• Putting things into perspective: worldwide, 3200 people die every day from road traffic accidents; 186 die from ‘drug use disorders’; 630 die from war. (Via the WHO)
  • Leap Day Year Facts. (Okay, so I’m a little untimely in passing this along, but it’s mildly interesting. Probably nothing you didn’t already know—except maybe the part about Dr. Aloysius Lilius—but it’s a quick read [in list format, no less] and provides amusement for the two minutes and thirty seconds it takes you to read it.)
  • An interesting and exceptionally disturbing article in The Nation, Silence=Rape (by Jan Goodwin), sheds light on the prevalence of war-related rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Wonders why war and genocide in a country the size of Western Europe go unnoticed and unremarked by mainstream press. A moderate-length article (approx. 2600 words) but an important read.
  • The Union for Concerned Scientists (UCS) bring to light a potentially troubling development of cross-contamination between GM ‘pharm’ crops (crops engineered to produce antibodies and vaccines) and normal non-GM food crops. UCS report co-author Margaret Mellon: “If genes find their way from pharm crops to ordinary corn, they or their products could wind up in drug-laced corn flakes.” The study worried that, while the crops that were tested appeared safe (despite low-level contamination of seeds), second-generation GM crops might not be so harmless. (via New Scientist)
      Update: NYTimes/IHT cross-reference opinion piece refers to the UCS study.