The Newspaper: The Watchdog Sleeps

A lot of people are crying the blues over the slow demise of the home delivered newspaper. I'm not one of them although I've been a journalist my entire adult life.

The newspaper with printer's ink, paper, and pictures should be put out of its misery pronto. It's costing media companies billions of dollars in loses. it's forced publishers to get in bed with members of the Chamber of Commerce to sell advertising. it has placed editors at the mercy of the paper's marketing department and emasculated reporters to the degree that they missed uncovering some of the biggest stories in the last 50 years--the phantom weapons of mass destruction, the mortgage mess, the financial meltdown, the $64 billion Madoff Ponzi scheme, and the deregulation of the financial services industry that has put the fate of the nation in peril. Besides, in this neck of the woods and other areas I've visited finding a person reading a newspaper in public is similar to getting a glimpse at billionaire recluse Howard Hughes during the 1960s and early 70s. Let's face it. The only people who give a real hoot about newspapers are some old coots like me, people with lots of time on their hands (a rarity) and people who need supermarket coupons or something to wrap fish in. In a day when all kinds of visual images and text can be placed in a small hand held device not much heavier than a snowflake or on a computer screen that can bring to "life" a story in all its glory, it makes no sense to carry around an ugly looking newspaper the way the Founder's did in the day of Ben Franklin. It's so sad. The newspaper is like a rich uncle who lost his fortune and now hangs around with holes in his shoes and a shine on the back of his pants making people feel guilty and uncomfortable in his presence. To show just how desperate things have gotten I was billed the other day for $3.30 by my local newspaper after I cancelled my subscription and accused of being a deadbeat although I didn't know any money was due. My bank check, I might add, was cashed "faster than a speeding bullet." The solution I like best from what I've read would have every media company in America scrap the print edition of newspapers, go entirely on-line, pool some resources such as collectively hire a large team of investigative reporters to revive the sleeping watchdog. Media mogul Ted Turner said years ago newspapers were the last of the smokestack industries. He was right. Now it's time to get rid of of the relic. 

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Life is hard: Jordan Peterson and the nature of suffering

The Canadian professor's old-school message is why many started listening to him.

Jordan Peterson addresses students at The Cambridge Union on November 02, 2018 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. (Photo by Chris Williamson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth
  • The simplicity of Peterson's message on suffering echoes Buddha and Rabbi Hillel.
  • By bearing your suffering, you learn how to become a better person.
  • Our suffering is often the result of our own actions, so learn to pinpoint the reasons behind it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less