Archive for June 8th, 2010
I realize (rather vividly at the moment) that if you have been living a caffeine-free life for weeks and weeks, then it’s probably not the best idea to buy and drink a 4-shot latte at 3:00 p.m.
2TB Hard Drives Crack the $100 Barrier (don’t worry, I’m not going to start a "when I began programming, we were happy to have 4K of RAM and the hard drive hadn’t even been invented" story)
11 Inspiring Life Lessons from Bruce Lee – the scene in Enter the Dragon in which Bruce Lee delivers a series of apothegms under questioning by his master is absolutely terrific. Some of those appear in this post.
For The Love of The Game: Softball Team Forfeits Game To Teach Neophyte Opponents How To Play – just when I was losing hope for the human race, something like this appears. Made me cry.
Copyright: The Elephant in the Middle of the Glee Club – we desperately need copyright reform and the first step to chop off the head of Mickey Mouse (and perhaps give it to Wesley)
Clever critters: Bonobos that share, brainy bugs and social dogs – we humans are not so unique as Victorians believed.
A friend is looking to buy a smartphone (iPhone or alternative), so I was looking for comparative reviews, and I found these, which might be of interest more broadly:
And, should you get an Android phone:
Finally, enjoyable in a “glad I’m not giving the presentation” sort of way:
UPDATE: See also Apple iPhone 4 Review Roundup: Apple vs. the Competition.
I did discover oddities in my diet plan beyond the recommendation of coconut oil (a cooking oil that is highly inflammatory—and people who have excess body fat already have serious problems with inflammation, since excess fat promotes that—telling obese people to use coconut oil is like throwing gasoline on a fire). For example, they list fish that you can eat, and the list includes tilapia (see this post and this post and this post) and orange roughy (which is terribly overfished: see this page). They have a chart showing pesticide residues on produce (good), but fail to explicitly note that the measurements were taken after washing the produce. (People resistant to information that changes their preconceptions will inevitably think—and sometimes say—“But we wash our produce before eating it, so this doesn’t apply”: that loophole should be closed.)
They fail to note the possibility that grapefruit may make the client’s meds ineffective—they should include the note, “Before eating grapefruit, check with your pharmacist to see whether it will affect your meds.”
They also fail (so far) to note helpful tips, such as “Use turmeric in cooking because it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory.”
I’m hoping that I can work with them to contribute to the improvement of the manual. We’ll see. So far no response from the head office to my email warning of the inflammatory effect of coconut oil.
My HbA1c was 5.8. I was going for 5.7 since someone I know just today got that.
Now, I’m not a competitive guy. Indeed, if you had a contest to find the least competitive person around, I’m sure I would win by a large margin. Nonetheless, it pains me that I was so close and yet…
Still: I am losing weight and exercising and I have dedicated corps keeping me in line. So we’ll see 3 months from now.
I told my endocrinologist that I was signed up with Prime Monterey for exercise and The Healthy Way for diet. I said, "I finally recognized that knowledge is not enough, and that I required direct personal assistance… well, I guess you know that by now." He smiled, but I caught it.
He was kind enough to tell me how to adjust my meds in case, with the combination of diet, exercise, and fat loss, I had low-blood-glucose reactions. (I’ve had them: sort of trembling and weakness—but if you munch a glucose tablet, that takes care of it quickly.) What I do is drop my glipizide dose from bid to QD, and if necessary, drop the glipizide altogether.
He also smiled at my story about how I realized that, once I "finished" dinner, I continued to go into the kitchen at intervals throughout the evening "just for a bite." (Lucky I go to bed early.)
I wonder if he’s given thought to what he leaves behind. Greenwald:
Physicians for Human Rights yesterday released a report documenting (while relying on heavily redacted material) that "medical professionals who were involved in the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogations of terrorism suspects engaged in forms of human research and experimentation in violation of medical ethics and domestic and international law." To those paying close attention, the evidence suggesting that this occurred has long been clear. Today, The New York Times Editorial Page said this:
The report from the physicians’ group does not prove its case beyond doubt — how could it when so much is still hidden? — but it rightly calls on the White House and Congress to investigate the potentially illegal human experimentation and whether those who authorized or conducted it should be punished. Those are just two of the many unresolved issues from the Bush administration that President Obama and Congressional leaders have swept under the carpet.
When the history of the Bush era is written, the obvious question will be: what was done about the systematic war crimes, torture regime, chronic lawbreaking, and even human experimentation which that administration perpetrated on the world? And the answer is now just as obvious: nothing, because the subsequent President — Barack Obama —decreed that We Must Look Forward, Not Backward, and then engaged in extreme measures to carry out that imperial, Orwellian dictate by shielding those crimes from investigation, review, adjudication and accountability.
All of that would be bad enough if his generous immunity were being applied across the board. But it isn’t. Numerous incidents now demonstrate that as high-level Bush lawbreakers are vested with presidential immunity, low-level whistle blowers who exposed serious wrongdoing and allowed citizens some minimal glimpse into what our government does are being persecuted by the Obama administration with a vengeance. Yesterday it was revealed by Wired that the Army intelligence
officeranalyst who reportedly leaked the Apache helicopter attack video to Wikileaks — and thus enabled Americans to see what we are really doing in Iraq and other countries which we occupy and attack — has been arrested (Wikileaks denies the part of that report claiming that the whistle blower also leaked to it "hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records"). This latest episode led Der Spiegel today to decry Obama’s "war on whistle blowers" as more severe than the one waged by the Bush administration (English translation here).
At least in these areas, that’s the Obama administration in a nutshell: protecting Bush extremism and war crimes from any form of accountability while significantly escalating the punishment for those who tried to bring about some minimal degree of transparency (thereby also escalating the intimidation toward those who might want to do so in the future). As the very pro-Obama NYT Editorial Page puts it today: the human experimentation accusation and the question of whether crimes were committed are just "two of the many unresolved issues from the Bush administration that President Obama and Congressional leaders have swept under the carpet." If you really think about it, that’s a rather damning statement.
I suppose he was bought off by money and prostitutes, but by God! he’s staying bought. Lee Fang at ThinkProgress:
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has been fighting aggressively to defend the oil industry even as BP’s oil disaster gets worse and worse by the day. Yesterday, Vitter blasted an e-mail attacking his Democratic opponent this November, Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA), for having the audacity to point out that unregulated free-market policies have allowed the “oil industry to ruin our wetlands.”
Also on Monday, Vitter sent yet another letter to the Obama administration requesting a “quick end” to the “six-month ban on drilling in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.” The moratorium was issued to allow federal authorities to investigate the problems at deepwater drilling platforms and to propose new regulations. Indeed, deepwater drilling platforms like BP’s Atlantis platform in the Gulf of Mexico have been cited for “disturbing reports” of safety lapses.
Nevertheless, Vitter wrote that any moratorium on deepwater drilling “will cost us more jobs and economic devastation than the oil spill itself“:
As I stated, there is no one more environmentally devastated by this oil disaster than the people of the Gulf Coast. It’s our coast, our marshes, and our way of life that is being impacted. However, despite the ongoing oil spill disaster, the great majority of Gulf Coast citizens feel strongly that the administration’s deepwater moratorium is a major mistake. Simply put, it will cost us more jobs and economic devastation than the oil spill itself.
Vitter, who has been bankrolled by over $783,835 from the oil and gas industry, has been a reliable ally for companies like BP. Shortly after BP’s spill this year, Vitter introduced a bill to limit an oil company’s liability to the amount of its profit in the last four quarters, or $150 million, whichever is greater. This is allegedly to protect small companies with small profits, but if a big company like BP happened have a bad year and made little or no profit, they would be responsible for only the $150 million. As The Daily Kingfish pointed out, this is exactly the case with Anadarko, the oil company which owns 25 percent of the lease in the Deepwater Horizon well.
It’s amazing how tolerant Congress is at outright bribes, provided they’re to members of Congress.