Portland’s Congressman Loves Pot, Hates Science

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Ahh, Portland: The city that shakes its fist in defiance at the 21st Century by stubbornly┬árefusing to fluoridate its water supply and believing that wi-fi is killing its children. Given that Portland’s citizens have a troubled relationship with reality, it perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise that the city’s congressman does, too. Continue reading

Americans Hate Fruits and Vegetables

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Americans think fruits and veggies suck. That, essentially, is the conclusion of a new CDC report which finds that the average American simply does not eat enough of the healthy stuff. And it’s not like the federal dietary recommendations are particularly burdensome; merely 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day are considered adequate for a healthy diet. Despite this, the vast majority of Americans fall short, preferring instead to lick donuts like Ariana Grande. Continue reading

Mortality Gap: Why Women Live Longer than Men

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

In every single country on the planet, women live longer than men. In response to this unpleasant fact, men are fond of replying, “That’s because we have to put up with women.” Humorous though it may be, that’s not the actual reason women live longer than men. In fact, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th Century that the “mortality gap” between men and women became so striking. Continue reading

Creative People Really Are a Little Crazy

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

The notion that highly creative people tend to be eccentric or even a little “crazy” is not just a stereotype. New research in the journal Nature Neuroscience has shown that people who are genetically predisposed toward schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are likelier to be artists or a member of the creative professions. Continue reading

Suicides in U.S. Are Up, Especially in Rural Areas

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Suicide remains a deeply strange phenomenon. Its disturbing nature is likely bolstered by what we perceive to be a grotesque violation of our basic biological strive for survival. Though biomedical science has exterminated many of the ailments which cut human life short in previous generations, it has yet to conquer the demons that haunt our minds. Suicide is a problem in rich and poor countries alike, and perhaps the most paradoxical study of the subject found that suicide rates tend to be highest in places with the highest levels of happiness. Continue reading

Literature Review Links Coffee & Bladder Cancer

This article was originally published on RealClearScience.

The most interesting man in the world has nothing on coffee, which is the most interesting beverage in the world. Coffee continues to be the subject of countless studies, some more serious than others. Thanks both to science and intrepid entrepreneurs, for instance, we have learned the chemistry of perfect coffee, thebest time of day to partake, and why drip coffee is likelier to spill than a latte. You may think that coffee and pooping have nothing in common, but you would be wrong. Again, thanks to science, we know why it is worthwhile to pluck beans out of elephant dung, why coffee makes you poop, and why coffee should go in your mouth, not your butt. If all of that isn’t enough, you can now take coffee classes at some universities. Continue reading

Thinking About Sex vs. Actually Doing It

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

People put an awful lot of effort into having sex. Other than hunger, thirst, and seeking shelter, it is perhaps the strongest urge that humans have. It’s no wonder that young men spend time in the gym and buy fancy sports cars; equally, it’s no wonder that young women spend hours in front of the mirror and buy lots of clothing. We have a strong biological impulse to get laid, and these are the most widespread ideas we have to accomplish that. Continue reading