week’s JAMA Internal...

Open colectomy (OC), is a surgical procedure in which part of the colon (large intestine) is removed through a large abdominal incision. It is by anyone’s standards a ‘big operation.’ Twenty years ago, a generation of surgeons, it was the standard of care, 97% of surgery of the colon was performed that way. In the space of that surgical generation the technique of minimally invasive colectomy (MIC), removing a portion of the large intestine using multiple small incisions and a scope, went from a curiosity to the operative choice for 59.3% of cases in the US. Surgeons already in practice had to learn this new technique, surgeons in training had varying degrees of exposure as MIC moved into the mainstream of care and enough faculty became proficient to enable training surgical residents...

One time, Business Insider decided to go grocery shopping. They purchased 31 items from Whole Foods and 31 identical items from one of its biggest competitors, Kroger. The bill from Whole Foods was 45% more than the bill from Kroger*.

For this reason, Whole Foods has earned the monicker "Whole Paycheck." And it is also for this reason that Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's complaint that his investors are too greedy is a delicious irony that we must savor together.

Whole Foods is in trouble. Revenues are falling, largely because other stores like Walmart and Target decided to jump aboard the organic food wagon. Basically, the grocery outlets that Whole...

1. Large Canadian Arctic global warming study canceled due to too much ice. 

The Science Team of the Canadian Research Icebreaker CCGS Amundsen, involving 40 scientists, five universities and $17 million in taxpayer funding to study climate change, has canceled the first leg of the 2017 Expedition due to extreme ice conditions in the south, which meant the ship would arrive too late on site to meet research objectives. 

2. An exercise class that is just taking a nap. 

Finally, an exercise regimen even the most reluctant can embrace - because they're embracing a pillow. A fitness club in ...