Science & Society

A new paper has found that criminal masterminds have been engaging in creating future henchmen starting at the earliest ages - Kindergarten.

Suitable candidates are carefully placed in Kindergarten where they develop vast academic and social networks so that when they begin their lives of crime, they have friends in all the right places. 

BP’s annual Energy Outlook report, released in February, details the results from modelling of what it sees as the “most likely” energy scenario out to 2035. In this scenario global fossil use increases by 33%, consistent with a scenario the International Energy Agency (IEA) uses to describe the trajectory towards global warming of 6C – far beyond the accepted “safe” limit of 2C.

Cigarette smoking is down, thanks to fines and taxes on cigarette companies that fund anti-smoking campaigns - but hookah (water pipe) use is up. A new paper in Cancer Causes and Control worries that almost one in four high school seniors may try smoking hookah and 78,200 youth are current water pipe users.

Water pipes work by bubbling tobacco smoke through water, leading some users to believe that they carry less risk than cigarettes. The study, which analyzed data from the national 2012-2013 Youth Smoking Survey, found that over a third of youth believe it is less harmful to smoke tobacco in a water pipe than smoking a cigarette. 

Verbal abuse, aggressive behavior, criminal damage to objects are expected in certain professions but hardly anyone includes doctors, although they are exposed to such incidents - and not just in dictatorships or the developing world. 

Florian Vorderwülbecke and colleagues writing in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2015; 112: 159-65) investigate how often acts of violence and aggression against primary care physicians are committed in Germany. They surveyed 1500 doctors, asking which assaults they had been exposed to, and where these took place, among other questions. 

If you watch the season finale of The Walking Dead this Sunday, the story will likely evoke events from previous episodes, while making references to an array of minor and major characters. Such storytelling devices belie the show’s simplistic scenario of zombie survival, but are consistent with a major trend in television narrative.

I wouldn't have thought a reason to ban the type of pesticides called neonicotinoids ("neonics"), which replaced broad spectrum organophosphate pesticides with a product similar to nicotine that naturally acts on specific receptors in the nerve synapses of some insects but is harmless to anything else, would be because politicians can't pronounce "varroa mites", yet environmentalists living in the modern Food Babe-ish 'if you can't pronounce it, you shouldn't eat it' world have made that more and more plausible. 
The Mediterranean diet became a health fad when epidemiologists looked at a region in Europe and determined that their lower heart disease was due to more fish.

A new paper uses a debunked claim "it takes a gallon of gas to make a pound of beef" and uses that to declare that a new diet would reduce global warming. The authors from the University Hospital Complex of Huelva, Jaume I University of Castellón and the University of Huelva compared the daily menus in Spain, based on a roughly Mediterranean diet, to those eaten in English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom and the US.
It's been a decade since the Northern Nigeria polio vaccination boycott of polio eradication efforts and a new report examines global issues affecting vaccine confidence and hesitation since the new millennium. Unfortunately they include  the countries of Britain, India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Georgia but don't delve into anti-vaccination sentiment in American states like California and Oregon.

On Monday, Cameron revealed that he would not be seeking a third term as PM.

He chose an informal interview with the BBC’s deputy political editor, James Landale, as the platform for his surprise announcement.The announcement caused feverish media speculation about his motivation for dropping this political bombshell, and the consequences for the electoral fortunes of the Conservative Party.

The Fermi Paradox roughly states that: The universe is both big enough and old enough to have birthed advanced civilizations.

Statistically, we are likely not the first. Far older super ETs should have left super artifacts around for us to find, by intention or not.

The observational evidence, however, strongly suggests otherwise.