In Poland, Pedophiles are Creatures

. Saturday, September 26

Hats off to Poland, who’s prime minister Donald Tusk championed the push for obligatory chemical castration of convicted pedophiles.

"The purpose of this action is to improve the mental health of the convict, to lower his libido and thereby to reduce the risk of another crime being committed by the same person," the government said in a statement.

Tusk does not believe that pedophiles are human, therefore these “degenerates” are not under human rights protections. Standing solid, he did not retract his statements when pressured by human rights groups.

Anyone who rapes a child under 15 will now undergo chemical therapy when released from prison. The law also includes increased sentences for those convicted of rape and incest.

Finally, a spark of common sense.

Ahmadinejad: Psychopath on the Loose

. Sunday, September 20


"The pretext (Holocaust) for the creation of the Zionist regime (Israel) is false ... It is a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim. Confronting the Zionist regime is a national and religious duty," said Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during an annual, anti-Israel rally at Tehran University.

Jumping on Iran’s rocking boat, Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader said, "Our belief and creed remain that Israel is an illegal entity, a cancerous tumor, that must cease to exist,"

The Holocaust was a mythical claim? It’s his “religious” duty to cut out this “cancerous tumor?” “Cease to exist?”

From the mouth of a lunatic preaching hate as a religion, Ahmadinejad takes up where Hitler left off. And while the world pussy-foots around, this psychopath is free to do whatever he pleases.

God help us all.

September 23, 2009: Today, Ahmadinejad told Obama to look at him as a friend. I repeat, God help us all.

Recession Drives Shifts in Brand Trust

. Saturday, September 19


With the recession’s fluctuations tied directly to consumer choices, a product’s brand becomes the most valuable to a product’s success. In the last year, consumer purchasing has shifted, with a major loss in trust in those products that dramatically reduced pricing to drive sales. The question becomes, “why did those products cost so much before if they are sold for so little now?”

The companies that have come out ahead in the recession are those that continue to generate new products that increase the value of the brand. The top two on the list from last year, Coca-Cola and IBM, rolled out several new, innovative product lines that won and kept the trust of the consumers to maintain their top spots per Interbrand’s ranking.

The biggest increase in brand value and trust along with miraculous growth is Google, who’s “do no evil” value statement won the attention of consumers. Google is the fastest growing company in the world.

The brands faring the worst? General Motors and Chrysler, Merrill Lynch and AIG, who all dropped off the list entirely.

Trouble Killing a Killer

. Tuesday, September 15

execution CNN’s top story of the moment is about a scheduled execution gone awry. A one-week reprieve is granted to Romell Broom because ‘authorities’ tried for over two hours to find a vein to administer the lethal cocktail and couldn’t find one. But, watching their time, those ‘authorities’ went and took a break.

Broom’s lawyer wrote the Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice to say that the continued failed attempts by so-called professionals to find a vein for an IV “cruel and counterproductive,” and that now, further attempts would yield “diminishing returns.” Further, the execution is not being carried out per the state’s constitution.

It seems that this problem of finding a vein is more of a pattern than a single issue. In both 2006 and 2007, two other inmates slotted for execution also had no veins to be found.

That this whole scenario is idiotic goes without saying. But, just like those elusive veins, it’s impossible to pinpoint just what part of it is especially stupid.

Influence of Social Networks is Positive Too

. Sunday, September 13


Inspired by the collected data of 5,124 people in the Framingham Heart Study in 1948, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler found that the study notes included subjects’ family and friends. After 5 years of extracting the data in the notes, the two researchers discovered that the entire social network of the small town was thoroughly chronicled within the notes.

Branching outside the original intent of the study, Christakis and Fowler found that behaviors were influenced more by social connections than hereditary predisposition. For instance, it was more likely – 171 percent more likely – for a person to become obese if people close to them became fat. The condition actually spread like a virus.

"Your friends who live far away have just as big an impact on your behavior as friends who live next door," Fowler says. "Even if you see a friend only once a year, that friend will still change your sense of what's appropriate. And that new norm will influence what you do."

The influence of close relationships on a person regardless of physical distance led the two to look into the impact of online social interactions on individual behavior. While most people have an average of 6 close friends, that social trait is not altered by the average 110 ‘friends’ a Facebook user has. Using data of a university’s student population of Facebook users, they found that close friendships were maintained along with a higher level of connection between “acquaintances,” regardless of distance.

The network of influence seems to be limited to three degrees: an individual’s behavior, or tendency to become overweight or quit smoking, is limited to what a friend of a friend of a friend does. Beyond that, the influence stops.

If a Facebook user is happy, the usual is to post a smiling photo, and friends will follow suit. And that happiness spreads. Cut off from social networking ties, a person will slip into loneliness, despair and depression.

"Your friends might make you sick and cause you to gain weight," Christakis says, "but they're also a source of tremendous happiness. When it comes to social networks, the positives outweigh the negatives. That's why networks are everywhere."

Selleck ‘Duped’ into Buying Lame Horse?

. Monday, September 7


And a San Diego court agrees enough to award Tom Selleck $187,000 to cover his purchase price and board for the horse. Next week, the court will hear the case to award punitive damages.

According to news reports, Del Mar equestrian Delores Cuenca conned Selleck into buying a horse called Zorro, a 10 year old that was fit for competitions. As it turns out, the horse is lame.

The details are spotty in all the reports, but one thing is certain: Selleck knows horses, and knows enough to check medical records, which he didn’t do. A simple pre-purchase exam would’ve prevented this courtroom drama.

Electric Bills Lower in Shaky Economy

. Sunday, September 6


It takes the loss of 15 million jobs to lower electricity bills. For the first time since 1949, power bills have declined for two consecutive years by 1.6 percent last year, and this year the decline may reach up to 2.7 percent.

According to Mark Williams, AP energy writer, the relief in energy bills is based on a large decrease in energy demand. He believes this unusual drop in power usage is glaring evidence of the depth of the economic recession.

The drop in power demand comes from the manufacturing sector, estimated to be 10 percent. The industrial sector dropped 20 percent in parts of the south. What this translates to is lower or flattening electric bills for household consumers.

Enjoy it while you can. If/when the economy rebounds, your power bill goes up again along with it.

The Proof is In: Eat at Night, Get Fat

. Saturday, September 5


Time says it, so it must be true, right? Or maybe it’s just another one of those “duh” moments that just had to hit the top news stories of the day; i.e., stating the obvious. Then again, maybe it’s time for a reminder…

Scientists decided to study the effects that the time of day mice were fed on weight gain by feeding one group during the night, and the other during normal daytime hours. Both groups kept a day schedule with the same amount of activity. The group fed at night gained more than twice as much weight on a high fat diet than its control counterpart.

The nighttime feeding schedule, the scientists found, disrupts the circadian rhythm and sets off a chain reaction of effects. The body reacts to the introduction of calories differently, and in the end, has a large impact on its ability to maintain energy levels throughout the day. The hormones that govern hunger and full feelings, ghrelin and leptin, are knocked out of balance with the hunger messages sent to the brain increased and the full messages decreased. The body expects to eat several small meals during the day and tends to store the extra taken in with huge evening meals, resulting in weight gain, increase in blood sugar levels and cardiovascular changes.

Sleep patterns play a part in weight as well. In general, those who get a good 8 hours of sleep each night tend to be thinner and more energetic. Eating late in the day is associated with acid reflux and other sleep-disturbing gastrointestinal problems.

The take-home message: Eat small meals throughout the day, avoid the huge evening meals and snacks and listen to your body. Your stomach might be telling you it’s thirsty, not hungry, so grab a glass of water on the way to the refrigerator.

Of Rats and Humans: Erasing Fear

. Friday, September 4


This morning, the NPR ran with a story that states that rats and humans are so alike that they think they’ve found a cure for fear by studying rats. That’s nothing new, if you remember the dogs drooling at the sound of a bell that became the foundation for behavior modification techniques.

This time, however, scientists have deduced that certain brain cells in rats change with age and with it, the ability to overcome fear associated with past traumatic events.

Fear comes from the part of the brain called the amygdala, which will prompt a fight or flight response before the rest of the brain is even conscious of the fearful stimuli. At about 3 weeks old, baby rats’ brains developed a sheath around the brain cells located in the amygdala, which led the scientists to believe that it was this sheath that made it difficult to erase the fear response. They hope that their findings will lead to the development of drugs that will dissolve that sheath and then allow people with PTSD to forget the traumatic events that plague them.

In essence, dissolving the sheath will erase memories.

Outbreaks Near Me Now on iPhone

. Wednesday, September 2


HealthMap’s Outbreaks Near Me is now available as an iPhone application that lets you search and contribute disease outbreak information that you may run into yourself. This little app could alert you to targeted outbreaks of H1N1 before officials have a chance to act on it.

Whether you’re tired of hearing about the swine flu, the spread of the potentially fatal disease is on the rise. State agencies have alerted workers to step up disinfection procedures around offices to the point where rubber gloves and bleach wipes are now on the supply list. Schools are sending kids home when they present flu symptoms. And, everyone is urged to stay home if they are sick.

Take a few minutes of time and find out what you need to know to protect yourself and the people around you.