The loneliness of an interrupted adolescence

The pandemic has punished people of all ages. But the emotional fallout for teenagers has been uniquely brutal. At just the age when they are biologically predisposed to seek independence from their families, teens have been trapped at home. Friends – who take on paramount importance during adolescence – are largely out of reach, accessible mostly by social media, which brings its own mix of satisfying and toxic elements. A June survey by the Centers for Disease Control found that a staggering 26 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds reported having serious suicidal thoughts in the past 30 days, compared with

Read more

The European countries with the strictest lockdowns have come out no better

Comparing the severity of various lockdown measures across Europe is complicated, with many factors at play. However, it is safe to say they have varied greatly. In France, citizens had to print out certificates before stepping foot outside, whereas in Sweden, everyday life appears to have carried on relatively unchanged. When we look at the number of Covid deaths per capita in these countries … France and Sweden are almost neck-and-neck [see graph]. And Spain’s draconian measures didn’t save it from recording far more fatalities than Austria, where the lockdown was comparatively relaxed. The health effects of these lockdowns will

Read more

Surge of Student Suicides Pushes Las Vegas Schools to Reopen

The reminders of pandemic-driven suffering among students in Clark County, Nev., have come in droves. Since schools shut their doors in March, an early-warning system that monitors students’ mental health episodes has sent more than 3,100 alerts to district officials, raising alarms about suicidal thoughts, possible self-harm or cries for care. By December, 18 students had taken their own lives. The spate of student suicides in and around Las Vegas has pushed the Clark County district, the nation’s fifth largest, toward bringing students back as quickly as possible. This month, the school board gave the green light to phase in

Read more

New report finds toxic heavy metals in popular baby foods. FDA failed to warn consumers of risk.

A congressional report found many of the products made by the country’s largest commercial baby food manufacturers contain significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, which can endanger infant neurological development. The report … from the House Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on economic and consumer policy found heavy metals in rice cereals, sweet potato puree, juices and sweet snack puffs made by some of the most trusted names in baby food. Gerber, Beech-Nut, HappyBABY (made by Nurture) and Earth’s Best Organic baby foods (made by Hain Celestial Group) complied with the committee’s request to submit

Read more

US marshals act like local police, but with more violence and less accountability

Detective Michael Pezzelle spent his last seven years on a suburban police force here amassing a body count. He was involved in shootings that wounded two people and killed five. Pezzelle faced no public consequences. He retired in 2018. Today, he trains police officers around the country to follow the kind of advice he shared on Instagram: “Be polite, be professional, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” During most of the years in question, [Pezzelle] was assigned to task forces run by the U.S. Marshals Service, an arm of the federal Justice Department. In recent years … marshals

Read more

Beijing Must Come Clean About COVID-19 Origins | Opinion

U.S. intelligence reports … suggest the Chinese People’s Liberation Army was conducting secret animal research with highly contagious viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, without notifying the World Health Organization even after the pandemic began. [This raises] new questions about the possible laboratory origins of COVID-19 that must be addressed. If sloppy biolab security or reckless military experimentation followed by a coverup were the proximate cause, we need to prioritize developing rules and safeguards to make a global pandemic less likely to happen again. If the origins are revealed to be more innocent – a virus jumping naturally from

Read more

The World Needs a Real Investigation Into the Origins of Covid-19

In the first week of January, scientists representing the World Health Organization (WHO) were due to arrive in China to trace the origins of Covid-19. Beijing denied entry to the investigators. China … relented and allowed the group to enter the country this week. The brief standoff highlights a more serious problem: the inadequacy of WHO’s current investigative framework for exploring all plausible origins of Covid-19. The world needs an inquiry that considers not just natural origins but the possibility that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, escaped from a laboratory. The WHO team, however, plans to build on reports

Read more

The Black Vault releases trove of CIA’s classified UFO documents

Thanks to The Black Vault, an online archive of declassified government documents, you can now dig through a massive trove of information the CIA has collected on UFOs over the years. The Black Vault’s John Greenewald Jr. posted the contents of a CD full of 2,780 pages of documents last week, the result of Greenewald’s many Freedom of Information Act requests. The CIA has occasionally declassified UFO-related documents over the years and even made a reading collection available online covering information from the 1940s through the early 1990s. Last year, the US Navy declassified documents and video connected

Read more

Humpback Whales Have Made a Remarkable Recovery, Giving Us Hope for the Planet

In the depths of the ocean, and out of sight for most of us, there’s a quiet miracle happening. Many humpback whale populations, previously devastated by commercial whaling, are making a comeback. A recent study on humpbacks that breed off the coast of Brazil and call Antarctic waters home during the summer has shown that these whales can now be found in the sort of numbers seen before the days of whaling. Records suggest that in the 1830s there were around 27,000 whales but, after heavy hunting, by the mid-1950s only 450 remained. It is reassuring to see what

Read more

A German city has created sleep pods for the homeless

Lots of homeless people may end up having to sleep on the streets and Winter time can be particularly tough. A German-based team is trying to tackle this head on. It’s installed sleeping pods across the German city of Ulm to provide the homeless with emergency shelter at night. The team … consists of six business people from Ulm with expert knowledge in designing and developing products. The pods, which are known as Ulster Nests, are made from wood and steel and are both windproof and waterproof. They’re designed to keep up to two people protected from the elements, including

Read more