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The Conversation

Calls to US poison centers spiked after ‘magic mushrooms’ were decriminalized

  • Written by Christopher P. Holstege, Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Virginia

Calls to poison control centers spiked across the U.S. for adolescents and young adults exposed to the hallucinogen psilocybin, according to our analysis of data from 55 U.S. poison centers between 2013 and 2022. The calls increased after 2019 when psilocybin was decriminalized and legalized in several cities and states.

Psilocybin is a compound...

Read more: Calls to US poison centers spiked after ‘magic mushrooms’ were decriminalized

Supreme Court unanimously concludes that anti-abortion groups have no standing to challenge access to mifepristone – but the drug likely faces more court challenges

  • Written by Naomi Cahn, Professor of Law, University of Virginia
imageActivists on both sides of the abortion battle are gearing up for it to be a major issue in the 2024 election. Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

On June 13, 2024, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously decided to uphold access to mifepristone, one of two pills used in medication abortion. Mifepristone has long been used safely...

Read more: Supreme Court unanimously concludes that anti-abortion groups have no standing to challenge access...

Supreme Court sides with Starbucks in labor case that could hinder government’s ability to intervene in some unionization disputes

  • Written by Michael Z. Green, Professor of Law and Director, Workplace Law Program, Texas A&M University
imageThe coffee company pushed back against a step the National Labor Relations Board took tied to a store in Memphis.AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Starbucks in a case that could make it harder for a federal agency to enforce labor laws in disputes that can arise during organizing campaigns. On June 13, 2024, the court...

Read more: Supreme Court sides with Starbucks in labor case that could hinder government’s ability to...

An homage to the dad joke, one of the great traditions of fatherhood

  • Written by Ian Brodie, Professor of Folklore, Cape Breton University
imageSometimes lameness – not laughter – is the point.AHPhotoswpg/iStock via Getty Images

“Dad, I’m hungry.”

“Hi, hungry. I’m Dad.”

If you haven’t been asleep for the past 20 years, you’ll probably recognize this exchange as a dad joke.

The term dad joke is credited to a June 20, 1987, editorial...

Read more: An homage to the dad joke, one of the great traditions of fatherhood

The US is losing wetlands at an accelerating rate − here’s how the private sector can help protect these valuable resources

  • Written by Steph Tai, Professor of Law and Associate Dean, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
imageRoads divide what once was a larger wetland into four smaller pools in east-central North Dakota.AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Wetlands aren’t the most eye-catching ecosystems. They include swamps, bogs, fens and other places where soil is covered by water most of the time. But they perform a huge range of valuable services, from soaking up...

Read more: The US is losing wetlands at an accelerating rate − here’s how the private sector can help protect...

Supreme Court justices secretly recorded – the legal issues and what they mean for the rest of us

  • Written by Anne Toomey McKenna, Visiting Professor of Law, University of Richmond
imageSupreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr., left, and his wife, Martha-Ann Alito, photographed in 2018.AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Posing as a “Christian conservative” at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s members-only, black-tie gala, liberal journalist and filmmaker Lauren Windsor secretly recorded her conversations with...

Read more: Supreme Court justices secretly recorded – the legal issues and what they mean for the rest of us

Space weather forecasting needs an upgrade to protect future Artemis astronauts

  • Written by Lulu Zhao, Assistant Research Scientist in Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan
imageThe Sun can send out eruptions of energetic particles.NASA/SDO via AP

NASA has set its sights on the Moon, aiming to send astronauts back to the lunar surface by 2026 and establish a long-term presence there by the 2030s. But the Moon isn’t exactly a habitable place for people.

Cosmic rays from distant stars and galaxies and solar energetic...

Read more: Space weather forecasting needs an upgrade to protect future Artemis astronauts

Ukraine’s draft woes leave the West facing pressure to make up for the troop shortfall

  • Written by Nicolai N. Petro, Professor of Political Science, University of Rhode Island
imageUkrainian soldiers unload supplies from a truck in Kharkiv Oblast.Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu via Getty Images

Ukraine’s current military recruitment campaign is not going according to plan.

Announced on April 16, 2024, the drive was aimed at enlisting hundreds of thousands of young Ukrainian men to help push back against a Russian invasion...

Read more: Ukraine’s draft woes leave the West facing pressure to make up for the troop shortfall

People ambivalent about political issues support violence more than those with clear opinions

  • Written by Joseph Siev, Postdoctoral Fellow in Consumer Behavior, University of Virginia
imageMany people who hold political views are uncertain about their opinions.GSO Images/The Image Bank via Getty Images

Choices about political candidates and issues are inherently limited and imperfect, leading many people to feel mixed emotions, and even conflicting opinions, about which candidate or position they prefer.

In general, being ambivalent...

Read more: People ambivalent about political issues support violence more than those with clear opinions

Civil rights leader James Lawson, who learned from Gandhi, used nonviolent resistance and the ‘power of love’ to challenge injustice

  • Written by Anthony Siracusa, Assistant Professor of History and Community Engagement, St. John Fisher University
imageCivil rights activist James M. Lawson Jr. speaks in Murfreesboro, Tenn., in 2015.AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File

Rev. James M. Lawson Jr., who died on June 9, 2024, at the age of 95, was a Methodist minister and a powerful advocate of nonviolence during the Civil Rights Movement.

Lawson is best known for piloting two crucial civil rights campaigns...

Read more: Civil rights leader James Lawson, who learned from Gandhi, used nonviolent resistance and the...

More Articles ...

  1. Philadelphia’s 200-year-old disability records show welfare reform movement’s early shift toward rationing care and punishing poor people
  2. Cities with empty commercial space and housing shortages are converting office buildings into apartments – here’s what they’re learning
  3. Spikes, seat dividers, even ‘Baby Shark’ − camping bans like the one under review at SCOTUS are part of broader strategies that push out homeless people
  4. Inflation is cooling, but not fast enough for the Fed: Policymakers now expect only one rate cut in 2024
  5. Microrobots made of algae carry chemo directly to lung tumors, improving cancer treatment
  6. Columbia Law Review article critical of Israel sparks battle between student editors and their board − highlighting fragility of academic freedom
  7. American womanhood is not what it used to be − understanding the backlash to Dobbs v. Jackson
  8. There’s a strange history of white journalists trying to better understand the Black experience by ‘becoming’ Black
  9. ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ may be many Americans’ image of Judaism – but American Jews’ heritage is stunningly diverse
  10. Politics is still both local and personal – but only for independents, not for Democrats or Republicans
  11. Wastewater surveillance reveals pathogens in Detroit’s population, helping monitor and predict disease outbreaks since 2017
  12. Paris 2024 Olympics to debut high-level breakdancing – and physics in action
  13. Food has a climate problem: Nitrous oxide emissions are accelerating with growing demand for fertilizer and meat – but there are solutions
  14. African elephants address one another with name-like calls − similar to humans
  15. 8 fun questions about The Conversation
  16. How reciting the Pledge of Allegiance became a sacred, patriotic ritual
  17. PFAS are toxic ‘forever chemicals’ that linger in our air, water, soil and bodies – here’s how to keep them out of your drinking water
  18. Summertime can be germy: A microbiologist explains how to avoid getting sick at the barbecue, in the pool or on the trail
  19. Independent voters are few in number, influential in close elections – and hard for campaigns to reach
  20. Losing winter ice is changing the Great Lakes food web – here’s how light is shaping life underwater
  21. Are older adults more vulnerable to scams? What psychologists have learned about who’s most susceptible, and when
  22. Complaints are different when customers think a company cares
  23. Coral reef recovery could get a boost from an unlikely source: Sea cucumbers, the janitors of the seafloor
  24. Biden and Trump may forget names or personal details, but here is what really matters in assessing whether they’re cognitively up for the job
  25. The warming ocean is leaving coastal economies in hot water
  26. How DEI rollbacks at colleges and universities set back learning
  27. American slavery wasn’t just a white man’s business − new research shows how white women profited, too
  28. NASA’s asteroid sample mission gave scientists around the world the rare opportunity to study an artificial meteor
  29. How do you build tunnels and bridges underwater? A geotechnical engineer explains the construction tricks
  30. Indian election was awash in deepfakes – but AI was a net positive for democracy
  31. How much do you need to know about how your spouse spends money? Maybe less than you think
  32. 2020’s ‘fake elector’ schemes will be harder to try in 2024 – but not impossible
  33. Why is it so hard to know how many independent voters there are?
  34. Getting services to people in need often relies on partnerships between government and nonprofits, but reporting requirements can be too onerous
  35. AI search answers are the fast food of your information diet – convenient and tasty, but no substitute for good nutrition
  36. Scientists call the region of space influenced by the Sun the heliosphere – but without an interstellar probe, they don’t know much about its shape
  37. Scientists and Indigenous leaders team up to conserve seals and an ancestral way of life at Yakutat, Alaska
  38. Records of Pompeii’s survivors have been found – and archaeologists are starting to understand how they rebuilt their lives
  39. New database features 250 AI tools that can enhance social science research
  40. Beyond Seinfeld’s ‘Unfrosted’ – lessons from Michigan’s serial cereal entrepreneurs
  41. Menopause treatments can help with hot flashes and other symptoms – but many people aren’t aware of the latest advances
  42. 5 reasons Supreme Court ethics questions are more common now than in the past
  43. Laws meant to keep different races apart still influence dating patterns, decades after being invalidated
  44. Only 1.8% of US doctors were Black in 1906 – and the legacy of inequality in medical education has not yet been erased
  45. Only 1.6% of US doctors were Black in 1906 – and the legacy of inequality in medical education has not yet been erased
  46. AI plus gene editing promises to shift biotech into high gear
  47. All shook up? UK’s Nigel Farage is the latest to bear the brunt of pelting as popular politics
  48. Emigration: The hidden catalyst behind the rise of the radical right in Europe’s depopulating regions
  49. Job figures are coming out, and here’s my prediction: The markets will overreact to the headlines
  50. The disproportionate toll that COVID-19 took on people with diabetes continues today