1. An Infestation That Begins In The Mind
They complain of mysterious, creepy symptoms: bugs — or some form of infestation — crawling beneath their skin, sometimes burrowing to the surface, leaving odd specks and colored filaments in their wake. They have flocked to websites to share details of their malady, which they call Morgellons disease; they have charged the medical community with ignoring their plight and have strong-armed the government into studying it. They go from doctor to doctor, carrying specimens in Ziploc bags and on glass slides, desperate to find a physical cause. More here...
2. McFarlane to make new 'Flinstones'
The Flintstones" are heading back to television, courtesy of irreverent "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, Fox television said on Monday. MacFarlane will give a 21st century spin to the classic 1960s animated comedy series about the lives of Fred Flintstone, his wife Wilma, and their neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble. "The very first cartoon character I drew at age two was Fred Flintstone," MacFarlane said in a statement. "So it's appropriate that events have come full circle, allowing me to produce the newest incarnation of this great franchise. Plus, I think America is finally ready for an animated sitcom about a fat, stupid guy with a wife who's too good for him," he added. More here...
Allergy sufferers may soon be able to face ragweed season and even hyper-shedding cats without so much sniffling and sneezing — that is, if Mark Larché has anything to say about it. Larché, an immunologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, is developing vaccines that he hopes will diminish allergies more quickly and safely than current therapies. He calls the vaccines a "next-generation allergy shot." His first two targets are ragweed allergy, which affects 10% to 20% of Americans, mostly in the Midwest and East; and cat allergy, which afflicts some 10% of the U.S. population. Doctors currently treat severe cases with allergy shots, also called allergy immunotherapy. It's an effective but somewhat risky approach that involves giving a person tiny, escalating doses of the very thing they're allergic to in the hopes of getting the body used to the substance. The therapy requires injections as frequently as three times a week for up to seven months, with continued monthly shots for five years or more. And because it involves exposure to the actual allergen, there's always a risk of an allergic reaction, ranging from swelling to potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. More here...
4. Conan plays cultural icons
After the NBC debacle of last year, a cross-country tour fueled by a powerful social media campaign, and finding a new late night home at TBS, Conan O'Brien has become something of a cultural icon. O'Brien's tongue-in-cheek photo shoot with Fast Company magazine suggests that he might not belong up there with Benjamin Franklin and Einstein, but he's definitely earned a place in pop culture history. Click here to watch.
5. This Day In History: Brown Vs Board Is Decided
In a major civil rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court hands down an unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional. The historic decision, which brought an end to federal tolerance of racial segregation, specifically dealt with Linda Brown, a young African American girl who had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin.
In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that "separate but equal" accommodations in railroad cars conformed to the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection. That ruling was used to justify segregating all public facilities, including elementary schools. However, in the case of Linda Brown, the white school she attempted to attend was far superior to her black alternative and miles closer to her home. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) took up Linda's cause, and in 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka reached the Supreme Court. African American lawyer (and future Supreme Court justice) Thurgood Marshall led Brown's legal team, and on May 17, 1954, the high court handed down its decision.