Air pollution kills 6.5 million annually: IEA

A woman wearing a protective mask makes her way in a business district on a heavily-polluted day in Beijing, China, January 3, 2016. (Photo by Reuters) Air pollution has been declared the world’s fourth-largest threat to human health, killing nearly 6.5 million per year. On Monday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that around three million of the 6.5 million deaths are currently attributed to outdoor air pollution and 3.5 million are caused by household air pollution. The report estimated that the premature deaths from poor air quality will continue to increase till 2040 unless energy policies are changed. Outdoor … Continue reading Air pollution kills 6.5 million annually: IEA

69m children will die of preventable causes, says Unicef

Nearly half of the deaths the report foresees will be in sub-Saharan Africa. Photograph: Mike Goldwater/Alamy UN children’s agency report highlights toll on youngsters by 2030 unless world leaders turn rhetoric into reality on fighting poverty by Clár Ní Chonghaile Less than a year after the world promised to leave no one behind by signing up to an ambitious 15-year blueprint to end inequality, the UN children’s agency says that 69 million children will die from mostly preventable causes by 2030, and 167 million will be living in extreme poverty, unless world leaders turn rhetoric into reality. In its latest State … Continue reading 69m children will die of preventable causes, says Unicef

Alain de Botton on Love, Vulnerability, and the Psychological Paradox of the Sulk

Art by Isol from Daytime Visions “If we are not regularly deeply embarrassed by who we are, the journey to self-knowledge hasn’t begun.” BY MARIA POPOVA “Nothing awakens us to the reality of life so much as a true love,” Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother. “Why is love rich beyond all other possible human experiences and a sweet burden to those seized in its grasp?” philosopher Martin Heidegger asked in his electrifying love letters to Hannah Arendt. “Because we become what we love and yet remain ourselves.” Still, nearly every anguishing aspect of love arises from the inescapable … Continue reading Alain de Botton on Love, Vulnerability, and the Psychological Paradox of the Sulk

Gender is not a spectrum

True Colours? Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty The idea that ‘gender is a spectrum’ is supposed to set us free. But it is both illogical and politically troubling by Rebecca Reilly-Cooper Rebecca Reilly-Cooper is a political philosopher at the University of Warwick in the UK. She is interested in political liberalism, democratic theory, moral psychology, and the philosophy of emotion, and is currently working on a book about sex, gender and identity.  Wat is gender? This is a question that cuts to the very heart of feminist theory and practice, and is pivotal to current debates in social justice activism about class, identity and privilege. In … Continue reading Gender is not a spectrum

The appeal of narcissists: why do we love people who’d rather love themselves?

James Franco demonstrates the art of narcissism. Photograph: YouTube A recent study found that people who rated highly for narcissism also tend to be perceived as most desirable in dating scenarios. Here are three reasons why by Jean Hannah Edelstein Two kinds of people won’t be surprised to learn this week that science has demonstrated that narcissists are more attractive for dates than non-narcissists: people who’ve had the misfortune of being romantically involved with narcissists, and narcissists themselves – because believing that they are very attractive is a key symptom of their character. This breakthrough was published by an Austrian researcher, … Continue reading The appeal of narcissists: why do we love people who’d rather love themselves?

Time To Think About How Short Human History Is

by Carli Velocci Here is your daily reminder that humans are just one animal among many that have existed on Earth, and that our species’ history is minute compared to the history of the rest of our planet. In a video posted to the Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell YouTube channel called “What Happened Before History? Human Origins,” a dulcet-toned narrator recounts our relatively brief history, starting with our ancestors, the apes, and moving forward into the Internet age millions of years later. It seems like a long time, at least compared to our short lifespans, but as the narrator points … Continue reading Time To Think About How Short Human History Is

75 percent of young or middle-aged terminal cancer patients subjected to painful and USELESS treatments during final days

 by: Daniel Barker (NaturalNews) A new study found that up to 75 percent of young or middle-aged terminal cancer patients receive aggressive – but useless – treatments in the last 30 days before death, causing needless added pain and misery for those whom the cancer industry has already failed to cure. One-third of these unfortunate patients end up dying at the hospital. The findings were presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, which was attended by 30,000 oncology professionals. The study was based on an analysis of insurance data from … Continue reading 75 percent of young or middle-aged terminal cancer patients subjected to painful and USELESS treatments during final days

The Liberation of Uncertainty

image edited by Web Investigator  Zen priest Brad Warner talks about his new book, Don’t Be a Jerk, and his quest to make Dogen more accessible to the modern reader. By Barbara Hoetsu O’Brien  Eihei Dogen (1200-1253) founded the Japanese Soto Zen school. Many of his talks and letters are collected in Shobogenzo (Treasury of the True Dharma Eye), a work of beauty, subtlety—and density. Many find Shobogenzo more baffling than enlightening. In his newest book, Don’t Be a Jerk: And Other Practical Advise from Dogen, Japan’s Greatest Zen Master, Brad Warner presents 20 of the best-known fascicles or “chapters” … Continue reading The Liberation of Uncertainty

The weaponised loser

Photo by Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Mass shootings have one thing in common: toxic masculinity. Where does it come from and what can be done to stop it? by Stephen T Asma Stephen T Asma is professor of philosophy and distinguished scholar at Columbia College Chicago, where he is a member of the Research Group in Mind, Science and Culture. His most recent book is Against Fairness: In Favor of Favoritism (2012). The shooter is almost always male. Of the past 129 mass shootings in the United States, all but three have been men. The shooter is socially alienated, and he can’t get laid. Every … Continue reading The weaponised loser

A Strange Case of Dancing Mania Struck Germany Six Centuries Ago Today

“Dance at Molenbeek,” a painting by Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1638) depicts pilgrims dancing to the church at Molenbeek. (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Modern experts still don’t agree on what caused plagues of compulsive dancing in the streets By Marissa Fessenden SMITHSONIAN.COM Six-hundred and forty two years ago today, citizens in the German city of Aachen started to pour out of their houses and into the streets where they began to writhe and whirl uncontrollably. This was the first major outbreak of dancing plague or choreomania and it would spread across Europe in the next several years. To this … Continue reading A Strange Case of Dancing Mania Struck Germany Six Centuries Ago Today