Cost of Obesity Equivalent to Global Impact of Smoking or War

Wide Chair.jpg

Obese person’s chair (CC)

Some of you may recall the opening sequence to the obesity documentary Killer At Large where then-Surgeon General Richard Carmona says that the greatest threat to America, bigger than terrorism or anything else, is obesity.

He was right: The McKinsey Global Institute, the business and economics research arm of the global consulting firm McKinsey, has published a new report saying that “Obesity is responsible for about 5 percent of all deaths a year worldwide, and its global economic impact amounts to roughly $2 trillion annually, or 2.8 percent of global GDP—nearly equivalent to the global impact of smoking or of armed violence, war, and terrorism.” That’s right, obesity costs as much as the ridiculous wars and armed violence perpetrated against one another throughout the world. More from the report:

Obesity is a critical global issue that requires a comprehensive, international intervention strategy. More than 2.1 billion people—nearly 30 percent of the global population—are overweight or obese.1 That’s almost two and a half times the number of adults and children who are undernourished…

And the problem—which is preventable—is rapidly getting worse.

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The Cosmic Trigger Play and Find the Others Conferestival Kicks Off This Weekend

cosmictriggerShould be noted that the crowdfunding campaign was a rousing success, and my favorite book about summoning aliens with your privates is coming to a stage in Liverpool this Sunday, November 23rd (of course) and again in London the following weekend. Not only that but there’s going to be an epic “Conferestival” on Saturday to kick things into the upper echelons of high strangeness. Apparently, some of my collage sigils even made it into the tantric sex sequence of the play, which is magickally appropriate. To say that I’m more than a bit honored by this creative decision would be a massive understatement. If only I was a richer man who could justify spending my money on such a trip, I’d be there in a heartbeat, but alas it is not to be at this point in my life. Apparently they might make it to the states here if it’s successful enough (come to Seattle) but if you happen to live in the UK, make it fucking so.… Read the rest

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Danny Casolaro and ‘The Octopus’ – The Stage Play

CasolaroDanny.JPG

Danny Casolaro

Long time disinfonauts will surely remember one of the legends of modern day conspiracy investigations, Danny Casolaro, and his revelations of ‘the Octopus.” Casolaro met an untimely end and his investigation petered out. He’s not forgotten, however, and his life and work are about to be immortalized in a stage play, reports American Theatre:

A journalist is hot on the trail of a con­spiracy whose scope seems ever-expanding. Nicknamed “The Octopus,” the plot connects shadowy private-security contractors with an international criminal bank, government piracy of law-enforcement database software, a corrupt Native American reservation where experimental weapons are developed, and even Reagan’s October Surprise.

The journalist hopes to break the whole story all at once and find fame and fortune. According to his book proposal (quoted in Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen’s The World’s Greatest Conspiracies), he’s after a “web of thugs and thieves who roam the earth with their weapons and their murders, trading dope and dirty money for the secrets of the temple.”

Before he leaves to meet a source in West Virginia, he warns his family that, if anything happens to him, they shouldn’t believe the official story.

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‘Tactics as Dirty as Their Oil': Leaked Docs Reveal TransCanada’s Propaganda Plan

Keystone XL demonstration, White House, 8-23-2011 Josh Lopez, CC BY 2.0

Keystone XL demonstration, White House, 8-23-2011
Josh Lopez, CC BY 2.0

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

Internal strategy documents prepared by a public relations firm on behalf of Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada reveal details of an enormous and well-organized effort by the oil industry to neutralize the transnational grassroots movement which has grown up around the industry’s effort to expand tar sands mining and the building of huge infrastructure projects designed to get “the world’s dirtest fuel” to market.

Obtained by Greenpeace and given to The Guardian newspaper, the documents show that TransCanada—which has proposed building a pipeline called Energy East to bring tar sands from Alberta to New Brusnwick through the largest such pipeline ever built—is aligned with other oil and gas companies placing serious resources of time, money, and personnel into countering the growing climate justice movement which has so far successfully delayed building the Keystone XL pipelein and affirmed its commitment to stopping similar projects in the name of fighting global warming and the resulting threat of climate change.

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Republican Engineers Call Ted Cruz Out For Ignorance

Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Tech Dirt:

Last week, we mentioned Senator Ted Cruz’s nutty tweet comparing net neutrality to “Obamacare.” It was widely mocked — even by many Republicans — as it showed Cruz’s ignorance of the subject at hand. In fact, one report detailed a number of comments on Ted Cruz’s Facebook page from Republican/conservative engineers disagreeing with Cruz and pointing out that he’s uninformed about net neutrality.

There’s a lot more like that, but it highlights what we’ve seen before — that while Congress likes to pretend that Republicans are against net neutrality while Democrats are for it, the reality is that net neutrality is a non-partisan issue with voters of both parties overwhelmingly supporting net neutrality.

Rather than recognize this fact, Cruz has decided to double down on it with a rambling and misguided opinion piece in the Washington Post that repeats the “Obamacare for the internet” line, and lumps in a variety of other tech issues in a confusing (and often self-contradictory) jumble.

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Hard Evidence: does GM cotton lead to farmer suicide in India?

Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. captrosha, CC BY-ND

Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. captrosha, CC BY-ND

In response to yesterday’s article, “Monsanto’s GMO Creations Caused 291,000 Suicides in India,” we had a Facebook commenter share this article with us.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Read the original article.

By Ian Plewis, University of Manchester

Arguments surrounding the use of genetically modified crops and whether they are the solution to the world’s problems of food supply and public health are no nearer to resolution than when GM was introduced.

In Europe, there is widespread opposition to GM crops, with import or cultivation of many GM foods prohibited by EU regulations. In the Americas, and to a lesser extent in Asia, regulations are less stringent and a substantial proportion of the area used to grow corn, soybean and cotton is planted with GM seeds.

The agri-business companies responsible for developing the seeds, notably Monsanto, are frequent targets of anti-GM campaigners.… Read the rest

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Why the world’s largest democracy has the most modern-day slaves

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via Quartz India:

India has the highest number of enslaved people in the world.

More than 14 million out of India’s population of over 1.2 billion people are living in modern slavery, according to the second edition of the Global Slavery Index. Produced by an Australian human rights body, Walk Free Foundation, the survey defines modern slaves as those without individual liberty, by being subjugated to forced labor, trafficking and sexual exploitation.

An estimated 35.8 million people worldwide, or 0.5% of the world’s population, live as modern-day slaves.

In terms of the highest number of slaves as a percentage of a nation’s population, India is ranked fifth, with 1.14% of the country’s population trapped as slaves. The worst affected are people belonging to lower castes or tribes, religious minorities and migrant workers.

Of 167 countries surveyed, the worst 10 countries are home to 71% of the world’s slaves.

Read More: http://qz.com/298005/why-the-worlds-largest-democracy-has-the-most-modern-day-slaves/

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Board says FAA has power over drones, can impose $10K fine

FAA-Logovia Gigaom:

In a setback for consumer drone advocates, the National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday supported the FAA’s authority to impose a $10,000 fine on Raphael Pirker, a photographer who had taken pictures from the air over the University of Virginia.

In its ruling, which reverses an administrative judge’s decision in March to throw out the fine, the Board said the FAA has authority over any “aircraft,” even model aircraft or unmanned devices, and can impose fines accordingly.

The board’s decision comes at a time of ongoing controversy over what many perceive as a heavy-handed approach to drones on the part of the FAA, which has declared no one may use the devices for business purposes — including for activities like news photography and search-and-rescue — without a special waiver. But the agency has been slow to grant such waivers, even as drone-based businesses are taking off in Canada and elsewhere.

Several media outlets, including the New York Times, had filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting Pirker and challenging the FAA’s blanket ban as a violation of their First Amendment rights.

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Navy Veteran Fired from Drury Plaza Hotel for Posting Photos of Homeland Security Vehicles on Facebook

via Argus News Now:

Yesterday should have been a normal workday for 28 year old Mark Paffrath, a Houseman at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Chesterfield. Instead, it turned out to be anything but.

Mark, a veteran of the US Navy, having served in the middle east, has been employed at the Drury Plaza Hotel for approximately the last year and a half. Yesterday, however that employment abruptly ended. Mark says that on Thursday after work he snapped 2 photographs and a short video of several dozen Homeland Security vehicles in the parking garage. He then uploaded them to his Facebook page. In his post he writes “why are all the cop cars here…I wonder if it has anything to do with Ferguson”, he also included the hashtags #Ferguson #NoJusticeNoPeace.

Read More: http://www.argusnewsnow.com/story/2014/11/01/news/navy-veteran-fired-from-drury-plaza-hotel-for-posting-photos-of-homeland-security-vehicles-on-facebook/156.html

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