Meet the Chimps That Lawyers Argue Are People

‘Earlier this summer, these two chimps received worldwide attention when activists with the Nonhuman Rights Project argued in a New York courtroom that Leo and Hercules should legally be considered people with a right to be free. Absent from those proceedings were Hercules and Leo themselves. News stories about the lawsuit—eventually dismissed, currently being appealed—were illustrated with stock chimpanzee photographs. A video accompanying the new study is the first chance most people will have to see the chimps, and their appearance raises anew the question: Is a chimpanzee a person?’

Source: National Geographic

Ebola Nations Declare First Week With No New Cases

‘The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed the lives of over 11,000 people to date, mainly in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, as reported by BBC News. Today, it is a pleasure to report that these three countries at the very heart of the deadly epidemic have recorded their first week with no new cases since the outbreak began in March of last year…’

Source: IFLScience

The placebo effect grows stronger

‘It’s getting more difficult for new painkilling drugs to be approved because the rate of effectiveness vs. placebos in drug tests is falling. But oddly, the drop is only being seen in the US. Based on patients’ ratings of their pain, the effect of trialled drugs in relieving symptoms stayed the same over the 23-year period — but placebo responses rose. In 1996, patients in clinical trials reported that drugs relieved their pain by 27% more than did a placebo. But by 2013, that gap had slipped to just 9%. The phenomenon is driven by 35 US trials; among trials in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, there was no significant change in placebo responses. The analysis is in press in the journal Pain…’

Source: Kottke

There Is Red Water on Pluto

“New Horizons has detected numerous small, exposed regions of water ice on Pluto,” NASA noted in the press release. NASA doesn’t know yet why water appears on some regions of Pluto and not others, but it notes that Pluto’s watery regions are a deep red color.“I’m surprised that this water ice is so red,” Silvia Protopapa, New Horizons scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park. “We don’t yet understand the relationship between water ice and the reddish tholin colorants on Pluto’s surface.”..’

Source: Motherboard

How To Talk To A Grieving Person 

‘In the weeks and months after my father died, “How are you?” became my least favorite question. It was always benign and well-intentioned, but it also inevitably reminded me that I felt like shit. I’d rather have given a gruesome blow-by-blow account of how my father died than talk about how I felt. But talking—or, more importantly, finding someone who will listen—is what grieving people so desperately need.

There is a gulf between mourners and the rest of the world. We want to talk, but we don’t want to make people uncomfortable. We can tell they want to say something, but they don’t know how. But how the hell do you talk to a grieving person? It can be baffling, especially when a simple “Hey, what’s up?” can set someone off.

But you have to start somewhere. “I think it’s important for people who haven’t lost someone to say, ‘I have no idea what you’re going through, but I’m here to listen,’” my friend Tessa told me of her own experience mourning her father. “And for people that have been through it, share that. It makes us feel less alone, I think.”

True, you might say the wrong thing! It’s okay, though…’

Source: Dead Spin