Booze Kills 10% of American Adults

If you can believe the lying Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use accounts for one in 10 deaths among working-age adults ages 20-64 years in the United States. The study was published in Preventing Chronic Disease.

Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths per year from 2006 to 2010, and shortened the lives of those who died by about 30 years.  These deaths were due to health effects from drinking too much over time, such as breast cancer, liver disease, and heart disease; and health effects from drinking too much in a short period of time, such as violence, alcohol poisoning, and motor vehicle crashes.  In total, there were 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year due to excessive alcohol use.

Nearly 70 percent of deaths due to excessive drinking involved working-age adults, and about 70 percent of the deaths involved males.  About 5 percent of the deaths involved people under age 21.  The highest death rate due to excessive drinking was in New Mexico (51 deaths per 100,000 population), and the lowest was in New Jersey (19.1 per 100,000).

“Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death that kills many Americans in the prime of their lives,” said Ursula E. Bauer, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “We need to redouble our efforts to implement scientifically proven public health approaches to reduce this tragic loss of life and the huge economic costs that result.”

Excessive drinking includes binge drinking (4 or more drinks on an occasion for women, 5 or more drinks on an occasion for men), heavy drinking (8 or more drinks a week for women, 15 or more drinks a week for men), and any alcohol use by pregnant women or those under the minimum legal drinking age of 21.  Excessive drinking cost the United States about $224 billion, or $1.90 per drink, in 2006.  Most of these costs were due to lost productivity, including reduced earnings among excessive drinkers as well as deaths due to excessive drinking among working age adults.

To estimate deaths due to excessive drinking, CDC scientists analyzed data from the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) application for 2006-2010.  ARDI provides national and state-specific estimates of alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost.  ARDI currently includes 54 causes of death for which estimates of alcohol involvement were either directly available or could be calculated based on existing scientific information.

“It’s shocking to see the public health impact of excessive drinking on working-age adults,” said Robert Brewer, M.D., M.S.P.H., head of CDC’s Alcohol Program and one of the report’s authors. “CDC is working with partners to support the implementation of strategies for preventing excessive alcohol use that are recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force, which can help reduce the health and social cost of this dangerous risk behavior.”

The independent HHS Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends several evidence-based strategies to reduce excessive drinking.  These include increasing alcohol taxes, regulating alcohol outlet density, and avoiding further privatization of alcohol retail sales.

For more information about excessive drinking, including binge drinking, and how to prevent this dangerous behavior, visit the CDC’s Alcohol and Public Health website at http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/index.htm.  Members of the public who are concerned about their own or someone else’s drinking can call 1-800-662-HELP to receive assistance from the national Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service.

For state-specific estimates of deaths and years of potential life lost due to excessive drinking by condition, visit the ARDI online application at https://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/ardi/HomePage.aspx.

Beyond Our Broken Dreams

Every night gunshots lullaby me to sleep
In ruins of abandoned buildings
the broken glass is
where we bottle up all our broken dreams. . . .

Hold the dream with me, as it breaks loose from Jameale Pickett’s poem. Something beyond the insane dance of crime and punishment is happening, at least this year, this moment, in Chicago’s high schools. Young people are getting a chance to excel and become themselves, as more and more schools find and embrace common sense, also known as restorative justice.

The funding is fragile, precarious, but some schools in struggling communities are figuring out how to break the school-to-prison pipeline, even though the system as a whole remains wrapped up in suspensions, expulsions, zero tolerance and racism.

“The Obama administration on Wednesday urged school officials to abandon unnecessarily harsh suspension and expulsion practices that appear to target black students,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported recently.

“In Chicago, although black students in 2009 made up 45 percent of (the Chicago Public Schools’) enrollment, 76 percent of all CPS students who received out-of-school suspensions were black, according to Department of Education data. When it came to expulsions, black students made up 80 percent of those who were expelled.”

And, as of data from a few years ago, one in four African-American students gets suspended at least once during the school year in Illinois — the highest rate in the nation. Suspensions become blemishes on one’s record that are almost impossible to erase. But worst of all, the conflict at the root of every suspension, in the old system of zero tolerance, goes unaddressed — indeed, unacknowledged, either by the school system or the media. Yet every unaddressed conflict festers and grows.

Motivations to success are few and futile
so when I walk
I always keep my head down.
I can’t go to school because . . .
education is decapitated.

But something is different where Jameale does go to school. He’s a sophomore at Uplift Community High School, on the North Side of Chicago, in the neighborhood known as Uptown. He read his poem as part of a ceremony last week that I was (to my great honor) invited to attend, in which some 25 students accepted their certificates as peace ambassadors.

All of them had received intensive training in what is known as peer conferencing, which is a central facet of the growing restorative justice movement. Peer conferencing is a healing-based approach to conflict resolution, in which students trained in the process sit in a circle — a “peace circle” — with those involved in a dispute of some sort and guide a discussion, often intense, that ends in an agreement about how to repair the harm that was done.

It’s the precise opposite of the escalating craziness of a zero-tolerance, police-dependent approach to trouble at school. It’s about restoring the whole, not punishing bad kids over and over and over, until they leave school and wind up in jail. Such an approach results in the broken glass and shattered dreams — the “decapitated education” — that so many young people in poor, struggling neighborhoods experience. It’s wrecking American society.

But the devastation begins so simply. At the awards ceremony, Ana Mercado of Alternatives, Inc., the local social service agency that trained the Uplift peace ambassadors, told of a typical peer conferencing circle that had recently been held. A teacher was having a problem with a student who kept talking in class — oh, the simplest sort of problem! But it’s the kind of thing that can escalate until the student is expelled. In this case, however, a calm discussion in a peace-circle setting revealed that the teacher had “said something that made the student feel disrespected. The teacher and student met and talked it through. They now have a great relationship.”

End of story. It’s so simple, so lacking in “newsworthiness.” Yet this is how peacebuilding works.

And: “Students have so much more influence with one another than adults have,” Hope Lassen, also of Alternatives, pointed out. Last fall, at the start of the school year, she went around to every English class at Uplift and recruited students to become peer conferencing leaders and peace ambassadors. Some of them had been suggested by teachers, but: “You need the students who have gotten into trouble a lot, as well as the ones who are the primo joiners that teachers love,” she said.

This is the kind of thinking that starts making this process real. It transcends the simplistic, punitive paradigm and values every student at the school.

So far this year, the students have held 16 conferences, 15 of which have ended in agreements that were successfully completed; 129 days of suspension were prevented. As one teacher said at the awards ceremony: “This is the best year I’ve seen at Uplift. It’s the first year we haven’t had any brawls,” which he attributed to the peer-conferencing program. “We truly do see the fruits of your labor.”

Jameale, who talked to me after the ceremony, pointed out that “restorative justice starts at the school level, but most students live in the community. We’re also impacting the community in a positive way.”

During his training to be one of the school’s peace ambassadors, participants were asked at one point “to tell one of the deepest moments in our life,” he said. He told people: “Before I was born, my father died. I’d never told anyone that.” But in the telling, he understood its emotional impact: “I needed to protect everyone around me.”

And in the revelation: “It made me feel I was connected to you, and you to me.”

This is how his poem ends:

A people RISE
from the chalk outlines . . .
A people who reclaim what is rightfully theirs
Their City &
Their Humanity.

Alabama Prison Sexually Abuses Inmates

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division recently announced its letter of findings determining that prison officials at the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) and the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women (Tutwiler) violate women prisoners’ constitutional rights by failing to take reasonable steps to protect them from harm due to sexual abuse and sexual harassment caused by correctional staff.  Specifically, the Justice Department found that prison officials have long been on notice of the risks to women prisoners and have chosen to ignore them.  The findings also included a notice that the investigation will be expanded to examine allegations of additional constitutional violations.

The department found that women prisoners at Tutwiler live in a toxic environment with repeated and open sexual behavior.  The conduct to which women are exposed includes:  officers forcing women to engage in sexual acts with officers in exchange for basic sanitary supplies; male officers openly watching women shower or use the toilet; a staff facilitated “strip show”; a constant barrage of sexually offensive language; punishment of prisoners who report improper conduct; and encouraging improper sexual contact between prisoners.  The sexual abuse and harassment is grossly underreported due to insufficient staffing and supervision, inadequate policies and procedures, a heightened fear of retaliation and an inadequate investigative process.

“Our investigation has revealed serious systemic operational deficiencies at Tutwiler that have exposed women prisoners to harm and serious risk of harm from staff-on-prisoner sexual abuse and sexual harassment,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division.  “These problems have been festering for years, and are well known to Alabama prison officials.  Remedying these deficiencies is critical to ensuring constitutionally protected treatment of women prisoners at Tutwiler and will promote public safety.”

The department’s comprehensive investigation involved an in-depth review and analysis of documents, including policies and procedures, incident reports, investigative reports, orientation materials and staff training materials.  The department also interviewed prison officials and administrative and security staff, as well as current and former women prisoners.

The expanded investigation will examine allegations of excessive use of force, constitutionally inadequate conditions of confinement, constitutionally inadequate medical and mental health care and discriminatory treatment based on national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity.  The department’s decision to expand its investigation of conditions at Tutwiler stemmed from the department’s review of information suggesting that the systemic deficiencies at Tutwiler that facilitated staff sexual misconduct may also lead to constitutionally inadequate conditions of confinement.

“The department stands ready to work with the state of Alabama on solving the problems at Tutwiler,” said U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. for the Middle District of Alabama.  “The report has identified a very serious and troubling situation at the facility.  Action needs to be taken immediately.  I am certain that Commissioner Thomas and the governor’s office will continue to cooperate in eradicating these deplorable conditions.”

The department commends Commissioner Kim Thomas and his staff for the cooperation they have shown, and for their receptivity to concerns raised, and looks forward to continuing to work with ADOC and Tutwiler officials in a collaborative manner on the expanded investigation and to resolve the existing findings expeditiously and under mutually agreeable terms.

Palm Oil Madness

In Indonesia and many other tropical countries, vast amounts of forests are being slashed and burned along with their inhabitants for the large-scale production of palm oil, which is used as a low-cost cooking oil and is put in processed foods, soaps and cosmetics, and is a source of biodiesel fuel.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, Indonesia is the world’s top producer of palm oil, generating 52% of global production in 2012-2013, while Malaysia ranks second, producing 34%. Within Indonesia, virtually all palm oil production—approximately 96%—occurs on the island of Sumatra and across Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo.

NASA-funded research has studied the conversion of forests and community-managed agricultural lands to oil palm plantations within Indonesia, a topic of both global and regional importance.

The conversion of forests industrial plantations represents a significant source of global greenhouse gas emissions, while smoke from fires used to clear land is a major source of air pollution that adversely impacts human health and productivity in Southeast Asia.

Researchers funded through NASA’s Land-Cover/Land-Use Change Program have been using Earth-observing data to document the timeline of oil-palm development and the impacts of expanded palm-oil production across Kalimantan. Scientists digitized remotely sensed areas cleared for or planted with oil palm using 35 Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper and Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus reflectance images at 30-m (~98-ft) resolution to produce the first comprehensive maps of oil-palm expansion across Kalimantan.

While documenting the destruction is useful it won’t stop the madness of destroying rain forests, the corruption and apathy that allows it or the rampant over-population that drives the market for cheap palm oil.  All consumers are encouraged to boycott palm oil in general. There are more sustainable and less destructive alternatives.

The Dichotomy of Mainstream Media vs. the Alternative Media

What is truth? Not a simple question. Is it as you feel it to be? (Subjective truth). Is it based on what you perceive to be facts, uninfluenced by your feelings? (Objective truth). Is it only what your five senses confirm to be real? (Empirical truth). Even within these three very basic concepts of truth, there rests a plethora of subtleties upon the definition of truth – correspondence, coherence, constructivist, consensus, and many more. It is within these subtleties we find a foundational dichotomy between the ‘truth’ of MSM and the ‘truth’ of the alternative press (Alt. P).

Within the varying theories on truth, the MSM (as the faces, voices and words of the global elite cartel) embrace two of the weakest theories, the first being consensus theory. Consensus theory holds that truth is whatever is agreed upon, or in some versions, might come to be agreed upon, by some specified group. Such a group might include all human beings, or a subset thereof consisting of more than one person. 1. A prime example of this is found in a statement by Joseph Goebbels; chillingly insightful, coming from a Nazi.

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state.

Another truth subset found in the MSM, acting as an extension of globalist shapers over the centuries, is constructivist truth theory. Social constructivism holds that truth is constructed by social processes, is historically and culturally specific, and that it is in part shaped through the power struggles within a community. Constructivism views all of our knowledge as “constructed,” because it does not reflect any external “transcendent” realities (as a pure correspondence theory might hold). Rather, perceptions of truth are viewed as contingent on convention, human perception, and social experience. 2. This theory is evidenced most notably in school books from K – PhD., and can best be expressed in the saying “History is written by the victors”. This is why we were taught Columbus discovered America, and not the Vikings, hundreds of years prior; reams of historical data notwithstanding. Social constructivist truth reigns supreme in history and social science departments of most major universities, stamping out clones to perpetuate the dissemination of falsities to coming generations of scholars and students, and so on and so on.

Discovery and The History Channel are two of the worst television perpetrators of this truth theory. Over generations, we accept certain things as ‘true’, simply because we have heard it our entire lives from various sources – but who actually says anything happened a particular way? 

We watch a Network show, (fictionally) called “Bin Laden – the Life and Times”. It would consists of the constructivist theory of truth, as it embraces previously published documents and testimony, vetted, in support of the constructivist lie being built, (they are a brick in this wall). The more firmly the lie takes root in our collective psyche, the greater chance becomes that this original lie will become a consensus truth. It is in this fashion we accept so much.

The alternative press, however, embraces distinctly different truth theorems. The primary theory employed by the alternative press, by necessity, is empirical truth. If MSM is Goliath, the Alt. P. is David. Being the underdog in this dichotomy, it is incumbent upon the Alt. P. to provide this form of proof, as what is being posited on Alt. P sites (the key word here being ‘alternative’ [to the accepted, or prevalent norm]) is in direct contravention to the consensus theory of truth, which reigns supreme in North America at this moment in time.

To use the phrase again, “History is written by the victors”, with MSM representing the victors (at this point in time); if we hold a pair of sevens in black jack, then they are sitting on a pair of kings. The MSM has the power system in place to foist blatant falsehoods on the public, beating it into our heads 24/7 via CNN, FOX, etc. The Alt. P. has the Internet, which is a mighty, mighty tool. One can paint with a broad swath in stating that television is the realm of deception and the Internet is the realm of truth. (The brush is very wide). It is therefore unremarkable to understand that, for the most part, almost every single television network and channel can ultimately be traced through corporate threads to be in the holding and control of only five global media conglomerates. 5. It is chilling to realize that ultimately, (very simplistically stated) five corporate chairmen decide what the world will see, hear about and read about. Anything different from this consensus truth construct is relegated to the ‘alternative’ media.

The Internet, while still being a creature of the US military*, has morphed beyond their control, having grown into a truth spewing beast they can no longer contain, short of complete destruction of same. This is not out of the realm of reason. When one considers, as did Goebbels, that “…a lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie”. If the Internet is the primary means of disseminating the truth, it is by proximity a mortal enemy of the globalists, as they are the primary espouser of lies. And of course, one realizes when one says ‘globalists’ one is also saying ‘military’.

* There is strong support in both camps that the military either did or did not create the Internet. Whether Berners-Lee or Arpanet genius sparked the concept of the Internet, it stands to logic (for funding reasons, for the enormous scope of authoritative geographical cooperation required of such an infrastructure, and the simple fact such a marvelous capacity for both weapons evolution and social programming and monitoring capabilities could breathe life), that government involvement is almost unavoidably certain.

At the end of the day, if one wants a person to believe a newly presented truth, in their heart, one must offer that person empirical truth – sensory evidence . . . video, pictures, credible testimonials, contravening documentation from the very parties being sought to divorce them from. Nothing else will work. Anything less is a seed planted in rocky soil. Doubt flourishes for lack of evidence. This conception of empirical truth (physical evidence) was, after all, a cornerstone in a U.S. Court of Law criminal trial, though for a different America than we know today.

The Alt. P. also embraces the correspondence theory of truth; not as demanding as empirical truth, but a younger sibling to be sure. The correspondence theory of truth states that the truth or falsity of a statement is determined only by how it relates to the world and whether it accurately describes (i.e., corresponds with) that world. The theory is opposed to the coherence theory of truth (a mainstay of MSM…news programs especially so), which holds that the truth or falsity of a statement is determined by its relations to other statements rather than its relation to the world. 3. 

Mass spectrometer readings of melted beams of the twin towers indicating the presence of thermite, with said publishing by reputable, credible, non-government scientists 4., that do so at peril, is empirical evidence. Science is a cornerstone of empirical evidence. One must logically acknowledge forthcoming scientists stand to gain nothing beyond complacency of soul, and stand to lose much in social and professional standing. One cans aught but conclude there is but one goal in their presentation of facts contrary to the consensus theory of truth espoused by the MSM, and that is to make known the truth of empirical, irrefutable truth. One may find the reports themselves suspect, (as ultimately, anyone can, at any time, suspect the truth of anything), but one cannot deny the career jeopardy these scientists place themselves in, and (will hopefully) examine the scientists premise for action.

Ayn Rand, vilified and praised with equal fervor, wrote, “Check your premises”. Good advice, in relation to this topic. We must examine the agendas of the parties as relates to the content of the news or media content promulgated.

MSM, through the tentacle that is Hollywood, promotes the consensual truth that Satanism is vogue 6., that casual sex is mentally healthy, that men are bumbling fools while women are empowered; stronger mentally, morally and logically. In the entertainment industry, Satanism is epidemic. To be rattled by oodles of empirical evidence go here. 

A recent single episode of Two and Half Men included references and jokes alluding to threesomes, incestuous threesomes, drug use, alcohol abuse and very casual sexual trysts. (I had better hopes for you, Ashton). Ah, just another evening on prime time network family entertainment. No cultural manipulation going on here! No Sir!

Remember please that the primary target audience for the pervasive Luciferian references 10. is young children, and the younger the better. It’s called indoctrination. One must understand, and realize for and when your children do not, a simple truism, phrased here in the form of a question.

“If we embrace the concept of empirical evidence; what we see and here, in other words, then is it not highly probable; inevitable, even, that if an impressionable child (impressionability being the yeast of formative mental and emotional growth in every human child ever born) is inundated daily with satanic images and physical manifestations (in the form of concerts, music awards, etc.) of devil worship, vulgar displays of wanton promiscuity, 8., satanic symbols and mentally divergent themes and song lyrics, that they will embrace, to greater and lesser degrees, the essence of that evil agenda?”

It is not the symbols themselves, but the moral decay which the performances and symbols endorse and promote. This is the danger. 

The premise, or foundational reason for this Hollywood agenda is to erode the family unit. They have done a marvelous job of it. The US is a world leader in divorce rates. A destroyed family (and does a divorce do nothing else if not destroy the family?) acerbates the division of the family unit, and with the loss of the family unit, a populace is that much easier to control, lacking the strength of conviction that only a nuclear family unit can inspire the average Joe to heroic acts of defense. The broken man, bitter woman, disenfranchised and neglected child . . . what will they fight for at risk of life? Beyond the animal defense instinct that kicks in for everyone faced with immediate death, most rudderless citizens will sweep to the oars of a globalists controlled current.

The tame elder brother to Hollywood’s insidious evil, but a brother nonetheless, is network news, and their lesser viewed cousins found in cable news. One can logically concede that the ‘big five’ media heads are safely in the realm of the globalist elite; each being a Minister of Propaganda rendering a Goebbels to the skill level of a small market slickster. If one here can concede there is a globalists cabal with a specific agenda of global domination, then one must also agree there are those standing in opposition to such designs. You probably agree, shills withstanding. To accomplish the foul deeds required to see global domination realized, a few eggs must be cracked. 

A summation of agreement in a room of global elites, “These actions must be covered up, lest the masses realize what we are up to!” Enter the ‘big five’, in unison; “No problem. We’ll have Miley strip to near nude and crotch hump a dude on national television….Syria? Where’s that?” Problem solved…for now. 

On a scale of 1-100, Google tracks the search interest of certain terms. After Miley Cyrus’ performance, her Google rating went from 67 to 100 in less than 24 hours, while “Syria” went from 4 to 3 during the same period. Rerunning the numbers Thursday, CP found Cyrus’ Monday rating 100, with Syria down at 2. On Tuesday, Miley went down to 63, but Syria remained less than one tenth of that, at 6. 9.

That is a reason, a premise for her needlessly crude performance. Remember, the globalists’ machine is vast and all-encompassing; meshing governments, MSM, weapons, energy and food…essentially every aspect of our existence. 

Hence, the alternative press employs analysis and construction of the truth, based on empirical evidence, because there is no other form of truth as powerful. This is why the truth movement is growing daily and the globalists employed inferior forms of constructive and consensus truth are crumbling in the face of empirical truth, and that is why we will triumph when all is said and done. And that’s the truth!

Sources:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth#Consensus_theory
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivist_epistemology
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correspondence_theory_of_truth
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfifCSEGGfM
  5. http://world-information.org/wio/infostructure/100437611795/100438659010
  6. http://www.henrymakow.com A PILE of empirical evidence, as well as opinon.
  7. http://vigilantcitizen.com/category/pics-of-the-month/
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZrHTUD7AVM
  9. http://www.christianpost.com/news/american-media-ignore-syria-crisis-possible-wwiii-to-cover-miley-cyrus-vma-controversy-analysis-finds-103306/ Yes, it’s the Christian Post! Who do you think is going to post this information, TMZ?
  10. http://vigilantcitizen.com/category/moviesandtv/

Cell Phones Increase Cancer Risk

While the independent research on the effects of microwave radiation emitted by wifi, cell phones and other mobile devices is clear and more than sufficient to prove that exposure at low levels causes DNA damage that can lead to cancer, the wireless industry has paid for studies designed to sow confusion and make people feel comfortable about the risks from microwave radiation.

Even though the World Health Organization classifies microwave radiation as carcinogenic, national health agencies have not taken measures to protect the public nor has the public shown much interest in the risks to their health. The massive lobbying and advertising by the wireless industry holds sway over public opinion and govt. regulation.

A new study published in the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signaling may provide health advocates with more ammunition in the case against microwave radiation.

The study looked for cancer clues in the saliva of cell phone users. Since the cell phone is placed close to the salivary gland when in use, researchers hypothesized that salivary content could reveal whether there was a connection to developing cancer. Comparing heavy mobile phone users to non-users, they found that the saliva of heavy users showed indications of higher oxidative stress — a process that damages all aspects of a human cell, including DNA — through the development of toxic peroxide and free radicals. More importantly, it is considered a major risk factor for cancer.

For the study, the researchers examined the saliva content of 20 heavy-user patients, defined as speaking on their phones for a minimum of eight hours a month. Most participants speak much more, Dr. Hamzany says, as much as 30 to 40 hours a month. Their salivary content was compared to that of a control group, which consisted of deaf patients who either do not use a cell phone, or use the device exclusively for sending text messages and other non-verbal functions.
Compared to the control group, the heavy cell phone users had a significant increase in all salivary oxidative stress measurements studied.

This suggests that there is considerable oxidative stress on the tissue and glands which are close to the cell phone when in use. The damage caused by oxidative stress is linked to cellular and genetic mutations which cause the development of tumors.  However, it can take more than 10 years before the damage results in tumors or other symptoms of illness that a person would notice.

 

Mira Nair Boycotts Israel film festival

Internationally-acclaimed director of Salaam Bombay! and Monsoon Wedding, Mira Nair, has refused an invitation to take her latest film to Israel due to Israel’s continued crimes against the Palestinians.

In a series of tweets, Nair made the following statement:

I was just invited to Israel as a guest of honor at the Haifa International Film Festival with “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” I will not be going to Israel at this time. I will go to Israel when the walls come down. I will go to Israel when occupation is gone. I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another. I will go to Israel when Apartheid is over. I will go to Israel, soon. I stand with the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the larger Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

Slavery Persists in Saudi Arabia

Slavery still persists in Saudi Arabia where foreign workers are forced to work till they drop, held against their will and many are not paid anything. The slavery continues when the Saudis travel with their slaves. The recent arrest of Saudi Princess Meshael Alayban in California on charges of human trafficking has finally brought the issue to the surface and forced the Saudi government to publicly offer some meager legal protection for domestic workers.

The new regulations will ensure that conditions are still very close to slavery. Domestic workers employed by Saudis must work 90 hours a week for $400/month minus expenses. They can’t refuse to do any job and of course are still virtual prisoners. If any foreign worker wants to to leave a job in Saudi Arabia they can’t leave the country until they get an exit visa and in most cases their employer must approve it.

According to Saudi Labor Minister Adel Faqih, a domestic worker “does not have the right to reject a work, or leave a job, without a valid reason.”

Princess Alayban is one of the six wives of Saudi Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud. She was arrested after one of her Kenyan servants escaped and told police that she was being held against her will, was forced to work 16 hours a day and paid only $220 a month. While this was legal in Saudi Arabia, it is not legal in California. Many Saudis spend time in California and authorities have previously been willing to ignore the ill treatment of their workers and almost never investigated complaints of slavery.

Princess Alayban was quickly released on $5 million bail.

Reasons to Really Chew Your Food

Almonds may still be considered one of the highest energy food sources but it’s not about how much you bite off, instead it’s about how much you chew, according to a July 14 panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo® held at McCormick Place.

“Particle size has bioaccessibility of the energy of the food that is being consumed,” said Dr. Richard Mattes (CQ), professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. “The more you chew, the less is lost and more is retained in the body.”

Each individual has their own chewing habits, he said, and although those are often difficult to change they should be considered when making energy food choices.

Mattes shared a recent study with conference attendees in which study subjects chewed almonds 10 times, 25 times or 40 times and their fecal fat and energy lost by the number of chews were measured. The study found with fewer chews, the larger particles were eliminated by the body. With more chews, the smaller particles were more readily absorbed into the system.

“If the goal is to include food that is enjoyable and contribute protein, a whole almond is probably the way you want to go,” Mattes said. “If you’re interested in maximizing Vitamin E intake, chopped almonds, almond butter or almond oil may be a better choice.”

Mixed fibers from fruits, vegetables and whole grains also topped the charts as high energy sources, he added.

“When your total diet is higher in fiber, there’s a greater loss of fat,” Mattes said. “Fiber binds with fatty acids to create energy sources in the body.”

Dr. Roger Clemens (CQ), chief scientific officer of Horn Company of La Mirada, Calif., and an adjunct professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences within the USC School of Pharmacy, explained in his abstract that scientists today continue to estimate the measurements of energy derived from foods based on calculations created over 125 years ago by Wilbur O. Atwater, (CQ) a USDA agricultural chemist who published his findings from more than 200 dietary studies on caloric content in kcal/g of carbohydrates (4), proteins (4) and fats (9) as they were found in foods and metabolized by the body.

Clemens did acknowledge many variables can impact how efficiently the body extracts energy from plant-based foods or ingredients, especially those high in dietary fiber cereals and plant extracts, nuts and seeds.

Clemens added more study and understanding of the digestibility of plant-based foods and ingredients could contribute to more appropriate energy values and more accurate product labeling.

“We may see a resurgence of digestibility studies in humans rather than relying on estimates by Atwater that we have been doing for a number of years,” said Malden Nesheim, (CQ) provost emeritus and professor of nutrition emeritus, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Dr. Martin Wickham (CQ), director of nutrition at Leatherhead Food Research in the United Kingdom, also presented an update at the conference session on similar studies in the European Union and recognized a new study released Friday about school lunches.

“It recommended a ban on people bringing in packed lunches which are not as healthy as school meals,” Wickham said. “We tend to talk about school meals and their nutritional quality but this is the first time where they talked about the calories playing a major part in childhood obesity in the UK.”

Wickham added that in December 2012, the European Union published new regulations on food energy guidelines and a European-wide way to handle calories, also suggesting new measurements of the macro micro nutrients and using averages on food tables. These new regulations, he said, will be imposed in December 2014.

The Black Underbelly of Windows 8.1 Blue

As Windows 8.1 Milestone Preview testers push and prod their way into the dark corners of Windows 8.1 “Blue,” they’re finding a bunch of things that go bump in the night. From new and likely unwelcome features, to nudges into the Microsoft data tracking sphere, to entire lopped-off pieces of Windows 8, it looks like Microsoft is changing Windows to further its own agenda.

I’m not talking about the well-documented gotchas with the Win 8.1 Preview — Microsoft makes no bones about the fact you won’t be able to upgrade directly from the Preview to the final, shipping version of Windows 8.1, for example, and it warns repeatedly that you can’t uninstall the Milestone Preview. I’m also not talking about typical beta blues — clicking on a Metro app button and getting dumped back on the Metro Start screen kind of comes with the beta-testing ride. Nor am I talking about the updates to the Preview that have already shipped: I count 10 installed on my 64-bit test machine through Windows Update (not bad for a beta that’s only been out for a couple of weeks).

The changes I’m seeing are more … inscrutable. Some people think they’re sinister. Few of them have even a wisp of documentation. We potential Windows 8.1 customers are left trying to figure out what Microsoft intends to do and how the changes will affect the way we work.

Microsoft Accounts bare its fangs
With Windows 8, you’re encouraged to set up every new Windows user with a Microsoft Account— which is to say, it’s easy to set up a new user by employing an email address that’s been registered with Microsoft. It’s possible to create a new Win8 user without providing a Microsoft Account, but you need to click a few rather obscure links in the setup routine to get around the restriction.

On the other hand, it’s very difficult to install Windows 8.1 “Blue” Preview without using a Microsoft Account. While there are some clever workarounds to bypass the forced Microsoft Account login, you have to be quite persistent to get the Preview installed without linking your installation — your computer’s unique ID — to your Microsoft Account.

Microsoft says that the Microsoft Account requirement will be lifted for the final release:

Warning

In order to use Windows 8.1 Preview you must sign in to your PC with a Microsoft account. The option to create a local account will be made available at the final release of Windows 8.1.

But there are no details about how the requirement will be lifted or whether the same hoops that worked with Windows 8 will work with the final version of Windows 8.1

Microsoft can track your local searches
If you use Microsoft Bing or Google search — or almost any other search engine — you already know that Microsoft and/or Google can and do keep track of your searches. That’s why a casual Web search for “flugelhorn” will result in you seeing targeted ads for flugelhorns on almost every site you visit for the following month.

But running a search on your computer for “flugelhorn” through the Windows 8 Search charm doesn’t increase your chances of seeing online ads for flugelhorns — I think. Although I can’t find a suitable legalistic disclaimer anywhere, Microsoft doesn’t appear to be scraping, storing, and regurgitating local computer search strings to, uh, enhance your shopping experience.

That’s changing by default in Windows 8.1. The new Win8.1 Smart Search — invoked by default through the Windows 8.1 Search charm — not only searches your computer for the string you specify. It also, all by itself, gathers up the terms and runs them through a Bing search. Making this cool new feature all the more lovable, Microsoft has officially announced that advertisers will be able to dish up advertising to your computer, based on the searches you perform on your computer.

Bing Ads will be an integral part of the new Windows 8.1 Smart Search experience. Now, with a single campaign setup, advertisers can connect with consumers across Bing, Yahoo, and the new Windows Search with highly relevant ads for their search queries. In addition, Bing Ads will include Web previews of websites and the latest features like site links, location, and call extensions, making it easier for consumers to complete tasks and for advertisers to drive qualified leads.

Unless you make Smart Search dumb, you not only hand Microsoft a complete history of all of your local computer search terms, you open your machine up to even more lovely ads, doled out on the Search results pane. If you search for “flugelhorn” on your local computer — not on the Web, mind you, but on your own computer — the results that Windows 8.1 shows you will include advertisements for flugelhorns on eBay and Amazon (no, I’m not joking — try it), local flugelhorn manufacturers, flugelhorn party consultants, and no doubt some day flugelhorn addiction services.

You can turn Smart Search off by bringing up the Settings charm, clicking or tapping Change PC Settings, then choosing Search and Apps, and moving the Use Bing to Search Online slider off.

The Windows Experience Index bites the dust — or does it?
If you look for the Windows Experience Index in the Windows 8.1 “Blue” Preview, you won’t find it. While nobody ever took WEI too seriously — it’s a bit preposterous to think that you can distill a PC’s performance down to a single number — I’ve long used WEIs to quickly compare computers while I’m out shopping. They’re also useful to double-check on new drivers, to see if they’ve boosted or strangled processing speeds.

Nobody knows for sure — and Microsoft hasn’t commented at all — but it appears the WEI is dead. Nazmus Khandaker on the McAkins Online blog puts it this way:

Microsoft removed the Experience Index from Windows RT but kept it on the original release of Windows 8 in October 2012. However with Windows 8.1, Microsoft has decided to kill off the Experience Index completely. I have tested this on several PCs (touch and nontouch). Before upgrading my PCs, I was able to view the Experience Index on Windows 8.0. After upgrading to Windows 8.1, they were no longer present.

One possible reason for its sudden disappearance: The lofty and expensive Microsoft Surface Pro gets a 5.6 on the WEI scale. That would’ve been a good score three or four years ago on a middle-of-the-road PC. I have an old single-core i3 machine with a Windows 8 WEI of 7.0.

The Metro Photos app loses its connections
The Windows 8.1 Metro Photos app that’s circulating at the moment is a mess. While it sports a few new features — crop, rotate, auto slideshows, red-eye removal, all the features you would’ve expected from a photo app 10 years ago — the current app can’t even access photos stored on a network share or on SkyDrive. Clearly, it was rushed out the door.

The reason for the trampled release appears to be Microsoft’s canning of its Facebook and Flickr links.

Windows 8 had automatic connections to your local pictures library, network shares, SkyDrive, Facebook, and Flickr; Win8 combines photos from all of those sources and offers them up with one, unified view. The Windows 8.1 “Blue” Preview can only get at local pictures. It uses the cumbersome-but-finger-friendly “file picker” metaphor for selecting files and folders. Barb Bowman, community moderator for Microsoft’s Answers forum and a Microsoft MVP, took Microsoft to task:

Photos App in 8.1 loses most of its best features, e.g., Facebook/Flickr support, network/homegroup support. I’ve just installed the 8.1 Preview on a desktop. The Photos App has changed:

1. No longer includes the ability to show images from Facebook, Flickr, SkyDrive

2. No longer allows images from other computers or the network

Microsoft hasn’t responded officially to the burgeoning complaints, although a person who identified herself as Microsoft employee CarmenZ posted this in response:

In Windows 8, we wanted to provide a way for folks to view their photos on other services knowing there would be few (if any) apps in the store at launch that would do so.  Now there are many apps in the store that offer ways to view photos on other services and soon there will even be a Facebook app from Facebook. We’re confident Facebook will offer great ways to view and engage socially with photos on Facebook.  We welcome Flickr to do the same. In addition, the People app still offers the ability to socially engage with your friends and even your own photos.

Undeterred, Bowman fired back:

This morning I was sending a tweet in a Windows 8[.1] App and when I used the image button, the Photos App opened (and not Windows Explorer, which is what happens on RTM W8) and was able to attach a file from a networked computer. This is more evidence that the Photos App is part of the OS and not an app … Since the navigation is there, as evidenced by my experience, the question remains as to why there is no support for network folders in the Photos app itself. Microsoft has responded on the Facebook issue on the original thread, but has pointedly not answered the other questions.

If I were to speculate, I’d say that Microsoft ripped out the Facebook and Flickr parts of Metro Photos and, in a hurry, took out SkyDrive and network folder support. It’s inconceivable to me that Microsoft would release a Metro Photos app without copious connections to SkyDrive — if only to sell more SkyDrive space.

About the same time this observation hit the fan, Microsoft announced, quite unexpectedly, that Facebook would finally build a Metro Facebook app.

I think we’re seeing a quid pro quo in action — Facebook finally agrees to join the Windows Store and, in exchange, Microsoft agrees to drop Facebook integration from Metro Photos. If true, might other Microsoft Metro apps follow suit? And where’s the Metro Flickr app?

Times really have changed if Facebook can arm-wrestle Microsoft into submission.

(Thanks for the heads-up, AR.)

This story, “A look at the black underbelly of Windows 8.1 ‘Blue’,” was originally published atInfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.