National / International News
Raccoons, as cute as they are, carry parasites that can be dangerous to humans. Mixing medicine with yummy treats reduced the disease risk for animals and humans in parks in Chicago.
There are approximately 300 million smokers in China, roughly the population of the United States. Smoking also kills about a million Chinese each year. Now Beijing is considering a ban on smoking in public places and tobacco advertising.
On the face of it, the ban is an effort by the government to control healthcare costs. But Stanford University anthropologist Matthew Kohrman, who has written extensively about smoking in China, sees the ban as a distraction from a bigger issue.
"It's a sideshow," Kohrman says.
This ban would target consumers, like advocacy efforts by other governments and the World Health Organization do. Kohrman is more concerned about the supply and production of tobacco.
"Most people would think that cigarette production has gone down worldwide over the last two or three decades. In fact, cigarette production has tripled since the 1960s," he says. "China has become the world's cigarette superpower."
The places a Westerner might be surprised to find smoking today? Taxis, schools and even hospitals. Even so, consumer habits are changing. Public buses and high-end department stores are smoke-free. Airplanes, too, for the most part.
"For years now I've been flying on Chinese airlines," Kohrman says. "Shortly after the flight takes off, I've almost on every flight smelled cigarette smoke. I always figured someone in the back has a fierce nicotine habit."
Turns out, the passengers obeyed the signs and flight attendants' instructions. The smoke was coming from the cockpit.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says only a third of Americans infected with HIV have the virus under control. Most have been diagnosed, though that's less common among the young.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so throw on your stretchy pants.It’s time for mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy, ham and of course a giant turkey right in the middle of the table. Many will deep-fry their turkey, others will stick it in the oven and baste it. But there are those who will eat tofu, or Tofurky to be exact.
"Tofurky is a meat alternative that is the original and number one selling meat alternative turkey in America," says Seth Tibbott, founder and president of the Tofurky Company.
Soybean-rich Tofurky has been a reliable vegan and vegetarian go-to at Thanksgiving gatherings for the past 20 years.
"We first sold 500 tofurky roasts in Portland, Oregon, in 1995," Tibbott says.
The company remains a family-owned and independent enterprise.
"We never sold equity to any outside investors or venture capitalists," says Tibbott. "I wish I had Kickstarter around when I started it."
From Calvin and Hobbes to Fall Out Boy, two self-taught pastry pros specialize in hand-painted cookies of musicians and other cultural icons. Their creations seem almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.