big ideas
February 23, 2018

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) announced Friday that the age to buy firearms in the Sunshine State will be raised to 21. The minimum age was previously 18.

Scott said active and reserve military members as well as law enforcement officers will be granted an exemption from the new rules. His remarks came during a press conference where he also proposed various other reforms to prevent mass shootings like the one that happened last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

ABC News reports that Scott also wants to put law enforcement officers in every Florida public school, ban the sale and purchase of modified bump stocks that allow semiautomatic rifles to fire faster, and implement a "Violent Threat Restraining Order," which would legally "prohibit a violent or mentally ill person from purchasing or possessing a firearm."

Scott declared: "Keeping guns away from dangerous people and people with mental issues is what we need to do." Kelly O'Meara Morales

April 14, 2015

On Monday, Dan Price gave his entire staff at credit-card processing company Gravity Payments a raise. Even the most junior of his 120 employees will soon earn $70,000 a year, minimum, Price told his staff, to loud cheers. "Is anyone else freaking out right now?" Price said after dropping that bombshell, according to The New York Times. "I'm kind of freaking out." Currently, the average salary at Gravity, located in Seattle, is $48,000.

Price says he will pay for raising most everyone else's salary by cutting his own to $70,000 a year, from almost $1 million, and by plowing company profits into company paychecks. Why $70,000? Science. Five years ago, Angus Deaton and Daniel Kahneman published a study showing that a person's emotional well-being rises with income up to about $75,000, and suffers the lower down from that number you get. Read more about Price's thinking at The New York Times, or read about the underlying research at the journal PNAS. Peter Weber

October 1, 2014

An international team of veterinarians has a plan for eradicating rabies in humans, but in order for it to be successful, close to 70 percent of the world's dog population has to be vaccinated.

Rabies is a big problem in areas of Asia and Africa, NPR reports, with more than 69,000 people — many of them children — dying from it every year. Because there are so many dogs in the world, it might seem unfeasible to vaccinate 70 percent. Dr. Felix Lankester, director of the Serengeti Health Initiative that is trying to end infectious diseases in Tanzania, thinks it's possible.

For five years, Lankester's team has driven to 185 communities around the Serengeti National Park to set up makeshift rabies clinics. The team tries to attract kids, since "here, the dogs are owned by children," he said. Usually, they give 1,000 vaccines by the end of the day, and since starting the initiative, the number of rabies fatalities in northeastern Tanzania has dropped from 50 each year to almost zero.

The World Health Organization wants to see rabies in humans eliminated in Latin America by 2015, and in Asia and Africa by 2020. One huge hurdle is the price; each vaccine costs $3, including transportation and vet costs. That's a lot for poor areas, but still much less than the price of treating rabies — $40 in Africa, and $49 in Asia. Catherine Garcia

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