Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
Should menthol cigarettes be banned? From a public health standpoint, shit yea. It would be best for all of us if the only cigarettes available were unattractively packaged, harsh-tasting, and unwieldy. As a Kool smoker, though, I have mixed feelings. You know who else does? Members of the Congressional Black Caucus who receive bundles of cash from the tobacco industry! The fact that "75 percent of black smokers choose mentholated brands" means that the current battle over whether or not to ban them goes to issues even deeper than their sweet, sweet mentholated taste. Things at stake: billions of dollars in revenue, hundreds of millions in marketing campaigns, racial tension, and how happy cigarette companies are to kill you in exchange for money!
The current bill in Congress would ban "flavored" cigarettes, but exempt menthols. The Black Caucus is an important player because they stand for the black community—the most enthusiastic consumers of menthols—and they've been wooed big time by tobacco companies.
In the impoverished neighborhood of South Los Angeles, fast food is the easiest cuisine to find — and that's a problem for elected officials who see it as an unhealthy source of calories and cholesterol.
The City Council was poised to vote Tuesday on a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a swath of the city where a proliferation of such eateries goes hand-in-hand with obesity.
"Our communities have an extreme shortage of quality foods," City Councilman Bernard Parks said.
The aim of the yearlong moratorium, which was approved last week in committee, is to give the city time to try to attract restaurants that serve healthier food.-- ATRIOSDo you scoff at those pale Tofu dogs in the health food aisles of the supermarket? Are you one of those people who taunt vegans by talking about Big Macs? A new study suggests that you should think about biting your tongue: According to the researchers, how we feel about a sausage, regardless of whether it's soy-based or beef, says more about our personal values than about what the sausage actually tastes like. In fact, most people can't even tell the difference between an ersatz vegan sausage and the real thing. (It should be noted, though, that not all vegan products are equally deceptive: a soy hot dog, in contrast, only fooled 37 percent of subjects. And I'm guessing the soy ice cream fooled nobody.)-- JOHAN LEHRER[A] new study out of John Hopkins suggests that, based on current trends. 9 out of 20 Americans will be "overweight" or "obese" in 2030. In other words, it's going to look sort of like Wall-E, but without the Star Trek fashion. Meanwhile, as a result of our added bulk, health spending will shoot up by $956.9 billion.-- EZRA KLEINOnly a small percentage of consumer marijuana sales in California occur within the medical-marijuana market. Even so, the dispensaries, by serving as a gold standard for producers and consumers, have fuelled the popularity of high-end strains in much the same way that the popularity of the Whole Foods grocery chain has brought heirloom lettuce to ordinary supermarkets. To serve these sophisticated new consumers, growers in California and elsewhere are producing hundreds of exotic new strains, whose effects are more varied, subtle, and powerful than the street-level pot available to tokers in the nineteen-seventies and eighties.
Sydney Morning Herald claimed that the resorts had received a coating of snow despite notice from a government agency that the skiing industry was doomed, the local news reports that
for the first time since 1836 it has snowed in Sydney - at least that’s what the locals are saying. Meteorologists say technically it was soft hail, but that didn’t stop the locals making snowmen. … Locals say the winter wonderland in the suburbs of Roseville and Lindfield looked like snow to them, and children happily built snowmen and bought out their snowboards.
Well, who knows? One of the problems with politicizing a scientific question — declaring Global Warming to be unassailable fact or unassailable bunk — is that it goes against the spirit of the scientific method. Currently accepted models should always be open to revision and refinement as new data comes in.