New ‘Digital Divide’ Seen in Wasting Time Online

Digital Divide

“As access to devices has spread, children in poorer families are spending considerably more time than children from more well-off families using their television and gadgets to watch shows and videos, play games and connect on social networking sites, studies show.

This growing time-wasting gap, policy makers and researchers say, is more a reflection of the ability of parents to monitor and limit how children use technology than of access to it.” (NYTimes).

So wasting time online is restricted to the underprivileged?


Poverty, Immigration, and the ‘New HIV/AIDS’

“What if a deadly epidemic was burgeoning and almost nobody noticed? In the latest issue of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, a distinguished group of virologists, epidemiologists and infectious-disease specialists say that’s not a hypothetical question. They argue that Chagas disease, a parasitic infection transmitted by blood-sucking insects, has become so widespread and serious — while remaining largely unrecognized — that it deserves to be considered a public health emergency. Extending the metaphor, they liken Chagas’ stealth spread to the early days of AIDS…” (Wired Science ).


2 New Elements Named on Periodic Table

“You can now greet by name two new residents of the period table of elements: Flerovium and Livermorium.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry officially approved names for the elements – which sit at slot 114 and 116, respectively — on May 31. They have until now gone by the temporary monikers ununquadium and ununhexium.

Both elements are man-made, having first been synthesized at the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, in 1998 and 2000. The discoveries were confirmed with further work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Suggested names for the two elements have been pending since they were submitted to the IUPAC last year.” (Wired Science).


Is Arsenic the Worst Chemical in the World?

‘ “Arsenic is the number one environmental chemical for human health,” Joshua Hamilton tells me during a recent phone call. We’re talking about his latest research, a just-published study in PLoS ONE which found that this naturally occuring poison causes harm in an astonishingly small dose — 10 parts per billion.Hamilton’s study looked at arsenic’s effect on mother mice and their offspring. But he chose the 10 ppb dose for a very human reason. It’s the safety standard the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets for arsenic in drinking water. Why does EPA need such a standard? Because an estimated 25 million Americans mostly on private well systems drink water contaminated by arsenic-rich bedrock. I’ve put an arsenic map of the United States at the top of the post. Note that micrograms per liter is the same thing as parts per billion. This tells you that a lot of private wells — which are not held to public water supply regulations — run above the EPA standard.’ (Wired Science)