Benjamin Rush, Founding Father and Father of Psychiatry

This blog post was originally published on July 2, 2012.

Of the 56 founding fathers who signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence, there were four physicians: Josiah Bartlett and Matthew Thornton of New Hampshire, Lyman Hall of Georgia, and Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania.

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by Ole Erekson, Engraver, c. 1876, Library of Congress

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Enjoy the Fireworks, but Protect Your Ears!

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Photo: Shutterstock

Nothing says Fourth of July like outdoor cookouts and fireworks overhead. Illuminating the sky with a grand display has been an annual tradition for as long as we can remember, since John Adams wished it to be part of the festivities even before signing the Declaration of Independence.

While we encourage everyone to take part in the celebration, it’s important to remember to take precautions to protect your hearing. In a study published last year, the Centers for Disease Control said that nearly one in every four Americans suffer from temporary or permanent noise-induced hearing loss.

“Hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the United States and is twice as prevalent as diabetes or cancer,” the authors report. It is a significant, often unrecognized health problem among adults in the US that can be associated with decreased social, psychological, and cognitive functioning if left untreated.

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Independence Day Science

Americans are pretty traditional in their Independence Day celebrations, mostly sticking to a day of barbeques and fireworks. So to prepare and improve these activities, check out several science stories related to the holiday experience.

I don’t know about you, but on a hot day, after eating a salty cheeseburger, I go straight for the ice cream. It’s just so good that I eat it too quickly, and, d’oh!, ice cream headache. In a short video, Ferris Jabr of Scientific American explains the science behind this phenomenon, also known as brain freeze, and how to get rid of it or avoid it entirely.

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