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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I founded Science 2.0® in 2006 and since then it has become the world's largest independent science communications site, with over 300,000,000 direct readers and reach approaching one billion. Read More »

It's that time of year when activists, academics, and social media mavens hoping for media coverage begin to promote worry about Thanksgiving. 

Some risks are real, even if relatively slight; a lot more people driving mean more accidents and if you have a family member who is an International Agency for Research on Cancer epidemiologist, they will ignore the greater amount of driving and just tell you that Thanksgiving is deadly.(1) Food safety matters. Turkey should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit and ham 145, but anyone telling you that in a press release might as well be taking the bold stand of endorsing clean water.
Microplastics are a kernel of biological concern that gets magnified by hype, like endocrine "disrupting" chemicals or weedkillers detectable in breast milk. In modern times, we can detect anything in anything, so the 'zero' levels of the 1960s no longer exist, because testing is 1,000,000 times more sensitive than it was in the past.
Government forces automobile companies to sell electric cars - and then forces all taxpayers to subsidize the purchases. With mandates and subsidies, there is no free market and that means companies primarily want to make the cars that will generate the most profit, which means the most expensive. The opposite of capitalism.
Like the CDC manufacturing a prediabetes epidemic and pregnant women getting a scarlet letter if they have a glass of wine while pregnant, flossing seems to be a distinctly American phenomenon. Are we right? The British are famous for bad teeth, for example, and fiscal conservatives will say that's because dental care is not free under their socialized medicine. They must not floss, right?

Well, they don't, but it may not matter. Most people in Europe who have great teeth don't floss. They think it is humorous that we pull string through our teeth the same way European women wonder why their babies don't have more birth defects if a glass of wine causes fetal alcohol syndrome.
The biggest shopping day of the year is not Amazon Prime Day, nor is it Black Friday, it is instead on November 11th - Singles Day.

China has so many unmarried people they turned it into a shopping celebration.

In Sweet Lemons Rationalization, if you are unable to find someone worth marrying, you can declare you don't want to get married anyway.  If I say I don't want to date Heidi Klum, it is empowering and therefore not an insult that she does not date me.

That is the case with a growing number of Americans.
Halloween is the time of year when you are most likely to find out your significant other is a vampire - or vampire hunter. Sure, vampires can't be real and never have been, there can't really be hunters for those any more than there are ghost hunters, but History Channel is stuffed with people hunting ghosts, so let's light a science candle rather than curse your supernatural darkness and tell you how to get rid of your partner's garlic breath after they return from a night of slaying.