This winter solstice, Dec. 21st, you'll be able to see something no one has seen since the Middle Ages; Jupiter and Saturn will appear so close together in Earth’s night sky they will look like a double planet.

While we orbit the sun each year, Jupiter needs 12 and Saturn 30, which means every 20 years or so Jupiter laps Saturn, and on December 21st, 2020, the two planets will be just a tenth of a degree apart, less than the diameter of the moon. The two largest planets in our solar system will look to some like a double planet from science fiction. 
A new meta-analysis finds what scientists outside the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health have long known - alternatives to medicine, now called Integrative Medicine after failing as Complementary and Alternative Medicine after failing as Traditional Medicine after failing as Folk Medicine, are not just useless, they are ecologically reckless.
Charles Darwin and many others knew about the wing loss habit of island insects and debated famed botanist Joseph Hooker as to why. Darwin's position was simple that an insect on an island that flies is at more risk of being blown out to sea. Those left on land to produce the next generation are those most reluctant to fly, and eventually evolution follows behavior.
Buprenorphine, a lifesaving opioid addiction medicine, is FDA-approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in pregnant women, but doctors need an X-waiver, a certification that allows them to prescribe opioid treatment medications.

Buprenorphine is a "partial-agonist" which soothes the brain's cravings for opioids by partially activating opiate receptors, and binding to them tightly, decreasing the risk of fatal overdoses. 
Obtaining an X-waiver requires training, but it's only eight hours for physicians and 24 hours for nurse-practitioners and physician assistants. 

If intelligent aliens visit the Earth, it would be one of the most profound events in human history.

Surveys show that nearly half of Americans believe that aliens have visited the Earth, either in the ancient past or recently. That percentage has been increasing. Belief in alien visitation is greater than belief that Bigfoot is a real creature, but less than belief that places can be haunted by spirits.

For the (likely going to be dramatically unsuccessful) series "Questions you would have liked your son asked you when you visited CERN together", I feature today a rather unconventional curiosity about LHC and neutrino physics. The source of inspiration for this is a coffee-time conversation I had long ago, I don't even remember with whom - probably a colleague. Anyway, that's the least interesting bit of the whole matter.



The LHC is...
Every pharmacy has a section devoted to products that are not scientifically known to do anything at all, they could never pass FDA scrutiny on their claims, but they don't need to and pharmacies are in business to make money. And in places like Washington, DC, California, and New York, the public overwhelmingly believes in supplements as alternatives to medicine, so carrying fish oil, ginkgo, ginseng and other products that claim to be memory boosters and prevent "cognitive decline" is just listening to the market.
Results from the STatin Residual Risk Reduction With EpaNova in HiGh CV Risk PatienTs With Hypertriglyceridemia (STRENGTH) double-blind, randomized, multicenter trial from 2014 to 2020 found that in patients with high cardiovascular risk, supplements of Omega-3 Fatty Acids were no better for outcomes than plain old vegetable oil.
A new study finds that unless you are suffering a life-threatening illness, the worst place to go if you want to avoid exposure to coronavirus is to a doctor. You instead should hope you have a "non-essential" job, just not so non-essential you don't get paid.

It's obvious that that those working in healthcare roles are at heightened risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 and therefore COVID-19, but it has not been clear what the risks might be compared to those working in other sectors.
While a loud minority says there needs to be lockdowns for the foreseeable future, they are often government-funded workers whose jobs are secure - and they are not thinking about the mental health issues, including among children.

Social distancing and school closures are thought to have badly affected children's mental health but there has been little hard evidence to substantiate it, largely because of a lack of good baseline data for the same children collected before the first lockdowns in March. There was no reason. Everyone believed this would be three weeks, not a year or more as President-Elect Joe Biden is saying he intends to implement.