body~politic

~~~~~~~~~> Does DEBT  become SERFDOM ?

Tweet me @ColonialSerf, and let me know, and I'll share the answers HERE!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

BONFIRE OF THE INSANITIES

http://www.anncoulter.com/cgi-local/article.cgi?article=385

In response to Gen David Petraeus' denunciation of Florida pastor Terry Jones' right to engage in a symbolic protest of the 9/11 attacks by burning copies of the Quran this Sept. 11, President Obama said: "Let me be clear: As a citizen, and as president, I believe that members of the Dove World Outreach Center have the same right to freedom of speech and religion as anyone else in this country."

Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida lauded Obama's remarks, saying America is "a place where you're supposed to be able to practice your religion without the government telling you you can't."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Obama's words a "clarion defense of the freedom of religion" -- and also claimed that he had recently run into a filthy jihadist who actually supported the Quran-burning!

Keith Olbermann read the poem "First they came ..." on air in defense of the Quran-burners, nearly bringing himself to tears at his own profundity.

No wait, my mistake. This is what liberals said about the ground zero mosque only five minutes ago when they were posing as First Amendment absolutists. Suddenly, they've developed amnesia when it comes to the free-speech right to burn a Quran.

Weirdly, conservatives who opposed building the mosque at ground zero are also against the Quran burning. (Except in my case. It turns out I'm for it, but mostly because burning Qurans will contribute to global warming.)

Liberals couldn't care less about the First Amendment. To the contrary, censoring speech and religion is the left's specialty! (Any religion other than Islam.)

They promote speech codes, hate crimes, free speech zones (known as "America" off college campuses), and go around the country yanking every reference to God from the public square via endless lawsuits by the ACLU.

Whenever you see a liberal choking up over our precious constitutional rights, you can be sure we're talking about the rights of Muslims at ground zero, "God Hates Fags" funeral protesters, strippers, The New York Times publishing classified documents, pornographers, child molesters, murderers, traitors, saboteurs, terrorists, flag-burners (but not Quran-burners!) or women living on National Endowment of the Arts grants by stuffing yams into their orifices on stage.

Speaking of lying dwarfs, last week on "The Daily Show" Bloomberg claimed he was having a hamburger with his "girlfriend" when a man came up to him and said of the ground zero mosque: "I just got back from two tours fighting overseas for America. This is what we were all fighting for. You go and keep at it."

We're fighting for the right of Muslims to build mosques at ground zero? I thought we were trying to keep Muslims AWAY from our skyscrapers. (What an embarrassing misunderstanding.) PLEASE PULL THE TROOPS OUT IMMEDIATELY.

But back to the main issue: Was Bloomberg having a $150 Burger Double Truffle at DB Bistro Moderne or a more sensible $30 burger at the 21 Club when he bumped into his imaginary veteran? With the pint-sized mayor shrieking at the sight of a saltshaker, I assume he wasn't having a Hardee's No. 4 Combo Meal.

Adding an element of realism to his little vignette, Bloomberg said: "I got a hamburger and a pickle and a potato chip or something."

A potato chip? Translation: "I don't know what I was eating, because I'm making this whole story up -- I wouldn't be caught dead eating 'a potato chip' or any other picaresque garnish favored by the peasants." At least Bloomberg didn't claim the man who walked up to him took credit for setting the Times Square bomb because he was a tea partier upset about ObamaCare -- as Sherlock Bloomberg had so presciently speculated at the time.

Gen. Petraeus objected to the Quran-burning protest on the grounds that it could be used by radical jihadists to recruit Muslims to attack Americans.

This is what liberals say whenever we do anything displeasing to the enemy -- invade Iraq, hold captured terrorists in Guantanamo, interrogate captured jihadists or publish Muhammad cartoons. Is there a website somewhere listing everything that encourages terrorist recruiting?

If the general's main objective is to hamper jihadist recruiting, may I respectfully suggest unconditional surrender? Because on his theory, you know what would really kill the terrorists' recruiting ability? If we adopted Sharia law!

But wait -- weren't we assured by Fire Island's head of national security, Andrew Sullivan, that if America elected a "brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy," the terrorists would look like a bunch of lunkheads and be unable to recruit?

It didn't work out that way. There have been more terrorist attacks on U.S. soil by these allegedly calmed Muslims in Obama's first 18 months in office than in the six years under Bush after he invaded Iraq.

Also, as I recall, there was no Guantanamo, no Afghanistan war and no Iraq war on Sept. 10, 2001. And yet, somehow, Osama bin Ladin had no trouble recruiting back then. Can we retire the "it will help them recruit" argument yet?

The reason not to burn Qurans is that it's unkind -- not to jihadists, but to Muslims who mean us no harm. The same goes for building a mosque at ground zero -- in both cases, it's not a question of anyone's "rights," it's just a nasty thing to do.


COPYRIGHT 2010 ANN COULTER

Friday, September 10, 2010

Convivial Urban Spaces - Creating Effective Public Spaces

Convivial Urban Spaces - Creating Effective Public Spaces
Convivial Urban Spaces: Creating Effective Public Spaces
Publisher: Earthscan Publications Ltd | pages: 154 | 2008 | ISBN: 1844073882 



Despite developments in urban design during the last few decades, architects, urban planners and designers often continue to produce areas of bland, commercially-led urban fabric that deliver the basic functional requirements of shelter, work and leisure but are socially unsustainable and likely generators of future problems. Convivial Urban Spaces argues that successful urban public spaces are an essential part of a sustainable built environment. Without them we are likely to drift into an increasingly private and polarized society, with all the problems that ensue. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, this book draws on new primary research, and the literature and theory of environmental psychology and urban design, to advance our understanding of what makes effective public spaces. The result is a practical and clearly presented guide to urban public space for planners, architects and students of the urban environment.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

interregnum

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interregnum

interregnum


in·ter·reg·num

 noun \ˌin-tə-ˈreg-nəm\
plural in·ter·reg·nums or in·ter·reg·na \-nə\

Definition of INTERREGNUM

1: the time during which a throne is vacant between two successive reigns or regimes
 
2: a period during which the normal functions of government or control are suspended
 
3: a lapse or pause in a continuous series

Examples of INTERREGNUM

  1. <the democratic regime proved to be a short-lived interregnum between dictatorships>

Origin of INTERREGNUM

Latin, from inter- + regnum reign — more at reign
First Known Use: 1590

Britannica.com

Learn more about "interregnum" and related topics at Britannica.com

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

By 2035, Smarter Technology Should Triple Efficiency of Regular Gas-Powered Cars, If They're Still Around

http://www.popsci.com/cars/article/2010-09/more-brains-less-brawn-could-help-gas-powered-cars-reach-74-mpg-efficiency-2035


By 2035, Smarter Technology Should Triple Efficiency of Regular Gas-Powered Cars, If They're Still Around


Making Cars Smarter Osvaldo Gago via Wikimedia
A University of Michigan researcher thinks we can triple the fuel economies in our petroleum-powered vehicles in the next 25 years. All we need to do is replace horsepower with brainpower.
John DeCicco, a lecturer at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at Michigan, isn’t bearish on alternative fuels or electric vehicles, but he argues that the most cost-effective means of reducing carbon footprints and keeping fuel prices from swallowing us whole is an evolutionary progress in the combustion engines that already make up our transportation paradigm. That means placing efficiency above power, and adopting smarter electronic systems for our automobiles.
In a study published for The Energy Foundation, DeCicco identifies emerging trends within the automotive world that are already pushing buyers away from raw power and toward other amenities, like Bluetooth connectivity, on-board Internet, and other IT amenities that enhance the customer experience minus the big block V-8 engine. As cars grow friendlier from a passenger standpoint, they should also grow smarter under the hood. For one, reduced engine size and overall mass is an easy way to increase efficiency – DiCecco's math says for every 10 percent reduction in weight, you get a 6.5 percent increase in fuel efficiency – but the inertial recovery of regenerative brakes on hybrids can push that efficiency higher. Add in an optimized powertrain and efficiency increases further.
Moreover, some concept cars have been experimenting with lightweight body materials like composites, increased aluminum and magnesium content, and carbon fibers that further reduce weight without reducing size, meaning we can keep our leggy sedans while still pushing up efficiency. Layer that with better aerodynamic designs, reduced tire drag, smarter transmissions, and leaner, lighter engine blocks – a real contributor to mass – and pretty soon you've got a smarter power source pushing 20 percent less weight (780 pounds for light fleet vehicles, or 30 pounds per year over the 25 year horizon).
Materials have to be safety rated, technologies proven, and – perhaps most importantly – customer appeal retained. But as DeCicco sees it, there's no reason why a persistently evolving suite of improvements can't hit an average fleet efficiency of 52 miles per gallon by 2025 and 74 miles per gallon by 2035.
Such technologies would allow the existing energy scheme to persist, albeit more efficiently, while nascent tech like biofuels and all-electric vehicles can come into their own at a reasonable pace (we also need time to upgrade our energy grids before shifting to an all-electric economy). Drivers would have to give up some of the get-up-and-go they’ve come to expect from generations of American muscle cars, but the savings – according to DeCicco’s models – would be vast.
For more details on how we get there from here, download a PDF of DeCicco’s study.
[Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute]
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Important: Gmail Priority Inbox Should Now Be Available To All

http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/03/gmail-priority-inbox-feature/


Important: Gmail Priority Inbox Should Now Be Available To All
MG Siegler Sep 3, 2010
It’s hard to remember a product I’ve become so dependent on quicker than Gmail’s new Priority Inbox. I’m so addicted, that the few times I’ve accidentally clicked on the old “regular” Inbox view in the past week have really annoyed me. So much so that I actually moved that view into my “more” drop down (you can drag any sidebar item in there). And now I have good news: you can all share in this addiction.
While it began rolling out to users on Monday, Google is now saying that Priority Inbox should be available to all users (including Google Apps users) today. Look for the “New! Priority Inbox” message in red in the top right corner of your Gmail account to activate it. There’s a slight learning curve with it, so you’ll still probably want to watch Google’s official video. But once you get started, it’s unlikely that you’ll go back.
Overwhelmingly, the people I’ve talked to since the feature started rolling out on Monday are also now addicted to the feature. But some seem deadest against it, instead preferring to use their own filters to better tailor their mail consumption. I’m a big filter user myself, but I simply could no longer keep up with the amount of message coming into my inbox — I needed someone, or something to sort it for me. This isn’t a longterm solution for the email problem, but it will work for now.

Future Mars Colonists Could Learn To Terraform By Studying Darwin's Methods

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-09/future-mars-colonists-could-learn-terraform-studying-darwins-methods


Ascension Island Charles Darwin's artificial forest captures moisture from clouds that drift over the volcanic peaks on Ascension Island. Google Earth
The father of evolution apparently played God with a tropical ecosystem 160 years ago, and the results could inform future experiments to terraform Mars, botanists say.
The BBC recounts how Charles Darwin helped build an artificial forest on Ascension Island, one of his subjects of study from his trips on the HMS Beagle. Today, the island is home to species of plants that would not naturally co-exist. Darwin and his friends put them there, and nearly two centuries later, their grand experiment is living proof that we can transform natural environments.
Originally used as an outpost to keep an eye on Napoleon in exile, Ascension Island, between South America and Africa, was a busy Atlantic waystation in Darwin’s day. It had meager fresh water supplies, however, so Darwin and his botanist friend, Joseph Hooker, set out to change things.
The BBC interviews Darwin biographer David Catling, a professor at the University of Washington-Seattle, who says he believes Darwin decided to build a lush “Little England” on the volcanic island after visiting it in 1836.
Darwin’s friend Hooker explored Ascension a few years later, and in 1847, Darwin convinced Hooker to get his father -- director of the Kew Gardens -- to send trees, hoping they would capture rain, prevent erosion and reduce evaporation.
Beginning in 1850 and continuing each year, ships brought an assortment of plants from botanical gardens in Europe, South Africa and Argentina, the BBC says. By the late 1870s, eucalyptus, Norfolk Island pine, bamboo, and banana had taken hold.
Today, Ascension is home to a cloud forest that would have taken millions of years to evolve naturally, according to Dave Wilkinson, an ecologist at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK.
It’s proof that humans can build a fully functioning ecosystem simply through trial and error, he said. As the BBC reports, the same principle could be used in future Mars colonies: “Rather than trying to improve an environment by force, the best approach might be to work with life to help it find its own way.”
Intelligent design, indeed.

DARPA-Funded Device Adjusts the Speed of Light With the Twist of a Knob

DARPA-Funded Device Adjusts the Speed of Light With the Twist of a Knob


UC Santa Cruz's 'Slow Light' Device The small stuff (left) adds up to a 4-inch silicon wafer with 32 atomic spectroscopy cells (right). Nature Photonics
DARPA has asked a lot from the science and tech communities, requesting everything from flying cars to weather manipulation to suspended animation. Now they’ve asked UC Santa Cruz researchers to slow down the speed of light, and in a breakthrough that could reshape optical communications, researchers have done exactly that.
Built into a silicon chip, the small optical device has slowed the speed of light by a factor of 1,200 in the lab, in conditions that were previously unthinkable -- that is, under normal conditions. “Slow light,” as it’s known, has been produced before, but usually it requires special, lab-induced conditions – often at very low temperatures – that were too complicated for practical use. The UC Santa Cruz team designed their device to work at room temperature and to be produceable in market quantities.
The device relies on quantum interference effects on photons (click through to Nature Photonics for the long explanation) as they move through a waveguide built into a chip. These effects don’t just produce slower light, but also lead to other interesting interaction between light and matter that could lead to a variety of applications in optical devices, communications, and computing. Moreover, it’s easily tunable. A control laser governs the degree to which the light is slowed, so it’s easy to adjust by simply changing the energy of the laser – turn a knob, slow the speed of light. Turn it the other way, increase the speed of light.
Manipulating light with the twist of a knob. Kind of makes you feel all-powerful, doesn’t it? Now, how are things coming along on that weather-control machine?
[Nature Photonics via Science Daily]

Acai Berry EXPOSED: Michigan City Acai Berry EXPOSED: Michigan City Michigan City Warning: Health Reporter Discovers The Shocking Truth! DON'T Pay For White Teeth DON'T Pay For White Teeth Michigan City Mom discovers one simple trick to turn yellow teeth white from home for under $5. Quantcast Men Seem More Susceptible to Memory Problems Than Women

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2010/09/08/men-seem-more-susceptible-to-memory-problems-than-women.html

Men Seem More Susceptible to Memory Problems Than Women

Among elderly, rate of mild impairment was 1.5 times higher in males, study finds

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly men are more likely to suffer memory problems than women, new research shows.
The study included 2,050 people, aged 70 to 89, in Olmsted County, Minn., who were interviewed about their memory and medical history, and who underwent testing of their memory and thinking skills.
Click here to find out more!
Overall, nearly 14 percent of the participants had mild cognitive impairment (MCI), but the rate was 1.5 times higher in men (19 percent) than in women (14 percent). People with MCI have memory or thinking problems that are more serious than what's associated with normal aging. Although not everyone who has MCI develops Alzheimer's disease, people with the impairment do often go on to develop it, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
The study, published in the Sept. 7 issue of the journal Neurology, also found that about 10 percent of the participants had dementia, and 76 percent had normal memory and thinking skills.
"This is the first study conducted among community-dwelling persons to find a higher prevalence of MCI in men," study author Dr. Ronald Petersen, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in an American Academy of Neurology news release.
"If these results are confirmed in other studies, it may suggest that factors related to gender play a role in the disease. For example, men may experience cognitive decline earlier in life but more gradually, whereas women may transition from normal memory directly to dementia at a later age but more quickly," he added.
The study, funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging and a Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's disease research program, also found that MCI was more common among people who had a lower level of education or who were never married.
More information
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about age-related memory loss.

Men Seem More Susceptible to Memory Problems Than Women

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2010/09/08/men-seem-more-susceptible-to-memory-problems-than-women.html


Men Seem More Susceptible to Memory Problems Than Women

Among elderly, rate of mild impairment was 1.5 times higher in males, study finds

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly men are more likely to suffer memory problems than women, new research shows.
The study included 2,050 people, aged 70 to 89, in Olmsted County, Minn., who were interviewed about their memory and medical history, and who underwent testing of their memory and thinking skills.
Click here to find out more!
Overall, nearly 14 percent of the participants had mild cognitive impairment (MCI), but the rate was 1.5 times higher in men (19 percent) than in women (14 percent). People with MCI have memory or thinking problems that are more serious than what's associated with normal aging. Although not everyone who has MCI develops Alzheimer's disease, people with the impairment do often go on to develop it, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
The study, published in the Sept. 7 issue of the journal Neurology, also found that about 10 percent of the participants had dementia, and 76 percent had normal memory and thinking skills.
"This is the first study conducted among community-dwelling persons to find a higher prevalence of MCI in men," study author Dr. Ronald Petersen, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in an American Academy of Neurology news release.
"If these results are confirmed in other studies, it may suggest that factors related to gender play a role in the disease. For example, men may experience cognitive decline earlier in life but more gradually, whereas women may transition from normal memory directly to dementia at a later age but more quickly," he added.
The study, funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging and a Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's disease research program, also found that MCI was more common among people who had a lower level of education or who were never married.
More information
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about age-related memory loss.

'Magic Mushroom' Hallucinogen Might Help Cancer Patients

http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/642871.html

'Magic Mushroom' Hallucinogen Might Help Cancer Patients

Study found it eased anxieties, lifted spirits in those with advanced disease

Click here to find out more!
TUESDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A controlled dose of the main ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms appears to reduce anxiety and lift spirits in people battling advanced cancer, researchers report.
In a small pilot study, the compound psilocybin appeared to be safe, with no participants reporting a "bad trip," said study author Dr. Charles Grob. His research was published online Sept. 6 and will appear in the January 2011 print issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
In fact, the trips tended to be good, with patients and their families reporting improvements up to six months after their single-dose experience with the substance.
But it took four years to get the funding and necessary approvals for the trial, even though it only involved a dozen patients (all with advanced cancer). And it's been 35 years since a similar study was conducted, in the heyday of medical research into hallucinogens in the 1950s and 1960s, before cultural and political forces moved to shut the field down.
This raises the question of if and when psilocybin and other hallucinogens will reach patients who might benefit from it.
"It's slow going justifying this particular application and the data are not overwhelming," said Keith A. Young, vice chair for research in the department of psychiatry and behavioral science at Texas A&M Health Science Center and core leader at the VA Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans. "This just indicates that there might be room for additional study. . . It seems to be that other approaches might be just as good, for instance a spiritual retreat. These particular results probably warrant more study, but are not overpowering."
Added Dr. Amy Abernethy, director of the Duke University Cancer Care Research Program in Durham, N.C., "We're judicious and, if anything, a bit timid in getting the work done."
The participants in the study acted as their own "controls" and in two separate sessions received either a placebo or a "moderate" dose of psilocybin (0.2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight), both in capsule form.
In addition to feeling calmer and happier, the men and women in the trial said they felt a closer connection to friends and family members, and were better able to address end-of-life issues.
Unlike previous trials, these participants did not report any decrease in pain, although the researchers pointed out that a second dose might result in improvements.
"They suggested in the paper that it might be better to have more than one treatment and I would concur," Young said. "I would think it might take a couple of treatments to get any lasting psychological or spiritual-type good out of this."
Abernethy said: "We know that with some people with advanced life-threatening illness, there is very truly a substantial existential component and importance and need for meaning-making in life, and that until people start making that transition they can be very, very distressed. It can be hard to get back to the business-of-life closures and other things you need to do at the end of life. This kind of intervention [may] allow people time and space and extended cognitive ability to reflect on life and see it in a different way, make that transition and then get back into a more relaxed space and get back to the business of living.
"Being in the business of living is about doing what is important and meaningful to you every day even if you don't have many days left, focusing on things like saying goodbye to loved ones, which can be hard to do if you're distressed," she added.
Psilocybin has already been shown to be safe in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Grob, who is professor of psychiatry at Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., would like to extend this protocol to a larger group of patients using higher doses and perhaps adding a second treatment. He'd also like to do studies in chronic alcoholics and in people with Asperger's syndrome.
"We'd be looking at social anxiety to see if individuals had an improved capacity to engage in normative socialization, an improved capacity for empathic experience," Grob said. "That's an entirely different kind of study than we did with this one but I think there might be potential."
Grob and another study author serve on the board of directors of the Heffter Research Institute in Santa Fe, N.M., which provided funding for the study.
More information
The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more on hallucinogens.
SOURCES: Charles S. Grob, M.D., professor, psychiatry, Harbor UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, Calif.; Keith A. Young, Ph.D., vice chair, research, department of psychiatry and behavioral science, Texas A&M Health Science Center, and core leader, VA Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans; Amy Abernethy, M.D., associate professor, medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, and director, Duke Cancer Care Research Program, Durham, N.C.; Sept. 6, 2010, Archives of General Psychiatry, online
Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Study: Some Low-Carb Diets Up Cancer, Death Risk

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/09/07/earlyshow/health/main6841541.shtml


NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2010

Study: Some Low-Carb Diets Up Cancer, Death Risk

Plans Based on Animal Protein Found Wanting; Veggie-Based Ones May Lower Heart Disease, Death Rates, the Research Shows

Like this Story? Share it:
  •  (CBS)
  • Special Section Health Matters with Dr. Ashton CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton offers information and insight on pressing medical matters.
(CBS)  Just because you're losing weight on a low-carb diet doesn't mean it's a healthy diet.

A study being published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine says a low-carb diet based on animal protein increases the risk for cancer and death.

However, a vegetable-based low-carb diet may contribute to lower heart disease and death rates, the research indicates.

CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton noted on "The Early Show" the study didn't look specifically at popular diets, such as the Atkins Diet. Instead, it generalized between animal-based and vegetable-based low-carb diets.

Special Section: Dr. Jennifer Ashton
Dr. Jennifer Ashton's Twitter page

The research, she explained, looked at about 130,000 people, and found that low-carb diets based on animal proteins were associated with a higher death rate compared to vegetable-based low carb diets. Meat-based low carb diets were specifically linked to higher lung and colorectal cancer deaths -- other studies have also confirmed that red-meats and processed meats carry cancer risks. Meat-based diets often are high in saturated fats and cholesterol.

A veggie protein-based low-carb diet, Ashton points out, includes healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocado, no-starch gluten products, soy foods, nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables.

The study found that a benefit of this type of diet is that it can have a lower risk for heart disease. Other studies have found that low-calorie, low-carb diets have improved BAD cholesterol levels and other heart disease risk factors. With a vegetable-based low-carb diet, you're consuming more unsaturated fats, dietary fiber and micronutrients, such as magnesium and potassium.

Ashton added that, while these diets are low-carb, that doesn't mean you completely eliminate carbohydrates. You need them, and there are healthy ones.

Americans consume unhealthy amounts of bad carbohydrates and starches, such as sugar, and products that contained white flour, such as bread. But the Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get 45-65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates to provide enough energy and fuel for physical activity and good health. These low-carb diets generally advise people to consume about half of that recommended amount.

Healthy carb substitutes include whole grains, such as high-fiber oat-bran cereal and brown rice, beans for protein and fiber, and fruits and vegetables, such as okra and eggplant. These boost your health by incorporating minerals, vitamins and fiber into your diet.

Another study out Tuesday finds that consumers often misinterpret low-carb claims on the front of food packages.

The study, in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, observed a 516 percent increase in sales of low-carb foods from 2001 to 2005.

What consumers and dieters need to know, says Ashton, is that you need to check out the claims from these products. Check the nutrition facts panel on the back of the package to see if the contents fit into the type of diet you're aiming for -- this packaged food is supposed to be part of an overall diet -- and just because it's low in carbs doesn't mean it's low in calories. A good rule of thumb is to always look for that Nutrition Facts panel on the package.

Ashton stressed that you should consult your doctor before starting any diet, especially if you have health issues. For example, people with a history of heart disease should probably avoid a low-carb diet that focuses on meats, because of its saturated fats.

You want to remember that to lose weight, you will probably have to decrease the number of calories you consume. These diets -- whether they're low-carb or low-fat -- usually reduce the numbers of calories you take in. You also want to look for diets that are flexible in a healthy way -- instead of completely restricting one type of food, look for a diet that incorporates a lot of food groups. That way, you'll be more likely to stick with it. since it gives you more choices.

© MMX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

High Cholesterol Linked to Cookware Chemicals

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20100907/high-cholesterol-linked-to-cookware-chemicals


High Cholesterol Linked to Cookware Chemicals

Study Shows Possible Health Risks in Kids From Chemicals Used to Make Nonstick Cookware
By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
nonstick skillet
Sept. 7, 2010 -- Exposure to chemicals used in the manufacture of nonstick cookware and waterproof and stain-resistant products could be raising cholesterol levels in children, a new study suggests.
Researchers analyzed blood levels of the chemicals perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroctanesulfonate (PFOS) in more than 12,000 kids living in West Virginia and Ohio.
Those with the highest blood levels of the chemicals were also more likely to have abnormally high total cholesterol and LDL "bad" cholesterol, study researcher Stephanie J. Frisbee, MSc, of the West Virginia University School of Medicine tells WebMD.
While the study does not prove exposure to PFOA and PFOS raises cholesterol, the findings warrant further study, Frisbee says.
"These chemicals are in the environment and they are in us," she says. "More than anything this study highlights that we had better figure out how we are being exposed and what this exposure is doing to us."

Exposure Probably Not From Pots and Pans

The chemicals have been used for decades in the production of a wide range of everyday products. PFOA, also known as C8, is mainly used in the manufacture of nonstick cookware, while PFOS is mostly used to make clothing, fabrics, food packaging, and carpeting water-resistant and stain-resistant.
The route of human exposure is not well understood, but recent studies suggest that just about everyone has some PFOA and PFOS in the blood. Identified sources of exposure include drinking water, food packaging, microwave popcorn, and even air.
Cookware containing Teflon, made by DuPont, and similar nonstick surfaces are made using PFOA. But the cookware industry has long maintained that cooking in nonstick pots and pans is not a significant source of exposure to the chemical, and the science appears to back up the claim.
"PFOA is used in the manufacture of the coating used in nonstick cookware, but it does not exist in the coating when the products get to the consumer," Cookware Manufacturing Association Executive Vice President Hugh J. Rushing tells WebMD.
University of Pittsburgh emeritus professor of chemistry Robert L. Wolke, PhD, agrees that nonstick cookware contains little if any PFOA.
"Cooking with nonstick cookware could not possibly be the source of the exposures we are now seeing," he tells WebMD. "PFOA is now found in humans all over the world, including places where they have never heard of a Teflon pan."

High PFOS Linked to High LDL

The newly published study included children and teens enrolled in the C8 Health Project, a study of communities in the mid-Ohio River Valley exposed to high levels of PFOA through contaminated drinking water. The study resulted from a class-action lawsuit settlement against DuPont, which operated the manufacturing plant linked to the water contamination.
Between 2005 and 2006, blood samples from 12,476 children and teens were taken. PFOA concentrations were, on average, around seven times higher than those reported in a nationally representative survey, but PFOS levels were similar.
Compared to children and teens in the study with the lowest blood levels of PFOA, those with the highest levels were 20% and 40%, respectively, more likely to have abnormally high total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, Frisbee says.
Those with the highest PFOS levels were 60% more likely than those with the lowest levels to have high total and LDL cholesterol.
The study appears in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
Because the health effects of PFOA exposure are still unknown, the Environmental Protection Agency has asked DuPont and other chemical companies to stop using the chemical by 2015. DuPont agreed to the voluntary ban, and the company has pledged to phase out the chemical before the 2015 deadline.

FDA to consider OK of genetically engineered salmon

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected later this month to decide whether to approve genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. If OK'd it would be the first genetically modified animal permitted by the food safety agency.
A company, AquAdvantage Salmon, has injected growth hormones into Atlantic salmon that enable the fish to reach maturity in half the  normal growth time,  16 to 18 months rather than 30 months.
The FDA  in its analysis released last week, wrote: “We therefore conclude the food from AquAdvantage Salmon… is as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon and that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from the consumption of food from this animal.”
But critics question possible health effects of eating fish containing the growth hormone.
“It’s impossible to talk about the risks other than saying they haven't been properly assessed, other than process has been rushed and we don't know,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch. She added that the FDA is a “very stressed agency” with all the latest recalls and outbreaks, that it “can't ensure the safety of the foods they currently regulate.”
Hauter said that the FDA has relied too heavily on information provided by AquAdvantage and that there should be a more extended time given to thoroughly vet and discuss risks.
On September 19-21, the FDA will hold two public meetings on the issue. A  final decision is expected in the weeks following those meetings.
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Filed under: Food Safety • Food and Drug Administration

Quality ratings may channel funds from the poor

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6873UI20100908

Quality ratings may channel funds from the poor

Related Topics

NEW YORK | Wed Sep 8, 2010 12:47pm EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Physician performance programs, which reward top-tier doctors, could widen healthcare disparities, researchers warned on Tuesday.
In a study of several hospitals and community centers in Eastern Massachusetts, they found patient characteristics such as race and insurance coverage had a large influence on how high doctors ranked.
Those with the best ratings had fewer minority patients, for instance, and fewer patients without insurance or with Medicaid coverage.
Their patients also earned more on average and were older and sicker, which makes them more likely to see doctors regularly and receive recommended care, including colonoscopy and mammography -- thereby adding points to their doctors' quality score.
"Our study demonstrates a potential mechanism through which performance incentive programs might worsen health care disparities," the researchers, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, write in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The study was based on data from more than 125,000 patients. The researchers rated the care they received according to several screening tests, including some for cancer and cholesterol. They then placed each physician in a low-, medium- or high-quality tier.
When the researchers adjusted the ratings for patient characteristics, more than a third of the 162 primary care physicians studied changed quality category.
Especially those physicians working in community health centers and caring for minority patients were affected by the adjustment.
"Because physicians and practices with higher quality scores receive higher payments and recognition under these programs, these incentive approaches could erroneously distribute resources away from high-quality physicians caring for more vulnerable patients," the researchers write.
SOURCE: link.reuters.com/ded99n, JAMA/Journal of the American Medical Association, September 8, 2010.

FDA Warns Tea Drink Makers About Unsubstantiated Claims

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/200398.php

FDA Warns Tea Drink Makers About Unsubstantiated Claims

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Main Category: Nutrition / Diet
Also Included In: Regulatory Affairs / Drug Approvals
Article Date: 08 Sep 2010 - 9:00 PDT

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Ever heard of tea-flavored beverage makers making health claims for their teas which really should only be made for properly brewed tea? It seems the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, USA) has, and is warning both Dr. Pepper Snapple Group about its Canada Dry Sparkling Green Tea Ginger Ale and Unilever Americas over its website claims and labeling for Lipton Green Tea. It accuses them of making unsubstantiated claims, among other things.

In a letter to Unilever Americas, the FDA wrote:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed the label for your "Lipton Green Tea 100% Natural Naturally Decaffeinated" product and reviewed your labeling for this product on your websites, www.lipton.com and www.liptont.com in August 2010. Based on our review, we have concluded that this product is in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act).


Health conscious consumers are being lured by food processors which add vitamins and other nutrients to their products - many of them nothing more than junk foods or drinks. In a letter to Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, the FDA writes:

(the FDA) does not consider it appropriate to fortify snack foods such as carbonated beverages.


Claiming that the Canada Dry tea is enhanced with 200 mg of antioxidants from green tea and vitamin C does not meet federal requirements, the FDA added. The carbonated drink's ingredients are not nutrients with antioxidant activity, as far as the FDA is concerned.

The FDA's letter to Unilever accuses its Lipton tea website of suggesting that the tea is designed to treat/prevent disease, because it mentions four studies that demonstrated how tea lowers cholesterol levels. Additionally, the antioxidant labeling claims do not comply with federal guidelines, the FDA states.

In its letter to Unilever Americas, the FDA writes:

For example, your webpage entitled "Tea and Health," subtitled "Heart Health Research" and further subtitled "Cholesterol Research" bears the following claim: "Four recent studies in people at risk for coronary disease have shown a significant cholesterol lowering effect from tea or tea flavonoids ... One of these studies, on post-menopausal women, found that total cholesterol was lowered by 8% after drinking 8 cups of green tea daily for 12 weeks ....

The therapeutic claims on your website establish that the product is a drug because it is intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. Your Lipton Green Tea 100% Natural Naturally Decaffeinated product is not generally recognized as safe and effective for the above referenced uses and, therefore, the product is a "new drug" under section 201(p) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(p)]. New drugs may not be legally marketed in the U.S. without prior approval from FDA as described in section 505(a) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 355(a)]. FDA approves a new drug on the basis of scientific data submitted by a drug sponsor to demonstrate that the drug is safe and effective.


The recipients of both letters are told they have 15 days to explain how they are going to address the issues.

Bottled tea nothing like real tea

A recent study showed that bottled tea contains pathetically low levels of antioxidants and polyphenols, for which properly brewed tea is famous. Scientists found that in order to get the same benefit as one would obtain from a single cup of brewed tea, sometimes the consumer may have to drink 20 bottles of bottled tea.

Shiming Li, Ph.D. who reported on research carried out by Professor Chi-Tang Ho, explained:

Consumers understand very well the concept of the health benefits from drinking tea or consuming other tea products. However, there is a huge gap between the perception that tea consumption is healthy and the actual amount of the healthful nutrients - polyphenols - found in bottled tea beverages. Our analysis of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low.


Not only is bottled tea generally very poor in health-improving ingredients for which brewed tea is well known, but it commonly has unhealthily high levels of sugar and other additives - substances most health conscious consumers are trying to keep away from. (Link: Is Bottled Tea Another Junk Drink?) Sources: FDA, Medical News Today internal archives.

Written by Christian Nordqvist begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

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