Last month a jury in Colorado awarded 59-year-old Wayne Watson $7.2 million from three companies for damages caused by microwave popcorn. The reason? In 2007 Mr. Watson contracted a rare but serious lung disease.
"Smaller government" makes a swell sound bite, because it sounds like standing up against waste, inefficiency, and the quagmire of bureaucracy. But in the course of political harangues where sound bites prevail, it's often hard to tell exactly who is apt to get bitten.
The city of Pittsburgh, at one time, was so choked by coal pollution that Boston writer James Parton dubbed it "hell with the lid off." A series of vintage photos recently published in The Atlantic show city streets so dim with smog that you'd think a massive fire was smoldering nearby.
As a public health scientist and as a public citizen, and I have come to the conclusion that for the health of our families, the health of the environment, and the health of the people who work to put food on our dinner tables, we should stick with organic.
Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, all Americans can agree that our health care costs are unsustainable -- and the sooner we acknowledge that, the better. A new report from the Institute of Medicine reveals the truth about the way our health care dollars are spent.
Imagine the scene: a table with friends in a small Spanish restaurant tucked away in the corner of a Czech courtyard. An almost-empty pitcher of sangria, laughter and the sense of satisfaction that comes with eating more than enough (but not too much) paella.
Every election year, the two parties choose the agendas and issues to highlight and ballyhoo. Often it feels as though we citizens have little power to turn the conversation to the issues we want addressed.
After all, no one wants to lose their job or paycheck for being a good parent to a sick child or following doctor's orders when they themselves fall ill. And no one wants to be served flu with their food. So what's a big lobbyist to do?
Politicians love to tell us rags-to-riches stories. Democrats do; Republicans do. Independents probably do, too. Our president has one. So does our first lady. These tales ostensibly emphasize the American dream, and indeed they do -- but what of the generation in rags?
As a society, we still wear our sleep deprivation, and our ability to function on minimal rest, as a badge of honor. The most important change we could make to turn our collective sleep habits around? We could start taking sleep a whole lot more seriously.
I suspect those who ever lived under the brutal oppression of truly socialistic regimes must find the denigration of a Democratic administration's efforts to preserve some strands in a social safety net as "socialism" objectionable at best, appalling at worst.
The truth is, we don't know very much about sleep problems on a global level, particularly in developing nations. A new study addressed this gap in research and returned some striking results, estimating that as many as 150 million people worldwide suffer from sleep problems.