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 […]
My mother was single, addicted to heroin, and – at least to me – the best mum in the world.
‘SNL’ seemed to take a cue from ‘Black Mirror’ this week.
This was first published in September 2016 in US News and World Report.
I was sitting and chatting with a journalist this past weekend. She’s hearteningly passionate about her work, and hers is a health beat. She wanted to know how she and the media as a whole might do better at helping the public adopt healthy habits in the name of improving obesity and other chronic diet and lifestyle responsive diseases.
I think my answer may have surprised her. “Not that there aren’t ways the media could improve upon their reporting,” I said, “but I’m not sure it really matters in that the folks who both read about healthy living and have lives that are appropriately and realistically conducive to change are an incredibly privileged and small subset of the population.“
Spelling that out more succinctly here, personal responsibility-based healthy living efforts require privileges that the vast majority of people don’t possess.
First, there’s the privilege of time. Yes, we all share the same 24 hours a day, but there’s little doubt that for some, the time required to intentionally exercise, shop for fresh, whole ingredients, prep foods and cook rightly play second fiddle to working long enough hours to pay for their and their family’s necessities. There’s also the time involved in caregiving responsibilities, which could include looking after children with special needs, aged parents or an ill spouse.
Second, there’s the privilege of personal health. People with disabilities, chronic pain, severe fatigue and other conditions may find purposeful behaviour change to be literally too difficult or figuratively too low a priority, given their day-to-day pain and challenges. That latter bit brings us to the most commonly overlooked privilege: the privilege of life being settled enough to even consider personal responsibility-based healthy lifestyle change.
Even if a person has the time and personal health to allow a run at intentional behavior change, how high on the list of priorities do you think healthy living lies for someone whose children struggle with substance abuse, or whose debts are staggering, or whose spouse is hobbled with post-traumatic stress disorder? Or someone with any of those same issues who is also unemployed?
Working in Canada where health care is socialized and so too are the bulk of my office’s programs, I have the fortune of being able to work with people from every socioeconomic strata, and I can tell you that though everyone possesses the theoretical ability to focus on healthy habits and lives, many people’s realities make lifestyle reform a nearly impossible luxury.
The longer public health and public opinion focus their attentions on the personal-responsibility narrative of obesity and other chronic non-communicable diseases, the longer we’ll wait to see population level changes. If any amount of desire, guilt or shame were sufficient to drive sustained change, we’d have been rid of the so-called lifestyle diseases decades ago. We’re not going to swim our way out of this flood, as not everyone can afford swimming lessons, not everyone has the time for swimming lessons and even though knowing how to swim is an undeniably good thing to know how to do, not everyone is interested in taking swimming lessons.
While it’s always wise to ensure swimming lessons are available and affordable, more important to a population is ensuring we build a levee. We need policies that will help make healthier lifestyles occur by default, or that make purposeful changes easier or more valuable. Whether those changes are sugar-sweetened beverage taxes, front-of-package health claim reforms, banning advertising that targets children, improved school food policies and programs, zoning laws affected where fast food and convenience stores are located and more, there are no shortage of options. Right now, we’re facing a torrential current of calories, ultra-processed foods and a culture of convenience that considers the use of junk food to reward, pacify and entertain our kids and ourselves at every turn as entirely normal. It doesn’t matter how strong a swimmer you might be, or how great available swimming lessons are. Swim against this powerful a current, and even the strongest swimmers tire.
Jim Goad writes:In her book Good White People, Shannon Sullivan takes the sanctimonious middle-class goodwhites to task for projecting their own guilt complexes onto the easily despised and perennially maligned rednecks and white trash.So far, so good. I appreciate her gesture in calling goodwhite sanctimony out for the self-serving vanity project that it is.However, she […]
The Man Couch is any couch conveniently located near the changerooms in a women’s clothing store. You can tell which one’s The Man Couch, because it’s generally covered in man. Most are either text-messaging, napping illegally, or staring straight ahead, jaws dropped, pupils dilated, and completely zoned out, their arms full of purses and plastic […]
He’s ignored protests to institute a harsh new regime targeting undocumented immigrants
Though Energy Transfer Partners has all the permits and permissions it needs to start work on the Bayou Bridge pipeline, the project still faces multiple legal challenges.
The162-mile pipeline, being built by the same company behind the Dakota Access pipeline, will span southern Louisiana from Lake Charles, near the Texas border, to St. James, about 60 miles west of New Orleans. This route will cut through the Atchafalaya Basin, a national heritage area that contains America’s largest swamp.
Ever had a neopolitan milkshake from McDonald’s? One where they layer the chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavors in the same cup, creating a thick, icy, slow-moving light-brown-swirls-with-pink-flecks taste sensation? Yeah, my friend Chad was a regular customer of those. Of course, when he was working at McDonald’s he got sick of the regular menu pretty […]
The post #949 Making up your own orders at fast food restaurants appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Margaret Atwood, in The Globe and Mail, wonders if she is a bad feminist.
Amanda Berman, in the Forward, on Zioness, her newly founded movement that’s under attack by both the far right and the far left – for feminists who (gasp) believe that Jews too have a right to self-determination.
John Mandrola, in Medscape, with his masterful essay defending less-is-more in medicine.
This ain’t no party line. Let’s not talk about how you need to accept yourself for who you are, not what you look like, or how it’s what’s inside that counts. Let’s talk about the big ol’ side of ham hanging out the back of your pants. That’s a great side of ham for five […]
A judge gave Mike Sorrentino the OK to film ‘Jersey Shore Family Vacation’ after the reality star copped to tax evasion.
Those doinks aren’t going to smoke themselves, and you might as well watch some damn good Netflix movies while you’re at it.
Rian Johnson blasted the haters with seven tweets and a Jedi text.
Including fancy French stuff that sold for $20,000 a bottle.
Conservatives are outraged by the Liberal government’s recent move.
Participants of the next UN climate talks in Poland could be banned from taking part in spontaneous demonstrations and have their personal data collected, stored and used by Polish police without their consent if a draft piece of legislation becomes law.
The proposed measures are going through Poland’s legislative process as the southern city of Katowice — located in the country’s coal heartland — prepares to host the annual UN climate talks this December.
The draft bill, which sets out specific regulations for this year’s climate talks, known as COP24, was passed by the lower house of the Polish Parliament on 10 January. On Friday, the Senate passed the bill almost unanimously with only three MPs abstaining.
The text provides a raft of initiatives to “ensure safety and public order”. This includes a ban on all spontaneous gatherings in Katowice between 26 November and 16 December, spanning the entire period of the annual UN climate talks.
We’re baaaaaack! Thanks for all of the Friday FAQs love last week. It was so exciting to see your enthusiasm for the return of this series. Please keep those questions (and answers) coming! And we’ve got even MORE fun news to share with you…next week will mark the return of another series—Things I’m Loving Lately! […]
A film still from Anote’s Ark by Matthieu Rytz, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Matthieu Rytz, courtesy of Sundance Institute)
For most North Americans, the predicted impacts of climate change, like rising tides and disastrous flooding, are the problems of a distant, unknowable future. For the people of Kiribati, a remote Pacific atoll that sits just two metres above sea level, they’re an immediate existential threat.
What’s funnier than hearing a stranger fart in public? Well sure, it can happen in a bank lineup, hotel lobby, or subway car. It can happen in a restaurant, movie theater, or local bar. But the funniest of all has got to be the Elevator Fart. That’s the king of public farts, for two main […]
By Henry StewartAccording to the New York, NY based Space Angels, a privately held financial services group of angel investors focused exclusively on the aerospace industry, private investors poured $3.9Bln US ($4.85B…
And, no doubt, MDA’s move has nothing whatsoever to do with the growing understanding that robotics tools very similar to Canada’s current space born manipulators are at the core of several other potentially highly profitable initiatives related to satellite servicing.
The latest of these to surface, as outlined in the January 17th, 2018 2018 Space News post, “Effective Space signs first contract for satellite life extension services,” is UK based Effective Space Solutions, which recently signed its first contract with a “major regional satellite operator,” covering the launch of two of its satellite life extension vehicles to dock with existing satellites to provide station-keeping and attitude control capabilities.
According to the Space News article, the multi-year contract has a total value of more than $100Mln US ($124Mln CDN).
|Join Up Now! According to the January 15th, 2018 MDA RFI, “the international space exploration community is pursuing the long-term goal of permanent human presence beyond low Earth orbit. A manned station in lunar orbit, called the Deep Space Gateway, is in the planning stages and will be a proving ground for technologies that will take us to the Moon’s surface, Mars and beyond.” To ensure “uninterrupted expansion” of the human presence into the solar system, “the time for action is now.” The wording in the RFI is broadly evocative of the recruitment videos in the 1997 Paul Verhoeven directed movie, Starship Troopers and its sequels. So are you doing your part? Graphics c/o MDA & Touchstone Pictures/ Jon Davison Productions.|
As outlined in the MDA RFI:
The Canadian capabilities of interest for this RFI are applicable to the Robotics and Automation Division of MDA for commercial and civil applications.
Responses to this RFI will help identify potential Canadian companies, capabilities and services that could be engaged in to develop a robotic manipulator system that could be used in future commercial opportunities or international collaborations.
The Robotics and Automation website for space based robotics listed at http://mdacorporation.com/isg/robotics-automation/space-based-robotics-solutions …
It also attempts to be inspiring:
Canada is considering a robotics contribution as part of this international collaborative project. This builds on Canada’s current robotic leadership position and expertise used extensively for decades on NASA’s Space Shuttle Program and the International Space Station. Canada’s robotics contributions helped construct the ISS itself and are used on an on-going basis for its maintenance and logistical operations.
This technology is so iconic that it is depicted on our $5 bill and is a globally recognized symbol of Canadian innovation.
The RFI was issued a little over a week after the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) issued a related NPP for a “dexterous interface and tool for planetary and deep space.”
A climate science denial group with links to President Trump’s administration has been funding work to sow doubt that low-lying islands in the Pacific are at risk from rising sea levels.
The two researchers being funded — one of which is a well-known climate science denier — have targeted little known “open access” journals with dubious quality controls to get their work published, DeSmog has found.
This Colourful Boho Bedroom is a cheery and fun space for anyone not afraid of a little colour in their lives! We’ve been in our home for over 11 years now, and over the years our kids rooms have had many different paint jobs. When we moved in, at the time we only had the 2 kids, and our oldest was 4 and our youngest was 3, so as you can imagine, the colours have changed a lot over the years…we’ve had taupe, lavender, mint green and blue. But my favourite is definitely the current colour of my daughter’s room. […]
The articulated tugboat Nathan E. Stewart grounded with fuel barge off Athlone Island on B.C.’s north coast in October 2016. Although the barge itself was empty, when the tug ran aground, it spilled more than 110,000 litres of fuel into into Heiltsuk territorial waters, devastating the local clam fishery. (Photo: Jordan Wilson/Pacific Wild)
Shortly before 4 p.m. on November 26, 2017, a U.S. barge carrying 3.5 million litres of diesel to Alaska broke free from its tugboat, the Jake Shearer, off the rocky shore of British Columbia’s Goose Island. Westerly winds were blowing at 45 knots while rain all but sandblasted the side of the barge, now anchored precariously in rough waters. The Canadian Coast Guard vessel deployed from Prince Rupert, approximately 300 kilometres away, wasn’t expected to reach the stranded barge until 7:30 p.m. at the earliest.
Every day in the spring and fall, hundreds of golden eagles stream along the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains on an aerial highway stretching from Alaska to Mexico — but until recently, scientists had no idea the birds migrated at all. (Photo: El McMullin/Can Geo Photo Club)
On a bright day in early spring, a group of dedicated citizen scientists stands in a small forest clearing off a popular hiking trail in the front range of the Rocky Mountains, about 75 kilometres west of Calgary, spotting scopes and binoculars trained on the sky. They’re scanning for golden eagles, one of the largest raptors in North America. Sure enough, a speck appears above ‘The Smile,’ a dip in the top of an unnamed mountain peak they’ve called Mt. Patrick after a young volunteer.
This column by Joe Bob Briggs was humming along splendidly, until:First of all, for those of you who don’t follow these things, The Wasp Woman was a 1959 quickie for American International, dashed off by exploitation movie legend Roger Corman, that is considered horrible even by people who love Roger Corman. Focusing on this throwaway […]
Natural team players, your big ol’ teeth chomp and ship freshly ground foodpaste down the gully to the rest of your digestive system, who finish the job up in style. But unlike your stomach or large intestine, teeth actually have to look pretty doing it. They’re the frontman of the band, the captain of the […]
The post #952 When someone tells you there’s something in your teeth appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
By Jason Kirk, Elon University
This move brings its actions more in sync with its overarching commitment to slowing the pace of climate change and keeping the Paris agreement on track. Based on my research regarding international relations, I see this move — which World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced in December — as significant for two reasons.
In early January, a federal judge ordered the nonprofit law firm Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to pay $52,000 to an oil and gas exploration company for defending a rural Pennsylvania township’s ban on underground injections of frack waste.
This sanction comes at the request of Pennsylvania General Energy Company (PGE) and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, but is part of a growing trend to prevent municipalities across the nation from pushing back against state and federal attempts to overrule them.
Embrace the winter season by making your home cozy! Here are some ideas for Decorating for Winter. I have always loved decorating the inside of my home for winter, because I love winter…the snow, the cold, cozy nights by the fire, hot chocolate, comforting dinners, not to mention all the skiing, snowshoeing and skating. And don’t even get me started on winter clothes…I love them. I’ll take a toque, sweaters and cozy socks any day of the year. So it just seems like a natural thing for me, to transition my Christmas decor, right into winter decor. It feels nice to […]
I just checked the version history of my Roasted Carrot and Dill Hummus Google Doc and realized that I first tested this hummus recipe on January 10, 2015. What the heck? THREE years ago?! #hellotimewarp Better late than never, I say…although I know a few people who are likely baffled by its turtle-paced cross to […]
Steve Sailer writes:America is to be “a colony of the world,” as Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-WI) noted a quarter of a century ago. And that’s because Washington is to be the capital of the world.That explains much of the frenzy of the response to Trump’s comparison of Norway with Haiti. For Washington to rule the […]
Peter Kattuk (left) and Daniel Qavvik on the lookout for belugas trapped in a polynya near Sanikiluaq, Nunavut. They are part of the Arctic Eider Society’s Community-Driven Research Network and a broader collective of hunters, scientists and organizations working to better understand how the Hudson Bay environment is changing. (Photo: Joel Heath/Arctic Eider Society)
Inuit hunters in eastern Hudson Bay are working with scientists to document their observations of a changing arctic environment. Keen observers who travel widely on the bay year-round, they first noted unusual changes in the sea ice in the 1970s, when massive hydroelectric projects on northern Quebec rivers altered the flow of fresh water into James Bay. Since the 1990s, hunters have also been witnessing the effects of a changing climate and, well aware of the importance of what they have been seeing, are recording and sharing their observations.
Peter Kattuk (à gauche) et Daniel Qavvik sont à la recherche de bélugas piégés dans une polynie près de Sanikiluaq, au Nunavut. Ils font partie du réseau de recherche collectif de la Société des Eiders de l’Arctique et d’une communauté plus vaste de chasseurs, de scientifiques et d’organismes travaillant afin de mieux comprendre comment l’environnement de la baie d’Hudson se transforme. (Photo : Joel Heath/Arctic Eider Society)
Des chasseurs inuits dans l’Est de la baie d’Hudson travaillent avec des scientifiques pour consigner leurs observations d’un environnement arctique en changement. Fins observateurs qui parcourent la baie tout au long de l’année, ils ont commencé à noter des changements inhabituels dans la glace de mer dans les années 1970 quand d’immenses projets hydroélectriques dans des rivières du Nord du Québec ont modifié l’écoulement de l’eau douce dans la baie James.
I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. Whether they’re pounds on a scale, seconds on a stopwatch, or grades in school, numbers are not behaviours.
If you’re ever curious about how you’re doing, those numbers aren’t capable of telling you. Sure, the numbers to a degree reflect your efforts and choices, but they aren’t in and of themselves those things.
Given what I do day in and day out, I see this most in regard to weight management.
And I tell people, day in and day out, that if they’re curious about how they’re doing, the answer to that question isn’t how much they weigh, how much they’ve lost, how their clothing fits, how they feel physically, or how they feel mentally. Rather I tell them that if they want to know how they’re doing, they have to reflect on what they’re actually doing, and whether that’s keeping a food diary, minimizing meals out, increasing cooking, securing sleep, reducing liquid calories, whatever their strategies, if they’re cultivating consistent change, they’re doing well.
That’s true with school in terms of going to class, doing your homework, and studying.
It’s also true of sports in terms of practice, strength training, consistency, etc.
All this to say, don’t confuse numbers with behaviours, and if you’re doing all the things, you’re doing great, numbers be damned.
Momo the border collie hides on a lifeguard stand in Deep Cove, B.C. (Photo: Andrew Knapp, @andrewknapp)
Have you seen Momo?
Canadian photographer Andrew Knapp‘s Instagram feed, starring Momo, his border collie, is a sort of digital Where’s Waldo? book, inviting followers to find Momo, who might be hiding behind foliage on a west coast trail or blending into a busy cityscape.