Air purifiers are being sold as health devices. But do they work?

Illustration by Nicole Ginelli

Adi struggled with eczema for years. At a young age, an allergist told the 30-year-old that he was allergic to house dust. He tried everything — “all the nonsteroidal prescription topical ointments, shots, changes in diet, various moisturizing creams” — to no avail. Then, he started researching air purifiers on Google. “It just makes sense, right?” he says. ”House dust allergy… reduce allergen… air purifier.” He ended up buying an AeraMax air purifier on Amazon. As he put it on Reddit: “Holy cow, did things change.”

“Within a couple hours, the effects were apparent — I was losing that gross…


A once “negligent” doctor just won a landmark case against the search giant

How long should a mistake follow you? On the internet, where an embarrassing old profile pic is always just a Google search away, the answer can feel like “forever.”

This isn’t quite the case in the European Union, where citizens have the “right to be forgotten,” a component of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was established in 2014. It gives people the ability to request the removal of URLs containing “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” information from search engines.

In theory, it’s aimed at private citizens whose lives have been negatively affected by the dissemination of personal…


The New New

Half the children in the US get phones before they’re 12. We need better options.

Illustration: Joe Prytherch

My son is 22 months old, and his favorite toy is my iPhone X. I hide it everywhere: behind stuffed animals, between books, in potted plants. He finds it every time and toddles up to me, clutching it in his tiny fist and wailing, “Melmo. Melmo, pease. Melmo. Melmo, pease.” “Melmo” is how he says “Elmo,” and what he wants is to watch Sesame Street videos on YouTube. When I say no, he crumples onto the floor and weeps.

It could be worse, I think. Last month, it was “Gangnam Style.”

Until fairly recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended


photo credit: UltraHi, Flickr.com (Via Photopin)

With his treacly new show ‘Derek,’ the typically bold comedian joins a toothless TV tradition of portraying the differently abled as angelic, sexless beings. He’s not doing anyone any favors, least of all, ‘Derek’

In the Netflix comedy series Derek, writer-director Ricky Gervais stars in the title role, a middle-aged elderly-care worker whose intellect is dwarfed by his boundless capacity for good will. Derek’s likes include helping people, YouTube cat videos, and wearing a variety of cardigans that would make even Mr. Rogers viridescent with envy; his dislikes include the taste of beer, not helping people, and very little else. …


After the Zimmerman verdict, Dick Wolf’s long-running series offers what real life apparently does not: justice

After the verdict of the Zimmerman trial was delivered, I, like the majority of my wired, twentysomething friends, spent the rest of the evening on Twitter. As I obsessively scrolled through my feed, I had two reactions. The first was the mélange of shock and frustration and sadness and fury and embarrassment that I saw reflected on my Twitter feed. The second was less anticipated, but no less deeply felt: that if ADA Alexandra Cabot from Law & Order: SVU had helmed the Zimmerman prosecution, she’d never have let this happen.

I’m not sure if my reaction to the Zimmerman…

EJ Dickson

I write things about things.

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