Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): What is it? What are its risks?

“Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviors that drive them to do something over and over (compulsions). Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts. But this only provides short-term relief. Not doing the obsessive rituals can cause great anxiety and distress. Health care providers…

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What is an atmospheric river?

What is an atmospheric river? A hydrologist explains the good and bad of these flood-prone storms and how they’re changing

Qian Cao, University of California, San Diego (from The Conversation) A series of atmospheric rivers is bringing the threat of heavy downpours, flooding, mudslides and avalanches to the Pacific Northwest and California this week [early 2024]. While these storms are dreaded for the damage they can cause, they are also essential to the region’s water supply, particularly in California, as Qian Cao, a hydrologist at…

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Extreme winter weather and a changing climate

The United States was virtually snow-free during the Christmas season 2023 matching a year which was one of the hottest globally since weather records have been kept. Yet, by early to mid January 2024, large sections of the United States were facing snow storms, blizzards, and extreme cold temperatures. How does that sudden change of weather–from warmer than usual to extreme cold and snow–fit the…

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AI, finding information, and surviving

There is a vast amount of hype surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) and its applications. And there are valid concerns about the use of AI and its negative impact on our society. Like the long lineage of communication technologies that have preceded AI, human beings will use it–some for good (or at least with good intentions) and some to further crime, greed, corruption, and to gain…

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Students could get more sleep and learn better if school started a little later

Joanna Fong-Isariyawongse, University of Pittsburgh (from The Conversation) Nearly three-quarters of high school students do not get enough sleep on school nights, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teens sleep for eight to 10 hours per night. But various factors hinder this, including early school start times and shifts in adolescents’ circadian rhythms – the biological…

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Humility is the foundation to a virtuous life

Jen Cole Wright, College of Charleston (from The Conversation) The default psychological setting for human beings is an unavoidable self-centeredness. We each stand at the center of our own thoughts, feelings and needs, and thus experience them in a way that we cannot experience the thoughts, feelings and needs of others. As writer David Foster Wallace put it in a 2005 commencement address: “ ……

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