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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In the News: June 23, 2010

Is your desk job bad for your health?
Time for a career switch...


"The hazards of sitting all day long--whether you're staring at a computer screen at work or watching TV on the couch at home--are better understood now than ever. In recent years, researchers have linked too much sitting to back pain, repetitive stress injuries, obesity, and even an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

So what's a desk jockey to do? If quitting your job and applying to become a park ranger isn't in the cards, there are a number of other steps you can take to stay healthy at work. For instance, you could improve your workspace ergonomics, swap your office chair for an exercise ball, or ask your employer for a treadmill desk (really).

But the first step is to get moving. Stretching your legs and moving around for just five minutes each hour is enough to do a body good (although more activity is even better)."
(CNN)


ISS Crew Captures Beautiful Image of Green Aurora Over the Indian Ocean
Nothing really to report, but this is an awesome picture:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kEuiU0w6VFM/TCK_Vu_UV5I/AAAAAAAACKE/oqCnxrtUEzE/s1600/ISS023-E-58455_lrg.jpg
(PopSci)


Arugula: The beef of the vegetarian world
People shunning meats because of their high production costs should think about this the next time they're at Whole Foods...


"I wanted to know whether all vegetables were created equal. If you really care about reducing your carbon footprint, are there veggies or fruits you should be shunning along with the cows? The answer, according to Eshel, is emphatically "yes".
Depending on where you live, eating baby spinach or arugula is almost like eating a burger, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. It's that intense. Sure, if you live in the Central Valley of California, or in Florida, not so. But most people live very far from those places. If you live east of longitude 100 [Draw a line through the middle of the Dakotas—MKB] and north of, say, Jesse Helms country, you have no business eating greens at all between October and June. Again, you know, you're free to do whatever you want, but if you want to be really careful about your greenhouse gas footprint, this is what you should do.
The reason boils down to the huge amounts of energy needed to run the greenhouses that grow our local baby salad mix in winter, and, to a lesser extent, the fuel burned by trucking in California-grown salad. Although, Eshel says, you'd be way better off, from an emissions standpoint, buying the California greens than buying local—if buying local means greenhouse-grown."
(link thanks to Seth)


------------More!------------


Big news of the past couple days:

Obama 'angry' after reading McChrystal's remarks
I can understand not wanting your military to talk poorly of you (behind your back, no less), but is there really any doubt servicemen think civilians are less-than-capable at war tactics?



"McChrystal apologized Tuesday for the profile, in which he and his staff appear to mock top civilian officials, including the vice president. Two defense officials said the general fired a press aide over the article, set to appear in Friday's edition of Rolling Stone."
(CNN)


Obama: Petraeus to replace McChrystal as Afghanistan commander

"President Obama announced Wednesday that he has asked Gen. David Petraeus to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Obama said McChrystal's conduct "does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general" and undermines both civilian authority and trust.

He said his decision to change commanders in Afghanistan is "a change in personnel, but ... not a change in policy."

Obama said he could not maintain a "unity of effort" in the Afghan war without a change of command. Obama said he won't "tolerate division" among his military commanders. "Our nation is at war," he said at the White House. "We face a very tough fight in Afghanistan.""
(CNN)


Man arrested after rushing wife to hospital; officer put on paid leave
Yet another idiot cop...


"The Chattanooga, Tennessee, police department has placed an officer on paid administrative leave after he arrested a man who was speeding and ran three red lights as he tried to rush his wife to a hospital, police said."

"Lt. Kim Noorbergen of the Chattanooga Police Department said Officer James Daves will remain on leave until an internal affairs investigation comes to a conclusion over Wednesday's incident involving newlyweds Eric "Jessie" Wright and his wife, Aline.

According to Wright, he and his wife were at their home on Wednesday night when she began showing possible signs of a stroke, with symptoms including numbness in her arms and a facial droop."

"Wright said after carrying his wife to their car, he called the medical center to report that they were on the way, and he drove with his emergency blinkers on, blew his horn and was "cautious" as he crossed the red lights.

Daves fell in behind Wright at an intersection, with his police car lights and siren on. Wright said he was too close to the hospital to stop, and upon arrival he immediately carried his wife to the emergency room because she did not have her prosthetic leg.

The police officer confronted him, Wright said, and told him that he was "going to send me to jail." Wright said Daves also referred to him with an obscenity.

Daves could not be reached for comment Monday. But in his affidavit, in addition to saying that Wright nearly caused a collision, Daves wrote that " (the) defendant stopped in the ER entrance and jumped out and ran. Police made contact with Defendant at the passenger side of his vehicle and I grabbed the defendant's arm and he pushed me away scraping my arm with his fingernail. Defendant yelled and said it was an emergency.""
[Apparently that scratch was enough to add the charge of 'assaulting an officer'...]

Fortunately the charges were dropped, but I doubt this officer will get punished in any way other than a tongue-lashing from his boss.
Shouldn't we expect more from people supposedly in charge of keeping the peace and enforcing the code of conduct?
(CNN)


Mars500 Crewman Offers First Video Tour Inside the Locked Facility, Where Showers Are Tightly Rationed
(In case you hadn't heard about this before).



"You can now take a video tour of the "Mars 500" facility in Moscow, where a six-man crew is spending 520 days simulating a round-trip mission to Mars.

Colombian-Italian crew member Diego Urbina starts out in the living room, where Urbina explains that the team can only watch pre-recorded videos, no TV (which means no World Cup!). But they can also play Guitar Hero and Wii Fit."

"Scientists are monitoring the crew members, who also hail from Russia, France and China, for physical and psychological changes that might result from months of isolation. The European Space Agency is keeping the "mission" as true to life as possible -- radio communications will be delayed 20 minutes, as they would be on a real interplanetary mission, and emails will take twice that time to get through."
(PopSci)


McDonald's warned: Drop the toys or get sued
I really hate these advocacy groups... It's called self-control and good parenting!
They give parents an excuse for their children's obesity, rather than giving them a mirror to show them their own poor nutritional habits. If you/your child is overweight, stop taking them to McDonald's.
This touches the fundamental issue of government control over its people. It is limiting our freedom of choice by telling us what we can and can not eat.
Trans-fats are now banned. What will be next? All fast food? Fried foods? Food items with fat contents higher than 10% of your daily requirement? (That includes a single serving, 1/2 cup, of most ice cream brands). All because a small group of people don't like it, and manage to convince government not to like it in your best interest.

Most advertised movie ever... and I don't think anyone I know has actually seen it.

"A nutrition watchdog group is threatening to sue McDonald's if the fast-food giant won't stop using toys to to lure children to its Happy Meals .

The Center for Science in the Public Interest said Tuesday that it has served McDonald's notice of its intent to sue over what it says is unfair and deceptive marketing.

"McDonald's is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children," CSPI's litigation director, Stephen Gardner, said in a prepared statement. "It's a creepy and predatory practice that warrants an injunction."

In its notice letter, CSPI says that McDonald's toy-related promotions violate state consumer protection laws in four states and the District of Columbia. The letter gives McDonald's 30 days to agree to stop the practice before a suit is filed.
"
(CNN Money)

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