Sunday, June 4, 2023

The thinking error that makes people susceptible to climate change denial

  Cold spells often bring climate change deniers out in force on social media, with hashtags like #ClimateHoax and #ClimateScam. Former President Donald Trump often chimes in, repeatedly claiming that each cold snap disproves the existence of global warming.

  From a scientific standpoint, these claims of disproof are absurd. Fluctuations in the weather don’t refute clear long-term trends in the climate.

  Yet many people believe these claims, and the political result has been reduced willingness to take action to mitigate climate change.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

The unbearable allure of cringe

  Why can’t you stop watching TV shows, movies, or viral videos that make you cringe?

  Cringe is the feeling you get when your boss cracks a joke in a meeting and no one laughs. It’s when your kid shoots a soccer ball and it misses the net by … a lot. It’s when you watch Kendall Roy from “Succession” awkwardly rap on stage at a celebration honoring his dad’s 50 years at the helm of the family company.

Friday, June 2, 2023

More than two dozen cities and states are suing Big Oil over climate change – they just got a boost from the US Supreme Court

  Honolulu has lost more than 5 miles of its famous beaches to sea level rise and storm surges. Sunny-day flooding during high tides makes many city roads impassable, and water mains for the public drinking water system are corroding from saltwater because of sea level rise.

  The damage has left the city and county spending millions of dollars on repairs and infrastructure to try to adapt to the rising risks.

  Future costs will almost certainly be higher. More than US$19 billion in property value, at today’s dollars, is at risk by 2100 from projected sea level rise, driven by greenhouse gas emissions largely from the burning of fossil fuels. Elsewhere in Honolulu County, which covers all of Oahu, many coastal communities will be cut off or uninhabitable.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Trans joy and family bonds are big parts of the transgender experience lost in media coverage and anti-trans legislation

  Since the beginning of 2023, 49 U.S. state legislatures have introduced over 500 anti-trans bills. While mainstream media increasingly cover violence and legislative attacks against trans people, many scholars and activists worry that focusing just on violence and discrimination fails to capture the full experience of being trans.

  Drawing on the success of movements like the Black Joy Project, which uses art to promote Black healing and community-building, trans activists are challenging one-dimensional depictions of their community by highlighting the unique joys of being transgender.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Paid leave is an essential investment in retirement security

  Americans need paid leave throughout their working lives to ensure they can pay their bills when a serious health need strikes, a new child arrives, or military deployment looms. Recognizing this, states across the country are looking to start their own paid leave programs or build upon programs that already exist—even as work continues in the fight for paid leave at the federal level. Yet it is also important to recognize, particularly as some congressional Republicans such as the House Republican Study Committee discuss cuts to Medicare and Social Security, that paid leave’s positive effects on economic security go far beyond individuals’ immediate periods of need. Paid leave helps working families—and particularly women—stay on track for secure and prosperous retirements.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

One easy way to fight antibiotic resistance? Good hand hygiene

  Can washing your hands help stop the evolution of antibiotic resistance? Mathematically, it’s possible.

  Antibiotics save lives by killing bacteria that cause infections. But antibiotics don’t just kill infection-causing bacteria or stay in the area of the body where the infection is occurring. Instead, antibiotics spread across the body and inhibit or kill any sensitive bacteria they encounter.

Monday, May 29, 2023

The forgotten history of Memorial Day

  In the years following the bitter Civil War, a former Union general took a holiday originated by former Confederates and helped spread it across the entire country.

  The holiday was Memorial Day, and today's commemoration marks the 155th anniversary of its official nationwide observance. The annual commemoration was born in the former Confederate States in 1866 and adopted by the United States in 1868. It is a holiday in which the nation honors its military dead.

  Gen. John A. Logan, who headed the largest Union veterans’ fraternity at that time, the Grand Army of the Republic, is usually credited as being the originator of the holiday.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Military drones are swarming the skies of Ukraine and other conflict hot spots – and anything goes when it comes to international law

  Loud explosions rock the evening sky. Streaks of light appear like comets. Missiles rain down. Below, people scramble for cover. The injured are taken on stretchers – the dead, buried.

  That is daily life in Ukraine, where pilotless vehicles known as drones litter the sky in an endless video gamelike – but actually very real – war with Russia.

  Both Russia and Ukraine are using drones in this war to remotely locate targets and drop bombs, among other purposes.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

ChatGPT-powered Wall Street: The benefits and perils of using artificial intelligence to trade stocks and other financial instruments

  Artificial Intelligence-powered tools, such as ChatGPT, have the potential to revolutionize the efficiency, effectiveness, and speed of the work humans do.

  And this is true in financial markets as much as in sectors like health care, manufacturing, and pretty much every other aspect of our lives.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Empowerment, individual strength and the many facets of love: why I fell for Tina Turner

  For singers – amateur and professional alike – the name Tina Turner evokes instant reverence: Turner is a singer’s singer and perhaps the performer’s performer.

  A highly successful songwriter, the consummate dancer and fittingly ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine, Turner was the ultimate entertainer.

  Upon hearing of her death, I was deeply saddened. I immediately recalled the intoxicating power and timbre of her voice, her mesmerizing energy, and her commanding performances.