A stroke of colossal misfortune (and a giant asteroid) may have killed dinosaurs 66 million years ago
Scientists say they have solved one of the greatest riddles of paleontology: why dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago. A colossal stroke of bad luck — not just a giant asteroid — may have played a major role in the eradication of the creatures, according to a study published Monday in the journal Biological Reviews.
Read the full article on AlJazeera.com

A stroke of colossal misfortune (and a giant asteroid) may have killed dinosaurs 66 million years ago

Scientists say they have solved one of the greatest riddles of paleontology: why dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago. A colossal stroke of bad luck — not just a giant asteroid — may have played a major role in the eradication of the creatures, according to a study published Monday in the journal Biological Reviews.

Read the full article on AlJazeera.com

Tibetan medicine highlights compassion in modern health care

NEW YORK — The 10 minutes I spent with Dr. Choeying Phuntsok, a stolid, middle-aged practitioner of Tibetan medicine in New York, were marked by an uncommon degree of eye contact and warmth. It was a short, preliminary consultation, just enough for him to take the Tibetan equivalent of my vitals. But it lasted about as long as a head-to-toe check-up at my regular doctor’s office.
He held my left wrist, then my right, listening to the “shape” and frequency of my pulse through his fingers, eyes clamped in concentration. He examined my tongue and inquired about digestion and menstruation, but also my cultural background and stress levels. His preliminary diagnosis: Low hemoglobin levels and pressure on my heart and lungs.

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Photo: E. Tammy Kim/Al Jazeera America 

Tibetan medicine highlights compassion in modern health care

NEW YORK — The 10 minutes I spent with Dr. Choeying Phuntsok, a stolid, middle-aged practitioner of Tibetan medicine in New York, were marked by an uncommon degree of eye contact and warmth. It was a short, preliminary consultation, just enough for him to take the Tibetan equivalent of my vitals. But it lasted about as long as a head-to-toe check-up at my regular doctor’s office.

He held my left wrist, then my right, listening to the “shape” and frequency of my pulse through his fingers, eyes clamped in concentration. He examined my tongue and inquired about digestion and menstruation, but also my cultural background and stress levels. His preliminary diagnosis: Low hemoglobin levels and pressure on my heart and lungs.

Continue reading.

Photo: E. Tammy Kim/Al Jazeera America 

TIM BOYLE/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

A federal judge on Saturday overturned Washington D.C.’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home, saying it was unconstitutional. The ruling could pave the way for new laws that would make handguns available to residents of a city that two decades ago had the nation’s highest murder rate.

photo: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The gas company that says it can take your backyard

NORTH STRABANE, Pa. — For more than a decade, the country around Ronald and Sallie Cox’s home, 25 miles south of Pittsburgh, has been an unchanging landscape of rolling green foothills. Sitting atop a modest promontory, their property is ringed on three sides by a border of woodland, and to the east, the ground slopes down into a neighbor’s horse paddocks.
The Coxes built their home in 2001, and they’ve paid to maintain their enviable slice of exurban Pennsylvania. When Ronald, a financial adviser at Prudential, grew fed up with the way his wraparound backyard deck shifted every time he sat down for an evening drink, he spent around $30,000 to rip it out and replace it. You could probably land a plane on the new one, he jokes.

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Photo: Julia Wilkinson / Delaware County Daily Times

The gas company that says it can take your backyard

NORTH STRABANE, Pa. — For more than a decade, the country around Ronald and Sallie Cox’s home, 25 miles south of Pittsburgh, has been an unchanging landscape of rolling green foothills. Sitting atop a modest promontory, their property is ringed on three sides by a border of woodland, and to the east, the ground slopes down into a neighbor’s horse paddocks.

The Coxes built their home in 2001, and they’ve paid to maintain their enviable slice of exurban Pennsylvania. When Ronald, a financial adviser at Prudential, grew fed up with the way his wraparound backyard deck shifted every time he sat down for an evening drink, he spent around $30,000 to rip it out and replace it. You could probably land a plane on the new one, he jokes.

Continue Reading.

Photo: Julia Wilkinson / Delaware County Daily Times

Israeli offensive enters 7th day amid protest, death and flight of Gazans

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has ticked into a seventh day amid rising civilian deaths, growing international protest and nascent diplomatic efforts to end the bloodshed.
Missiles struck three training facilities of Hamas’ military wing, the Qassam Brigades, early on Monday. Meanwhile, Israel claimed to have downed what it said was a drone over a southern city.
Neither incident resulted in any fatalities, contrasting with the prior six days of shelling in Gaza, which claimed the lives of 172 Palestinians, many of them civilians.
Fearing further bloodshed, more than 17,000 residents were said to havefled the Gaza Strip’s northern citiesin anticipation of a potential ground assault.

Continue reading.
Photo: Oliver Weiken / EPA

Israeli offensive enters 7th day amid protest, death and flight of Gazans

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has ticked into a seventh day amid rising civilian deaths, growing international protest and nascent diplomatic efforts to end the bloodshed.

Missiles struck three training facilities of Hamas’ military wing, the Qassam Brigades, early on Monday. Meanwhile, Israel claimed to have downed what it said was a drone over a southern city.

Neither incident resulted in any fatalities, contrasting with the prior six days of shelling in Gaza, which claimed the lives of 172 Palestinians, many of them civilians.

Fearing further bloodshed, more than 17,000 residents were said to havefled the Gaza Strip’s northern citiesin anticipation of a potential ground assault.

Continue reading.

Photo: Oliver Weiken / EPA

OPINION: The Civil Rights Act’s unintended gift to transgender rights

But let me back up. First, let me tell you about a 5-year-old transgender child I’ll call Justin. In April, Justin and his mother stopped by the offices of the National Center for Transgender Equality, where I work, on their way to the White House’s annual Easter egg roll. He looked every bit the ordinary first grader — he even had reddish hair and freckles, as I did at his age.
But he was actually extraordinary. He was what I couldn’t be when I was his age: himself.

Continue reading.
Photo: Eric Thayer/Getty Images

OPINION: The Civil Rights Act’s unintended gift to transgender rights

But let me back up. First, let me tell you about a 5-year-old transgender child I’ll call Justin. In April, Justin and his mother stopped by the offices of the National Center for Transgender Equality, where I work, on their way to the White House’s annual Easter egg roll. He looked every bit the ordinary first grader — he even had reddish hair and freckles, as I did at his age.

But he was actually extraordinary. He was what I couldn’t be when I was his age: himself.

Continue reading.

Photo: Eric Thayer/Getty Images

OPINION: The yoga tax is good karma

On Saturdays at 11 a.m., a friend and I attend a yoga class at a Tribeca studio beloved by the so-called Goldman wives, the trim, Lululemon-clad women married to the financiers who inhabit the neighborhood’s cast-iron lofts. After class, we poke a little fun at the crowd, then look down at our feet and admit that we, too, are part of the problem. We’re not remotely 1 percenters, but we’re educated and fortunate enough to have full-time employment, and we can afford to spend $15 each week to attend a 95-minute yoga class. What’s more, we don’t have to pay taxes on our yoga class, or any other yoga class in New York City.
Should we? While efforts to tax these classes were struck down in New York, in Washington, D.C., the City Council recently passed legislation that will tax yoga,among other services, at the local sales tax rate of 5.75 percent.

Continue reading.
Photo: Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

OPINION: The yoga tax is good karma

On Saturdays at 11 a.m., a friend and I attend a yoga class at a Tribeca studio beloved by the so-called Goldman wives, the trim, Lululemon-clad women married to the financiers who inhabit the neighborhood’s cast-iron lofts. After class, we poke a little fun at the crowd, then look down at our feet and admit that we, too, are part of the problem. We’re not remotely 1 percenters, but we’re educated and fortunate enough to have full-time employment, and we can afford to spend $15 each week to attend a 95-minute yoga class. What’s more, we don’t have to pay taxes on our yoga class, or any other yoga class in New York City.

Should we? While efforts to tax these classes were struck down in New York, in Washington, D.C., the City Council recently passed legislation that will tax yoga,among other services, at the local sales tax rate of 5.75 percent.

Continue reading.

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images