News StoriesExcerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Josh del Sol got curious in the summer of 2011 after a friend linked a serious illness to the recent installation of a "smart meter." Del Sol subsequently learned that electrical utilities across North America had been quietly installing "smart grids" that ... monitor Internet-connected meters and appliances in homes and businesses. Now, del Sol is on the verge of premiering a feature-length documentary ... titled Take Back Your Power, disclosing questionable industry practices in support of implementing networked control systems for power plants. The film links billing mistakes, invasive monitoring, even human illnesses to the rising use of smart grids in the U.S. and Europe. "Take Back Your Power delivers an ominous, powerful message about the energy industry's shift to closely watching how customers use energy in their home in an invasive, controversial manner," says Lee Waterworth, president of Yekra, a video-on-demand company. Del Sol says access to industry sources was tough. "We had a difficult time getting anyone in the industry to talk to us on camera once they found out that we were wanting to get to the bottom of some of these concerns," he says. The filmmaker was surprised by the contrast between the views of industry officials and those of ordinary citizens trying to get to the bottom of safety, privacy and health concerns. Del Sol hopes the documentary helps to prompt the electricity industry "to provide more transparency, accountability and clarity on the issues we explore in the film."
Note: You can find this documentary on the Internet. For more, read how solar providers are using "smart" systems to help their customers save money while traditional utilities use these systems only to cut their own costs. Meanwhile, concerns about the health impacts of wireless tech and the ongoing erosion of privacy rights continue to grow.
In the mid-90s, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard thousands of hours of testimony about human rights violations. The goal was to confront the crimes of apartheid while reconciling black and white South Africans who committed and suffered from them. Over the course of three years, more than 15,000 statements were taken. [Civil rights activist Angela] Davis hopes a similar process could help reconcile the wounds of deep, systemic American racism today. “To move toward a reconciled America, we have to do the work ourselves,” Davis wrote. So far, Davis’ piece has garnered overwhelming interest, with readers and leaders around the country offering to help establish such a commission. Here we offer a piece from the archives, an excerpt of [Archbishop Desmond] Tutu’s speech to the South African press club in 1997: This process has made a contribution to reconciliation, to healing, as the 1995 Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act says. After the first hearing in East London, Matthew Goniwe’s brother came to me and said, “We have told our story many, many times already. But this is the first time that, after telling it, it is as if a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders.” Now we will know what happened to the Cradock Four, the Pepco Three, Siphiwo Mtimkulu, Steve Biko, and others. Despite inquests and inquiries, all these truths had remained concealed. The TRC process has helped to expose the real truth, and this surely is helping to heal.
Note: Perhaps a truth and reconciliation commission would help to reveal and even heal all of the massive corruption taking place around the world. Read this article for more. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Sonya Romero has spent years helping students, and this week, Ellen DeGeneres gave her a big gift in return. Romero, a kindergarten teacher at Lew Wallace Elementary has gained international recognition for her generosity towards students. She always makes sure her students have clean clothes and food before they start their day. Thursday on the Ellen Show, Romero got a big surprise. “There’s a kindergarten teacher from Albuquerque. I want you to meet her, Sonya Romero come on down,” Ellen announced to the audience. Romero ... had no idea what would come next. On the show, Ellen played a video that Romero’s students and faculty all took part in. “I was speechless, speechless,” said Romero. “That to me is just absolutely priceless to hear what my school and the students had to say.” Lots of Romero’s kids have hard lives outside of school. Six months ago, she became a foster mom to two of them. When Ellen got wind of her story, she got Romero’s whole school involved. “We love you Ms. Sonya!” The whole school shouted, holding a sign for Ms. Sonya in the video played on the Ellen Show. “You’re an amazing woman,” Ellen said, teary eyed. But that wasn’t the end. Ellen presented Romero with a $10,000 check from Target, then another $10,000 check from Target, made out to Lew Wallace Elementary. After the show aired, Romero [said], "I'm glad that it gives teachers some exposure to what really goes on in our classrooms." For Romero, hearing from her kids, and knowing that she's helping them is what matters most.
Note: Watch an inspiring video on this amazing teacher.
Scientists recreated a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon remedy using onion, garlic and part of a cow's stomach. They were "astonished" to find it almost completely wiped out methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA. Their findings will be presented at a national microbiology conference. The remedy was found in Bald's Leechbook - an old English manuscript containing instructions on various treatments held in the British Library. Anglo-Saxon expert Dr Christina Lee, from the University of Nottingham, translated the recipe for an "eye salve", which includes garlic, onion or leeks, wine and cow bile. Experts from the university's microbiology team recreated the remedy and then tested it on large cultures of MRSA. The leechbook is one of the earliest examples of what might loosely be called a medical textbook. It seems Anglo-Saxon physicians may actually have practised something pretty close to the modern scientific method, with its emphasis on observation and experimentation. Dr Lee said there are many similar medieval books with treatments for what appear to be bacterial infections. She said this could suggest people were carrying out detailed scientific studies centuries before bacteria were discovered. The team's findings will be presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for General Microbiology, in Birmingham.
Note: The recipe for the medieval remedy is available at the link above. For more see this CBS article. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
David Korten began his professional life as a professor at the Harvard Business School on a mission to lift struggling people in Third World nations out of poverty by sharing the secrets of U.S. business success. Yet, after a couple of decades in which he applied his organizational development strategies in places as far-flung as Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and the Philippines, Korten underwent a change of heart. In 1995, he wrote the bestseller When Corporations Rule the World, followed by a series of books that helped birth the movement known as the New Economy, a call to replace transnational corporate domination with local economies, control, ownership, and self-reliance. This month, Korten, who is also the co-founder and board chair of YES!, publishes a new book challenging readers to rethink their relationship with Earth—indeed, with all creation, from the smallest quantum particle to the whole of the universe. The world needs “a new story,” he says. Buying into the “Sacred Money and Markets” story that money is wealth and the key to happiness locks us into indentured servitude to corporate rule. It’s the traditional development model, or transnational capitalism, that damages Earth as a living community, including not just humans but all life forms. Control of money is the ultimate mechanism of social control in a society in which most every person depends on money for the basic means of living. The only legitimate purpose of the economy is to serve life, is to serve us as living beings making our living in co-productive partnership with living Earth.
Note: David Korten's new book is titled: Change the Story, Change the Future. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents allegedly had "sex parties" with prostitutes hired by local drug cartels overseas over a period of several years, according to a report released Thursday by the Justice Department's watchdog. The agents, some of whom had top-secret security clearances, received suspensions of two to 10 days. Former police officers in Colombia also alleged that three DEA supervisory special agents were provided with money, expensive gifts and weapons from drug cartel members, according to the report. The findings were part of a much broader investigation into the handling of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct from fiscal 2009 to 2012 at federal law enforcement agencies. [Justice Department Inspector General Michael E.] Horowitz said the investigation was "significantly impacted and unnecessarily delayed" by repeated difficulties his office had in obtaining relevant information from the FBI and the DEA. When he did receive the information, he said, it "was still incomplete." Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, called on the Justice Department on Thursday to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for employees who purchase sex. "The Department of Justice may not be taking adequate steps to prevent its own employees from buying sex and thereby contributing to the demand for the human sex trade," Grassley wrote to Acting Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates.
Note: DEA agents caught being supplied prostitutes by drug cartels are merely suspended for a few days? What's up with that? Read the gripping stories of two award-winning journalists giving powerful evidence of direct DEA and CIA involvement in and support of drug running and drug cartels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.
The issues surrounding G.M.O.s - genetically modified organisms - became more complicated last week when the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used herbicide Roundup, probably causes cancer in humans. Two insecticides, malathion and diazinon, were also classified as "probable" carcinogens by the agency, a respected arm of the World Health Organization. Roundup, made by Monsanto for both home and commercial use, is crucial in the production of genetically engineered corn and soybean crops, so it was notable that the verdict on its dangers came nearly simultaneously with an announcement by the Food and Drug Administration that new breeds of genetically engineered potato and apple are safe to eat. Few people are surprised that an herbicide in widespread use is probably toxic at high doses or with prolonged exposure, circumstances that may be common among farmers and farmworkers. Nor is it surprising that it took so long - Roundup has been used since the 1970s - to discover its likely carcinogenic properties. There is a sad history of us acting as guinea pigs for the novel chemicals that industry develops. To date, G.M.O.s and other forms of biotech have done nothing but enrich their manufacturers and promote a system of agriculture that's neither sustainable nor for the most part beneficial. We don't need better, smarter chemicals along with crops that can tolerate them; we need fewer chemicals. There's no reason to put the general population, and particularly the farming population, at risk for the sake of industry profits.
Note: Monsanto's Roundup and the GMO crops that support its use are well-known by scientists to be a threat to public health. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMO risks and how these are covered up.
For decades, Monsanto and its enablers inside the USDA have denied the central tenets of evolutionary biology, namely natural selection and adaptation. Since the early 1980s, Monsanto has endlessly hyped genetically engineered (GE) crops they claim could reduce hunger, reduce pesticide use, and survive droughts. In reality, no such "miracle" crops exist. No significantly greater yielding crops, no more effective drought resistance crops. And ... around 85 percent of all genetically engineered crops in the United States and around the world have been engineered to withstand massive doses of herbicides, mostly Monsanto's Roundup. Each year 115 million more pounds of Roundup are spread on our farmlands because of these altered crops. Wouldn't that massive increase in Roundup use over that huge a portion of our cropland cause some weed populations to develop resistance? Of course. As a result, in less than 20 years, more than half of all U.S. farms have some Roundup resistant "superweeds," weeds that now infest 70 million acres of U.S farmland. A science-based, and safer, way forward is to ... use ecologically based weed control. There are proven organic and agroecological approaches that emphasize weed management rather than weed eradication, soil building rather than soil supplementing. Crop rotation and cover crops can return productive yields without ridding the land of genetic biodiversity, and could reduce herbicide use by 90 percent. So it's long past due that our government required real and rigorous science when regulating GE crops.
Note: Read more about how GMO technology has backfired, producing new "superweeds" and "superbugs" that threaten crop production. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMO risks and how these are covered up.
An ambitious 12-nation trade accord pushed by President Obama would allow foreign corporations to sue the United States government for actions that undermine their investment "expectations" and hurt their business, according to a classified document. The Trans-Pacific Partnership - a cornerstone of Mr. Obama's remaining economic agenda - would grant broad powers to multinational companies operating in North America, South America and Asia. Under the accord ... companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings ... before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations. The chapter in the draft of the trade deal, dated Jan. 20, 2015, [was] obtained by The New York Times in collaboration with the group WikiLeaks. [Its] cover mandates that the chapter not be declassified until four years after the Trans-Pacific Partnership comes into force or trade negotiations end, should the agreement fail. Under the terms of ... chapter, foreign investors could demand cash compensation if member nations "expropriate or nationalize a covered investment either directly or indirectly." Opponents fear "indirect expropriation" will be interpreted broadly, especially by deep-pocketed multinational companies opposing regulatory or legal changes that diminish the value of their investments. In 2013, Eli Lilly took advantage of a similar provision under Nafta to sue Canada for $500 million, accusing Ottawa of violating its obligations to foreign investors by allowing its courts to invalidate patents for two of its drugs.
Note: The above article further clarifies why the TPP is a pending disaster. For more, see this article, or watch the two minute video Former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich made to educate the public about the dangers of the TPP.
Get the measles vaccine, and you won't get the measles-or give it to anyone else. Right? Well, not always. A person fully vaccinated against measles has contracted the disease and passed it on to others. The startling case study contradicts received wisdom about the vaccine and suggests that a recent swell of measles outbreaks in developed nations could mean more illnesses even among the vaccinated. A fully vaccinated 22-year-old theater employee in New York City who developed the measles in 2011 was released without hospitalization or quarantine. This patient turned out to be unwittingly contagious. Ultimately, she transmitted the measles to four other people, according to a recent report in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Two of the secondary patients had been fully vaccinated. The other two ... showed signs of previous measles exposure that should have conferred immunity. Although public health officials have assumed that measles immunity lasts forever ... "the actual duration [of immunity] following infection or vaccination is unclear," says Jennifer Rosen, who led the investigation as director of epidemiology and surveillance at the New York City Bureau of Immunization.
Note: Did you know that no one has died from measles in the US for 12 years, yet 98 measles vaccine related deaths have been reported in the same period? Read more on this excellent webpage. And read a rare local newspaper article report on one family who was awarded near $2 million for a vaccine injury only then to be ridiculed by vaccine supporters who claim these things never happen. And this US government webpage states, "Since the first National Vaccine Injury Compensation (VICP) claims were filed in 1989, 3,981 compensation awards have been made. More than $2.8 billion in compensation awards has been paid."
Physicians and public health officials know that recently vaccinated individuals can spread disease. "The public health community is blaming unvaccinated children for the outbreak of measles at Disneyland, but the illnesses could just as easily have occurred due to contact with a recently vaccinated individual," says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals are at risk from exposure to those recently vaccinated. Vaccine failure is widespread; vaccine-induced immunity is not permanent and recent outbreaks of diseases such as whooping cough, mumps and measles have occurred in fully vaccinated populations. Flu vaccine recipients become more susceptible to future infection after repeated vaccination. "Vaccine failure and failure to acknowledge that live virus vaccines can spread disease have resulted in an increase in outbreaks of infectious disease in both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals," says Leslie Manookian, producer of The Greater Good. "CDC should instruct physicians who administer vaccinations to inform their patients about the risks posed to others by those who've been recently vaccinated." The number of measles deaths declined from 7575 in 1920 (10,000 per year in many years in the 1910s) to an average of 432 each year from 1958-1962. The vaccine was introduced in 1963. Between 2005 and 2014, there have been no deaths from measles in the U.S. and 108 deaths reported after the MMR vaccine.
Note: The above article provides an extensive list or references. For more, read this informative webpage on the excellent alternative health website Mercola.com. And this US government webpage states, "Since the first National Vaccine Injury Compensation (VICP) claims were filed in 1989, 3,981 compensation awards have been made. More than $2.8 billion in compensation awards has been paid to petitioners."
The whooping cough vaccines now in use were introduced in the 1990s after an older version, which offered longer-lasting protection, was found to have side effects. But over the years, scientists have determined that the new vaccines began to lose effectiveness after about five years, a significant problem that many researchers believe has contributed to the significant rise in whooping cough cases. The new study, published on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers another explanation. Using baboons, the researchers found that recently vaccinated animals continued to carry the infection in their throats. Even though those baboons did not get sick from it, they spread the infection to others that were not vaccinated. "When you're newly vaccinated you are an asymptomatic carrier, which is good for you, but not for the population," said Tod J. Merkel, the lead author of the study, who is a researcher in the Office of Vaccines Research and Review in the Food and Drug Administration. The current whooping cough vaccines were developed after a surge in concerns from parents that their children were getting fevers and having seizures after receiving the old vaccine. The new finding [suggest that] people recently vaccinated may be continuing to spread the infection without getting sick.
Note: So a vaccine was replaced because of side effects. Hmmmmm. How often do your hear any talk of side effects in the vaccine debate? And vaccinated animals can still spread the disease. Do you think there is any hype going on with the recent measles scare? And this US government webpage states, "Since the first National Vaccine Injury Compensation (VICP) claims were filed in 1989, 3,981 compensation awards have been made. More than $2.8 billion in compensation awards has been paid to petitioners."
German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said this week in Homburg that the U.S. government threatened to cease sharing intelligence with Germany if Berlin offered asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden or otherwise arranged for him to travel to that country. "They told us they would stop notifying us of plots and other intelligence matters," Gabriel said. The vice chancellor delivered a speech in which he praised the journalists who worked on the Snowden archive, and then lamented the fact that Snowden was forced to seek refuge in "Vladimir Putin's autocratic Russia" because no other nation was willing and able to protect him from threats of imprisonment by the U.S. government. [When pressed] as to why the German government could not and would not offer Snowden asylum - which, under international law, negates the asylee's status as a fugitive - [the vice chancellor said] that the U.S. government had aggressively threatened the Germans that if they did so, they would be "cut off" from all intelligence sharing. That would mean, if the threat were carried out, that the Americans would literally allow the German population to remain vulnerable to a brewing attack discovered by the Americans by withholding that information from their government.
The US has set a new record for denying and censoring federal files under the Freedom of Information Act, analysis by the Associated Press reveals. For the second consecutive year, the Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them under the open-government legislation. The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn't find documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy. It also acknowledged in nearly one in three cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law - but only when it was challenged. Its backlog of unanswered requests at year's end grew remarkably by 55% to more than 200,000. Citizens, journalists, businesses and others made a record 714,231 requests for information. The US spent a record $434m trying to keep up. The government responded to 647,142 requests, a 4% decrease over the previous year. "What we discovered reaffirmed what we have seen all too frequently in recent years," [The AP's chief executive, Gary] Pruitt wrote in a column published this week. "The systems created to give citizens information about their government are badly broken and getting worse all the time."
Note: It appears the the UK's Guardian was the only major media to pick up this AP article. Is this a form of censorship? For more, read how the US government now blocks specific journalists from accessing information, or see concise summaries of news articles about mass media manipulation.
A year ago, in a bureaucratic shift that went unremarked in the somnolent days before Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri, the US government admitted a disturbing failure. The top crime-data experts in Washington had determined that they could not properly count how many Americans die each year at the hands of police. For the better part of a decade, a specialized team of statisticians within the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)... had been collecting data [on] any death, of anyone, that happened in the presence of a local or state law enforcement officer. In March of last year, the bureau pulled the plug on the project. As revelations about patterns of abuse in Ferguson and beyond rattle the US criminal justice system from bottom to top, calls for a national police-killings database have once again gained urgency. But an awareness of what has been tried - and failed - remains elusive. A detailed look at what went wrong with the arrest-related deaths count reveals challenges that run deeper than the unwillingness of local police departments to file a report. From 2003 to 2009, plus 2011, the FBI counted an average of 383 "justifiable homicides by law enforcement" each year. The actual number, as estimated by the BJS study, was closer to 928.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
"God's Bankers" provides an exhaustive history of financial machinations at the center of the church in Rome. The final unification of Italy in 1870 ... deprived the church of its lands and feudal income, leading to several decades of acute financial insecurity. Popes of this period ... publicly denounced lending money at interest (usury) while at the same time accepting massive loans from the Rothschilds and making their own interest-bearing loans to Italian Catholics. Beginning with Bernardino Nogara, appointed by Pius XI in 1929, the church also empowered a series of often shady financial advisers to engage in financial wheeling and dealing around the globe. "So long as the balance sheets showed surpluses," [author of God's Bankers Gerald] Posner writes, "Pius and his chief advisers were pleased." That pattern would continue through the rest of the 20th century. The American archbishop Paul Marcinkus, [who] ran the Vatican Bank from 1971 to 1989 ... ended up implicated in several sensational scandals. The biggest by far was the collapse of Italy's largest private bank, Banco Ambrosiano, in 1982 - an event preceded by mob hits on a string of investigators looking into corruption in the Italian banking industry. Marcinkus ... also served as a spy for the State Department, providing the American government with "personal details" about John Paul II, and even encouraging the pope "at the behest of embassy officials" to publicly endorse American positions on a broad range of political issues.
Note: The Vatican Bank was implicated in a scheme to smuggle tens of millions of euros out of Switzerland in 2013, and was used to launder money for the mafia as recently as 2012. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A 49-year-old man refused to pay his TV licence because he believed the BBC covered up facts about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Tony Rooke, who represented himself today at Horsham Magistrates’ Court in West Sussex, said ... he was withholding the funds under the Terrorism Act. Section 15 of the 2000 Act states that it is an offence for someone to invite another to provide money, intending that it should be used, or having reasonable cause to suspect that it may be used, for terrorism purposes. Rooke told the court: 'I believe the BBC, who are directly funded by the licence fee, are furthering the purposes of terrorism and I have incontrovertible evidence to this effect.' He was not allowed to show his pre-prepared video evidence in court because the District Judge said it was not relevant to the trial. But the major point Rooke said he relied upon was that the BBC allegedly reported that World Trade Centre 7 had fallen 20 minutes before it did. District Judge Stephen Nicholls said: 'This is not a public inquiry into 9/11. This is an offence under section 363 of the Communications Act.' He said: 'Even if I accept the evidence you say, this court has no power to create a defence in the manner which you put forward.' Sentencing, Judge Nicholls said: 'Mr Rooke puts the basis of his defence under Section 15 of the Terrorism Act, effectively asking the court to find the BBC is a terrorist organisation and that if he continues to pay them he himself is committing a criminal offence. 'I have explained to Mr Rooke even if I were to accept his evidence I would be unable to find a defence.'
The Greek parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly adopted a "humanitarian crisis" bill to help its poorest people, ignoring apparent pressure from the European Union to halt the legislation. Greek government coffers are almost empty and [anti-austerity Prime Minister Alexis] Tsipras needs further financial assistance for his country, but he also wants to enact social laws that break with the austerity imposed by international creditors since 2010 as a condition of the bailout. His government's refusal to fall into line with eurozone partners over its massive bailout has angered not only EU powerhouse Germany, but Spain and Portugal as well. The Greek legislation calls for households that were cut off because they could not pay their bills to be given a capped amount of free electricity. Up to 30,000 households would also get a housing allowance and 300,000 people would receive food subsidies. The legislation also includes help for people who have lost their jobs in recent months and no longer have social security coverage. "When all indicators are in the red like unemployment, poverty, etc, we do what is necessary to tackle these problems," Greek Labour Minister Panos Skourletis told lawmakers.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
On 20 May 1916, Ernest Shackleton, Frank Worsley, and Tom Crean reached Stromness, a whaling station on the north coast of South Georgia. They had been walking for 36 hours, in life-threatening conditions. They did not talk about it at the time, but weeks later all three men reported an uncanny experience during their trek: a feeling that "often there were four, not three" men on their journey. The "fourth" that accompanied them had the silent presence of a real person, someone walking with them by their side. Encounters such as these are common in extreme survival situations: guardian angels, guides, or even Christ-like figures have often been reported. We know them now as "third man" experiences, following a line in TS Eliot's poem, The Wasteland: "Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together. But when I look ahead up the white road, there is always another one walking beside you." In his book The Third Man Factor, John Geiger collects together a wide range of third man stories, including accounts from mountaineers, sailors, and survivors of terrorist attacks. They all involve a strong impression of a felt presence ... which will often feel as if it has a spiritual or guiding purpose.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
What makes a Nobel Prize winner? There's several suggested factors: Perseverance? Good luck? Good mentors and students? Here’s one possible factor that I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams; chocolate consumption. Chocolate consumption tracks well with the number of Nobel Laureates produced by a country. At least that's what a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine - one of the world’s premier journals of medical research - claims. The paper starts by assuming ... that winning a Nobel Prize must somehow be related to cognitive ability. It then goes on to describe a link between flavanols - organic molecules found among other foods in chocolate, green tea and red wine - and cognitive ability. From this idea the author basically jumps to the dubious and frankly bizarre question of whether chocolate consumption could possibly account for Nobel Prize winning ability. The hypothesis is testable, so the author decides to simply plot the number of Nobel prize winners per 10 million people in different countries counted from 1900-2011 vs the chocolate consumption in those countries. A plot of chocolate consumption vs number of Nobel Prizes reveals a strong correlation of 0.79. The most likely explanation for that correlation is that it's caused by a third factor.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.