GOOD

Water Regulators (Mount Up)

From pharmaceuticals to heavy metals, there's a whole lot more than hydrogen and oxygen in our water. By now, you probably...


From pharmaceuticals to heavy metals, there's a whole lot more than hydrogen and oxygen in our water.

By now, you probably know that you should kick your bottled-water habit, but don't get rid of your Brita anytime soon. We spoke to Nneka Leiba, a toxics researcher at the Environmental Working Group, about what the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration do-and don't do-to keep our water safe. The regulators, it seems, need to step it up.GOOD: When it comes to tap water, what should we be worried about?NNEKA LEIBA: Our biggest concern is that there are so many contaminants found in tap water and lots of them don't have enforceable safety standards because they're not regulated. The EPA is just really not keeping up with regulating contaminants, and every year we're finding more and more of them in our drinking water.G: So the list of contaminants that the EPA has-the official ones that they crack down on, or say they crack down on-is incomplete?NL: Definitely. Based on the contaminants being found, we know that list is incomplete. Tap-water suppliers are really only required to test for contaminants that are regulated, but some of them actually test for other contaminants and the more they test for them, the more they find. So, there are more contaminants to be found, and a lot of them have not been assessed for safety.G: What about pharmaceuticals in our water?NL: Yes, there are a lot of stories in the news recently that there's been pharmaceuticals in the water, all these other industrial pollutants. There are just so many emerging contaminants, and we think the number that is regulated needs to be increased.G: From your perspective, what can actually be done to increase the safety of the water we're drinking?NL: Well, the EPA needs to figure out the safety levels, and then enforce them. They're doing a better job than the FDA-because we also look at the bottled-water standards, and there are lots of issues there as well.G: Tell me about the 2008 study you did exposing the contaminants in bottled water.NL: We contracted a lab to look for almost 200 contaminants in 10 major brands-and we found 38 pollutants in the 10 brands, averaging about eight per brand. We decided not to disclose the brands, because we wanted it to be a snapshot of the industry at the time. The only two brands that we name are Sam's Choice and Acadia, because those two looked remarkably similar to tap water.G: What did you find in the other water?NL: In general, we found disinfection byproducts, urban waste-water pollutants, heavy metals, industrial pollutants-I mean, things that you would find in tap water that you wouldn't expect to find in bottled water. And we're not saying that all bottled waters are like that, but it's just that you don't know. It's really a hit-or-miss game. You just don't know what you're getting, and based on the price of bottled water, we estimate that the public pays about 1,900 times more for bottled water [than] they pay for tap water. And there is this implicit expectation of purity, and that's not there.G: So that's something the EPA does better than the FDA?NL: Yes. The EPA requires tap-water suppliers to disclose an annual report, and that testing information is made available to the public. And that's a good step; we like that. The FDA doesn't require that from the bottled-water industry, although California recently passed a rule that bottled-water labels for brands sold in California have to say where their water-quality report is. So that's a good step. But that's only for California and it needs to be expanded nationally.G: So what kind of water do you drink?NL: At the office we have a reverse-osmosis system, which is the only thing that gets out certain contaminants, but at home I have an activated carbon filter. Those will take out most of the contaminants. The price point is far less, and it's so much better than drinking straight tap water.
Articles
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

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Politics
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture
NASA

Four black women, Engineers Christine Darden and Mary Jackson, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughan, worked as "human computers" at NASA during the Space Race, making space travel possible through their complex calculations. Jackson, Johnson, and Vaughn all played a vital role in helping John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth.

They worked behind the scenes, but now they're getting the credit they deserve as their accomplishments are brought to the forefront. Their amazing stories were detailed in the book "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race" by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was later turned into a movie. (Darden was not featured in the movie, but was in the book). Johnson has a building at NASA named after her, and a street in front of NASA's Washington D.C. headquarters was renamed "Hidden Figures Way."

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Science

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

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Good News
Courtesy of John S. Hutton, MD

A report from Common Sense Media found the average child between the ages of 0 and 8 has 2 hours and 19 minutes of screen time a day, and 35% of their screen time is on a mobile device. A new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, found exactly what all that screen time is doing to your kid, or more specifically, your kid's developing brain. It turns out, more screen time contributes to slower brain development.

First, researchers gave the kids a test to determine how much and what kind of screen time they were getting. Were they watching fighting or educational content? Were they using it alone or with parents? Then, researchers examined the brains of children aged 3 to 5 year olds by using MRI scans. Forty seven brain-healthy children who hadn't started kindergarten yet were used for the study.

They found that kids who had more than one hour of screen time a day without parental supervision had lower levels of development in their brain's white matter, which is important when it comes to developing cognitive skills, language, and literacy.

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Health