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Thursday, December 18 2014

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Firearm violence trends in the 21st century

While the overall death rate from firearm violence has remained unchanged for more than a decade, the patterns for suicide and homicide have changed dramatically, a UC Davis study on the epidemiology of gun violence from 2003 to 2012 has found. The study posted online in the Annual Review of Public Health on Dec. 12 and will appear in the print edition in January.

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The Science of Why Some People Don't Believe in Climate Science (VIDEO)

Here’s what psychologists and sociologists have to say about why some people don’t believe in climate science.

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FOUR PAWS launches web tool to help consumers choose animal-friendly down

FOUR PAWS has today launched a unique new web tool which shows consumers how some of the world’s biggest outdoor clothing and equipment brands are performing in terms of the animal welfare standards in the down they use in their products.

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The surprising history of tinsel (video)

It's been a holiday decoration staple for decades, and it turns out that silver stuff hanging from your tree has quite a storied past. Tinsel has been made out of everything from real silver, to lead to other dangerously flammable materials. This week's Speaking of Chemistry decks your halls with the history of tinsel.

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Forget Shouting: Guide to Productive Family Arguments Over Holidays

While many people try to steer clear of arguments with family members during holiday celebrations, two Vanderbilt University philosophy professors offer a better solution

Scott F. Aikin and Robert B. Talisse co-wrote Why We Argue (and How We Should): A Guide to Political Disagreement.

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Unleash Your Inner Scientist: A Formula for Success

For his first two books, Chad Orzel turned to Emmy, his trusty German shepherd mix, to help explain complex scientific issues.

The results, How to Teach Physics to Your Dog and How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog, proved to be a clever and popular way to dissect those difficult subjects.

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Top Five Holiday Gifts to Help Birds

Looking for that last-minute gift for someone who cares about birds? With 45 million Americans who enjoy bird watching, there certainly is a demand for such products. The experts at American Bird Conservancy have a few suggestions that can help solve that gift-giving dilemma and make a real difference for the thousands of bird species that call the Americas home.

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Study Explores Ku Klux Klan's Impact on U.S. Political System

The Ku Klux Klan’s failure to defeat the black civil rights moment is well documented, but the group’s lesser-known legacy may be its lasting impact on the U.S. political system, according to a paper published in the December issue of the American Sociological Review.

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Keep fire safety in mind as you deck the halls this holiday season

As you deck your halls this holiday season, make sure to keep fire safety in mind. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home candle and decoration fires peak in December. Nearly half of all holiday decoration fires occur because the decorations are placed too close to a heat source, with two out of every five home decoration fires started by candles.

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Mediterranean diet linked to longer life

The Mediterranean diet has been consistently linked with health benefits, including reduced mortality and reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease.

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35 U.S. hospitals designated as Ebola treatment centers

An increasing number of U.S. hospitals are now equipped to treat patients with Ebola, giving nationwide health system Ebola readiness efforts a boost. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state health officials have identified and designated 35 hospitals with Ebola treatment centers, with more expected in the coming weeks.

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Justice affected by dialects

As outrage over the shooting deaths of African-American teens continues to fill the airwaves, Stanford linguistics Professor John Rickford says more attention needs to be paid to prejudices toward language differences in the judicial system.

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NIH, CDC: Nearly 55 percent of U.S. infants sleep with potentially unsafe bedding

Nearly 55 percent of U.S. infants are placed to sleep with bedding that increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, despite recommendations against the practice, report researchers at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other institutions.

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Enter the BirdSpotter Photo Contest

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's BirdSpotter photo contest is underway! The contest is sponsored by Vanguard and offers weekly prizes for the photos that receive the most votes on the contest website. Special "Judge's Choice" photos are also recognized.

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Avoid an Uninvited Guest This Thanksgiving: Food Poisoning

Do you know how to cook your turkey so your family doesn't cry foul? A Kansas State University food safety expert has tips on how to make the holidays tasty and avoid a serving of foodborne illness.

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15th Annual Holiday Spending Survey Finds Consumer Likely to Rein in Holiday Spending

More consumers report lower intended holiday spending in 2014 compared to 2013, according to the 15th annual holiday spending survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

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Too much turkey: What happens when you overeat? (video)

The season of giving is often also the season of over-indulging at the dinner table. As Thanksgiving approaches, Reactions takes a look down at our stomachs to find out what happens when you overeat.

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Nonbelievers Offer Godless Alternatives to Thanksgiving Prayer

The American Humanist Association is offering resources for humanists, atheists, agnostics and other non-religious individuals wishing to offer secular versions of Thanksgiving grace this holiday season.

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Day 25 of Eleven-year-old Indigenous Eco-Rapper's Silent Strike Calling for Climate Action

Itzcuauhtli Roske-Martinez (pronounced "eat-squat-lee,"), an 11-year-old indigenous eco-rapper, is in his fourth week of silence to demand science-based climate action. He asks why kids should "go to school and learn all this stuff if there is not going to be a world worth living in? The so-called "leaders" are failing us. We now face a crisis that threatens everyone's future. I'm taking a vow of silence until world leaders take action. When I say world leaders, I mean us. Maybe it's up to youth." Judging by the hundreds of thousands of hits his site is getting, kids seem to agree. More than 1000 have vowed to join his Dec. 10th Day of Silence.

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The dangers of coal mining for fifth graders -- and members of Congress -- in under 2 minutes (VIDEO)

Who said education was boring? Today, the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign unveiled a short video highlighting the dangers of coal-fired power plants. In one minute and forty-two seconds, viewers will be entertained while getting schooled on the dangers of dirty coal plants, the advantages of clean energy sources, and the need to move the country beyond coal.

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Public Service Broadcasting - Gagarin (Video)

Public Service Broadcasting unveil the video for the first single from their upcoming second album, 'The Race For Space'. A brassy, funk-heavy superhero theme song for the most famous man in the world at the time, ‘Gagarin’ reveals a new side to the band – not least their considerable dancing skills.

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Don't Get Burned This Thanksgiving Holiday

Is Thanksgiving dinner a recipe for disaster? Thanksgiving Day has more than double the number of home cooking fires than an average day, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. More than 4,000 fires occur annually on Thanksgiving as celebrants deep-fry turkeys, boil potatoes, bake pies and more.

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Family Mealtime Isn’t Just For Thanksgiving

With the holidays quickly approaching, many families are making plans to dine together. Most do not realize that eating as a family is important year round, not just on these special occasions. When families eat meals together children tend to have better grades in school, less behavioral problems, and improved communication skills. Other benefits of families regularly eating together include eating meals that are more likely to be nutritious, as well as family members being less likely to snack on unhealthy foods. It has also been shown that family meals promote an increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Whether it’s Thanksgiving Day or just another regular Thursday, try sitting down and having a meal with your family. Check out the following tips for ideas on how to have family meals at your house.

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The chemistry of cats: On catnip, pheromones and kitty litter (video)

They are seemingly the most popular thing on the Internet, the subject of millions of videos and hundreds of memes: cats. This week Reactions answers some of the biggest kitty questions out there: Why does catnip make most cats go crazy? What does it mean when your cat rubs against your leg? How does kitty litter clump?

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'Religious Freedom Farce' Video Campaign Dramatizes Consequences of Allowing Discrimination Based on Faith (VIDEO)

Truth Wins Out announced the launch today of its “Religious Freedom Farce” campaign, to highlight the real-world consequences of bills that purport to protect religious liberty, when in reality they only promote prejudice. The campaign comes on a week that Texas state senator Donna Campbell introduced a measure, Senate Joint Resolution 10, which would let business owners decline service to LGBT customers if serving them would violate their religious worldview.

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Consumer Reports Rates Best & Worst Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards have become an increasingly popular payment option but it can be challenging for consumers to determine which cards are the most affordable and easiest to use. That’s the conclusion of a new Consumer Reports investigation which offers tips to help consumers make smarter choices and rates prepaid cards based on value, convenience, safety, and how well fees are disclosed.

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Ultimate Insider Account of How Marriage Triumphed Hits Bookstores

As the spotlight turns back to the U.S. Supreme Court to potentially bring national resolution to the freedom to marry, a new book by veteran marriage strategist Marc Solomon, Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundits – and Won, hits bookstores after weeks of critical acclaim. Solomon tells the gripping story of what it took to make a seemingly impossible goal—to win the freedom to marry for all Americans—a near reality in a relatively short period of time. He gives readers a fly-on-the-wall view of the winning strategies that have made marriage equality the most successful social movement in recent American history.

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Accidental discoveries that changed the world (video)

Throughout the history of science, many major discoveries came accidentally. Sometimes they came from recognizing potential in an unexpected product or even a failed recipe's waste. Other times, discovery came out of pure desperation from a seemingly dead-end experiment. This week, Reactions celebrates those happy accidents that ended up changing the world in the first episode of a new sub-series, "Legends of Chemistry."

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Animated short film, "Sidewalk" captures a woman's entire life in 4 minutes (VIDEO)

A woman walks through life, confronts her changing body, and learns to love herself.

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Stanford researcher explores why cliques thrive in some high schools more than others

At almost any American high school, the elements of teen social networks are readily apparent: the cliques, the pecking orders and the varying degrees of self-segregation by race, age, gender and social status.

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