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Snow job

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The message was taped to the windshield of a pickup truck parked on a public street:

“This parking space did not magically shovel itself! Be considerate of your neighbors and other people in the neighborhood. DON’T steal parking spaces that people worked for several hours to clear.”

The parking space didn’t magically pave itself, either — the taxpayers, presumably including the owner of the pickup truck, paid for that — but that point seems to have eluded the anonymous author of this angry missive.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Shooting the messenger

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A disturbing trend has emerged. Not content with using our money to saturate the airwaves with commercial messages touting the benefits of their wares, the drug companies and their allies have taken to smearing anyone who questions the values of their nostrums as not just misguided souls but killers.

A paper that appeared this month in the European Heart Journal exemplifies this trend…

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Hawk Mountain

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A marsh hawk comes zooming up from the valley below, executes a perfect hairpin turn, then vanishes.

I don’t even try reaching for my camera, knowing there are some moments in life that cannot be photographed.

I’m at the North Lookout at Hawk Mountain, Pa., home of the world’s oldest sanctuary for birds of prey.

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Photo by author

Are statin news stories hazardous to your health?

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Are negative news stories about statins hazardous to your health?

Some Danish researchers wanted to find an answer to that question…

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Chantix: For people who are dying to quit smoking

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Lawrence Krystynak still remembers the night his wife Nora went missing.

Mr. Krystynak and Nora had been married for twenty years. They lived with their son Alexei in Cleveland, Ohio, and Mr. Krystynak’s elderly father had recently come to stay with them as well.

Nora worked as a nurse, and in her spare time she enjoyed quilting and knitting. “She was spectacular,” Mr. Krystynak reminisces. “Made all kinds of stuff for her friends, and her friends’ babies. She was just a great kid. A great person. A fantastic individual.”

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Making us all sick

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A study published in this month’s New England Journal of Medicine is the latest bid in the medical industry’s ongoing campaign literally to make us all sick.

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The Iceman cameth

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In his laboratory at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., Dr. Dennis Stanford hands me a slab of brown plaster. In his laboratory at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., Dr. Dennis Stanford hands me a slab of brown plaster. It’s a replica of a bone fragment – from a mastodon or a giant ground sloth – recovered from Vero Beach, Florida. On the slab is an etching of a mastodon, placed there by some unknown artist. The bone has become mineralized, making radiocarbon dating impossible, but we do know that the last mastodons disappeared from eastern North America some 12-13,000 years ago, making the etching at least that old. It could be much older than that, which would make this artifact part of a growing body of evidence that could overturn everything scientists once thought they knew about the peopling of the Americas.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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