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Congress Investigates How Marathon Petroleum and Koch Network Influenced Clean Cars Rollbacks

Posted  May 29, 2020  by  Anonymous
Marathon gas station

Read time: 4 mins

On Thursday, May 28, several Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, along with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), sent a letter to Marathon Petroleum seeking information on the oil company’s involvement in the Trump administration’s rollback of clean car standards. The Congressmembers are also investigating Marathon’s coordination with, and financial ties to, various free-market groups and whether those relationships are compatible with the groups’ tax-exempt status.

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Trump EPA’s Refusal to Strengthen Air Quality Standards Most Likely to Harm Communities of Color, Experts Say

Posted  June 12, 2020  by  Anonymous
A protester wearing an #ICANTBREATHE face mask in front of the 3rd Police Precinct on May 28 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Read time: 8 mins

In April, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, proposed maintaining, rather than strengthening, national air quality standards for soot, a type of air pollution with serious impacts for heart and lung health. This week, an independent panel of experts who previously advised the EPA on these air standards slammed the current agency’s decision in the New England Journal of Medicine, pointing out it’s literally a matter of life or death, especially for communities of color.

Mustafa Santiago Ali, former head of the EPA‘s environmental justice office, also highlighted in congressional testimony how the effects of air pollution are just another form of the same systemic racism that ends up hitting people of color particularly hard, and even more so during the current pandemic:

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Democrats’ New Climate Plan Says Polluters Shouldn’t Receive Immunity From Lawsuits for Climate Impacts

Posted  June 30, 2020  by  Anonymous
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a press conference about the new climate action agenda on June 30.

Read time: 5 mins

On Tuesday, June 30, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, released a comprehensive action plan for tackling climate change. 

Some environmental groups criticized the plan for lacking ambition and not directly targeting fossil fuel production. However, the Democrats’ agenda does support a powerful provision for holding fossil fuel companies accountable for their contributions to the disastrously warming planet: Not granting them legal immunity from Congress.

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Oil Industry and Allies Look to Pump Brakes on Democrats’ Plans to Move Transportation Off Petroleum

Posted  July 2, 2020  by  Anonymous
Hybrid-electric truck charging

Read time: 8 mins

This week Congressional Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives put forward policies, including passing a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill on July 1, aimed at cleaning up the number one source of carbon pollution in America — the transportation sector. The oil and gas industry and its supporters quickly weighed in, framing “the critical role” of the industry in addressing climate pollution and in some cases outright attacking these plans’ efforts to move away from petroleum-powered transport.

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In the Shadow of Shuttered Philadelphia Refinery, Neighbors Recall Those Lost to Decades of Pollution

Posted  July 1, 2020  by  Sharon Kelly
PES Refinery fenceline memorial

Read time: 11 mins

The Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery was —until last year — the largest and oldest gasoline refinery on the East Coast. The week it was sold began with a community rally that also served as a makeshift memorial service.

On Monday, June 22, as Black Lives Matter protests continued nationwide, members of Philly Thrive, a local grassroots group, arrived outside the perimeter of the refinery complex in South Philadelphia. They posted “in memorium” placards bearing the names of deceased Philadelphians along the facility’s chainlink borders, handwritten fenceline memorials for departed members of the refinery’s fenceline community. Speakers that day recalled less the fiery explosion that tore through the plant one year earlier and more the long-term harms caused by decades of fossil fuel production in the majority Black neighborhood.

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Saturday Stories: Peer Review, #Masks4All, Talking To Kids, And The Public Health Of Protests

Posted  June 27, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Simine Vazire, in Wired, on the failings of scientific peer review

Kimberly A. Prather, Chia C. Wang, and Robert T. Schooley, in Science, on how to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV2 (tl;dr – wear a mask)

Kate Julian, in The Atlantic, on how to talk to kids about the sad, scary, and unjust issues permeating society today.

Tara Haelle, in Forbes, on why public health experts support Black lives matter protests.

Photo By Mike Shaheen – https://www.flickr.com/photos/63015897@N02/49979513917/, CC BY 2.0, Link

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Life In Scarborough: The Plague Journal, Day I

Posted  March 12, 2020  by  bigcitylib

This evening at the local Metro  I saw something resembling “panic buying”.  Not quite at that point. Nobody got violent.  More like the kind of lineups you see before the Superbowl or a long-weekend.  Except everyone, everyone, was…

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Trump is unwell

Posted  June 14, 2020  by  Anonymous

After yesterday’s West Point debacle – the water glass, the inability to say “McArthur”, the ramp, the tweet ABOUT the ramp – #TrumpIsUnwell is trending this morning on twitter. 

Along with all the jokes, there is this:

The media’s failure to meaningfully cover Trump’s cognitive and physical decline after obsessing about Hillary’s health is evidence of open misogyny at this point.

— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) June 14, 2020

Personally, I believe that Trump has a minor stroke last November – remember the fast and unscheduled “tour” of Walter Reed? – and he still has impairments on his right side. 

 On a lighter note, #ObamaDay is also trending twitter:

You’d think Republicans would be more worried about protecting the Constitution.

It’s the only thing preventing Barack Obama from being president again.#ObamaDayJune14th

— Middle Age Riot (@middleageriot) June 14, 2020

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Prince Andrew Is ‘Bewildered’ That the FBI Wants to Question Him About Jeffrey Epstein

Posted  July 3, 2020  by  Anonymous

Now that Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested and charged, the FBI is turning its attention to Epstein’s royal friend.

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Saturday Story: Only One, Because For First Time in 15 Years, I Accidentally Deleted The Rest

Posted  April 11, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff
Dr. Doug Bass, may his memory be a blessing, the first physician in NYC to die from COVID9

Sorry to those who enjoy these reads, but by accident, deleted the lot of them save one

Dhruv Khullar, in The New Yorker, on his work as a physician in NYC during the time of COVID19, and adrenaline, duty and fear.

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‘Slam Dunk’ Study Finds Trump EPA’s Move Not to Tighten Air Pollution Standards Would Prematurely Kill 140,000 Americans

Posted  June 30, 2020  by  Anonymous
Salem Harbor power plant soot pollution

Read time: 7 mins

A new study from public health researchers provides the strongest evidence yet that increased exposure to a type of air pollution from tailpipes and smokestacks that’s known as fine particulate matter (PM2.5), or soot, can cause premature death. This peer-reviewed study of air pollution impacts on older Americans suggests that current air quality standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) do not protect public health, and that strengthening the standards could save over 140,000 American lives over a decade.

In praising this study as a “slam dunk,” one former EPA air pollution scientist warned that the Trump EPA, which is trying to maintain the current standards, “ignores it at their peril.”

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#DieForTheDow is trending

Posted  March 25, 2020  by  Anonymous

Image result for picture of throwing baby to the wolves

Age-wise, I am on the wrong side of the “let’s save the economy by throwing grandma to the wolves” argument. So I have to say, I disagree with it!
And with COVID-19, it won’t work anyway. 
Because it isn’t only the grandmas who get sick and die. Its the doctors, the nurses, the teachers, the stock brokers, the policemen, the bartenders, the teenagers on a beach. 

Many of the shitmonkeys advocating #DieForTheDow are legislators who have proven (but mysterious) ways of getting tested for COVID19 that your average person doesn’t. Have NO doubt: these shitmonkeys will also have first dibs on increasingly scarce ventilators & other treatments. https://t.co/2HZJpqXDwM

— Sailin’ Dame (@YerseniaP) March 24, 2020

If you need a wake-up call, here it is: My husband was on a large conference call of American med school deans last night. One asked about legal coverage for pulling people off ventilators to give to others more likely to survive. I.e., not being charged with murder. Here we are.

— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) March 24, 2020

The choice is between:

– a very hurtful major recession caused by social distancing, managed by stimulus

or

– a economic collapse caused by the breakdown of our health system due to millions of deaths, tens of millions of hospitalizations, that cannot be managed by stimulus

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 24, 2020

At the end of all this, let’s try to remember that the geniuses who told us not to worry about coronavirus are the same geniuses telling us not to worry about #climatechange

— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) March 16, 2020

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Take off, eh!

Posted  May 30, 2020  by  Anonymous

Dear Bob and Doug,

Please take off, eh!

Yours,@CAFinUS pic.twitter.com/gu48YsfBYj

— Canadian Forces in 🇺🇸 (@CAFinUS) May 30, 2020

Not sure if anyone in the States will appreciate this but it’s AWESOME the #LaunchAmerica astronauts are BOB & DOUG 👊🤘#Canada

Icons in Canada from SCTV fame !! 🇨🇦🌏🪐🌙🚀🛰@Astro_Doug #Nasa #SpaceX

Take Off !! Eh. #LiftOff #TakeOff pic.twitter.com/nyZc6i39yi

— Kevin Smith (@Global_Smith) May 28, 2020


Dear SpaceX,

Can you launch Trump into space instead?

Asking for America.

Thanks!#LaunchAmerica #SpaceLaunchLIVE #SpaceX Cape Canaveral International Space Station #LaunchDay #TrumpMeltdown #HadEnough #TwitterFactCheck #spacexlaunch #CarolynGombell Bob & Doug Challenger pic.twitter.com/3aPDEbN0TP

— Steve Rustad (@SteveRustad1) May 27, 2020


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Children

TikTok Is All About Fat Shaming These Days

Posted  March 9, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

I was driving with my 13 year old daughter on Saturday and we were just chatting. I asked her what was trending these days on her TikTok stream (in the past she’d been served up antisemitism)? Apparently it’s fat shaming Lizzo.

I asked her to share some videos with me.

She sent over 10 in less than a minute.

Some representative examples to follow, but all this to say, TikTok, while hugely entertaining, is a cesspool of hate and bullying, and if your children use it, probably worth asking them every once in a while what’s trending on their streams so that you can take the time at least to talk about it.

@noahswitzer98

Everyone please ##stop making ##lizzo memes ##fyp

♬ original sound – noahswitzer98

@nickring4

When you lose Lizzo while your whale watching 😂 ##greenscreen ##lizzo ##meme ##xyzbca ##xyzcba ##joke ##fyp ##memes ##tiktokmemes ##comedy ##comedicgenius

♬ ITs ANIT new girlfriend of your ex – its_anit

@yaboyg35

##greenscreenvideo ##lizzo ##meme ##tacticalnuke ##mw2

♬ original sound – yaboyg35

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Health Canada Fails Science And Canadians By Allowing Any Purported Weight Loss Supplements To Be Sold

Posted  February 24, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

The latest of many systematic reviews and meta-analyses of herbal supplements for weight loss plainly makes the case that there is no justification for their sale.

They. Don’t. Work.

None of them.

None. Of. Them.

So why does Health Canada license and allow the sale of 1,128 natural products whose listed purported use is for weight management? Or of the 671 products that purport they’ll improve sexual enhancement? Or of pretty much any of them?

Maybe the answer lies somewhere in the taxation of the $1.8 billion annual Canadian sales of vitamins and supplements?

Maybe it lies in well-intentioned hope?

Maybe it lies is political contributions and lobbying?

But the one place where it doesn’t lie is in science. Shouldn’t that be the only place that matters?

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Saturday Stories: This Week’s COVID Selections

Posted  May 30, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff
Dr. Earline Austin, 63 yo NYC Physician, died on 4/3. Originally from Guyana, she lived in Fresh Meadows and was affiliated with Staten Island University Hospital. Attended Ross University for Medical School. May her memory be a blessing

Emily Chung, in the CBC, with everything you need to know to understand R-naught values.

Andy Larsen, in the Salt Lake City Tribune, with a breakdown of different locations and events and what we know of their risks in terms of spreading COVID.

Kimberly A. Prather, Chia C. Wang, and Robert T. Schooley, in Science, on how if you want life to return to some remote semblance of before’s normal, if you’re not already doing so, you need to start wearing a damn mask

Clayton Dalton, in The New Yorker, on what we lose when we become numb to mass death.

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Celebrate

Posted  July 5, 2020  by  Anonymous

Trudeau’s uplifting message on Canada Day:

Canada is an amazing place to call home, and its people make it even better. We’re always there for each other – in good times and bad – and we always will be. And that’s worth celebrating. Happy Canada Day, everyone! https://t.co/SDC41cWOY0 pic.twitter.com/2OKNyxGEqe

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 1, 2020

Biden’s inspiring message on Independence Day:

Our nation was founded on a simple idea: We’re all created equal. We’ve never lived up to it — but we’ve never stopped trying. This Independence Day, let’s not just celebrate those words, let’s commit to finally fulfill them. Happy #FourthOfJuly! pic.twitter.com/1WrATlx8Xl

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 4, 2020

Here’s another good one, from Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Happy birthday, America. Thank you for letting me live the American Dream. We must fight every day to make sure that dream is as true for a Black child born in Minneapolis as it was for a white bodybuilder born in Austria. via @attn pic.twitter.com/rM95vb3twC

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) July 4, 2020

And nothing in either of Trump’s speeches is worth repeating. But here’s a summary, in case you missed them both:

As Frederick Douglass delivered a swiff and swippy victory in Operation Desert Storm in Vietnam, protected against the oranges of totalittotalitotarianism, with super duper missiles and stock rocket records. God bless the United Schates and rid us of Obamanacare.#TrumpIsUnwell

— Trent Capelli 🇨🇦 (@TrentCapelli) July 5, 2020

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Carbon Capture Will Require Large Public Subsidies to Support Coal and Gas Power

Posted  June 15, 2020  by  Anonymous
Natural gas power plant

Read time: 9 mins

In April, the Center for Global Energy Policy (CGEP) at Columbia University released a report concluding that, without major new subsidies from the American public, technologies for capturing heat-trapping carbon dioxide from coal and natural gas-fired power plants will remain uneconomical.

However, CGEP, which has a history of strongly supporting the interests of the fossil fuel industry, concludes in this report that the government should implement new publicly financed policies in order to ensure investors are willing to take the risk of investing in carbon capture — and use the public to backstop that risk so those investors make money. 

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Error by Mining Giant Anglo American Undermines its Promise of No Glacier Impacts for $3bn Chilean Copper Project

Posted  July 2, 2020  by  Anonymous
Protesters against Anglo American's Los Bronces mine expansion in Santiago on Sept 27, 2019

Read time: 12 mins

Anglo American has undermined its plans for a controversial US$3 billion copper mine expansion beneath a Chilean nature sanctuary, 52 kilometres (32 miles) above Santiago in the Andean foothills. The multinational mining giant revealed an embarrassing technical blunder in its response to shareholders this May. According to Anglo American’s Environmental Impact Study (Spanish) released in July 2019, the first of six central design criteria for its Los Bronces underground mine expansion is avoiding impact to nearby glaciers, a critical freshwater supply already threatened by the climate crisis.

However, the mine’s design, DeSmog can now reveal, uses an entirely unrelated contamination measure for estimating impact to glaciers.

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DC Is the Latest to Sue Exxon and Big Oil for Climate Disinformation Campaigns

Posted  June 25, 2020  by  Anonymous
DC Attorney General Karl Racine

Read time: 6 mins

Washington, D.C. is suing the four largest investor-owned oil and gas companies — BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell — for allegedly misleading consumers about climate change, including historically undermining climate science and even now using deceptive advertising about the companies’ role in leading solutions to the climate crisis.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced the consumer fraud lawsuit on Thursday, June 25. The lawsuit claims that the four oil majors violated the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act by engaging in misleading acts and practices around the marketing, promotion, and sale of fossil fuel products, which produce globe-warming pollution. The D.C. lawsuit alleges that these companies knew since at least the 1950s about the harmful consequences of burning fossil fuels and that they engaged in a campaign to deceive the public about those risks.

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Journalists under attack

Posted  June 1, 2020  by  Anonymous

 

In his daily CNN newsletter, Brian Stelter gives a summary of some of the attacks made on journalists over the last few days in the George Lloyd protests across the US:

[there have been a] shocking number of cases of reporters being assaulted and arrested while covering the unrest. This wasn’t just a stray rubber bullet here or there — it seemed, to a lot of people, like targeting of journalists, by both police and in some cases by unruly protesters.

 

Bellingcat identified “at least 50 separate incidents where journalists have been attacked by law enforcement. In these examples journalists have been shot with rubber bullets, targeted with stun grenades, tear gassed, physically attacked, pepper sprayed and arrested.”

 

 >> CBS’ Michael George tweeted: “I’ve covered protests for 15 years across the US. This is the first time I’ve ever seen police actively and intentionally target the press with rubber bullets, tear gas, and arrests. Scenes reminiscent of China, Iran. We remain determined to show the country what’s happening here…”

 

 >> On Sunday morning I interviewed LA Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske, who described the moment when Minneapolis police fired rubber bullets Saturday night: “We were shouting ‘press’ and I was waving my notebook at them. They just kept following us and firing at us…

 

 

As Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik wrote in this column, “the question that remains is why we are seeing more physical attacks on the press than we did, say, in 2015 in the uprising in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray.” Echoing what he said on CNN, Zurawik wrote, “There are a lot of reasons for the rise, but here’s the one I think making the greatest difference: almost four years of the president of the United States demonizing the press, calling reporters ‘enemies of the people’ and ‘scum,’ and encouraging rallygoers at his events to intimidate them…”

I am wondering if some police are also blaming the media for what is happening, in a “shoot the messenger” reaction — maybe they have the idea that they could beat people up any time they wanted, if it weren’t for cell phone cameras and reporters publicizing it when they do.
The actual problem, of course, is that police are beating people up. 
And journalists keep on reporting it when it happens.
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We are the world

Posted  June 6, 2020  by  Anonymous

Saskatoon BLM

Its been quite a week, hasn’t it? Even here in Saskatoon, the George Floyd rally on Thursday was attended by hundreds of people, all races and colours. 
And its been like this all around the world. Yes, we have seen Black Lives Matter and police abuse protests before, but this time it feels different. I am amazed that protests about the Floyd homicide have been continuing day after day, and that they have spread so far, so fast.
George Floyd protests break out around the world as anger grows ...  
PHOTOS: Thousands demand justice at global Black Lives Matter ...

So now I am wondering if our shared COVID-19 pandemic experience has changed us in ways we could not have predicted.

For the first time in history, all of the peoples of the world shared the same experience – a two-month shutdown that was virtually unique in our human experience. 

Yes, we were forced to be alone and isolated. We couldn’t go out, we couldn’t see our family and friends. But everyone around the world was, for the first time ever, dealing with the same emotions, the same fears, the same questions and concerns, the same depths of despair, the same glimmers of hope. 
After this experience, I think the peoples of the world understand each other in a more profound way than we ever did before. 
And perhaps this is why now millions of us are on the same side of these protests.  We get it.
People are standing up in solidarity for Black Lives Matter and against police brutality, in numbers I have never seen before  – generals are apologizing for ever working with Trump, sports leaders like Sydney Crosby are speaking up, Harry and Meghan are too, bike manufactures are suspending sales to police, corporations are making statements, even the NFL is apologizing for the way they treated Kaepernick.  
Wow. Its truly remarkable. This is the way the world changes.

I’ve been watching politics closely for a long time, and I’ve never seen any entity get its ass kicked as badly in a PR/political battle as the country’s metro police are right now.

Only rival is the Catholic Church, and both relied on their wide popularity for their power.

— Martin Longman (@BooMan23) June 5, 2020

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Yes, its about time

Posted  May 2, 2020  by  Anonymous
I was computerless for the last week+ so I didn’t post, but here I am again.
And I am so glad that Trudeau is banning assault rifles in Canada. I agree with @Dred_Tory:

Dear people who are pissed that AR-15s are set to be banned:

No one gives a shit.#ar15

— Sir Francis (@Dred_Tory) April 30, 2020

Here’s some funny stuff to end the week:

I must’ve watched this 50 times and I’ll probably watch it 50 more. pic.twitter.com/S7GjgMlH7j

— ѕυzу (@suzy_swears) April 28, 2020

Seals are just dogs of the sea pic.twitter.com/PcSz3mJQKe

— What’s Underwater (@UnderwaterVids) April 26, 2020

This is the best weather forecast in the history of television news pic.twitter.com/LhmoJDCkbZ

— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) April 30, 2020

— Nick Heath (@nickheathsport) May 1, 2020

And a little Jann Arden to finish things off:

This could be the most Canadian-COVID19 tweet ever. 🇨🇦 https://t.co/t64WghKHCi

— Jeffrey Luscombe (@JeffreyLuscombe) April 27, 2020


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A White Couple Was Arrested After Pointing a Gun at a Black Family In a Chipotle Parking Lot

Posted  July 3, 2020  by  Anonymous

Viral video footage of the incident showed a white woman pulling her gun after telling the family that “white people aren’t racist.”

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FREE Help From My New Venture For Ontarians With Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Or Prediabetes But Stranded By COVID19

Posted  May 4, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Are you an Ontario resident recently diagnosed with either type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes where COVID19 has prevented you from receiving comprehensive support to help manage and understand your new condition? If so, my new venture may can help, and better still, for FREE. Built initially to support weight management, Constant Health, our new digital behavioural intervention, is being re-positioned to help people with newly diagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes who in turn have been left stranded by COVID19.

Constant Health’s iOS app (note, this opportunity is currently only available for those with iPhones or iPads as the Android app is still in development), will provide you with 12 weeks of private and secure (PHIPA compliant) access to both a Mayo clinic certified health coach as well as a registered dietitian who together, by way of text messaging and video chats, will work collaboratively with you on your diet and lifestyle to help improve your blood sugar control and teach you about your new condition.

Constant Health’s technology includes a robust, open-ended collaborative goal setting engine, a built-in food diary, a searchable and filterable database of millions of the web’s most popular recipe sites, along with a proprietary real-time dashboard which will allow our team to applaud and encourage your success as well as to help troubleshoot your struggles.

As with my office’s practice (the Bariatric Medical Institute), Constant Health’s services aren’t limited to any particular dietary strategy, but instead work with you on whatever approach you feel would best suit your life and preferences. From low-fat, to keto, to vegan and everything in between Constant Health can help.

Rest assured, there are no strings whatsoever. Currently, thanks to an unrestricted grant from Novo Nordisk, we have a limited number of spots available to freely offer and plainly, we are not currently accepting paid patients. However due to provincial medical licensing regulations for both MDs and RDs, and the need for physician screening, we can currently only extend this offer to Ontarians.

If you’re interested, live in Ontario, and have an iPhone, simply fill out this quick survey and if eligible, our office will contact you to book a consultation with me so that I can explore your medical history and have a peek at your lab results for us to mutually determine if the program is for you.

        
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Fiddling while America burns

Posted  May 5, 2020  by  Anonymous

People in the United States are realizing that Trump and his administration have spent the last two months tweeting and twiddling their thumbs.

Silly. The plan is to pretend that the problem had been solved (because it’s been a while and staying at home is boring) and start opening up the country. What could go wrong?

— Your Friend & Sabre ⚔️ (@xiphodaimon) May 4, 2020

And why did they expect anything different?
Trump is utterly incompetent at everything, and the only people he hires are people who won’t show him up. So of course he is clueless now and so is everyone else around him. 
If America survives this, it will be because of its governors, who are rapidly forming their own regional associations. But they don’t have the authority to deficit spend so we are going to be stuck for the next 9 months watching the US economy implode, until Biden can take over. It isn’t going to be pleasant.
Still, its a tricky go, isn’t it?  I’m uncertain about our future is, too, but I do have some confidence that the Trudeau government and most of the provinces are on the same page. Though Saskatchewan is reporting new cases, the Maritimes are doing better.
Vox had a big article today comparing Canada and the US:

The American response has become infected by partisan politics and shot through with federal incompetence. Meanwhile, Canada’s policies have been efficiently implemented with support from leaders across the political spectrum. The comparison is a case study in how a dysfunctional political system can quite literally cost lives.
The Canadian approach has not been perfect. Its death rate is currently much higher than best-in-class performers like Germany and South Korea; Canadian officials have fallen down, in particular, when it comes to long-term senior care and the indigenous population. But given the interdependence between these two large neighboring economies, Canadians are not only vulnerable as a result of their own government’s choices but also because of their southern neighbors’ failures.
“The biggest public health threat to Canada right now is importing cases from the United States,” says Steven Hoffman, a political scientist who studies global health at York University.

Yes, its going to be a long time before that border reopens.
I am beginning to worry seriously about Canadian food supplies — so much of our food is from vegetable and fruit growers in the US, and further south too, and these all depend on an established and predictable supply chain where crops get planted, harvested, processed and transported in an orderly progression.  Canada can produce its own flour and beef and apples, but not oranges. Or bananas.

“Let me tell you about the olden days, children.  Why, there used to be a time when we could get bananas any time we went to the store.  Any time at all!”

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With Prospects Souring for Oregon Gas Terminal, an Obscure Group Raises Pressure for State Approval

Posted  June 18, 2020  by  Anonymous
WSTN's "open letter to Gov. Brown" ad in The Oregonian

Read time: 11 mins

On May 24, a full-page ad appeared in The Oregonian, Oregon’s largest newspaper. The “open letter,” addressed to Gov. Kate Brown, asked her to support Jordan Cove LNG, a controversial coastal liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal. Between the “COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic fallout,” the project would be crucial to restoring the state’s economy, the letter argued. “We’re going to need as many jobs as we can get, and very soon.”

We ask you to listen because Jordan Cove is about Oregon, but it is also about much more,” the letter said, a statement that certainly seems to describe the entity that bought the ad, the Western States and Tribal Nations Natural Gas Initiative, or WSTN. Despite its sole focus on exporting natural gas through the West Coast, the group is virtually unknown in Oregon.

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Stages of Grief

Posted  April 18, 2020  by  Anonymous

Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.
These are the stages of grief and I’ve been through them all since the COVID19 lockdown began. I think everyone else has going through them too.

Denial – how can this be happening? WTF is this? Isn’t there some easier way?
Anger – don’t they realize what they are doing to us and to the economy? Its so terrible for so many people.
Bargaining – well, maybe it won’t last too long if everybody acts the right way.
Depression – how awful this is, and its going on FOREVER!!!
Acceptance – it is what it is. Nothing we can do except to get through it.

Though I must admit, I still feel anger:

What shocks me about #COVID19 is the economic disaster. I never realized we might have no way to control a disease except to close everything down, worldwide, and keep it closed for weeks or months. People starving, businesses bankrupt, economies ruined, lives devastated.

— Cathie from Canada 🇨🇦 (@CathieCanada) April 14, 2020


The economic hit from this is going to be so hard, and last so long, and hurt so many innocent blameless people.
But every time I start to feel sorry for myself and for all of us, I remember that whatever I am going through, it is nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to what others are dealing with.
I don’t think our society will ever be able to repay doctors and nurses for what they are doing for all of us, risking death every day to save as many as they can.
There was one tweet in particular, from a pediatric surgical fellow and single mother in New York, that made me just cry.

My babies are too young to read this now. And they’d barely recognize me in my gear. But if they lose me to COVID I want them to know Mommy tried really hard to do her job. #GetMePPE #NYC pic.twitter.com/OMew5G7mjK

— Cornelia Griggs (@CorneliaLG) March 29, 2020


I hope she will be OK.
I hope someday her children will be able to honour her for what she is doing.

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General

Sports will be back, sort of

Posted  June 25, 2020  by  Anonymous

I think the realities of getting back to sports are becoming clearer as we begin to understand that Corona Virus is not going away any time soon.

Yes, we are going to be able to play and watch sports again! 
But no, we won’t actually be able to watch the games in person — though maybe eventually we can as long as absolutely everyone wears a mask absolutely all the time. And no shouting!
Hmm — would that even work? 
Or would the silence just be too creepy, like those bizarre photos of a chamber orchestra playing to a theatre full of plants?  
I’ve been watching the Ultimate Tennis Showdown and its fun to see a newer, quicker version of tennis, though its a little odd to hear the fake crowd noises after each shot. 
Likely when sports do get going again, each sport will have to deal with continual interruptions as individual athletes come down with COVID-19 and stop playing until they are well again.
There is one thing about the sports shutdown that I will miss — the #LifeCommentaries on twitter, when sports announcers kept themselves busy by posting videos narrating ordinary life as sporting events:

Dogging.#LifeCommentary #LiveCommentary pic.twitter.com/05A64OcSKP

— Twittbr3 (@Twittbr3) June 18, 2020

1500mm Heat#LifeCommentary #LiveCommentary pic.twitter.com/fmsIWfcfAK

— Nick Heath (@nickheathsport) April 14, 2020

Sooty looking for a clean sweep in the Regional Common Gymnastics pic.twitter.com/ycInWuMVTH

— Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) June 15, 2020

Commentators have been turning their hands (and socks) to absolutely anything lately! pic.twitter.com/xj86k27LUI

— Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) June 14, 2020

Some sports are slower. More about the strategy. pic.twitter.com/JMBaGJ1tSd

— Andrew Cotter (@MrAndrewCotter) April 9, 2020

International 4×4 Pushchair Formation Final. Live. #LifeCommentary #LiveCommentary pic.twitter.com/BGGh01m1k1

— Nick Heath (@nickheathsport) March 17, 2020

LIVE SPORT!

Today’s episode is based largely on me chasing our dog Yogi round the garden. Enjoy! 😂

Chin up people; hope you have a good weekend. 🐶😊#lifecommentary #goodboy #youbaddog pic.twitter.com/kvcgoYSr3N

— Andrew Coley (@Andrew_Coley) March 20, 2020

It was an honour to be asked to appear on this year’s unique USA @ESPYS show on @espn.

Among some incredibly poignant films, I helped provide a spot of levity as @mPinoe introduced my take on the likes of @rogerfederer @serenawilliams @lindseyvonn and @SebToots in lockdown. 🎙 pic.twitter.com/Jo1bptLV5z

— Nick Heath (@nickheathsport) June 23, 2020

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Saturday Stories: Some Of This Week’s Most Important #COVID19 Reads

Posted  March 28, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Jennifer Yang, in The Toronto Star, speaks with 3 of Toronto’s health care heroes.

Adam Rogers, in Wired, explains what convalescent plasma is and how it might help treat COVID19.

Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, being Ed Yong and writing an incredible piece on how this pandemic might end.

David Enrich, Rachel Abrams and Steven Kurutz, in The New York Time, on the sewing army rising up to help.

Helen Branswell, in STAT, summarizing all the we’ve learned to date about the SARS-CoV2 virus.

Daniela J. Lamas, in The New York Times, writing as a critical care physician in Boston on the unfathomable reality she’s facing there.

Siddhartha Mukherjee, in The New Yorker, on how the coronavirus behaves inside of our bodies.

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China

17 Developers Are Testing Coronavirus Vaccines on Humans. Here’s What You Need to Know About Them.

Posted  July 3, 2020  by  Anonymous

The race to develop a coronavirus vaccine is getting crowded — and expensive.

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General

Black Environmentalists Are Organizing to Save the Planet From Injustice

Posted  June 17, 2020  by  guest
Black Lives Matter sign in a lawn

Read time: 4 mins

By , Grist. This story originally appeared in Grist and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

I can’t breathe.” These were among the final words that George Floyd and Eric Garner gasped before their deaths at the hands of white police officers. That plea has become part of the current rallying cry for racial justice and an end to police brutality in the U.S. But for Black people living near industrial facilities, the phrase has an additional layer of meaning: a reminder of their disproportionate pollution burden.

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Lockdown Loneliness Inspired Me to Create a Load of Imaginary Friends

Posted  July 3, 2020  by  VICE Staff

Photographer Flora Maclean was stuck at home, not on a desert island – but that didn’t stop her from making her own collection of Wilsons.

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Saturday Stories: This week in COVID19

Posted  May 16, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff
Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, UK RN, 28 years old, died from COVID April 12th. May her memory be a blessing.  

Peter Piot, one of the scientists who discovered Ebola, in Science, with his thoughts on COVID, both as an expert and as a survivor.

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Canada

Armed Military Member Rammed Truck Through Gates Where Trudeau Lives

Posted  July 2, 2020  by  Anonymous

The man was arrested after driving onto the grounds of Rideau Hall, where the Prime Minister, his family, and the Governor General live.

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General

Courage is found in unlikely places

Posted  March 18, 2020  by  Anonymous

Things are awful and they’re going to get worse – the economy is going to tank, maybe worse than it did in 2008, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to lose their jobs. 

To understand why the world economy is in grave peril because of the spread of coronavirus, it helps to grasp one idea that is at once blindingly obvious and sneakily profound.
One person’s spending is another person’s income. That, in a single sentence, is what the $87 trillion global economy is.That relationship, between spending and income, consumption and production, is at the core of how a capitalist economy works. It is the basis of a perpetual motion machine. We buy the things we want and need, and in exchange give money to the people who produced those things, who in turn use that money to buy the things they want and need, and so on, forever.
What is so deeply worrying about the potential economic ripple effects of the virus is that it requires this perpetual motion machine to come to a near-complete stop across large chunks of the economy, for an indeterminate period of time.

In spite of the billions that governments will spend to prop up the economy, our standard of living is going to decline. Or at least it will FEEL like it is declining — we won’t have the restaurants around anymore that we used to love, we won’t be getting the variety and quality of food we are used to seeing in grocery stores because the agricultural and shipping industries are going to be in such disarray, we won’t have sports or new TV shows or new movies or touring theatre companies or concerts or community events. For many of us, our retirement savings are taking a hit that we won’t be able to recover. 
Not to mention, of course, the hundreds of thousands around the world who will get sick, and the tens of thousands who will die in the next 18 months to two years, before a COVID vaccine can be developed and put into production and reach the market.
Goodbye yellow brick road, yes indeed.
Someday maybe we will say “I remember when you could walk into a store and buy bananas any time of the year”.
So in the meantime, I can only keep my spirits up by searching out some “good news” stories. Because once again, in a crisis, people have a remarkable way of pulling together, pushing though, helping themselves and each other to cope and to manage and to survive.

“But where shall I find courage?” asked Frodo.
“That is what I chiefly need.”“Courage is found in unlikely places,” said Gildor.
“Be of good hope! Sleep now!”

Beautiful. King Street, right? https://t.co/LkN6dqdqnj

— David Frum (@davidfrum) March 18, 2020

@CoronavirusCast

You wanted some positive stories.
Here you go. This man must be a listener.

Sask. First Nation chief prepared for COVID-19 pandemic weeks before it hit https://t.co/1zRd7e74O3

— Raptor Girl SK- We the Champs! (@raptorgirlSK) March 17, 2020

While our doors may be closed, we’ll still bring the Gallery to you online.

During our closure, we’ll take you on a tour, gallery by gallery. Each day we’ll focus on one room and the works of art on view within it. #MuseumFromHome pic.twitter.com/VfI4Nm8kj5

— National Gallery of Art (@ngadc) March 14, 2020

We’re better than our political leadership. https://t.co/ez9K1RChDP

— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) March 16, 2020

Louis Vuitton is switching all its perfume & cosmetic manufacturing factories to make hand sanitizer gels. https://t.co/p6I5QC1s4d

— Krishnan (@cvkrishnan) March 15, 2020

Hope they were able to find some TP https://t.co/3gBnXKJAKB

— Kevin Smith (@Global_Smith) March 15, 2020

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Saturday Stories: This Week in #COVID19

Posted  May 2, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff
Arlene Reid, 51, mother of 5 and PSW in Ontario working in LTC, died from COVID19 on April 27th. May her memory be a blessing.

Gid MK, in Medium, with his meta-analysis of reported infection fatality rates for COVID19

Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee, in Inside, on the out of control “science” of this pandemic.

Joss Fong, in Vox, with a great explainer on how to understand that graph of all the countries’ COVID cases you keep seeing. 

Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, with a spectacular guide on how to make sense of the all over the place that is COVID19.

Caitlin Flanagan, in The Atlantic, with the 2020 commencement speech you’re never hear (but you should so read).

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Oh My God The Nutrition World Is Painful

Posted  February 19, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Short post to say that watching people aggressively argue about their preferred diets of choice, and seeing reputable people willing to prop up the most shameless of medical hucksters if they happen to share a nutritional belief, and the endless debates about physiology, and meal timing, and breakfast, and fasting, and macronutrients, and lipids, and anti-science shilling, and multi-level marketing, and so much more, is so very tiresome.

As a clinician I know that what actually matters is how to help the person sitting in front of me, remembering that science, meal patterns, macronutrients, and physiology, may not always matter the way some study says they could or should in the face of an individual’s life and personal preferences. Ultimately, and regardless of what I think is “right” on paper or right for me, my job is to help patients make sustainable changes that in turn lead them towards the healthiest life that they can actually enjoy.

Similarly, as a public health advocate, I know that if there were any amount of education, or a brilliantly crafted public health message, that in turn would effectively drive societal behaviour change we’d have all already changed all of our behaviours. I can also tell you that energies spent on initiatives relegated to personal responsibility, including but not restricted to those promoting one person’s diet tribe, pale in importance to energies spent on initiatives relevant to changing the food environment. And there’s no shortage of targets that span all dietary dogmas – from advertising to kids, front-of-package health claim reforms, junk food fundraising, the provision of free cooking skills to kids and adults, national school food programs and improvements, tax incentives and disincentives, and more.

All this to say, it’s my opinion that these two flawed foci, that there’s one best or right way and that personal responsibility will be our salvation, are the two main reasons why we can’t have nice things in nutrition and nutrition related public health.

        
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Saturday Stories: Still Just Coronavirus Links – Guessing It Might Be This Way For A Little While At Least

Posted  March 21, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Gretchen Reynolds, in The New York Times, answers questions as to the safety of exercising in the face of COVID-19

Cornelia Griggs, in The New York Times,  a critical care physician in New York, explains why she needs you to know that the sky is falling.

Yascha Mounk, in The Atlantic, tries to explain why people aren’t staying home despite incredible risks and ramifications of not doing so.

Ashleigh Tuite and David Fisman, in The Globe and Mail, both infectious disease epidemiologists, with their thoughts on how we might slow the burn of the COVID-19 forest fire.

Aaron E. Carroll and Ashish Jha, in The Atlantic, with their thoughts on how we can beat this coronavirus.

Pam Belluck, in The New York Times, needs you to know that though children uniformly have much milder cases of COVID-19 than adults, some will become seriously ill.

Manny Fernandez, in The New York Times, with a sobering read on how the coronavirus will impact the already impoverished.

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