News and Views

After decades of steady declines taking place year after year, in 2015 we witnessed a hefty spike in the number of fatal car crashes on the nation's roads with more that 30,000 Americans losing their lives.

Meanwhile, technology continually marches on, presenting consumers a series of new safety features – as well as the prospect of the holy-grail of automobile engineering – the self-driving car.

Safety-conscious Americans would surely be looking to add more "auto" – as in automatic – to their automobile, yes?

On the contrary, for the most part.

As it turns out, the majority of U.S. motorists are increasingly steering clear of cars that drive themselves.

Except for one age-group of adults, drivers are even more distrustful of self-driving cars then...

You've got to hand it to naturopaths when it comes to self-promotion.

On the heels of an incident in which a naturopath killed an otherwise healthy woman by administering an IV of turmeric (or the compound derived from turmeric - curcumin,) naturopaths are filling the hallways of Capitol Hill, working to convince lawmakers to allow them to do that... to more people.

This weekend, students and practitioners of naturopathy from all over the country make their annual trek to Washington DC to first, learn how to lobby and second, lobby in support of naturopathy. 

The weekend is referred to as the DC Federal...

It has been a gruesome few weeks for United Airlines. After making international headlines for dragging a paying customer off a plane, it earned yet more notoriety when a giant bunny died on one of its flights. 

This led Business Insider to research which airline was the worst when it came to pet deaths. Its investigation led to the brutal headline: "United had more pet deaths in 2016 than any other major US airline."

Ouch! But is it true? Technically yes, but statistically no. And it's the statistics that matter, not the raw numbers.

Here's the original graphic Business Insider created:

...

To put it mildly, many people are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new rechargeable battery for portable electronic devices – one that doesn't blow up unexpectedly.

Among them are the millions who purchased cell phones from Samsung – which now hopes it's solved the problem before its next rollout – as well as e-cigarette users whose devices are banned on many commercial airlines.

However, there's another prominent group navigating these same waters, but they're employing a can-do attitude while showing determination to see change. Its officials are not waiting for the electronics industry to deliver a safe, dependable risk-free battery – and they now...

Doximity [1], a social network of physicians, released its first annual survey of physician compensation and once again highlighted what they describe as a gender gap in physician payment.

“The average national gender gap among physicians is 26.5 percent less per year, meaning that on average, female doctors make $91,284 less than what the average male doctor makes. This topline number factors in all specialties examined, and regional differences.”

The flaw in their analysis is in their methodology 

“We also controlled for ... their self-reported average hours worked per week.”

In essence, they report on a...

Today, the Financial Times announced that Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, is raising money to launch a new media outlet, called Wikitribune. According to the article, readers will pay a voluntary monthly subscription fee to fund journalists who will write stories with help from community members. The goal is to fight back against fake news.

Any effort to fight fake news is noble and should be applauded. But, if Mr. Wales believes his new venture will be the solution to fake news, it will fall short for at least four reasons. 

First, "fake news" will never be eliminated because pure objectivity is impossible. Imagine trying to answer this question...

1. Now that the Science March is over, participants no longer have to pretend it wasn't about partisan politics. Up until Lenin's birthday...I mean Earth Day...I mean Saturday...there was at least a pretense that this was about making sure science remains a strategic resource. (1) Yes, the motivation even then was sketchy - the march had been planned to lament that science had declined before a new president even knew where the bathrooms were in the White House - but science advocates had been insisting this was not anti-Republican.

News outlets gleefully disagreed. While the majority of people attending had an earnest interest in science, they were also duped into believing science was suddenly in peril. Those non-partisan people did not get news coverage. What...

If the "Sky's the Limit" for someone whose ambitions know no bounds, what's the limit for someone who lives above the sky?

A curious soul might like to pose that existential question to Peggy Whitson, as her stay in space reaches record-breaking heights.

Or, better yet, maybe President Trump will do it during his upcoming call with the trailblazing NASA astronaut.

On Monday April 24, Whitson will log her 535th day in space, eclipsing the previous cumulative mark set by fellow U.S. astronaut Jeff Williams. To mark the occasion, Mr. Trump will personally congratulate Whitson by phone from the Oval Office. 

"The 20-minute call will air live on NASA Television and stream on the agency’s website and Facebook page at 10 a.m. EDT," the space agency...

When it comes to developing a healthy lifestyle, there are those would never touch a cigarette. Others avoid eating fast food or junk food under all circumstances. And the exercised-obsessed are another well-known sub-species of 21st century humans.

But many of those same people who are fixated on becoming increasingly healthy pay little or no attention to getting the right amount of sleep on a regular basis. They might even boast that they don't need to sleep much at all, and anyway, they're simply too busy to dedicate the time to it.

However, what many people frequently overlook is that the proper amount of nightly sleep is essential to ward off illness and maintain overall good health. And lack of sleep is linked to a myriad of significant health problems....

In the last year, I have probably read more science articles outside my field than ever and it has opened up many interesting ideas and at times rocked my world(view). The internet makes it easier to follow my interests but, at times is less serendipitous, the routes I tread through cyberspace sometimes become ruts. So often I look at curated sites, where they gather articles on a more general topic, like, in fact, this website.

Today I want to share the biggest lesson from my wanderings, and for the neat summarizing of the concept, I want to thank Roman Mars, whose podcast 99% invisible, about design in our world, has its motto “Always read the plaque.” Yes, I am talking about those little brass signs affixed everywhere that tell us about where we are standing in both time and...