Coal Produces More Radioactive Contamination Than Nuclear Energy

four brown concrete towers

The Scientific American has an interesting article: “Coal Ash Is More Radioactive Than Nuclear Waste“. Coal is known to kill thousands of people a year. Workers die in coal mines and many people die and get sick from air pollution. But few people are aware that coal produces a lot more radioactive contamination than even nuclear energy. Time to finally stop coal.

If you intend to switch your energy provider, also have a look at this article I … more

Calfiornia Firefighters and the US prison Industrial Complex

The US prison system (aka the “US prison industrial complex“) is clearly absurd. Not only does it have the highest incarceration rate of any country with a prison population of more than 2m people (see top ten list from Wikipedia below).

Prisons are often run for profit and prisoners routinely have to engage in forced labor (that some call modern slavery). If prisoners refuse to work they have to face disciplinary action (sometimes including solitary confinement (which … more

Getting Rich For Normal People

I love stock photo images. Is it a trader? Is it a DJ? who knows?

Discussions about the stock markets are ubiquitous. Right before the daily evening news on TV you often see successful looking people telling you “the Dax is now 20 points down” as if that were something immediately relevant to every citizen’s life. Only 6% of Germans directly own stocks. Who cares? Sure, a stock crisis is news. But the daily ups and downs? Why don’t they … more

The Environmental Impact of Food

Our World in Data has an article with a series of very interesting graphics about the environmental impact of food, such as this one:

The most important insight: It hardly matters where your food comes from. What matters is what you eat.

Transport is a small contributor to emissions. For most food products, it accounts for less than 10%, and it’s much smaller for the largest GHG emitters. In beef from beef herds, it’s 0.5%. […]

There are also


Family Wealth, Traced Centuries Back

brown brick building near green trees during daytime

I recently stumbled across two studies that trace family fortunes over centuries by tracing their surnames. One posits that the same families that were rich in Venice in the 15th century are still rich today. The other one makes the same argument for England spanning the time from 1170 to 2012. This is remarkable. From the second study:

Using educational status in England from 1170 to 2012, we show that the rate of social mobility in any society can


Using CRISPR to Create More Male Offspring

brown and white cattle on green grass field during daytime

Scientists in California have used CRISPR, a gene editing tool, to engineer the genome of a bull calf. The idea is this: the region on the Y chromosome that initiates male development (the sex determining region, SRY) is actually not that large. So the scientists just transferred it onto another chromosome. Offspring that inherit this altered chromosome should have a male phenotype regardless of whether they also have a Y chromosome. So instead of 50% males, this calf … more

Spit, Don’t Rinse. Also Floss.

red toothbrush

The more you know! Apparently, you should not rinse your mouth with water after brushing your teeth. Instead you should spit, in order to keep the fluoride from the tooth paste on your teeth as long as possible. Here is an article about it by the Oral Health Foundation: Spit, don’t rinse.

If you’re really ready to go down the rabbit hole of internet dental hygiene, here is an article stressing the importance of flossing.

Lab Safety and the Origins of Covid-19

three clear beakers placed on tabletop

Until this day the origins of the Sars-coronavirus 2 remain unknown. The two ends of the spectrum of theories are the zoonotic theory and the laboratory theory. The first states that the virus has evolved naturally from hosts such as bats and pangolins and recently started infecting humans as well. The assumed location for this is a wet market in Wuhan. The second one assumes that the virus has escaped (or maybe even was released intentionally) from a research lab. … more

Does Tobacco Cause Psychosis?

white cigarette stick on brown wooden table

When people discuss cannabis, they usually also talk about its potential to cause psychosis. I have never heard the same about tobacco.

Recently, I stumbled across an interesting study. It suggests that tobacco and weed may be equally strongly associated with psychotic-like-experiences. I haven’t read the whole study, but via a quick google search I could find broadly the same result elsewhere: For example, there is a meta analysis in the Lancet Psychiatry that found

an overall relative risk