Saturday, July 30, 2011

Driving today is much safer than it used to be, even with cell phones

Here's a rare clip of good news from the nightly news: driving deaths in the US are at their lowest level since 1949.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Smoking is lethal and gross, says most people and now packaging, too

Starting next year, cigarette packages are going to get pretty disgusting. Federal health officials selected nine graphic warning labels that will soon be on all cigarettes. Lots of other countries do this, and it has proven somewhat effective in contributing to declining smoking rates. Smoking's been in decline in developed countries for decades now.

As reported in the New York Times: "Dr. Lawrence R. Deyton, director of the F.D.A.’s Center for Tobacco Products, said the government estimates, based on other countries’ experience, that the new warning labels will prompt an additional 213,000 Americans to quit smoking in 2013, the first full year with the graphic labels."

Take a look, if you can stomach it:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The present is so much better than the past thought it would be

Here's a cool Mashable article showing short films from the past that envisioned the future.

These are fun, but what's more meaningful is to realize how our current society easily eclipses their dreams. Not only is their technology too humble (automatic mixers are very exciting but are far surpassed by a microwave oven, for example), but more importantly, they didn't envision pivotal cultural changes, only technological ones. It's telling that the men of the 1950s thought their doting wives would be most excited by automatic kitchen appliances, and not, say, equal rights.

Here's one of the videos; go to the article to see them all.