A couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail from my son's middle school alerting families that several students had been diagnosed with whooping cough, also called pertussis. I didn't pay too much attention; my son has been vaccinated and he got a booster shot a couple of years ago so I hoped he would be protected.
Then I started to cough.
A visit to my doctor and a pertussis test confirmed that I am one of the 338 people infected with it in Oregon this year. That's three times higher than last year.
Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 11:12 am
All of Washington is breathlessly awaiting the Supreme Court's imminent decision on the Obama health care overhaul. Rumors circulate almost daily that the decision is ready for release. As usual, those rumors are perpetrated by people who know nothing, but the decision is expected by the end of this month.
Alcoholics Anonymous has long been known for the anonymity of its members. But there are two key figures in AA's history whose names are well known.
One is co-founder Bill Wilson, known as "Bill W." Beginning in the 1930s, Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith began helping other alcoholics in order to maintain their own sobriety.
Wilson's simple grave in Vermont makes no mention of his work. That doesn't stop people from visiting it, especially on this annual Bill W. Day. But people seek out Wilson's grave in a small cemetery near his birthplace in East Dorset, Vt., all year long.
Allergies are on the rise these days, especially in children. Nearly half of all kids are now allergic to something, be it food, animals, or plants. Federal health officials say that rate is two to five times higher than it was 30 years ago.
And as researchers are trying to understand why, they're increasingly looking at kids who grow up on farms.
Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson performs as The Tallest Man on Earth. That's just his stage name, though: Matsson himself stands at about 5 feet 7. His new album, There's No Leaving Now, comes out Tuesday.
Matsson has been praised as a poet, and is frequently compared to Bob Dylan. He often sings about nature, inspired by the scenery near his home in Falun, Sweden.
In case you were confused by the start of Spirit Fiction, the new album by saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, here's a hint: Think in twos. He divides his quartet in half, sets both duos loose on their own paths and aims for their intersection. It's a scheme for improvising: "A real energy and wholeness, hopefully, is created," he says.
At a glance, the script for The Cherry Thing might have been recycled: A global pop star returns from a long hiatus with an album of covers, backed by a jazz band. But nothing about this record's sound — or its backstory, for that matter — even remotely suggests Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt or Paul McCartney singing standards.