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Health, Science & Environment

Nearly 40,000 People Died From Guns in U.S. Last Year, Highest in 50 Years.

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 / Last year was the third consecutive year that the rate of firearm deaths rose in the United States. While public mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas make up a small percentage of firearm deaths, they have changed the national conversation.Credit Zackary Canepari for the New York Times

Related: Hospitals Are Trying To Do What Politicians Haven’t: Stop Gun Violence.

Sarah Mervosh, New York (NY) Times

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https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/12/19/us/19xp-guns3/merlin_137864547_753db288-40d3-401f-b337-01c18ca3458a-jumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp / Dec. 18, 2018 | Last year was the third consecutive year that the rate of firearm deaths rose in the United States. While public mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas make up a small percentage of firearm deaths, they have changed the national conversation. CreditCreditZackary Canepari for The New York Times

More people died from firearm injuries in the United States last year than in any other year since at least 1968, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There were 39,773 gun deaths in 2017, up by more than 1,000 from the year before. Nearly two-thirds were suicides. It was the largest yearly total on record in the C.D.C.’s electronic database, which goes back 50 years, and reflects the sheer number of lives lost.

Sarah Mervosh covers breaking news for the New York Times. She was previously an investigative reporter at The Dallas Morning News. Her background is primarily in covering criminal justice and legal issues.

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Related:

Hospitals Are Trying To Do What Politicians Haven’t: Stop Gun Violence. Nick Wing, Huff Post

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Revolver%20Barrel%20and%20Socket%20Wrench.jpg / Not content to simply patch up injuries, hospital-based violence intervention programs around the U.S. are helping to change the lives of survivors.

 


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Psycological Analysis of Trump's Support

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  • Part 1: The Dunning-Kruger Effect May Help Explain Trump's SupportA new study suggests some people grossly overestimate their political knowledge.
  • Part 2: A Complete Psychological Analysis of Trump's Support
  • Science can help us make sense of the president's political invincibility.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

 

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Part 1: The Dunning-Kruger Effect May Help Explain Trump's Support

A new study suggests some people grossly overestimate their political knowledge.

Bobby Azarian, Psychology Today

Aug 22,2018 | In the past, some prominent psychologists have explained President Donald Trump’s unwavering support by alluding to a well-established psychological phenomenon known as the “Dunning-Kruger effect.” The effect is a type of cognitive bias, where people with little expertise or ability assume they have superior expertise or ability. This overestimation occurs as a result of the fact that they don’t have enough knowledge to know they don’t have enough knowledge. This simple but loopy concept has been demonstrated dozens of times in well-controlled psychology studies and in a variety of contexts. However, until now, the effect had not been studied in one of the most obvious and important realms—political knowledge.

A new study published in the journal PoliticalPsychology, carried out by the political scientist Ian Anson at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, not only found that the Dunning-Kruger effect applies to politics, it also appears to be exacerbated when partisan identities are made more salient. In other words, those who score low on political knowledge tend to overestimate their expertise even more when greater emphasis is placed on political affiliation.

Bobby Azarian is a cognitive neuroscientist affiliated with George Mason University and a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the Atlantic, the New York Times, BBC Future, Scientific American, Slate, the Huffington Post, Quartz, and others. His research has been published in journals such as Cognition & Emotion and Human Brain Mapping.

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Part 2: A Complete Psychological Analysis of Trump's Support


Science can help us make sense of the president's political invincibility.

Bobby Azarian, Psychology Today

Dec 27,2018 | Whether we want to or not, we must try to understand the Donald Trump phenomenon, as it has completely swept the nation and also fiercely divided it. What is most baffling about it all is Trump’s apparent political invincibility. As he himself said even before he won the presidential election, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Unfortunately for the American people, this wild-sounding claim appears to be truer than not. It should also motivate us to explore the science underlying such peculiar human behavior, so we can learn from it, and potentially inoculate against it.

In all fairness, we should recognize that lying is sadly not uncommon for politicians on both sides of the political aisle, but the frequency and magnitude of the current president’s lies should have us all wondering why they haven’t destroyed his political career, and instead perhaps strengthened it. Similarly, we should be asking why his inflammatory rhetoric and numerous scandals haven’t sunk him. We are talking about a man who was caught on tape saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.” Politically surviving that video is not normal, or anything close to it, and such a revelation would likely have been the end of Barack Obama or George Bush had it surfaced weeks before the election.

Bobby Azarian is a cognitive neuroscientist affiliated with George Mason University and a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the Atlantic, the New York Times, BBC Future, Scientific American, Slate, the Huffington Post, Quartz, and others. His research has been published in journals such as Cognition & Emotion and Human Brain Mapping.

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In-Depth Analysis by Team of UMass Amherst Economists Shows Viability of Medicare For All

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Comprehensive plan is estimated to reduce U.S. health consumption expenditures by nearly 10 percent, while providing decent health care coverage to all Americans.

Robert Pollin, Jeannette Wicks-Lim, Jared Sharpe, Common Dreams / Portside

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December 01, 2018 | A team of economists from the University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) has found that the Medicare for All Act of 2017, introduced to the United States Senate by Senator Bernie Sanders, is not only economically viable, but could actually reduce health consumption expenditures by about 9.6 percent while also providing decent health care coverage for all Americans.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Viability%20of%20Medicare%20For%20All%20sidebar.jpgIn a nearly 200-page report released at the Sanders Institute Gathering, the first major event hosted by the think tank founded by Jane O’Meara Sanders and David Driscoll, the senator’s wife and son, the economists outline seven major aspects of transforming the U.S. health care system, detailing step-by-step the actions needed to be taken to achieve truly universal health care and its potential impacts on individuals, families, businesses and government. The analysis, which was in development for 18 months, has received praise from 11 distinguished experts in the fields of economics and health care studies who have rigorously reviewed the researchers’ findings.

Pollin and Wicks-Lim were joined in crafting the analysis by UMass Amherst colleagues James Heintz, associate director and Andrew Glyn Professor of Economics, Peter Arno, senior fellow and director of health policy research, and Michael Ash, senior research fellow and professor of economics and public policy.

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Accepting the Truth About Climate Change is a Matter of State/Church Separation

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  • We get one shot at life and we get it on this one planet. Let's not ruin it.
  • Related: Preaching on Climate Change: Why it Matters

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Hemant Mehta, Friendly Atheist

Another mundane “miracle”: a cross left standing in the wake of a hurricane that killed 33 people. God didn’t save the people or even the church from Hurricane Michael. Instead, he saved a torture-device-turned-religious symbol.


This religious myopia is remarkably consistent. After Hurricane Harvey, Christians claimed that their god saveda cross and let over 100 people die. And it might not have been a cross, just a telephone pole.
 

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. He is a former National Board Certified high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago, where he taught for seven years.


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Related:

Preaching on Climate Change: Why it Matters, Jim Antal, Utne

https://opimedia.azureedge.net/-/media/images/utr/editorial/articles/online-articles/2018/08-01/climate-church-climate-world/global-disaster-jpg.jpg / Climate change is not going to affect me; it’s someone else’s problem. The challenge is too enormous; there’s nothing I can do about it, so why should I think about it? Photo by Getty/BenGoode

  • Learn about the benefits of preaching on climate change and educating yourself about the issues this catastrophe presents.
  • Related: Federal Climate Report Predicts At Least 3 Degrees Of Warming By 2100.

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Help enlighten others. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.

Special Project | Dealing with Addictions at the Holidays

  • Part 1: Guide//5 Helpful Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays
  • Follow these basic tips and you can have a wonderful and happy sober holiday season.
  • Part 2: Advent//Deepening Our Commitment to Recovery
  • Having struggled through the dark in our addictions, why not spend these weeks of light … renewing our commitment to recovery?

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

 

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Part 1: Guide//5 Helpful Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays

https://www.thefix.com/sites/default/files/styles/article/public/dreamstime_s_101157670.jpg / When you’re constantly running from place to place and engaging with different people, it’s easy to begin to feel worn down and drained, which can lead to feelings that could put your recovery at risk. PC: ID 101157670 © Gpointstudio


The truth is that sometimes, the holidays can just be tough. But you don’t have to go in blindly. Follow these basic tips and you can have a wonderful and happy sober holiday season.

Beth Leipholtz, the Fix

12/10/18 | For some people, the holidays are a joyful time that is looked forward to all year long. For others, this isn’t the case. Sometimes the stress of traveling, gift-giving and time with extended family takes a toll and can be daunting – especially, perhaps, for those in recovery from substance use disorder.

The truth is that sometimes, the holidays can just be tough. But you don’t have to go in blindly.

https://www.thefix.com/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/DSC_0079.jpg / Beth Leipholtz: Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in hersparetime she enjoys writing about recovery.

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Part 2: Advent//Deepening Our Commitment to Recovery


https://www.thefix.com/sites/default/files/styles/article/public/dreamstime_s_28346078.jpg / We are here only to bring light in our own unique ways to those alone in the dark, to remember that light from above illuminates the unsteady ground under our feet.

Haven’t we struggled through the dark in our addictions and now live inside truth’s illumination? So why not spend these weeks in spiritual reflection and renewing our commitment to recovery?

Kerry Neville, the Fix

12/12/18 | Advent, from the Latin, adventus — “a coming” — is, for Christians, the season celebrating Jesus Christ’s impending birth and his second coming after his death. The liturgical readings over the four weeks are centered on hope, preparation, joy, and love. It is also the season of the Advent wreath and its four candles, one lit successively each week, and of the Advent calendar and its 25 chocolates secreted behind twenty-five cardboard windows. Reflection and prayer, sweetness and light: the dark illuminated by remembrance and anticipation.

When I was drinking? The season for wanton indulgence: cranberry cosmopolitans, eggnog, mulled wine, and Irish coffees. Parties and booze and blackouts and hangovers. Superficial, carnal pursuits superseded any spiritual meditative pleasures. How many Christmas Eves did my then-husband and I spend slogging wine into the wee hours while last-minute wrapping gifts, crankier with each downed glass? And then the wretched hangover on Christmas mornings when our kids, wiggly with Santa excitement, woke us at dawn — “Get up! Get up! Get up!”— and how we dragged ourselves from bed, desperate for ibuprofen and coffee?

https://www.thefix.com/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/kerry-neville.jpg / Kerry Neville teaches at Georgia College and State University. She is the author of two collections of short fiction, Remember to Forget Me and Necessary Lies. Her work has appeared online in publications such as the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and the Fix.

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