Therapy Weed, Addicted to Gaming, Gambling Addict Lawsuit, Obama ditches Needle Exchange

May 12, 2009 at 1:45 am | Posted in Medical, Politics | Leave a comment

Medical Monday

British Columbia Inside Insite: a firsthand look at addiction:

British Columbia Teens smoke weed therapeutically: UBC study:

“Not all teenagers smoke marijuana with the goal of getting high. A new study by researchers at the University of B.C. found some teens use marijuana to relieve or manage health problems when other therapies have not worked”.

United States Nearly 1 In 10 Youth Gamers Addicted To Video Games:

Gamers were classified as “pathological” if they exhibited at least six of 11 symptoms.
video games ruined my life, luckily I had two more
The pathological gamers in the study played video games 24 hours per week, about twice as much as non-pathological gamers. They also were more likely to have video game systems in their bedrooms, reported having more trouble paying attention in school, received poorer grades in school, had more health problems, were more likely to feel “addicted,” and even stole to support their habit.

The study also found that pathological gamers were twice as likely to have been diagnosed with attention problems such as Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Ontario Gambling Addicts lawsuit in Ontario:

A $3.5-billion lawsuit against the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. on behalf of more than 10,000 problem gamblers – with ramifications for many thousands more across Canada – reveals a devastating glimpse into a lucrative government business that leaves some of its best customers in financial ruin.

United States Obama breaks campaign promise on Needle Exchange Program:

The president supports needle exchange but he isn’t ready to lift the federal ban on funding needle exchange programs?
needle exchange symbol
Excuse me, Mr. President, but WTF? Needle-exchange programs work, they save lives, they prevent new HIV infections—often among the hardest-hit communities, i.e. poor communities, urban communities, communities of color. People will die as a result of your cowardice on this issue—and there’s nothing at work here but political cowardice. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey conducted in 1996 found that 66% of Americans support needle exchange programs. That was thirteen years ago. How much time is it going to take?

Previous Medical News:


Rub On Viagra, Circumcisions, Morning After Pill, Cell Phone Sex Ed, AIDS related Criminal Charges, and goodbye Abstinence Only Sex Ed

May 12, 2009 at 1:36 am | Posted in Medical, Politics | Leave a comment

Medical Monday

United Kingdom Coming Soon: Rub On Viagra:

British Columbia Premier promises up to $20 million to help AIDS victims:

Premier Gordon Campbell opened an international HIV/AIDS conference in Vancouver with a promise of up to $20 million a year for a pilot program to help hard-to-reach victims of the disease in Prince George and Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. Of course, the funding is contingent on Campbell’s Liberals winning re-election May 12.

Botswana Botswana encourages nation’s men to get circumcised to help curb spread of AIDS.:

“The country hopes to circumcise 460,000 men over the next five years, after a series of studies found that circumcised men were two to three times less likely to contract HIV”.

Tech There’s a problem with sexual information from the top medical web sites:pinochio's nose breaks the computer

It’s wrong.

“Even widely trusted sites like WebMD are not that accurate when it comes to adolescent reproductive health,” says Dr. Sophia Yen, a Stanford University Med School instructor in Adolescent Medicine. She conducted an online review last summer and concluded many of the web sites weren’t just incomplete — they were often wrong, wrong, wrong.

United States Cellphones Teach Sex Education:

intimate, private and crucial information can be delivered to teenagers on the device that holds millions captive: their cellphones. Programs in Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Toronto and San Francisco allow young people to text a number, select from a menu of frequently asked questions (“What 2 do if the condom broke”) and receive automated replies, with addresses of free clinics.

South Africa South Africa Fight Aids With innovative Cell Phone Project:

“Ignorance is the biggest enemy and it must be stemmed in order to quell these terrible epidemics. In addition to the social stigma attached to the disease, misinformation is widespread and many really do not know how the disease is actually spread”.

Project Masiluleke represents a monumental attempt to harness the power of mobile technology to confront one of the world’s gravest public health crises. This innovative and ambitious endeavor is destined to help South Africa in its overwhelming conflict with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis epidemics”.

United States The End of Abstinence-Only Sex “Education”:

As I explained in the magazine a couple of months ago, abstinence-only programs have not proven nearly as successful as approaches that combine the message that abstinence is a good goal for teenagers (see: Bristol Palin) with comprehensive and accurate education about contraception, disease prevention, and decision-making skills.


The Obama budget eliminates the main federal funding streams for abstinence-only education (some of which have been around since welfare reform) and replaces them with $110 million in competitive grants to “fund teen pregnancy prevention programs,” with at least $75 million reserved for “programs that replicate the elements of one or more teenage pregnancy prevention programs that have been proven through rigorous evaluation to delay sexual activity, increase contraceptive use (without increasing sexual activity), or reduce teenage pregnancy.” It also authorizes $50 million in new mandatory teen pregnancy prevention grants to states.

Thanks for the tip off Dan

United States F.D.A. Easing Access to ‘Morning After’ Pill:

“Seventeen-year-olds will soon be allowed to buy morning-after contraceptive pills without a doctor’s prescription after federal drug regulators complied with a judge’s order and lowered the age limit by a year”.

The long-running controversy involving Plan B has had more of a political impact than a public health one. The drug consists of two pills that can prevent conception if taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse, and is not related to RU-486, the abortion pill. Since 2006, when Plan B became widely available to women 18 and over without a prescription, it has had no measurable effect on the nation’s abortion or teenage pregnancy rates.

HIV More charges related to unprotected sex:

Germany HIV-positive German pop diva arrested for unprotected sex:

“A member of hit German girl group No Angels has been arrested for allegedly having unprotected sex although she knew she was HIV positive”.

Lawyers for Nadja Benaissa, a 26-year-old singer with the succsessful girl band, is accused of having had unprotected sex with three men in 2004 and 2006, according to state prosecutors in Darmstadt, Germany.

One of the three men is now HIV positive, possibly as a consequence of his sexual relations with Benaissa.

Ontario Toronto man charged with attempted murder for HIV nondisclosure:

“A 28-year-old man has been charged with aggravated assault and attempted murder for failing to disclose his HIV status to a male sexual partner.”

Previous Medical News:

Injured Major “runs” marathon, Cdn Military psych problems, Abnormal bone growth, and Autism diagnosis

May 12, 2009 at 1:27 am | Posted in Medical | Leave a comment

Medical Monday

Canada Doing it for mom, B.C. cyclist launches cross-country heart-research tour :

United Kingdom Injured Army Major completes London Marathon in 13 days:army major Phil Packer

Phil was told by medics that he would never walk again after being badly injured in a rocket attack in Basra last February.

He walked two miles a day on crutches after starting with other competitors on April 26.

As he crossed the finishing line, at St James’s Park on the Mall, he said the feeling was “bittersweet” coming so soon after more serving soldiers lost their live in Afghanistan. He was presented with his London marathon finisher’s medal by Sir Steve Redgrave after completing the course.

Thanks for the tip off neatorama

Canada Military sees rise in psych problems:

“More than one in five Canadian soldiers returning from combat in Afghanistan are diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses including post-traumatic stress disorder”

“Is it an epidemic? No,” retired Canadian colonel Don Ethell, the head of the military’s and RCMP’s mental health advisory committee, told Star reporter Allan Woods. “It’s just finally a realization that in addition to physical injuries, the maimed and the injured and so forth, it’s also a mental price that Canadians have to pay and many of them, and many of us, have paid that without knowing where to go.” [Toronto Star]

United States Injured Marines At Risk For Abnormal Bone Growth:

Marines and other military personnel who are wounded in combat as the result of a high-energy trauma, such as a bomb blast, are likely to develop an abnormality known as heterotopic ossification. In this condition, bone forms within the soft tissues, such as muscle located near a fracture or other bone injury. New research conducted at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, is helping to pave the way for a better understanding of the mechanisms of the condition, and better courses of prevention and treatment.

United States Autism Diagnosis Often Made Years After It Was Possible:

“Timely identification and diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can impact a child’s development and is the key to opening the door to the services and therapies available to children with autism,” says Paul Shattuck, Ph.D., assistant professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. “Unfortunately, our research shows that the average age of autism diagnosis is nearly six years old, which is three to four years after diagnosis is possible.”

Previous Medical News:

Hunting People for Jesus, and Mormons Posthumously Baptize Obama’s Mother

May 11, 2009 at 3:29 am | Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

Sunday Religion Roundup

California California Teacher Liable for Anti-Christian Comment:

“It’s a rather odd ruling. The court found that one statement violated the establishment clause and it was a statement about another teacher who was teaching creationism.”

Iraq VIDEO: Soldiers In Afghanistan Given Bibles, Told To “Hunt People For Jesus”:Jesus with military rifle

A U.S. church raised money to send Bibles, printed in the Pashtu and Dari languages, to American soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, a report on Al Jazeera documented Sunday night.

It is against military rules to proselytize — a regulation one of the soldiers filmed by the network readily acknowledged. “You cannot proselytize, but you can give gifts,” says the soldier. It is a crime in Afghanistan to attempt to convert anyone from Islam to any other religion. “I also want to praise God because my church collected some money to get Bibles for Afghanistan. They came and sent the money out.” The footage is said to be roughly a year old.

The Al Jazeera report also shows a military preacher urging army parishioners to “hunt people for Jesus.”

“The Special Forces guys, they hunt men. Basically, we do the same things as Christians. We hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down. Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the Kingdom. That’s what we do, that’s our business,” he says.

United States Did the Mormons baptize Obama’s mother, after her death, without his knowledge or consent?:

Yes. Yes they did.image from South Park Mormon issue

Last year, in the heat of the presidential campaign, the Mormons had posthumously baptized Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. Baptizing the dead of other faith’s, secretly and without the consent of their families, is a common Mormon practice. For the past fifteen years the Mormons have caused quite a stir by forcibly baptizing Jewish Holocaust victims – in other words, converting them to Mormonism – despite strong objections from the Jewish community.

The Mormon’s church released a statement that the posthumous baptism was a “rare” mistake that might have been done by “pranksters”. It’s difficult to take that statement seriously, considering that Lying for the Lord is an official tenet of the Mormon Religion. But it’s all good you see, because the dead are free to reject the baptism when they get to Mormon heaven.gays don't recruit, Religions Do

Previous Politics:

Submarine Shark, Agaporomorphus colberti, Blue koi, Texas Ninja Turtle, and how Dolphins sleep

May 9, 2009 at 1:30 am | Posted in interesting (to moose) | Leave a comment

Animal Friday Under the Sea

United States ‘Diving Beetle’ Named After Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert:

Japan Magnificent Blue Koi in Maruoka Castle’s Koi Pond:

Filmmaker Dan Savage snaps some interesting photos at Maruoka Castle in Japan, including this B-ah-oo-tiful blue koi.

blue koi

Tech Shark Submarine Allows Divers A Close-Up View Of The Ocean’s Greatest Predator:shark submarine

Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the famous Jacque, has created a submarine that allows a diver to interact with sharks on their own turf. In this way, scientists can explore what a shark does when it is not around people—in other words, observe the creatures nature behavior. This 14-foot long submarine mimics the movement of a real shark—and looks real enough to make me poop my pants.

sub shark from TintinCousteau named the shark sub Troy after a character in the Belgian

comic book “Tintin.” I immediately thought of Tintin when I saw the shark sub, because he used on in Red Rackham’s Treasure

Texas Texas – One-flipper turtle gets ‘ninja’ suit:

“Workers at Sea Turtle Inc strapped Allison, a five-year-old rescued turtle, into a neoprene “ninja” suit that holds a carbon-fibre fin in place on her back. The fin acts as a rudder, allowing her to propel herself forward with her sole fin.”

one flipper turtle in ninja suit

United States Dolphins keep an eye out while sleeping:two dolphins

Because they need to periodically come up for air and keep an eye out for potential predators, dolphins can’t curl up and zonk out at night like land mammals can. So they must stay somewhat conscious and sleep with the proverbial one eye open. Sam Ridgway of the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program wondered if this constant watchfulness would dull their senses, like sleep deprivation does in humans .

Previous Interesting (to Moose) News:

Assassination Attempts in Holland and Ethiopia, Afghans Killed by US Air Strikes, Pakistan Refugees, UN Sudan Mandate, Iraq Withdrawal Dates

May 8, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

Pakistan Tens of Thousands of Refugees Are Fleeing Taliban in NW Pakistan:

Sudan UN extends mandate of force in southern Sudan:

“The Security Council has extended the UN mandate for southern Sudan by a year, and called for strict implementation of an agreement between Khartoum and southern rebels the UN force is in charge of overseeing”.

Netherlands Five killed in assassination attempt on the Dutch royal family:

The Dutch Royal Family looked on in horror [April 30th] as a car ploughed into a crowd of wellwishers, killing five and injuring twelve.

The car smashed through two police barriers in an apparent attempt to ram the open-top bus carrying the royal party, which included Queen Beatrix, 71.

Ethiopia Ethiopia arrests 40 for plotting to assassinate senior government officials:

Senior military officers in Ethiopia, including a general, had plotted to assassinate top government officials, Communications Minister Bereket Simon said Friday, adding that 40 people were under arrest. “While six of the suspects were army officers on active duty, including one general, 34 of the suspects were ex-army men expelled from the army on grounds of misconduct,”

Iraq Iraq rules out extension of U.S. withdrawal dates:

Iraq will not extend withdrawal deadlines for U.S. troops set out in a bilateral accord, ending months of speculation about whether U.S. combat troops would stay beyond June in bases in the restive northern city of Mosul.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Iraq was committed to adhering to the withdrawal schedule in the pact, which took effect on January 1, including the requirement to withdraw U.S. combat troops from towns and cities by the end of June and a full withdrawal by the end of 2011.

Afghanistan “Dozens” of Afghan Civilians Killed by US Air Strike:

Remember all those promises from US commanders in Afghanistan, the promises made after each killing of large numbers of Afghan civilians, sometimes by air strikes, sometimes by ground forces during raids? After each incident – at least as far back as July 2007 – the commanders issue new pledges that US forces will change their rules of engagement, will take more care, will be more cautious to avoid more murders of Afghan civilians?

Previous Politics:

Schwarzenegger wants MJ debate, Phelps/Savage banned from UK, Gitmo prisoners are ‘not persons’, Swine Flu blamed on Immigrants, and the Republican Clown College

May 8, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

United States US refuses to let jet into its airspace because it is carrying a journalist who criticizes US foreign policy:

United States In Their Own Words: Why Dem Senators Screwed Homeowners:

United States Supreme Court Justice David Souter To Retire:

United States Court rules that Gitmo prisoners are “not persons”:

“Court Agrees with Obama Administration that Detainees Still Have No Constitutional Right Not to Be Tortured”

United States Fake 9/11 Cost $300,000:

“If you have ever wondered how much it costs to make 7 million New Yorkers all shit their pants at the same time, now you know: $300,000, which is actually kind of a bargain”.

United States Swine Flu Outbreak Fuels Immigrant Haters On Wingnut Radio:

“recap of swine flu quotes from wingnut radio blowhards Michael Savage, Neal Boortz, and Glenn Beck.” And speaking of Michael Savage …

United Kingdom Radio Blowhard Michael Savage And Westboro’s Phelps Banned From UK:fred phelps

Fred Waldron Phelps Snr, a 79-year-old American Baptist pastor, and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper are barred for their anti-gay comments. Both have picketed the funerals of Aids victims and celebrated the deaths of US soldiers as “punishment” for US tolerance of homosexuality. Talk show host Michael Savage – real name Michael Weiner – is also excluded. His views on immigration, Islam, rape and autism have caused great offence in America.

Thanks for the tip off Joe.

UPDATE: Michael Savage has threatened to sue for defamation.

United States Schwarzenegger: Time To Talk About Legalizing Pot:

Schwarzenegger was asked at a press conference if it was finally time to legalize marijuana.

“No, I think that it’s not time for that, but I think it’s time for a debate,” he said, according to a transcript provided by Schwarzenegger’s office. “And I think that we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what affect it had on those countries, and are they happy with that decision.”

The Mexican ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, recently called for the United States to hold such a debate to address cartel-related violence. Mexico has decriminalized possession of marijuana but doesn’t tax it.

United States Bush Library Raises $100 Million In 100 Days :Bush carrying Presidents for Dummies

Along with writing a memoir — something Bush has also begun in recent months — financing and building a suitable presidential library has been the initial focus of nearly every President who left the White House since Harry Truman. The historically fast pace of Bush’s fundraising has been all the more remarkable for taking place during a period of economic contraction.

United States Two more officers killed by a right-wing extremist with a military background. But don’t insult our veterans!:

It’s the new political correctness, I gather, not to ever suggest that anyone who’s ever served in the military is ever capable posing a threat to law-enforcement officers or the general public. That was the whole upshot of the recent fake controversy over the DHS report on domestic terrorism .In the meantime, what do you know: Yet another shooting of police officers by an angry and paranoid man with a military background. And just like the last one, this one believed Obama was going to come get his guns

Kenya Kenyan PM’s wife joins “sex boycott”:

Ida Odinga, wife of Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga, has joined a Lysistrata-like nationwide sex boycott aimed at forcing the countries leaders to overcome a political impasse.

Kenyan women’s groups started the boycott in an effort to end the feud between the factions led by Mr. Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki that has paralyzed Kenya’s government for weeks. Kenya’s Federation of Women Lawyers has urged the wives of both leaders to withold sex from their husbands until the feud is resolved.

United States Republican clown college photos:

Hebiclens / WMxdesign used an image editing program to put clown makeup on the faces of prominent conservatives. I like the pastel color palette he used, as you don’t often see it on clowns.

prominent republicans with clown makeup

I think Peggy Noonan is my favorite. She looks so natural. But where’s Joe the Plumber? Oh, that’s right, he’s no longer a Republican. Whatever will they do without him.

Previous Politics:

Dumpster Sex, Olympic Sealskins, Social Work Stress, Media Restriction, Skytrain Gaffe, Leaky Condos, Ont fights Poverty, and Butching up Figure Skating

May 8, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

British Columbia Saanich Couple get caught having sex in dumpster:

British Columbia Caseloads, stress bury social workers:

“Nearly two-thirds — 60 per cent — of front-line social workers in British Columbia said they “rarely” or “never” give adequate attention to children and families due to unmanageable caseloads and high stress levels”

Canada Afghanistan NATO slaps restrictions on Canadian media in Kandahar:

“NATO has imposed tough new restrictions on foreign journalists covering the war in southern Afghanistan, changes that could affect how much Canadians see and hear from war-torn Kandahar”. Thanks for the tip off Dave

Ontario ‘Historic’ law compels Ontario to fight poverty:two antlers up

Fighting poverty is now the law in Ontario.

In a unanimous vote yesterday, Queen’s Park passed legislation that commits the province to become a leading jurisdiction in the battle against poverty.

The Poverty Reduction Act, hailed by advocates as “historic,” requires successive governments to draft poverty-fighting strategies with specific goals every five years and to report annually to the legislature on progress.

British Columbia SkyTrain worker sent home for political endorsement over PA:NDP campaigners at a skytrain station

A transit system employee in Vancouver is facing an investigation after spouting a political endorsement over the Broadway SkyTrain station public-address system during the morning rush.

At a political rally in the station for B.C. NDP Leader Carole James on Thursday morning, the unidentified employee went on the PA and said, “Carole James rocks,” and then made an unfavourable comment about B.C. Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell.

British Columbia Is this Vancouver’s #1 ethics scandal?:

condo covered with tarp
“My contender for Metro Vancouver’s most notorious and widespread ethical breakdown of the past 30 years is the leaky condo crisis. It has brought true pain and hardship to hundreds of thousands.”

If you want to hear a expert talk about “Ethics and Leaky Condos,” you will be interested in attending a breakfast session downtown on the morning of Wednesday, May 13, sponsored by The Workplace Centre for Spiritual and Ethical Development.

John Haythorne, a professional engineer and lawyer in Vancouver, will discuss what happens when profits and quick monetary returns for construction companies or engineering firms override business ethics.

Canada Canada wants to “butch up” the men’s figure skating for 2010:disney on ice - frozone

Male skaters are emphasizing how hard the sport is — how grueling — and even how dangerous it can be. Stojko says that he’s torn his groin from the physical rigor of the jumps. “The amount of pressure on the body is ridiculous,” he said.

By showcasing the strength and athleticism that goes into skating, the organization hopes to tap into the strong viewership for sports like baseball, football and hockey.

Canada Canadian Dumb Ass Idea of the Year:

thumbs down Canadian MPs vote to include seal skin on Olympic uniforms

The federal government wants Canadian Olympians to wear a seal product — most likely skin — during the 2010 Winter Games to help protest a European Union ban on Canada’s seal hunt.

Members of Parliament from all parties voted unanimously Wednesday in favour of a Bloc Quebecois motion calling on the government to come up with a way to integrate seal pelts into the athletes’ uniforms.

“With the upcoming Winter Olympics that will be in Vancouver in 2010, the government has a chance to offer some concrete action to promote seal products,” Bloc Quebec MP Raynald Blais said.

Unanimously ?!?!?!?!? All of them? It didn’t occur to even one MP that some of the Canadian athletes might be opposed to the seal hunt? Or perhaps that they just wouldn’t want to be be used as political issue fashion models?

What if an athlete refused to wear the seal skin, then what? Would the RCMP tazer him/her and forcibly dress them, then parade them through the opening ceremonies in handcuffs? Yeah, I’m sure that would do loads of good to help seal product production.

thumbs up Olympic team opposes motion for sealskin uniforms

Olympic officials say ‘No’ to politics

But the head of the Canadian Olympic Committee immediately shot down the idea that sealskin, or any political statement, might be incorporated into the Olympic uniform.

“No, we would not be doing that,” said Chris Rudge, adding that over the coming year he expects to field a variety of requests similar to the one made Wednesday, and his answer won’t change.

“These are social and economic issues that our government will deal with,” said Rudge. “I think it would be inappropriate to use the athletes as a voice for issues that accrue to other elements to our society.”

two antlers downWow! Way to go Canadian MPs. Your short-sightedness achieved the exact opposite of what you were going for. The seal hunt now looks even worse than it did before. I never imagined such a thing to be possible.

For unanimoosely shooting yourself in the collective foot, I am giving the Canadian Parliament Two Antlers Down


Previous Politics:

The ‘what aboot x’ argument, Most lawsuits are not frivolous, Vast Minorities, and Do children make us happy?

May 7, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Posted in interesting (to moose) | Leave a comment

critical thinking thursday

common wisdom
Do Children Make Us Happy?

Over the past few decades, social scientists like me have found consistent evidence that there is an almost zero association between having children and happiness. My analysis in the Journal of Socio-economics (Powdthavee, 2008) is a recent British example of parents and non-parents reporting the same levels of life satisfaction, on average.

But the warnings for prospective parents are even more stark than ‘it’s not going to make you happier’. Using data sets from Europe and America, numerous scholars have found some evidence that, on aggregate, parents often report statistically significantly lower levels of happiness (Alesina et al., 2004), life satisfaction (Di Tella et al., 2003), marital satisfaction (Twenge et al., 2003), and mental well-being (Clark & Oswald, 2002) compared with non-parents.

Red Herring
How To Spot A Lame, Lame Argument:

There is one particular type of bad argument that has always existed, but it has now spread like tar over the world-wide web, and is seeping into the pubs, coffee shops and opinion columns everywhere. It is known as ‘what-aboutery’ – and there was a particularly ripe example of it in response to one of my articles last week.

As a rhetorical trick, it is simple. Anyone can do it, and we are all tempted sometimes. When you have lost an argument – when you can’t justify your case, and it is crumbling in your hands – you snap back: “But what about x?”

You then raise a totally different subject, and try to get everybody to focus on it – hoping it will distract attention from your own deflated case.

Appeal to Popularity
The Strawman “Frivolous Law Suits” Argument:

Kos describes this a strawman fallacy, but I think it’s more of a case of Argumentum ad populum.

the research sited in the ad states: “83% of Americans say frivolous law suits are a serious problem”. Just because we say it, doesn’t make it a fact. The MSM feeds this perception every time they feature a frivolous law suit, so the public now thinks that most liability suits are frivolous and “something must be done to stop it”. Now, anyone who’s watched an episode of and Boston Legal knows a frivolous law suit when they see one, but that show is fiction and so is the idea that most medical malpractice law suits are meritless and millions of people are getting rich from meritless law suits.

Hasty Generalization
Vast Minorites – 4 minorities that seem like majorities:

Winston Rowntree @ charts the math behind four annoying sub-groups which seem like majorities, when in fact, each of them represent a minority of the whole. This faulty generalization has a special name: “SPOTLIGHT FALLACY“. It’s an kind of fallacy that arises from biased samples.

“Spotlight Fallacy” is a pretty good name, but I like Rowntree’s “Vast Minorities” even better. Clickity Click the image to see more.

most internet users are not trolls

Previous Interesting (to Moose) News:

Dutch park accepts cruisers, Quebec helps gay seniors, Trans discrimination lawsuit, and Libs want to end gay organ donor ban

May 7, 2009 at 2:02 am | Posted in LGBT | Leave a comment

gay wednesday

Netherlands Dutch park unveils signs pointing to gay ‘cruiser’ areas:gay counterprotest sign

The De Oeverlanden park in Slotervaart, southwest of Amsterdam, is known as a place where homosexuals from all over the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe go in search of sex partners.
Ms Koffijberg said that while having sex in public was against the law, the park has been used for this purpose for so long that it has become “gedoog”, a Dutch word for tolerating unwanted behaviour.

The sexual activities of cruisers, she said, kept mostly to the bushes in the park, and the new signs sought to ensure that they stayed there.

“There are various groups of users of the park; people with small children who bathe on the beaches, those who walk their dogs, gays cruising and nature lovers,” said Ms Koffijberg.

“Things are arranged so that each group can relax in their own area without intruding on each other.”

Thanks for the tip off Dan

Quebec Québec Funds Help For Gay Seniors:

the Québec government has taken the applaudable step to fund a $500,000 education campaign about gay seniors and the discrimination they face. The education program is so badly needed that the cabinet ministers responsible for it couldn’t find a retirement home willing to host the program’s press announcement, opting instead to use a community centre in Montréal’s gay village.

Canada Liberals pass resolution to end gay organ donor ban:gay heart thrown in trash

The motion, brought to the floor by the Young Liberals, recognized the severe organ shortages in the country and that Canada maintains one of the lowest organ donation rates in the world. It also pointed out that all donated organs already undergo extensive tests to guard against the transmission of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. The motion also stated that there are no recorded cases of organ recipients contracting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis C from organs donated by a gay man.

United States Obama lists homophobia as “hatred that degrades its victim”:

“While speaking at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, President Obama mentioned homophobia in a list of ‘hatred that degrades its victim’.”

To this day, there are those who insist the Holocaust never happened – who perpetrate every form of intolerance — racism, antisemitism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and more — hatred that degrades its victim and diminishes us all. Today, and every day we have an opportunity, as well as an obligation to confront these scourges. To fight the impulse to turn the channel when we see images that disturb us, or wrap ourselves in the false comforts that others’ sufferings are not our own.

United States Transsexual wins $500,000 lawsuit:

“A federal judge has awarded a former Army Special Forces commander nearly $500,000 because she was rejected from a job at the Library of Congress while undergoing a gender change from man to woman”.Former Army Special Forces commander Diana Shroer

Schroer said she was happy with the judgment but more importantly that the judge recognized her treatment as job discrimination. She said it’s a problem many transgendered people face.

“They are hugely underemployed, at best,” Schroer said. “If they are fortunate enough to get something, it’s well below their capabilities. It’s not just about money, it’s about knowing you are a valuable person.”

Schroer said she feels more fortunate than many transsexuals who face job discrimination

Argentina Bank ad from Argentina promotes tolerance for transgendered:

Here’s a sweet ad that’s been bouncing around the interboing lately. “It talks about tolerance and teach us that all people are the same even if they are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender”.

Previous LGBT:

BC candidates anti-gay email, Walmart CEO anti-gay, Kentucky school discrimination, Obama failing the gays, Greece annuls lesbo marriage, and Gay deceased descecrated in Senegal

May 7, 2009 at 1:49 am | Posted in LGBT, Politics | Leave a comment

gay wednesday

Arkansas CEO of Wal-Mart Found On Arkansas Anti-Gay Petition:

“Wal-Mart claims to have an environment of “diversity” within its stores though the HRC only ranked Wal-Mart at 40% in its Corporate Equality Index in 2008. Shocking”. Thanks for the tip off Joe

Kentucky Kentucky Homo Students not allowed to use washrooms:

Kentucky Equality Federation received reports that a Franklin County High official allegedly sent an email to teachers instructing them not to allow homosexuals to leave class to use the restroom.

The email was allegedly sent after two female classmates were caught kissing in the public restroom.

In response, 15 students protested outside the school

United States Anti-Gay Former Rep. Jack Kemp Dies :Jack Kemp

Kemp was a vigorous gay rights opponent in Congress. He supported the firing of homosexual teachers, saying, “I think a school board should have the right to choose what type of example we have for our children in public schools.” Kemp fought legislation protecting the civil rights of people with HIV and supported a bill that would have required the mandatory reporting of those with the disease. He frequently characterized gay rights as “special rights” and was a co-founder of the right-wing think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

Senegal Deceased dug up and dumped at family home for alleged homosexuality :

Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal where 95 percent of the population is Muslim. Homosexual acts are punishable by up to five years in prison.

In the summer of 2008, local people in the central village of Guinguineo profaned the tomb of a man they considered to be gay, saying they would not have him buried there.

Greece Greece Annuls Same-Sex “Humanoid” Marriages:

The Greek courts have annulled the country’s only two same-sex marriages after hysterical opposition from the government and religious organisations.

Two Greek couples married early last summer after discovering that there was no limitation of gender in the country’s marriage laws. Almost immediately, the government sought to render the marriages invalid, filing a lawsuit with the support of the Orthodox Church of Greece.

No word yet as to whether or not the two women were from the Isle of Lesbos.

British Columbia B.C. candidate tiresomely equates gay people to adulterers and gamblers:

Dalton’s email wasn’t sent out of the blue; it was sent to a fellow teacher in response to an anti-bullying initiative brought up by the B.C. Teacher’s Federation. The initiative was to protect children who were being bullied and harassed for having gay parents, or for being gay themselves. Not only did Dalton disagree with protecting students from this anti-gay harassment, but he actively started a counter-petition, circulating it among teachers, trying to get the anti-bullying initiative struck down.

Slap Upside the Head

United States Obama’s Silence on AIDS:HIV positive traveller is eliminated with a trap door

I know the man has his hands full, but Obama has ignored AIDS to such an extent that even the easy, no-cost policy fixes haven’t happened. Take the long-standing, stigma-inducing HIV ban on travel and immigration to the United States. President Bush, to everyone’s surprise, pushed for its repeal. Last year’s Congress passed legislation that allows the Department of Health and Human Services to remove the ban, and Bush signed this legislation into law.

That only left one last step — HHS had to publish a rule to remove the offending language. The Bush administration did this, although not fast enough to have it become law before Bush left office. All Obama had to do was let the Bush ruling stand and take effect after a period of public comment. Instead, it got swept aside during Obama’s heavy-handed halt to all of Bush’s end-of-term regulatory initiatives. Now it’s back to square one — an almost identical rule has been prepared and published for public comment, again…months later.

Thanks for the tip off Sullivan

Massachusetts Not exactly mother of the year:cat pops out of birthday cake with sign that says You're Adopted

In November 2007 the teenage daughter of MassResistance founder Amy Contrada came out as a lesbian after her mother picketed her high school’s production of The Laramie Project. The next week good ol’ mom created a full page on the MassResistance site to announce that her daughter was adopted, emotionally unstable, and a “special needs” student. Last year the Southern Poverty Law Center rated MassResistance as a hate group.

Previous LGBT:

Stonehenge protest, Pope apologizes, Vatican blocks Ron Howard, Crucifixion license plate, and Churchgoers support torture

May 3, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

Sunday Religion Roundup
Canada Pope expresses sorrow anguish suffered in Canada’s residential schools:

More than 100,000 people attended federal residential schools that were run by the Catholic, Anglican and United churches. The children were removed from their families and were made to suppress their language and culture. Some also suffered physical and sexual abuse.

The United and Anglican churches have previously apologized for residential schools. Prime Minister Stephen Harper also formally apologized in June.

Stewart Phillip, grand chief of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said the Pope’s statement is “incredibly historic” for Aboriginal people, especially in B.C. where majority of the country’s 130 residential schools were located.

Vatican City Ron Howard Accuses Vatican Of Film Interference:angles and demons book cover

Director Ron Howard claimed Sunday that the Vatican interfered with efforts to get permits to shoot certain scenes of his “Angels & Demons” religious thriller in Rome — a charge the Vatican said was purely a publicity stunt.

The film, which stars Tom Hanks and is based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown, has its world premiere Monday in Rome.

United States The Catholic Bishops are cranky, but American Catholics aren’t listening :

The Catholic Bishops are still bitching about Notre Dame inviting Obama to its graduation. Because, in the warped world of the American Catholic hierarchy, that’s a big issue. But, the bishops are out of touch with their parishioners:

Florida Florida Reveals Tasteful New License Plate:cruxified Jesus licence plate

Who’s classy now? Florida, again, as always! Here’s the new “vanity plate,” featuring America’s favorite (?) Christian star, Dead Jesus Hanging Off a License Plate With an Orange Behind His Head. This is gonna look sweet with a brass pair of Truck Nutz swingin’ down below. [The Awl]

United States Churchgoers Are More Likely to Support Torture:

More than half of people who attend services at least once a week — 54 percent — said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Only 42 percent of people who “seldom or never” go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.

United Kingdom Stonehenge protester King Arthur Pendragon defies eviction order:King Arthur Pendragon at Stonehenge

while it is easy to dismiss Arthur – who grew up as plain John Rothwell – as an eccentric, it is clear that many believe his cause is just. Thousands have signed his petition calling for improvements.

Nevertheless, this week Arthur was forced to appear before court. He wore his robes and dabbed amber oil over himself to ward off evil vibes. The charm did not work and he was told in effect he would have to move.

Previous Politics:

Arbor Day, Burrard Bike Lane; Pesticide Bans; Van Green Plan, Green Events, Endangered Species, and High Speed Rail

May 2, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Posted in environment, Politics | Leave a comment

British Columbia Burrard Bridge bike lanes to return:

“Controversial lane closures that pitted cyclists against motorists — and delayed commutes by about 15 minutes — a decade ago will return to Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge this summer”.

British Columbia Metro Vancouver makes plans to save at-risk plant and animal species:

“There are 112 species of animals and plants now at risk in Metro Vancouver, and regional district planners are putting together an ecological health plan framework to save them from disappearing”.

British Columbia Vancouver to move aggressively on its green plan:

Robertson said what the team came up with isn’t “pie in the sky,” but rather action plans the city can take and advocate.

“It’s a blueprint for how we make Vancouver into a hub for green jobs, for sustainable industry, and to capitalize on what is now globally a seismic shift toward a green economy,”

British Columbia Oregon Vancouver keen for high-speed rail link to Oregon:roller coaster

There are some stumbling blocks. The U.S. cities have the backing of their federal government but the same commitment doesn’t extend north of the border.

“We’ve got work to do here to get Ottawa and Victoria on board and fully supporting a high-speed rail link to Vancouver,” said Robertson.

Canada Do we do Arbor Day in Canada? From Wikipedia:

United States: The national holiday is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April; it is a civic holiday in Nebraska and was founded by Julius Sterling Morton. Each state celebrates its own state holiday. The customary observance is to plant a tree. On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted.

It appears that, no, we don’t officially celebrate Arbor Day in Canada, however we do have Maple Leaf Day:maple leaf day 2008

In Canada, Maple Leaf Day falls on the last Wednesday in September during National Forest Week. Some provinces celebrate their own Arbor Day:

  • Ontario has Arbor Week from the last Friday in April to the first Sunday in May.
  • Nova Scotia celebrates Arbor Day on the Thursday during National Forest Week, which is the first full week in May.

Surrey will be celebrating the 4th Annual Maple Leaf Day in September 2009

British Columbia Eco-Event Roundup: As usual, Miss 604 has the lowdown on what’s happenin’ around Vancouver. This time she provides “dirt” on tree planting and other local green events:

  • Arbour Day in Surrey is May 2, 2009. There will be a tree planting event at Hjorth Road Park along with family-oriented games and activities.
  • The 21st Annual Rhododendron Festival takes place May 3rd at Deer Lake Park & Shadbolt Centre in Burnaby. Free Admission, open from 9:30am until 4:00pm.
  • Mow Down Air Pollution – April 23rd to May3rd, 2009 with the Clean Air Foundation. Mow Down Pollution encourages people to replace their old two- and four-stroke mowers and trimmers with cleaner alternatives. This program runs at Home Depot locations across the country and to date, it has retired nearly 18,000 lawn mowers and has reduced 406 tonnes of greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions.
  • EPIC Sustainable Living Expo – May 8th to May 10th at the new Vancouver Convention Centre. Last year I covered the event as a part of the Happy Frog blogging team and it was good times (I recommend the organic beer).
  • Bike to Work Week – May 11th to May 17th. For the third annual event, the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition announced that this year’s campaign is taking place in over 20 communities around the province simultaneously. Workplaces can register to see who can gather up the highest number of kilometers cycled throughout the week.

Ontario DOW Launches NAFTA Challenge to Pesticide Ban:lawn sign says I Love My Family More Than My Lawn

Our duly elected representatives are following the will of the vast majority of people in [Ontario] who support a cosmetic pesticide ban. This sort of preventative policy was even upheld by Canada’s Supreme Court, which ruled that governments have the right to act proactively so as to minimize potential health risks.

The idea that a corporation can challenge such regulations just because it’s bad for their business is precisely the sort of outrage that makes some people dislike things like corporations and free trade agreements. You might just as well have American gun manufacturers complain that our gun control laws are depriving them of profit for no good reason. After all, guns don’t kill people…

Previous Environmental News:

California Electric Cars, Breakthrough from Singapore, and the G8 Environment Ministers

May 2, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Posted in environment, Tech Talk | Leave a comment

Italy Switzerland Glacial Melting Redraws Italian-Swiss Border, Hints at Future Water Wars:

California San Jose’s Electric Car Revolution:

Owning a plug-in hybrid car just got a little easier … if you live in San Jose, Calif., that is. If so, you can now drive your car downtown, park and recharge your battery by plugging into the power supply on a nearby lamppost.

California California Adopts Low-Carbon Fuel Standard:

“Regulators adopt first in nation standards to cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels”carbon footprint

The Air Resources Board‘s 9-1 decision is aimed at achieving a 10 percent reduction in motor vehicles’ emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and spurring commercial development of low-carbon fuels like hydrogen and cellulosic ethanol.

United States GM and SAE Team Up to Standardize Electric Vehicle Charging System:many cell phone chargers

Establishing standards and making sure everyone abides by them is not easy task. To help with this, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has set up a task force, currently under the designation of SAE J1772, to design and test a single charging unit that will be used across every platform, regardless of year, make or model.

Singapore Singapore Discovers How To Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Methanol!:CO2 into Methanol

The third smallest sovereign nation in the world has just made an enormous contribution to relieving the world’s debt to the environment. Singapore researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have discovered how to turn carbon dioxide into methanol…. Double take: They have found a way to make greenhouse gas green. Triple take: They took the biggest contributor to the world’s carbon footprint and converted it into a source of clean energy for the world. Astounding.

Italy G8 Environment Ministers Meeting in Italy – the Agenda:G8 2009

The 2009 G8 Summit will be held on the island of La Maddalena, Italy from July 8 to 10. In the months leading up to the Summit, the host country has organized a series of ministerial meetings, including the G8 Environment Minister’s meeting, which is being hosted by the City of Siracusa on the Sicilian coast, from April 22 – 24.

Climate change and the preservation of biodiversity are the two main issues on the agenda in Syracuse. The goal of the Environment Minister’s meeting is to “send out an important political message on biodiversity and to facilitate dialogue on the issue of climate change ahead of the Copenhagen conference in December of this year, where the debate is going to focus on the world’s “post-Kyoto” setup”.

The agenda for the meeting indicates that discussions with respect to new technologies to foster economic recovery and promote clean energy will be paramount. According to the official website, “the discussion is going to focus on how to promote clean energy technology in order to address the dual challenge of climate change and energy security”.

Previous Environmental News:

Overpopulation, Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Swine Flu from factory farm, Lying fossil fuel industries, Widespread US air pollution linked to fish mercury, and Canada not so green after all

May 2, 2009 at 7:14 pm | Posted in environment | 2 Comments

stupidity Is Earth Day An Ancient Egyptian Pagan Plot To Destroy Economy For Worship Of Earth Overlord ‘Gaia’?:

World Worst Environmental Problem? Overpopulation, Experts Say:

United States Most Americans live with unhealthy air:

“Sixty percent of Americans live in areas with unhealthy air pollution levels, despite a growing green movement and more stringent laws aimed at improving air quality, the American Lung Association said in a report released Wednesday”.

Canada Canadians would rather save money than the environment:

Two polls released Wednesday indicated that Canadians might not be as “green” as they think they are.

Separate surveys done for Wal-Mart Canada Corp. and Cascades Tissue Group, a division of Cascades Inc. both said that nearly 70 per cent of Canadians would rather save money than buy environmentally sensitive products if those goods were more expensive than brand name goods.

United States Study Links Air Pollution and Poisoned Seafood:mercury fish

“This unprecedented USGS study is critically important to the health and safety of the American people and our wildlife because it helps us understand the relationship between atmospheric emissions of mercury and concentrations of mercury in marine fish,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.

Scientists have predicted an additional 50 percent increase in mercury in the Pacific Ocean by 2050 if mercury emission rates continue as projected. USGS water sampling shows mercury levels in 2006 were approximately 30 percent higher than those measured in the mid-1990s.

Health Did factory farming cause the swine flu outbreak?factory farming pigs

Epidemiologists have long been aware that the way we raise our animals in large-scale, industrial operations increases the chance of viruses jumping from animals to humans and could be the breeding ground for a future pandemic. The majority of the meat we eat in Canada is raised on large farms where thousands of animals are kept together in close quarters. On an average hog farm in Saskatchewan, there are often more than 20,000 pigs being raised at one time. This kind of large-scale swine farm is common in Mexico too. In these conditions, pathogens spread quickly. “You have a lot of animals—of hosts—in a confined area,” says Silbergeld. “This is a text book situation for driving evolution of bacteria or viruses.” And each time a virus moves from one pig to the next, there is the chance that its genetic make-up will change.

UPDATE: Swine Flu Ancestor Born on U.S. Factory Farms

Of course, it doesn’t matter where the H1N1 strain started. The point is that the next strain could come from Mexico, the US, Canada, or any other country that allows factory farms.

Media Even Though Their Own Scientists Knew They Were Wrong, Fossil Fuel Industries Sowed Doubt on Climate Change Causes:

In the heading I’m linking to, because it’s a better article. However, the money quote goes to Jeremy Jacquot @

This again points to the utter failure of the mainstream media, which, in its overwrought efforts to give both “sides” of the argument a fair shake, legitimized the skeptics’ views and helped sow doubt. Or, as Attytood’s Will Bunch put it: “What’s disturbing (although, again, not all that surprising) is the role that supposed “journalistic ethics” played in spreading this Big Lie, by cluelessly giving these charlatans equal play with the established science on the issue.”

Oprah Shines Light On Floating Trash Island Twice The Size Of Texas:

Currently, scientists believe the world’s largest garbage dump isn’t on land…it’s in the Pacific Ocean. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch stretches from the coast of California to Japan, and it’s estimated to be twice the size of Texas. “This is the most shocking thing I have seen,” Oprah says.

And speaking of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch …

The Great Wave off Kanagawa recreated with plastic garbage:

The Great Wave off Kanagawa recreated with plastic garbage

Photographic artist Chris Jordan never ceases to amaze us with his clever pieces that allow people to “see” concepts that are often difficult to visualize. We submit for your viewing pleasure, his latest work, Gyre. Look familiar? The 8′ x 11′ triptych is based on the famous Japanese painting, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Hokusai. Instead of paint, the colors are composed of 2.4 million pieces of plastic – the estimated number of pounds of plastic that enter the world’s ocean’s every hour! Gyre is the first image in a mini-series that Jordan is creating about the Pacific Garbage Patch, and is named after the Pacific Gyre, a thousand miles wide ocean current which turns clockwise like a giant slow-motion whirlpool and concentrates tons of the world’s trash.

Previous Environmental News:

Glowing Dogs, Poisoned Pets, Egypt’s Swine Flu Panic, Mummified Cat, and Space Chimp Sanctuary

May 1, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

animal friday

South Korea South Korea clones glowing dogs to help cure human diseases:dog glowing red under ultraviolet light

The four dogs, all named “Ruppy” — a combination of the words “ruby” and “puppy” — look like typical beagles by daylight. But they glow red under ultraviolet light, and the dogs’ nails and abdomens, which have thin skins, look red even to the naked eye.

Cuba US State Dept: Cuba poisoning diplomats’ pets:

Cuban officials would often try to create dissention within the ranks of U.S. diplomats on the island according to the report, which was prepared and released by the State Department inspector general.
You Stay Classy Cuba
“Retaliations have ranged from the petty to the poisoning of family pets. The regime has recently gone to great lengths to harass some employees by holding up household goods and consumable shipments. The apparent goal has been to instigate dissension within [U.S. diplomats] ranks.”

Egypt Egypt’s call to kill pigs amid flu scare ridiculed:animated gif of baby panda sneeze

Egypt, which has no swine flu cases, is the only country in the world to order a mass pig slaughter in response to the disease. The move mirrored Egypt’s battle with bird flu, in which the government killed 25 million birds within weeks in 2006.

But international health officials said the swine flu virus that has caused worldwide fear is not transmitted by pigs, and that pig slaughters do nothing to stop its spread. The WHO on Thursday stopped using the term “swine flu” to avoid confusion.

United Kingdom Funeral Director Finds 400-Year-Old Mummified Cat in Wall:spock doesn't agree with your logic
mummified cat
“Apparently 400 years ago people put cats behind walls to ward off witches. It clearly works as, since we have lived in the village, we have not seen sight or sound of any witches.”

I assume that’s a joke.

Florida Florida – Astronauts pay respects to ‘space chimps’:Space Chimps movie poster

On Thursday afternoon, the chimps got a special visit from reporters and camera crews, along with two men who share a unique bond with the animals.

The place was a sanctuary run by Save the Chimps, a nonprofit dedicated to providing a permanent home for chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories, NASA facilities and other sources.

The men were astronauts Scott Carpenter and Bob Crippen, two heroes of the U.S. space program. And the chimpanzees — some of them, anyway — were veterans of early test flights by NASA and the U.S. military.

Previous Interesting (to Moose) News:

Cdn drug safety, Germs Winning in BC’s Hospitals, Obama shafts MJ dispenser, and “institutional racism” in Cdn medicine?

April 28, 2009 at 12:30 am | Posted in Medical, Politics | Leave a comment

Medical Monday

Canada Cut ties between Health Canada, drug companies, grieving MP urges:

United States Democrats Consider Bypassing G.O.P. on Health Care Plan:

Canada Indigenous Physicians Association calls for a review of “institutional racism”:

United States Soft drink makers pit public health advocates against “moderation moms” and “hard-working families”:

“In light of the deaths of three First Nations patients in Manitoba healthcare facilities in the past year, the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada has called for a review of “institutional racism” in medicine across the country”.

Canada Speedy approvals more important to Health Canada than drug safety: report:

“‘I think that there are a lot of well-meaning people within Health Canada who are trying to do a good job. But I think that at the political level, there is not the will to directly confront the drug companies by making changes that would really make a difference,’ Dr. Joel Lexchin, author of the report and a long-time critic of the pharmaceutical industry, said in an interview.”

United States Why are doctors and insurance companies against cancer treatment pills?:

In this NY Times article today, here’s another crazy example of how far behind the US insurance business is with medical treatment. Cancer patients who can be more efficiently treated with pills instead of chemo are refused payment because it’s new. Sure it’s cheaper and easier for patients but some doctors don’t like it because they can’t make commission on pushing chemo. How else are they going to afford their lifestyle if they can’t have a conflict of interest pushing drugs? Patients? Who cares?

British Columbia Germs Winning in BC’s Hospitals:

Since the privatization of cleaning services in B.C.’s hospitals, healthcare workers say they’ve seen a sharp increase in “healthcare-associated infections” — diseases contracted by patients and staff within the hospitals themselves.

The infections are serious: Methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA). Norovirus. Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). Clostridium difficile. Once established in a hospital, they’re tough to get rid of. Established in a patient, they can be fatal.

United States Obama hangs Medical Marijuana dispenser oot to dry:

Last month the federal judge in the trial of Charlie Lynch, who was convicted of running a medical marijuana dispensary that was in full compliance with state and local law, asked the DOJ to weigh in before he sentenced Lynch. I said at the time that it sounded like the judge was looking for a little political cover to give Lynch a particularly light sentence. Unfortunately, the Obama DOJ has decided to let Lynch go down in flames.

The response brief they filed to the court’s inquiries is an appalling document. Not only do they not think Lynch should get a light sentence, they proclaim that his conviction is entirely in line with the new administration’s policy on medical marijuana:

Previous Medical News:

Children’s Development, Antioxidants, Probiotics, Ebolavirus, Hand Exercises, and Smoke stimulates Male Sympathetic Nervous System

April 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Medical | 4 Comments

Medical Monday

Russia Russian doctors find five inch TREE growing in man’s lung:

Tech Fertility expert: ‘I can clone a human being’:

“Controversial doctor filmed creating embryos before injecting them into wombs of women wanting cloned babies”

United States What Makes Us Human?:

“Comparisons of the genomes of humans and chimpanzees are revealing those rare stretches of DNA that are ours alone”.

United States Are Very Young Children Stuck in the Perpetual Present?:

Canada United States Do Parents Matter?:

In 1998 Judith Rich Harris, an independent researcher and textbook author, published The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out The Way They Do. The book provocatively argued that parents matter much less, at least when it comes to determining the behavior of their children, than is typically assumed. Instead, Harris argued that a child’s peer group is far more important. The Nurture Assumption has recently been reissued in an expanded and revised form. Mind Matters editor Jonah Lehrer chats with Harris about her critics, the evolution of her ideas and why teachers can be more important than parents.

South Korea Antioxidant Found In Berries Prevents UV Skin Damage That Leads To Wrinkles:andioxidant neutalizing a free radical

Using a topical application of the antioxidant ellagic acid, researchers at Hallym University in the Republic of Korea markedly prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory response – major causes of wrinkles — in both human skin cells and the sensitive skin of hairless mice following continuing exposure to UV-B, the sun’s skin-damaging ultraviolet radioactive rays.

Health Probiotics: What are they and what are their benefits?:cartoon stomach

Why do we need bacteria? As I mentioned in a previous column, our digestive systems contain many bacteria, enzymes, and chemicals that break down our food and allow our digestive systems to extract the necessary nutrients. If we are ill or are taking certain medication, these helpful bacteria can be greatly reduced, resulting in stomach and bowel problems, which then lead to other unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea. These symptoms can be aggravated by travelling, jet lag, fatigue, and a strange diet.

In a normal healthy adult with a balanced diet, these bacteria maintain equilibrium in your digestive system, but if things get upset by the ways mentioned above, you may need some assistance to get your intestines functioning again.

world Keeping slim is good for the planet, say scientists:graphic of fat Australia

In nearly every country in the world, average body mass index (BMI) is rising. Between 1994 and 2004 the average male BMI in England increased from 26 to 27.3, with the average female BMI rising from 25.8 to 26.9 (about 3 kg – or half a stone – heavier). Humankind – be it Australian, Argentinian, Belgian or Canadian – is getting steadily fatter.

‘When it comes to food consumption, moving about in a heavy body is like driving around in a gas guzzler’, say the authors. ‘The heavier our bodies become the harder and more unpleasant it is to move about in them and the more dependent we become on our cars. Staying slim is good for health and for the environment. We need to be doing a lot more to reverse the global trend towards fatness, and recognise it as a key factor in the battle to reduce emissions and slow climate change’, they conclude.

Kentucky Kentucky – Smoke Shifts Male Cardiovascular System Into Overdrive:Disney's Goofy smoking several cigarettes at once

The study found that, particularly among men, exposure to smoke changed breathing patterns, raised blood pressure oscillations in peripheral arteries and shifted control of heart rate toward sympathetic domination. The sympathetic nervous system becomes active during times of stress, but can cause harm to the heart and blood vessels if activated too often or too long.

Women did not have a strong sympathetic response to the pollutants, a healthier response in the face of frequent exposure. That men would respond differently is not a surprise: women tend to have stronger parasympathetic responses, which are more protective of the cardiovascular system.

United States New Ebolavirus Vaccine Protects Against Lethal Infection in Animal Models:biohazrd sign

Ebolaviruses (EBOVs), the cause of severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates, are transmitted through direct contact of bodily fluids with infected individuals resulting in death up to 90% of the time. Due to its high pathogenicity and its ability to spread by aerosol droplets, EBOV and its sister virus, Marburgvirus, are classified as category A bioterrorism threats. Currently, no licensed vaccines or antivirals are available against EBOV.

Tech the Hand Fitness Trainer to combat arthritis:hand fitness trainer

The Hand Fitness Trainer works on the opposing muscles of those we generally overuse. The Trainer provides greater muscle balance which leads to less strain and greater flexibility. It is advised for those with carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, tendonitis, or those who just want to take proactive measures to defend against these conditions and osteoarthritis.

And speaking of hand anatomy …

United States Anatomical drawing on a cast:

Thanks for the tip off

And if you like that, maybe you will also be amused by ….

Anaomical Bedsheets:

anatomical bedsheets

Thanks for the tip off Neatorama

Previous Medical News:

Swine Flu Outbreak

April 27, 2009 at 6:40 pm | Posted in Medical | 1 Comment

Medical Monday

World Swine Flu cases on Google Maps:

H1N1 Swine Flu
H1N1 Swine flu in 2009
Pink markers are suspect
Purple markers are confirmed or probable
Deaths lack a dot in marker
Yellow markers are negative

Mexico At least 71 deaths in Mexico ‘likely linked’ to swine flu outbreak:two people kissing while wearing surgical masks

Officials in Mexico are asking citizens to take actions in order to minimize the spread of the swine flu outbreak. Citizens are urged to stay away from large crowds, avoid kissing people and stay at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from one another. Additionally, all schools and universities in Mexico City have been closed indefinitely. In addition, at least twenty people in the United States have been infected with the disease, causing the government to issue a “national public health emergency.”

Mexico Mexico shuts down schools, museums in capital after flu deaths:

“Authorities also advised capital residents not to go to work if they felt ill, and to wear surgical masks if they had to move through crowds. A wider shutdown – perhaps including shutting down government offices – was being considered”.

Manitoba Winnipeg lab working on Vaccine:

With the mysterious disease that initially cropped up in Mexico spreading to Canada, teams of scientists from the Winnipeg-based National Microbiology Lab have started work on a vaccine to protect against H1N1 swine flu and are investigating whether the existing flu shot could offer any protection from the virus.

Mexico WHO raises swine flu pandemic alert level to 4, urges against travel bans:people wearing surgical masks on Mexico subway

The World Health Organization said Monday it still does not characterize a swine flu pandemic as inevitable, but raised its pandemic alert level to signal the increasing severity of the situation.

It also urged countries not to close borders or impose travel bans, saying such measures would be unlikely to stop spread of the virus and would cause economic harm.

But a number of countries had already taken actions, urging their citizens to avoid non-essential travel to places in the world where infections have been found. Canada, one of the affected countries, signalled it would warn Canadians against non-essential travel to Mexico, the country hardest hit by the swine flu outbreak.

United States Swine Flu in the States:

“NYC health authorities say at least eight cases of flu in Queens are probably swine flu (they eliminated types A and B) and two cases were confirmed today in Kansas City”.

United States US declares public health emergency over spread of swine flu:

Secretary Napolitano urged residents not to panic saying that the government is issuing a “declaration of emergency preparedness.” Secretary Napolitano added, “Really that’s what we’re doing right now. We’re preparing in an environment where we really don’t know ultimately what the size of seriousness of this outbreak is going to be.”

John Brennan, a Homeland Security assistant, added that “at this point, a top priority is to ensure that communication is robust and that medical surveillance efforts are fully activated.”

World World governments race to contain outbreak:a family wearing surgical masks on the bus

In Mexico, the outbreak’s epicenter, soldiers handed out 6 million face masks to help stop the spread of the novel virus that is suspected in up to 103 deaths. Most other countries are reporting only mild cases so far, with most of the sick already recovering. Cases have been confirmed in Canada _ six _ and the U.S. _ 20 _ and other countries from Spain to New Zealand were investigating whether other people with flulike symptoms really have this new swine flu or something else.

World Watch: “there were 40 confirmed cases in the United States while Spain confirmed one and Scotland two. New Zealand, France and Israel announced they were monitoring suspected cases in their respective countries”.

British Columbia B.C. swine flu cases ‘mild’: MD:

Two separate cases of swine flu have been discovered in the Lower Mainland, doctors at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) confirmed yesterday.

The infected individuals, both men in their late 20s, contracted the virus in Mexico.

They exhibited “mild” flu-like symptoms, said Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an epidemiologist with the BCCDC. Neither required hospitalization and both have since recovered.

“It’s reassuring that this swine influenza virus does not automatically mean hospitalization and death,” said Skowronski, who tried to assuage fears of a swine-flu pandemic.

Canada India, Malaysia issue travel warnings to Canada over swine flu:

Canada has confirmed six cases of human swine flu virus, two in British Columbia and four in Nova Scotia. Health officials said the six, which included some who had recently visited Mexico, had relatively mild symptoms of the H1N1 swine flu virus and have recovered.

Medical authorities in Ontario are investigating a number of cases of suspected swine flu and expect to have results sometime in the next two days.

Previous Medical News:

Christian Strip Club Manager, Cdn beliefs aboot Religion, Infiltrating Liberty U., Pirates RRRRR saving the world, and Scotland’s Jedi Police Officers

April 26, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

Sunday Religion Roundup

Jesus on a Kit Kat:

inside of Kit Kat looks like Jesus' face

Canada New Website on Religious Right in Canadian Politics:

United States CIA Tortured Terrorists To *Help* Them, With Their Religion:

Scotland Church of Scotland’s official magazine criticises those who use the Bible as excuse for homophobia:

United Kingdom Devout Christian Virgin lands lap dancing club job:
Two antlers up
“The 26-year-old believes his £35,000-a-year salary at Secrets in central London will help him provide for a family one day.”

Assuming that this story is true, Moose is giving Dave Dragas 2 ANTLERS UP!

It seems to Moose that Dave is just practicing his beliefs and not trying to push them on others.

Canada Macleans “disturbing new poll” :sign says Behead Those That Insult Islam

This “disturbing new poll” basically reveals that… millions of Canadians think exactly like I do, just as they have for generations, and still do outside places like Toronto and Vancouver.

For example, here are some of the “disturbing” findings:
* 45% believe that mainstream Islam encourages violence. Oddly enough! Not sure where folks get that idea… * 26% believe Sikhism encourages violence. I think that’s pretty low, considering all male Sikhs claim it is their religious duty to carry knives. Oh, and then there’s this… * 62% think “laws and norms should NOT be modified to accommodate minorities.”

Rhode Island Student Infiltrates Christian University To Write Book:

Kevin Roose managed to blend in during his single semester at Liberty University, attending lectures on the myth of evolution and the sin of homosexuality, and joining fellow students on a mission trip to evangelize partyers on spring break.

Roose had transferred to the Virginia campus from Brown University in Providence, a famously liberal member of the Ivy League. His Liberty classmates knew about the switch, but he kept something more important hidden: He planned to write a book about his experience at the school founded by fundamentalist preacher Jerry Falwell.


Pirates Arrr Saving The World, according to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

FSM car logoadaptation of The Creation of Adam with the FSM

Pam Fleming with light saberScotland Force is strong for Jedi police:

“Eight police officers serving with Scotland’s largest force listed their official religion as Jedi in voluntary diversity forms, it has emerged”.

About 390,000 people listed their religion as Jedi in the 2001 Census for England and Wales. In Scotland the figure was a reported 14,000.

The Office for National Statistics did not recognise it as a separate category, and incorporated followers of Jedi with atheists.

Last year, brothers Barney and Daniel Jones founded the UK Church of the Jedi – which offered sermons on the Force, light sabre training, and meditation techniques.

According to Pam Fleming, the first Jedi police officer to admit she is a devotee of the Star Wars-inspired religion, “Being a Jedi is a way of life. The faith is not divisive. It does not matter what your race, faith or sexual orientation is – you can be one. It is all encompassing”.

Previous Politics:

« Previous PageNext Page »

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.