How Americans’ Views of McDonald’s Changed Over the Years

Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Francie Diep explores the ever-evolving public perception of McDonald’s at The Pacific Standard.

via The Pacific Standard:

One morning, you wake up, turn to your partner, and it’s like you don’t even know how they feel about you anymore.

After decades of enormous growth, McDonald’s has been on the decline recently, with same-store sales falling over the past five years, as the New York Times reported recently. America’s tastes have changed, a fact pointed out by many retail journalists. People are more concerned about wholesome, quality ingredients, and are therefore more likely to visit healthier-seeming chains, such as Chipotle.

As a look at the academic literature shows, this change has been a long time coming. Researchers have been bringing up worries about the influence of McDonald’s on business, culture, and health for at least 20 years. But it wasn’t until the last decade or so that the critiques really began to hit home, paving the way for Americans’ rejection of the Golden Arches.

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This is what happens after you die

Todd Huffman (CC BY 2.0)

Todd Huffman (CC BY 2.0)

Most of us would rather not think about what happens to our bodies after death. But that breakdown gives birth to new life in unexpected ways, writes Moheb Costandi. 

“It might take a little bit of force to break this up,” says mortician Holly Williams, lifting John’s arm and gently bending it at the fingers, elbow and wrist. “Usually, the fresher a body is, the easier it is for me to work on.”

Williams speaks softly and has a happy-go-lucky demeanour that belies the nature of her work. Raised and now employed at a family-run funeral home in north Texas, she has seen and handled dead bodies on an almost daily basis since childhood. Now 28 years old, she estimates that she has worked on something like 1,000 bodies.

Her work involves collecting recently deceased bodies from the Dallas–Fort Worth area and preparing them for their funeral.… Read the rest

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Ray Bradbury on Madmen

“Nobody else is going to give a damn what you’re doing, so you need a few other people like yourself”
— Ray Bradbury as told to two college kids on road trip in 1972

In the autumn of 2012, Lisa Potts rediscovered — literally, behind her dresser — a taped cassette of a long-lost interview with author Ray Bradbury that she made as a college student journalist back in 1972.

The recording was made in a car plying the Los Angeles freeways between Bradbury’s home in West L.A. and Chapman College in Orange County. Potts and a fellow student named Chadd Coates were taking Bradbury to present a lecture. Bradbury had a lot of advice for Lisa and Chadd.

On tape we get to hear Bradbury telling the students about the keys to friendship, why he was afraid of himself and would never drive, his keys to writing and telling a story, why Mars was the center of his fascination, what’s the secret to love, and why he called himself “a madman”.… Read the rest

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Pentagon Says Texas Should Not Fear JADE HELM

jade helmThe JADE HELM conspiracy theory keeps running and running, fueled now by the Pentagon insisting that Texas shouldn’t worry about it, reports McLatchy:

The Pentagon has a message for Texas: chill.

Defense officials Monday dismissed as “wild speculation” an Internet-fueled claim that a massive summertime exercise called Jade Helm 15 for special operations commandos is a covert operation by President Barack Obama to take over Texas.

That claim was given legitimacy by Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott’s order last week for the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercises.

“Operation Jade Helm poses no threat to any American’s civil liberties,” Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday. “Operation Jade Helm is being conducted by Americans – by, specifically, American special forces personnel.”

Jade Helm 15 will be one of the biggest peacetime military exercises in six decades. Starting July 15 and lasting two months, thousands of Army Rangers, Green Berets, Navy SEALS and other special operations forces will simulate war missions in mainly remote areas of Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas and Utah.

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GABRIEL MELLAN: A Retroreflective

GABRIEL MELLAN: A RETROREFLECTIVE

Reflective art in the dark made for the flash of a camera phone and a third-eye-LED.

Thursday May 7, 2015
6 – 9 pm
33 Washington st
Brooklyn NY 11201

Rabbithole Projects is proud to present
in conjunction with DUMBO First Thursday Gallery Walk

The experience:

Contrasting the traditional gallery viewing experience, the lights will be off, use the flash on your smartphone to photograph the work. A third LED eye will be provided for you to illuminate the art and navigate the space. This exhibition is kid friendly, assuming they are a bit adventurous and can handle a cameraphone. Selfies and flash photography are encouraged.

ptg

How it works:

The auto exposure and autofocus feature on smartphones work to make these pieces visible. The autofocus involves a short burst of light to help the camera focus in the dark. When the light to help focus the camera hits the retroreflective surfaces and is bounced back, the camera reads the environment to have more light than there is.

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Liquid Mercury Found Under Pyramid at Teotihuacan — Because Everyone Loves Ancient Astronaut Theory

The headline reads: “Liquid Mercury Found Under Pyramid At Teotihuacan Could Indicate Royal Tomb”. That’s pretty weird, in and of itself, right? Mercury? Deadly, deadly mercury? What in the world are ancient Mesoamericans doing with mercury?

Teotihuacan

Just because they call it the History Channel…

The myth and mystery surrounding the pyramids at Teotihuacan is already filled to brimming with weirdness, controversy and rancor.

A veritable slugfest of Mainstream vs. Fringe science ensues at the mere mention of the name Teotihuacan and the rancor only grows when shit starts to get weird. Holy Quetzalcoatl Batman!

Well, it just got even weirder. Scrambling to come up with a theory that doesn’t involve space-faring alien overlords, Battlestar Galactica’s series finale or that dude with the crazy hair, the Big Brains @Science!™ have come up with all sorts of equally silly theories, as you shall see. Just because nobody’s found any skeletal remains of ancient Mesoamerican priests who’ve died from mercury poisoning shouldn’t make you throw down the Bullshit card, right?… Read the rest

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“Why I Want Class War” by Lee Camp of Redacted Tonight

We’re already in the middle of a class war perpetrated by the top .01% against the bottom 99.9%. And the riots in Baltimore are only a symptom of that. It’s even worse in the Black community because they’re impacted not only by crippling wealth inequality — but also decades of systemic racism in a society that claims to be free and democratic. Redacted Tonight’s Lee Camp explains how a class war is already underway — but we need to fight back against the powerful rich minority, not with violence, but with class warfare of the mind. (And somehow he makes it funny too.)

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The Chronic Disease of Excess Medical Care

Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and public-health researcher, states what most of us already know: there is a tremendous amount of unnecessary, costly and unpleasant medical care taking place throughout the healthcare system in the United States. From the New Yorker:

It was lunchtime before my afternoon surgery clinic, which meant that I was at my desk, eating a ham-and-cheese sandwich and clicking through medical articles. Among those which caught my eye: a British case report on the first 3-D-printed hip implanted in a human being, a Canadian analysis of the rising volume of emergency-room visits by children who have ingested magnets, and a Colorado study finding that the percentage of fatal motor-vehicle accidents involving marijuana had doubled since its commercial distribution became legal. The one that got me thinking, however, was a study of more than a million Medicare patients. It suggested that a huge proportion had received care that was simply a waste.

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Your Beard Is Full Of Fecal Matter

Aside from the fact that it smacks of hipsterism, the trend for bushy beards has a dark side: the beards’ owners are unwittingly carrying around all kinds of crap on their faces. Real crap, as in fecal matter. The Atlantic undertakes a “cost-benefit analysis of manliness and microbiology”:

Journalism is, at its core, a public service. This is why several days ago the reporters at Action 7 News in Albuquerque, New Mexico, decided to investigate just what, exactly, teems within the beards of the polity. They swabbed the whiskers of a handful of local men and took the results to Quest Diagnostics.

Steve Smyth

Photo: iulia Pironea (CC)

 

The results were the kind that medical labs don’t leave on your answering machine:

Several of the beards that were tested contained a lot of normal bacteria, but some were comparable to toilets.

“Those are the types of things you’d find in (fecal matter),” Golobic said, referring to the tests.

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