The Recession’s Domestic Toll

The situation looks bad from the outside: Record foreclosure rates, a national unemployment rate hovering around 10%, and the average length of joblessness at its highest level since 1948. But inside, behind closed doors, many American families face a more private destructive force: 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically abused by an intimate … Read more

Organ Donation: The Ultimate Gift from the 1960s

The ’60s gave us sex, drugs, rock & roll, and one giant leap for mankind, but the decade left us another legacy that may prove more important—organ donation. Throughout the 1960s, the medical field was taking its own “small steps,” removing the first kidneys, hearts, lungs, and livers from cadavers and implanting them into patients whose … Read more

Behind the Numbers: Death by Cow

Which is deadlier: a cow or a triathlon? From 2003 to 2007, the US Department of Labor recorded an average of 21.6 cattle-related deaths per year, for a total of 108. Compare that to an average of 5.1 deaths per year caused by triathlons, or 14 deaths in 2.75 years. Getting within kicking range of … Read more

Strange ways to die

Will your death make the headlines? Only if you were highly successful in life—or if you’re singled out for the oddity of your demise. Your odds of dying from a rat bite (likely due to a resulting case of rat bite fever) are 1 in 299,400,000. Just one person in the US died this way in 2006. … Read more

The Increasing Risk of Unintentional Poisoning

Unintentional poisoning is a cause of death with a quiet prevalence. The suspected role of unintentional poisoning in celebrity deaths has garnered headlines that span several decades, from Elvis Presley to Heath Ledger. What is less publicized is the effect unintentional poisoning has on the general population. Today, the odds an accidental death was caused … Read more


When you think of the dangers of riding a motorcycle you might visualize a mound of crushed steel, bleeding gas and oil over the white lines of a highway. But believe it or not, per capita, horseback riding is 20 times more dangerous. In a landmark 1985 study, Dr. J.L. Firth estimated that while “a … Read more

Upended: the Deadly Odds of Slipping on Ice

Contrary to popular myth, Dr. Robert Atkins—creator of the low-carbohydrate Atkins Diet—did not die of a heart attack. What killed him was a patch of ice. Atkins, 72 years old, fell on his way to work and died nine days later from an epidural hematoma, or bleeding between the brain and skull. Nine years later, … Read more

Everyday Hazards: Tape

MacGyver kept tape in his back pocket. Socrates may have jury-rigged a piece of it with hide and sap. There’s even some on the Moon. Whether duct, masking, packing, Scotch®, surgical, or electrical, it seems like there’s a roll in every garage and under every sink in America. What can’t it fix? As it turns out: your … Read more