The passing scene: January 10, 2015

The End of Gangs: Cleaning Up Los Angeles, California by Sam Quinones for Pacific Standard.

gangs-illoGood news.  The Los Angeles Police Department is making headway against street gangs through a combination of community policing and hard-nosed law enforcement.

The LAPD forms alliances with ministers and other community leaders in high-crime neighborhoods, sets up Police Athletic Leagues for young men and has police walk beats instead of riding around in cruisers.

At the same time it uses a legal process called the gang injunction to forbid known gang members from hanging out together in public and RICO—the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act—to convict gang members and send them to federal prisons far from California.

BN-GA546_1214co_J_20141215190545Photos: The Concrete Cowboys of Philadelphia by Chelsea Matiash for the Wall Street Journal.

Photographer Charles Mostoller documented teenage horseback riders in urban Philadelphia.

Soil-Derived Drug Could Overcome Antibiotic Resistance by Karen Weintraub for MIT Technology Review.

Antibiotics: US discovery called ‘game changer’ for medicine by James Gallagher for BBC News.

_80111218_c0230860-mycobacterium_smegmatis_bacteria,_sem-splMore good news.  New diseases such as Ebola resist known anti-biotic resistant drugs, creating a danger of reverting to the age when most infectious diseases were incurable.  The discovery of a new kind of anti-biotic averts this danger, at least for this generation.  But the evolution of bacteria through natural selection will make this a continuing struggle.

Hunter-gatherer past shows our fragile bones result from inactivity since the invention of farming by ScienceDaily.

What Happens to Our Brains When We Exercise and Why It Makes Us Happier by Leo Widrich for Fast Company.

If modern human beings were as active in youth as our hunter-gatherer ancestors, we’d have the muscle and bone strength of orangutans, which are very strong.  Even being moderately active does you good.

Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books by Rachel Grate for Arts.Mic.

Neuroscientists say that regular reading reduces stress and the risk of mental deterioration in old age, and that reading printed books is more effective than reading from screens.

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