A reminder to wash your hands

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There are patients for whom we have no therapy, and we are literally in a position of having a patient in a bed who has an infection, something that five years ago even we could have treated, but now we can’t…

via Dr. Arjun Srinivasan: We’ve Reached “The End of Antibiotics, Period” | Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria | FRONTLINE | PBS.

 

On silly people

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Once again, the problem is not an absence of intelligence; the problem is having too much intelligence to add up intelligently.

via Adam Gopnik: The Assassination of J.F.K., Fifty Years Later : The New Yorker.

 

New life for death

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Already No. 1 in death care in North America, SCI expects by early 2014 to ingest the next-largest chain, Stewart Enterprises STEI, based in New Orleans. In one gulp, SCI will grow to 2,168 locations. If the $1.4 billion transaction gets antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission, the combined company would control some 15 percent of the U.S. industry, with much larger shares of prime markets in Florida, Texas, and California. In West Palm, a mecca for retirement and therefore death, the Stewart merger would add a ninth business to the SCI stable, translating to more than 60 percent of the local market.

via Is Funeral Home Chain SCIs Growth Coming at the Expense of Mourners? – Businessweek.

 

Spying means never having to say you’re sorry.

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“This is the time for leadership, it is not a time to apologize,”

via N.S.A. Head Says European Data Was Collected by Allies – NYTimes.com.

 

Getting used to getting malaria

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…thanks to the immunity acquired through continuous exposure, she is much less likely to die of it. For her and millions of other adults in sub-Saharan Africa’s malaria-ridden heartland, the disease becomes something that comes and goes on its own.

via Sonia Shah | Inside the Troubled Global Campaign to Eradicate Malaria | Foreign Affairs.

 

Wake up!

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It was only in 1956 that General Electric-Telechron released the Snooz-Alarm, which came equipped with a control bar for snoozing. Westclox released their Drowse Alarm three years later, which featured the choice between snoozing for five minutes and 10 minutes. There is so much more truth in advertising with drowse than snooze, since what you get with each interval is less like sleeping and more like drowsing—a pitiful mix of hazy, haunted wakefulness.The original Snooz-Alarm had a nine-minute snooze, which became the standard, though there is not much consensus about what dictated that arbitrary interval. There is some speculation that engineers were constrained by mechanical gears and had to choose between complicated double-digit intervals and the easier nine-minute dose. Nine minutes was the most you could get without designing a more sophisticated mechanism. For all the customizable features of modern alarms, from radio stations, specific songs, a multitude of tones, user-recorded messages, it’s surprising that no one has allowed us the freedom of timing our own snoozing for something less regulated than nine minutes.A stitch in time may save nine, but every nine minutes of snooze wastes a little slice of our lives. Since 1956, we have been confusing snooze for sleep, sacrificing our waking life nine minutes at a time. Not only do we delay the start of our days, but we compromise the very sleep we are trying to steal. The healthy, continuous sleep cycles we need are thoroughly disrupted by the snooze. When we hear the first sound of the alarm, our bodies release adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that wake us, interrupting our natural sleep cycle to make us alert.

via The Devil Is in Your Snooze Button.

 

Debunking and deficits

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In the 2014 fiscal year, which began at the start of this month, the federal deficit is expected to come in at just 3.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That’s down from 10.1 per cent of G.D.P. in 2009, when the Great Recession was at its height. And next fiscal year, the deficit will fall even further, to 2.1 per cent of G.D.P. No, you didn’t misread those figures. When President Obama says, as he did the other day, that the deficit has been cut in half, he is substantially understating what has happened in the past two or three years.

via Slaying the Deficit Bogeyman : The New Yorker.

 

On epidemics

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By 2030, according to the Global Burden of Disease study, road accidents will be the fifth leading cause of death in the developing world, ahead of malaria, tuberculosis and H.I.V.

via Africa’s Trauma Epidemic – NYTimes.com.