“A Superfund site is land that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health or the environment. There are more than 1,300 Superfund sites in the United States.”
A step-by-step guide to finding a good therapist.
“Plumbism” is the technical term for lead poisoning. “Nearly 412,000 deaths every year in the US can be attributed to lead contamination.”
Women in science suffer less sexual harassment than in other fields.
Men are injecting the scrotums with saline solutions and air to temporarily enlarge their balls.
Study shows state pre-k programs have adverse effects on academic achievement.
“Spatial ability of the population of a country is correlated with economic wealth… Gender inequality of a country is predictive of gender differences in navigation ability”
“404 people with mental illness who have died in America’s jails since 2010…The federal government tallies more than 900 jail deaths a year. But it does not keep track of mental illness diagnoses.”
Ukrainian hackers have been hacking unpublished press releases from business newswires and selling them to stock traders for a cut of the sizable profits.
Cannabis is 22.5% cheaper on the West Coast than East.
“According to the U.S.D.A.’s Cost of Pollination Survey, an annual tracking of honeybee health and pollination costs that started in 2016, 1.7 million colonies were used to pollinate almond trees in 2016; an estimated two million colonies were needed in 2018.”
“The government is facing a severe shortage of skilled workers, especially in information technology and cyber security jobs. The conventional wisdom in branches of policy and public administration is that the shortage is driven by low salaries that are not competitive for attracting top talent… [However] if anything, government employees earn more than their private sector counterparts… a more plausible culprit behind the worker shortage in government is a lack of development opportunities and poor management.”
Alphabet reported 89,058 direct employees in 2018. The company potentially employees a similar amount of contract workers who don’t receive the same benefits as direct employees.
ARTS & CULTURE
Researchers use reverse correlation to average how a representative sample of American Christians visualize the face of God (and, in their contention, think about God’s mind).
Every 20 years, Japan’s Ise Grand Shrine is disassembled and built anew. “The wooden shrine has been rebuilt again and again for 1,200 years. Locals want to make sure that they don’t ever forget the production knowledge that goes into constructing the shrine. There’s a very clear sense that the older generation wants to teach the building techniques to the younger generation: ‘I will leave these duties to you next time.’”
Teen summer jobs have been steadily declining for the past half century.
The TSA’s “Quiet Skies” surveillance program tails 40 to 50 passengers on domestic flights each day, specifically targeting travelers who, “are not under investigation by any agency and are not in the Terrorist Screening Data Base [sic].”
California has banned local communities from instituting soda taxes. CA claims it was driven to this extreme by the soda industry’s threats to start a ballot proposition to ban local communities from instituting any new taxes at all without a two-thirds majority. Experts predicted such a proposition would be pass, and CA was forced to cave on the soda tax.
Building more housing may not reduce housing costs. The “supply-demand model ignores something important: the value of living in a particular place is greatly determined by how many people live around it. As the number of people living in a place increases, so does the value of being there. This is often labeled the “agglomeration effect”.”
The IRS could easily calculate how much each American citizen owes in taxes and send them the bill without any tax prep required, as is the case in many European countries. However, the makers of Intuit (TurboTax) and H&R Block have lobbied to derail any move toward such a system.
“The government predicts that in 2030, immigration will overtake new births as the dominant driver of population growth. About 15 years after that, America will phase into majority-minority status — for the first time in the nation’s history, non-Hispanic whites will no longer make up a majority of the population.”
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Nematodes on the Columbia space shuttle survived the craft’s explosion and a relatively unprotected reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Men and women are observed to have greater gender-specific behavioral shopping differences in countries with high gender equality.
90% of people entering the field of Psychology are women, and research on female-specific issues outweighs male-specific issues four-to-one.
A Colombian study shows that parental incarceration increases children’s educational attainment.
A list of 49 studies finding that campaign spending does not help candidates get elected.
Andrew Gelman reviews Bad Blood, the story of the medtech unicorn Theranos’s billion dollar rise and collapse, and draws parallels to science.
The Einstellung effect refers to a person’s predisposition to solve a given problem in a specific manner even though better or more appropriate methods of solving the problem exist. The Einstellung effect is the negative effect of previous experience when solving new problems.
Study shows 7 genetic factors contributing to heritability of socio-political views.
FOOD & DRINK
In Hong Kong, the number of people sleeping in McDonald’s has increased six-fold over the past five years. “Saving on air conditioning costs, as well as comfort and security, topped a list of reasons given by these interviewees, followed by high rents, conflict with family members, the ability to develop social relations at the chain and substandard housing. Other reasons included saving on transport costs and time to work, and seeking temporary shelter while waiting for low-rent public housing.”
The Discovery Channel’s After Hitler chronicles Germany in the years immediately following the close of WWII. When the war ended, 40m survivors were displaced and had to find their way home. The Allied held over 11m Axis POWs.
The word “orange”, referring to the color (or fruit), did not appear in print until the 16th-century. “Until they arrived [in Europe], there was no orange as such in the color spectrum. When the first Europeans saw the fruit they were incapable of exclaiming about its brilliant orange color.” (For the ultimate treatise on oranges: Oranges by John McPhee.)
The art, and often competitive nature, of high-end flytying can has created a blackmarket for expensive, rare, and sometimes illegal bird feathers. “Edwin Rist, a 20-year-old American, broke into the British Natural History Museum at Tring, one of the world’s greatest repositories of exotic birds. He stuffed a suitcase with nearly 300 of the rarest, most dazzling species—the magnificent riflebird, the resplendent quetzal, the superb bird of paradise, among others—and vanished.” Rist’s odd heist is chronicled in The Feather Thief.
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