Daily Dispatches
A child receives the polio vaccine in Afghanistand
Associated Press/Photo by Rahmat Gul
A child receives the polio vaccine in Afghanistand

Web Reads: Polio’s fight to the bitter end


Polio’s last stand. Polio used to be the silent crippler of children, but development of an effective vaccine wiped it out in the U.S. and other developed countries. In the 1980s, epidemiologists began an effective campaign to eradicate the disease. Last year there were only 223 cases. But the remaining affected areas are hard to reach and often in war zones. This on-the-ground report by a journalist and photographer shows the obstacles that stand in the way of eradication. 

Preemie cam. This amazing video of a 3 1/2-month premature baby shows the miracle of life and the wonders of modern medicine.

The Doom effect. First-person shooter video games are enormously popular. This New Yorker article explains how they work psychologically to produce a state called flow, “when the rest of the world simply falls away.”

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Soda or pop? Interviewers asked native speakers from each region of the U.S. to provide the word they used for various items. For example, what’s the word to describe the shoe worn in gym class or a sweet carbonated beverage? As respondents answer each question, this video about how Americans talk shows where each usage or pronunciation is most common.

Drawing lessons. It’s not too late to learn how to draw a cartoon turkey for Thanksgiving. The website has tutorials for other cartoon figures, including a pirate, elephant, zombie, and cat. Suitable for mid-to-upper elementary and up, or younger children with help.

Susan Olasky
Susan Olasky

Susan pens book reviews and other articles for WORLD as a senior writer and has authored eight historical novels for children. Susan and her husband Marvin live in Asheville, N.C. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanolasky.


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