Monday, November 29, 2010

Militant WHAT?

I recall how actor and comedian Woody Allen, in writing about his metaphysical agnosticism and his struggles with religious, ethical, and metaphysical issue, noted that he did NOT aspire to being world's best-known agnostic (or atheist).

That self-deprecating spirit is very different from the militant and seemingly hostile atheism we see around.

But then, it might be occasioned by a sensitivity to what appear to be public professions of faith (typically INSIDE buildings, thanks to property protections in the name of "freedom of religion").

To me, it always seemed impossible to deny something we could not coherently define; so, in that sense, a clear statement of atheism seemed irrational, where agnosticism is not because we could describe, with growing bodies of analysis along with neurological and other evidence how certain kind of knowledge, how some kinds of knowledge may be impossible for us.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Harvard's Vegan CIO Dr. John Halamka unworried by report linking microchips to tumors

Monday, September 10, 2007

Halamka not worried by report linking microchips to tumors

halamka%20150.bmpDr. John Halamka (left) is used to fielding questions about the radio frequency identification chip embedded in his arm, and not just when he sets off security alarms atHome Depot.

The chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,who had the microchip containing his medical data implanted in 2004, says he isn't worried by an Associated Press report that the US Food and Drug Administration ignored studies linking the chips to cancer in mice when it approved the devices.

"The chip is ceramic, surrounded by medical-grade glass that is, to my knowledge, invisible to the immune system," he said in an e-mail today. "Thus, I cannot imagine how a chip could induce tumors."

Halamka said he has talked to veterinarians who have implanted thousands of the chips into dogs and cats, with no side effects. He suspects that the studies of mice are not applicable to humans because mice are predisposed to developing tumors at the site of any injection.

"I've had no side effects or tumors," he said. "Should I ever develop any issues with my implanted chip, you'll be the first to know!"

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 04:12 PM

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird's' mouth was rude, obnoxious, and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music, and doing whatever else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up, and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot, but the parrot became angrier and even more rude. In desperation, John
threw up his hand, grabbed the bird, and locked him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.
But suddenly, there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said:

"I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions, and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.

As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very softly,
"May I ask what the turkey did?"


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird's' mouth was rude, obnoxious, and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music, and doing whatever else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up, and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot, but the parrot became angrier and even more rude. In desperation, John
threw up his hand, grabbed the bird, and locked him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.
But suddenly, there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said:

"I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions, and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.

As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very softly,
"May I ask what the turkey did?"


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Term of the Day: searching (on the Internet) - defined

searching

Exploration of the World Wide Web by following one interesting link to another, usually with a definite objectiveand a planned search strategy. In comparison surfing is exploration definite in objective but not in strategy, andbrowsing is exploration without a definite objective or search strategy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Harvard: Are Biofuels the Answer? Science and Economics of Alternative Energy

Are Biofuels the Answer? The Science and Economics of Alternative Energy

Are Biofuels the Answer?

Thursday,
November 18, 2010

6:00-8:00 pm.

Harvard Business School,
Aldrich Hall, Room 112

Boston, MA

Given the risks and costs of oil production,
the environmental impact of greenhouse gases,
and the need for energy security,
are biofuels the answer?
Join the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA)
for a discussion on the impact of biofuels
featuring prominent scholars in the field.

Panelists include:

Mitchell Dong '75, Executive Director,
Mohave Sun Power LLC

Forest Reinhardt John D. Black Professor of Business Administration and Faculty Chair, European Research Initiative, Harvard Business School.
Recent articles.

Noel Michele Holbrook,
Professor of Biology and
Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry,
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University.
Recent articles

Alumni and friends of the Harvard community: $10
Undergraduate Students: complimentary (free)

Register here


Maynard | GoogleChat: Maynard.Clark | Google Profile

Maynard S. Clark | 617-615-9672 (GoogleVoice) | Skype: MaynardClark

Blog Links | HSPH Bioethics | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | MyBlogLog



The value of graciousness


I think this headline hurts the cause. The issue is how one leader's personality works against the growth and gradual development in the general public's minds - on their own terms - of pro-vegan (and animal-friendly) personal and social values.

Attacking someone who isn't quite 'there' yet (even when he tries heroically) is IMHO not in the interest of the goals we're trying to seek, nor even in the spirit of the argument that is made here.

Gary is not a fascist; he is a law school professor who may not really listen very well. He instinctively wants the bully pulpit all the time, but he's a good-hearted man with a curious sense of humor (that I oddly enjoy in a Homer-Simpson-like way).

Let me share a Francionism:

GaryFrancione:
"Folks often ask me, and surely they ask all of you, too, 'What do you eat as a vegan?'. For me it's very simple. Black coffee and cigarettes."

Now, I think that's all pretty awful and it perpetuates the socially endogenous image of the animal rights advocate as someone doing potentially wise things poorly in order to 'do it for the animals' in a self-sacrificing (and thus self-destructive') way that is both unwise and unhealthful.

But I think that our community is larger than our problems. I've watched Prof. Francione mature amazingly well during this past decade, and I cheer him on.

Newcomers are tempted to make cult figures out of any of us who are 'out there' in a public, effective, productive, diligent way. As Patrick Battuello argues, the 'movement' (which once was not a movement, but now is, I would argue) is not any one person, group, or perspective, but the deeper, broader theme, so that any of us can defer or back away from any of the tangential, side issues that are often co-packaged with vegan advocacy (and there ARE a multitude of confusing side 'social issues' which COULD be fundamental to any one vegan's personal veganism, multiplied by however millions of other vegans feel that way, but which may not always be inherent in every OTHER individual's 'personal veganism' (and thus, not inherent in 'veganism' itself.

I've been attending Friday evening contemplative evenings with vegan buffets and meditative talks long enough to appreciate the value of graciousness in the lives of vegans and vegetarians. Let us cultivate a spirit of generosity.

As Gary Francione himself has been noted saying of late:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Try out this new Vegan Meal Planner.


Try out this new Vegan Meal Planner.
Tell me how it works for you.
Is it good for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

IRAC and 'fact patterns'

In my graduate Contracts class, I was assigned to criticize a contract, basing all my arguments on the IRAC writing method.

Some claim that the IRAC method is based on answering questions based on identifiable fact patterns.

While others have criticized the IRAC writing method online, I found this site online, also.

http://www.leews.com/

It has a nice but short analysis, yet the LEEWS (method/program website) is offering us a sales pitch for the LEEWS method (and training in the LEEWS method). I won't cry COI, but note that legal analysis BEGINS with FACTS - a list of facts (observed or acknowledged facts), from which the ISSUE is discerned.

How would medical, scientific, or business reasoning proceed?

So 'fact patterns' are the observations from which one discerns relevant facts - facts relevant to the conversation or controversy.

However, we would hardly enjoy the ambiguity of discussing IRAC/Iraq in the 21st century if we terms this the FIRAC system, would we?

Ambiguity might be as fundamental as death and food and sexuality - for mentally active persons way up there on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

http://www.DoNotEatUs.org

A wonderful 2-minute video spot can be downloaded and shared from http://www.DoNotEatUs.org website.

Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Coffee: The Good News

banner
Welcome to HSPH Nutrition Source Update, an e-letter to help you cut through confusing information and find practical strategies for healthy eating.

November 2010
Coffee: The good news

coffee cup

More than half of American adults drink coffee every day. Recent scientific studies suggest moderate consumption may help reduce some disease risks. Learn about some of coffee's possible health benefits, compare caffeine levels in popular beverages, and get the scoop on coffee's downsides in this interactive graphic.

According to HSPH coffee expert Rob van Dam, coffee is more than just a vehicle for caffeine. It's actually full of hundreds of compounds that can lead to diverse health outcomes.


"That's why we do studies on very specific health effects--for example, studies of how coffee affects the risk of diabetes--but we also conduct studies looking at coffee consumption and mortality over a long period of time, which better reflects the overall health effect."

A few key findings:

  • Drinking up to six cups a day of coffee is not associated with increased risk of death from any cause.

  • Some people may still want to consider avoiding coffee or switching to decaf, especially women who are pregnant, or people who have a hard time controlling their blood pressure or blood sugar.

  • It's best to brew coffee with a paper filter, to remove a substance that causes increases in LDL--that is, bad--cholesterol.
Healthy Beverage Guidelines
Try it at home
strawberries
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Of all the foods we eat, fruit contributes the least amount of sodium to the average American's diet, yet most Americans fall short of the goal of eating three or more servings of fruit a day. One strategy for incorporating more fruit into your diet is to eat fruit for dessert, or to create desserts that are mostly fruit. The addition of whole grains, nuts, and olive oil make this a very satisfying dessert your family and guests will enjoy.


Did you know?
water
While it's impossible to set a single requirement for how much water the hypothetical average American needs each day, the popular advice to "drink eight glasses of water every day" would fulfill most of a person's fluid requirement.
Learn more


Monday, November 01, 2010

DHA Fish Oil IMPOTENT and very harmful

No Benefit of DHA Fish Oil for Postpartum Depression, Child Neurodevelopment
DHA-rich fish oil capsules given during pregnancy do not decrease postpartum depression or improve cognition or language scores in offspring compared with vegetable oil capsules.
Clinical Review, October 2010

World Vegan Day is ALSO ...

It's SO nice to know that World Vegan Day is ALSO (in America, at least) National Weatherization Day. Brrrrr, the 'weather' can become SO very cold. Think of all those farmed animals out there in the open, as well as in the heated factory farms, sweating from ambient heat and walking in their own excrement.

Celebrating National Weatherization Day

November 1, 2010

Today, Energy Secretary Steven Chu made the following statement on National Weatherization Day. The statement can be found on the Energy Blog.

Celebrating National Weatherization Day
Posted by Secretary Steven Chu on November 01, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Full story