06 February 2017

Katie Alice Greer on why all art is political – The Creative Independent

Katie Alice Greer on why all art is political – The Creative Independent: "I think if we’re going to have conversations about art, it’s best to avoid words like that, and actually explain why we think art is political, or art is beautiful, or art is important."

'via Blog this'

04 May 2016

Breakfast Is Not The Most Important Meal Of The Day And Other Facts - Digg

Is breakfast the most important meal of theday?

Breakfast does not need to be a structured meal, aside from the social aspect if your family breakfasts together. Otherwise, if you're hungry in the morning, eat! If you're not, then EAT WHEN HUNGRY.

Daily Breakfast Consumption
girls, boys

47%, 56%

56%, 64%

70%, 74%

51%, 61%

33%, 39%

70%, 75%

51%, 57%

BREAKFAST CONSUMPTION and its socio-demographic and lifestyle correlates in schoolchildren in 41 countries participating in the HBSC study

03 November 2014

Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Spround, and Cabbagle

These are most popular of the world's healthiest vegetables: kale, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. They are called brassicas.

For a long time, brassicas had a mixed reputation. The rising popularity of brassicas is due to their extraordinary health benefits and also they can taste delicious when properly prepared, that is without death-by-boiling or burial under a blanket of cheese.

Roasted brassicas are awesome!

30 October 2014

Writing and Work

It would seem that in brilliant writing what's at work is a brilliant mind. But what I have found more often than not is that the amount of work that goes into it is what is payed back; if you don't put in the work, you just don't get good writing.

Louis Pasteur said, "In the field of observation, chance favors the prepared mind." In writing, the mind is prepared by writing. That's the work. That is the hard and inglorious work that must precede any good writing.

Writing is such hard work, that I continually draw inspiration and encouragement from the likes of Samuel Beckett, "Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again! Fail again! Fail better!"

Science takes a dry, clinical view of it; a failed experiment is just as valuable as a so-called successful experiment; either way information is obtained; more data; more knowledge. Progress.

And so it is with writing. You write something. It isn't right. You rewrite it. You get an idea in that process. It's like getting closer to a destination you can see it better as you get near, as you reach the crest of a certain hill, you can perfectly see what you need to do. But you have to go down into another dip and then up over another further hill. It is  these ups and downs and the movement and the work of movement that makes the progress.

Anyone who's written much has usually asked themselves at some point, "why writing?" Who would want to be a writer?! It's such hard work. And it's all about the end product. The process itself is miserable. I've heard one journalist explain the process of writing as, "you bang your head against the screen until blood comes out. That's writing."

But for those of who have been bitten by the writing bug, what we become attached to is the idea of improvement, so that the process of arriving at the end product - a piece of writing - becomes less painful and more rewarding. Perhaps we will learn something. Learning something interesting that you would not have found out any other way makes the process by which you learned itself of value.

04 September 2014

The Value of Hard Work

Are you willing to put in the work? That's the real question. Not what your talents are, despite what your aspirations or goals are, are you willing to do a lot of hard work? If the answer is yes, then you can achieve pretty much anything you think about.

17 February 2013

Chili Peppers and Violent Video Games: A Comparison

When you bite into a chili pepper, or food laced with chili pepper, the brain registers "noxious heat*," interpreted as dangerous. When the brain through repeated exposure to chili, learns that there is no danger, the experience looses the unpleasant associations but retains the excitement, or "zest," as it is often referred to by food writers.

Violence, like sex, gets our attention. This has survival value. It also means that when we understand that that violence, as in a video game, is non-threatening, or threatening only to our avatar, but not to our physical self, then we enjoy the thrill of the violence vicariously. The experience looses any negative associations (in our brains) and retains the excitement and stress producing elements that make for engaging game play.

* http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10336113

05 April 2011

A Little Wine Can Protect Your Liver

The clarification process can bring out the cl...

Image via Wikipedia

This year, researchers at the University of California School of Medicine, San Diego, found that, compared with teetotalers, people who drank one glass of red or white wine a day were half as likely to develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most common liver problem in this country. Conversely, people who drank the same amount of beer or hard liquor were four times more likely to get NAFLD. Experts have yet to pinpoint the reason, but they suspect an additional healthful compound in wine is at work.

The Upside of Alcohol | Real Simple (5 April 2011)



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05 February 2011

To read is to be exposed to other people's ideas. Different people will introduce us to the most amazing experiences.

30 October 2010

Why George Soros Supports Legalizing Marijuana

Why I Support Legal Marijuana | George Soros
The Wall Street Journal | October 26, 2010
Our marijuana laws are clearly doing more harm than good. The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries. But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences.

Law enforcement agencies today spend many billions of taxpayer dollars annually trying to enforce this unenforceable prohibition. The roughly 750,000 arrests they make each year for possession of small amounts of marijuana represent more than 40% of all drug arrests.

Regulating and taxing marijuana would simultaneously save taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and incarceration costs, while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually. It also would reduce the crime, violence and corruption associated with drug markets, and the violations of civil liberties and human rights that occur when large numbers of otherwise law-abiding citizens are subject to arrest. Police could focus on serious crime instead.

The racial inequities that are part and parcel of marijuana enforcement policies cannot be ignored. African-Americans are no more likely than other Americans to use marijuana but they are three, five or even 10 times more likely—depending on the city—to be arrested for possessing marijuana. I agree with Alice Huffman, president of the California NAACP, when she says that being caught up in the criminal justice system does more harm to young people than marijuana itself. Giving millions of young Americans a permanent drug arrest record that may follow them for life serves no one's interests.

Racial prejudice also helps explain the origins of marijuana prohibition. When California and other U.S. states first decided (between 1915 and 1933) to criminalize marijuana, the principal motivations were not grounded in science or public health but rather in prejudice and discrimination against immigrants from Mexico who reputedly smoked the "killer weed."

Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal? The greatest beneficiaries are the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade—and who would rapidly lose their competitive advantage if marijuana were a legal commodity. Some claim that they would only move into other illicit enterprises, but they are more likely to be weakened by being deprived of the easy profits they can earn with marijuana.

This was just one reason the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy—chaired by three distinguished former presidents, Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, C├ęsar Gaviria of Colombia and Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico—included marijuana decriminalization among their recommendations for reforming drug policies in the Americas.

Like many parents and grandparents, I am worried about young people getting into trouble with marijuana and other drugs. The best solution, however, is honest and effective drug education. One survey after another indicates that teenagers have better access than most adults to marijuana—and often other drugs as well—and find it easier to buy marijuana than alcohol. Legalizing marijuana may make it easier for adults to buy marijuana, but it can hardly make it any more accessible to young people. I'd much rather invest in effective education than ineffective arrest and incarceration.

California's Proposition 19, which would legalize the recreational use and small-scale cultivation of marijuana, wouldn't solve all the problems connected with the drug. But it would represent a major step forward, and its deficiencies can be corrected on the basis of experience. Just as the process of repealing national alcohol prohibition began with individual states repealing their own prohibition laws, so individual states must now take the initiative with respect to repealing marijuana prohibition laws. And just as California provided national leadership in 1996 by becoming the first state to legalize the medical use of marijuana, so it has an opportunity once again to lead the nation.

In many respects, of course, Proposition 19 already is a winner no matter what happens on Election Day. The mere fact of its being on the ballot has elevated and legitimized public discourse about marijuana and marijuana policy in ways I could not have imagined a year ago.

These are the reasons I have decided to support Proposition 19 and invite others to do so.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

18 August 2010

Common Sense Economics and Social Policy

one high-quality "dank" nugget of ma...Image via Wikipedia

Opinion: Critics of Prop. 19 on marijuana rely on fear, not facts

Special to the Mercury News
Unlike alcohol and tobacco -- two legal but deadly products -- marijuana's estimated social costs are minimal.
According to a 2009 report by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, health-related costs per user are eight times higher for drinkers than they are for those who use cannabis and are more than 40 times higher for tobacco smokers. It states, "In terms of (health-related) costs per user: tobacco-related health costs are over $800 per user, alcohol-related health costs are much lower at $165 per user, and cannabis-related health costs are the lowest at $20 per user."
A previous analysis commissioned by the World Health Organization agreed, stating, "On existing patterns of use, cannabis poses a much less serious public health problem than is currently posed by alcohol and tobacco in Western societies."
So then why are we so worried about adults consuming it in the privacy of their own home?
California lawmakers criminalized the possession and use of marijuana in 1913 -- a full 24 years before the federal government enacted prohibition. Yet right now in California, the federal government reports that one out of 10 people annually use marijuana and together consume about 1.2 million pounds of it. Self-evidently, cannabis is here to stay. Let's address this reality and stop ceding control of this market to unregulated, untaxed criminal enterprises and put it in the hands of licensed businesses. Proposition 19 is a first step in this direction.
According to the Legislative Analyst's Office, the immediate effect of the measure would be to allow adults age 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana in the privacy of their own home. The agency estimates that halting the prosecution of these minor marijuana offenses would save state and local governments "several tens of millions of dollars annually," and enable law enforcement to reprioritize resources toward other criminal activities.
The longer-term impact of Proposition 19 would be to enable "local governments to adopt ordinances and regulations regarding commercial marijuana-related activities." These activities would include taxing and licensing establishments to produce and dispense marijuana to persons 21 and older. By doing so, "state and local governments could eventually collect hundreds of millions of dollars annually in additional revenues," the office estimates.

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14 August 2010

U.S. District Court Decision: Perry v. Schwarzenegger

  The freedom to marry is recognized as a fundamental right protected by the Due Process Clause. See, for example, Turner v  Safely, 482 US 78, 95 (1987) ("[T]he decision to marry is a fundamental right" and marriage is an "expression[ ] of emotional support and public commitment."); Zablocki, 434 US at 384 (1978) ("The right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals."); Cleveland Board of Education v LaFleur, 414 US 632, 639-40 (1974) ("This Court has long recognized that freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."); Loving v Virginia, 388 US 1, 12 (1967) (The "freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.")