Why is short-sightedness on the rise?  Too much time indoors!

After studying more than 4,000 children at Sydney primary and secondary schools for three years, they found that children who spent less time outside were at greater risk of developing myopia.

The myopia boom
Short-sightedness is reaching epidemic proportions. Some scientists think they have found a reason why.

It's not uncommon for me to hear the exhortation to not eat processed foods

 Of course, when pressed on the why, most people delve into pseudoscience or end up admitting they're just parroting something they read.

Well here's some science!

The emulsifiers in question are carboxymethycellulose and polysorbate-80; especially in Europe and North America, they are commonly used in processed foods (mayo, ketchup, numerous sauces, ice cream, gluten-free products, fat-free products and many others) and other common products (toothpaste, detergents etc). The study conducted on mice showed that even in low concentrations, these substances drastically affect the gut bacteria which seems to lead to obesity as well as a number of gut-related problems.

Why processed foods make you fat: two common food additives linked to obesity and gut inflammation
A new study suggests that two very common emulsifiers – chemicals that stabilize foods and stop products like mayo from separating – could increase the risk of obesity and irritable bowel syndrome.

An argument for Farenheit.

An argument for Farenheit.

Why Fahrenheit is Better than Celsius
Astute reader wargut responded to yesterday’s observation about the Fahrenheit scale being affine-ish with the following incorrect assertion:
“ Seriously, guys, your system is bullsh~t.

It’s…

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Women are weaklings!

The upshot is that the very strongest female athletes are barely above the median of grip strength for men. The top 75th percentile of female athletes are below the bottom 25th percentile of men. Another way to look at it is cumulative distributions. You can tell looking at this that there is overlap between the two sample distributions. How much? Ten percent of women have stronger grips than the bottom five percent of men. The difference in distributions is big enough that the very strongest non-elite athlete female in the whole data set has a weaker grip than most of the men.

Men are stronger than women (on average)
Every now and then there is a debate on who is more “anti-science”, the Left or the Right. I’m not too interested in the details of that, but, a few years ago I expressed my skepticism to Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science, that liberals were somehow reflexively more “pro-science.” I suggested […]

Animals are scary.

Animals are scary.

7 adorable animals that are also murderous monsters
These polar bear cubs are capable of unspeakable things.

If you find yourself consistently giving too many fucks about trivial shit that bothers…

If you find yourself consistently giving too many fucks about trivial shit that bothers you — your ex-girlfriend’s new Facebook picture, how quickly the batteries die in the TV remote, missing out on yet another 2-for-1 sale on hand sanitizer — chances are you don’t have much going on in your life to give a legitimate fuck about. And that’s your real problem. Not the hand sanitizer.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And those fucks I have not given have made all the difference…

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Using DNA to detect dark matter.

Using DNA to detect dark matter.

Dark matter can give you cancer — and that may be a good thing.
It may be possible to build a DNA-based detector to measure the “wind” of dark matter blowing through our planet.