Health, Science & The Environment

Nature
12:00 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: January 29 - February 4, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user msandman

Poor Will’s Almanack for the Second Week of Late Winter.

Two days from now, on the 31st of January, the sun reaches a declination of 17 degrees 35 minutes, one fourth of its way to spring equinox.

Near this same day, a temperature pivot throws the entire northern and southern halves of the planet into reverse.

And average temperatures start to rise throughout the country.

Your personal thermometers not only mark that process at home, but almost everywhere.

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Nature
8:35 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: January 22 - 28, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user SlideshowBruce

Poor Will’s Almanack for the First Week of Late Winter.

Now the year is three weeks old, and Late Winter has begun. It often seems by this time of year that the cold will never end, and that the nights will never be short enough. But On January 27: The day's length (now growing at the rate of two minutes each 24 hours) reaches ten hours all along the 40th Parallel.

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Health, Science & The Environment
7:06 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Flu Shot Requirement Prompts Ohio Worker to Sue

A former Ohio hospital worker has filed a lawsuit after she was fired for refusing to get a flu shot because she's vegan.

Sakile Chenzira was a longtime customer service representative at Cincinnati Chidlren's Hospital.  She was fired in December 2010 after refusing to get the shot because she doesn't believe in consuming any animal products.

The flu vaccine contains a small amount of egg protein.

Chenzira filed a lawsuit against the hospital in 2011 alleging religious discrimination and seeking a minimum of $650,000.  The case is now set for trial in July.

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Origins Podcast
10:35 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Should Age Matter? How 65 Came to Be Old and Old Came to Be Ill

In 1942, when this photograph of an elderly Mennonite couple was shot in Pennsylvania, science and medicine were transforming the idea of old age by extending life expectancies and curing chronic disease.
Credit U.S. government photographer Marjory Collins

Baby boomers, 78 million strong, are turning 65 at a rate of 4 million per year. The press, the government, and the medical community claim, often and loudly, that these numbers augur a mass dependency crisis. Such spokesmen envision a world of decrepit elders afflicted with chronic disease slurping their way through the country’s resources. This month historian Tamara Mann explores how, in the United States, the so-called “geriatric crisis” is less related to age itself than to the relationship between old age and government funds, particularly Medicare.

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Nature
8:35 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: January 15 - 21, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user qwincowper

Poor Will’s Almanack for the Third Week of Deep Winter.

The moon turned new just a few days ago, and now that moon, the Cranefly Moon, watches over the swarms of tiny craneflies – that look a little like mosquitoes – and which are common at this time of year.

February’s moon is the Lenten Rose Moon. The Lenten Rose or hellebore, opens as aconites and snowdrops blossom. Maple sap runs when hellebores bloom, and most of the nation's lambs are born.

When the maple trees flower, under March’s Maple Blossom Moon, then the first wave of wildflowers opens in the woods.

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