Comment-in-Brief: Mother’s Day

Mature Subject Matter: Reader Discretion Is Advised. Growing up, I’d tried to believe that I, too, was wanted by my parents. However, the realities of substance-use, abuse, neglect and abandonment made it clear that my existence was merely the unintended consequence of their actions. The only reason I’m here is because they didn’t have an …

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Does more than 2 hours of screen time really harm children’s brains?

It seems intuitive that children’s schoolwork will suffer if they spend too much time gazing at their phones instead of getting to bed or getting some exercise. And that is broadly what a recent study has found. But should parents be panicked into pulling the plug on their kids’ electronic devices. Jeremy Walsh at the …

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Publicly-Funded Superstition

Recently, public activities came to my attention which, given the source, I found both surprising and startling. The publicly-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) – a crown corporation which serves the public as the national broadcaster – is also a platform for superstition; disguised as astrology. By publishing weekly horoscopes, the CBC – worse than its …

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Sleep deprivation a particularly Japanese problem

A survey conducted this year using fitness trackers in 28 countries found that Japanese men and women sleep, on average, only six hours and 35 minutes a night, 45 minutes less than the international average, making them the most deprived sleepers in the world.   92.6% of Japanese over 20 said they were not getting enough …

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UK Health service plan risks more privatisation

From Gabriel Carlyle, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, UK To: New Scientist, 2 Feb 2019 Some health campaigners may have welcomed the launch of the UK government’s 10-year plan for the National Health Service (NHS) in England. But, for example, Youssef El-Gingihy, a doctor in east London and author of “How to Dismantle the NHS in …

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Stay out of other people’s bedrooms and private lives, please!

Family planning clinics that provide abortions or refer patients for abortions will not be eligible for certain federal funds under a new rule finalized by the Trump administration.  Under the rule, women’s health clinics must be “physically and financially” separate from abortion providers to be eligible for Title X Family Planning grants, which fund organizations …

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Some better news – about food

Several new, healthy GM foods are arriving, or about to arrive, offering health benefits, increased flavour and longer shelf-life. This is a list of them: Arctic apples, which went on sale in the US in November 2017, never go brown (Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc) Non-browning apples: Some people dislike eating fruit with discoloured flesh. This …

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India No.1: Violence against women

Several factors have been blamed for the rise in crimes against women in India. Some say it’s connected to the skewed sex ratio that has resulted from families selectively aborting female foetuses. This, and India’s “cultural prohibition against dating”, means that there are a multitude of sexually repressed young men roaming around, many of whom, …

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Price- guaging Big Pharma

Pharma executives have grown so comfortable, and so certain that the Trump Administration will back whatever they do, that they are still pricing Americans out of the life-saving prescriptions they need, and then justifying it in the name of shareholders’ rights. Nirmal Mulye, the CEO of Nostrum Laboratories, was the latest to do so: Nostrum …

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Surprising poll results

More than half of Republicans in a new American Barometer poll say they support “Medicare for all,” also known as a single-payer health-care system. The survey, conducted by Hill TV and the Harris polling company*, found that 52 percent of Republicans polled said they supported the option, while 48 percent said they opposed it. Twenty-five percent said they …

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Chipping away at our health

The Trump administration has quietly reshaped enforcement of air pollution standards in recent months through a series of regulatory memos. The memos are fulfilling the top wishes of industry, which has long called for changes to how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the nation’s factories, plants and other facilities. The EPA is now allowing …

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The crisis among young British youths

Yesterday, my colleague, Owen Bell, wrote a post about millennials and their attitudes. Today I would like to comment on the group coming up behind them, teenagers of both genders. More than 100,000 children aged 14 in the UK are self-harming, with one in four girls of this age having deliberately hurt themselves, according to …

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Over-diagnosis in medicine

Sometimes it can be better to do nothing. Some in the American medical profession are concerned about the dangers of overzealous medicine. There has been a trend towards detecting health problems too early, convincing healthy people they are sick, and treating them too aggressively. The latest research, published in December in the Journal of the …

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