Almost 7 years ago, while going through some personal issues, I made a terrible mistake and ended up being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of California. It was a dark period in my life, but I have moved on and learned my lesson. This spring, however, my intoxicated driving conviction […]
Intendente is one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Lisbon. But far away from the tourists, another reality exists.
Despite the drug lord’s take down, the narco-trade in Sinaloa is thriving as producers shift from heroin to deadly opioids.
Activists are pissed.
In Dunblane – the town that saw the last mass shooting in British history – survivors and those who lost loved ones grapple with its legacy.
Read time: 6 mins
Congressional Democrats have introduced a “Green New Deal” proposal that calls for a 10-year national mobilization to curb climate change by shifting the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels. Many progressives support this idea, while skeptics argue that a decade is not long enough to remake our nation’s energy system.
The closest analog to this effort occurred in 2009, when President Obama and Congress worked together to combat a severe economic recession by passing a massive economic stimulus plan. Among its many provisions, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided US$90 billion to promote clean energy. The bil’s clean energy package, which was dubbed the “biggest energy bill in history,” laid the foundation for dramatic changes to the energy system over the last 10 years.
My friend Chris died a few years ago. He quietly suffered from mental illness for a long time but took great care to ensure everybody around him felt good, felt happy, and never worried about him. Most people didn’t know because his first concern was always how you were feeling, not him. I spoke to […]
At least one of the two men police detained in connection with the case reportedly worked on ‘Empire.’
Read time: 4 mins
Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.
Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.
Ross Andersen, in The Atlantic, on the feelings of animals.
Ranjana Srivastava, in The Guardian, on her patient who chose essential oils over chemoterapy.
Christie Aschwanden, in Five Thirty Eight, on how and why you don’t need sports drink to stay hydrated.
And there’s no easy fix in sight.
It’s another step down a road that could lead to the end of American democracy.
Read time: 4 mins
This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.
Although pipelines have been facing a number of setbacks recently, pro-pipeline groups aren’t giving up. One of those is Grow America’s Infrastructure Now (GAIN), which came to our attention because it’s recently begun sponsoring the Washington Examiner’s daily energy newsletter.
GAIN’s website simply describes the group as supporting strengthening infrastructure development and only mentions pipelines as one aspect of its focus, which also includes bridges, roads, etc. But the group’s blog, Twitter, and coverage in the media are pretty exclusively dedicated to pro-pipeline messaging. Hmmm, almost like it isn’t an all-around infrastructure group, and perhaps may have some ulterior motive …
E-cigarette flavouring chemicals may damage lung tissue
Connecting the dots in evolution: a unique experiment in Nebraska
Pumping breast milk depletes the milk microbiome
A new needle pill is out to replace insulin pens, but without the pain
Cataclysmic events have shaped our world and our universe
Animals like dogs and cats certainly suffer from dementia.
The sun rises over the St. Lawrence river, casting an apricot glow on the church of Château-Richer, Quebec. (Photo: Rene Bourque/Can Geo Photo Club)
It’s been a long winter. Ottawa became the coldest capital in the world last month, while a cold wave swept through Alberta before winter had barely even begun. And earlier this week, a rare heavy snowfall brought Vancouver to a standstill (although the rest of B.C. would like it to be known that they know what snow is).
The Flag Committee (left) began its deliberations with a sense of historical mission and in a spirit of cooperation. It wouldn’t last. Nevertheless, on Feb. 15, 1965, Canada had a new national flag to raise (right) at a celebration in front of Parliament’s Centre Block. (Left: Queen’s University Archives, John Matheson Fonds, Locator #2131; right: Duncan Cameron/Duncan Cameron/PA-168019, Library and Archives Canada)
They started with some 5,900 design submissions, but when Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson’s flag committee handed the controversial red maple leaf on white with red bars to Parliament for consideration in late 1964, the symbol and colours on the prospective flag were no new invention.
Yes, I know the medical report released on him yesterday stated that Trump’s weight gives him a BMI of 34 and that 30 (for better or for worse – that’s a whole other post) is where medicine defines the threshold of obesity. And yes, I know that the media consequently published piles of stories about him being obese, not to mention the many comments on social media.
But here’s the thing. You can’t “be” your chronic disease.
Chronic diseases are things people have, not who they are.
If you find this confusing, consider this – people have cancer, they aren’t cancerous.
People first language puts people first, it doesn’t define them by their medical conditions.
So yes, President Trump can be a racist, antisemitic, xenophobic, man-child with obesity, but not a racist, antisemitic, xenophobic, man-child who is obese.
My world was spinning in 2008. After finishing school in Boston and going on a cross-country road trip with my friends Chris and Ty, I moved to a dusty suburb to live with my brand new wife in my brand new life. Yes, we got married young, we got married quick, and after living on […]
The post #567 Getting to the light at the end of a dark tunnel appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 4 mins
A North Dakota federal judge dismissed Energy Transfer’s racketeering lawsuit against Greenpeace and all its co-defendants in a sharply worded ruling issued today, finding that the pipeline builder’s allegations fell “far short of what is necessary to establish a [racketeering] claim.”
In August 2017, Energy Transfer filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act civil complaint against Greenpeace and other environmental groups who had opposed the company’s Dakota Access pipeline, claiming that the protests had caused $300 million in damages (and requesting three times that amount from the defendants).
Today’s ruling flatly rejected Energy Transfer’s claims.
Read time: 7 mins
Led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, they are calling for massive investments in renewable energy and other measures over a decade that would greatly reduce or even end the nation’s overwhelming reliance on fossil fuels.
As experts in environmental geography, sociology, and sustainability science and policy, we wholeheartedly support this effort. And, as we explained in a recently published study, climate change is not the only reason to ditch fossil fuels.
Canadian ultrarunner and RCGS Explorer-in-Residence Ray Zahab is departing on his latest expedition, a winter traverse of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. (Photo: Ray Zahab)
Ray Zahab is not one for staying still.
An Explorer-in-Residence of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Zahab has crossed almost every desert on the planet and in 2009 broke the world record for the fastest unsupported trek to the South Pole. Now, the ultra distance runner and founder of the nonprofit impossible2Possible has set his sights on the Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia.
My mom was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1950. Growing up the youngest of eight kids in a small house off the downtown core, she was quiet, shy, and always the baby. Her three older brothers received the bulk of the family’s praise, attention, and money for education, while the girls were taught to sweep […]
Read time: 7 mins
A new report makes the case that the fossil fuel industry prefers geoengineering as an approach for addressing climate change because it allows the industry to keep arguing for continued fossil fuel use.
In Fuel to the Fire: How Geoengineering Threatens to Entrench Fossil Fuels and Accelerate the Climate Crisis, the Center for International Environmental Law (CEIL) warns that geoengineering, which includes technologies to remove huge amounts of carbon dioxide and to shoot particles into the atmosphere to block sunlight, potentially offers more of a problem for the climate than a solution.
Read time: 7 mins
As part of an ongoing health evaluation of a proposed and contested Boston metro area gas compressor station, the energy distribution company Enbridge shared with the State of Massachusetts materials from dubious and controversial sources. As documents obtained by DeSmog reveal, these include studies by a climate change denier and an official associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Koch brothers-backed group working to undermine environmental regulations.
Waves crash along the coast during a winter storm in the Tofino region. (Photo: Mark Hobson/Wickaninnish Inn)
Randy Mercer recalls one winter day in 2016 in particular. A storm was raging, waves were piling onto Wickaninnish Beach and massive drift logs were floating around and being tossed back up onto the narrow strip of land — one of the most accessible beaches in west Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. All the while, the paths onto the beach were like revolving doors for storm watchers. “I was out there just trying to wrangle people and keep them in the safe zones,” says Mercer, a Parks Canada visitor safety technician.
The current greenhouse at the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Teaching and Working Farm, near Dawson City, Yukon. The farm won $500,000 to build a new, cold-climate greenhouse that can produce food even in the coldest months. (Photo: Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Farm)
Traditional Inuit practices for early childhood education in seven Nunavut communities; a land-based science education program for Nunavik youth; a cold-climate greenhouse to grow fresh produce and other food staples in the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in ttraditional territory and Settlement Lands; an association of Northern Indigenous artists and crafters; and a studio that teaches young Northerners welding skills, allowing them to express themselves through art.
A canoe seems to hover, weightless, on the morning fog at a B.C. lake. A day of rain reveals a perfect reflection of an Edmonton landmark. A house fly alights on a rain-streaked window. The winning images in Canadian Geographic’s 33rd Annual Photo Competition attest to the power of photography to highlight the beauty in the quotidian. All it takes is the skill, patience and imagination of the photographer.
Howdy, y’all. This time, eight years back, The Book of Awesome was first made available for pre-order. It meant so much to me and I wanted to share my stories and my excitement with my readers over the course of a week’s posts. This is post one of five in the series. Now, part of […]
Read time: 8 mins
The only way to have a rail accident that is “eerily similar” to the Lac-Mégantic oil train disaster that killed 47 people and wiped out the small Quebec downtown is if a massive regulatory failure did not address the causes of that 2013 tragedy.
Which is exactly what has happened. And is why a fatal train accident on February 4 in Field, British Columbia, was dubbed “eerily similar” to the one in Lac-Mégantic by Garland Chow, a professor and transportation expert at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.
[Disclosure, the lead author, Kevin Hall, is a friend of mine and we co-authored a paper together in the past]
A huge deal pre-print paper was published yesterday, “Ultra-processed diets cause excess calorie intake and weight gain: A one-month inpatient randomized controlled trial of ad libitum food intake” that, if its results are replicable and shown to persist over longer time frames, might well explain the rapidly rising weights of the world.
While it has been shown that as food supplies become more industrialized (also referred to as Westernized), weights rise, the reasons why remained unclear. Many have tried to explain away the gains as shifts in the macronutrient composition of a society’s diet and depending on the era (or the guru), have pointedly vilified dietary fat, dietary carbohydrates, animal protein, lectins, grains, sugar, and more. Some have done so in part on the basis that when their dietary demon of choice is removed from their adherents’ diets, they are seen to lose weight, often even in the absence of tracking calories or anything else for that matter. But common to most of those diets and anecdotes, is their necessitation of forgoing our ultra-processed world and in its place bringing in a great deal more cooking and meal preparation.
Before we get to Kevin’s study, here’s a basic definition of ultra-processed foods
“formulations mostly of cheap industrial sources of dietary energy and nutrients plus additives, using a series of processes”
If you’re interested, you can read more about them here. But for the sake of this study, think of them as the boxes and jars of ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat foods.
So what did Kevin and his colleagues do?
They admitted 10 male and 10 female weight stable adults as inpatients to the Metabolic Clinical Research Unit at the NIH where they lived for 28 days. They were randomly assigned to either the ultra-processed or unprocessed diet for 2 weeks at which point they crossed over to the other diet for two weeks.
During each diet arm, participants were offered 3 daily meals and they were instructed to eat as much or as little of them as they wanted. Menus were designed to be matched for total calories, energy density, macronutrients, fibre, sugar, and sodium, but differed in the percentage of calories coming from ultra-processed sources.
And the results?
When consuming ultra-processed food diets people ate on average 508 more calories per day. That’s roughly a meal worth. That’s huge!
And not surprisingly given this finding, people gained weight on the ultra-processed diet (1.7lbs in just 2 weeks) and lost weight on the flip side (2.4lbs in just 2 weeks).
And there was another surprise. Participants didn’t rate the ultra-processed foods as being more pleasant or familiar – meaning the results don’t appear to have been a reflection of the ultra-processed menu simply being more delicious.
As to what’s going on?
People ate ultra-processed foods faster and this may explain part of the increased caloric consumption, but the bigger possibility according to the authors might be protein. People also ate less protein from the ultra-processed diets something that Kevin believes might help to explain up to 50% of the increased caloric intake by way of something called the protein leverage hypothesis which suggests our bodies attempt to maintain a constant protein intake, and so people consuming less protein from ultra-processed foods may be eating more of them to try to maintain some predetermined physiologically-desired/governed protein intake.
Now this is just a very brief overview, and there will undoubtedly be deeper dives into this including in regard to the various metabolic parameters measured (including hunger hormones and peptides), but given how significant the findings appear to be, I thought I ought to whip something up quickly and the calorie piece is by far the most striking and most important in the context of it being a unifying smoking gun for global weight gain.
It’s also worth noting, and Kevin did so on Twitter and in the paper itself, while the results of this study definitely suggest that markedly reducing or eliminating ultra-processed foods in our diets may well help with our weights, that doing so requires a great deal of privilege, time, skill, and expense. The good news though is that there are ample levers in our food environment that would be ripe for reform that would have nothing to do with the usual lenses of blaming and shaming. From improved school foods and school food policies that reduce ultra-processed offerings, to bolstering the case for bringing back home economics, to furthering the calls to ban junk food marketing to children (and adults), to changing food culture such that ultra-processed foods aren’t the cornerstone of every event no matter how small, to pushing ultra-processed junk food out of sport and sport sponsorships, to putting an end to ultra-processed junk food fund raising, to institutional and corporate cafeterias offering reforms, to strengthening front of package labeling reforms by perhaps not permitting front of package claims on ultra-processed foods (or adding warnings), and more.
Even more good news is that a focus on ultra-processed food as a whole, especially one coming from a place of causality, is a focus that pretty much every diet cult can get firmly behind.
Thanks for the tight squeeze before you hit the road. We’ll miss you too. Later, baby. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Follow me on Instagram —
The post #570 When a little baby gives you a hug and kiss before it leaves appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 9 mins
Plans for a pipeline network to export petrochemical ingredients from fracked gas wells in Pennsylvania hit a major roadblock, as state environmental regulators announced Friday that they were suspending all permit reviews for pipeline builder Energy Transfer until further notice.
“There has been a failure by Energy Transfer and its subsidiaries to respect our laws and our communities,” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who has supported fracking in the state, said in a statement when the suspension was announced. “This is not how we strive to do business in Pennsylvania, and it will not be tolerated.”