• Travel

    Bali considers imposing a tourist tax

    As one of the world’s most beautiful islands, Bali is known for lush beaches, historic temples and UNESCO-listed rice fields. But its world-renowned beauty has also caused problems for Bali as the island copes with overtourism. According to data from the Indonesian government, Bali — the country’s most-visited island — hosted 5.7 million international visitors in 2017. Final data for 2018 has not yet been announced, but the numbers are believed to be considerably higher. Many of those visitors left behind trash, including single-use plastics, much of which filled landfills or washed up on pristine beaches. While tourism brings money into the community, it can also strain local sanitation resources…

  • Travel

    Big Change in Little Cottonwood Canyon

    Alta, the famed Utah ski resort, has long been known for resisting alteration. Now, its first luxury lodge is set to open, and not everyone is happy. When Cassie Dippo’s family moved from the city of New York to the slopes of Alta, Utah, in 1965, she was 9 years old. The snow was dry and white and famously light and often so deep it reached well past her (and her father’s) waist. There were four chairlifts. Lift tickets were $4.50. And lining the road up Little Cottonwood Canyon were five simple, family-run, ski-in/ski-out lodges, all opened between 1939 and 1962. All of which, a lifetime later, have remained essentially…

  • Health

    The Health Costs of Traffic

    The physical and psychological toll of brutal commutes can be considerable. Sometimes the seemingly small things in life can be major stressors. Nobody likes sitting in traffic, for example. According to one study, commuting is one of the least pleasant things we do. But it’s not just an annoying time waster — there’s a case that it’s a public health issue. According to analysis by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the average American commuter spends 42 hours per year stuck in rush-hour traffic. In the Los Angeles area, the figure is nearly twice that, equivalent to more than three days. A 2015 Los Angeles Times poll found that among residents…

  • Health

    Allergic to Penicillin? You May Not Be

    Nineteen out of 20 people who have been told they are allergic to penicillin are not truly allergic to the drug. Millions of Americans who believe they are allergic to penicillin are not actually allergic. But they are steered away from using some of the safest, most effective antibiotics, relying instead on substitutes that are often pricier, less effective, and more likely to cause complications such as antibiotic-resistant infections. Those are the conclusions of a new paper on penicillin allergy. Experts in allergy and infectious disease, including the paper’s authors, are now urging patients to ask doctors to review their medical history, and re-evaluate whether they have a true penicillin…

  • Health

    Scientists Are Teaching the Body to Accept New Organs

    It was not the most ominous sign of health trouble, just a nosebleed that would not stop. So in February 2017, Michael Schaffer, who is 60 and lives near Pittsburgh, went first to a local emergency room, then to a hospital where a doctor finally succeeded in cauterizing a tiny cut in his nostril. Then the doctor told Mr. Schaffer something he never expected to hear: “You need a liver transplant.” Mr. Schaffer had no idea his liver was failing. He had never heard of the diagnosis: Nash, for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a fatty liver disease not linked to alcoholism or infections. The disease may have no obvious symptoms even as…

  • Health

    Gender and body size affect your lifespan

    Living to the ripe old age of 90 may depend on your body size — both height and weight — as well as your level of physical activity, and seems to influence a woman’s lifespan more than it does a man’s, according to a new study published Monday in the medical journal BMJ. The study found women who lived to 90 were, on average, taller and had put on less weight since the age of 20 as compared to women who were shorter and heavier. No such association was seen for men. However, men saw more benefit from physical activity than women. While the study is observational and cannot establish…

  • Listening

    Theresa May’s statement to the House of Commons on Brexit

    The Prime Minister said that the only two ways to avoid a no-deal Brexit is striking an agreement with the EU bloc or revoke Article 50, which would mean Britain remains part of the union. Extending Article 50 would not secure avoidance of a no-deal exit, May added. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I am sure the whole House will join me in condemning Saturday’s car bomb attack in Londonderry – and paying tribute to the bravery of the Northern Ireland Police and the local community who helped to ensure that everyone got to safety. This House stands together with the people of Northern Ireland in ensuring that we…

  • Health

    Blood test could spot your risk of Alzheimer’s disease 16 years before symptoms arise

    A simple blood test could detect the onset of dementia almost two decades before symptoms are noticed, according to a new study. Researchers have long known that dementia sufferers have higher levels of a certain protein that leaks into the cerebrospinal fluid after brain cells die. But they could not work out how to measure it without invasive, expensive spinal taps. In a new study, scientists say they can now detect this protein in the blood and that levels of it rise at the same speed that the brain loses neurons and begins shrinking. The blood test that looks for the protein would be performed in middle-age, well before most…

  • Health

    You do NOT need to leave two hours between dinner and bedtime

    Eating a late dinner is not as bad for you as thought, research suggests. Dietitians recommend eating dinner at least two hours before bed, to allow blood sugar levels to settle. But Japanese researchers found that in fact leaving this two-hour gap made no difference to long-term blood sugar levels. Experts from Okayama University tracked 1,573 healthy adults for three years, monitoring their mealtimes and sleep patterns and taking regular blood tests. Most participants left at least two hours between dinner and going to bed – but 16 per cent of the men and 8 per cent of women left a smaller gap. When the researchers analysed the blood results,…

  • Uncategorized

    How do YOU write your X? Diagram sparks mass debate on the correct place to start the letter

    A mass debate on the correct way to draw an ‘X’ erupted on Twitter over the weekend after a diagram demonstrating the eight different methods of writing the letter was posted online. Philadelphia artist Sixers Smasey drew the graphic, which includes illustrations of eight different ways a person could conceivably draw the two crisscrossing lines that make up the letter X, with arrows and colors distinguishing the order and direction of each method. While sharing the diagram on her Twitter account, the creator asked her followers which method they preferred – and the seemingly-simple question immediately threw people for a loop, with English speakers insisting vehemently there is only one…