Wolraich: Obama at the Gates of... Gates
Dr. C: In Praise of Writing Binges
Maiello: Gatsby Doesn't Grate
You have to hand it to those Republican legislators in Michigan, my beautiful, besieged state. I swear, they must stay awake nights trying to think up ways to protect our wicked womanly bodies from the fools who happen to own them. (That would be us, ladies.) In late December, Gov. [Read more]
Lately I've been hearing from certain friends that Obamacare is EVIL. They're hearing it, they say, from their doctors, and I have to believe they're telling me the truth. I don't understand why any doctor would favor health care profiteers over a plan--watered down as it may be--that at least makes an attempt to bring some relief to health care abuses, but my own dentist seems to be one of them. He objects to Obamacare for reasons he didn't make entirely clear, but since he was railing against it while puttering around with a drill deep inside my tooth, I wasn't much for talking about it, anyway. [Read more]
My wife packed a chef salad for lunch—two cups—and I've eaten most of it. With the leftover chicken and lettuce, she included little cherry tomatoes that giggle as they dodge my fork. I eat them just before chasing the garbanzo beans around the bottom of the bowl. Also called chickpeas, they look like tiny brains and taste about like I'd expect brains to taste after soaking in two tablespoons of oil and vinegar. Then I get a peach Stonyfield Farm yogurt, a half cup of red grapes and a 3 1/4" apple. I eat much better when she's in town.
I'm measuring what I eat so I can enter it on LoseIt, a website designed as a sort of group hug for dieters. In, The Perfected Self, David Freedman discusses his brother Dan's diet, BF Skinner, behavior modification, people that don't like Skinner and prefer cognitive therapy, fat farms, Weight Watchers and eventually sites like LoseIt. I never took Intro to Psychology, but my roommates did, so I at least heard about Skinner and his boxes while they were studying. [Read more]
My mama didn't hate them, but I never knew much about diesels. During the late 70s fuel scare, one of my many bosses bought an Olds diesel, probably with the 350cc engine, to try to get better economy without buying a small car. He complained about it constantly, and the 350 is now considered one of the worst engines of all time. I drove my aunt's big Mercedes turbo-diesel a few times, but never, ever considered buying a diesel myself. But diesel keeps cropping up in articles, and clean diesels regularly figure in green car competitions. If you've got a pile of cash, you can buy the world green car of 2012, the Mercedes Benz S 250 CDI Blue Efficiency (below) for under $70,000, except that it doesn't seem to be sold in the US. [Read more]
I've been wondering--haven't you?--why primary care physicians, and especially OB/GYNs, aren't speaking out about the current creepy Rightward trend toward using ultrasounds as punishment against women who dare to sign up for an abortion. Turns out some of them are.
They're angry, they're anguished, they're dumbstruck. (Join the club.) And they're speaking out anonymously--sadly--because we live in a country where medical doctors can no longer talk freely about abortion, a legal medical procedure, without fear of retribution.
TransCanada is moving ahead with the Southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline that would take oil, and synthetic oil from tar sands, from Cushing, Oklahoma to the refineries and ports near the Gulf of Mexico. A White House press release stated: [Read more]
The President welcomes today's news that TransCanada plans to build a pipeline to bring crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf of Mexico. As the President made clear in January, we support the company's interest in proceeding with this project, which will help address the bottleneck of oil in Cushing that has resulted in large part from increased domestic oil production, currently at an eight year high. Moving oil from the Midwest to the world-class, state-of-the-art refineries on the Gulf Coast will modernize our infrastructure, create jobs, and encourage American energy production.
In UT: No Evidence of Groundwater Contamination from Hydraulic Fracturing, Rigzone lets fracking off the hook:
No direct connection has been found between hydraulic fracturing and reports of groundwater contamination, according to a study released Thursday by the Energy Institute at The University of Texas of Austin.
The study found that many of the problems linked to hydraulic fracturing are related to common oil and gas drilling operations such as casing failures or poor cement jobs.
Researchers also concluded that many reports of contamination can be traced to above-ground split or other mishandling of wastewater produced from shale gas drilling, rather than hydraulic fracturing per se, said Charles "Chip" Groat, an Energy Institute associate director who led the project.
"These problems are not unique to hydraulic fracturing," Groat said in a statement.
Hello, women of the Republican Party: Democratic female of the liberal persuasion here. I know it looks like we couldn't be any farther apart when it comes to ideology, but I know us. I know when it comes to the big issues--our futures and the well-being of the ones we love--we're sisters under the skin.
We should talk. I mean really talk. I don't mean the usual chit-chat, the talk about kids and work and what's for dinner. I mean about politics. When we're together we do everything we can to side-step the issue and it does keep us friendly, but you must have noticed that the upcoming presidential election is becoming the bull elephant in the room. [Read more]
While watching various matches of the Australian Open, we were bombarded by those videos from the Corn Refiner's Association claiming that your body can't tell the difference between cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) - so they must be the same. But consider that your body can't tell the difference between air and carbon monoxide, either, and low concentrations of CO will kill you. [Read more]
Now is the time for resolutions, exercise and diets - or so we are told in just about every media outlet. But why is this so?
Walking through Barnes and Noble a year or two ago, I noticed Fat History, written by my college professor Peter N Stearns. I'd enjoyed his classes, so I bought the book. I've started and stopped reading it on light rail several times since then, and am still only about halfway through it. I'd probably do about as well dieting.
In his history courses, Stearns generally taught us how things really were then, as opposed to how we believed they were, and how we got to how things are now. One course was called Sex and Death, another Work and Leisure. "Then" was usually the years immediately before the Industrial Revolution, and Stearns would lecture about how and why our attitudes had changed since preindustrial times.  [Read more]
Things are heating up in Chicago and I don't know a soul who is surprised by that. It's Chicago and it's Emanuel Land. Last week the Occupy Wall Street Windy City branch decided to occupy Grant Park past the posted 11 PM closing time. The police, never ones to miss even vague radical clues, guessed correctly that these folks had other things on their minds and weren't going to be ready to leave just because a simple sign said they should.
A new study reveals that US life expectancy is falling even further behind other industrialized countries. As of 2007, the life expectancy of Americans is 75.6 for men and 80.8 for women, which puts us in 37th place internationally. On average, Americans live three years less than citizens in the top ten longest-lived countries, and those countries pull further ahead of us every year. [Read more]
In Djokovic Rules and Djokovic Still Rules, I've already described how well I think Djokovic is playing this year. Many media pages, like the Wall Street Journal article below, are now devoted to the gluten-free diet he adopted last year - before the streak.
Mainstream media reporting initially compared the explosions and loss of control at the Fukushima nuclear plants to the Level Five event at Three Mile Island (TMI). As Fukushima spiraled out of control the media turned to Chernobyl, the undisputed Level Seven nuclear event. A recent article from Reuters concerning nuclear ratings reform mentions only those two events as if nothing else even remotely as serious has ever happened. [Read more]
During their debate on Democracy Now, George Monbiot and Helen Caldicott differed sharply over the actual, documented effects of the radiation from Chernobyl. Caldicott claimed that up to a million had died, while Monbiot claimed that only 43 had died from the effects of Chernobyl. That's an enormous discrepancy between two activists I have always respected, but that discrepancy is reflected in their sources.
A while back, my wife told me that one of her relatives was trying a new diet. The woman is plump but not obese, eats processed food, and only gets exercise at work, so I thought it might be a good idea. But then I heard that she had spent a thousand dollars up front for the diet. And just recently I learned the name for the diet: HCG Skinny. So I looked it up:
Quite a long time ago, I got a part in a local production of Widows and Children First, the third play of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy. It was my second play as an actor. I played Ed, a bisexual man torn between his straight and gay relationships (and not too successful either way if you ask me). I was both excited and nervous because there are only four characters in the play, and Ed was onstage most of the time. He had a lot of lines and even a bed scene with Arnold. My wife took me out to buy pajamas.