The Union Recorder

Top Stories

September 13, 2013

14 oddball reasons you're not dead yet

(Continued)

Cows. The Midwest — including Michigan! — once had some of the worst malaria outbreaks in the country. Anopheles mosquitoes had always flourished in the damp lowlands around streams and melting snow, and when settlers came, some of them carried Plasmodium parasites that the mosquitoes spread widely. The settlers' farming practices made for even more stagnant water, and their sod and log houses were perfect habitat for biting pests. After farmers had exhausted the soil, they started raising cows rather than crops — and mosquitoes prefer to suck bovine blood even more than that of humans, helping break the malaria cycle. In the South and other parts of the country, larvicides, pesticides, better drainage, bug-proof housing, mechanized agriculture that replaced human labor, and fewer people living in lowlands helped eliminate malaria.

Oppressive, burdensome, over-reaching government regulations. People like to complain about the government, but when you start looking through the alphabet soup of agencies, you realize that most of them are there to save your life. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration runs the National Weather Service and warns you about hurricanes. The Environmental Protection Agency enforces the Clean Air Act and has dramatically reduced the amount of deadly pollutants in the air you breathe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration keeps you safe at work. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigate vehicles and accidents and make recommendations so accidents don't happen again. The Food and Drug Administration keeps deadly microbes out of your food. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls toys that could kill your child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks and tries to cure or avert basically any health hazard, and the National Institutes of Health supports some of the most important biomedical research in the world.

Goodness. Philosopher Daniel Dennett had an epiphany after emergency surgery a few years ago. It wasn't a religious epiphany — instead of thanking God, he realized he should thank human goodness:

Text Only
Top Stories
Poll
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza