IN THE LATE 1960s, a Pennsylvania man named Alan Litman fretted that his wife wouldn’t be safe coming home late on the mean streets of Pittsburgh. So he did what any doting husband would do—he figured out a way to fill a portable, easily deployed spray can with tear gas. Then he started marketing the product to law enforcement. Today his invention is known as Mace, a brand now synonymous with private citizens packing a ton of heat. The company’s triple-action variety is a one-two punch of painful riot-control agents—pepper spray and tear gas, which have been used for decades to subdue and incapacitate people without killing them—plus UV dye to make targets readily identifiable post-melee.
On Wednesday, rapper Albert Johnson—better known by his stage name Prodigy—passed away at the age of 42 from complications of sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder he’d had since birth. Though some medications can help those with sickle cell manage their condition, no cure or real treatment exists to combat the disease. And while better care in the United States has extended the lifespan of those with the disease, they often face a lifelong battle with pain, infections, and extreme fatigue.
This past week, a Texas family suffered a heartbreaking loss when their four-year-old son succumbed to a suspected (though not officially confirmed) case of secondary drowning—a condition in which inhaled water causes fluid to build up in a person’s lungs. In these cases, death can occur hours after a child goes swimming. Such fatalities are extremely rare, but knowing the causes and symptoms can help put parents’ minds at ease—and help you act fast if something isn’t right.
BEING FAT SUCKS. I’m not judging; I’ve been overweight all my life. Obesity puts you at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and even some cancers.
More than 100 people have been quarantined in Sierra Leone after coming in contact with a woman who died of Ebola last week, highlighting the potential for the disease to spread, just as the deadliest outbreak on record appeared to be over.
The U.S. Food and Drug Association approved the painkiller OxyContin for children ages 11 to 16 with pain “severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment,” according to a statement released on Aug. 14.
In Pakistan, nearly 700 people, many of them elderly, have succumbed to heat stroke in the midst of an awful heat wave. If climate change continues to progress along its current path, events like this might become more common in the future, exacerbated by severe weather and higher temperatures across the world.