Humanities

154/366: Parking Lot Sunset

Early in this photo-a-day thing I tried to get in the habit of bringing the camera with me when I ran errands, to get pictures of random interesting stuff outside of the immediate neighborhood of our house. I fell out of that, though, when it was actually cold, because I didn’t like leaving the camera…

153/366: Old School

Here in the US, we’re slowly transitioning to the European system of chip-based credit cards (I got email at work saying that my new card there will actually be chip-and-PIN, wonder of wonders). This is not uniformly distributed yet, though, so about half of the retailers I deal with regularly want the chip, the other…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Federal laws fail to protect workers left out of state workers’ comp systems; electronics recycling workers and their families face dangerous lead poisoning risks; California farmworkers join forces with low-wage food service workers for better pay; and a worker who died during preparations for the Super Bowl is remembered.

152/366: Fun With Motion Blur

This one was a whole bunch of work for one smallish shot… So, in past rounds of “science-y things with my fancy camera,” I looked at the effect of ISO settings and apertures. This time out, I wanted to look at something moving, and the way that it blurs with increasing exposure time. My initial…

Hagbard’s Scaffold

Sweden’s bedrock has been entirely abraded by the inland ice. It sanded down the country like a big wood planer, leaving smooth lovely outcrops known as hällar all over the place. This is the main natural prerequisite of Sweden’s rich rock art tradition. Most of it dates from the Bronze Age, 1700–500 BC. Denmark hardly…

Economists have suggested that people with traditional insurance coverage over-consume healthcare because each doctor visit or lab test requires a relatively low co-payment. If we paid more for each service – had “skin in the game” – the thinking goes, we’d be more judicious about the healthcare we consume and shop around for the best value. But evidence is mounting that asking people to pay more for care doesn’t turn them into smarter shoppers.

151/366: Half an Oak

When Kate and I were looking for a house back in late 2002, one of the things that sold us on this place was the back yard. The lot is very deep, unusually so for this part of Niskayuna, so there’s a lot of space in the back yard, and it was pleasantly shaded by…

142-150/366: On-Deadline Catchup

I’ve been neglecting the photo-a-day thing for the last week-and-a-bit, but for a good reason: I had a deadline of, well, today, to finish a chapter I was asked to contribute to an academic book. And while I fully realize that actually hitting that deadline is not typical academic behavior, I have A Thing about…

In the midst of another national debate over gun safety regulations, some argue that higher rates of gun ownership will protect people from dangerous strangers with deadly intentions. Physician and public health researcher Michael Siegel set out to study that argument. He ultimately found no relationship between gun ownership and stranger-related firearm homicides. But he did find that gun ownership levels translated into higher homicide risks for one group in particular — women.

Each year, the U.S. spends $26.2 billion on costs associated with preterm birth — that’s birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Beyond the costs, babies born too early experience immediate and long-term problems, from developmental disabilities to asthma to hearing loss. For years, scientists have been studying possible environmental contributors, with many finding an association between preterm birth and air pollution. Earlier this week, a new study brought even more depth and clarity to this connection.