Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.



Why some breast-cancer survivors are sick of pink

It’s October, the month when pink predominates. For October is, of course, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and its symbol, the pink ribbon, has become, well, ubiquitous.

Feeling creative? Maybe you’re in love

Can falling in love — or even thinking about it — make you more creative?Yes, according to some new and intriguing experiments by a team of Dutch researchers. They’ve found our minds work differently when we’re in a romantic relationship.

Ah, my aching back! (and why yoga may help)

My lower back aches. And with good reason. During the past three weeks, much of it spent caring for an elderly aunt in England, I’ve been mostly sitting. In planes. On trains. And, yes, in automobiles, stuck in England’s unending traffic jams.

Recession influencing women’s decisions on childbearing

The recession is having a profound effect on women’s decisions about childbearing and contraception, according to a report issued earlier this week by the Guttmacher Institute.More than 40 percent of the 947 women (aged 18 to 34) surveyed for the re

Early stroke screening: Lifesaver or money waster?

As University of Minnesota journalism professor Gary Schwitzer pointed out on his blog Wednesday, KMSP-TV reporter (and former Schwitzer student) Jeff Baillon did a terrific job earlier this week of explaining why some early screening tests — particu

The perils of being a science journalist in Britain

WOKING, ENGLAND — A few nights ago, I watched a compelling BBC2 television news report about what is being called “the biggest toxic dumping scandal of the 21st century” — the 2006 illegal offloading of toxic chemical waste in the Ivory Co

Two elderly aunts, two health systems

WOKING, ENGLAND — A few years ago, I drove my 96-year-old aunt from her assisted-living apartment to the emergency room of a Twin Cities hospital.

How engagement in the arts engages the brain

When it comes to the arts, practice not only makes perfect, it also appears to improve thinking skills — and perhaps even IQ.
That’s the hypothesis put forth in a recent article in the Dana Foundation’s online magazine Cerebrum — an article that not

No flu for you: An update

The Minnesota Department of Health this week officially classified Minnesota’s flu activity as “widespread,” medical lingo for “all over the place.” Here’s the latest on what you should know about the H1N1 pandemic.

Midnight prep football practice, and other symptoms of sports insanity

Do a lot of parents think their kid is headed for the NFL?
I’m having a hard time understanding why else you would agree to send your 17- or 18-year-old off to a season kick-off football practice that ends an hour after last call.It has been a mont

Could barefoot running save the knee?

Several years ago, during a grateful stretch of employment after the birth of my first child, I got an assignment from a glossy and hip national magazine to review trail running shoes.

Is parkour the perfect exercise or what?

It’s taken a few years, but parkour (pronounced par-KOOR), an underground sport that originated in divergent metropolitan areas throughout Paris, has come to Midwestern suburban gymnasiums.