Kate Dailey

Stories by Kate Dailey

  • The Consult: Farm-Fresh Fumes, and Other News From the Web.

    How Green Is My Produce? Locally grown produce bought at the farmer's market may be delicious, nutritious, and good for the local economy, but it's probably not helping reduce the use of fossil fuels. Or so argues Brian Dunning over at Skeptic Blog "Locally grown produce is rarely efficient," he says. "Apply a little mathematics...
  • Levi Johnston Speaks Truth, Removes Top

    In between his media tour and duties as a teenage father, Levi Johnston has apparently been hitting the gym.  Johnston is best known as baby daddy to Bristol Palin's son, Tripp, and author of such MySpace gems as "I'm a f---in' redneck" and "I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some s--- and just f---in' chillin' I guess." (Kids, please remember that the Internet is forever. Pretend your mother is reading what you write at all times. You'll thank me in 10 years.) As the media circus around Bristol's pregnancy and ensuing motherhood continues, however, it's Johnston that's speaking the most rationally about sex education and the realities of teenage parenting. (Bristol is back promoting abstinence after a brief stint where she said it was "unrealistic"). Citing Johnston as a beacon of clarity truth sounds a little crazy. Him taking his shirt of for GQ and hanging 24/7 with...
  • Guy Grooming: The Video Showdown

    What's that you say? Pouring over autism research is not how you want to spend the last  few hours of the work week? Fine: less medical debate, more videos about male hair removal. ...
  • Why Good Parents Believe Myths About Autism and Vaccines

    Hot on the heels of Sarah Kliff's insanely entertaining article on why medical myths endure, health blogger Scott Hensley points us toward a new analysis behind one of the most divisive and persistent medical myths of the modern age: that childhood vaccines can lead to autism. (Send angry e-mails c/o NEWSWEEK.) ...
  • The Consult: Take Me Out To the Deathtrap, And Other News From Around the Web

    Baseball's Dirty Secret: Jon Mooallem at Slate observes that the average baseball game sends up to 40 high-speed projectiles (foul balls and home runs) into the stands, which can lead to deadly consequences. He reviews a new book which aspires to serves as comprehensive chronicle of all deaths during baseball games since the 1862. The authors of Death At The Ballpark found 850 incidents; baseball fans have already alerted them to at least another 50. At what price Dollar Dog Night?  (Slate)...
  • True Dirt: An Artist Looks at Food and Waste

    Baltimore-based artist Hugh Pocock's new art exhibit, "My Food, My Poop," attempts to represent the complex relationship between the food we take in, the energy we expend, and the waste we create....
  • Botox Goes (Even More) Plastic

    UPDATE: Trying to figure out if this is a credit card or just a gift card, per the comments below.   Can't afford one of those anti-aging spermin facials? Eager to extend your credit limit while reducing your smile lines*? You're in luck: Botox has unveiled a credit card....
  • RIP Maria Amelia Lopez

    The self-proclaimed "World's Oldest Blogger" passed away on May 20th. She was 97. (Philly.com)Her blog (in Spanish).
  • The Consult: Another Reason Technology Might Kill You, and Other News from Around the Web

    Technology Is Dangerous, Chapter Two Hundred: Another article about the unknown health effects of new technology, this time in Monday's New York Times (I missed it over the holiday  my mistake.) The article looks at all the potential adverse reactions that could be linked to too much texting. Suspects include: lack of sleep, stunted emotional development, thumb cramping. But before you banish your Blackberry to a drawer, note the fine print: "The rise in texting is too recent to have produced any conclusive data on health effects." Call me when you know something for real, guys (New York Times) ...
  • Without Comment: Sperm-based Facials May Reduce Signs of Aging

    At The Human Condition, we like to provide commentary on the week's news and events as they relate to medicine, health, and life. Sometimes, however, there are news stories for which no comment is necessary. This is one such story. From NYMag.com: Spermine, a powerful anti-oxidant originally discovered in, yes, human sperm, is said to diminish wrinkles and smooth the skin. The substance is now being synthesized in laboratories and sold by a Norwegian company called (seriously) Bioforskning. Spermine facials (really) cost $250 at Townhouse Spa, where the substance is penetrated with ultrasound and infrared light (a more basic treatment can be found for $125 at the nearby Graceful Services). Also available at Townhouse for $175: snail-secretion facials.
  • Good News: Credit Protection Passes. Bad News: Your Brain Doesn't Care

    There's lots of blame to go around in this current credit crisis: predatory lenders, borrowers outreaching their grasp, lax government regulators. President Obama and Congress are trying to pass legislation that makes it safer for consumers—and hopefully more stable for the future economy—by putting more stringent restrictions on credit companies. ...
  • The Consult: Are Sexy Sims Hurting Girls? And Other News From Around the Web

    Do Virtual Girls Face Real Danger? Here's a shocker: girls with sexier avatars, or online representations, are more likely to get sexual come-ons while online. Girls who design their online personas to have skimpy wardrobes and curvy figures are also more likely to be preoccupied with sex, according to the journal Pediatrics. The study also speculates—without studying—that these girls are more likely to experiment with sexual activity at an earlier age. That's a bold claim to make without testing: who's to say that a little online sexual role play isn't helping teenage girls curious about sex fulfill that curiosity in a safer way? The increased sexual attention is something to consider when talking with your daughter about her online persona, and it makes sense to educate kids on the main dos and don't of online conduct. And while I'm disheartened by how sexualized society is for even younger kids, I'd like to see more research before we...
  • Good Morning, Takeaway Listeners: Further Thoughts On Medical Neglect

    Those of you who caught me on Public Radio International's The Takeaway earlier this morning may want to take a look at these articles, which discuss the issues surrounding Daniel Hauser and Alexander Draper more in-depth. (Those who missed me live can hear the segment by visiting The Takeaway's website: just click the first link).  ...
  • The Consult: A Wilco Tragedy, And Other News From Around the Web

    The Less-Than-Magnificent Defeat Jay Bennett, a former member of the band Wilco, passed away in his sleep this weekend. Though much is still unknown about his death (including the primary cause), we do know this: Bennett, who had publicly struggled with drug addiction, was in need of a new hip and without the health insurance to pay for it. As a result, he was depressed, anxious, and bedridden. Gawker asks if any of these factors played into his untimely demise, and the site's commenters answer with a dynamic discussion about universal health care, personal responsibility, and the red tape that can keep creative types unprotected. (Gawker)...
  • Memorial Day's Super-Cool Origins

     A discussion on the beach about the purpose of Memorial Day lead me to this bit of information, via Wikipedia: ...
  • Draper Case: What Makes a Parent Negligent?

    After courts questioned the way they cared for their sick kids, two mothers in different states ran away with their children. Why 'neglect' is such a complicated concept, and why loving a child isn't always enough.
  • By The Numbers: The Truth Behind Those Scary Diet-Soda Myths

    What is it about diet soda that seems so naughty? Maybe it’s because enjoying something without any calories leads people to feel like they’re going to have to pay one way or another-if not with their waistline now, then with ambiguous bad health later (a tumor? osteoporosis?). Maybe it’s because it takes an already unnatural beverage-there’s no such thing as a soda tree-and fills it with even more foreign substances. Either way, people often have a complex, love-hate relationship with diet soda, especially when you throw some caffeine into the mix....
  • The Consult: The Pros and Cons of Long Life, and Other News From the Web.

    The Benefits of Aging Besides a bigger bank account, better insurance, and crazy dinner specials if you go before 6, the elderly have another added perk: immunity to the "swine flu" (sorry: H1N1) virus. Researchers found that one third of people over sixty have antibodies that protect them from H1N1, which they hope will aid in developing a vaccine. (Washington Post)...And The Drawbacks "Dowager's Hump" may predict early death in elderly women. Can we address what a horrible term "dowager's hump" is? I think it might be my second-least favorite, behind "incompetent cervix." Even though DH is not the official term for the slumped shoulders that can hit elderly (that's hyperkyphosis), the fact that it's still being used is shocking to me, even if it's just to give people a point of reference. It's like writing  "Patients with Downs Syndrome, often referred to as  'retards'..."  It's old...
  • Before and After: Both Sides of Face Transplant Surgery

    The morning links are coming up in a second, but I wanted to give this it's own post: The nation's second face transplant recipient went public yesterday.  James Maki, the first American man to receive the procedure, was disfigured four years ago in an electrical accident. The boston.com article about the transplant features a gallery with some pretty shocking photos—the accident left Maki without any nose to speak of, just a hole on his face.  It appears that the surgeons at Brigham and Women's Hospital replaced the bottom half of Maki's face with the new donor face. ...
  • The Consult: High Competition at the 2010 Olympic Games, And Other News From Around the Web

    Olympic Buzz The Toronto Star asks if the torch designed for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver looks like a marijuana cigarette.  The Stranger's David Schmader thinks it more closely resembles "a pregnancy test that reveals you're having Satan's baby." It reminds me of either an orange-peeling tool that I have in my kitchen but never use, or a fancy new razor that singes off hair in lieu of using blades. Your thoughts?   (Slog)  Fossil Finds Just what I need before Memorial Day weekend—more relatives trying to lay claim to my (parent's) beach house: the 'missing link" has been found in Germany. Rather than further connecting man and monkey, this skeleton—in surprisingly good shape for being about 47 million years old— helps bridges that elusive gap between "monkeys and lemurs," providing clues about earlier stages of evolution.  (National Geographic) GOP HMO As President Barack Obama presses forward with his health care agend...
  • The Consult: Swine Flu Statistics, Street-Legal Swim Suits, and Other News From the Web

    Will Fast Suits Sink Swimmers? The international swimming federation has banned 146 types of high-performance racing suits from amateur competition: 10 suits were rejected outright, while 136, if modified within 30 days, will be reconsidered for approval. The suits improve buoyancy and reduce drag, leading to faster times - times that some officials think give competitors an unfair advantage. "There are some athletes that probably have fooled themselves that they...
  • New Gene Linked to Autism Discovered: What Are the Consequences?

    Scientists are getting ever closer to determining autism's genetic roots. Today on Newswise.com, UCLA researchers announced a new discovery in that quest: a variant of a gene called CACNA1G, which may increase a child’s risk of developing autism, particularly in boys. What could read like a very small, specialized discovery—there's a lot of room for speculation in that "may"—is a source of both hope and consternation for autism activists, as Claudia Kalb writes in this week's issue of NEWSWEEK:  Scientists have found common gene variants that may account for up to 15 percent of all autism cases. This is big in a disorder that varies so enormously from one individual to the next. Environmental factors also play a role, but if scientists can test for specific genes—most of which have yet to be discovered—they may be able to intervene much sooner to help kids. One day they might even find a cure. This is exciting for parents who want to understand the roots of...
  • The Consult: Prehistoric Fetish Objects and Patriarchial Cigarettes

    Mein Liebling: German scientists may have uncovered the first representation of modern woman, and they're pretty sure it's a sex toy. The figure - what the novelist Tom Harris might call "a woman and a half in every direction" - rocks some serious curves, and is thought to have been carved over 35,000 years ago. Pros: a testament to beauty and sex appeal in women of all sizes, throughout time. Cons: It's been over 35,000 years of women as porn objects. I need coffee.  (BBC) The Color of Money: National Geographic released a survey of environmental consumer habits from across the globe. Anyone who's paying attention could predict that on the color-coded chart of greeness, Americans were more of a sickly, pale, yellow-y chartreuse. Surprisingly, Europeans were only  a light kelly hue, while the dark, rich, life-affirming green was found mostly in China and India. This suggests that communism and extreme poverty help shoppers make inadvertently smarter eco...
  • A Gift From The Heart: Donating Used Pacemakers

    A pacemaker helps helps a beating heart - but once that heart stops due to other reasons, what becomes of the pacemaker? Researchers estimate about 45 percent of pacemakers are removed before burial - either due to family request or because of the dangers during creamation (they can explode - who knew?) With an estimate 1.5 million Americans currently using pacemakers, that means there's a whole lot of viable devices being retired before their time. Enter Timir Baman, a cardiac fellow at the University of Michigan Hospital. He's the lead researcher on a study that examines the viability of collecting used pacemakers to donate to people in developing nations. While heart disease is sometimes thought of an American condition of excess -- too many french fries and pizzas -- Baman, who spoke with NEWSWEEK's Dina Fine Maron, insists that the need for pacemakers is high all over the world: The overwhelming amount of people that have heart disease in our world are in low-...
  • What's Inside The New NEWSWEEK: Autism Ends and Eternal Life Begins?

    I am holding in my hot little hands the first issue of the new NEWSWEEK, and dig it before I even start reading. It seems like the trend in most magazines is to get thinner, both in content and page stock. (Times are tough all over.)  This issue is thick and heavy and printed on a high quality, glossy paper, which makes the reading that much more pleasurable (and less likely that my thighs turn into an ink-stained mess when I take the magazine to the beach this weekend). But what is it they say about not judging a book by its cover (or its paper stock)? On the inside, even more goodies—great art, great essays, and these articles of particular interest to Human Condition readers: An update on Andrew Speaker, the American man quarantined for travel ling with an extreme form of drug-resistance tuberculosis (turns out the diagnosis was incorrect).  I, Robot:  Ray Kurzwell is convinced that the only way to outpace artificial intellect is to embed our consciousness onto silic...
  • The Consult: In-Group Role Models in Action, and other news from the web.

    ALS, The FDA, and a Ticking Clock: ALS is a horrible disease: it promises a slow, undignified death with no real treatment options, but lots of false, straggling hopes that don't pan out in the end. The New York Times has a heartbreaking story about one family's fight to gain access to a drug that might - might - provide their son some relief. First the have to cut through corporate red tape, then government bureaucracy, then doctors reluctant to work with experimental treatments. It's a brutal story - and a long one, so you get a very small, fleeting sense of the panic and frustration the family must have felt as time went on, their son got worse, and the drug remained elusive. (The New York Times)....
  • OMG! Grey's Anatomy Finale Mystery SOLVED!

    Last night, about 11 minutes into the season finale of  ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," the Chief surprises Dr. Bailey with a DaVinci Surgical System. In an effort to keep her from decamping from general surgery to pediatric surgery, he tempts her with the chance to perform a cutting-edge procedure. "You know, Doctor Chalikonda at Cleveland Clinic is doing single incision ...