Sunday, November 19, 2017

LIFE

This Is Victor: Woman Helps Homeless Man Build New Life

For three years everyday, Ginger Sprouse and other residents of Kemah, Texas, would drive past Victor Hubbard, rain or shine. Victor Hubbard did not...

Single Mom Faces Eviction, Then Her 9-Year-Old Daughter Finds Amazing Way...

Young mom, Natalie Koltes was quickly approaching eviction from her Las Vegas home. She was struggling to meet ends meet while trying to pay...
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MORE ARTICLES

Storms hit poorer people harder, from Superstorm Sandy to Hurricane Maria

The ferocious “frankenstorm” known as Sandy that ripped through greater New York City five years ago remains one for the record books. Like this year’s hurricane season, it racked up tens of billions of...

Diapers, potties and split pants: Understanding toilet training around the world may help parents...

Are two-year-olds too young to start toilet training? For many children, yes. Especially boys. At least, that’s what American pediatricians would likely say. Nowadays, only around half of children in the U.S. are fully toilet-trained...

The dangers and potential of ‘natural’ opioid kratom

Given the opioid addiction crisis, it would seem preposterous that an opioid is legal for use in the United States and can be purchased at tea stores, convenience stores, over the internet and, yes,...

A backlash against ‘mixed’ foods led to the demise of a classic American dish

At the end of “Over the River and Through the Wood” – Lydia Maria Child’s classic Thanksgiving poem – the narrator finally gets to his grandfather’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and settles down to...

Will Puerto Ricans return home after Hurricane María?

Even before this year’s devastating hurricane season, the team of demographers I work with at Penn State and the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics had predicted that the population of Puerto Rico would decline...

Feeling guilty about drinking? Well, ask the saints

Each year the holidays bring with them an increase in both the consumption of alcohol and concern about drinking’s harmful effects. Alcohol abuse is no laughing matter, but is it sinful to drink and make...

Nature lovers may #OptOutside on Black Friday, but they consume resources year-round

While shoppers scramble for Black Friday bargains this year, outdoor retailer REI is closing its 154 U.S. stores. This is the third consecutive year that the Seattle-based company will ignore the frenzy that traditionally...

‘Hot potato’ shows why workers won’t benefit from Trump’s corporate tax cut

Many children have played hot potato, a game in which they pass a spud to other children quickly so they don’t get stuck with it when the music stops. Taxes are like that potato. No...

How to get the biggest bang out of matching funds

How many times have you tuned into your local NPR station and instead of the regularly scheduled program you’ve heard “If we get 20 donations by the end of this hour, a generous donor...

Can online gaming ditch its sexist ways?

A huge online community has developed around the increasingly diverse world of video games. Online streaming systems like Twitch let people watch others play video games in real time, attracting crowds comparable in size...

‘He’s Pavlov and we’re the dogs’: How associative learning really works in human psychology

My ears perked up when, in recent weeks, I heard Donald Trump and Ivan Pavlov mentioned twice in connection with each other. After all, I’m an experimental psychologist who journeyed to Russia to conduct...

Latin American history suggests Zimbabwe’s military coup will turn violent

On Nov. 14, a group of soldiers from the Zimbabwe Defense Forces arrested and detained Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. The move came just days after Army Commander Constantine Chiwenga warned that the military would...

Why does the price of turkeys fall just before Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a great U.S. holiday during which people consume huge quantities of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pie. One of the stranger things about this holiday, however, is that a few days before everyone...

What the first Thanksgiving dinner actually looked like

Most Americans probably don’t realize that we have a very limited understanding of the first Thanksgiving, which took place in 1621 in Massachusetts. Indeed, few of our present-day traditions resemble what happened almost 400 years...

How Silicon Valley industry polluted the sylvan California dream

On Labor Day 1956, a caravan of moving trucks wound their way into Santa Clara County, just south of San Francisco, carrying the possessions of 600 families and equipment for the missile and space...

After Iran-Iraq earthquake, seismologists work to fill in fault map of the region

With a magnitude of 7.3, the Nov. 12, 2017 earthquake that shook the border region between Iran and Iraq is among the largest ever recorded in this area. Seismologists know it resulted from the...

The two obstacles that are holding back Alzheimer’s research

Thirty years ago, scientists began to unlock the mysteries regarding the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. This knowledge ushered in an era of great enthusiasm that scientists could develop new therapies to either prevent Alzheimer’s...

In an era of billionaire media moguls, do press unions stand a chance?

On Nov. 2, billionaire media owner Joe Ricketts abruptly shuttered the digital news sites DNAinfo and the Gothamist, terminating 116 employees. Days earlier, these employees had voted 25 to 2 to join the Writers Guild...

Why meeting the Paris climate goals is an existential threat to fossil fuel industries

Attacks on climate policies are not really about the science. They’re about the future of fossil fuels. Any program with a reasonable chance of meeting the goals embraced by the 2016 Paris accords (holding global...

Trump’s ‘America first’ trade policy ignores key lesson from Great Depression

President Donald Trump declared his nearly two-week trip through Asia “tremendously successful,” but economic history should make us more skeptical. During the trip, the president continued to promote his so-called “America first” trade policy. He...

Many small island nations can adapt to climate change with global support

Island nations are on the front lines of global climate change. Heavy rainfall and rising sea levels are eroding shorelines and causing flooding. Warming and increasingly acidic oceans are damaging coral reefs that support...

After coup, will Zimbabwe see democracy or dictatorship?

For decades, Robert Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe in a ruthless, even reckless manner. Over nearly 40 years, he turned the “jewel of Africa” into an economic basket case that’s seen inflation of up to 800...

No, turkey doesn’t make you sleepy – but it may bring more trust to...

‘Tis the season for giblets, wattles and snoods – oh my. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, Americans consume about 68 million turkeys – one for about every five of us. In fact, 29 percent of...

Did early Christians believe that Mary was a teenager? It’s complicated

On Nov. 13, a fifth Alabama woman came forward to accuse Roy Moore, former judge and current GOP Senate candidate, of sexual assault when she was 16. Condemnation of Moore has been widespread, but...

Why Puerto Rico is getting the brunt of ‘donor fatigue’

Recovering from disasters is never easy. When disasters pile up, it gets harder. On top of the inevitable competition for everything from the government’s funding for recovery efforts to construction materials, donations for relief operations...

Subsidizing coal and nuclear power could drive customers off the grid

Within the next month, energy watchers expect the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to act on an order from Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would create new pricing rules for certain power plants that can...

Learning to care for dying’s forgotten

In most U.S. medical schools, lessons about death naturally focus on the care of the dying patient. But there is another group of people to whom health professionals need to learn to attend: the...

Para Venezuela en default, no hay rescate

Sufriendo colapso económico y crisis humanitaria, Venezuela ha entrado en default después de que incumpliera el abono de los intereses en dos bonos. El país necesita urgentemente ayuda financiera internacional, pero a esta altura resulta...

Nobody is going to bail out Venezuela

Venezuela, the South American country convulsed by economic and humanitarian catastrophe, has defaulted on some of its debt after missing an interest payment due in October. Even as investors meet in Caracas to discuss restructuring...

The story of America, as told through diet books

“The South Beach Diet” sold 23 million diet books. Dr. Atkins sold another 15 million. Even lesser-known diet books like Christian best-sellers “The Maker’s Diet” regularly sell millions of copies. This isn’t a new trend....

Designing better ballots

Election Day 2017 seems to have gone smoothly. There were few contests of major consequence and turnout was low – with Virginia the most notable exception. Election integrity – the extent to which the outcome...

Can cities get smarter about extreme weather?

Remember the movie “Moneyball”? The Oakland A’s are struggling, financially and on the baseball field. Then they introduce an innovative system for figuring out which players will improve team performance. Moving away from observations...

How social media fires people’s passions – and builds extremist divisions

The people of the United States continue to learn how polarized and divided the nation has become. In one study released in late October by the Pew Research Center, Americans were found to have...

Did Trump’s charm offensive work in the Philippines?

President Donald J. Trump is wrapping up a whirlwind tour of Asia, visiting five countries in 12 days. The trip revealed much about Trump’s style of diplomacy – one that focuses more on his...

Why Nevada’s new lethal injection is unethical

Nevada has temporarily called off its first inmate execution in 11 years. Scott Dozier, sentenced for the 2002 murder of his 22-year-old drug associate, Jeremiah Miller, was to be put to death on Nov....

Here’s why your local TV news is about to get even worse

Considering the history of television news a few years ago, iconic anchor Ted Koppel declared that CBS’ 1968 debut of “60 Minutes” forever altered the landscape of broadcast journalism: A news program drew enough...

Why it can make sense to believe in the kindness of strangers

Would you risk your life for a total stranger? While you might consider yourself incapable of acts of altruism on that scale, it happens again and again. During hurricanes and mass shootings, some people go...

How a young Ernest Hemingway dealt with his first taste of fame

When he published “The Sun Also Rises” in 1926, Ernest Hemingway was well-known among the expatriate literati of Paris and to cosmopolitan literary circles in New York and Chicago. But it was “A Farewell...

The strange story of turkey tails speaks volumes about our globalized food system

Intensive livestock farming is a huge global industry that serves up millions of tons of beef, pork and poultry every year. When I asked one producer recently to name something his industry thinks about...

The mystery of a 1918 veteran and the flu pandemic

Vaccination is underway for the 2017-2018 seasonal flu, and next year will mark the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed roughly 40 million people. It is an opportune time to consider...

Veterans turned poets can help bridge divides

Although Veterans Day is a national holiday, often filled with parades and celebrations, it brings with it ambiguity. Howard Zinn, a World War II veteran, once wrote, “I do not want the recognition of my...

The opioid crisis is at its worst in rural areas. Can telemedicine help?

Some of the communities hit hardest by the opioid epidemic are in rural America. However, many of those same communities lack access to comprehensive treatment. To address the epidemic’s increasing reach, the White House declared...

Why solar ‘microgrids’ are not a cure-all for Puerto Rico’s power woes

In addition to its many other devastating human consequences, Hurricane Maria left the island of Puerto Rico with its power grid in ruins. Power was knocked out throughout the island, with an estimated 80...

Public shaming of workplace harassers may force employers to stop protecting them

Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, a growing number of workplace harassment victims have decided to go public. Since this used to be pretty rare, it marks an important shift. Along with the torrent of...

Democrats’ sweep of Virginia shows the state is moving beyond its Confederate past

In its first election since Trump became president, Virginia gave Democrats a sweeping victory. This one-time swing state and former Confederate capital elected Democrats in all three statewide races – governor, lieutenant governor and...

The emotional challenges of student veterans on campus

This Veterans Day, Americans will honor the heroism and sacrifice of the nearly 22 million men and women who have served in the U.S. military. Among them will be student veterans. Since 2009, nearly...

The magazine that inspired Rolling Stone

The 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone magazine has arrived, and not without fanfare. Joe Hagan’s biography of co-founder Jann Wenner appeared in October to stellar reviews, and earlier this month, HBO aired Alex Gibney’s...

The climate science report Trump hoped to ignore will resonate outside of Washington, DC

Last week, without comment, the White House published a study officially titled the Climate Science Special Report. Contrary to many statements and positions articulated by President Trump, members of his Cabinet, his surrogates and...

As angry voters reject major parties, Mexico’s 2018 presidential race grows chaotic

Mexico’s 2018 campaign season has not officially begun, but the race for the presidency is already a nail-biter, featuring a powerful ruling party, dozens of independent aspirants – including two women – and very...

When Americans tried – and failed – to reunite Christianity

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther, a German monk, initiated a split in Christianity that came to be known as the Protestant Reformation. After the Reformation, deep divisions between Protestants and Catholics contributed to...