Reduced to Zero

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Sucked into a digital vortex

Does it matter we’re all being sucked into a digital vortex?

Do we lack nuance when we witness our world in a digital context?

Think about a digital black and white photograph.

Magnify the photo and you’ll see tiny squares of black, white and gray.

Look deeply into the gray and you’ll see granules of black and white, comprising the gray. Continue reading

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Can a walk change your brain?

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When reporters write garbage science

How do we learn about health? Science? Medicine? Risk?

Most of us still learn from our schooling or from the news.

Even though traditional journalism has transformed ink to pixels, newspapers and television news get loads of readers and viewers. Continue reading

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Defying the Supreme Court

Ted Cruz Channels Andrew Jackson

Trail of Tears

Trail of Tears

Although I don’t always agree with Supreme Court decisions I respect the authority of the country’s highest court.

When Ted Cruz told NPR this week the court ruled incorrectly on marriage equality and national health care I felt a chill. Continue reading

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Talking about race

American Indian posers
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I’m glad we’re talking about race, although the heinous acts that led to the conversation should never be lost in the discussion.

Problem is, the very word race stems from difference—not just cultural—but perceived biological and intellectual differences that underpin policies that gassed Jews and sterilized Blacks.

You can trace the topic of race to the mid-1800s in North America.

While settlers were itching to cross the Sioux Holy Road through the Black Hills to gain access to the west, physicians created hierarchies of race sanctioned by science.

Caucasians were considered “intellectually endowed” and “superior both in civilization and intelligence.” Continue reading

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Kennewick Man’s back in the news

But it’s the same old story

Image by © Marty Two Bulls, from Indian Country Today

Image by © Marty Two Bulls, from Indian Country Today

A science writer called me with a head’s up.

The Journal Nature was ready to release news that scientists would soon announce the 9200-year-old skeleton from the Pacific Northwest was indeed related to modern-day Indians.

New techniques allow researchers to examine DNA scraped from the bones of the skeleton called Kennewick Man. Continue reading

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Best brand money can buy


You can’t avoid the Bruce-Caitlyn Jenner story if you use social media, watch TV or shop at a grocery store.

Photos and stories wave from every media channel that catches your eye.

When I first saw the busty woman in a white corset on my facebook feed accompanied by a caption with the name Jenner, I skipped it, figuring it’s just another Kardashian-Jenner pseudo-news event.

Turns out the posts were a clever come-on by Vanity Fair to entice readers to check-out Bruce Jenner’s entrance-as-a-woman. Continue reading

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The Chocolate Diet Hoax


First do no harm

There’s something creepy if you have to lie to get what you want.

So it bothers me when someone gets trapped into doing something she might not do without a nudge.

For example, Portland took the national stage over Christmas in 2010 when a teenager was seduced in an FBI sting operation that made him think he could blow up a piece of Portland.

The teenager was found guilty after trying to ignite a fake bomb downtown and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Was he nudged? Continue reading

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