Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Little Good News Today...

Crack of dawn : Photo copyright: Janet M. Kincaid, 12/2012

Going for something a little more upbeat today: myth busting, award winning photography, survey results, new technology for predicting events, and film!

It Wasn't Scarlet Fever...

How many of you read the Laura Ingalls Wilder series Little House on the Prairie when you were children? My parents showered us with books as children and this was a series I distinctly remember spending evenings with my siblings listening to my father read to us before bedtime. We loved it. Recently, though, scientists have discovered that sister Mary's blindness wasn't caused by scarlet fever, but by viral meningoencephalitis. I love science and research!

NatGeo Kid Photography Winners

Have a look at the winners of the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest for kids. Some of these are really outstanding. I know National Geographic isn't without its faults and flaws, but I love this magazine and the way their work can inspire us all. It inspired me as a child and continues to do so as an adult.

Quality of Life

The Quality of Life Survey is out listing the top ten best cities in the world. Not surprisingly, Washington, D.C. ranks 43. Surprisingly, Vienna, Austria, ranks No. 1. I say surprisingly only because so many people barely give Austria or Vienna a thought. Having lived there, though, I'm thrilled to see this. It is a great city to live in and visit! In fact, I'd love to live there again, if only I could find a job there.

Using the News to Predict the Future?

An interesting article from the Beeb. Predicting disease outbreak is not as cut and dried as it looks. The 2009 pandemic and WHO's declaration of a Phase 6 pandemic certainly brought this to the fore, especially as some in the media accused WHO of manufacturing the pandemic for financial gain for themselves and the pharmaceutical industry. (An accusation that has been soundly refuted by a committee of international influenza experts.) Recently, however, researchers have developed software that tracks news headlines and predicts future public health events.

Hitchcock's Wife

Dame Helen Mirren stars as noir filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville. It's the first time Mirren and co-star Sir Anthony Hopkins, as Hitchcock, have ever done a film together. (That fact alone is astonishing! How is this possible?!) I'm excited to see this film and to see the woman behind some of the greatest films of our time.

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