Author Archives: Bob Welbaum

How to Make Up a Word

There are at least a quarter of a million words in the English language. I’m basing this on the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, which contains entries for 171,476 words in current use, 47,156 words considered obsolete, and around 9,500 derivative words included as subentries (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/how-many-words-are-there-in-the-english-language/). Yet we’re adding words all the time,

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Dr. Rebecca Crumpler, Medical Pioneer

History never ceases to amaze me. For example — In 1883, a 145-page volume entitled A Book of Medical Discourses in Two Parts was published. Its appearance was significant for two reasons. It was one of the first American medical guides to offer advice for women and children, including a bit of marital advice. More

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If You’re Looking To Lose Weight…

If you’re trying to lose weight, take heart. There is new evidence that the best strategy is to increase the intensity of your workouts for short periods, rather than have longer but easier sessions. It’s called “high intensity interval training” (Hiit). The technique is getting attention because recent research, published in the British Journal of

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Why Women Live Longer Than Men

It’s true. According to the latest CDC figures, the average American woman will live to age 81, while the average man will only live to 76. In addition, those extra years also tend to be healthier. And it’s not just this country. “This gender gap in life expectancy is true for all societies, and it

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Spiders and Sleeping

Some headlines simply can’t be ignored. Like “Do You Actually Swallow a Bunch of Spiders When You Sleep?” There is an urban legend that the average person will ingest about eight spiders a year while sleeping. Presumably the spiders are active enough and most people sleep with their mouths open enough that, well, accidents will

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At The Auto Show

After work Friday, I went downtown to the Dayton Auto Show. Not that I need a new car; mine is only five years old with 33,000 miles. I don’t get a new car that often — I’ve only owned six in 54 years of driving, but I couldn’t resist seeing what was new. Also, I’m

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The Murder You Didn’t Commit

I’ve read so much about the unreliability of eyewitnesses. (For example, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-the-eyes-have-it/.) But can you trust your own memory? Ada JoAnn Taylor confessed to suffocating a sixty-eight-year-old widow in 1989 and for two decades believed she was guilty. As a result, she served more than nineteen years in prison before being pardoned when DNA evidence

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