Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for April 2nd, 2009

The American Clean Energy And Security Act

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From the Center for American Progress:

Following President Obama’s call for investment in a clean energy economy, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chair Ed Markey (D-MA) this week unveiled green economy legislation.  The 648-page "discussion draft" of the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act sets national standards for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and global warming pollution, but it does not specify whether industry will be subsidized to achieve those standards. However, the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Joseph Romm still gave the bill a "B+," because it "boosts the economy, creates green jobs, and puts the country on a path to preserve a livable climate." The global warming cap-and-trade system described in the bill would restore American technological leadership and steer us away from planetary catastrophe. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) claimed it would "raise energy taxes in the midst of a serious recession." Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) echoed industry talking points by saying that the pollution targets "impose too much of a burden." Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) claimed that the bill would "save the planet by sacrificing the economy."

ECONOMY VS. ENVIRONMENT?: The attacks on green economy legislation are based on the premise that protecting the environment comes at a cost to the economy. But the premise is false. Our fossil-based economy comes with great costs for society — and not just the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on Saudi oil. Global warming-fueled disasters already cost the United States billions of dollars a year, and their cost will eventually reach trillions. Clean energy standards will reduce the 24,000 premature deaths, 550,000 asthma attacks, and 38,000 heart attacks caused each year by power-plant pollution and disproportionately harms children and the elderly. According to an analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the ACES standard requiring all utilities to obtain 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025 would create 297,000 new domestic jobs and save consumers $64.3 billion in lower electricity and natural gas bills. Building a green economy that would cut United States greenhouse emissions by 45 percent by 2030 could create a net 7.8 million jobs versus business as usual. The economy versus environment myth was debunked 10 years ago when a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher found that states with stronger environmental policies "consistently out-performed the weaker environmental states on all the economic measures." The true choice facing the American public is a green economy that offers jobs, opportunity, and a healthy planet, or a gray economy of pollution, debt, and inequity.

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Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 3:12 pm

How the salmonella got into the pistachios

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Interesting:

A basic error on the production lines of a California processing plant is thought to have contaminated its pistachios with salmonella, a top federal food safety official said yesterday.

Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, the nation’s second-largest processor of the nut, ran raw and roasted pistachios through the same machinery on several production lines, said David Acheson, assistant commissioner for food protection at the Food and Drug Administration.

Salmonella bacteria can live on raw nuts but are usually killed during the roasting process. Good manufacturing standards call for keeping raw and roasted nuts separate so that bacteria do not spread between the two.

It is unclear why Setton Pistachio ran raw and roasted nuts through the same machinery. A company spokeswoman did not respond to queries.

The company was apparently aware that it had a salmonella problem because its own tests found the bacteria on roasted nuts, Acheson said. Managers ran the nuts through the roasting process a second time to kill the bacteria before shipping them to customers, an accepted way to "recondition" the product, he said.

The FDA learned of the test results in the past week. Setton Pistachio did not report them to any regulatory agency because it is not required to do so under state or federal law. It is unclear what additional steps, if any, the company took to address the presence of salmonella in its plant, Acheson said…

Continue reading. I see where one improvement might be made.

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2 April 2009 at 11:49 am

Can fractals explain quantum mechanics?

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Interesting article in New Scientist:

Quantum theory just seems too weird to believe. Particles can be in more than one place at a time. They don’t exist until you measure them. Spookier still, they can even stay in touch when they are separated by great distances.

Einstein thought this was all a bit much, believing it to be evidence of major problems with the theory, as many critics still suspect today. Quantum enthusiasts point to the theory’s extraordinary success in explaining the behaviour of atoms, electrons and other quantum systems. They insist we have to accept the theory as it is, however strange it may seem.

But what if there were a way to reconcile these two opposing views, by showing how quantum theory might emerge from a deeper level of non-weird physics?

If you listen to physicist Tim Palmer, it begins to sound plausible. What has been missing, he argues, are some key ideas from an area of science that most quantum physicists have ignored: the science of fractals, those intricate patterns found in everything from fractured surfaces to oceanic flows (see What is a fractal?).

Take the mathematics of fractals into account, says Palmer, and the long-standing puzzles of quantum theory may be much easier to understand. They might even dissolve away…

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 11:46 am

Posted in Daily life, Science

More work needed on financial disclosures

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Interesting article in The Economist:

In the past scientists sometimes managed to publish medical studies flogging the supposed benefits of some or other drug without disclosing that they had financial ties to the drug’s manufacturer. One of the leading voices arguing for full disclosure of such connections has been the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Catherine DeAngelis, JAMA’s editor, was even awarded the Catcher in the Rye humanitarian prize last year “because of her leadership on discussions of conflicts of interest in medicine.”

So it comes as something of a shock to see her journal now engulfed by a scandal concerning its handling of precisely such a matter. The affair, which involves both non-disclosure of financial interests and alleged attempts to suppress whistle-blowers, has already drawn other medical journals into the fray. On March 20th JAMA published an editorial revising its procedures for investigating allegations of such misconduct—but this new policy has itself come under attack.

The trouble started when JAMA published a study last May that looked at how best to prevent depression in patients recovering from strokes. A team of researchers, led by Robert Robinson of the University of Iowa, compared the usefulness of “problem-solving therapy” (i.e., talking) and escitalopram (a popular antidepressant drug also known as Lexapro) against a placebo. Lexapro is made by Forest Laboratories, an American firm under investigation by the Department of Justice for marketing that drug “for unapproved paediatric use and for paying kickbacks to induce physicians to prescribe”.

The study prompted much favourable coverage of Lexapro, thanks in part to kind words from the its authors. In USA Today, a widely read newspaper, Dr Robinson insisted that “every stroke patient who can tolerate an antidepressant should be given one”. But the study itself did not support such a clear conclusion. Rather, it found that although both forms of treatment were better than a placebo, there was no statistical difference between the results from the use of talk therapy and the popping of Lexapro.

Alas, as Jeffrey Lacasse of Arizona State University and Jonathan Leo of Lincoln Memorial University pointed out in a letter published in JAMA last October, Dr Robinson failed to clarify that important point in his paper. In a response published alongside the critical letter from Drs Lacasse and Leo, Dr Robinson and his colleagues acknowledged that Lexapro performed no better than talk therapy in their study, but insisted this omission was not intended to mislead.

To make matters worse, though, he had taken money from …

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2 April 2009 at 11:44 am

Good news: surge of college students studying "green energy"

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From the LA Times:

In what could be an encouraging sign of change in the long-standing shortage of Americans preparing for "clean energy" careers, the subject is suddenly hot on college campuses across the nation — a surge of interest largely stimulated by the specter of global warming.

Concern about climate change is galvanizing more undergraduate students to turn toward a subject involving science and engineering, some educators suggest, in much the same way that Moscow’s launching of the Sputnik space satellite jolted baby boomers to turn their eyes to the stars.

What remains uncertain is whether their enthusiasm for renewable energy will carry over into graduate school and lead them to swell the ranks of Americans with advanced science and engineering degrees.
"We have a shortfall of people to do cutting-edge research and do the innovations we need," said Vijay K. Dhir, dean of the engineering school at UCLA. But, he added, "the potential is there."

The rising interest in renewable energy is so new that it’s …

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2 April 2009 at 11:41 am

Media knowingly provokes copycat killings

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"Knowingly" in the sense that it’s well known how to avoid such provocation, but the mainstream media do it anyway. From Mind Hacks:

Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe is a comedy news analysis programme that often has a serious point. A recent episode had a section examining TV coverage of the tragic school shooting that recently occurred in Germany and its relation to the motivations of potential copycat killers.

The video clip contrasts the advice of a forensic psychiatrist on how to cover the story in the media to prevent further tragedies and the actual coverage the incident received. I’m sure you can guess the rest.

The forensic psychiatrist being interviewed is Park Dietz, who frequently appears in the media but who has also done a great deal of research in the area, including the classic article ‘Mass, serial and sensational homicides’ where he noted that publicity was a major factor in driving these sorts of public killing sprees.

This was published in 1986 and more than 20 years later satirists are being fed material by TV stations who can’t resist sensationalist coverage.

Both funny and uncomfortably chilling.

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 11:38 am

Posted in Daily life, Media, Science

Good news: Bagram detainees have rights

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Daphne Eviatar in the Washington Independent:

In a groundbreaking ruling today that directly contradicts the Bush and Obama administration’s insistence that detainees held by the U.S. government at the Bagram prison in Afghanistan have no right to challenge their detention in U.S. courts, a federal judge ruled on Thursday that in fact, they do.

U.S. District Court Judge John Bates ruled that the four men — all foreign nationals captured by U.S. forces outside Afghanistan and sent there to be incarcerated at a prison on the U.S.-run Bagram air base — have the same rights as prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, who were similarly sent there by U.S. forces from other countries.

As I’ve written before, the Bagram prison — which is fast turning into Obama’s Gitmo — has many of the same attributes as the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. That’s just what the lawyers for the four detainees there argued.  Although the Obama administration had, like the Bush administration before it, argued forcefully that Bagram detainees have no constitutional rights and therefore no rights to challenge their detention in U.S. courts, Bates — a conservative judge appointed by former President George W. Bush — today disagreed.

“The writ of habeas corpus plays a central role in our constitutional system as conceived by the Framers,” wrote Judge Bates. “Indeed, ‘the Framers deemed the writ to be an essential mechanism in the separation-of-powers scheme,’ ” he wrote, quoting the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Boumediene v. Bush, which gave Guantanamo detainees habeas corpus rights, “that, as Alexander Hamilton observed, was vital to the protection of individuals against the very same arbitrary exercise of the government’s power to detain that is alleged by petitioners here.”

Although all four of the detainees in the case were captured outside Afghanistan and have been held at Bagram for more than six years, Bates ruled that one of the men, who is an Afghan citizen, may not be entitled to habeas corpus review because of the “practical obstacles in the form of friction with the host country.” He ordered the lawyers to file additional briefs with the court addressing those issues.

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 11:26 am

Getting around regulations with secret trade pacts

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Interesting report in the Washington Independent by Daphne Eviatar, which begins:

Ed Brayton’s excellent investigative piece today for TWI’s sister site, The Michigan Messenger, raises a larger issue about how trade agreements often undercut domestic regulation of toxic industries, without the public ever really knowing about it.

It’s an issue that’s gotten lots of attention in other countries, such as Bolivia, where I was reporting on this a few years ago, but has remained largely under the radar here in the United States. Like the World Trade Organization rules that Ed wrote about, Bilateral Investment Treaties, which are negotiated between two countries, allow a foreign company to challenge the domestic laws of the country it’s investing in, and to claim they act as an unlawful restraint of trade by expropriating the value of the company’s investment.

In Bolivia, the fear was that multinational oil companies would use bilateral investment treaties to challenge President Evo Morales’s attempts to gain more control over the nation’s natural gas industry, which had long enriched foreign companies but did little to raise the living standards of Bolivians. (In fact, the companies did use those treaties to limit the president’s actions.)

When President George W. Bush was negotiating the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which contained similar protections for foreign companies, environmental groups worried that the treaty would make it impossible for the government to pass rules limiting the use of toxic chemicals — like cyanide — that could contaminate groundwater, a problem I wrote about at the time for The Washington Post.

In South Africa, bilateral trade treaties have been used by mining companies to challenge post-apartheid laws aimed at opening up the mining industry to black South Africans who’d for years been kept out of the nation’s most lucrative industry.

The point is that these complex trade agreements allow a foreign corporation to sue a national government for monetary damages if it believes that the actions of the federal, state or local government in a given country are discriminatory, violate international law or can be considered — directly or indirectly — an expropriation of the company’s investment. If complying with an environmental regulation makes a project no longer worth the cost, then, a company can claim that its investment has been expropriated by the state.

What makes matters worse is …

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2 April 2009 at 11:16 am

Drug decriminalization in Portugal

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Portugal decriminalized drugs effective July 1, 2001. And they like the result. Glenn Greenwald’s presentation is now on-line, and he introduces it with this:

On July 1, 2001, a nationwide law in Portugal took effect that decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Under the new legal framework, all drugs were "decriminalized," not "legalized." Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm. Drug trafficking continues to be prosecuted as a criminal offense.

While other states in the European Union have developed various forms of de facto decriminalization — whereby substances perceived to be less serious (such as cannabis) rarely lead to criminal prosecution — Portugal remains the only EU member state with a law explicitly declaring drugs to be "decriminalized." Because more than seven years have now elapsed since enactment of Portugal’s decriminalization system, there are ample data enabling its effects to be assessed.

Notably, decriminalization has become increasingly popular in Portugal since 2001. Except for some far-right politicians, very few domestic political factions are agitating for a repeal of the 2001 law. And while there is a widespread perception that bureaucratic changes need to be made to Portugal’s decriminalization framework to make it more efficient and effective, there is no real debate about whether drugs should once again be criminalized. More significantly, none of the nightmare scenarios touted by preenactment decriminalization opponents — from rampant increases in drug usage among the young to the transformation of Lisbon into a haven for "drug tourists" — has occurred.

The political consensus in favor of decriminalization is unsurprising in light of the relevant empirical data. Those data indicate that decriminalization has had no adverse effect on drug usage rates in Portugal, which, in numerous categories, are now among the lowest in the EU, particularly when compared with states with stringent criminalization regimes. Although postdecriminalization usage rates have remained roughly the same or even decreased slightly when compared with other EU states, drug-related pathologies — such as sexually transmitted diseases and deaths due to drug usage — have decreased dramatically. Drug policy experts attribute those positive trends to the enhanced ability of the Portuguese government to offer treatment programs to its citizens — enhancements made possible, for numerous reasons, by decriminalization.

This report will begin with an examination of the Portuguese decriminalization framework as set forth in law and in terms of how it functions in practice. Also examined is the political climate in Portugal both pre- and postdecriminalization with regard to drug policy, and the impetus that led that nation to adopt decriminalization.

The report then assesses Portuguese drug policy in the context of the EU’s approach to drugs. The varying legal frameworks, as well as the overall trend toward liberalization, are examined to enable a meaningful comparative assessment between Portuguese data and data from other EU states.

The report also sets forth the data concerning drug-related trends in Portugal both pre- and postdecriminalization. The effects of decriminalization in Portugal are examined both in absolute terms and in comparisons with other states that continue to criminalize drugs, particularly within the EU.

The data show that, judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalization framework has been a resounding success. Within this success lie self-evident lessons that should guide drug policy debates around the world.

Download the full report (PDF).

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 11:06 am

Posted in Drug laws, Government

The Infinite Mind unaware

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Interesting:

PR Watch has reported previously on conflict of interest issues surrounding psychiatrist Fred Goodwin, the former host of "The Infinite Mind" public radio series. In his role as host of the show, Goodwin talked up the advantages of antidepressant drugs while failing to disclose that he had received $1.2 million in fees for giving marketing lectures on behalf of pharmaceutical companies. After the funding was revealed publicly, Goodwin attempted to claim that he had informed the show’s producer, Bill Lichtenstein, of his financial ties to drugmakers (a claim initially echoed by National Public Radio‘s "On the Media" show). Now Lichtenstein is claiming vindication, and NPR has issued a retraction and public apology for its claim that Lichtenstein knew. Goodwin has also backed away from saying that he disclosed the payments, claiming instead that he doesn’t "see these things as a conflict of interest."

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 10:21 am

Posted in Business, Daily life, Media

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s bill to legalize marijuana

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If you’re interested, you can see the bill here. It will not be introduced in committee until January, and in the meantime various people are working on it (checking the language against court cases and the like). I had the bright idea that the bill should specifically state the legal marijuana had to be grown in California and that only California residents could buy the marijuana legally. This would, I thought, prevent the Interstate Commerce thing from tripping it up. I called Ammiano’s office and talked to a guy Matt, who’s one of the people working on the bill. He said that someone up there had the same idea, but in doing the legal research they found that these provisions would cause bad problems. Moreover, they’re redundant: transporting marijuana across a state border violates Federal law, so the legal marijuana would have to grown in California and sold in California, and that turns out to be better from a legal perspective. Interesting conversation, and they’re definitely working on it.

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 10:16 am

Posted in Drug laws

Larry Summers and constructive criticism

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Very interesting story by Moe Tkacik at TPM. It begins:

A former quantitative analyst at Harvard Management Company, the university’s once-vaunted endowment manager, tells the Harvard Crimson she was fired for voicing concern to then-university president Larry Summers’ chief of staff about the money manager’s risky use of derivatives the traders didn’t understand.

The episode dates back to 2002, when analyst Iris Mack, whose website identifies her as the second African American woman to earn a Harvard PhD. in applied math (and someone who likes primary colors) joined the much-venerated Harvard Management Company, which invests the university’s then $18 billion endowment, to find what she termed a "frightening" state of affairs.

"The group I was working for had no background whatsoever to be working on [derivatives]," Mack says, adding that, to her knowledge, several of her colleagues were not licensed securities traders. "Sometimes the ways they handled even basic Black-Scholes models [widely used to price stock options] were puzzling."

So Mack took inventory of the abuses — high employee turnover, lax risk management practices and a "low level of productivity in the workplace" were among others, and detailed them in an email to Marne Levine, Summers’ chief of staff and a Treasury staffer on the Obama Transition Team. (Summers was the only person to whom Meyers reported, and according to a recent Forbes story he personally ordered the university’s biggest derivatives trade, a purchase of interest rate swaps that cost the university billions this year.)

A month after sending her email, Mack was fired after a meeting in which …

Continue reading.

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2 April 2009 at 10:00 am

An opponent of national healthcare

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Interesting. From TPMDC morning roundup:

NYT: Obama Health Care Critic Brings Big Wallet — And Checkered Past
The New York Times reports that conservative critics of Obama’s health care policies may get more than they bargained for in Rick Scott, the health care exec who has already launched a series of ads opposing Obama. The issue here is that Scott’s company paid fines in the 1990s in a massive health fraud scandal, involving overbilling of state and federal health programs, and he was forced out of the company. Said health reform advocate Richard J. Kirsch: "He’s a great symbol from our point of view."

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2 April 2009 at 9:57 am

Our fractured intelligence community

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From The Daily Muck:

An internal report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Wednesday criticized the way the Director of National Intelligence position is set up, and Director Dennis Blair himself for focusing too much on briefing the President over managing intelligence agencies. Many agencies are riddled with infighting, computer problems and legal uncertainties. The DNI, created in 2004 by President Bush and Congress to reform the U.S. intelligence community following its failures prior to the 9/11 attacks, has not yet found a clear purpose and risks becoming a permanent "additional layer of bureaucracy", the report said. (LA Times)

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2 April 2009 at 9:54 am

From the Drug Policy Alliance

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An email:

Marijuana policy reform is more possible now than it has ever been. That’s why I hope you’ll make a generous contribution of $60.00 or more to the Drug Policy Alliance Network today.

Even just a year ago, could you have imagined that we’d have a president who calls the war on drugs an "utter failure" and a secretary of state who admits U.S. culpability for the drug war violence in Mexico?

Or that a bill to make marijuana legal in California would gain mainstream support?

Our political and economic landscapes are undergoing seismic shifts, and the momentum for true marijuana policy reform is on our side.

Our community must take advantage of this opportunity now if we are to turn this new promise into the profound policy changes the American people need

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 9:48 am

Posted in Daily life, Drug laws

Will rule change worsen bank situation?

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Kevin Hall in McClatchy:

The little-known Financial Accounting Standards Board is poised to deliver Thursday a change in accounting rules that proponents say will save the banking system — and opponents warn could bring even more ruin to the U.S. economy.

The FASB board is expected to relax the rules on how banks value assets that investors no longer are willing to purchase.

Current rules require banks to list the value of assets on their books at their current market price — a practice called "mark-to-market." The assets, however, at the center of the global financial meltdown — securities backed by bad mortgages — have no market. Investors simply won’t touch them.

That’s forced banks to lower the reported value of their assets, and quarter after quarter since mid-2007, they’ve had to write off more and more losses. That forces them to hoard their capital, rather than lend it, to offset their losses. That’s how the housing crisis begat the banking crisis, which begat the U.S. economic crisis, which begat the global financial meltdown.

Banks say the mark-to-market accounting rule has worsened the financial crisis by making institutions appear weaker than they really are. The pools of mortgages, they say, should be valued not on what they’re worth today, but what they are expected to be worth at maturity.

"Why should all assets be treated as if they’re really for sale?" asked Bert Ely, a banking expert who gained wide recognition during the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s.

During the S&L crisis, government regulators initially eased federal accounting rules for troubled S&Ls, which hid their negative worth and allowed them to make even worse decisions that led to their collapse and an expensive federal rescue.

Could it happen again? …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 9:45 am

Smoking in the movies

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Interesting:

Source: Pediatrics, March 30, 2009

A meta-study published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics concludes that exposure to smoking in the movies is a significant predictor of established smoking in older teens and young adults. In 1999, researchers assessed the smoking status and exposure to smoking in the movies of thousands of youths 10 to 14 years old at the time, and then enrolled 73 percent of the never-smokers in a follow-up study. In 2006-2007, researchers conducted another interview to assess participants’ smoking status and compare it with movie smoking exposure. Researchers found that those with the highest level of movie smoking exposure were twice as likely to become established smokers as those with the least amount of exposure, even after controlling for a wide range of baseline characteristics. Researchers defined "established smoking" having smoked more than 100 cigarettes in one’s lifetime. The authors estimate that 34.9% of established smoking among the young participants could be attributed to movie smoking exposure. But why all the attention to smoking in the movies? A 2005 study found that the amount of smoking depicted in movies diminished steadily from 1950 to 1990, but then started to increase again rapidly, and by 2002, smoking in the movies was just as common as it was back in 1950. A 2006 study found that in recent years, depictions of smoking in movies have shifted from R-rated down to PG-13-rated films, and that films produced by the major studios, not independent filmmakers, account for 90 percent of exposure to smoking in movies. Researchers in the 2006 study concluded that major film studios are "delivering the most new adolescent smokers to the tobacco industry."

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 9:43 am

Joe Klein on marijuana legalization

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Interesting column by Joe Klein on the benefits of legalizing marijuana.

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 9:38 am

Posted in Daily life, Drug laws

Great idea for the military

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Reported by Thomas Ricks:

Call me a military personnel policy wonk, but I think this is a great idea: Letting officers and sailors take a mid-career sabbatical.

I especially like the way the program is structured, providing medical benefits while the service member is taking time off. Also, by aiming for high performers, the Navy is likely to get people who are going to do things like move to Cairo to learn Arabic. When they return to active duty, they are likely to bring new energy and skills with them. Also, this might be a way of keeping people who otherwise would just leave to pursue their dreams or pressing needs. In the Army, this could be a way of say, helping a wife after years of deployments by being a stay-at-home dad for three years while the wife gets an college degree.

Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 9:34 am

Posted in Daily life, Military

New theory of autism

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Interesting:

Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have proposed a sweeping new theory of autism that suggests that the brains of people with autism are structurally normal but dysregulated, meaning symptoms of the disorder might be reversible. The central tenet of the theory, published in the March issue of Brain Research Reviews, is that autism is a developmental disorder caused by impaired regulation of the locus coeruleus, a bundle of neurons in the brain stem that processes sensory signals from all areas of the body.

The new theory stems from decades of anecdotal observations that some autistic children seem to improve when they have a fever, only to regress when the fever ebbs. A 2007 study in the journal Pediatrics took a more rigorous look at fever and autism, observing autistic children during and after fever episodes and comparing their behavior with autistic children who didn’t have fevers. This study documented that autistic children experience behavior changes during fever.

"On a positive note, we are talking about a brain region that is not irrevocably altered. It gives us hope that, with novel therapies, we will eventually be able to help people with autism," says theory co-author Mark F. Mehler, M.D., chairman of neurology and director of the Institute for Brain Disorders and Neural Regeneration at Einstein.

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Written by Leisureguy

2 April 2009 at 9:32 am

Posted in Daily life, Health, Medical, Science

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