A Few Recommended Readings:

1. Home-Brewed Morphine is Around the Corner – Scientists have discovered a way to create a genetically modified yeast that brews morphine, thus allowing patients in developing countries that normally do without due to strict regulations by governments and drug lords to have access to pain relievers. Of course, this scientific breakthrough is not without potential consequences.

2. A Choice for Recovering Addicts: Relapse or Homelessness – This investigative report by The New York Times examines the rise of three quarter houses in NYC.

“Opportunistic businessmen like Mr. Baumblit have rushed to open new homes, turning them into vehicles for fleecing the government, an investigation by The New York Times found. The target is easy: vulnerable residents whose rents and treatments are paid for with taxpayer money.

Yet three-quarter homes are tolerated and even tacitly encouraged, pointing to a systemic failure by government agencies and institutions responsible for helping addicts and the poor.”

3. Anti-Homeless Spikes  – For The Guardian, writer Alex Andreou explores the rise in use and impacts of defensive architecture. “From ubiquitous protrusions on window ledges to bus-shelter seats that pivot forward, from water sprinklers and loud muzak to hard tubular rests, from metal park benches with solid dividers to forests of pointed cement bollards under bridges, urban spaces are aggressively rejecting soft, human bodies.”

A few recommended readings for your weekend:

1. Control, Eliminate, Eradicate  A Disease: What’s the Difference? – An interesting look at the new exhibit opening at the Natural History Museum titled Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease.

2. Pursuing the Impossible, and Coming Out on TopThe story of the incredible feat of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, who successfully free-climbed the 3,000 ft* Dawn Wall.

*The article puts this distance into perspective–“3,000 ft is the equivalent to three Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other”!

3.  NOAA Global Analysis – Annual 2014 – Or, simply jot down in your memory this key highlight: “The year 2014 was the warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880.”