I have been scratching my head a lot lately, and no, I haven't gotten any splinters. The scratching was a natural reaction to various items that found their way to my desk. Join me for a brief tour of these highlights, or possibly lowlights, or maybe just lights, from the world of recent science and medical news.
*¿ Stages of Man Revised. The Associated Press reported in August that Saparmurat Niyazov, the president of Turkmenistan, issued a decree that officially makes adolescence last until age 25 and postpones old age until 85. (In the U.S., of course, adolescence lasts indefinitely, and old age is simply no longer done.) What's particularly interesting about Niyazov's gerontological edict, however, is that the World Health Organization lists the average life expectancy as 60 for Turkmen men and 65 for Turkmen women (or Turkwomen, or possibly Turkpersons). The new decree means that, tragically, they all die young. By the way, earlier in August, Niyazov renamed January in honor of himself. He also renamed April "Mother," which some commentators said was to honor his own mother. Others said it had something to do with T. S. Eliot's notion about April being the cruelest month.
This article was originally published with the title Aye (Caramba) on the News.