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The next Brittney?

The Connecticut Sun won the WNBA draft lottery on Tuesday, giving them first dibs in the April 2014 draft. Quick quiz. Can you name the 17 players …

Study: Fracking toxins linked to heart defects

Last year I blogged about a new study: the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms that exposure to <i>“air pollutants–in some cases for a</i> …

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Migraines link to refillable water bottles: 'Gender-bending' chemical in packaging may trigger the attacks

• <b>New study suggests Bisphenol A (BPA) may cause debilitating headaches</b>• <b><br>Migraines afflict one in seven adults in the UK</b>• <b><br>Researchers urge sufferers to cut</b> …

GOP starts a tough struggle to win back Asian American voters

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. — Not long ago, the Republican National Committee did something out of the ordinary: The party issued a formal statement marking<p>Diwali, an important Hindu holiday.<p>"Diwali and the lighting of the Diya celebrate the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance," …

Better Know a Plague: Bed Bugs

Here, I unveil an Our Modern Plagues series, which was inspired by Stephen Colbert’s recurring segment Better Know a District. My version—Better Know a Plague—will introduce you to a plague-like critter every month or two, whether it is something we really need to worry about or whether it’s just a …

What We Can Learn About A Whale From Its Earwax

A lot, actually<p>Baleen whales have no need for Q-tips. Water blocks off the ear canal, which has a unique anatomy, so over time wax builds up into what researchers call an earplug. Previously, scientists counted the layers of wax, like counting tree rings, to help determine a whale’s age, but a team …

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The View from Up Here: Babies Learn Faster in High Chairs

Playing with those sweet potatoes again? Mashing that avocado like it’s a piece of playdough? All that gooey, messy fun could help babies learn words for things that aren’t solid.<p>Researchers have long known that babies learn language first by naming objects – table, chair, doggie, and so on. They …

How To Get Rid Of Animal Testing

From chimp to chip<p>Last summer, the National Institutes of Health announced that it’s phasing out experiments on chimpanzees. All but 50 of its 451 chimps will go to sanctuaries, and it won’t breed the remainder. The change is based on its 2011 study that determined that advancements have rendered …

Here’s How We Can Fight Homelessness

The most recent data on homelessness reveals that while it is on the decline nationally, some of the nation’s most populous states have seen huge …

Don’t Fall For The GOP’s Fake Controversy Over Obamacare’s Expansion Of Abortion Coverage

On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that under the health reform law, most of the plans offered to congressional staff now include abortion …

How Americans Feel About Global Poverty, In Three Charts

In a new study ranking the developed world’s contribution in 2013 to reducing poverty and suffering in the developing world, the United States ranks …

What The Next NYC Police Commissioner Could Mean For Stop-And-Frisk Culture

New York Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio announced his selection of Bill Bratton Thursday to serve as New York Police Commissioner come January. Given …

Black Executive Says BP Fired Her For Wearing ‘Ethnic Clothing And Ethnic Hairstyles’

A black woman says she was fired from British Petroleum (BP) for wearing a dashiki and for wearing her hair in braids.<p>Melphine Evans was a vice …

22 Congressmen Demand To Keep Budget Cuts That Leave Kids Out Of Classrooms And The Elderly Out Of Food

Three Republican Representatives, Mick Mulvaney (SC), Jim Jordan (OH), and Steve Scalise (LA), sent a letter on Thursday to House Speaker John …

Why Republicans Can't Address Rising Inequality

So far, the Republican response to President Obama's historic address on economic inequality has not veered from the predictable clichés of Tea Party rhetoric. It was appropriately summarized in a tweet from House Speaker John Boehner, complaining that the Democrat in the White House wants "more …

Microsoft's Xbox One May Be Losing The Console War Due To Kinect Alone

Working in this industry, I tend to make predictions quite a bit. Usually they pan out, like the bad feeling I had that the Wii U was going to bomb for Nintendo without new appeal to non-gamers, or that Micosoft would be forced to changes its DRM/used game policies because of public outcry.<p>But …

What if NFL QBs were bald

New York train was speeding when it derailed

NEW YORK — A speeding passenger train barreled into a sharp curve about 82 mph when it should have been traveling 30 mph, and there was no attempt to slow down until "very late in the game," investigators said Monday.<p>Four passengers were killed in Sunday's derailment, the worst in the 30-year …

The Tricky Business Of Taxing Bitcoin

Buttressed by an Internet craze, the price of bitcoin has skyrocketed this past year from $17 to over $1,200. Pundits expect significant price volatility in 2014 as well.<p>While the Federal Reserve gave tacit approval, stating “virtual currencies like bitcoin have legitimate uses and should not be …

Train Engineer 'Nodded At Controls,' Official Says

<b>Updated at 2:00 a.m. ET Wednesday:</b><p>Federal investigators in New York announced late Tuesday that they had removed the rail employees union, the Association of Commuter Rail Employees, as a participant in the investigation. According to The Associated Press, investigators cited a breach of …

Illinois Approves Rescue Of Its Ailing Pension System

Illinois lawmakers have approved a sweeping plan to close a $100 billion shortfall in the state's pension system, which would cut retirees' benefits. But the legislation faces promised legal challenges from public employee unions.<p>NPR's David Schaper reports that the pension bill "passed by the …

What’s More Powerful Than Politics? Profit — at Least for Health Insurers

Con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans have re­lent­lessly at­tacked Obama­care. The White House has been equally staunch in its de­fense. Yet des­pite the …

Union ousted from train crash probe

The investigation into Sunday’s deadly derailment in the Bronx took several bizarre turns Tuesday following reports that the engineer at the controls may have been dazed or dozing as the train hurtled into a dangerous curve.<p>The latest twist: Late Tuesday night, the National Transportation Safety …

Loophole Or Workaround? (Food Stamp Edition)

In the debate over whether to cut the food stamp program, members of Congress are looking at two pretty arcane provisions in the law. People who want to cut food stamps call the provisions loopholes. People who don't want to cut food stamps say they're efficient ways to get benefits to those who …