The Atlantic: Bayer and Monsanto Announce $66 Billion Merger.
Two of the biggest GMO/pesticide companies. It’s not a monopoly, there are many others, but holy hell they’re going to wield a great deal of power.
The Atlantic: Trump Unveils Plan to Boost Support for Child Care.
Hillary almost collapsed.
Looks like Hillary’s suffering from a familiar A/V malady. We would go from venue to venue, hyper-air-conditioned (super-cold in anticipation of thousands of hot bodies), then travelling out in the heat between venues. Or cold ballroom - hot city - cold airport - temperate airplane - cold airport - hot city ... you get the idea. The sharp temp changes really tax your immune system. And planes are petri dishes.
I fell ill of this in Baltimore, years ago ... noone to spare from the crew. I had to haul my butt to the emergency room in a taxi, alone. They freaked out - I was dehydrated enough to start heart rhythm problems. They pumped me full of saline for hours. When I walked out eight hours later to catch a cab back to the hotel, I felt like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man. Thought my eyes would pop out of my head. I couldn’t drive myself back home to Princeton, I sat in a hotel room alone, hallucinating for three days until the fever broke.
I give Hillary a big ‘pass’ on this one. Been there, been through that ... it’s really horrible. And I was late 20’s, 30’s ... in tip-top physical shape. It *hurt*.
[I’m an ethical guy - I would give Trump or Johnson a ‘pass’ on this one, too.]
Get well soon, Hill. And don’t do too much too fast. It’ll come back on ya.
Day later: Note that Donald Trump behaved better on this (so far) than the media.
WaPo: Democrats wonder and worry - Why isn’t Clinton far ahead of Trump?
It’s going to be the craziest 60 days we’ve ever seen in politics. I’ll say it again. Obamacare’s cost increases go live on November 1. One week before election. Hillary better have a fix long before, or else she could lose this with her current slim margins. Back-pocket election. Many things can happen in between, but that could end up being the nail in the coffin.
Men’s Journal: Exercising Saves You Money — Here’s Exactly How Much.
“The researchers broke the subjects out by the number of cardiovascular risk factors they had (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, age, even income), and among the overall healthiest, folks who didn’t work out sunk an additional $500 into health care.”
I was shocked, when trolling the ACA’s database. They consider “medium” use to include *19* prescriptions during a one-year period. I haven’t taken a prescription med in 20 years; if I can alter diet or increase exercise, I do it. Genetics helps too, no question. And my age is increasing, so it’s only a matter of time. But sheesh. Is the average person really taking that many drugs?
Vox: Gluten allergies aren’t increasing. So why are gluten-free diets skyrocketing?
Oh please, Vox. Read the referenced articles to see how they jig their main article copy to lead you by the nose to their own stereotyped conclusions. And be careful when using the word ‘diet’. It has two meanings, as you know. In one of their linked studies, if you turn the stats around, 14% of self-proclaimed gluten sensitive people are actually undiagnosed celiacs, wheat-allergic, or gluten-sensitive. I should think giving them non-medical options to handle their discomfort would be a good thing ... ? Sure, there are charlatans selling gluten-free as the Second Coming. So have paleo, grapefruit, veggie/fruit shake, mono and other diets. Even ‘low-calorie’ meals (based on erroneous-but-believed-accurate research) were available in restaurants. “Don’t eat eggs. Don’t drink milk.” Physicians recommended those, remember? What, you don’t care how bad trans-fats are, and that you were told to eat margarine? Kick a doctor lately? Didn’t think so.
This post is completely in my self-interest. More gluten free products, the more easy options I have. I remember when there weren’t any GF baked goods. No pizzas. Sticky, horrible rice pastas. No convenience foods whatsoever. I was stuck with veg and meat, veg and meat, veg and meat ... and one or two brands of amazingly tasteless protein/energy bars for Rolls Royce prices.
Authority Nutrition: Pre-Workout Nutrition - What to Eat Before a Workout.
Handy. I’ve not had good luck with protein. If running, bananas ... otherwise, not. My problem is having enough carb/sugar fuel to last an hour of hard work. Still experimenting. My onsite backup is a bottle of diluted Gatorade, to keep me suffering in good stead ...
Guardian.UK: Toxic air pollution particles found in human brains.
“We also observed other metal-bearing particles in the brain, such as platinum, cobalt and nickel. Things like platinum are very unlikely to come from a source within the brain. It is a bit of an indicator of a [vehicle] catalytic converter source.” Holy flippin’ Hannah. Thanks, E, for the link!
Virtual Tudors: 3D Mary Rose Models.
Check the Carpenter Skull. Rough life.
New Scientist: Antidepressant makes bones weaker by slowing down new growth.
“In the short term, those who take fluoxetine are less likely to break a bone, but the risk of bone depletion and fractures rises when they have been taking the drug for a year or more.” Prozac-takers, take note.
Authority Nutrition: 16 Studies on Vegan Diets - Do They Really Work?
Bottom line: They can.
BillMoyers: Why a Single-Payer Health Care System is Inevitable.
“Health insurers spend lots of time, effort and money trying to attract people who have high odds of staying healthy (the young and the fit) while doing whatever they can to fend off those who have high odds of getting sick (the older, infirm and the unfit). As a result we end up with the most bizarre health-insurance system imaginable: One ever better designed to avoid sick people.” My italic emphasis.
BillMoyers: American Women Are Still Dying in Childbirth at Alarming Rates.
Here’s a way to look at it. It’s only slightly more risky to have a baby in Iraq, than in Texas. 50 vs. 35.8 per 100,000. Sub-Saharan Africa still leads, with upwards of 300.
BBC: Prince death - Powerful drugs found in singer’s home ‘were mislabelled’.
Jeez. Someone screwed up, big time. I’m sure the boards will be full of conspiracy theories now.
Vox: I arrived at my friend’s party. A few hours later she died, exactly as planned.
The Atlantic: The Difficult Math of American Health Care.
“At the end of the day, who has health insurance in the U.S.? It’s people on Medicare and Medicaid, who don’t pay the full cost of their coverage because the government picks up most or all of it. It’s people on employer-sponsored plans, who tend not to realize they pay the full cost because they get large (though declining) subsidies from their employers. And it’s people who buy Obamacare policies, many of whom don’t pay the full cost because they get subsidies, and many of whom place a high value on insurance because they know they are sicker than average.” Those are the people who say it’s great. The rest of us are stuck with absolute useless, expensive insurance - enforced by law.
NY Daily News: EpiPen price hike sends doctors and patients scrambling.
Criminal. FDA? Mr Obama?
NPR: Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?
“Back at James Madison University, Travis Rieder explains a PowerPoint graph that seems to offer hope. Bringing down global fertility by just half a child per woman ‘could be the thing that saves us’, he says.” Broadcast this one, far and wide.
SciAm: Is There Such a Thing as “Fat but Fit”?
“It would imply that you are not protected from bad outcomes if you are a so-called fit and fat person.” I ran across an extensive photo gallery of Woodstock, and was struck (once again) by the low BMI of kids in the ‘60’s compared to the average American today.
Authority Nutrition: Fluoride - Good or Bad?
Net-net: If you’re worried, stop.
naked cap: ObamaCare Death Spiral Accelerates as Aetna Pulls out of the Exchanges.
“The [insurance company] dropouts also undermine a key promise of the law: multiple insurers would compete for consumers’ business each year, and the power of the market would control costs and raise quality. Instead, the opposite is happening.” My italic emphasis.
The Atlantic: Aetna to Withdraw From Nearly 70 Percent of Its Obamacare Exchanges.
“Back when UnitedHealth was the only insurance company bailing out, it was easy to dismiss as just one company trying to boost its bottom line. But when all five big insurers are bleeding money, it’s clear you’ve got bigger problems.” Looks like the media wants to make it a talking point. We’ll see if any candidate takes the bait, or that it survives the news cycle.
Vox: This certainly doesn’t look good for Obamacare.
“And it’s fair to say that at this point, Obamacare is going through a major test of its viability. It relies on private insurers to willingly participate, and it is not clear they want to keep participating — or at least it is not clear that enough of them want to keep participating to create the nationwide coverage and competition Obamacare envisions.” As I’ve said, Dems know it’s broken ... but don’t want to fix it until after they win in November. Any mention in a debate will be a tamp-down, de-escalate response.
ScienceDaily: Oral immunotherapy is safe, effective for peanut-allergic preschoolers, study suggests
I ate a lot of PB, straight out of the jar, when I was very small. With a long ‘ice tea spoon’. Good times. Nowadays, adults would fear choking risk.
KPCC: Coyote attacks are increasing in Southern California. Why?
Of note. Esp. to NM’ans. Though this happened in CA, we had a wet beginning to last winter, and rodent populations skyrocketed. Those populations are dwindling now, so we have a lot of coyotes without a lot to eat. Careful while hiking with kids, walking pets or passing fixed garbage collection installations.