Tag Archives: body

How fast will you need to flee from the heat? There’s a word for that.

Ocean creatures are finding themselves in hot water as the world warms. To stay cool, they’re relocating to deeper parts of the ocean, and it’s throwing ecosystems all out of whack.

A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change calculated how fast different layers of the ocean are heating up. Species are swimming to deeper waters to escape the heat at different rates, and the researchers warn that many sea dwellers like tuna, which rely on plankton at the water’s surface for food, might struggle to adapt.

The study brought a new phrase into the news: climate velocity. It’s basically the speed and direction that a given species will need to shift as their corner of the world heats up. Climate velocity has been in use in academic circles for more than a decade, but the study marks the first time the phrase made the headlines.

As climate change reshuffles life on earth, climate velocity applies up here on the surface, too. Warmer weather will drive animals seeking new homes into encounters with species they don’t normally meet — sort of like how grizzlies have been showing up in polar bears’ dwindling territory, leading to the emergence of grolar bears (or pizzlies?). And it’s not just flora and fauna. Humans, too, will have to move to survive.

Global warming will make large swaths of the Earth too hot for humans, as David Wallace-Wells memorably described in The Uninhabitable Earth, a book that features a grisly account of how the body breaks down in sweltering heat. That’s just one of many interesting challenges in store. The rising ocean is already submerging coasts, and changing weather patterns are helping to create new deserts. (The Sahara is expected to keep swallowing up more land as the planet warms.) Researchers estimate that the climate crisis could displace between 25 million and 1 billion people by 2050. For perspective, the most commonly cited number — 200 million — means that one in every 45 people would be displaced by mid-century.

Warmer weather and changing weather patterns are already altering how people grow food. In Alaska, for instance, rising temperatures mean that farmers can farm potatoes on the previously inhospitable tundra. Greenlanders are harvesting strawberries and tomatoes. In California, farmers are planting orchards, crossing their fingers that the fruit and nut trees they’re planting today will be able to make it in the hotter, drier world that the coming decades will bring.

Migration is inevitable. The fish are definitely in trouble. But our climate velocity, the pace at which people will be forced to abandon their homes and relocate, is largely TBD. One reason estimates of the number of people who will be displaced varies so widely is that it’s hard to predict human behavior. If governments decide to pull the plug on fossil fuel emissions soon, it will slow climate velocity and save human lives — and probably rescue a bunch of cute marine species, too.

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How fast will you need to flee from the heat? There’s a word for that.

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2019′s Clean 15: Powerful Health Benefits of the Most Pesticide-Free Produce

2019 has its official “Clean 15.” Each year, the Environmental Working Group analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the amount of pesticides found in conventionally grown produce. “Overall, nearly 70 percent of the conventionally grown produce sold in the U.S. comes with pesticide residues,” according to an Environmental Working Group news release.

The good news is some produce tends to have little to no pesticide residues?making it relatively safe to consume if you can’t find or afford the organic versions.

Here are the 15 fruits and vegetables?dubbed the Clean 15?that the Environmental Working Group found to have the lowest amounts of pesticide residues along with the overall health benefits of each one.

15. Honeydew melon

Credit: daniaphoto/Getty Images

Honeydew melon is rich in vitamin B6, folate and potassium. And a one-cup serving of diced honeydew contains roughly half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C?for only about 60 calories.

According to Healthline, honeydew melon offers several benefits?including lowering blood pressure, improving bone health and supporting healthy skin. It also provides a healthy combination of water and electrolytes to effectively hydrate your body.

14. Mushrooms

Although some varieties can be poisonous in their own right, you probably won’t have to worry about pesticides on mushrooms polluting your body. Instead, you can enjoy their health benefits.

A cup of white mushrooms is only about 15 calories. And for those calories you get a good amount of riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, copper and selenium?as well as fiber and protein. Mushrooms also are rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the body against many diseases.

13. Broccoli

There are many reasons to eat your broccoli besides its low pesticide content. A cup of chopped broccoli has about 30 calories, two grams of fiber and three grams of protein. And it contains some very high levels of vitamins and minerals.

That one-cup serving provides you with about 135 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, 116 percent of vitamin K and decent amounts of various B vitamins. It also has about four percent of the recommended calcium intake, four percent of iron, eight percent of potassium and 10 percent of manganese.

12. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe had a slight edge on its melon friend, honeydew, for its Clean 15 spot. But nonetheless, both are healthy choices when it comes to reducing pesticides in your diet.

A cup of diced cantaloupe contains about 50 calories, 106 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin A, 95 percent of vitamin C, several B vitamins and 12 percent of the recommended potassium intake.

According to Healthline, cantaloupe has more beta carotene than many other yellow-orange fruits and veggies. “Once eaten, beta carotene is either converted into vitamin A or acts as a powerful antioxidant to help fight free radicals that attack cells in your body,” Healthline says.

11. Cauliflower

Broccoli often gets more attention, but don’t forget about its cruciferous cousin: cauliflower. A cup of raw cauliflower contains about 25 calories, three grams of fiber and two grams of protein. It also has about 77 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin C, 20 percent of vitamin K, 14 percent of folate, nine percent of potassium and eight percent of manganese.

Healthline reports that cauliflower is also high in choline?which helps to support cell function, promote brain health and prevent health issues, including heart and liver disease.

10. Cabbage

Credit: ilietus/Getty Images

Cabbage is another cruciferous vegetable that offers several health benefits?and not too many pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group.

A cup of raw, chopped cabbage has about 22 calories, two grams of fiber and one gram of protein. It contains roughly 54 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin C, 85 percent of vitamin K, 10 percent of folate and seven percent of manganese, among other nutrients.

Plus, regularly eating cabbage might help to combat inflammation in the body, prevent cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of cancer.

9. Kiwi

Kiwis pack a lot of nutrition into a small package. One medium kiwi has about 46 calories, two grams of fiber and a gram of protein. And it’s a very good source of vitamin C, providing 117 percent of the recommended daily intake.

A medium kiwi has about six percent of your daily vitamin E, 38 percent of vitamin K and seven percent of potassium.

Research has linked kiwis to numerous health benefits. They might be able to treat asthma, help with digestion, manage blood pressure and stop vision loss.

8. Asparagus

Asparagus comes in multiple colors?each packed with healthy nutrients. A cup of raw asparagus?or roughly eight medium spears?is only about 27 calories, yet it has three grams of fiber and three grams of protein.

Among its many vitamins and minerals, the serving has about 20 percent of the recommended vitamin A intake, 70 percent of vitamin K, 13 percent of thiamin, 17 percent of folate, 16 percent of iron, 13 percent of copper and eight percent of potassium.

7. Eggplant

Eggplant isn’t as high in nutrients as other produce, but this member of the Clean 15 still has its benefits. A one-cup serving of boiled eggplant contains about 35 calories, two grams of fiber and a gram of protein. It also has small amounts of vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6 and manganese.

Plus, it provides the antioxidant nasunin in its purple skin?which can help to combat free radicals in the body, as well as improve brain health.

6. Papaya

The tropical papaya is loaded with nutrients to keep you healthy. A cup of cubed papaya has about 55 calories, three grams of fiber and one gram of protein. It also gives you 31 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin A, 144 percent of vitamin C, 13 percent of folate and 10 percent of potassium, among other vitamins and minerals.

Papaya’s many powerful antioxidants help to lower your risk of several diseases, including cancer. Plus, papaya might benefit your heart, aid digestion, improve skin and fight inflammation.

5. Onion

Credit: Qwart/Getty Images

A cup of chopped onions?probably more than you’d eat in one sitting?contains 64 calories. And the veggie is a good source of nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate and potassium.

“Onions may have several health benefits, mostly due to their high content of antioxidants and sulfur-containing compounds,” Healthline says. “They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and have been linked to reduced risk of cancer, lower blood sugar levels and improved bone health.”

4. Sweet peas

As part of the legume family, peas are increasingly popular as a source of plant-based protein. A half cup of boiled peas contains about 62 calories with four grams of fiber and?four grams of protein. Plus, it has several B vitamins, 34 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin A, 13 percent of vitamin C, 24 percent of vitamin K, seven percent of iron and 11 percent of manganese.

Peas?may help regulate blood sugar levels, aid digestion and protect against some chronic diseases, including cancer.

3. Pineapple

Sweet pineapple tastes like candy, but you can rest assured you’re getting plenty of nutrients?and few (if any) pesticides.

A cup of pineapple chunks has roughly 74 calories, which primarily come from the natural sugars. Plus, it offers several B vitamins, about 46 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin C, five percent of magnesium, six percent of potassium, seven percent of copper and a whopping 131 percent of manganese.

Pineapple also is brimming with antioxidants, has enzymes that can aid digestion and might help to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system, according to Healthline.

2. Sweet corn

It might get stuck in your teeth when you gnaw it off the cob, but at least you won’t have to worry about pesticides in your sweet corn. Less than one percent of the sweet corn samples the Environmental Working Group analyzed showed any signs of pesticide residues.

One medium ear of sweet corn has about 77 calories, two grams of fiber and three grams of protein. Plus, it’s rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese.

1. Avocado

Credit: tashka2000/Getty Images

Here’s one more reason to obsess over avocados. Like sweet corn, less than one percent of avocados had any pesticide residues, according to the Environmental Working Group.

A one-cup serving of cubed avocado contains about 240 calories, largely coming from its healthy fats. It also has 10 grams of fiber and three grams of protein?as well as several B vitamins, 25 percent of the recommended vitamin C intake, 16 percent of vitamin E, 39 percent of vitamin K, 11 percent of magnesium, 21 percent of potassium and 14 percent of copper.

One study even found that people who consume avocados tend to have better overall diets and be generally healthier than those who don’t eat any. So don’t hesitate to incorporate this star of the Clean 15 into your diet.

Main image credit: Mizina/Getty Images

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.


2019′s Clean 15: Powerful Health Benefits of the Most Pesticide-Free Produce

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How to Disappear – Akiko Busch


How to Disappear

Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency

Akiko Busch

Genre: Nature

Price: $12.99

Publish Date: February 12, 2019

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group


Vivid, surprising, and utterly timely, Akiko Busch's HOW TO DISAPPEAR explores the idea of invisibility in nature, art, and science, in search of a more joyful and peaceful way of living in today's increasingly surveilled and publicity-obsessed world In our increasingly networked and image-saturated lives, the notion of disappearing has never been both more enchanting and yet fanciful. Today, we are relentlessly encouraged, even conditioned, to reveal, share, and self-promote. The pressure to be public comes not just from our peers, but vast and pervasive technology companies, which want to profit from patterns in our behavior. A lifelong student and observer of the natural world, Busch sets out to explore her own uneasiness with this arrangement, and what she senses is a widespread desire for a less scrutinized way of life–for invisibility. Writing in rich painterly detail about her own life, her family, and some of the world's most exotic and remote places–from the Cayman Islands to Iceland–she savors the pleasures of being unseen. Discovering and dramatizing a wonderful range of ways of disappearing, from virtual reality goggles that trick the wearer into believing her body has disappeared and to the way Virginia Woolf's fictional Mrs. Dalloway feels a flickering of personhood as an older woman, Busch deliberates on subjects new and old with equal sensitivity and incisiveness. A unique and exhilarating accomplishment, HOW TO DISAPPEAR is a shimmering collage of poetry, cinema, memoir, myth, and much more, which overturns the dangerous modern assumption that somehow fame and visibility equate to success and happiness. Busch presents a field guide to invisibility, reacquainting us with the merits of the inconspicuousness, and finds genuine alternatives to the typical life of perpetual exposure. Accessing timeless truths in order to speak to our most urgent contemporary problems, she inspires us to develop a deeper appreciation for personal privacy in a vast and invasive world.


How to Disappear – Akiko Busch

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8 Ways to Go Green While Getting Fit


Committing to a healthy lifestyle is No. 1 on the to-do lists of so many of us this year. I can’t deny I’m in that group. If you’re with me, these eight easy tips will help you green your workout routine whether you’re just starting (or restarting) your fitness journey or continuing your already-established regimen.

1. Use a Reusable Water Bottle

Capitalism and marketing have created a bottled water surge in the U.S. Don’t fall for it! Plastic water bottles are a huge environmental pollutant and require harmful fossil fuels to be made. Americans buy 29 billion plastic water bottles a year, and only one of every six is actually tossed in the recycling bin. The others sit in landfills for up to 450 years before degrading.

Rather than contributing to environmental devastation by plastic bottle, I encourage you to switch to reusable drinkware. Bottles made from aluminum, stainless steel and BPA-free plastic are all great choices for eco-friendly thirst quenching.

2. Ditch Disposable Towels

Most gyms advise members to wipe down equipment after a sweaty training session. Handy wet wipe dispensers stand by to help you accomplish this. Unfortunately for the planet, wet wipes aren’t recyclable.

Look harder and you might find a bottle of cleaning solution and a reusable cloth towel for you to wash your workout machine. This waste-reducing tactic is a much greener option than using single-use towels. Ask an employee for help if you can’t find any wet wipe alternatives at your gym.

3. Enroll in a Green Gym

Gyms across the country are taking on eco-friendly initiatives. Solar panels on stationary bikes, treadmills that generate energy, water bottle filling stations and recycled equipment are a few things that earn gyms the “green” title. Look for one of these innovative facilities near you or ask your favorite gym about their environmental policy. You can — and should — embolden them to adopt more green practices.

4. Solar-Charge Your Phone

Using reusable energy instead of burning fossil fuels is so important for the environment. We all should be using solar power — or some other source of renewable energy — for everything. Sometimes that’s difficult, though. Until you go completely solar, you can start by getting a solar-powered device charger or power bank. That way, you can jam out to your pump-me-up playlist guilt-free while you sweat.

5. Master the Five-Minute Shower

There’s nothing quite like a refreshing shower after a tough gym session. It feels great to wash away the sweat that comes with a workout and emerge feeling fresh, clean and ready to take on the day (or night).

More than two gallons per minute are flowing down the drain from the moment you twist that nozzle. Remember that the next time you’re tempted to take your time in the shower to relax your tired muscles. Taking shorter showers is an excellent way to be eco-friendly. Invest in a shower timer and aim for five minutes.

6. Fuel Sustainably

There are many environmentally friendly ways to fuel up before or after a workout — are they part of your routine? Next time you reach for the protein powder or chomp down on an energy bar, ask yourself what it’s made of. Many of us choose to make shakes with whey protein, take harsh supplements or eat processed energy bars — because that’s what everyone does, right?

Whey protein is actually derived from animals and is part of a grossly fossil-fueled industry. Consider switching to a plant-based protein powder, like those made with brown rice or peas, which can be just as effective as whey protein in helping you reach your fitness goals and is much better for the planet.

I understand the appeal of the energy bar — it’s portable, tasty and filling — but the kind of energy bar you eat is crucial. The optimal bar is one with whole ingredients, like fruits and nuts, and no artificial sweeteners. Nutritionists suggest bars with at least five grams of protein, three grams of fiber and less than five grams of fat. A snack with these qualities is sure to keep your energy high and hunger satisfied.

Alternatively, pack a handful of almonds or a hard-boiled egg for a quick and natural energy boost.

7. Bike to Work

To drive or to bike? It may seem like an easy choice on a chilly morning before work, but you may not realize how beneficial hopping on your bicycle can be. Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint, you’ll burn fat and improve heart health. You may even inspire your colleagues to green their commute, too! If biking to work isn’t an option, use two wheels for running errands around town.

8. Recycle Your Gear

Step away from the dumpster. When you’re ready to replace your old gear, donate or recycle it to give it new life instead of sending it to a landfill where it will pollute the environment for decades. Thrift stores will accept gently used workout gear as donations, and there are many organizations dedicated to providing donated gear to those in need. Nike, for example, takes donations and recycles old shoes into new apparel, footwear and surfaces.

Now get out there and break a sweat! Your body will thank you, and if you keep the earth in mind, it will thank you, too.

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5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

Biking to work is a wonderful way to commute. It’s healthy, eco-friendly and saves you tons of money on gas! However, biking to work becomes instantly a lot more complicated in inclement weather. How do you stay safe when visibility is down and it’s cold and wet outside?

Whether you’re dealing with a thunderstorm or a spring shower, these tips for biking to work in the rain will help you get to work safe, on time and completely dry. Before you know it, you might actually learn to love riding in the rain!

5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

1.?Bundle up

First things first, you need to learn how to layer. Layers trap your body heat, ensuring you stay warm during cooler weather.

If you’ll be riding in the rain, you’re going to want to choose a waterproof jacket, rather than a water-resistant one, to keep you warm and dry. Look for a garment that is seam-sealed (turn the garment inside out to check), but also has vents to help release body moisture without letting rain?in.

Your jacket of choice should also fit snuggly over a wool or synthetic polypropylene-polyester base layer, which will help keep sweat off your body (so you don’t get chilled when you stop moving). Just make sure it doesn’t restrict your movement in any way.

Here are a few bonus features?you’ll want to check for as well:

Comfortable cuffs that fit tight around your wrists
Pockets where you can stash your phone and other essentials

2.?Be as visible as possible

Reflective clothing is your friend! If you’re going riding in the rain, make sure you’re wearing a variety of items that will ensure you stay visible on the road. Some great options include: a high-visibility vest, a flashing?light for both the front and the back of your ride and reflective spray (yes, spray!) that helps you show up in the dark and washes off when you’re done.

3.?Learn?the rules of the road

Biking in the city is hard enough as it is; keep yourself safe by following the rules for bikers on the road. Here are some of the basics:

Behave predictably ? stay visible, leave distance and yield as much as possible
Ride on the right side of the road and not on the sidewalk
Yield before entering major?roadways ? stay behind crosswalks and away from the curb
Look before moving laterally or turning ??check your blindspot and?use hand signals
Use correct lanes ? choose right, left or thru lanes like you would if you were driving
Stay visible to motorists who may cross your path and make it clear you need your space

Following these rules and signaling properly will ensure you stay safe and visible to other drivers on the road.

4. Know your bike

Find?a safe, rarely-trafficked area to test your bike’s behavior. How does it respond to wet conditions when you brake? Do you find it more difficult to control? In what specific scenarios should you be wary when you’re riding for real?

Riding in the rain is more challenging for obvious reasons: everything gets slipperier when?wet. So keep an eye out for painted surfaces, metal manhole covers and?rainbow oil residue.?You’ll also want to be careful when you turn; sudden movements or leaning could cause you to spin out.

5. Embrace it

Unless you live where the sun always shines,?rainy days can really mess with your biking schedule. So brave?the rain, power through with confidence and bike like the hero rider you know you are.

Are you a cyclist? What tips do you have for our other riders? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

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People Who Were “Fat Shamed” as Kids Are More Likely to Be Obese as Adults

Mother Jones

Despite recent pushback, fat shaming—making people feel bad about their weight—remains a robust pastime among Americans. Indeed, a notorious practitioner recently became president of the United States. New research suggests that all the teasing and tsk-tsking in service of the thin body ideal may have the opposite effect—it can lock people into a spiral of poor body image and eating disorders.

The latest: A study from University of Connecticut, University of Minnesota, and Harvard researchers, based on a 15-year project tracking a group of students in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area from their mid-teenage years to their early 30s, analyzes the “behavioral, psychological, and socioenvironmental factors related to dietary intake and weight-related outcomes in adolescents.”

Back in 1999, the project enrolled what the researchers call an ethnically and economically diverse group of 4,746 adolescents, assessing their body weight and surveying them about their experiences with weight-related teasing, from both school peers and family members. Perhaps not surprisingly, girls reported being the target of teasing at a slightly higher rate than boys—45.1 percent versus 37.1 percent. Girls reported being teased at home at a much higher clip—29.4 percent of girls said they were teased by a family member, compared with just 13.5 percent of boys. As for teasing from school peers, 30.2 percent of girls and 23 percent of boys reported it.

In 2015, the project managed to get 1,830 of the original participants, by then most of them around age 30, to take a detailed survey. It polled them regarding their body weight and height—to determine their body-mass index, a rough way to gauge obesity rates. Other topics included their propensity for binge eating, embarking on weight-loss diets, as well as “unhealthy” weight-loss methods (like fasting and diet pills), and their attitudes about their bodies.

The researchers adjusted the results (summarized here) to account for potentially confounding factors like their body-mass index back in 1999. While studies that rely on self-reported data always have to be eyed skeptically, this one paints a sad picture: Both women and men who were fat-shamed as adolescents were almost twice as likely to be obese as adults than people who weren’t teased. They were also likely to eat in response to emotional stress and report negative body self-image. Two other apparent legacies of adolescent teasing showed up in women but not men: a higher tendency to have dieted in the past year, and to have engaged in “unhealthy weight control efforts,” like fasting and taking diet pills.

Interestingly, just as girls in the original group reported much more teasing at home than boys did, the impact of fat shaming from family members seemed to hit them harder. Boys who were teased at home but not by peers carried no negative effects into adulthood, but for girls, having been teased at home was strongly associated with bad outcomes as adults, including negative body image.

The new paper echoes a similar 2016 study by German researchers, and comes on the heels of a 2016 study by UCLA researchers finding an association between weight stigmatization in middle school and higher rates of body dissatisfaction, social anxiety, and loneliness in junior high, and a 2013 one finding that two-thirds of teenagers enrolled in a pair of national weight loss camps had been harassed about their weight at school—including, quite often, by teachers and sports coaches.

The message here seems clear: Fat-shaming kids—at home and in the schoolyard—is toxic.

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People Who Were “Fat Shamed” as Kids Are More Likely to Be Obese as Adults

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"Why Obama Will Go Down as One of the Greatest Presidents of All Time"

Mother Jones

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As Barack Obama’s presidency winds down, I find myself wondering more and more how the history books will explain that we replaced him with Donald Trump. The indictments against the soon-to-be 45th president are well known and we’re about to spend the next four years prosecuting them so this week let’s take a moment to also focus on the often unheralded accomplishments of the 44th.

Each day this week I’m going to post highlights from a notable perspective on Obama’s legacy. Today we start with GQ editor-in-chief Jim Nelson, who earlier this year made a convincing case for Obama’s historic greatness:

Barack Obama will be inducted into the league of Great Presidents.

In so many ways, Obama was better than we imagined, better than the body politic deserved, and far, far better than his enemies will ever concede, but the great thing about being great is that the verdict of enemies doesn’t matter.

It may be hard to imagine now, but in the face of rising chaos, we’ll crave unity all the more, and in future years whoever can speak most convincingly of unity will rise to the top. (It’s also hard to imagine many beating Obama at the game.) This year’s carnival election, with Trump as a kind of debauched circus barker, only makes the distinction clearer. The absurdity and car-crash spectacle of it all have already lent Obama an out-of-time quality, as if he were a creature from another, loftier century. Whatever happens next, I feel this in my bones: We’ll look back at history, hopefully when we’re zooming down the Barack Obama Hyperloop Transport System, and think: That man was rare. And we were damn lucky to have him.

Go read the whole thing.

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"Why Obama Will Go Down as One of the Greatest Presidents of All Time"

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Science Says This Weird Virus Could Make You Fat

Mother Jones

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It’s January, the month of new diets and gym memberships. In the spirit of starting off a brand new year, there’s no reason not to eat healthier and move around more. But if your aim is just to lose pounds, you might be on the wrong track. In her new book, The Secret Life of Fat, biochemist Sylvia Tara reveals what many dieters have suspected for a long time: There’s more to losing weight than just eating less and exercise. Tara joined us on the most recent episode of Mother Jones’ food politics podcast Bite.

The long list of factors that influence body size and shape, writes Tara, includes our genes, hormones, and bacteria in our gut. And what’s more, she notes, weight is not a great indicator of overall health (a topic I’ve written about before).

But here’s what hardly anyone talks about: Viruses, too, can lead to weight gain. In her book, Tara tells the story of a 62-year-old man named Randy who had struggled with his weight for his entire life. After being scratched by a chicken on his family’s farm at age 11, Randy’s appetite increased dramatically—and despite his intense physical work on the farm every day, he swiftly packed on the pounds. No one could explain Randy’s weight gain, and the fact that the rest of his family members were slim made it even more puzzling.

It wasn’t until decades later that Randy found a possible explanation. He went to see a pioneering endocrinologist named Dr. Richard Atkinson, who suspected that Randy had contracted a virus that was partially responsible for his extra weight—and his difficulty shedding pounds. Atkinson’s postdoctoral assistant, an Indian scientist named Nikhil Dhurandhar who had studied metabolism-changing chicken viruses, confirmed Atkinson’s suspicion with a blood test: Randy tested positive for a virus called AD-36.

Tara chronicles a fascinating series of experiments in which Atkinson and Dhurandhar showed that AD-36 changed animals’ metabolisms. When marmoset monkeys were infected with the virus, for example, their body fat increased by almost 60 percent. The team then set about studying AD-36 in humans. Here’s how Tara describes what they found:

Dhurandhar and Atkinson tested over 500 human subjects to see if they had antibodies to the AD-36 virus, indicating they had been infected with it at some point in their lives. His team found that 30 percent of subjects who were obese tested positive for AD-36, but only 11 percent of nonobese individuals did—a 3-to-1 ratio. In addition, nonobese individuals who tested positive for AD-36 were significantly heavier than those who had never been exposed to a virus. Once again, the virus was correlated with fat.

The team went on to study pairs of twins in which one tested positive for AD-36 and the other tested negative. “It turned out exactly the way we hypothesized,” Dhurandhar told Tara. “The Ad-36 positive co-twins were significantly fatter compared to their AD-36 negative counterparts.”

Whether Randy was infected with AD-36 from the chicken that had scratched him as a child—and how large of a role AD-36 played in his own struggles—is almost impossible to know. There’s no cure for AD-36, though Atkinson is hopeful that scientists will someday develop a vaccine. He believes that as many as 30 percent of obese people may be infected with the virus.

Meanwhile, Tara reports, Randy still struggles to lose weight. He eats just 1,500 calories a day; his main meal is typically a salad. Atkinson told Tara that Randy “is a remarkable person, with more discipline than anyone I have ever met.”

Originally from:

Science Says This Weird Virus Could Make You Fat

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5 Reasons to Kick Factory Farmed Meats Off Your Plate

These days, just about everything is mass-produced, including our food, with large, factory-style farms churning out a seemingly endless supply ofmeat, chickens,eggsanddairy products. All that mass production equals abundance and lower prices, but if those factory-farmed products are eroding your health, is the savings really worth it? Not in my book. Heres whats really going on with mass-produced meats and why you should steer clear:

1. Factory-farmed animals eat crap. Literally.

To keep production costs low, animals raised in factory farms are fed the cheapest possible grains and feeds containing among other things, by-product feedstuff, which begs the question, whats feedstuff? Its a nausea-inducing assortment of disturbing ingredients, including municipal garbage, stale cookies, poultry manure, chicken feathers, bubble gum and even restaurant waste. So, when you eat factory-farmed animals, youre also getting an unintentional serving of feedstuff.

In short, their bad diet becomes your bad diet which is counter-productive to your health.

2. Bad diets make for sick animals and people too.

Cud-chewing critters such as cattle, dairy cows, goats, bison and sheep were designed to eat fibrous grasses, plants, and shrubsnot starchy, low-fiber grains and feedstuffs. When these animals are switched from pasture greenery to grains, many wind up suffering from a number of disorders and painful conditions. The sickened animals are then given chemical additives, plus constant, low-level doses of antibiotics.

Their drugs in turn enter your system when you eat antibiotic-treated animals, settingthe stage for drug-resistance in your body, particularly if youre a heavy-duty carnivore.

3. Lousy ingredients wont create a nutritious product.

It should come as no surprise that animals fed a crappy diet will make for a less nutritious meal. Compared to grass-fed, factory-farmed, grain-fed meats have less vitamin E, beta-carotene, and little of the two health-promoting fats called omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA.

So whats the end-result of the feed-em-fast-and-cheap factory farmed method? Inferior food with negligible nutrients and more of the unhealthy fats. Small wonder the stuff is so much cheaper than grass-fed.

4. Stress hurts everyone.

If your goal is to sustain wellness, factory-farmed products just dont deliver thenutritionalgoods. In factory farms, chickens, turkeys, and pigs are typically raised in inhumane conditions, tightly packed into cages and pens, unable to practice normal behaviors, such as rooting, grazing, and roosting.

In these conditions, the animals get stressed and wind up producing products that are lower in a number of key vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids talk about empty calories!

5. Factory farming pollutes the earth.

In a conventional feedlot operation, for example, confined cattle deposit large amounts of manure in a small amount of space. The manure must be collected and removed. As it costs money to haul it away, the manure is often dumped nearby, close to the feedlot. As a result, the surrounding soil gets over-saturated with the stuff, resulting in ground and water pollution. But when animals are raised on pasture, their manure is a welcome source of organic fertilizer, not a waste management problem.

Bottom line: raising animals on pasture is kinder to the environment.

In short, though factory farming enables us to have plenty of cheap and convenient food, its food with little nutritional benefit, that can increase your resistance to antibiotics as it pollutes your air, land and water. With so little going for it, doesnt it seem slightly crazy to eat factory-farmed meats? It certainly does to me which is why I strongly suggest that if youre going to eat meat, buy the good stuff, even if it means having to pay a bit more or buy less of it. Choose grass-fed beef, lamb, bison and poultry, to insure that youre eating nutritious and healthy meats, as nature intended.

This article originally appeared onDrFrankLipman.com, and reposted with permission from Naturally Savvy.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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5 Reasons to Kick Factory Farmed Meats Off Your Plate

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Calling Someone Crazy Is Not an Insult to the Mentally Ill

Mother Jones

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Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy is tired of people diagnosing Donald Trump:

What I do know is that we ought to stop casually throwing around terms like “crazy” in this campaign and our daily lives….When that language is commonplace, it becomes that much harder for those experiencing mental illness to openly seek treatment that works. It discriminates, in subtle and overt ways, and extends its reach into schools, workplaces and the health-care system, where we still don’t provide routine mental health exams. When we use that word the way we have, we perpetuate the dangerous, “separate and unequal” treatment of these illnesses, and continue to pretend that the brain isn’t part of the body.

No. Just no. There are lots of words that have both ordinary meanings as well as technical medical meanings. When I say that Donald Trump is a cancer on our society, it’s not an insult to people with leukemia. When I say that Donald Trump is stupid, it’s not an insult to the mentally retarded. And when I say that Donald Trump is crazy, it’s not an insult to people with mental illnesses.

This is the kind of thing that helps power people like Trump in the first place. Sure, a lot of people who gripe about political correctness are just upset that people get on their case these days if they call blacks lazy or Asians inscrutable or women hysterical. There’s not much we can do about this except keep fighting the good fight and wait for them to all die off.

But there are also people who aren’t especially racist or sexist, but nonetheless feel like they have to walk on eggshells around us liberals. Call someone crazy and you’re insulting the mentally ill. Talk about someone “suffering” from an illness and you get a stern lecture about not making assumptions. Ask any number of possibly dumb but innocent questions and you’re committing a microaggression. Wear a sari in a music video and you’re engaging in cultural appropriation.

This kind of hypersensitivity does little good and plenty of harm. We should focus on the big stuff and settle down about the rest of it. It won’t help us win over the racists or sexists—who we don’t need or want anyway—but it will help a lot of other people to feel like it’s not such an emotional trial to hang around liberals, watching their every word in case something new has popped up since the last time they visited. Most people, after all, are neither as plugged in to lefty culture or as hyperverbal as your average university student. Hell, even I sometimes have trouble remembering the approved language to use about things, and I get to sit at the keyboard until I figure it out. Your average schmoe talking in real time hardly has a chance.


Calling Someone Crazy Is Not an Insult to the Mentally Ill

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