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 […]
Read time: 4 mins
In 2016, retired Princeton physicist Professor Will Happer accepted an invitation from conspiracy theorist G. Edward Griffin to give a keynote at his conference to talk about the “positive effects of CO2.”
Griffin thinks the science behind global warming is a scam. He also thinks there is “no such thing” as the HIV virus and that some plane contrails are part of a political plot to spray the population with poisons.
In an interview at the conference, Happer repeated his well-oiled mantra that “CO2 will be good for the Earth” and how it was “pretty clear we are not going to see dangerous climate change.”
Under normal circumstances, you might think that Happer’s association with a notorious anti-science conspiracy theorist might not look good on your résumè for a government science committee. However, these are not normal times.
Swirling seas of milky white twist and twirl like strange and distant galaxies in the far corners of outer space. As you grab a rushed coffee break in the chatty workplace cafeteria or cutlery-clinking dining hall, just stare deeply into your chipped ceramic telescope and enjoy the two-second escape from reality to watch those floating […]
“You tiny-brain—and I hope this gets picked up, because you’re a moron! I tried to give you a hearing, but you were too fucking annoying.”
Their “Bleed for the Throne” blood drive is kicking off with an immersive experience at SXSW.
Scheer spoke at the same rally as Faith Goldy, the notorious white nationalist. Anti-hate activists say the United We Roll campaign has been plagued by racist messages.
“Everyone was like, ‘What happened down there?’ and I was like, ‘I really don’t know, man. I got the ranch though.'”
With his company Rare Drank, this “soft drink dealer” sells high-priced Quebec cream soda to lean dealers and American rappers.
Both were prescient 20 years ago, but couldn’t predict how terrible things would get.
We met members of Extinction Rebellion to talk about their plans to save the world.
Here are the odds on who those defectors might be.
The Netflix original show, starring and co-created by Natasha Lyonne, speaks to the power of bonding with others.
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Read time: 11 mins
Fossil fuel companies have a long history of adopting public relations strategies straight from the tobacco industry’s playbook. But a new analysis shows the two industries’ relationship goes much deeper — right down to funding the same organisations to do their dirty work.
MIT Associate Professor David Hsu analyzed organisations in DeSmog’s disinformation database and the Guardian’s tobacco database and found 35 thinktanks based in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand that promote both the tobacco and fossil fuel industries’ interests.
Belly buttons means business, buddy. Yes, your innie or outtie is where heaping truckfuls of DNA were dumped into your ittie bittie body when you were a cute little negative-year-old. And of course, as a special thank-you present from those few fetal months of dump-truck deliciousness, you get a lifelong tummy scar that occasionally gets […]
The post #564 Fishing a giant piece of lint out of your belly button appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 6 mins
Sparks flew at a New Orleans City Council’s utility committee meeting on Valentine’s Day, compelling the committee to delay voting on a resolution that would scrap plans to rescind the permit for Entergy’s proposed $210 million natural gas power plant in exchange for a $5 million fine.
The contentious permit was awarded to Entergy, which provides power to the city, on March 18, 2018, but the city council’s third-party investigation of Entergy found the allegations that the company took part in an astroturf campaign to influence the vote for its proposed New Orleans East gas plant to be true. The investigation concluded that the company was responsible for hiring paid actors, who were wearing t-shirts supporting the plant, to fill council chambers and speak in support of the project.
Halifax, NS – Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, will deliver remarks to supporters at a donor appreciation event in Halifax on February 20, 2019. The Liberal Party of Canada has committed to the strongest standards in federal politics for openness and transparency with political fundraising events, and is challenging other parties […]
Was inside the Jian Hing market at Markham and Lawrence on Family Day, looking for Filipino Pork Rinds. They have about 40 different varieties at Jian Hing. I’m not kidding, there’s a whole aisle devoted to nothing but. Fil…
Last week saw the publication of a new study in the BJSM entitled (highlighting mine), “Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT)“. Understandably intrigued given a prominent medical journal was suggesting there was a magic bullet for fat loss, I clicked through, and then reading the piece I learned that the amount of fat lost that the BJSM was calling a “magic bullet” was a 1 pound difference, one which the study’s abstract’s conclusion described as, “a 28.5% greater reductions in total absolute fat mass (kg)”. Duly surprised, I then took to Twitter to poke around and found that one of the study’s authors, James Steele, was tweeting out a corrective thread to his own study’s hype – hype which understandably and predictably led to an onslaught of media overreach. Intrigued, I approached him directly to ask about the discordance in tone between his tweets and his study’s title and conclusion, and he sent me such a thorough and thoughtful response (explaining how it was the BJSM’s editor who’d changed both), that I asked him if he’d mind my sharing his thoughts here as a guest post. Suffice to say, in my opinion, medical journals and their editors shouldn’t be in the business of clickbait hype, as it diminishes themselves, research, and furthers societal scientific illiteracy by suggesting that such things as “magic bullets” for weight or fat loss can conceivably exist.
I was first slightly concerned that the findings would be overhyped and potentially misrepresented when I saw the press release that was sent to the media. I was forwarded various requests by our institutions news team and saw the wording of the first line of which was
“Short bursts of high intensity exercise are better for weight loss than longer sessions in the gym, research suggests.”
My colleague James Fisher noted to me that he also thought the press release didn’t reflect the findings accurately and wondered whether the title change resulted in the perception of a different finding.
The original title in our submission to the journal was
“Comparing the effects of interval training versus moderate-intensity continuous training on body adiposity: is it possible to find a signal in the noise? A systematic review and meta-analysis“
which was chosen as an homage to Nate Silvers’ book and the use of meta-analysis to find the ‘signal’ from among the ‘noise’ of conflicting findings in smaller studies The paper underwent peer review as normal and we made changes suggested by the reviewers to improve the manuscript; but, none of the reviewers commented on the title if I recall. After the reviewers were happy with the paper and had no further changes they wanted we received a recommendation that it be published, but with minor revisions which were suggested by the editor. Most of the revisions suggested where helpful as they seemed to be aimed at improving readability of the manuscript. However, it was also suggested that the title was changed, as well as the addition of the percentage difference to the conclusion of the abstract. This was suggested to be intended to attract more attention to the article, make it seem more compelling, and ensure recognition was received for the work. I didn’t particularly like the newly suggested title, nor did some of my co-authors, but it was not strictly saying that anything ‘was’ a ‘magic bullet’ and so I did not push the issue. I must confess I did not at the time notice the seemingly minor change to the abstract conclusion though. I personally dislike the presentation of % values in this manner as to me they are often misleading and detract from whether the absolute values are really meaningful or not (a big problem in sport and exercise IMO wherein a lot of studies make interventions seem better than they are by reporting % values). The value is not inaccurate, but it does lead the less wary reader to potentially draw the wrong conclusions.
I did suspect that the changes were suggested because the paper would likely be selected for a press release which turned out to be correct. I’m glad the paper got some wide coverage, but wanted to make sure it was covered in a nuanced manner. So I tweeted a little thread to try and provide some balance and when I was interviewed about it on BBC World Service I also made sure to provide as balanced a commentary as I could in the time permitted.
It doesn’t surprise me that the media initially interpreted things to be saying that ‘HIIT’ (high-intensity interval training) was better than ‘MOD’ (moderate-intensity continuous training) for fat loss without considering all the nuance… that’s just how it goes sadly. I also can empathize with the journal and publisher in wanting to try and increase the reach of the work that they publish. To my mind if we can widen the reach of good science, and raise appreciation of its importance, then that’s a good thing. This is something I’d like to be able to do more of. But, though this is good in principle, in execution it proves to be difficult. It’s tough to get the nuance across because science is hard and most people aren’t really able to understand it. I guess it’s part of the media cycle though. The wider media wants ‘stories’ and just regular boring old science doesn’t make for a good story. So to get the wider media’s attention journals and academic publishers need to try and make things seem more exciting. In that process though nuance gets lost. However, I can’t think of any other way to communicate science more widely at the moment. I guess what we need to ensure is that, once the media get hold of a story and want to run it, the actual scientists themselves are the ones they speak to and interview so they end up with a platform and captive audience to explain the nuance and implications in an understandable manner. At least, that’s what I’ve tried to do and hope I achieved.
I think if I was able to ‘do over’ this example specifically then I would have likely pushed back more on the issues. I would like to have kept the original title and would have argued for this position as I suspect my co-authors likely would have too. I definitely would have pushed back on the change to the abstract conclusion and will be more vigilant to these issues in future. In likelihood this might have meant the paper would have been less ‘impactful’ as a story for the media. But it would have meant that the paper itself didn’t contribute to any potentially misleading publicity. The publisher could have still put out the press release as they desired… Can’t stop them from doing that. But at least the paper would have better reflected what we found in full. I think I would advise authors who face similar situations to make sure they think and have a conversation about this. We all want our work to reach the widest audience to hopefully have the biggest impact possible. But we don’t in the process want it to distort in terms of its message. Make sure to discuss it with your co-authors and the journal/publisher and find the right balance so that scientific integrity is retained, whilst reach is maximized. It’s tough to do, but worth striving for IMO.
Dr James Steele is the Principal Investigator at the ukactive Research Institute, and Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Science at Solent University. James completed his BSc (Hons) in Applied Sport Science in 2010, and hid PhD examining the role of lumbar extensor resistance training in chronic low back pain in 2014. He has extensive experience of research and applied consultancy in the area of physical activity, exercise, and sport from over the past decade, working with a wide range of populations ranging from elite athletes across a range of sports, to the general population across the lifespan, and both those who are healthy and diseased. James has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and delivered several invited talks at international conferences on a variety of areas relating to sport, strength and conditioning, physical activity and exercise, health and fitness. He was appointed to the Expert Working Group revising the Chief Medical Officers Physical Activity Guidelines for the UK and is a Founding Member of the Strength and Conditioning Society, as well as the Society for Transparency, Openness, and Replication in Kinesiology, and member of both the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences and the American College of Sports Medicine.
Ricotta cavatelli with venison neck ragu. (Photo: Jody Shapiro)
Step aside, bland chicken breasts. See you later, ho-hum pork chops. Au revoir, flavourless beef patties. Wild game is cropping up on menus across the country, and chefs like Michael Hunter, owner of Antler Kitchen & Bar on Dundas West in Toronto, are at the forefront of the movement, introducing diners to the delicious flavours of wild boar, duck and even squirrel. Here are some of Hunter’s favourite recipes to get you aquainted with wild game — bon appétit.
We’re all gonna get lumps. We’re all gonna get bumps. Nobody can predict the future but we do know one thing about it: It ain’t gonna go according to plan. Yes, we’ll all have massive highs, big days, and proud moments. Color faded, postcard-streaked blurs will float and flash through our brains on our deathbeds, […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]