Last week, you let us know which stories you thought were flying under the radar using #RFDUNDER. We narrowed down some of your top choices and want your input! Fill out the poll below and we’ll cover your top choice.
Which of these stories do you want to hear more about?
- The rise in popularity of e-cigarettes and the associated health risks
- The major discovery that confirms the Big Bang Theory about the “beginnings” of the universe
- The debate over the extension of unemployment benefits
Here’s a little more info on each topic:
E-cigarettes are growing in popularity – you see people puffing on them in cafes, on subways, in the office. But do the supposed benefits of e-cigs outweigh the risks? According to Wells Fargo Securities, sales of e-cigarettes doubled from 2012 to 2013 to $1.7 billion. They are marketed as devices that avoid the stigma of cigarettes and conveniently come in all shapes, sizes, flavors and colors. People typically justify their use as a means to quit smoking cigarettes, but tend to ignore the potentially harmful ingredients that e-cigs still possess. What looks like smoke is actually water vapor, and while they do not contain carcinogenic chemicals, most do contain addictive nicotine. The list of potential dangers continues to grow, but it’s easy to ignore because e-cigs aren’t regulated by the FDA so no extensive research on ills and dangers has been performed thus far. With news that e-liquid, a dangerous new liquid form of nicotine, has just hit the market, the supposed benefits of e-cigarettes are raising more questions than ever. Plus, who else finds them incredibly annoying?
2. Big Bang Theory
Last week, researchers announced that they had confirmed the theory of “inflation,” which posits that the universe really did expand at many times the speed of light just a few fractions of a second after the Big Bang. To put it simply, scientists discovered 10-billion-year-old echoes of the universe’s first moments. There’s hope that this window into extreme physics can help demystify many more aspects of the universe, but we still have a long way to go – physicists have yet to figure out what the substance that propelled “inflation” actually is. For all of the non-science nerds out there, we are going to try to help explain this larger-than-life story. Good luck to us!
3. Unemployment Benefits
The impasse over extending unemployment benefits has been vigorously debated on Capitol Hill in recent months after longstanding benefits expired in late December. Last week, the Senate finally crafted a bipartisan bill in committee extending emergency unemployment insurance benefits, despite Republican opposition. But while this bill does have a chance of passing the full Senate, there are doubts about the commitment in the House to such a measure because many Republicans there prefer an emphasis on job creation - rather than on the chronically unemployed. Since the extension ended, more than 2 million people are now without benefits. There are arguments on both sides of the aisle, but what are the human costs involved?
What sparks your interest? Vote in our poll below and stay tuned for when we cover your top pick!