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NYT project documents outdated, ineffective drinking-water protections

A disturbing investigative story in today’s New York Times describes how the 35-year-old Safe Drinking Water Act is terribly outdated, permitting hundreds, perhaps thousands, of chemicals associated with cancer and other illnesses to seep into our dr

Earworms: Songs that get stuck in playback mode

Remember that episode of “Seinfeld” in which George arrives at Jerry’s house singing “Master of the House” from “Les Miserables”?
“I can’t get it out of my head,” he complains to Jerry. “I just keep singing it over and over. It just comes out.

How Big Pharma keeps shape-shifting menopausal hormone therapy

Almost as soon as the New York Times posted a long article this weekend on how the pharmaceutical industry turned “horse estrogen into a billion-dollar panacea for aging women,” the article jumped onto the newspaper’s most e-mailed list — right behin

How personality and partisanship get in the way of science

In the current issue of Newsweek, senior editor Sharon Begley laments how the liberal-conservative partisan divide now includes “the accuracy of scientific findings” — a divide she also calls “a gold mine for research on how personality and other psy

Can music affect our (and animals’) health?

Whenever I was tempted to lecture my children as they were growing up on the corrupting lyrics of the rock music they were listening to, I thought of Bing Crosby.
My grandfather (according to my mother) had been horrified by the “suggestive” crooning

Supernanny may be on to something

I must say, whenever I’ve seen the ABC reality show Supernanny, I’ve been amazed at how its British star and nanny-extraordinaire, Jo Frost (Mary Poppins had nothing on her, except, maybe, the flying-with-the-umbrella bit), is able to change some chi

An unappetizing picture: Americans are wasting ever more food

Years ago, I read an essay by the English novelist Lawrence Durrell in which he described cooking with a chef whose name and nationality, unfortunately, I’ve forgotten.
What I do remember, however, is how the chef insisted on using every last scrap