But while the technology might be new, the concept is not. Modern fertility-awareness-based contraceptive methods have their roots in the work of gynaecologists Hermann Knaus and Kyusaku Ogino, who in the 1930s independently explored the poorly understood concept that women have only windows of fertility during their menstrual cycle, revealing that ovulation occurs in the mid-point of the cycle. Their discovery led to the development of a range of contraceptive practices, from the high-risk approach of simply tracking menstrual cycles on a calendar aided by paper-based dials like the nattily named “Rythmeter”, to lower-risk methods involving daily temperature readings and checking the consistency of cervical mucus. … [Read more...] about Can an app really provide effective birth control?
What does repatriated mean
The atrocities being committed on the ground in Aleppo by Iranian proxies fighting alongside the Syrian regime, and from the skies by Russian planes, as horrifying as they are, should come as no surprise. Aleppo has been under siege for many months; its population has been brutally and indiscriminately attacked into submission and the scorched-earth policy adopted by the Assad regime, Russia and Iran comes as the international community has been focusing its attention on the US elections and the ongoing war with Isis. … [Read more...] about Assad is thriving on the west’s hesitation. The time for standing back is over
Today’s question is a bit of a ruse. By asking whether these events can be attributed to humans, we really want to know if there is anything we can do to stop them. It is mostly impossible, or at least too expensive, to check whether the house you are buying or building is on top of a giant alka-seltzer. But even in this month of madness, sinkholes are tremendously infrequent events. Their occurrence is likely to increase and there are things we can do to mitigate the risk of them happening, but the interest in them, driven by the media (myself included) harps on the primal fear I mentioned in my intro. The sickened fascination induced by sinkholes makes them seem like a present danger, which they really are not. I’m reminded of George Monbiot’s piece on sharks this week in which he said the extreme domesticity of our lives makes us “believe that any remaining hazards presented by the natural world are far more dangerous than they really are”. … [Read more...] about Are humans causing more sinkholes?
It wasn’t until D’Souza rebranded himself as the Michael Moore of the right that he approached household name infamy. His cinema debut, 2012’s 2016: Obama’s America, is the fifth highest grossing doc of all time (though it made $80m less than Fahrenheit 9/11). It hit pay dirt because, during an election year, D’Souza told his target audience (read: scared white Republicans) that America’s first black president was a Manchurian Candidate – a plant brainwashed by his anti-colonialist Kenyan father to scale the peak of the US government and destroy it from within. D’Souza unmistakably, enthusiastically preyed on racist fears. His next film in 2014, America: Imagine the World Without Her, claimed slavery wasn’t that bad. … [Read more...] about Death of a Nation: more angry nonsense from Trump’s favorite film-maker
Will there be a social impact? Yes. This change means some people may have to pay more to heat their homes. Worst affected are likely to be former coalmining communities where sales of relatively cheap local supplies will be prohibited, and low-income residents in the countryside. Even before the ban comes into effect, rural dwellers are already 55% more likely to suffer fuel poverty. The government says this problem is overstated because coal can be replaced by manufactured solid fuels that are more economical and have lower levels of sulphur and other pollutants. … [Read more...] about Coal and wet wood burning: how will UK restrictions work?