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  • Today's comic by Jen Sorensen is Free to chew: The other side of 'religious freedom' laws:
    Cartoon by Jen Sorensen --  Free to chew: The other side of 'religious freedom' laws
  • These Daily Kos community posts were the most shared on Facebook March 3:
    Are you sick of highly-paid teachers?, by sboucher

    The Brainwashing Of My Dad By Fox, Rush Limbaugh & Hate Media, by Leslie Salzillo

    Bill Maher's excellent commentary on income inequality, by BruinKid

  • Newspaper exec winces upon seeing headline about Oscar for "12 Years a Slave". The headline, 'Slave' becomes Master, upset Michael Anastasi, the vice president of news and executive editor of the company that publishes the Torrance, Calif., Daily Breeze:
    Anastasi said “I winced” when he saw the front, and that his “body is still contorted” from his physical reaction to the headline. He’s spoken to the Breeze’s editors, he said. “They feel terrible and have taken responsibility,” he said. “It should never have happened.” There will be internal discipline, Anastasi said, declining to elaborate. He says the people at the Breeze “work very hard day in and day out to do some terrific journalism.”
  • Last of "radium girls" dies at 107: Mae Keane got a summer job in 1924 painting watch dials with radium to make them glow in the dark. She was paid 8 cents a dial, but she was slow at it and soon was told she should find another ob. Saved her life.
    About 15 of the young dial painters in Waterbury died from radium poisoning during the 1920s and '30s. Scores of women died later after suffering for years from crumbling bones and rotted jaws.

    "We were young. We didn't know anything about the paint," Keane said in 2004.

  • BPA-free plastics also problematic. A study on plastics used in objects like children's sippy cups found wanting:
    It reported that "almost all" commercially available plastics that were tested leached synthetic estrogens—even when they weren't exposed to conditions known to unlock potentially harmful chemicals, such as the heat of a microwave, the steam of a dishwasher, or the sun's ultraviolet rays. According to Bittner's research, some BPA-free products actually released synthetic estrogens that were more potent than BPA.

    Estrogen plays a key role in everything from bone growth to ovulation to heart function. Too much or too little, particularly in utero or during early childhood, can alter brain and organ development, leading to disease later in life. Elevated estrogen levels generally increase a woman's risk of breast cancer.

  • Just because they could:
    As the world's ice caps melt away, polar humans will find all kinds of things that were previously hidden under sheets of ice. New sailing routes, for one, and probably a pair of keys or two. But a new discovery hints at a future find that's a little more unsettling: A French research team revived a 30,000-year-old giant virus that had been lying dormant in Siberian permafrost. [...]

    The good news is that Pithovirus was found 30 meters deep in the Siberian permafrost, which means it's unlikely that its peers will escape on their own. But as the Arctic thaws and drilling operations increase, especially in Siberia, so does the possibility that a formerly-frozen pathogen gets loosed upon the world.

  • And many happy returns:
    J. Craig Venter, the man who raced the U.S. government to sequence the first human genome, has a new goal: Help everyone live to 100, in good health.

    “Our goal is to make 100-years-old the new 60,” said Peter Diamandis, who co-founded with Venter a company that aims to scan the DNA of as many as 100,000 people a year to create a massive database that will lead to new tests and therapies that can help extend healthy human life spans.

  • Report: Keystone XL report got it wrong: UK Carbon Tracker Initiative says impact of pipeline will be to enable faster development of tar sands and that its emissions will be far higher than State Department's environmental impact statement concluded.
  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin briefs us on Ukraine, new polls & Bridgegate speculation. Rand Paul moves to lock in a gov't paycheck. Obamacare's economic boost. Uniform = expert. Gang members in Syria. Boy Scout defectors plead for context.

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