Kate Dailey

Stories by Kate Dailey

  • Swine Flu: When to Head to the Hospital, When to Stay Home

    Have a fever, a sore throat, and flulike symptoms? It could be H1N1, as 46 states now report widespread H1N1 infection, and the president has declared the virus a national emergency. And now, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has released a study showing that of those who are hospitalized for H1N1, 30 percent require intensive care, and 10 percent die─and that the flu kills people in all age groups. Scary stuff, enough to make one run to the doctor at the slightest runny nose. But if you get the flu, in most cases you should  probably stay under the covers and away from the ER. That's because, for most patients with H1N1, trips to the ER—or even a primary-care physician—are unnecessary, says Carl Schultz, professor of emergency medicine at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. “A vast majority of people are doing fine even if they get no [medical] intervention, so it seems inappropriate to bring them to ER where negative things could...
  • Bloggers Respond to Allison Samuels's Essay on Zahara Jolie-Pitt

    During Good Hair Week, a series of blog articles devoted to issues of hair, culture, politics, and science, we asked writer Allison Samuels to contribute a guest blog posting. Her piece, which called on the Jolie-Pitt household to take better care of adopted daughter Zahara's hair, touched on the politics of interracial adoption, the role of beauty standards by which our children (and we) are judged, despite all our lip service toward the contrary, and the power of hair to guide our sense of self and place. Noting that Zahara's hair often looks damaged and unkempt in photos, she writes: ...
  • Sex Is Not the Problem: What David Letterman and Steve Phillips Demonstrate About Women in the Workplace

    The recent revelation of a summertime affair gone wrong between ESPN's Baseball Tonight analyst Steve Phillips and a 22-year-old production assistant seemed like just another postscript of a year plagued by sex scandals.  Now it's been reported that Phillips has been fired for his office affair. "His ability to be an effective representative for ESPN has been significantly and irreparably damaged," said a spokesman for the network.  Phillips is apparently set to enter a "treatment facility" to address his sex-addiction issues. His romantic partner is also out of a job and will be forever (or at least as long as Google exists) remembered as a "tubby temptress" and "bunny boiler." Meanwhile, the sports blog Deadpsin has gone on an unsubstantiated gossip dump, bringing up several more rumors about the sexual shenanigans of ESPN talent and executives (most of which involved younger women).  ESPN is not the only place with a problem. On...
  • Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd, and Shershah Syed: What You Can Do To Help Women In Pakistan

    Who was the biggest loser after last night's decisive Game 5 of the National League Championship Series?  Not the Dodgers, who had to fly back to L.A. after losing the series to the 2008 world champion Philadelphia Phillies. Not even that guy who celebrated too much and fell off the roof of a taxi. The real loser is Chuck Todd, the Dodgers fan and NBC political correspondent who made a side bet with Philadelphia loyalist/ABC chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper. But while Todd and the Dodgers felt the sting of defeat last night, the Phils' victory may also be a victory for the women of Pakistan. ...
  • The Human Condition, 'On Point With Tom Ashbrook'

    At 11 a.m. ET, I'll be discussing The Fat Wars on NPR's On Point With Tom Ashbrook, along with some other guests, including Fatshonista's Lesley Kinzel. Required reading: the Dan Engber piece in last weekend's New York Times Magazine about battling shortness as well as fatness as a means to improve our national health. Read, listen, and be prepared to discuss this afternoon.   
  • The Balloon Boy Fallout: Greed, Not Reality TV, May Have Deflated the Heene Family

    We’re midway through day five of Balloongate, with reports that the Heene family, who allegedly tricked most of America into watching a Mylar balloon for two hours during the middle of a work day, may face felony and misdemeanor charges sometime next week. The official count will have to do with wasting public resources, but to many people, the larger crime is that the Heenes were allegedly using their children as bait for a potential reality show. As CNN.com notes, there’s been little conclusive research about the deleterious effects intense media exposure has on kids. What little evidence we do have is mostly anecdotal, and mostly damming. In the Denver Post, Jamie Huysman, a psychiatrist who specializes in treating reality show contestants (really!) noted that opening ones family to video scrutiny can compromise parenting skills: "It is exploitation," Huysman says in the article. "Nobody wants to watch normal behavior. Kids have to be co-conspirators to get the camera to stay on...
  • Tonight: Kate Dailey on 'The Agenda With Steve Paikin'

    Attention, Canadian readers: tonight I'll be on The Agenda With Steve Paikin at 8 p.m. tonight to talk about obesity. Remember how I was going to blog about Kate Harding's post on Jezebel? You know how I'm doing all this obesity stuff in the media? You know how some people think I'm an ally, some people think I'm a fat-acceptance zealot, and some people think I'm a just another fat-hating member of the mainstream media?  Let's debrief on these topics after the long weekend. (This time I have the post written in advance. I promise. For realsies.) For now, my northern neighbors, tune in at 8, when I celebrate Good Hair week by going on your news show of record with greasy, unkempt locks.      
  • Hoarding as Art: What You Didn't See on Oprah

      Today, Oprah Winfrey spent her entire show speaking with participants from the A&E's reality program Hoarders. Hoarders profiles families who's homes have been overcome by clutter, and brings in professional organizers to try and help clear a literal and metaphorical path through all the accumulated crap. The show is ... terrifying, especially for those of us with a giant junk drawer full of old class photos, broken pencils, dead batteries, and faded receipts overflow that we just can't seem to clear out. NEWSWEEK's Sarah Kliff wrote a great piece a few months ago on artists inspired by hoarded objects, often collected by family members. According to Kliff:artists are using different mediums to find...
  • Good Hair Week: The Week Ahead

    We've got big plans for Good Hair Week, both on the blog and on the main site. Keep checking back for new content on the science and sociology of our hair. While we have a few surprises in store, here's what you can expect this week: ...
  • Share Your Hair Stories and Photos

    Did bad hair ruin your mood? Your job interview? Your wedding?  When you look back on the photos, is the hair as bad as you imagined?  Can you recall an instance when having good hair really made a difference?  We want to hear how hair affects your life—and whether you've taken big steps to prevent bad hair.  Submit your stories to newsweek@tumblr.com or via our Tumblr page. All week, we'll update the blog with photos and stories submitted by our readers. Note: By submitting these photos, you give NEWSWEEK and its related Internet sites the rights to publish and distribute, alter or sublicense these images in current and future media formats. You also release NEWSWEEK and its related companies from any claims you might have in connection with this submission. You also agree to sign (or have your parent or legal guardian sign if you are a minor) any documentation to effectuate this license and release. Your submission must be your own original work, and by submitting you...
  • Celebrating Good Hair: A Week of Follicular Coverage

    This Friday, the Chris Rock movie Good Hair opens in select cities. Rock made the film, a documentary about the extremely complicated relationship black women have with their hair, after his two daughters asked him why they didn’t have good hair: in other words, the soft, straight, blonde hair we see shaken at us on shampoo commercials. The relationship between black women and their hair goes well beyond the occasional bad-hair day. It’s about race, politics, and the expectations of women to conform to a certain standard. It’s a great film, and one that teases out (no pun intended) the complex business of having hair that makes a political statement, whether you like it or not. But without making light of all the messy historical, political, and cultural unpleasantness tied up in black women’s hair, it’s worth discussing another point: no one I know, black or white, woman or man, is ever really satisfied with his or her hair. I tested my hypothesis when I visited Francky, the propr...
  • Sharon Begley Predicts the Nobel Prize Laureates: Blackburn, Greider, and Szostak Win for Telomeres Research

    This morning at 5:30 ET, the Nobel Prize winners in medicine were announced in Stockholm (where it was a much more reasonable 11:30 a.m.). In an article last week for Newsweek.com, Sharon Begley wrote about experts who are handicapping the race by selecting  "citation laureates." David Pendlebury of Thomson Reuters measured how often scientists' work was cited by others and, based on that, created a list of Nobel frontrunners. Who were the big winners in the Reuters race? Begley reported its findings and put the company's top seeds in context: Jack Szostak...
  • Why Readers Have Sex: I Never Look For It

    After reading Jessica Bennett's article on the why women have sex, it's clear that for everyone, men and women, our motivations go way beyond the need for love or the biological drive to reproduce. So we asked our readers to share some of their stories about sexual motivation. ...
  • Why Readers Have Sex: It's Better Than A Workout

    After reading Jessica Bennett's article on the why women have sex, it's clear that for everyone, men and women, our motivations go way beyond the need for love or the biological drive to reproduce. So we asked our readers to share some of their stories about sexual motivation. Over the weekend, we'll publish some of our favorites. Submit your stories to newsweek@tumblr.com or via our Tumblr page. Submission #2: I Often Feel Empty. I, personally, have sex for the emotional connection (love) and the release. I have had sex for a myriad of other reasons like placating my partner, just for the pleasure, confirmation that I am attractive, to get over an ex, as a crutch when in emotional pain, instead of a workout at the gym, and procreation. When having sex for reasons other than love/emotional bonding, I often feel empty, realize that I was really searching for a connection, and regret the entire thing. I look forward to reading more!
  • Why Do You Have Sex? Submit Your Responses Below.

    Now that you've had time to read Jessica Bennett's fascinating piece on women's sexual motivations, we want to hear your stories. Do you think that sex is something that should be done only when you're in love—except for that one time you wanted to get back at your ex? Are you happy to use sex just as a tool for physical release, and not attach any emotion? Have you ever used sex to get a job, get over an ex, or get validation that you rocked that bridesmaid dress? Did it do the trick, or leave you feeling you'd let yourself down? Men, have you ever had sex for reasons more complicated than you'd like to admit? Do you feel the idea that you have sex only for pleasure has led to your physical and emotional needs being ignored? ...
  • Roman Polanski Raped a Child: A Primer

    Readers of this column may remember that I am a big fan of America's rule of law, wherein after one is convicted of a crime, one is sentenced accordingly, then given a chance to start anew once that sentence has been served. That's why I was pleased to see that Roman Polanski had been arrested in Switzerland: I believe that if you plead guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, you should serve your jail sentence instead of fleeing to Europe and living a charmed life for 30 years. (I understand that the concept of "starting anew' is made more complicated when it comes to sex with children, but legal measures like Megan's Law were not in effect in 1977.)...
  • Attention 'Glee' Fans: A Hot Tub Cannot Get You Pregnant

    Ok, Gleeks: we need to clear something up about last night's episode (everyone else may want to jump ahead a few paragraphs). The most preposterous thing in last night's episode of Glee, Fox's new hit musidey (comical? song-and-dancedy?) was not the football team dancing to "Single Ladies" during the big game. It was not Sandy Ryerson's shortie kimono. No, it was sweet, hot, dumb jock Finn believing that he got his girlfriend pregnant by kissing in a hot tub. They didn't even take off their swimsuits! Finn sputters, though in fairness there was some premature ejaculation. No matter, cheerleader Quinn shrugs. "A hot tub is the perfect temperature for sperm," she says. "It helps them swim faster." Of course, it's later shown that Quinn, president of the chastity club, got a little action on the side and was just trying to protect her rep and her relationship. It's true that Finn—who also learned this episode that...
  • Paralyzed Rats Learn to Walk: For Humans, New Hope or Old Hype?

    While regaining the ability to walk may not be the first priority for those with a spinal-cord injury (SCI), recent advances in research indicate that reversing paralysis—at least when it comes to getting out of the wheelchair—may be closer than ever before. A study published this week in the journal Nature Neuroscience shows that scientists were able to restore motor function to rats with severed spinal cords thanks to a combination of pharmacological agents and electrodes implanted under the skin to stimulate the spinal cord. By putting the rats on a treadmill to create weight-bearing triggers in the brain, these elements are able to stimulate movement in the legs that is both controlled and strategic. “If the treadmill is stopped, they will not step. If you start the treadmill, they will start to step. If you turn them to the side on the treadmill, they will step sideways,” says Reggie Edgerton, a professor of neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  Of...
  • Laurie Garrett, Swine Flu, and Me: I Survived H1N1. It Wasn't That Bad.

    This week in NEWSWEEK, writer Laurie Garrett has a gripping account of being sick with swine flu. Not only is Garrett a flu expert, having written The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance (Penguin  1995) and a Newsweek cover story on the H1N1 epidemic, she's a senior fellow on the Council for Foreign Relations and has been following H1N1 from the start. And  yet, Laurie Garrett got swine flu. And while I am not nearly the authority she is on the subject, I am a health editor who's been paying close attention to H1N1. And yet, last week, I got swine flu too. ...
  • Patrick Swayze Dies From Pancreatic Cancer

    We were saddened to learn about the death of Patrick Swayze at age 57 from pancreatic cancer. I keep saying that there's no good cancers, but recent high-profile celebrity cases have featured some of the worst. Pancreatic cancer, unless caught very early, is pretty much a death sentence. Up against a four percent survival rate over five years, Swayze's prognosis never looked great. Still, he and his people always assured the public he was fighting the disease and feeling positive about his future. Those with pancreatic cancer who are able to have the tumor reduced often have, at best, 18 to 20 months of survival; Swayze, who was diagnosed in early 2008, became another sad statistic. (Still, he fought bravely: reports constantly surfaced that Swayze was struggling; in May he was supposed to be near death, but lived on through the summer)....
  • Introducing the Fit, Fat Gallery: Reflections on the Fat Wars, Part 1

    A few weeks ago we ran a series called "The Fat Wars" that looked at the way we talk about obesity in this country, and whether our current methods of fighting the war on fat were working. Within the course of the articles, we made a few unsubstantiated remarks about fat people being just as able to run or bike as thin people. (Unsubstantiated because we wrote them as fact, without citing backup evidence.) In doing so,  the article generated lots of comments from people basically calling it bull. This was expected: a point we researched but didn't articulate in the article about why America is so darned angry with fat people is that the anonymity granted by the Internet tends to bring out the worst in people; the points we did articulate argued that fat people are easy targets for rage, which people like expressing, and projected self-loathing, since we all worry about weight. Still, it seemed like what President Obama refers to as "a teachable moment," an...
  • Your Facebook Health-Care Protests: Why You Changed Your Status (Or Didn't)

    Last week, thousands of Facebook users updated their status to reflect their support for health-care reform. As Jenny Hontz reported at the time, small gestures like this can make a big difference not only by reminding progressive politicians that the Facebook Generation—the same group of organized, plugged-in citizens who helped elect Obama—are still a force, but also by countering the loud, angry town halls in a more tech-savvy way....
  • The Science of Hold Music: Audio Edition. Writer Russ Juskalian on NPR today at 3:30.

    Last month supersmart science writer Russ Juskalian wrote a piece about the science and psychology of hold music. I am fascinated by this topic. Once, I spent 20 minutes on hold with an upscale salon that played pretty decent peppy bebop tunes—punctuated every five minutes by an irritating prerecorded message thanking me for waiting. By the time I had a real live human on the line, I was cranky, irritated, and annoyed. Is this really the most effective use of hold music? I wondered....
  • Heavy but Healthy? Send Us Your Photos

    On Wednesday, Abby Ellin and I wrote about the increasing animosity towards fat people in America. One of the researchers quoted, Marlene Schwartz, said something in our interview that stuck with me, but that didn't make it in the article. Fat, she said, is so personal - it's something we can see right away, from a distance. There's no hiding it. Unlike HIV or mental illness or other stigmatized conditions, she said (or for that matter, bad breath, a nasty personality, split ends, the propensity to tell off-color jokes) fat makes itself known right away. And therefore, all the assumptions we have about fat people - that they're lazy, nonathletic, slow, lethargic - come to mind before that person has even opened her mouth. Part of the problem with the war on fat is that it denies healthy fat people their agency: if you're fat, you must be unfit. And yes: there are absolutely some very fat, very unfit people out there. But there are also just fat people who...