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: 6 mins
It’s been a bumpy ride for the auto industry in the ongoing battle over clean car regulations and California’s authority to set stricter rules for vehicle emissions. The industry is now divided as several automakers reached a deal over the summer with California to embrace a cleaner emissions standard through 2026, while a coalition of other carmakers recently backed the Trump administration in a lawsuit challenging the administration’s withdrawal of California’s waiver allowing it to set tougher tailpipe pollution controls. That coalition, which includes auto giants like General Motors and Toyota, claims to support “year over year increases in fuel economy” but also opposes California’s authority to set tailpipe emissions standards aligned with that increase.
The announcement by the Toyota and General Motors group was “not surprising, but it’s disappointing,” according to Don Anair, deputy and research director for the Clean Transportation program at Union of Concerned Scientists.
We just saw it here, and now its happening in the States as well.Its the perception by journalists and opinion pundits that they “know” where the general public is at, and therefore that they can just pull voting predictions out of their ass — instead…
Cavemen didn’t wear jeans. Nope, hiding from mammoths, bashing saber-tooth skulls, and setting up the cave was tough enough without furry leg-warmers chafing their hairy thighs. And, it wasn’t just them either: Free-legs living was The Thing To Do for the past hundred thousand years until a bunch of horse-riding Persians invented pants back in […]
Hit the gas, baby. You’re free. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Follow me on Facebook —
The post #378 Finally making it past whatever it was that caused traffic to slow down appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 7 mins
The company that for the past decade has been emblematic of the rise and pitfalls of shale drilling and fracking, Chesapeake Energy, saw its stock price collapse today, plunging by 29.15 percent in a single day.
At the end of the day on November 6, a share in Chesapeake (NYSE:CHK) was worth less than a buck, priced at $0.91.
Well according to this new RCT it is – in it they found that patients randomly assigned to 4 months of severe energy restriction (65-75% restriction of energy by way of total meal replacement/all liquid diet) followed by 8 months of moderate energy restriction (25-35%), at 12 months, lost significantly more weight than those assigned from the get go to the same degree of moderate energy restriction.
So first off it’s not remotely surprising that putting two groups on the exact same diet (25-35% energy restriction) but starting one group off with 4 months of extreme energy restriction sees those who had the extreme jump start lose more in total.
Secondly, it would appear that the extreme folks have a weight gain trajectory that may well erase the differences over time.
And thirdly, this got me thinking. Behavioural weight loss programs, because they don’t involve products (unless medications are being tested, and here they were not), have outcomes that are likely significantly dependent on both material, and perhaps more importantly, on the service providers. Consequently I do wonder about the ability of any of these sorts of studies to be applicable to other offices or programs. Meaning here at least, it would appear the extreme folks did better, and the moderate folks dropped out more often (perhaps consequent to slower than desired initial losses), but would the same necessarily be true at a different site, with the same restrictions but with different service providers, collateral materials, attention and support?
I’d venture those things matter a great deal more than is generally ever mentioned in the medical literature.
And a Movember update! If you enjoy these posts (or even if you don’t but you hate read them for something to rage about thereby adding some extra meaning or identity to your life) would love your tax deductible donation to my lipterpillar’s growth (and remember, you can give anonymously too). And though I have a family history of prostate cancer (hi Dad!) I think it’s important to note that beyond prostate cancer Movember funds multiple men’s health initiatives including mental health, suicide, body image, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and testicular cancer. And while I will never charge a penny or host an advertisement on this site, I will, on an annual basis, ask for your donation to this cause. To donate, simply click here
Everybody’s got a classic. Buried in the basement, brass-framed in the family room, you’ve got a dusty 8×10 gem of a bad school photo featuring a bad school photo trend: • That laser background. Remember when the studio hired an acid junkie to paint that pink and blue laser background for a couple years? There […]
Read time: 7 mins
California and Colorado’s public pension funds together lost out on over $19 billion over the past decade by investing in fossil fuel stocks, according to a report released on Tuesday.
The three public pension funds analyzed are currently worth a combined $663 billion. However, if they’d divested from fossil companies in 2009 while keeping their other investments at the same proportions, they could have amassed a combined additional $19 billion in ten years, the report published by Corporate Knights, a Canadian media, research and financial firm, concludes.
Read time: 5 mins
After revising its three-year U.S. power forecast, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has predicted major declines for fossil fuels and nuclear power alongside strong growth in renewables by 2022, according to a review of the data by the SUN DAY Campaign, a pro-renewables research and education nonprofit.
“FERC‘s latest three-year projections continue to underscore the dramatic changes taking place in the nation’s electrical generating mix,” noted Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “Renewable energy sources are rapidly displacing uneconomic and environmentally dangerous fossil fuels and nuclear power — even faster than FERC had anticipated just a half-year ago.”
A few months ago I visited the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus and decided to have a peek over at the cafeteria.
It won an award you see, an “Award of Recognition” to be exact, which according to the plaque was for,
“significant achievement in creating a supportive, healthy, nutrition environment across hospital retail food settings“
A supportive and health nutrition environment you say?
Um, about that:
While lying on the grass, lazing on the couch, or relaxing in some crumpled sheets, you sometimes just fall into the moment with someone you love. After the conversation dies down and the background noise fades away you smile silently and melt into an arms-and-legs embrace. Gaze into their eyes, push your ears to their […]
The post #380 Lying on someone’s chest and hearing their heartbeat appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Nature-deficit disorder expert Richard Louv explores the value of our connection to wild animals in his latest book. (Images: Courtesy of Algonquin Books)
One morning Lisa Donahue walked into her dining room and saw her six-year-old son, Aidan, and their large retriever, Jack, stretched out together on the dining room carpet. Both were facing away from Donahue.
The boy was stroking the dog’s side. Then she heard her son say quietly, matter-of-factly, “Mommy, I don’t have a heart anymore.”
Startled, she asked her son what he meant.
“My heart is in Jack,” he answered.
She watched them for a while, in the silence and peace.
Read time: 7 mins
By Ruth Hayhurst for Drill or Drop
After seven years of promoting fracking, Conservative ministers have withdrawn their support and blocked the prospects of a shale gas industry.
The UK government has issued an immediate moratorium in England because of the risk of earth tremors. Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already issued measures that amount to moratoriums on fracking.
Boy, people are really getting pissed off these days! Its very entertaining, really:
Clocks going back 57 minutes in Alberta after 5% cut by UCP government. #AbLeg https://t.co/ABqMWF6yg5
— Alan T Perry (@AlanTPerry) November 3, 2019
And he’s an Anglican priest!
You’re an idiot. Truly.
— Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) November 2, 2019
And he used to be the Director of the CIA
In the Star Phoenix, Doug Cuthand talks sense about Western separatism:
Kenny and Moe remind me of the two cartoon dogs, Spike and Chester. Remember them? Spike was a mean bulldog and Chester was his little sidekick who pranced around saying that Spike was his hero because he was so big and strong … I’ll leave it to you to determine which one is which.
It’s time both premiers got real and faced the fact that the economy is changing and the demand for oil is peaking. The United States is now energy self-sufficient and within a decade about half the new vehicles sold will be electric. Dirty oil, like the tarsands, will go the way of coal mines. These commodities are expensive to extract and refine and not economically viable in a world with declining demand.
Economics trump politics and there is little or nothing politicians can do about it.
One of the other things that Western Canadian separatists are also forgetting is that it isn’t their land to bargain away – its treaty land. Cuthand continues:
Our leaders made a treaty to share the land and build a future together. Of course, the equality and cooperation didn’t happen, but we’re still working on it.
At no time did our elders envision a future without the treaty and the protection of the Crown. Also, there is no groundswell of support for separation within the Indigenous community. Through Treaty we chose Canada.
When Quebec was going through its separation anxiety, my friend Billy Two Rivers from the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation commented that the only land the separatists could take with them was the dirt under their fingernails.
I agree. If the separatists want to leave Western Canada, go ahead, but the land remains with us.
Shauna Harrison, herself both a fitness instruction and a Ph.D. in public health, in Self, is begging you to stop taking nutrition advice from your fitness instructors.
Nell Scovell, in Vanity Fair, with an amazing piece of writing about her pre-#MeToo era interactions with David Letterman, and what it was like to sit down with him a decade later to discuss it.
Lindsay Crouse, Nayeema Raza, Taige Jensen and Max Cantor, in the New York Times, with just a lovely video on Guillermo Piñeda Morales, a.k.a. Memo, and his fitness methodology.
Lastly, I’ve had many people write to me over the years about their enjoyment of Saturday Stories in particular. If that’s you, and if it moves you, today is #Movember 2nd! and your donations are my ෴’s fertilizer! You give, I grow. And beyond prostate cancer Movember funds multiple men’s health initiatives including mental health, suicide, body image, eating disorders, substance use disorders, & testicular cancer. To donate, simply click here
Photo by Pete Souza – Cropped from https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/3994558942, Public Domain, Link
Read time: 9 mins
Mounting concerns over pollution, public health, and the expansion of the petrochemical industry came to a head when two activists were detained in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on October 30, the last day of a two-week protest against environmental racism in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley.
Ice breaking off at the Burgerbukta Glacier, which extends out into the Hornsund fiord in southern Svalbard. (Photo: Tanya Kirnishni/Can Geo)
Longyearbyen, the northernmost permanent settlement in the world, is located on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and sits in a river valley bracketed on both sides by steep mountains. A series of tall snow fences cuts across the slope of the mountains to the east of town, just above a row of colourful houses. These fences weren’t there before 2018.
Rola Tibshirani uses an augmented reality sandbox with 3D visualization in her classroom, where students mold the sand by hand, creating a coloured topographical map.
Rola Tibshirani teaches Grade 7 French Immersion at All Saints High School in Ot…
Read time: 9 mins
America’s air seems to have taken a turn for the worse, according to recent scientific research. Last week, a nationwide study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) found that the country’s air quality deteriorated in 2017 and 2018 — a dramatic reversal of improvements recorded over the prior seven years.
Today, the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) — an organization funded by oil and gas producers — released their own report that presents a different narrative about energy production and air quality in Pennsylvania, a state that’s become one of the nation’s largest producers of fossil fuels.
CEA‘s report first points to a drop in some types of air pollution in Pennsylvania between 1990 and 2016 and next to a rise in natural gas production in the state from 2010 to 2018.
But a look at the data presented inside that report — a two-page infographic drawing on data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Energy Information Administration — shows that connecting more drilling to less pollution is deeply misleading, public health experts said.
Traditionally named swiwelát for its sunny warmth, Princess Louisa Inlet is a deep fiord located in the ancestral territory of the shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast. (Photo: Diane Selkirk)
British Columbia’s Princess Louisa Inlet is a misty rainforest work of art. Traditionally named swiwelát for its sunny warmth, the deep fiord located in the ancestral territory of the shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation on the Sunshine Coast, about 100 kilometres northwest of Vancouver, is a place of mossy forests, granite cliffs and more than 60 tumbling waterfalls — home to seals, grizzly bears, mountain goats, eagles and northern goshawks.
Lots of hoopla on nutrition Twitter this week because RD Tracey Fox questioned the wisdom of serving donuts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE).
Hyperbole and fallacious arguments from both sides ensued.
The people hating on the donuts predictably likened sugar to *checks tweets, sighs* heroin and cigarettes, while the people defending them, their arguments are probably fairly summed up in this tweet:
It’s these arguments that I want to very briefly address.
As I’ve written before in reference to a physician conference I attended where they were serving soda, Clif bars, and potato chips as a snack, human beings, including MDs and RDs, when faced with freely provided indulgent choices, tend to choose them, and I can’t help but wonder had they not been offered how many RDs would have gone for a donut or cookie run?
And of course it’s not “just one“. We are all constantly faced with indulgent choices being offered to us freely to christen every event no matter how small, and we’ve created a food environment whereby we have to go out of our way to make healthy choices and to actively, regularly, say no to indulgent ones. Now I think indulgent choices are part of life, an enjoyable part at that, and ones that I even actively encourage my patients to make, but I also think it would be in everyone’s best interest were that food environment reversed, where the healthy choices are the defaults and indulgent choices are readily available for anyone who wants to go out of their way to get them.
And by the way, at FNCE this year they were certainly readily available. The decadent Beiler’s Bakery was 92ft away from the Pennsylvania Convention Centre, while more pedestrian Dunkin’ was 135ft away.
Yes, the constant provision of junk food is a societal norm, but it certainly need not be.
And honestly, if even the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics enables and encourages poor dietary choices at RD events, why would anyone expect better from others?
Until we stop leaning on the theoretical ability of people “just saying no“, or that the provision of healthy choices somehow erases the provision of junk, as the primary means to address a food environment that incessantly offers and pushes nutritional chaff at every turn, we’re not likely to ever see change, and frankly this is a charge that AND should be leading.
The LA Times fire coverage is free today. Very scary fires all over the state.
Here’s every fire burning in Southern California today: https://t.co/FZXtgcKvLc pic.twitter.com/ll3JoeUzQI
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) October 31, 2019
Omg omg 😭🥰🐎 RT @LoganHallNews: Video of the day from the #EasyFire. A horse goes back into the blaze to get his family. pic.twitter.com/kTP48pt9sg
— Sarah (@MissSarah_2) October 30, 2019
A wildfire ignited on a Sacramento-area highway, forcing drivers off-road to escape the flames. Experts say the climate crisis has made California’s fire season longer and more intense. pic.twitter.com/PfSGyVPrS1
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 30, 2019
“We’re going to die.” Nursing facility patients had minutes to flee a California wildfire. Quick work by the staff got all the patients to safety and firefighters saved the facility. https://t.co/MI3Q3RMkRH
— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) October 31, 2019
Goats help save California’s Reagan library from wildfire https://t.co/rhjgFSx9Xv pic.twitter.com/GvAkpqnCWS
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 31, 2019
As California fires rage, Lebron James, José Andrés, and local chefs gift meals to first responders https://t.co/APQ7JyXlA9
— Daily Kos (@dailykos) October 31, 2019
Read time: 6 mins
The House Oversight Committee, which last week heard testimony on the oil industry’s efforts to suppress climate science, continued to probe the industry’s deception and influence with a hearing on the Trump administration’s proposed rollbacks of clean car standards — rollbacks that stand to benefit Big Oil at the expense of consumers and the environment.
At Tuesday’s hearing of the Oversight Committee’s Environment subcommittee, the oil industry’s importance in affecting the weaker standards for vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions was front and center as Republicans led an ultimately unsuccessful effort to adjourn the hearing before witness testimony even began.
During the more than half hour delay, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised a question to her Republican colleagues:
Let me be clear: when it comes to Meghan Murphy and her followers at the Toronto Public Library versus the protesters outside, I stand with the protesters. Now, let me be less clear. At this point, I’m beginning to…
An eelgrass meadow, a type of seagrass found in the northern hemisphere including in Boundary Bay, British Columbia, shown here at low tide. (Photo: Katie Tjaden-McClement)
What do knee-high pantyhose have in common with fertilizer used on garden tomatoes? Believe it or not, they are both used in conservation research on a very important coastal habitat in Canada that most people have never heard of: seagrass beds.
Writer Jenn Thornhill Verma revisits the collapse of Newfoundland and Labrador’s cod fishery a quarter century later in her new book. (Photos courtesy Nimbus Publishing)
Meet Eugene (Gene) Maloney, an 86-year-old retired fisher, boat-builder and father of five living in Bay Bulls, on the Avalon Peninsula about a 25-minute drive from St. John’s in eastern Newfoundland and Labrador. Gene’s a stocky man, as sturdy as the wooden boats he builds.
He builds them in his woodsheds. Like many Newfoundlanders, especially the self-respecting outport kind, Maloney has multiple sheds — three, in fact, but based on the materials stacked outside, he could do with another.
Read time: 6 mins
Today Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) led a hearing of Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis, which examined “Dark Money and Barriers to Climate Action.” The testimony of the expert panel and the questions and observations from senators reinforced the overwhelming influence of money — and specifically untraceable donations known as “dark money” — working against action on climate change.
Read time: 9 mins
Fossil fuel interests appear intent on swaying public opinion about the electric vehicle tax credit, based on recent polling on the policy. A deeper look at these efforts reveals oil and gas funding behind the groups conducting the polls and blatant bias in the polling methodology, according to experts.
Survey results commissioned and publicized by the American Energy Alliance (AEA) seem on their surface to indicate that a majority of respondents are not thrilled about subsidizing EVs purchased by other consumers, particularly wealthy Americans. However, according to polling experts who reviewed the survey for DeSmog, the questions were designed to solicit a certain response and produce results to serve a predetermined narrative that supports the oil industry’s interests. According to polling expert Ed Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, the surveys relied on “highly biased questions designed to elicit highly misleading answers.”
Read time: 10 mins
On October 23, New York Attorney General Letitia James, joined by attorneys general from Maryland, New Jersey, and California, sent a letter of support to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) over a Washington state law that would limit the volatility of oil transported by train through the state.
That oil originates in the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and Montana, where trains help take the place of scarce pipelines in order to move fracked crude oil to Washington’s refineries and ports along the coast. North Dakota and Montana have fought back against Washington’s law, which was passed in May, and filed a petition to PHMSA in protest just two months later.
(A variation of this post was first published October 24th, 2013)
And I’m not really all that worried. At least not about Halloween night.
The fact is food’s not simply fuel, and like it or not, Halloween and candy are part of the very fabric of North American culture, and so to suggest that kids shouldn’t enjoy candy on Halloween isn’t an approach I support.
That said, Halloween sure isn’t pretty. On average every Halloween sized candy contains in the order of 2 teaspoons of sugar and the calories of 2 Oreo cookies and I’d bet most Halloween eves there are more kids consuming 10 or more Halloween treats than less – 20 teaspoons of sugar and the calories of more than half an entire package of Oreos (there are 36 cookies in a package of Oreos).
So what’s a health conscious parent to do?
Use Halloween as a teachable moment. After all, it’s not Halloween day that’s the real problem, the real problem are the other 364 days of Halloween where we as a society have very unwisely decided to reward, pacify and entertain kids with junk food or candy (see my piece on the 365 days of Halloween here). So what can be taught on Halloween?
Well firstly I think that if you’d like, you can chat some about added sugar and those rule of thumb figures up above provide easily visualized metrics for kids and parents alike.
Secondly it allows for a discussion around “thoughtful reduction“. Ask your kids how many candies they think they’ll need to enjoy Halloween? Remember, the goal is the healthiest life that can be enjoyed, and that goes for kids too, and consequently the smallest amount of candy that a kid is going to need to enjoy Halloween is likely a larger amount than a plain old boring Thursday. In my house our kids have determined 3 treats are required (and I’m absolutely guessing likely a few more on the road) – so our kids come home, they dump their sacks, and rather than just eat randomly from a massive pile they hunt out the 3 treats they think would be the most awesome and then silently learn a bit about mindful eating by taking their time to truly enjoy them.
Well it goes into the cupboard and gets metered out at a rate of around a candy a day….but strangely….and I’m not entirely sure how this happens, maybe it’s cupboard goblins, but after the kids go to sleep the piles seem to shrink more quickly than math would predict (though a few years ago my oldest told me she believed it was her parents eating them and that she was going to count her candies each night). I’ve also heard of some families who grab glue guns and make a Halloween candy collage, and dentist offices who host charitable Halloween candy buy-backs.
Lastly, a few years ago we discovered that the Switch Witch’ territory had expanded to include Ottawa. Like her sister the Tooth Fairy, the Switch Witch likes to collect things and on Halloween, she flies around looking for piles of candy to “switch” for toys in an attempt to keep kids’ teeth free from cavities for her sister. The joy and excitement on my kids’ faces when they came downstairs on November 1st that first Switch Witch year was something to behold, and is already a discussion between them this year.
And if you do happen upon our home, we haven’t given out candy since 2006 and we haven’t been egged either. You can buy Halloween coloured play-doh packs at Costco, Halloween glow sticks, stickers or temporary tattoos at the dollar store (glow sticks seem to be the biggest hit in our neighbourhood), or if your community is enlightened, you might even be able to pick up free swim or skate passes for your local arena or YMCA.
Here is the vote result in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta:
Liberals: 500,000 votes – 4 seats
NDP: 466,000 votes – 4 seats
Conservatives: 2 million votes – 54 seats
So don’t talk to me about the “popular vote”! On that basis, the Cons are extremely over-represented in western Canada.
And here’s some info about the rest of the country:
When Canadians have swung 66% in favour of climate action, hard to see how the CPC can form even a minority govt in the foreseeable future.
Their path to power depends on making huge gains in that ROC where they got 28% of the vote. 2/
— Sandy Garossino (@Garossino) October 27, 2019
James Hamblin, in The Atlantic, with his typically insightful thoughts, this time about whether meat is good or bad for you.
Kim Tingley, in the New York Times Magazine, asks why isn’t there one best diet for everyone?
Andrew Mark Bennett, in Tablet, on modern day German antisemitism and what German Jews are doing about it..
[And if you don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook, had a chat with the ladies from The Social yesterday about vaccinations]
We know you’ve been waiting, and the time has finally arrived: the 34th edition of Canadian Geographic’s long-running Annual Photo Competition is now open for entries.
Read time: 8 mins
President Trump has made clear that he wants to move the nation’s glut of fracked natural gas onto trains and then to ships for sale abroad.
In response to Trump’s April executive order pushing federal agencies to make that happen, the Department of Transportation (DOT) on October 18 announced a proposed rule for what it calls the “safe transportation of liquefied natural gas [LNG] by rail tank car.”
However, the proposed rule does not include any new safety regulations or require any safety testing for moving large quantities of this flammable cargo. Instead, the rule, coming from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), would allow the rail industry to move LNG in rail tank cars, labeled DOT-113, currently used to ship small quantities of other flammable gases super-cooled into liquid form.
Read time: 3 mins
Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil today over the company’s misinformation campaign to delay action to address climate change.
Attorney General Maura Healey told reporters in a press conference today that “Exxon has fought us every step of the way,” and was “completely uncooperative,” noting that the company failed to comply with requests for documents and depositions.