I tried Be My Eyes, the popular app that pairs blind people with helpers

The app helps blind or visually impaired people connect with users for everyday tasks and has way more volunteers than its creators expected In the oversaturated app market, one has reached a frequently neglected demographic: blind people. Be My Eyes, created by Hans Jorgen Wiberg in 2015, pairs volunteers with blind or visually impaired people in need of help with small, everyday tasks. These can range from reading an expiration date on a carton of milk to describing the color of a shirt. Wanting to be of help, I volunteered my eyes, ready to answer the call of a person in need of a snack or an opinion on an outfit. There is one flaw with the app, albeit a …

Migrant children held in Texas facility need access to doctors, says attorney

Inhumane conditions for detained children amount to emergency public health crisis, says attorney who visited center Hundreds of children at a migrant detention center in Texas are being held in inhumane conditions that amount to an emergency public health crisis and should be allowed immediate access to doctors, according to an attorney who gained rare access to the facility. Elora Mukherjee, the director of Columbia Law Schools immigrant rights clinic, was one of six attorneys to visit the detention center in Clint approach the media. Mukherjee noted that seven children have died in federal immigration custody or shortly after being released, compared to no such deaths in the 10 previous years. We were extremely concerned that more children might die …

Ask the experts: are we unnecessarily afraid of chemicals?

We asked what you wanted to know about toxic exposure and put your questions to Dr Leonardo Trasande You asked How can we stop the public from being unnecessarily afraid of chemicals? The answer When parents raise concerns about synthetic chemicals as contributors to disease and disability, we shouldnt dismiss them as chemophobia. We need to engage in evidence-based conversations about prevention. Evidence documented by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society, World Health Organization and UN Environment Programme shows low-level exposures to many synthetic chemicals have serious, negative effects. Studies in the laboratory animals have been confirmed by studies in humans that show similar effects of low-level exposure to these chemicals. The good news is that safe and …

Which is the most hayfever-prone city and is ‘botanical sexism’ to blame?

Allergy sufferers from Tokyo to London are struggling as pollen levels surge in cities, possibly due to a preference for male trees In 2016, Melbourne experienced a rare and extreme case of thunderstorm asthma that led to ten deaths and 8,500 people being abundant allergenic pollen. Some are dioecious plants, which have their own distinct sex, and some are monoecious plants (those with male and female flowers on the same plant) that have been cloned to be male. The last few times I was in London, for example, almost every single willow tree I saw was now a male clone; almost all of the bay trees being sold and planted were males; virtually all of the many species of poplar …

Busy Philipps on abortion: Women have held on to a lot of this shame

The actor and author who recently testified before Congress on why she got an abortion discusses the power in being vocal about uncomfortable experiences Busy Philipps big dreams for the stage never included ending their pregnancies in 1969 to the 343 French influencers led by Simone de Beauvoir who signed a 1971 manifesto wrote in the New York Times. But as women stopped talking about it publicly, the anti-abortion movement gathered steam. Busy Philipps testifies about the threat to abortion rights before a House judiciary subcommittee. Photograph: c-span By 2014, one in four women will have an abortion by the age of 45. And now, thanks to the addition of two ultra-conservative supreme court justices picked by Donald Trump, anti-abortion …

Biden stumbles over abortion rights while Warren receives cheers

In a first-of-its-kind forum, the former vice-president claimed a 100% voting record before his mic suddenly cut out In the first presidential forum on reproductive rights in recent memory, former vice-president Joe Biden told an audience of mostly female Planned Parenthood supporters he had a 100% voting record on reproductive rights. In fact, gone back and forth on support for abortion access. In this election cycle, reproductive rights has emerged as a top issue as Republican statehouses across the US have attacked abortion rights. Biden told his audience in Columbia he would codify the right to an abortion, granted in Roe v Wade, into law as defined by Casey a stance more conservative than those of many other Democratic candidates …

New York ends religious exemption to vaccine mandate for schoolchildren

State lawmakers vote to repeal exemption amid countrys worst measles outbreak in decades New York eliminated the religious exemption to vaccine requirements for schoolchildren Thursday, as the countrys worst Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

Most of us feel sleepy in the afternoon. Why cant work fit round that? | Andre Spicer

Now a third of Britons are sleep-deprived, work should be more flexible, says Andr Spicer, professor of organisational behaviour at the Cass Business School In the early afternoon, I often catch myself listlessly staring into the computer screen. I have things to do, but I cant concentrate. I try writing the same sentence five times and delete it six. During one of these afternoon torpors, I came upon a word: acedia. It seemed to perfectly define my mid-afternoon weariness. I discovered this originally Greek word was widely used by medieval Christian monks to describe a sense of indolence, a mood of lethargy, a feeling of being completely unconcerned about their duties and purpose in the world. Christian mystics who lived …

Retirement should not mean hardship but many older Americans live in poverty

As inequality has grown, American seniors have been exposed to financial distress in ways that often go unnoticed Vivian Majors spent her life cleaning houses while her husband, Martin, worked as a carpenter. Their bodies broke down in their 60s. She is now 71, living on her own and struggling to pay her bills. He is in a nursing home and has Parkinsons disease. She survives on a $960 monthly social security check and $50 in food stamps. Hardened by years of physically taxing work that left her hovering around the poverty line, Majors, now retired, is girding herself for more years of financial hardship. Partnership Elderly poverty was supposed to be a thing of the past. Social security supposedly …

Trump takes war on abortion worldwide as policy cuts off funds

Sexual health organisations warn women will die if they are forced to seek DIY abortions The Trump administration has taken its war on abortion worldwide, cutting off all funding to any overseas organisation or clinic that will not agree to a complete ban on even discussing it. The Mexico City policy, dubbed the global gag by its critics, denies US federal funds to any organisation involved in providing abortion services overseas or counselling women about them. It was instituted by the then US president Ronald Reagan and has been revoked by every Democrat and reinstated by every Republican president since. But, under Trump, the net has been thrown wider and pulled tighter than ever. Sexual health organisations have said women …

Why race science is on the rise again

After the second world war, the belief that differences between so-called races are genetic became taboo. Now, with the far right resurgent, its back In 1985, historian Barry Mehler had a dream. His research was taking him deep into the murky territory of academias extreme right wing. As he worked, he found his waking life beginning to soak into his subconscious, colouring his sleep. In his dream, his son, then two years old, was trapped in a runaway car hurtling down a hill. The traffic is going in both directions, and I am in the middle of the road desperately waving my hands trying to stop the flow, in order to save the life of my son, he tells me. …

Baby with spina bifida receives pioneering keyhole surgery

Jaxson Sharp has spine repaired while in the womb, in first for UK surgeons For the first time in the UK, doctors have performed pioneering keyhole surgery to repair the spine of a baby with spina bifida while still in the womb. Surgeons from Kings College hospital in London used the cutting-edge technique to successfully close a hole in the spine of Jaxson Sharp 27 weeks into the pregnancy. His mother, Sherrie, from Horsham, West Sussex, had the operation after a routine 20-week scan revealed that his spine and spinal cord had not developed normally. The condition can lead to substantial physical and cognitive developmental problems, including paralysis. In the three-hour procedure, surgeons inserted a thin camera and small surgical …

Alabama’s abortion ban shows the chilling effect of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment | Jill Filipovic

The goal of anti-abortion campaigners is to overturn Roe v Wade. With todays radical, activist, rightwing supreme court, they may succeed There is a war on American women. On Tuesday night, Alabama voted to outlaw abortion entirely. Doctors who perform the procedure could go to prison for 99 years, simply for providing healthcare that one in four American women obtains at some point in her life. The law offers no exception for rape or incest victims because, as the Republican lawmaker Clyde Chambliss said, When God creates the miracle of life inside a womans womb, it is not our place as human beings to extinguish that life. This is todays pro-life movement: arguing that pre-teen girls who are raped and …

Suicide attempts by poisoning rising among young people in US, study says

More than 1.6 million children and young adults aged 10 to 24 attempted suicide by poisoning between 2000 to 2018 The number of children and young adults who have attempted suicide by poisoning has increased in the United States over the past several years, according to a study from Nationwide childrens hospital in Ohio, published in the Journal of Pediatrics on Wednesday. There was a significant increase in the rate of attempts between 2011 and 2018 that was driven predominantly by girls and young women. A total of 71% of all cases reported in the study involved girls and women. While the studys data cannot point to a specific reason behind the increase in self-poisoning, the researchers note that social …

Northern Ireland prison bans book about Irish republicans

Maghaberry in County Antrim contains several republican paramilitaries A Irish prison that holds some of the most dangerous republican paramilitary prisoners has banned a new academic book about dissident Irish republicans. Unfinished Business: the Dissident Irish targets Lyra McKee during rioting in Derry. Police hunting McKees killer have warned of a Good Friday agreement supposedly drew a line under the Troubles. McGlinchey said she was taken aback when a prisoner notified her about the ban: It must be because of the subject matter but this is an academic work. She visited Maghaberry five or six times to conduct interviews, she said. The book has been endorsed by the life peer Paul Bew and Richard English, professors at Queens University Belfast …

Parents face shock rise in childcare costs as government cuts bite

Up to half of nurseries set to close or reduce services they offer, survey warns Parents will be forced to pay higher fees for childcare this year because of a lack of government funding, new research suggests. Nurseries and childminders are being driven out of business, while staff feel stressed, demoralised and even suicidal. The burden of higher wage bills while subjecting them to a real-terms funding cut. A survey of EYA members, seen by the Observer, suggests two-fifths are likely to reduce staff over the next year as a result of this under-funding. Nearly half of providers fear they will go out of business in the next 12 months and 81% say they are so stressed about financial viability …