Collectively we are all guilty of perpetuating misleading “facts”.

From the Harvard Gazette: We are all too ready to judge the world though anecdotes, images and distorted reporting designed to sell news, rather than quietly studying the actual facts.  Some examples:    –   Trump refers to American “carnage” in an era in which violent crime rates are close to historical lows. Bush created …

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A statistic that needs no comment

Out of England’s 334 high-rise blocks of flats with the same cladding as Grenfell Tower, 69 have so far had it removed.  ( U.K Ministry of Housing) (The cladding on Grenfell Tower turned out to be flammable.  Scores of people were trapped in the burning high-rise apartment block on 14 June 2017 and were killed)

The death penalty

The American Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday that it will resume capital punishment for the first time in nearly two decades. Only three federal executions have taken place since 1988, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. All five of the death-row inmates named in Thursday’s release were convicted for the murders of children. …

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The allure of handwriting

“We are more than ever obsessed with individual identity, our personal brand, putting our stamp on the world. But we bow to the plain text of the smartphone, bland and unblotted. A WhatsApp message will never have the personality of a sibling’s spider-scribble. Digital communication can never match the intimacy of a handwritten letter. If …

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Good news – A quick scan for prostate cancer

A new non-invasive MRI scan for prostate cancer could “revolutionise” diagnosis of the disease, scientists have claimed. Men in the UK aren’t screened for prostate cancer because the existing blood test – which looks for raised levels of the protein PSA – is unreliable. Most men with raised PSA levels don’t have cancer, but must …

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Environmental concerns begin with population

Letter to The Guardian: “Your article on “zero heroes” ( e.g zero emission champions) was worthy but it tiptoed around the main factor causing increased global pollution: increasing human numbers.  Progressives often parade their environmental concerns loudly, but are strangely silent on the question of population growth.  How can we get on top of warming …

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Big company mismanagement: don’t fly British Airways!

We were on our way home from Catania airport, Sicily, on a British Airways flight.  It turned out that BA had transported 18 disabled people from Gatwick airport – in wheelchairs –  to Sicily, and that these same people were on our return flight.  ( I hope they enjoyed themselves) Now you would think that …

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The war against antibiotic resistance: Part 2, the good news

The threat posed by antibiotic resistance has finally got through to governments.  98 new formulations are being tested in animals, and nearly two-thirds attack bacteria differently from older drugs, increasing their chance of success. In May this year, the UK government will  pay two companies to bring new anti-microbial drugs to market. The price of …

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138 surgeries close their doors

GPs have blamed under-resourcing and recruitment difficulties as surgery closures across the UK reach an all- time high, affecting an estimated half a million patients last year. According to research by the medical website Pulse, 138 surgeries shut their doors in 2018, compared with just 18 in 2013. Data released under freedom of information by …

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