THE Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and researchers at the University of Wisconsin released an annual report that shows Monongalia to be the healthiest county in the state, and McDowell to be the unhealthiest.
The report cited such factors as the rates of smoking, drinking, obesity, premature deaths, education, access to health care and unemployment.
McDowell County had a premature death rate nearly double the state average, and it also has high rates of physical inactivity, adult smoking and obesity.
Those are bad things. People should exercise, not smoke and watch what they eat.
But there is another factor in health that neither county has control over: age. Monongalia County is home to the state's flagship university and its median age is 30.4.
McDowell County is the home to spent mining communities and its median age is 44.
McDowell has its problems, but comparing a college campus to an area where one out of six people is 65 or older is hardly a fair comparison.
MECHANICS Tom and Ray Magliozzi may have ended their "Car Talk" show on public radio, but their weekly column continues in the Daily Mail and other newspapers.
This week's column reflected on how gas stations no longer have attendants to check tires, oil and other items. The Brothers Magliozzi gave an uplifting reply.
Today's cars do not need such attention.
"In the old day, everything leaked: crankcases, radiators, tires," Ray wrote.
"But cars are much better now, and are more maintenance-free (on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis) than they've ever been."
Those are tremendous improvements. In addition, indicator lights allow the modern car to serve as its own service station attendant. New cars even monitor tire pressure.