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Hard-core criminals are trapped in a vicious circle of their own thinking. Cognitive treatment of offenders can show them a way out of that trap. With effort and practice, even the most serious offenders can learn to change their thinking about other people and themselves. They can learn to be good citizens, and feel good about it. But in most cases the criminal justice system doesn't present them that opportunity—not in a form that offenders recognize as genuine.

Twelve years ago, I tried to drive a stake into the heart of the personality-testing industry. Personality tests are neither valid nor reliable, I argued, and we should stop using them — especially for making decisions that affect the course of people's lives, like workplace hiring and promotion.

They were hoping to conquer their fears by walking over a bed of hot coals. But instead, dozens of people participating in a Dallas event hosted by motivational speaker Tony Robbins were treated for burns.

As a result of walking across coals, "a large number of these people sustained burn injuries to their feet and lower extremities," Jason Evans, a spokesman for the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, said in a statement. Approximately 30-40 people were injured. Most elected to be treated at the scene, and five opted to go to a local hospital for evaluation.

Just as the U.S. is battling diet-related diseases, obesity and climate change, so, too, is China.

And among the proposed strategies to combat these problems is this: Eat less meat.

Over the past 70 years, the U.S. has been waging a war against a miniature menace: the New World screwworm.

The story of how we eradicated the critter has it all: triumph of the little guys, a medical treatment that uses bacon (i.e., "bacon therapy") and a new technology to wipe out horrible diseases — one that scientists are using today to try to stop the Zika virus.

The screwworm is arguably the most cringeworthy creature on Earth. Seriously, if you're squeamish at all, you might want to skip the next few paragraphs.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will retreat from the sale of health plans to individuals and families in the state starting next year. The insurer, Minnesota's largest, said extraordinary financial losses drove the decision.

"Based on current medical claim trends, Blue Cross is projecting a total loss of more than $500 million in the individual [health plan] segment over three years," the insurer said in an emailed statement.

It's a predictable passage in life: Hit 50, get lots of birthday cards with old-age jokes, a mailbox full of AARP solicitations — and a colonoscopy.

But millions of Americans — about one-third of those in the recommended age range for colon cancer screening — haven't been tested. Some avoid it because they are squeamish about the procedure, or worried about the rare, but potentially serious, complications that can occur during colonoscopies.

What Is A Nudge?

Jun 24, 2016

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Nudge

How can a simple adjustment - a nudge - change our behavior for the better? Professor Richard Thaler says his "nudge theory" can make it easier for people to save money, eat healthily and more.

About Richard Thaler

University of Chicago professor Richard Thaler studies behavioral economics and finance as well as the psychology of decision-making.

Can Mindfulness Help You Quit Smoking?

Jun 24, 2016

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Nudge

About Judson Brewer's TED Talk

Psychiatrist Judson Brewer describes how patients who practice simple mindfulness techniques can kick unhealthy habits.

About Judson Brewer

Psychiatrist Judson Brewer studies how mindfulness affects addiction.

All the bad news around lead and water has people worried. So we decided to create a step-by-step guide to help find out if the pipe bringing water into your home is made of lead. Get started here.

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