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Science Tips For Managing Stress At Thanksgiving

Sometimes people ask me if there is an evidence-based way to manage the stress of dealing with...

In A Pandemic World, Be Thankful For Pesticides

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The Average Kid Is Up To 8 Hours Of Digital Per Day, But Is That Bad?

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The Supply Chain Impact On Thanksgiving

In 1958, shortly after passage of a misguided law related to chemicals and food - a problem that...

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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 »

Coffee may be about to get its first significant upgrade in 600 years. That's not to say there haven't been efforts to modernize coffee production since its earliest days in Sufi shrines, but that has been mainly in technology. The pan, like you use in delicious Turkish coffee, gave way to a syphon, which used the awesome power of heat-created vacuum physics, then gave way to its opposite, using good old brute force for espresso, but since then it has been all refinement to make brewing easier. If you have ever used a syphon or a truly old espressso machine you know it can be an artistic endeavor getting it right. 
In the fall of 2003, Starbucks tested a new latte in two cities and autumn hasn't been the same since. The pumpkin spice craze was born. 

How did it all happen? We can thank free market economics. The company already had Christmas locked up with cups and flavors, like Peppermint Mocha and Eggnog latte, and wanted to do the same for Halloween. Or Thanksgiving. Whatever period lasts as long as Christmas seems to, they wanted to make money and the way to do that was to come up with something new, or at least new for their customers. 

Some cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove later and they had...pumpkin? Yep, except for some whipped cream on top there was no pumpkin in at all.
To most people, food production, home ownership, and energy don't have much in common, but in the hands of 'science is a corporate conspiracy' theorist Dave Goulson, humans are ruining the planet. The common cultural cancer underpinning of our problem, he believes, is capitalism.

Rachel Carson believed misuse of DDT was harming birds, Goulson claims our very existence is. And his solemn false dichotomy choice to prevent it is Draconian. Start culling the human herd or create a level of social authoritarianism that even John Holdren, Paul Ehrlich, and Anne Ehrlich didn't advocate in their book "Ecoscience." And they embraced eugenics.(1)
President Biden is using his Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) agency to mandate vaccines for companies - by saying they need it to protect workers' safety.
There is no question that COVID-19 is the worst pandemic of my lifetime. It has led to greater absolute US deaths than the Asian Flu of 1957 and the Spanish Flu of 1918, though obviously we are 2X and 3X the population, respectively, of those pandemics so in relative terms they remain way ahead.

Where we also lead over the two other large US pandemics of the last 100 years is fear and misinformation. That is due to corporate media. Thanks to corporate media, an anti-vaccination movement that was overwhelmingly Democrats two years ago has now lurched to being Republicans. Thanks to media, the risks of COVID-19 are so blown out of proportion that neither group has a real handle on facts. They are just yelling at each other.
The US military has quietly led to a lot of technological advancements that few know about. One recent example; before we had a serious COVID-19 infectious disease problem to worry about, the US National Institutes of Health tried to use Ebola in parts of Africa to ask Congress for $100 million in emergency funding to combat it. In the US. Where it did not exist.