Monthly Archives: July 2012

Guns in America – Part 1: The Current State of Gun Violence

With thousands of Americans dying from gun violence each year, it seems that such stories are in the news so often that – paradoxically – it’s rarely ever news anymore. However, high-profile cases such as the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado has brought gun crimes back into the media spotlight. The response to this event has in some ways been predictable, and in other ways mind-boggling. There’s no telling what it’s going to take for Americans to have a real debate about gun control, but it’s important for everyone, because American guns have a way of affecting people outside the country as well.

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Does Owning a Gun Increase or Decrease Safety? Science Answers

ResearchBlogging.orgGuns have always been thought of as a means to protect oneself from harm. Considering they can be instantly lethal, they make other self-defense routes like martial arts appear to some people as a total waste of time. But is it true that guns keep increase safety? No, I’m not comparing a gun to martial arts; I’m comparing owning a gun vs. not owning a gun. Which is the statistically safer option?

Posted in Culture, Featured, Science | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

Top 20 Most Expensive Cities in the World

The cost of living in any given country gives one sense of what it may be like to live there. Obviously big cities tend to be the most expensive, which is why Japan’s three biggest cities rank within the top 10 among expensive countries for expatriates – they’re huge. And all of the little things – like food and transportation – add up. New rankings were released on the cost of living among 214 cities; so check below to find out if your city made the list.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Culture, Featured, Japan | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Are Men Happier When They Share the Housework?

If a recent paper from the UK is correct, it might change the way husbands feel about doing housework. That is, they might be more willing to do it. Traditionally, or perhaps stereotypically, housework has been the role of the woman, whereas the more standard direct financial support (i.e., “bread-winning”) has been the role of the man. I’m not going to get into the veracity of that stereotype, because a more interesting conclusion was drawn from a recent study. Namely, men who share the housework rather than delegate it to their significant other are happier.

Posted in Culture, Media, Sex and Sexuality, TED | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Youth Magazines to Show Real (not Photoshopped) Girls

A big victory is coming to the teen consumer culture, because of the activity of some strong-willed youth. Fourteen-year-old Julia Blumh from Maine, USA, started the fight with a petition from the popular youth magazine “Seventeen.” She was protesting the use of photo-alteration methods like photoshop and airbrushing, which change the way models look. Exposing youth to such unrealistic depictions of beauty create high expectations and make it impossible for girls to live up to them, causing low self-esteem. After it was launched in April of this year, it took only a few months to garnish over 85,000 signatures, and Seventeen agreed to change the way they produce their magazines.

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Doctors Make Mistakes… Even the Preventable Ones

ResearchBlogging.org Five months after coming in for surgery to remove a section of his intestines, Nelson Bailey had come back because he still felt a lot of pain. Festering silently within his body for almost half a year was a sponge the size of a washcloth that the surgeon accidentally left. Stories like this are all too common, as a quick Google search demonstrates with ease. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of mistakes – including very easily preventable ones – that doctors make, and it is taking a toll on patients’ health (not to mention the economic toll). So why, after years of rigorous medical training, are there still doctors making mistakes, and will we ever be able to receive medical care in an error-less hospital?

Posted in Medicine & Health, Science, TED | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Top 5 Commencement Speeches of 2012

I’ve done it again – watched all the commencement speeches on YouTube, just like last year. In fact, I watched all of them at least three times – I take these rankings seriously (despite the fact that no one else does). The ones that made the list usually dealt with a good message, kept attention through the use of humor, and was practical for the audience. I still think the #1 from last year’s ranking was better, but all of the ones on this list are still inspirational and enlightening. That’s true even for those of us who were not sitting in the audience at the time.

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Higgs Boson (The God Particle) Found

Earlier this week, the Higgs boson was discovered – or at least, we’re almost certain it was discovered. In the science community, this is being seen as one of the biggest breakthroughs in history, but it’s clear that laypeople are feeling out of the loop. The comments on many articles are unfortunately “the more I learn about this, the more confused I become about it.” So just what is the Higgs boson, why is its discovery important, and why should we care? The simple answers are below.

Posted in Astronomy & Cosmos, Media, Science | Tagged | 1 Comment

Oh, the Humanities! – Who Cares About Humanities and Social Sciences?

The “Mickey-Mouse courses,” the “fluffy concepts,” the “GPA boosters,” the “classes with all the hot girls”… or as you know might also know them, the humanities. Those artsy classes that only those theatre-types or cultural elitists understand. And then there are those social sciences, the kind that don’t deal with the real or hard sciences like chemistry or physics, but the unscientific ones like society and behavior. They don’t involve some of the hard choices that come from important fields of today like business and computer science. In fact, what good are the humanities anyways? And just who needs (or even likes) social sciences?

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