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Religion across the globe is changing -- but not the way that you think

AlterNet and other progressive news sites frequently publish articles about the decline of Christian hegemony in the United States. While this view is to some extent true, it doesn’t necessarily account for other long-term demographic trends, including population growth and migration. In a new report, The Future of World Religions, the Pew Research Center attempts to round out the picture and look at patterns of faith on a global scale.

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Feeling intense emotions doesn't make you crazy -- but that's not what Big Pharma wants you to think

In 2014, a great deal of ink was spilled about the need to stop calling women crazy. Though dismissing women as emotional and irrational is hardly a new phenomenon, a Washington Post op-ed by dating coach Harris O’Malley provided the fodder for a thousand blog posts on the subject. As O’Malley writes, “It’s a form of gaslighting—telling women that their feelings are just wrong, that they don’t have the right to feel the way they do.”

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How the vitamin industry tricks people into shelling out millions for bunk products

Would you ever pay money for pills containing crushed-up houseplants, powdered rice or fragments of psychiatric medications? If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who take dietary supplements, the answer could very well be an unknowing yes.

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Psychedelic researcher says he believed LSD was dangerous ‘until I saw the science’

We are currently experiencing a “renaissance” in psychedelic research, as Michael Pollan writes in a recent issue of The New Yorker. Hallucinogenic drugs like psilocybin can be used to treat a range of mental health disorders, from anxiety and addiction to depression, and researchers at the nation’s leading medical schools are intent on discovering their full therapeutic potential.

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Here are 5 appalling facts about maternity leave in 'family values' America

For a country so taken with the idea of “family values,” the United States does a remarkably terrible job at helping people start families. We are the only industrialized nation that doesn’t have a law guaranteeing that new mothers receive paid maternity leave, and only 12 percent of women are granted paid leave by their employers. In most workplaces, paternity leave remains unheard of. Though it is technically illegal to fire workers after learning they are pregnant, it is very difficult to prove the cause of termination, and discrimination against pregnant and nursing employees persists. Nationwide Insurance employee Angela Ames, who was fired last year for taking time to pump milk during the day, was told by her supervisor, “just go home to be with your babies.” Yet in a mind-bending perversion of gender equality, Ames recently lost a sex discrimination lawsuit because judges pointed out that men can lactate too.

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How heroin became the face of drug addiction in small-town America

Like most heroin users, Ory Joe Johnson’s addiction began with a perfectly legal prescription. After a bad car accident in which he broke his nose, jaw, collarbone and ankle, the Wyoming native was prescribed Vicodin for the pain. The meds eventually ran out, but his dependence on them remained. To fuel it, Johnson began dealing drugs, starting with crank (a low-quality powdered form of meth), and as the years passed and his addiction metastasized, eventually moving up to heroin. At the peak of his dealing career, Johnson was funneling drugs to a network of local college students and his reach extended to a constellation of southern Wyoming towns.

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Six billionaires who moved to a neighborhood and ruined it

The superrich have no shortage of opportunities to drop vast sums of money, but one of their favorite ways to do so is purchasing real estate. From Bel Air mansions to beachfront villas, lavish homes do double duty as solid investments and ostentatious displays of wealth. But unfortunately for their neighbors, building these dream homes requires many months of noisy, disruptive construction and in some cases, the final products occupy formerly public land. More obnoxiously, these houses are often secondary or tertiary residences, where the person commissioning them may only spend a few weeks out of the year. The neighbors getting up in arms at the construction are usually quite wealthy themselves—after all, billionaires aren’t going to settle down just anywhere—but here are six cases that stretch the boundaries of acceptability.

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