It’s becoming increasingly hard for American women to get abortions

A bill introduced in Republican-controlled Wisconsin to ban abortions 20 weeks after conception is likely to become law in the next few weeks. That would make it the 38th new law across 11 US states set this year to restrict women’s access to abortion.

Republicans’ slow attack on the right to abortion is working. Find out how on Quartz, published May 11, 2015.

Image by ashley rose under CC-BY-NC-ND

What you need to know about Facebook’s “proof” that it’s not a political echo chamber

When nearly half of US internet users are getting their political news from Facebook, it rightfully raises many worries. Chief among them is that Facebook’s powerful algorithm creates a “filter bubble” in which users mainly see posts they agree with, reinforcing the heavily polarized nature of American political discourse.

In research recently published in Science, researchers from Facebook and the University of Michigan suggest that the news feed algorithm is less influential than some people have made it out to be. Instead, they claim it is mostly users themselves who, through their decisions about what to click on or who to be friends with, are responsible for the creation of any ideological bubbles.

Don’t be so quick to let Facebook off the hook, though. Despite being published in a reputable science journal, the researchers’ conclusion appears to be questionable.

Read more on Quartz, published May 11, 2015.

Image by nate bolt under CC-BY-SA.

More quakes are coming for Nepal, scientists say, they just can’t predict when

Nepal was again hit with a major earthquake again. Only three weeks ago a much larger earthquake had hit the country. Together they have left more than 8,000 dead, scores injured and millions displaced. Sadly, scientists had predicted that another earthquake was coming—and many more will come in the future in this seismically active region.

Read more on Quartz, published May 12, 2015.

Image by DFID under CC-BY.

Men are committing suicide more than women everywhere in the world

More than 800,000 people around the world kill themselves each year, and millions more try but fail. This puts suicides among the top preventable causes of death in the world. And from Albania to Zimbabwe, in every country, men commit suicides in greater numbers than women do.

Find out why on Quartz, published May 13, 2015.

Image by Jason Kuffer under CC-BY-SA.

Climate change is making your pollen allergy worse

Spring is time for the glorious beginning of new things. Most people celebrate it, but not the many millions who are hit with sneezing fits and itchy eyes. And things are going to get worse—not just for those who suffer from a pollen allergy, but also for those who never had allergies before.

Read more on Quartz, published May 14, 2015.

Image by mait under CC-BY-NC-SA.

The day when roads will harness solar energy is drawing near

There are some 60 million kilometers (37.3 million miles) of roadways in the world, just sitting there. But adapting these surfaces to do anything besides passively carry traffic has proved difficult and prohibitively expensive.

However, an idea has gained traction in the last few years: embedding solar cells in roads. In 2014, an American couple launched the Solar Roadways project and collected more than $2 million on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Their effort, however, is much farther from reality than the Netherlands-based consortium SolaRoad, which has been operating a 70-meter (230-foot) cycle path that generates enough electricity for one or two households.

Read more on Quartz, published May 15, 2015.

Image by SolaRoad.

Most children are happy no matter what, but materialism catches up eventually

A new survey of 53,000 children across 15 countries reveals that children tend to be happy regardless of the context of their lives. From Nepal to Norway, children between the ages of 10 and 12 say that they are largely satisfied with their lives.

“Children tend to be more optimistic in life,” Elisabeth Backe-Hansen, the Norwegian lead researcher for the Children’s World Survey, told Quartz. Though not surprising, it is reassuring.

But material depravation eventually catches up. Find out how on Quartz, published May 16, 2015.

Image by Yansen Sugiarto under CC-BY-ND