- Washington Post Features
Winter stifles pollen, but other pests can make allergies worse now
Most people don't consider allergies the cause of their coldlike symptoms in the winter, because the cause of most respiratory allergies — pollen — is usually not drifting about in cold and snowy climes. Yet some of the most common allergies are to indoor things.
Polar vortex may prove to be a powerful pesticide
The deep freeze, with arctic blasts from the polar vortex, has put invasive insects on ice in dozens of states. That includes the emerald ash borer, a pretty bug that does ugly things to ecosystems it invades.
The only online dating ad you'll ever need
Wired magazine assembled a number of infographics this month of what makes for the most attractive online dating profile. It even included a list of the most appealing words men and women used in their profiles.
Actually, that asteroid did not nearly hit Earth
The Internet lit up with reports last week that a big rock was on a path to nearly strike the Earth on Monday night, Feb. 17. This was not true. But it made for a grabby headline. As in: "An Asteroid Will Almost Hit the Earth Tonight" (from Motherboard).
Does your insurance plan cover self-inflicted injuries?
Dealing with a suicide or attempted suicide is stressful enough. Some health plans make the experience worse by refusing to cover medical costs for injuries that are related to suicide or an attempt - even though experts say that in many cases such exclusions aren't permitted under federal law.
Data breach hits Target's profits, but that's only the tip of the iceberg
In its first financial release since the December breach that enabled the theft of millions of customers' payment data, Target said profits fell 46 percent and that the breach had already cost the retailer $17 million. The final tally will be bigger, the company said, but it's unclear by how much.
Six reasons childhood obesity has fallen so much
A major new paper appearing in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that childhood obesity - age 2 to 5 - has fallen from 13.9 percent in 2003-04 to 8.4 percent in 2011-12.
You can examine your doctor's record, but don't expect to learn everything
Recently a reader wrote me to ask how patients can perform background checks on their doctors, to make sure that they're in good standing. He had a reason for asking: A few years ago, he said, he'd agreed to have a spinal fusion performed by an apparently well-regarded surgeon.
Ralph Nader's list of 20 people he thinks should consider a run for president
It's no secret that Ralph Nader has always been a big fan of the idea of third-party presidential candidates. On Monday, Nader - one of the best-known third-party candidate in recent American electoral history - released a list of 20 multi-millionaires and billionaires who he thinks should give real thought to mounting a presidential bid in 2016.
10 countries where homosexuality may be punishable by death
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday signed a law that imposes a 14-year prison sentence for homosexual acts - and life sentences for those found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality." A measure imposing the death penalty was removed from an earlier version of the bill.
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- Winter stifles pollen, but other pests can make allergies worse now