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A selection of the best science and environment published this year.
BBC News – Science & Environment
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Do you love traveling as much as we do? There really is no better feeling than jumping on an airplane and letting the pilot take you to a brand new destination where you can check out the local cuisine, get to grips with the biggest attractions, and expand your horizons. The world really is your oyster. Of course, traveling the world one country at a time can be difficult if you work full-time, and you have to make the most out of your vacation days and your weekends. But if you struggle to make it through the day without thinking about travel-related-tidbits, you’ll love these travel blogs that are really great reads…
Nomadic Matt is perhaps one of the biggest and most successful travel bloggers in the world. As if that wasn’t cool enough, he’s also written a book that has made its way onto the New York Times best-seller list! After making his way into the world of full-time work and using all of his free time to see more of the world, Matt eventually decided to take the plunge, give up his job, and travel the world full-time. He has since been traveling for over a decade and uses his blog to show off his adventures, provide fans with travel tips, and even help them plan their own traveling adventure on a budget.
Alex in Wonderland
Do you ever just find yourself dreaming of a travel experience? Well, you’re not alone. That’s exactly what Alex went through while she was living and studying in Brooklyn. After growing tired of her everyday life, she decided that enough was enough and bought a one-way ticket abroad. Since then, she has spent six years traveling the globe and seeing what each new destination has to offer. Her travel blog is all about getting the most about a traveling adventure and living your best life.
Roads & Kingdoms
If you’re the kind of person that likes to be clued up about travel and culture, then Roads & Kingdoms is right up your street. This travel blog was set up by two established journalists who decided to give back to those who had caught the travel blog. Within this amazing website, these guys give you all the information you could possibly want to know about a country or city, from the food recommendations to the attractions and natural wonders you really need to see, to the music you need to listen to and the drinks you need to try. It’s the ultimate site of facts and figures, with a little bit of fun thrown in for good measure.
The Fearful Adventure blog is the blog for all of the worriers out there because traveling can be stressful and scary. Torre uses her blog to help those people out there who struggle with traveling on their own or with other people, to show you that you are in control of your own traveling experiences and that only you have the power to determine how you will make the most out of seeing the world and experiencing new things.
The Blonde Abroad
If you’re a strong, sassy woman who loves to do things off their own back, then you’ll love The Blonde Abroad. This travel blog was set up by Kiki, a California native who decided to take a break from work and try and ‘find herself’ during a summer abroad. However, what she didn’t realize was that she would be sucked into the travel lifestyle and feel totally empowered by going it alone and embracing her female power. From that, The Blonde Abroad was created, and she now advises and helps other women embark on their own solo journey of self-discovery. It will give you massive FOMO but is so worth it.
Looking for a cool new travel blog to keep you company on the commute home from work, or one to give you inspiration? These are a good start.
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Just in case our ever-decreasing anonymity in this tech-driven world hasn’t scared you enough, new studies find that within a few years 90 percent — 90 percent! — of Americans of European descent will be identifiable from their DNA. If you fall into that group, it doesn’t even matter whether you’ve given a DNA sample to one of the popular gene-testing sites (like 23andMe). Enough of your distant relatives have, so there’s a good chance you’re in the system.
Take your mind off that by checking out what you may have missed in health care this week.
Fact checkers came out in droves to comb through Trump’s arguments and found that nearly every paragraph contained a misleading statement or falsehood.
More than shedding any kind of light on the complicated topic, the back-and-forth highlights how much of a role health care is playing in the upcoming midterm elections. Each side has doubled down on its respective talking points (read: preexisting conditions and Medicare-for-all — I warned you you’d get tired of me saying that). In fact, health care is featured so heavily in ads that it trumps the topics of jobs or taxes.
Speaking of midterms, the Democrats’ attempt to block the administration’s expansion of short-term plans (very predictably) failed, with only Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins joining the Democrats. It was never about winning, though. What it did was force Republicans to go on record with a vote that is potentially politically dangerous in the current landscape.
In stark contrast to the sharply partisan discourse, Trump signed two bipartisan health care measures into law this week. The bills banned “gag clauses” on pharmacists, which had prohibited them from offering consumers cheaper options. The legislation won’t directly affect drug prices, but it might mean people will pay less at the register.
For the first time, premiums for the most popular level of insurance sold in the health law marketplaces have gone down. The numbers are the latest sign that the marketplace is stabilizing. (Centene’s expansion into new states is another from this week.) CMS Administrator Seema Verma touted the success, saying the news counters any accusations of sabotage. Health experts, however, said those price tags would have been even lower if not for the administration’s actions over the past year.
The Justice Department approved CVS’ $ 69 billion merger with Aetna, and although the deal still needs approval from state regulators, the green light is a major hurdle cleared. The merger would reshape the health landscape and mark the end of an era for free-standing pharmacy benefit managers. The potential consolidation is just one of many in recent years in a fast-evolving industry — a trend critics worry will lessen competition and drive up prices for consumers.
Hospitals scrambled to ensure patient safety as Hurricane Michael battered Florida and Georgia this week. “It was like hell,” said one doctor who rode out the storm at Bay Medical Center in Panama City, Fla. The hurricane brought with it memories of last year’s power outages that came with Hurricane Irma and were linked to the deaths of several nursing home residents.
Now that the Brett Kavanaugh battle is over and he’s taken a seat on the Supreme Court, Planned Parenthood has gone into planning mode in case anything happens to Roe v. Wade. A key component of the organization’s plan is to shore up networks in states where abortion would likely remain legal (with longer hours for clinics, for example). On the other side, abortion-rights opponents are getting primed for a new high court that’s likely friendlier to them by strategizing what cases would be best to move forward with.
How do you fight measures to expand abortion rights in progressive states? Make it about money. A battle in Oregon illustrates a strategy that — although unlikely to be successful — gives opponents of the bills at least a hope of winning.
Holes in the court system have allowed state judges to grant full custody of migrant children to American families — without notifying their parents. Federal officials say it should never happen, but oversight of the problem is scattershot and challenging because states handle adoption proceedings differently.
Democrats have been vocal about what they don’t like when it comes to immigration policy. But they have a problem: a lack of cohesion within the party about the correct way forward.
In the miscellaneous, must-read file:
• A gripping piece takes you into the bowels of a Philadelphia neighborhood dubbed the “Walmart of heroin.” “Drug tourists” come from all over to buy the cheap, pure heroin flowing through the veins of the streets, and some never make it out. (Warning: Make sure you have some time before you start, it will suck you in completely.)
• Why were nursing home residents getting extremely pricey therapy in the last weeks of their lives? Bloomberg takes a closer look at these cash-strapped facilities and the questionable decisions made about patients’ rehab.
• In good news from the segment of people who were too old to take advantage of the HPV vaccine, the Food and Drug Administration just approved its use for those up to age 45.
As an office of ardent dog lovers, we were distressed to hear the news that therapy dogs in hospitals are little germ machines, leaving behind happiness but also superbugs.
Have a great (hopefully superbug-free) weekend!
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