Author Archive | Marcie Gainer

The Danger of Sleep Deprivation

By Eric Skiff via Flickr (CC by -sa 2.0)

By Eric Skiff via Flickr (CC by -sa 2.0)

I’m queuing this post at 10:30pm and can barely keep my eyes open. Sleep is my favorite treat. Unfortunately it shouldn’t be considered a “treat,” but rather a necessity.

via The Atlantic:

I’m sure a lot of subway riders are skilled nappers, but this car seemed to be particularly talented. Going over the Brooklyn Bridge on a recent morning, just as the sun was coming up, a row of men in nearly identical black suits held on to the straps with their eyes closed. Their necks were bent at the slightest of angles, like a row of daisies in a breeze, and as the car clanged over the tracks and the sun pierced through the grimy train windows, it finally dawned on me they were all sound asleep. Not even the bumps and the light could stop them from sneaking in 15 more minutes of shut-eye before work.

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Meteor Hits Brazil, Creates Light Show

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Most speculate that this was a meteor or bolide, though there are skeptics.

via Mysterious Universe:

So, what was it? The colors reminded some of an electrical transformer explosion but it was too large to be that and there were no reports of any noise. The Astronomical Society of Recife (SAR) says the height and high brightness of the flash indicates a meteor or bolide.

A meteor is certainly plausible, although variety of colors is out of the ordinary when compared to the singular white, green or orange colors most often reported in these types of sightings. No other explanations have been offered so far from official sources.

Unofficially, this Brazilian UFO is still up in the air.

Read the entire write-up.

What do you think?

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Watching Friends Recover From Addiction on Facebook

By Mr. Theklan via Flickr (CC by-sa 2.0)

By Mr. Theklan via Flickr (CC by-sa 2.0)

via The Atlantic:

Through likes and comments, I’ve watched my hometown of Perry, Ohio, disappear into and come back from heroin addiction.

The U.S. is facing a massive heroin epidemic, and nowhere is it more evident than in Ohio, where fatal drug overdoses surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in 2007, and increased by 60 percent from 2011 to 2012. Addicts in rehabilitation say heroin is the easiest drug to find. State legislators have called for Republican Governor John Kasich to declare the prevalence of heroin a public-health emergency, and in May he agreed to an Obamacare Medicaid expansion largely because the state badly needed the federal help in funding treatment for heroin addiction.

Perry, Ohio, is a microcosm of the epidemic, which is now infiltrating upper-middle-class suburbs. Thirty minutes east of Cleveland, the town of 1,500 has a median annual income $31,000 higher than that of Ohio overall, but it also lacks opportunities for young adults to start their lives.

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Investors in anti-Facebook startup have no idea how it will make money

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via Ars Technica:

Ello, the notably stripped-down, ad-free social network, announced Thursday that it has taken $5.5 million in venture capital and re-incorporated as a “Public Benefit Corporation.”

The company’s founders and investors also published a one-page document in which they declared:

  1. Ello must never make money from selling ads
  2. Ello must never make money from selling user data
  3. In the event that Ello is ever sold, the new owners would also have to comply by these terms

So how is Ello going to make money? Even its investors don’t know.

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Americans’ Trust in Doctors Is Falling

By Murray Barnes via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

By Murray Barnes via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

via Live Science:

Americans’ trust in the medical profession has plummeted in recent years, and lags well behind public attitudes toward doctors in many other countries, according to a new report.

That lack of trust comes from how Americans’ perceive doctors’ motivations, said Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and co-author of the new report. While physician leaders elsewhere in the world often take public stands on key health and medical issues, Americans perceive the medical profession as looking out for itself, not advocating for public health, he said.

Just 34 percent of U.S. adults polled in 2012 said they had “great confidence in the leaders of the medical profession,” down from 76 percent in 1966, according to the report.

And a survey of people in 29 countries found the United States ranked 24th in public trust of doctors.

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Brooklyn’s Gangster Graveyard

By Whit Andrews via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

By Whit Andrews via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

via The Daily Beast:

On a sprawling, idyllic cluster of rolling hills in an otherwise industrial section of New York City, history’s finest and most notorious have been laid to rest.

Green-Wood Cemetery should have its own ZIP code. Covering nearly 500 acres in the middle of Brooklyn, the land of the dead feels a world away from the skyscrapers of Manhattan, visible in the distance from the hilltops.

Visitors are greeted by a looming gothic gate, the kind used to signify that important residents lie behind its spires. The cemetery is home to 560,000 dead. In past lives, the area served as the location of the Battle of Long Island during the Revolutionary War. Once the first dead were interred in 1838, it became the country’s second biggest tourism attraction thanks to its scenic and fashionable burial grounds. In the 1860s there were more sightseers than entombed residents, as 500,000 visitors flocked there per year.

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Does Inequality Cause Crime?

By craftivist collective via Flickr (cc by 2.0).

By craftivist collective via Flickr (cc by 2.0).

Surprised?

via The Atlantic:

In 1899, Thorstein Veblen described a type of good that is more lusted after the more expensive it is (think Ferraris). And in 1968, the economist Gary S. Becker theorized that criminals perform cost-benefit analyses just like everyone else: What are the odds of getting caught, and what’s the potential payoff? These two frameworks have lived out vibrant lives in academic journals, high-school textbooks, and college lecture halls, but, as they’re ostensibly unrelated, they’ve rarely been put in conversation with one another.

A study put out this month in Oxford Economic Papers does just that, in an effort to come up with a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between inequality and violence. There’s a good amount of research from all over the world that suggests that places with pronounced income inequality are more likely to have high rates of violent crime, a finding that makes intuitive sense: the wider the socioeconomic gap, per Becker’s 1968 model, the more gains potential criminals perceive.

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1980: America’s First Extraterrestrial Election

By exoimperator via Flickr (CC by-sa 2.0)

By exoimperator via Flickr (CC by-sa 2.0)

via The Daily Beast:

In a democracy, an idea ceases to sound crazy once every candidate in an election has accepted it. By that measure, 1980 is the year Americans embraced the possibility that humans might not be the only intelligent life forms in the universe. That’s because both that year’s presidential candidates, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, reported having life-changing encounters with unidentified flying objects at some point in their lives.

The following is a summary of what we know about Presidents Carter and Reagan’s close encounters of the third kind and how these episodes affected their views on our place in the cosmos:

In 1969, state senator Jimmy Carter was preparing to give a speech in rural Georgia when an associate called his attention to something floating low above the horizon. There he claims he saw a luminous object change colors several times then vanish into the night sky.

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