September 7th, 2014
The lure of drugs is strong. For dealers, money motivates. For users, the desire for pleasure or escape usually prompts the entry into drugs. The quest to repeat the experience drives addiction.
Unwittingly, each user fuels an international drug economy that is built on violence, greed, and a callous disregard for human life.
The drug business is an ugly one, full of exploitation, wrecked health, and wasted lives. It also is a big business, the biggest in the world, with an annual volume exceeding $300 billion (some estimates go as high as $500 billion). But it is a big business that law enforcement agencies, national governments, and many small but powerful local initiatives are working to destroy. What are the chances of their doing this in the ’90s?
There are more than 40 million illegal drug users throughout the world — more than half of them in the United States alone. In fact, the United …
August 18th, 2014
Lead is a useful metal. It doesn’t rust, it bonds with organic materials like wood, it is strong, heavy, and easy to mold. The ancient Romans hammered it into cups and plates and water pipes. In fact, our word plumbing comes from the Latin word plumbus, meaning lead.
In the Middle Ages, lead played a role in the great explosion of learning. It was used in making type for the newly invented printing press. With the Industrial Revolution, lead became an important part of many manufacturing processes and products. In the early 20th century, it found a new application as a gasoline additive, greatly improving engine performance. Today, lead is used in thousands of manufactured products, as well as in construction. Americans use more than a million tons of it every year.
As useful as lead is in human technology, the human body does not need even a minute amount of it. …
August 7th, 2014
At this time of the year, it’s tantalizing to imagine lounging in the shade of a tall palm tree, looking over the shimmering waters of a tropical ocean. You watch gulls swooping down over the waves and porpoises leaping playfully in rhythmic patterns. As you slowly sip on an ice-cold lemonade, you think, “This is paradise!”
Paradise it may well be, but even paradise has its hazards. One of them is the possibility of contracting a travel disease. Such diseases range from mild malaise due to jet lag to disabling dengue fever. However, smart travelers can usually avoid illness by finding out before they go what diseases they may be exposed to while traveling.
Going to places like Canada, Europe, Australia, or New Zealand poses very few health risks for most travelers. Nevertheless, people traveling by plane across the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean may suffer from jet lag. This condition occurs …
July 30th, 2014
eye, have a look at this: the space-age diet that lets you “eat all day, and still lose weight.” Or, the one that promises results “within hours.” Or, the potion that will “add inches to your height in just 10 weeks.” Or, that beauty cream that guarantees “a gorgeous, proportioned figure.” Or, the ancient nutrient from the Far East that will “optimize your life force.”
The modern-day health quack is ready to give you–for a price–any or all of these pie-in-the-sky “miracles.”
The health hucksters and frauds are out to get you if you don’t watch out. They are ready with the remedy-of-the-month. Their scams offer you miracle drugs, super-pills, revolutionary formulas, dramatic results. They know secrets that will help you grow hair, lose pounds overnight, get rid of skin blemishes, melt away fat. They can cure whatever ails you, with “newly-discovered” foods, drugs, potions, devices–all with a money-back guarantee that’s as phony …
July 20th, 2014
Rappeling down a cliff, creating a science project, or dialing the number of that special someone you’ve wanted to call for weeks now may seem like very diverse experiences with nothing in common. But actually, these scenes all involve one decision: the decision to take a risk.
Some risk-taking has the potential for dangerous consequences. Consider aviators Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, who successfully flew nonstop around the world in 1987 in a feather-light aircraft without refueling, risking their lives.
Domino’s Pizza founder and Detroit Tigers owner Tom Monaghan, whose father died when he was 4 years old and who spent his childhood in foster homes and orphanages, became a multimillionaire in spite of the odds. He risked losing lots of other people’s money and the possibility of financial ruin instead of financial success.
While these risk-takers succeeded, others do not see such happy endings. How about that friend of a friend of your, who …
June 10th, 2014
When Ginny Judson met Dick Thornburgh at the 1963 wedding of a college classmate in Pittsburgh, she knew instantly he was the one for her. “I found out he was a man of full disclosure,” she says. “On our second date – before he’d even kissed me – he took me to his house and showed me his three little boys asleep in their beds.”
Their mother (also named Ginny) had been killed in a car accident three years earlier when the children were 3, 2, and 4 months old. Peter, the baby, had sustained a serious brain injury in the crash.
Ginny and Dick were married just six months after they met. At the time, he was a 31 -year-old lawyer starting a career that would lead to such top-echelon posts as governor of Pennsylvania, U.S. attorney general, and undersecretary general of the United Nations. “One of his most attractive qualities was …