Author: Erin Danly


Erin Danly is a freelance writer specializing in digital content. Before freelancing full time, she managed a lab in the Psychology Department at Columbia University in New York, which investigated human and nonhuman primate cognition. She grew up in London and now lives in Charleston, SC with her greyhound Romeo.

5 countries with lots of guns, but less killing

It may seem obvious: the availability of guns is an important factor in gun violence. If potential perpetrators cannot access firearms, gun violence cannot occur. But how big of a role does firearm availability actually play? After all, several other countries with relatively liberal gun laws and high rates of gun ownership have disproportionately low rates of gun-related homicide, especially compared to the United States.

Can a yoga pose be copyrighted?

Since yoga found mainstream success in the United States beginning in the 1960s, it’s exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry. There is quite the array of styles, from traditional styles like hatha and vinyasa, to more exotic variations like power yoga, disco yoga, naked yoga, and, of course, hot yoga. One particular flavor of hot yoga, Bikram yoga, has been at the center of a long legal battle over copyrights that finally ended earlier this month.

5 lawsuits over a book getting banned

Did you know there’s such a thing as Banned Books Week? There is! The American Library Association puts on the event every fall to raise awareness of banned and challenged books, and to celebrate our “freedom to read.” Americans hold our First Amendment rights dear, and when we think they’re being infringed upon—even when we are demonstrably wrong—we sue.

‘Female Viagra’: A lawsuit waiting to happen?

Not only might Addyi not work as intended for many women, but the drug might also be dangerous, as it is strongly contraindicated with alcohol. Side effects from this interaction may include a drop in blood pressure and fainting. Since for many women a romantic evening and a glass of wine go hand in hand, this risk could pose a real problem for patients who want the benefits of flibanserin but don’t want to give up alcohol indefinitely. But what happens if you take Addyi—or any other pharmaceutical drug—and have an adverse reaction? Can you sue your doctor or the FDA? What do you need to make a solid case? We spoke to attorney Mark L. Taylor at Powers Taylor in Dallas, Texas, to find out.

Boy arrested for sexually exploiting…himself

Cormega Copening, a North Carolina resident, is currently facing felony charges of sexual exploitation of a minor. If convicted, he would have to register as a sex offender. He was charged after authorities found sexually explicit photos of a 16-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy on his phone. That boy? Himself.

Lies, damn lies, and gun ownership statistics

Some people say “guns kill people” and others say “people kill people.” It might be fairer to say “people with guns kill people.” But how many people have guns? Many gun control advocates call for stricter legislation on the seemingly obvious assumption that more guns equals more murder, and fewer guns would equal fewer murders. But does the data bear this out? What do the numbers say, and do they tell the whole story? And what can we do about rising murder rates in 2015 in big cities across the country?

7 neighborhood rules that can get you fined—or arrested

Who would have thought than an unattractive lawn could land you in jail? But that’s exactly what happened in 2008 to 66-year-old Joe Prudente, a Florida man who spent a day in jail for letting brown patches grow in his yard, Slate reports. It’s said that a man’s home is his castle, but homeowners can’t do whatever they please on their property. They must follow city and county ordinances and any applicable homeowners association (HOA) or regime rules in their neighborhood. The consequences of not doing so can be severe; violating city and county ordinances can lead to steep fines and potential jail time, while ignoring HOA rules can lead to liens and eventual foreclosure.

The system for punishing sex offenders is broken

Think “sex offender,” and you probably picture a creepy guy who likes to lure children to his van with candy. But that’s not the whole picture. The sex offender registry, which currently stands at over 850,000 registered sex offenders, is comprised of many people who should not be lumped into the same category as violent sex offenders and pedophiles.

Are chimps about to become people?

No, chimps are not people. That’s what a New York State Supreme Court ruled in late July. But the judgment, which stated that the matter is open for discussion and could soon change, was viewed as a step in the right direction for animal rights advocates. As animals gain more rights and as the legal definition of personhood expands, it may be just a matter of time before the law sees chimpanzees, and perhaps other animals, as more than mere property.