Later On

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

Archive for October 6th, 2009

Top 10 foods that make people sick

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UPDATE: This list includes no meat or poultry because the list was created by the FDA, which does not regulate those foods—they fall under the Dept of Agriculture.

In descending order, from this WebMD report:

  • Leafy greens, involved in 363 outbreaks and ~13,600 cases of illness.
  • Eggs, involved in 352 outbreaks and 11,163 reported cases of illness.
  • Tuna, involved in 268 outbreaks and 2,341 reported cases of illness.
  • Oysters, involved in 132 outbreaks and 3,409 reported cases of illness.
  • Potatoes, involved in 108 outbreaks and 3,659 reported cases of illness.
  • Cheese, involved in 83 outbreaks and 2,761 reported cases of illness.
  • Ice cream, involved in 74 outbreaks and 2,594 reported cases of illness.
  • Tomatoes, involved in 31 outbreaks and 3,292 reported cases of illness.
  • Sprouts, involved in 31 outbreaks and 2,022 reported cases of illness.
  • Berries, involved in 25 outbreaks and 3,397 reported cases of illness.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2009 at 4:43 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Medical

Why the FBI are often called "the Feebs"

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Ryan Singel in Wired:

When 22-year-old programmer Aaron Swartz decided last fall to help an open-government activist amass a public and free copy of millions of federal court records, he did not expect he’d end up with an FBI agent trying to stake out his house.

But that’s what happened, as Swartz found out this week when he got his FBI file through a Freedom of Information Act request. A partially-redacted FBI report shows the feds mounted a serious investigation of Swartz for helping put public documents onto the public web .

The FBI ran Swartz through a full range of government databases starting in February, and drove by his home, after the U.S. court system told the feds he’d pilfered approximately 18 million pages of documents worth $1.5 million dollars. That’s how much the public records would have cost through the federal judiciary’s pay-walled PACER record system, which charges eight cents a page for most legal filings.

“I think its pretty silly they go after people who use the library to try to get access to public court documents,” Swartz said. “It is pretty silly that instead of calling me up, they sent an FBI agent to my house.”

The feds also checked Swartz’s Facebook page, ran his name against the Department of Labor to figure out his work history, looked for outstanding warrants and prior convictions, checked to see if his mobile phone number had ever come up in a federal wiretap or pen register, and checked him against the records in a private data broker’s database.

The Great Court Records Caper began last year when …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2009 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Daily life, Government, Law

More on medical marijuana

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Andrew Sullivan blogs:

A few months ago, Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about giving her autistic son pot. She follows up:

I don’t consider marijuana a miracle cure for autism. But as an amateur herbalist, I do consider it a wonderful, safe botanical that allows J. to participate more fully in life without the dangers and sometimes permanent side effects of pharmaceutical drugs; now that we have a good dose and a good strain. (“White Russian”—a favorite of cancer patients, who also need relief from extreme pain). Free from pain, J. can go to school and learn. And his violent behavior won’t put him in the local children’s psychiatric hospital—a scenario all too common among his peers.

What we have in this country is a government attempting to punish people for trying to fight pain and incarcerate people for seeking harmless pleasure. It’s insane. There are no arguments for Prohibition that make even the slightest sense. And yet, doing the right thing is apparently a non-starter for the current federal Congress. Because the Democrats, by and large, are a bunch of principle-free panty-waists. And because the Republicans, who should be defending individual freedom, have sold their soul to a bunch of puritans and hypocrites.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2009 at 3:33 pm

Posted in Daily life, Drug laws

Megs annoyed

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Megs just today got moved to twice-a-day feeding (in preparation for the transition to homemade raw cat food), and she’s letting me know that she doesn’t think it’s a good idea. At all.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2009 at 1:20 pm

Posted in Cats, Daily life, Food

How the Earth will recover post-humanity

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Very interesting article by Bob Holmes in New Scientist:

Editorial: Earth will be OK, but for us it’s not so good

WHEN Nobel prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen coined the word Anthropocene around 10 years ago, he gave birth to a powerful idea: that human activity is now affecting the Earth so profoundly that we are entering a new geological epoch.

The Anthropocene has yet to be accepted as a geological time period, but if it is, it may turn out to be the shortest – and the last. It is not hard to imagine the epoch ending just a few hundred years after it started, in an orgy of global warming and overconsumption.

Let’s suppose that happens. Humanity’s ever-expanding footprint on the natural world leads, in two or three hundred years, to ecological collapse and a mass extinction. Without fossil fuels to support agriculture, humanity would be in trouble. "A lot of things have to die, and a lot of those things are going to be people," says Tony Barnosky, a palaeontologist at the University of California, Berkeley. In this most pessimistic of scenarios, society would collapse, leaving just a few hundred thousand eking out a meagre existence in a new Stone Age.

Whether our species would survive is hard to predict, but what of the fate of the Earth itself? It is often said that when we talk about "saving the planet" we are really talking about saving ourselves: the planet will be just fine without us. But would it? Or would an end-Anthropocene cataclysm damage it so badly that it becomes a sterile wasteland?

The only way to know is to look back into our planet’s past. Neither abrupt global warming nor mass extinction are unique to the present day. The Earth has been here before. So what can we expect this time? …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2009 at 1:18 pm

Bad times at the service academies

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Do we really need the service academies? I would say "No." I went to college across the street from the US Naval Academy and later lived for several years in Annapolis, so this post from Tom Ricks’s blog caught my eye:

Prof. Bruce Fleming checks in from Annapolis with this report on how officials at the Naval Academy are reacting to his charge that the academy is bending admissions standards:

I’m writing now to ask if you’re interested in rattling the cage again, perhaps in your blog, as a next step on the "diversity" issue I raised this summer. I have to assume you are up on my own contributions to this topic — first an op-ed in the local (Annapolis) paper, this was widely reported in the Post, USA Today, Navy Times etc. I was asked to post a long piece on the USNI blog, which I did. It threw the admin for a loop, apparently, and beyond: I hear my name came up at all-hands meeting(s) at the Pentagon where the CNO was asked, "What about Professor Fleming’s assertions?" He adopted what the admin has chosen to adopt as their "shut down the discussion" mantra, namely something along the lines of "Professor Fleming doesn’t have the facts." After that I asked USNI if they were interested in a second posting by me using an internally-generated PowerPoint with facts and figures direct from the horse’s mouth to show that Prof Fleming DID have the facts, or enough to make the main points (minor procedural details may have shifted since my time on the Board, 5 years ago, but current statistics and graphs show that the basics are still there, namely what the administration itself calls "streamlined" admission for self-identified racial minorities, who come in one of only two ways, NAPS or "direct" — not true for non-athlete whites). USNI asked for this, then kept it, then now doesn’t even respond to my e-mails saying "are you running this?"

Meanwhile the Dean, a new one who just arrived, has gone out of his way to deny me both of the two merit pay steps recommended by my dept and its chair (two is the max; it’s possible to be recommended for two and get one if there just aren’t enough available to be given out, but it’s unheard of to take someone out of the rankings and move him to the bottom, as he has done). I’ve filed, last week, a federal whistleblower’s protection complaint with the OSC, on the grounds that this has every appearance of being retaliation for my saying in print that this kind of race-based admissions and two-tracking is illegal. I don’t know if this grinds slowly or fast, but it’s in the works. So they’re upset because I’m raining on their parade.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2009 at 12:37 pm

More on the conservative revision of the Bible

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I blogged this earlier, but it’s worth another look: the conservative effort to remove from the Bible "liberal" ideas, such as:

  • Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. [Matthew 5:9]
  • Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. [Matthew 5:39]
  • I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite-fully use you, and persecute you; [Matthew 5:44]
  • If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her. [John 8:7]
  • Do not judge, lest you too be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. [Matthew 7:1 & 2.]
  • Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy [Matthew 5:7]
  • But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. [Matthew 6:15]
  • Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. [Luke 12.15.]
  • Truly, I say unto you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 19:23]
  • You cannot serve both God and Money. [Matthew 6:24.]
  • Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. [Matthew 22:21]
  • Love your neighbor as yourself. .[Matthew 22:39]
  • So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you. [Matthew 7:12.]
  • If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. [Matthew 19:21]
  • But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. [Luke 14:13&14.]

Selection is from this post, which is worth reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2009 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Daily life, GOP, Religion

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