The science behind twitching eyelids

Scientist Steve Mould developed an eye twitch, and in this video, he explains how and why it happens. Some of the causes include fatigue, over-exercise, and too much caffeine. Read the rest

Lifehacks from a longevity expert who just died at age 105

Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara died last month at age 105. Over his long life, he helped many others achieve long lives by popularizing annual medical checkups and by sharing what he knew, which was one of his tips for longer living: Read the rest

All about the Black Death flea that killed 100 million people

Oriental Rat Flea

(Xenopsylla cheopis)

SIZE: Up to 1/6 in (4 mm)

FAMILY: Pulicidae

HABITAT: Near rats, their primary food source

DISTRIBUTION: Worldwide, particularly tropical and subtropical climates, but some temperate zones as well

MEET THE RELATIVES: The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, is a relative, as is the dog flea C. can is—but in the United States, it is primarily the cat flea that preys on both cats and dogs. They are known to transmit tapeworms.

Excerpted from Wicked Bugs (Young Readers Edition): The Meanest, Deadliest, Grossest Bugs on Earth by Amy Stewart, illustrated by Briony Morrow-Cribbs. © 2017 by Amy Stewart. Reprinted by permission of Algonquin Young Readers. All rights reserved. Available from Amazon.

On an autumn day in 1907, two brothers in San Francisco found a dead rat in the cellar. Inspired by their father, an undertaker, they decided to find a coffin for the rat to give it a proper funeral.

When they ran home for dinner that night, the boys brought along a souvenir of their adventures—bloodthirsty fleas, starved for a meal after their rat host had died. Along with the fleas came a deadly disease—the plague.

The rat flea would prefer to leave humans, cats, dogs, and chickens alone, but when rat populations experience a massive die off—as they do during epidemics of the plague—the fleas turn to other warm-blooded creatures for their food. This is exactly what happened to those two unfortunate boys. Within a month, the plague had killed their parents but spared the boys, leaving them orphans. Read the rest

Establishment Dems worried they'll get primaried if they don't back single-payer healthcare

The establishment wing of the Democratic Party has spent decades receiving dump-trucks full of money from the insurance industry and then, totally coincidentally, explaining that the time isn't right for single-payer for completely unrelated reasons. Read the rest

Big data + private health insurance = game over

Once big data systems agglomerate enough data about you to predict whether you are likely to get sick or badly injured, insurers will be able to deny coverage (or charge so much for it that it amounts to the same thing) to anyone who is likely to get sick, forcing everyone who might ever need insurance into medical bankruptcy, and turning Medicaid into a giant "high-risk pool" that taxpayers foot the bill for. Read the rest

Amazon's "fish antibiotics" are a way for uninsured people to buy medicine without paying for doctor's visits

Amazon has a ton of listings for "fish antibiotics" whose reviews reveal that the people who buy them are self-medicating because they can't afford a doctor's visit because they are uninsured or can't afford their insurance's co-payment. Read the rest

Audit shows that pharma companies are still cheating by suppressing trials

It's been years since the major pharma companies agreed to participate in the Registry of All Trials, meaning that they'd end the practice of only reporting on trials whose outcomes they were pleased with, leaving about half of all trials unreported-on. Read the rest

70 top-paid US health industry CEOs raked in $9.8B since Obamacare passed

You know all those health industry lobbyists who say that the American healthcare industry will go broke if it has to take care of the health of Americans? Read the rest

Eye surgeon discovers that patient's irritated, dry eye is caused by a mass of dozens of lost contact lenses

UK eye surgeon Rupal Morjaria was poised to operate on a 67-year-old patient when he discovered a "blueish mass" that turned out to be 17 old, lost contact lenses that had fused together; he then recovered 10 more loose, floating lenses from her eye. Read the rest

GOP lawmakers snap up surging health insurance stocks as they gut Obamacare

Paul Ryan ally Rep. Mike Conaway [R-TX, @ConawayTX11, +1 (202) 225-3605] is the proud owner of $30,000 worth of stock in UnitedHealth, who stand to benefit enormously from Rep Conaway's efforts to destroy Obamacare and replace it with a system that allows insurers to charge more and kick more than 22,000,000 Americans off their insurance. Read the rest

Third Thumb: an opposable prosthetic enhancement

Designer Dani Clode's Third Thumb is a 3D printed robotic prosthetic thumb that goes on the pinky side of your hand, created a motorized, opposable additional thumb that you can use to play the guitar, pick up objects, or crack an egg. Read the rest

Atul Gawande on the importance of preventative care and the disastrous Senate "health" bill

Atul Gawande (previously) is a highly respected expert on systems thinking, preventative medicine and dying with dignity has published an excellent editorial about the medical shortcomings of the Senate GOP's tax-break/health cut bill. Read the rest

A Chinese vitamin MLM cult is replacing healthcare for poor Ugandans

Uganda is so poor that few can afford medical care, giving it one of the lowest life-expectancies on the planet -- this toxic combination made the country ripe for infiltration by Tiens, a Chinese Multi-Level-Marketing "nutritional supplements" cult whose members set up fake medical clinics that diagnose fake ailments and proscribe fake medicines, then rope patients into becoming cult recruiters who convince their friends to sign up for the cult. Read the rest

Wireless scale tracks your weight over time

$29 is a good price for this Koogeek wireless bathroom scale. It syncs to your smartphone through Bluetooth and updates an app that displays a graph of your weight over time. Read the rest

The heartwarming story behind the internet's premier testicle clickbait site

K. Thor Jenson, one of the enduring lights of web culture, spent two years writing clickbait about balls for a good cause: testicular cancer research.

I signed on with the foundation in early 2015. Together, we developed a business plan for the site. We quickly realized that a 100% testicle-focused site would run out of material pretty quickly, so we started brainstorming what would be under the umbrella. Testicular stories, sure, but also stories of “ballsy” behavior. Sports, as long as the ball was the focus of the piece. Ball pits. Energy balls. Balls of snakes. You get the idea.

Since 2015, The Ball Report has published 1,073 posts, many astoundingly successful, and with serious journalistic work amid all the bollocks: "When a viral story about a gang member dying after spray-painting his testicles gold started to spread, I was one of the first to debunk it. I wrote a dense history of the practice of “teabagging” in video games."

[Cheers, John!] Read the rest

Everything you always wanted to know about strange pee colors (but were too freaked out to ask)

From green to red to even black, it turns out your pee can turn a whole bunch of different colors for a whole bunch of different reasons. In this new SciShow video, Hank Green breaks down the ins and outs of strange pee colors. And in case you were wondering, here’s another SciShow video from a few years ago about why your poop is sometimes green:

Read the rest

Shareholder revolt at Mylan over Epipen-gouging CEO's $98M bonus

The board of directors at Mylan have rewarded former CEO Robert Coury with a $98m bonus as he steps into the executive chairman's role, having overseen a price-gouging scandal over the Epipens used by people prone to life-threatening allergic reactions. Read the rest

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