Archive | August 2, 2013

Luke Rudkowski’s Random Acts of Kindness Project

Last year, Luke Rudkowski asked everyone for his birthday to send in a video of themselves saying one message they would share to the world. Luke then took all the responses and put them into one video compilation. The video turned out great and we’d like to do something similar again this year. Instead of just talking though, let’s get out there and do something. We’re asking you to go out and do a random act of kindness for a complete stranger (we’ll be doing it too!). These days we’re often caught up in complaining about how the world is and how people should fix it. But in reality, it’s up to ourselves to make the difference. So let’s make another amazing video together and hopefully inspire others and remind people that we all have the ability inside of ourselves to create the better world that we want to live in.… Read the rest

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Illinois Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Bill Into Law

profileIllinois governor Pat Quinn signed a medical marijuana bill into law. That’s twenty states down, thirty more to go.

Via Think Progress:

Once the law goes into effect January 1, it will permit marijuana use with a doctor’s prescription for more than 30 specified ailments; require users, growers, and dispensaries to undergo fingerprinting and criminal background checks; and limit the number of growers and dispensaries. It also limits the amount of marijuana per person to the equivalent of two small sandwich bags over the course of two weeks.

“This is really an important day for healing in Illinois,” Quinn signed the bill with military veteran Jim Champion at his side. Champion, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said the bill will allow him to more than halve the number of pills he takes.

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Man Crushed in Trash Compactor While Searching for Phone

imagesSometimes you’ve just got to let it go, man. Let it go.

Via Chicago Tribune:

A Palatine man was crushed to death in a trash compactor as he searched for his missing cell phone, authorities said.

Roger Mirro, 56, told a neighbor in his apartment complex around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday that he may have dropped his phone down the garbage chute, authorities said. Mirro asked for a key to the trash room in the lower level parking garage, they said.

Around 3 1/2 hours later, police got a call from Mirro’s wife saying he was missing, Deputy Police Chief Alan Stoeckel said in a statement.

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Living in America Will Drive You Insane

tilt-shift-van-gogh-prisoners-exercising-detailI know you’re never going to believe this, but apparently life in 21st century America will make you a little nutty. Okay, that’s no surprise, but I’m confused by the difference between a “real” mental illness caused by social pressures and a “fake” mental illness that people use to rebel against the society that is driving them crazy.

Via Salon:

In “The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?” (New York Review of Books, 2011), Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, discusses over-diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, pathologizing of normal behaviors, Big Pharma corruption of psychiatry, and the adverse effects of psychiatric medications. While diagnostic expansionism and Big Pharma certainly deserve a large share of the blame for this epidemic, there is another reason.

A June 2013 Gallup poll revealed that 70% of Americans hate their jobs or have “checked out” of them. Life may or may not suck any more than it did a generation ago, but our belief in “progress” has increased expectations that life should be more satisfying, resulting in mass disappointment.

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Monsanto, Dow, DuPont Launch Website To Educate Public On GMOs

GMORemember the television commercials a few years ago touting the benefits of corn syrup? Russia Today writes:

A group of biotech seed companies have launched an online forum to rebuff disapproval of genetically modified foods across the world. Activists and consumer groups are skeptical, saying the industry has a ‘track record of being anything but transparent’.

The website is said to be partly backed by the biotech US giant Monsanto, DuPont and Dow AgroSciences, according to Reuters.

Founders of www.GMOAnswers.com say the website was created “to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs.” Its launch is part of the biotech industry’s campaign to respond to concerns for GMO food labeling and tighter regulation in the US.

“This… is an effort to increase the dialogue. That is all we want,” Paul Schickler, president of DuPont Pioneer told Reuters. “Dialogue is good. Over time I think we’ll come to a common understanding.”

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Chipotle Becomes First U.S. Restaurant Chain to Try and Rid Menu of GMO Foods

photoDavid Knowles writes at the New York Daily News:

For the American restaurant chain Chipotle, “food with integrity” now means using fewer GMO products.

In March, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. jumped into the debate over genetically engineered foods, becoming the first U.S. company to post labels on its website to let customers know which of its menu items contained GMO ingredients.

“We decided last fall that this was something that really mattered to us,” Chris Arnold, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Director of Communications, told the Daily News. “We don’t have a timeline to become GMO-free, but it is something that is very much in our crosshairs.”

As for now, Chipotle has identified several of its menu items—from tortilla chips to chicken cooked in soybean oil—as containing genetically modified organisms. Given the company’s preference for using organic, and locally produced ingredients, some customers were caught off-guard by the disclosure.

“We’ve heard from customers who are surprised to see that there are any GMOs in our food,” Arnold said, “but the truth is they are enormously difficult to avoid in this country.”

In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, 93 percent of the soybeans grown in America, and 85 percent of the corn comes from genetically modified seed.

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Climate Change Leads To Increase In Violence

AlfredPalmerM3tank1942bAs if rising sea levels, extreme weather and all the other meteorological effects of climate change weren’t bad enough, now it appears that it leads to increases in human violence, reports BBC News:

Shifts in climate are strongly linked to increases in violence around the world, a study suggests.

US scientists found that even small changes in temperature or rainfall correlated with a rise in assaults, rapes and murders, as well as group conflicts and war.

The team says with the current projected levels of climate change, the world is likely to become a more violent place.

The study is published in Science.

Marshall Burke, from the University of California, Berkeley, said: “This is a relationship we observe across time and across all major continents around the world. The relationship we find between these climate variables and conflict outcomes are often very large.”

The researchers looked at 60 studies from around the world, with data spanning hundreds of years.

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