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Tag: Health

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Regina Marler on Ted Hughes’ Letters

A new volume of the late poet’s correspondence sheds fresh light on the anguish and art of Sylvia Plath.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008 READ MORE


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Obama Settles on 3 More Cabinet Picks, Sources Say

Those famous “multiple Democratic sources close to the transition” have revealed three more members of Barack Obama’s Cabinet: Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle as secretary of health and human services, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as chief of homeland security and Obama’s billionaire buddy and top fundraiser Penny Pritzker to head the Commerce Department. Update: Pritzker is out.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Brave New Films

A Wal-Mart Christmas for a Wal-Mart Country

The giant discounter is the only store where hard-squeezed consumers can afford to buy anything, and so it has kept posting sales gains amid the retail bloodbath.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE


Googs Flu
google.org/flutrends

Google: ‘I’m Feeling Sicky’

While worries over Google’s “big brother” surveillance practices still worry many, a softer, more health-conscious side of the search giant is partnering with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The tool, “Google Flu Trends,” uses the aggregate regional data obtained from flu-related searches to predict epidemics weeks before they can be diagnosed by traditional measures.

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE


The Danger in Timidity

If Reagan had the voters’ permission to move away from strategies associated with liberalism, Obama has sanction to move away from conservative policies. And Reagan offers another lesson: His first moves were bold, and Obama should not fear following his example.

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 READ MORE


A New Era of Hope

With Obama’s victory, it’s time to hope that the era of racial backlash and wedge politics is over. Time to imagine that the patriotism of dissenters will no longer be questioned and that the world will no longer be divided between “values voters” and those without a moral compass.

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Oop

FDA Plastic Decision ‘Creates a False Sense of Security’

The chemical BPA is common in plastic products such as baby bottles and food containers, despite concerns among scientists and environmentalists about its safety. The FDA has defended BPA use and recently turned to an outside panel for backup. That group of scientists, however, ended up criticizing the agency’s guidelines.

Posted on Oct 29, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Kim Jong Il’s ‘Condition Isn’t Good’

Japan’s prime minister says he has information that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is “probably in hospital,” though capable of making decisions. “Anyway, his condition isn’t good,” added Prime Minister Taro Aso, who has been known to dip his toe in outrageous waters.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / edited for effect

Populism Arising—but Will It Be the Killer Kind?

The old assumptions and paradigms about capitalism and free markets are dead. A new, virulent populism, still inchoate, is slowly and painfully rising to take their place. This populism will determine the future of the country. It is as likely to be right-wing as left-wing.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 READ MORE


The Molecular Full Monty

A cohort of entrepreneurs and scientists is the cutting edge of the Personal Genome Project. In an act of altruism and/or exhibitionism, the PGP-10 have put their medical records, traits and genetic codes on the Web where all the scientists, paparazzo and peeping Toms can see them.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008 READ MORE


Palin: ‘I’m Not Going to Toot My Own Horn, but ...’

John McCain and his running mate respond to Colin Powell’s endorsement of the other ticket, which the general said was motivated in part by McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN


End of a Catholic Commandment?

Catholics, who are quintessential swing voters and gave narrow but crucial support to President Bush in 2004, are drifting toward Barack Obama. And this time, some church leaders are suggesting that single-issue voting—such as on abortion—is by no means a Catholic commandment.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE



Obama for America

Obama Will Stop Campaigning for Two Days

Barack Obama will spend Thursday and Friday off the campaign trail in order to visit his ailing grandmother, Madelyn Dunham. Obama was raised in part by his grandparents, and has credited his grandmother with teaching him “values straight from the Kansas heartland.”

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE



Simon Lewis on Traumatic Brain Injuries

A devastating and growing problem is explored in Michael Paul Mason’s riveting new book, “Head Cases.”

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE


Retirees Wake Up to a Swindle

The essential fallacy of the 401(k) has been exposed. It took a historic market collapse—one that threatens to impoverish workers already in retirement and those who are nearing it.

Posted on Oct 13, 2008 READ MORE


This Is No Time for Specifics

Each campaign has given voters ample notice about the inclinations, temperaments, habits, philosophical leanings and advisers they would bring to the White House. That’s enough.

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 READ MORE


Weapons of Mass Distraction

John McCain and Sarah Palin are going to try their best to make us talk about anything but the big issues facing our country, because most Americans think Barack Obama’s solutions are better.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Susan Walsh

Dennis Kucinich on the Democrats’ Bailout Betrayal

The passing of the $850-billion bailout pulled the plug on the New Deal. The Great Society is now gasping for air, mortally wounded, coughing up blood. It will not recover. It was murdered by the Democratic Party.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE


Back in the USSR

In the late 1990s, Washington was in the throes of a deregulatory orgy. Many lampooned Rep. Bernie Sanders’ opposition to the grotesquerie, and his notoriety as the only self-described socialist in Congress. Nobody guessed that in a few years our country would become the United States’ Socialist Republic.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE


Socialism for Dummies

So this is how the “ownership society” works. We own all the bad stuff.

Posted on Sep 22, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

U.S. Official: Kim Jong Il May Have Had Stroke

Rumors are flying after the North Korean dictator skipped a parade in honor of the country’s 60th anniversary. A U.S. intelligence official said Kim apparently “suffered a health setback, potentially a stroke.” Or he could be fine. News travels slow out of the hermit kingdom.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE


Universal Health Care Makes More Sense Than Ever

It is worth pausing during these orchestrated partisan celebrations to look afresh at entitlements. There is no more recent evidence of their enduring value than the latest report from the Census Bureau on the number of Americans who are doing without health insurance.

Posted on Aug 27, 2008 READ MORE



Borgnine Blushes, but He’s On to Something

The 91-year-old actor sent the cast of “Fox and Friends” into a juvenile tizzy this week when he revealed the key to his longevity: “I masturbate a lot.” Don’t snicker. The health benefits of autoeroticism have been well documented, yet modesty prevents many adults from discussing such matters.

Posted on Aug 15, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / law_keven

Meaty Danger Strikes Whole Foods

Whole Foods customers expect more for their money, but shoppers in two states got more than they bargained for when they came home with E. coli-tainted beef. The granola-chic grocer has since taken steps to restore faith in the chain and its preposterous prices.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008 READ MORE


Shock Therapy Buzzes On

Tens of thousands of the desperately depressed sign up every year in the U.S. to have electricity-induced grand mal seizures even though nobody has ever figured out why the treatment works or how severe the associated brain damage is. The good news: You no longer have to be awake, and muscle relaxants now keep your bones from breaking.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


A Parting Gift to the Religious Right

From the people who brought you the Terri Schiavo spectacle, the stem-cell research stalemate and the atrocious waste of tax money on abstinence-only sex education that has been shown not to work, comes a sequel: a proposal to redefine abortion to include some of the most common forms of birth control.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE



westminster.gov.uk

AIDS and the Myth of the Oversexed Negro

Why do so many in the global health establishment insist on viewing the AIDS crisis in Africa through the lens of a 19th century stereotype?

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


Kids Are Fat People Too

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small. And the ones that mother gives you soon will control your cholesterol.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Seeing Red About ‘Feeling Blue’

Somewhere along Barack Obama’s winding road through the red states, he lost me. It happened when he talked about abortion seekers who are “feeling blue.”

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Iraq’s Signature Wound

George Ball remembers last July 4 all too well. “I spent it in my room with the windows drawn and the covers over my head,” the 32-year-old Iraq war veteran says. The bottle rockets, with their shrieking whistles followed by the pop of explosions, affected him most.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


Eat More, Move Less

The Onion has envisioned a way to make America’s march toward obesity more efficient.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN


Victims of Military Chemical Tests Demand Answers

According to the Pentagon, the U.S. military carried out tests of chemical and biological agents on 6,440 of its own personnel between 1962 and 1973. One Navy veteran who participated in some of those tests is now pushing for recognition and benefits, having learned that more than half of his fellow seamen are either dead or stricken with cancer or other illnesses.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE


New York skyline
Flickr / acnatta

Herpes Is Common Among New Yorkers

Twenty-six percent of adult New Yorkers are infected with the virus that causes genital herpes. That’s seven points above the national average. A new study by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that the disease is more common among women, African-Americans and gays.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Nicholas von Hoffman on ‘The Big Squeeze’

A new book by New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse argues that the plight of American workers, both white-collar and blue-collar, is growing worse, putting the American dream out of the reach of tens of millions of citizens.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE


AIDS Still an Uphill Battle

Every year about a million HIV patients globally are given potentially life-saving treatments, while about 2 1/2 times that number are infected. On top of that, the vast majority of HIV-positive people around the world don’t know they’re infected.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


Kennedy
AP photo / Steven Senne / file

Kennedy Feels ‘Like a Million Bucks’

Ted Kennedy was in good humor following brain surgery at Duke University Medical Center on Monday, joking with his wife, “I feel like a million bucks. I think I will do that again tomorrow.” Kennedy’s neurosurgeon said the operation was a success. The senator will now begin radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


Kennedy Goes Under the Knife

Ted Kennedy was to undergo brain surgery Monday morning as part of an aggressive course of treatment for his recently diagnosed cancer. According to the Boston Globe, the senator met with a panel of experts that included representatives of the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, as well as his own doctors.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


Stewart painting

Stewart Checks Out McCain’s ‘Unremarkable’ Buttocks

Those reporters who were given just three Internet-free hours to curl up with John McCain’s huge stack of medical records (right before Memorial Day!) were privy to some mighty intimate details about the presumptive Republican nominee—and pundits were subsequently saddled with the task of making talk of polyps, chin herpes (ew!) and freckled buttocks somehow sound like good news for the GOP.

Posted on May 29, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN


Close but No Health Care

More than halfway through a political season in which public concern about America’s porous, confusing and costly health insurance system has consistently emerged as one of the chief worries of a squeezed electorate, this is what we can expect when the new president takes office next year: not so much.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


Kennedy
senate.gov

Kennedy Said to Prefer Wife as Successor

The New York Daily News is reporting that Ted Kennedy wants his wife, Vicki, to succeed him in Congress. Although the lion of the Senate retains his post, his recent cancer diagnosis has many speculating as to who will eventually take the seat once held by John F. Kennedy. Ted, it seems, has an answer.

Posted on May 22, 2008 READ MORE


Ted Kennedy
AP photo / Stephan Savoia

Friends and Foes Respond to Kennedy News

As the sad medical news about Ted Kennedy sinks in, a number of his colleagues and even some of his political enemies have responded. Time’s Mark Halperin has collected the statements of the presidential candidates, the president and others.

Posted on May 20, 2008 READ MORE


When It Costs Too Much to Support the Troops

The comment was outrageous, but it was not the least bit surprising. A psychologist responsible for assessing returning war veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder—a psychological ailment that could entitle them to monthly disability payments—told staff members not to diagnose the illness because to do so would increase the government’s costs.

Posted on May 19, 2008 READ MORE


‘A Walk to Beautiful’

PBS has made the film “A Walk to Beautiful” available online. It’s the extraordinary story of women who suffer for years from a preventable and treatable injury simply because they are poor.

Posted on May 16, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN


Edwards
Flickr / John Edwards 2008

John and Elizabeth Edwards Spill the Beans

As North Carolinians head to the polls, John Edwards, their former senator, has disclosed that after months of being politically courted he will not endorse any candidate in the Democratic primaries. The two-time presidential contender and his wife, Elizabeth, recently sat down with People magazine to explain what they like—and don’t like—about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Posted on May 5, 2008 READ MORE


The Single-Payer Solution

As the media coverage of the Democratic presidential race continues to focus on lapel pins and pastors, America is ailing.

Posted on Apr 23, 2008 READ MORE


McCainomics

Fittingly, and with dreadful predictability, John McCain used April 15—tax day—as the day to release his economic plan. Fittingly, and with dreadful predictability, it offers more of the same. But more of the same what?

Posted on Apr 21, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton and Obama
AP photo / Rick Bowmer

The Left Has Lost Its Way

The failure of the American left is a failure of nerve. It has been neutralized and rendered ineffectual as a political force because of its refusal to hold fast on core issues.

Posted on Apr 21, 2008 READ MORE


pills
news.bbc.co.uk

Study: Beware of Vitamins

Health nuts, take heed: A sweeping review of almost 70 scientific studies of the health benefits of vitamins and, in particular, those trendy antioxidants, has found “no convincing evidence” of increased lifespan. In fact, vitamins A, E and beta-carotene could even increase a person’s chances of dying prematurely, according to scientists at Copenhagen University.

Posted on Apr 16, 2008 READ MORE


Failing the Troops

The same kinds of mismanagement and dysfunction that are at work in Iraq continue to plague veterans when they seek medical care at home.

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE


In Utero Inc.

Renting the wombs of poor women in foreign countries has become a business, but is it a good business?

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE


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