Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:08 pm
The name JunΓpero Serra is well known in California: Schools and streets are named in his honor, and statues of the 18th century Spanish missionary still stand. But Native American activists are far less enamored with the friar, saying Serra was actually an accomplice in the brutal colonization of natives. They object to Pope Francis' recent announcement that he will canonize Serra when he travels to the U.S. this fall.
Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 7:55 pm
World maps distort β it's inherent in their design.
Take a spherical object (the Earth) and try to represent it on a flat plane (paper), and some parts of the sphere are going to get stretched. On most maps, Canada and Russia get puffed up, while countries along the equator get shrunk.
Every now and then, though, you stumble across a map that enlightens.
Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 2:42 pm
Women who smoke while they're pregnant are more likely to have health problems, and their babies are at risk, too. But attempts to get women to stop smoking while pregnant usually fail.
When pregnant women in Scotland got paid to quit, 23 percent of them managed to stop smoking, compared with 9 percent who quit after they got counseling, support calls and free nicotine replacement therapy, according to a study published Tuesday in The BMJ.
Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 7:56 pm
Updated at 2:28 p.m. ET
A judge in South Carolina has thrown out the convictions of the Friendship Nine, nine black men who integrated a whites-only lunch counter in 1961, at the peak of the civil rights movement.
"We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history," Judge John C. Hayes III said before signing the order that vacated their trespassing convictions. (Hayes is the nephew of the judge who handed down the original sentence.) The prosecutor apologized to the eight surviving members of the Friendship Nine who were in the courtroom.
Just when we thought craft beer couldn't get any zanier, we learn that Oregonians want to make it with treated wastewater.
Clean Water Services of Hillsboro says it has an advanced treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water. The company, which runs four wastewater treatment plants in the Portland metro area, wants to show off its "high-purity" system by turning recycled wastewater into beer.
Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 3:17 pm
The worst traffic accident I've ever seen happened on a highway in Kenya.
A friend and I were returning to Nairobi from Lake Naivasha when the cars in front of us came to a halt. I pulled onto the shoulder and spotted a 15-passenger van β a matatu in local speak β on its side, split open like a coconut. Another matatu was sideways in a ditch, its front end smashed inward. People were stopping, getting out of their vehicles and rushing to help.