NASA Creates Mosaic of Earth With Selfies From Around the World...

Even though Ellen DeGeneres’s celebrity-packed group selfie was figuratively one of the largest tweets ever after receiving over 2.7 million retweets, a new photo from NASA might literally be the biggest selfie. Using more than 36,000 selfies submitted to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA has created an awe-inspiring, 3.2 gigapixel mosaic of Earth as seen from space. The project began as a way to commemorate Earth Day, with the intention of encouraging people to become more environmentally aware. NASA asked people all across the world for their selfies, and to include where on Earth the photo was being taken. Though the interactive mosaic only used 36,000 pictures, NASA received more than 50,000 responses. Selfies that had blue backgrounds were used to make oceans, white backgrounds for clouds, and brown backgrounds for continents. “People on every continent—113 countries and regions in all—posted selfies,” reports NASA. “From Antarctica to Yemen, Greenland to Guatemala, Micronesia to the Maldives, Pakistan, Poland, Peru—and on.” According to deputy director of the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters Peg Luce, NASA used the crowd-sourced imagery to help illustrate a unique aspect of the Earth. “We were overwhelmed to see people participate from so many countries,” said Luce. “We’re very grateful that people took the time to celebrate our home planet together, and we look forward to everyone doing their part to be good stewards of our precious Earth.” Although most people associate NASA with intrepid space exploration, the agency is focusing projects closer to home. Currently NASA is trying to launch five major new satellites whose attention will be aimed right at Earth. These new satellites will hopefully be in orbit by 2014’s end, which will be the most new sets of eyes on the third...

Despite Rising Prices, U.S. Housing Market Shows Flickers of Hope May28

Despite Rising Prices, U.S. Housing Market Shows Flickers of Hope...

According to a newly released report from Standard & Poor’s and Case-Shiller, home prices are still on the upward swing. Year-over-year, home prices in the United States have increased by 10.3%. While some say increased prices are a sign that demand has likewise increased, the fact is that the numbers just don’t support that claim. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, home ownership levels in the United States sit stagnant at 64.8%. That’s the first time rates have been below 65% since 1995, and it’s the lowest home ownership has been for nearly 20 years.  Rising Home Prices, Stagnant Income Levels Keep Sales Flat The issue for the U.S. housing market is that prices continue to skyrocket while the amount of money Americans have to spend, whether on groceries or homes, is growing at a torturous crawl. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, American workers only saw an increase of 0.5% in personal income levels in April. While the next report, due on May 30, could show that income levels are making a much stronger impact, most industry analysts aren’t holding their breath. Even so, New Home Starts Are Encouraging Even with prices effectively leveling out the sale of homes, numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau for April show that the housing market is in fact making strides toward becoming at least a shadow of its former self. Over a million new homes were started in April, marking a significant shift away from the declines seen in both February and March. However, until the growth of home prices slows or Americans start to see real growth in their paychecks, sales are likely to remain flat for the near...

Free St. Louis Dental Care Clinic Draws Thousands May22

Free St. Louis Dental Care Clinic Draws Thousands...

“More than 200 dentists volunteered to work two days straight for more than 12 hours a day,” KSDK reports. The volunteers were able to treat at 2,000 patients, but even that wasn’t enough. The clinic opened a half-hour earlier on the second day, and dentists still had to turn away more than 100 people per day. “Experts say it’s a sign of a major problem,” KSDK continues. Dentists provided “412 cleanings, 903 fillings, and 2,249 extractions for people unable to afford dental care,” according to Fox News. Most patients did not have dental insurance. “According to a recent Gallup poll, only 59 percent of Missourians have visited a dentist in the past year, which is a figure that’s among the worst in the nation,” KSDK explains. Still, for many, routine visits to dentist are not feasibly and financially possible. Insurance companies fail to cover fairly common procedures, such as dental bridges and dental implants. Dentists craft dental bridges — or replacements for missing teeth — for example, from Zirconium oxide. The strong, dental ceramic is perfectly safe to use as it is compatible with the human body. In most cases, these replacements are not merely aesthetic. Patients also need them to comfortably chew and consume certain foods. The event took place on Friday and Saturday, May 2 through May 3, at Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena. Missouri Mission of Mercy and the Missouri Dental Association sponsored the charitable event. “This was an effort to make a dent in a problem. Oral health is an under-appreciated thing until you’re in pain,” an event organizer, Stuart White, told KSDK. The Missouri Dental Association wants to hear from patients who were unable to receive necessary dental care at the clinic. They invite people to speak up on their...

Is Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Just Another Notch on the ADHD Diagnosis Belt? May22

Is Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Just Another Notch on the ADHD Diagnosis Belt?...

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder shows no signs of slowing down. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 11% of children in the U.S. were diagnosed with ADHD, an all time national high. According to the CDC, these numbers continue to rise. This increase has caused some experts to question doctors, wondering if ADHD is being over-diagnosed, and children are being over-medicated. These critics may also have something to say about the most recent development in attention-related conditions, sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT). Researchers are saying this attention disorder is characterized by daydreaming, lethargy, and a slower mental processing speed, and according to the New York Times, it affects roughly two million children in the U.S.  SCT is being considered either a distinct disorder, or a form of ADHD, and researchers are hoping to identify it as a legitimate disorder in the near future. Mental disorders printed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders have long since been the standard used to validate the existence of these conditions, all of which are recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. SCT has remained a part of the discussion for the last few decades, but has never made it into the manual. But in recent months, there has been an increase in interest in SCT, particularly by the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, who dedicated a large portion of a recent publication to findings surrounding this condition. Research, the publication claims, is pointing toward SCT as a valid disorder, and one that could join ADHD as a common diagnosis. Even with this research, SCT has been met with criticism by experts in the field of ADHD, with many of them expressing that there is not enough evidence to support this condition as a justifiable disorder. These experts argue...

Despite the Hype, Canadian Healthcare is Light-years Ahead of Its American Counterpart May19

Despite the Hype, Canadian Healthcare is Light-years Ahead of Its American Counterpart...

Journalist and educator Trudy Lieberman recently published an editorial with Huffington Post wherein she characterizes the American and Canadian healthcare systems as being far more similar than many Americans, particularly those looking for continued improvements in the American healthcare landscape, want to believe. While on the macro scale Lieberman’s points hold up to scrutiny, tightening down the wheel and taking a closer look at the different healthcare environments in the neighboring North American countries reveals that Canada is still light-years ahead of the United States. The Biggest Differences? Wait Times, Cost As Lieberman herself points out, there is a huge disparity between the costs of healthcare in the U.S. and those in the Great White North. On average, the United States spends $8,500 per capita, compared to Canada’s $4,500. While that might not seem like much when you’re looking only at the dollar signs, this translates to American citizens paying approximately 50% more of national income than their Canadian counterparts. While the American price-tag for healthcare is expected to be tempered somewhat over the coming years by the Affordable Care Act, the fact is that Americans have very few options other than spending a huge chunk of their income just to stay healthy. Beyond Canadian provincial healthcare, long considered to be a great model to emulate in order to bring down costs, Canadian’s have access to a number of plans that serve citizens, not the healthcare industry and big business. The Trillium Plan, for example, only subjects Canadian citizens to a charge not exceeding 4% of family income for expensive drug treatments, leaving the single-payer health system to pick up the rest. In short, Canada seems a much more patient friendly place to be than the States. In her piece for the Post, Ms....