I Watched Friends Die in Afghanistan. The Guilt Has Nearly Killed Me.

When my grandfather Michael Linehan Jr. arrived in North Africa in December 1943 to begin his tour of duty with the 15th Air Force, the average life expectancy of an Allied heavy-bomber crewman was roughly six combat missions, less than a fourth of what he was required to fly. As the 25-year-old pilot of a…

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A Chicken for Cheering

Good morning. It’s Veterans Day, and let’s take a moment to acknowledge and thank all those who have served in the armed forces of the United States. Let’s thank them for their work in the wars we have fought in the past and the ones we have been fighting for the last 18 years. It…

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Ultra-Black Is the New Black

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — On a laboratory bench at the National Institute of Standards and Technology was a square tray with two black disks inside, each about the width of the top of a Dixie cup. Both disks were undeniably black, yet they didn’t look quite the same. Solomon Woods, 49, a trim, dark-haired, soft-spoken physicist,…

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How Much Would You Pay for a Houseplant?

MIAMI — They came armed with totes, trash bags, empty strollers and collapsible nylon wagons. They came with wish lists and whispers of their “unicorns,” whose Latin names sounded like incantations: adansonii, patriciae, obliqua. Some of them traveled by airplane to get here. Others, in moving trucks. Because one does not walk into the 42nd…

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Getting a Handle on Self-Harm

The sensations surged up from somewhere inside, like poison through a syringe: a mix of sadness, anxiety, and shame that would overwhelm anyone, especially a teenager. “I had this Popsicle stick and carved it into sharp point and scratched myself,” Joan, a high school student in New York City said recently; she asked that her…

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On the Internet, No One Knows You’re Not Rich. Except This Account.

In February, an Instagram account called @BallerBusters cropped up and began wreaking havoc on the flashy Instagram entrepreneur community. Its goal: To expose phony entrepreneurs. Using a mix of screen-shotted receipts, memes and crowdsourced information from followers, the account seeks out people who don’t “act their wage.” Often, these are people who call themselves entrepreneurs…

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Weight-Loss Surgery for Teens Who Can’t Lose Weight Any Other Way

Dr. Sarah Armstrong has a 15-year-old patient who has been going to the weight management clinic at Duke since he was 8 years old. “The parents both have worked with us tirelessly, the family drives an hour to see us, they’ve tired various diets and exercise, and he continues to gain weight,” said Dr. Armstrong,…

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As Vietnam Veterans Age, Hospices Aim to Meet Their Needs

When Timothy Hellrung was told he had aggressive cancer this past June and had only days or weeks to live, he knew where he wanted to die. Mr. Hellrung, a 73-year-old veteran of the Vietnam War disabled by Agent Orange, spent his last 10 days in hospice care at the community living center of the…

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Shifting the Focus of Breast Cancer to Prevention

Efforts to reduce deaths from breast cancer in women have long focused on early detection and post-surgical treatment with drugs, radiation or both to help keep the disease at bay. And both of these approaches, used alone or together, have resulted in a dramatic reduction in breast cancer mortality in recent decades. The average five-year…

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Metaphor ‘menu’ for cancer patients launched by researchers

The first manual of expressions describing cancer has been developed by researchers to help patients make sense of their disease. The metaphor ‘Menu’, which will be available online from today (November 11), follows research by Lancaster University based on the views of more than 100 people involved in cancer care and analysis of more than…

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