Tag Archives | Health

Will Your Car Obey You or the Police?

Early Self-Driving Car

Philippe Gastonne via The Daily Bell:

A few lines in a seemingly routine RAND Corp. report on the future of technology and law enforcement last week raised a provocative question: Should police have the power to take control of a self-driving car?

Human drivers are required to pull over when a police officer gestures for them to do so. It’s reasonable to expect that self-driving cars would do the same. To look at it another way: Self-driving cars are programmed to stop at red lights and stop signs. Surely they should also be programmed to stop when a police officer flags them down. It is, after all, the law.

It’s clear, then, that police officers should have some power over the movements of self-driving cars. What’s less clear is where to draw the line. If a police officer can command a self-driving car to pull over for his own safety and that of others on the road, can he do the same if he suspects the passenger of a crime?

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Mutually Agreed Peace: Ending The Doctrine of Perpetual War

Peace-a-Chance-NukeEthan Indigo Smith via Waking Times:

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” ~ Pericles

Everything is ultimately political these days, but everything is firstly biological. Yet, ignoring our biology and our humanity, the military-industrial complex, with all its toxic modalities, still claims to operate in our best interests.

The fact is, modern politics has become the imposition of institutional formality where individuals and truth once were. Increasingly favoring institutional privilege over individual rights, politicians on all sides of the game act to reinforce and advance the standing of corporations at the expense of our physical world. They embark on resource wars for profit, destroy our environment for energy, construe zealotry as patriotism, and steer a culture of social competition – not cooperation – all the while hiding behind veils of secrecy and meaningless rhetoric.

It does not matter what caste you were born into, whether you are wealthy or poor, victor or victim of the system; as far as the big picture goes, we live in a world where commerce, politics and war are dominant and inseparable forces.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Captured Agency: How The FCC Is Dominated By The Industries It Regulates

Cell Phone's Light
A new report published by Harvard University claims the telecommunications industry has unlimited access to shape Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policies at the expense of public health, consumer safety, privacy, and consumer wallets.

The Corrupted Network

The report claims that the FCC, which is a government agency that is supposed to act as a regulator, sits at the heart of a “bipartisan Washington web of institutional corruption” that has for many years been championing corporate interests often at public expense. This industry stranglehold extends from:

  • Its well-placed campaign spending in Congress
  • Control of the FCC‘s Congressional oversight committees
  • Persistent agency lobbying.

The report goes even further by saying that in the case of wireless radiation health issues industry control extends beyond Congress and regulators, to basic scientific research

Troubling Body Of Evidence Linked To Negative Health Effects

Whilst guardedly describing the EMF science as “controversial” the report admits that “a troubling body of evidence suggests exposure to even low emission levels at typical cellular frequencies between 300 MHz and 3 GHz can have a wide range of negative effects.”

The report goes on to cite some of the numerous studies that link wireless exposures to adverse health effects:

A 2002 study that compared the health of people living at different distances within 300 meters of cell towers with those living more than 300 meters away ―Results indicated increased symptoms the closer a person lived to a tower.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Can America cope with a resurgence of tropical disease?

Malaria-infected Red Blood CellNIAID (CC BY 2.0)

Malaria-infected Red Blood Cell
NIAID (CC BY 2.0)

Having stamped out a number of tropical diseases – including malaria – decades ago, is America today complacent about a rising wave of infectious disease?

One rainy Friday morning in March 2015, Dr Laila Woc-Colburn saw two patients with neurocysticercosis (a parasitic infection of the brain) and one with Chagas disease, which is transmitted by insects nicknamed ‘kissing bugs’. Having attended medical school in her native Guatemala, she was used to treating these kinds of diseases. But she was not in Guatemala any more – this was Houston, Texas.

For half a day each week, one wing of the Smith Clinic’s third floor in Houston is transformed into a tropical medicine clinic, treating all manner of infectious diseases for anyone who walks through the door. Since it opened in 2011, Woc-Colburn and her colleagues have treated everything from dengue and chikungunya to river blindness and cutaneous leishmaniasis.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Future of Work: We Have Been Here Before

Nana B Agyei (CC BY 2.0)

Nana B Agyei (CC BY 2.0)

Paul Saffo via Pacific Standard:

The latest entry in a special project in which business and labor leaders, social scientists, technology visionaries, activists, and journalists weigh in on the most consequential changes in the workplace.

This is not the first time society has fretted over the impact of ever-smarter machines on jobs and work—and not the first time we have overreacted. In the Depression-beset 1930s, labor Jeremiahs warned that robots would decimate American factory jobs. Three decades later, mid-1960s prognosticators offered a hopeful silver lining to an otherwise apocalyptic assessment of automation’s dark cloud: the displacement of work and workers would usher in a new “leisure society.”

Reality stubbornly ignored 1930s and 1960s expectations. The robots of extravagant imagination never arrived. There was ample job turbulence but as Keynes forecast in 1930, machines created more jobs than they destroyed. Boosted by a World War, unemployment dropped from a high of 25 percent in 1933 to under two percent in 1944.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Poverty’s Most Insidious Damage Is to a Child’s Brain

Low-income children have irregular brain development and lower standardized test scores, with as much as an estimated 20 percent gap in achievement explained by developmental lags in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.  Brian Chua (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Low-income children have irregular brain development and lower standardized test scores, with as much as an estimated 20 percent gap in achievement explained by developmental lags in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.
Brian Chua (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Washington University in St. Louis Via ScienceDaily:

An alarming 22 percent of U.S. children live in poverty, which can have long-lasting negative consequences on brain development, emotional health and academic achievement. A new study, published July 20 in JAMA Pediatrics, provides even more compelling evidence that growing up in poverty has detrimental effects on the brain.

In an accompanying editorial, child psychiatrist Joan L. Luby, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, writes that “early childhood interventions to support a nurturing environment for these children must now become our top public health priority for the good of all.”

In her own research in young children living in poverty, Luby and her colleagues have identified changes in the brain’s architecture that can lead to lifelong problems with depression, learning difficulties and limitations in the ability to cope with stress.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Overcoming Chronic Pain to Walk a Pilgrimage

IMG_0903

I describe my path of preparing for Spain’s Camino de Santiago spiritual pilgrimage, when I’ll also participate in the Deep Democracy Institute‘s intensive seminar for large group facilitation in Barcelona, on elephant journal:

Living with chronic illness I often cycle between gratitude for life’s hidden meanings, a subtle aching for a cure, and a spiral of despair when one fails to appear. But now I’m seeing those aren’t the only options.

Muscle pain, exhaustion, and mental fog have been a daily part of my life for most of the last four years. The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) doesn’t provide an adequate medical explanation, since the condition is still poorly understood.

At the beginning, I couldn’t help but interpret this situation through a mystical lens. It had to be part of a “spiritual crisis.” Only that perspective made any sense—that “the universe” had unforeseen plans for me.

The illness has undoubtedly sent me down a path of self-development that I might have never have found in “normal” health.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Coke Infographic That Should Stop You From Ever Drinking Coca-Cola Again

There’s an infographic doing the rounds that shows what happens to your body one hour after drinking a can of Coca-Cola (and similar carbonated sugary drinks). You’ll never drink a coke again if you know what’s good for you:

Credit: The Renegade Pharmacist

The infographic was published by The Renegade Pharmacist. He writes:

…There are 1.6 billion servings of Coke sold each day worldwide!! A very significant percentage of that is through supermarket chains like WALMART.

Read more: http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/about-us/coca-cola-by-numbers.html

So you can imagine how unpopular I became in WALMART’s head office in the UK with my information strongly advising people to stop drinking fizzy drinks like Coke!

I recently came across a great article by Wade Meredith that explains very well what happens when you drink just 1 can of Coca Cola and this applies to pretty much most caffeinated soft drinks, not just Coke!

Read more: http://www.blisstree.com/2010/06/23/mental-health-well-being/what-happens-to-your-body-if-you-drink-a-coke-right-now/

When somebody drinks a can of Coke or any similar sugary caffeine drink, watch what happens…

  • In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system.
Read the rest
Continue Reading

Antibiotic resistance doesn’t just make bacteria harder to kill – it can actually make them stronger

Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. CDC/ Janice Haney Carr

Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. CDC/ Janice Haney Carr

Gerald Pier, Harvard Medical School and David Skurnik, Harvard Medical School

Antibiotics are wonderful drugs for treating bacterial infections. Unfortunately, disease-causing bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics that are meant to kill them. This is called selective pressure – the bacteria that are susceptible to the drug are killed, but the ones that withstand the antibiotic survive and proliferate. This process results in the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains.

Once a bacterial strain is resistant to several different antibiotics, it has become a multi-drug-resistant (MDR) microbe. When there are virtually no antibiotics available to treat an infected patient, a microbe is said to be “pan-resistant.“ These strains are becoming more and more common in hospitals and in the community at large. You might have heard of some of them: for instance, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).… Read the rest

Continue Reading