The lead-violent crime connection and Kevin Drum

Kevin Drum has done some excellent writing about the case for a causal relationship between the amount of lead in our environment and violent crime, bringing to greater public awareness research done by Rick Nevin and others. I wrote about his article for Mother Jones on this topic last year and he now has a follow-up article looking at more research by Nevin, a leading proponent of the lead-violent crime linkage, that extends that argument to rural areas, saying that rural crime skyrocketed in the late 1800s because lead paint wasn’t readily available before 1880.
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Who is the mysterious Egg Man? And how does he do it?

There is a very strange news story emerging from a Cleveland suburb near where I live. Since March 2014, someone has been throwing eggs at the front of a house occupied by an 85-year old man. This was not some isolated random prank by a child or a by a disgruntled trick-or-treater who decided to get their revenge long after Halloween. This has been a sustained attack of more than 100 eggs. These eggs were projectiles launched from a distance and hitting the house with remarkable accuracy.
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The disadvantages of being a purely rational person

Scientists and atheists are among groups of people who value rational thinking, the former because being rational and logical in one’s thinking is essential if one is to be able to navigate one’s way through the complexities of trying to understand the workings of nature, the latter because taking a rational approach to life would make the absurdities of religious beliefs and the behaviors they generate more manifest. But of course, none of us can be purely rational beings in every aspect of our lives. The emotional centers of our brains respond to stimuli in ways that can overpower the centers that govern rational and logical thinking, as all of us can testify from personal experience when we have done soothing impulsive and stupid.
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The weird winter we just had

In Cleveland yesterday March as usual came in like a lion with a mixture of snow, rain, and sleet that covered things with an icy mess. While temperatures went above freezing after a long, cold period, later this week will see it plunge again, as winter socks us one last time before going out like a lamb. Dennis Mersereau has been monitoring the weather and he says that we just coming to the end of a weird winter in the US, highlighted by this chart. He says that despite our subjective impressions in the eastern part of the US, for the contiguous US as a whole this winter will be warmer-than-average and drier-than-average.
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NYC mayor caves in to Orthodox Jews and risks children’s lives

In some Orthodox Jewish circles, it is the practice for infant boys to be circumcised, not by a doctor in sanitary conditions, but by a religious person known as a mohel who then sucks out some blood from the penis with his mouth. This extremely unhygienic practice can lead, and has led, to serious infections, and “City health officials linked 17 cases of neonatal herpes to direct oral suction in the last 15 years. Of those, two have died and two more suffered brain damage.”
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The many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics

Those who have read about quantum mechanics have heard about the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) proposed by Hugh Everett in 1957. It is an idea seems unbelievable when one first hears of it because it implies the existence of many, a huge number in fact, of unobservable worlds that exist in parallel to our own but of which we are unaware. One needs to get over the initial feeling of incredulity before one can judge it properly on its merits.
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