Archive for the ‘Health’ Category
Out of the blue the media is discussing research re the carcinogenic effects of heated carbs.
Why is it that every so often, we are told again what we already know as if it is something new?
I was taught at school in the 1970s that consuming burned toast caused cancer, due to the carbon particulates effect on cells. Obvious really, considering that smoking has the same effect.
A few years ago, there was a report out of Sweden or other Scandinavian nation that baked carbs (crisps, chips, corn chips etc) were carcinogenic.
What gets me beyond this recycled information issue is that people are complaining about a nanny state. Well, I am grateful to be informed of something that is harmful, so welcome it, so don’t see what the problem is in general?
What has puzzled me over my lifetime is how badly educated most people seem to be. Why are so few aware of the scientific facts that allow us to know about such issues without any reminders though reports such as this? Was I the only one paying attention in class?
This dovetails into the comment I made at the end of my previous VA post that in a nutshell says ‘Knowledge is Power’.
Fight back club: Study science and math, best way to know how your body and other things work!
One of the frustrating things about the West is that it’s pretty much controlled by large corporations or organisations with ‘interests’ to defend. Therefore, it cannot stand firm on principles that are grounded in verifiable scientific fact, it tends to go wobbly.
Today, the WHO (World Health Organisation) told us what we have known for years that processed (and cooked) meat is a major cause of cancer. However, watching the talking heads on the tellybox today, most are telling pork(ies) to defend special interests. ‘Hmm, it’s not conclusive.” “I eat sausages every day.” “Easy now!” and so on. The bottom line is that multicellular organisms, of which we and African Tigers are a prime example, get cancer when the body is unable to deal with a foreign entity it has not evolved to process. This is simple common sense. So, if food factories use nitrates and other nasties to preserve or we over cook meat, and we consume it, our bodies will react accordingly leading to cell mutation. (You can do your research on this elsewhere.)
When you deal with an alcoholic, the rules are simple. ALL OR NOTHING! No compromise! Either continue drinking yourself (and others) to an early grave, or stop altogether. “Barman? Mine’s a soda water, neat!”
Likewise, the authorities should stop letting industry influence their communications on this matter and state outright that preserved and overcooked meat is carcinogenic and here are accurate guidelines obtained from X(X) years of research by, and include a list of organisations/Universities. Further, such foods should be banned from children altogether because they are too young to make an informed choice.
We are the first and second generation of humans bought up on such an unhealthy diet. From WW2 and back, people world-wide ate ‘off the land’, meat and veg, no horrible plastics (and other byproducts of oil), no sedentary lifestyle – and so on. Anyway, this is a matter for a forthcoming overdue blog entry related to this one, entitled ‘The Big C’. It will discuss how the amount of money being spent on trying to ‘cure’ cancer and all the associated charitable efforts is a huge waste of time, and we’ll be better off avoiding lifestyles that cause it. I have lost a number of relatively young family members to cancer and entirely blame contemporary lifestyles and diesel pollution for this, so it’s deeply personal.
Fight back club: Ignore special interests, live your life based on science, because it’s the only truth.
The genius of reality is how it plays tricks with us, like a magician. He or she has you focus on their card hand, while the other is up to all sorts of jiggery pokery, without you realising – unless you are in the loop of course.
Over the last few decades we have been occupied with the card hand of terrorism and climate change. Whilst we have been debating these too issues, a far more sinister threat to common sense and the natural order of things has been worming itself into the underbelly of our very existence. Namely, the nefarious behaviour of pharmaceutical companies.
It was a shocking life changing event in 1991 (in a specific tall building on University Avenue, Palo Alto to be precise!) that first enlightened me to the fact that evil really really did reside deep within the culture and motive of some large corporations. And unlike Hollywood movies, no Harrison Ford or Matt Damon character would come to the rescue and bring it all to an end in a series of public exposes or fiery explosions.
Back in the old days, research was driven by the desire to do good. A lone scientist would work late in the lab and develop or discover something wonderful, without which, many or even all of us would not be around to tell the tale. Their motive was to do good with no material gain, even if some justified fame. We have all learned about such brilliant people at school.
Today, whilst there are of course honorable scientists, institutions and companies out there doing good, the situation in general is very much different, and it is quite simply terrifying. (Yes, go ahead and read the whole article – along with the comments below – and then return here.)
*** I N T E R M I S S I O N ***
I recall being shocked when living in the US how people would constantly pop pills for any ill, instead of trying to diagnose why they were feeling off or simply letting an improved lifestyle and time cure their woes for little or no cost. The reason this doesn’t happen (and this is one of the reasons I left the US, despite my love of the people), is because the whole nation (and soon the rest of the world), is setup through the whole structure of society to self harm and then seek a fix – profiting many 3rd parties. Just go spend a day with a diabetic to see how such firms have these long suffering individuals in the grip of their gadgets and drugs! And woe betide anyone who dares challenge this.
For the large corporations simply slip a nice little earner to their target politician, and the law is adjusted accordingly to ensure the status remains quo. With the social services, police and military under the instruction of said law, attempting to halt this gradual slide towards dystopia is going to become more and more difficult. Please do read your newspapers for evidence of parents or children being taken into care or arrested and/or given drugs they do not need due to the sudden invention of new illnesses that are nothing more than hot air, or the result of an over mechanised society and ‘curable’ through common sense action, time or both.
Sadly, one cannot simply run away from this issue, unlike terrorism or climate change. These drugs are entering our water supply, and over time, build up in the bodies of creatures small and large, here and there – without consent.
Fight back club: Fix yourself the natural way and refuse to befriend or break off relations with anyone who works for such corporations. I have, since the 1980s.
Various commentators have made the point that the media hype over the events at the Fukushima nuclear power station is unjustified in view of the thousands of victims of the earthquake and tsunami, whilst to date, the number of casualties from the reactor incident is in single digits.
That is not the issue. The deaths caused by the quake or tsunami were an act of nature that man was powerless to prevent. And it is tough to say it, but once the elderly and young bereaved of their care givers are helped, the long term effects of the natural disaster will fade, to be replaced by re-building and new hope.
People are worried about the power plant due to the uncertainty associated with radiation. Unlike most other threats, not only is it invisible (in all senses of the word), but there has been a history of cover ups, confusion and misleading information on both sides each time there is a nuclear accident anywhere in the world, from Windscale to Chernobyl.
As you sit reading this now, no matter where you are located, how do you know how much radiation you are being exposed to, whether it is natural radon or a leak somwhere? You’ll know if there is a gas leak – you’ll smell it, you’ll know if there’s a fire breaking out in the room next door – you’ll see the smoke if the alarms don’t alert you first, you’ll know there’s a virus spreading because your friends and family will suddenly become ill, you’ll know the weather is changing because you have a thermometer somewhere in your life and can look outside, and you’ll know there’s a tsunami on the way – you’ll hear the screaming and sirens.
But you will have no idea if a particle of plutonium from reactor 3 has entered your body until it’s too late.
And that is the problem. Uncertainty.
Accurate information is hard to come by due to special interests/politics, genuine confusion and technical limitations on site caused by the catastrophic damage to the plant.
Fight back club: a) Globally crowd source radiation detection equipment, monitor it, and act accordingly. b) Reduce your reliance on ‘the grid’
Related: Am I the only one to have noticed increasing incidences of cancer amongst younger people – including ones own friends and family? Is this nuclear leaks over the last few decades?, plastics?, local radon?, overconsumption of processed foods and chemicals in contemporary life? All of the above? Who knows.
It is evidence of how far along we have come that society now takes the corporate control of a natural (and healthier) lifestyle for granted, so when someone speaks out with some honest common sense, they are put down.
The problem is, not enough people took an interest in Science Fiction movies when young (it was uncool to be into such material back then), so missed out on some somewhat tacky but visionary analysis of where humanity was headed if it allowed large detached entities to gain control of our lives by proxy. In this case, outwardly appealing products that are marketed as a convenient alternative to nature’s offerings.
Enlightenment is priceless.
Fight back club: Follow your instincts.
First of all, this is not a dig at Toyota. They, along with Nissan, manufacture some of the world’s most reliable and popular cars. The pride and attention to detail that goes into vehicles from companies like that (along with Porsche and others) means that any slip up is more a case of losing their way, than any intent based on nefarious decision making designed to appease stock holders.
On the other hand, whilst it is claimed the faulty Toyota cars may have lead to the death of up to 30 people, (not to discount the loss of life), that figure pails into insignificance with the number of people killed, injured or made ill by other products available world-wide. Sugar and it’s bi-products, not to mention oil, plastics and all manner of pharmaceutical products have had and are having a catastrophic effect on life everywhere – human and otherwise.
I plan a dedicated page on this, but for a warmup, consider that the junk fed to youth world-wide over the last 50 years or so has created a generation of millions of diabetics who will be dependent on a lifetime of insulin, not to mention the major hassle that goes with this horrible disease. It is outrageous that this subject is not given as much coverage as the Toyota issue. The difference between the two is Toyota have slipped up, whilst the processed food and sugar powered lifestyle of the West is ingrained into industry and society. I know books have been written about this, but the issue here is that as per certain other subjects in the news, Toyota are being spotlighted as a way to detract attention from matters of far greater significance.
Fight back club: Avoid sugar. Walk or bike to work or buy an electric vehicle. Improve your health and longevity whilst decimating nasty industries in the process. Delicious!
UPDATE – 11th March 2010: It appears the situation re Toyota is more serious than eluded to above, which is very sad. However this does not alter the key point of this posting. Being an entrepreneur, I don’t feel comfortable posting negative comments about another company or individual – “he who has not sinned” etc, however, where a whole consortium of industries exist simply to make people ill and then offer them an essental lifetime ‘cure’, something has to be done. Toyota will self repair and be back, but will certain other industries who exist for more nefarious purposes?
What is annoying is that design and engineering is my occupation, yet I am forced to write about subjects beyond my remit, aghast at the sillyness around us. Perhaps it is the logical somewhat rational eye of us engineer types that makes us look at the world and go, “Huh? Why don’t they just do that! It’s so obvious!” But sadly, out in the real world (for now), the middleman is in control. Since Ogg first chose to re-sell his wheat sheaf/spear/carcass to someone in the next huddle/cave/village, there has always been a motive to keep the market for product X credible/growing/alive, even if no longer necessary.
When it comes to oil, you don’t really need that pharmaceuticals and trash TV, the middleman really does afflict significant control over humanity.
Over in the US, Mr. President is working to bring universal health care to the masses. As has been proven here, the fact anyone can walk into a hospital and be repaired does conceptually appear fair and socially responsible. On an economic note, a well worker is a productive worker – laying in bed doesn’t do much good. However, social medicine reduces the incentive to live a healthy lifestyle. After all, if you are forced to pay for an op caused by a bad habit, surely that is an incentive to live a more healthy lifestyle? This was particular noticeable during my time in California, where they are paranoid about health and devoid of the petty ills that afflict the pasty faced Brit. All said, in the US, class does make it harder to live a healthy lifestyle due to the nature of the roads and lack of public pathways between cities and community resources. It is dangerous and unpleasant to bike to work/shop/school, so the wealthy keep fit by visiting the gym and partaking in all manner of fun sports, while the poor remain trapped and can only get about safely by bus or car. 1960s built UK cities are just as bad.
Anyway, whether you are for private healthcare or social, big pharma will still pull the strings. For if you go private, all manner of you don’t really need that* drugs will be pushed your way and Dr. Poppillski who appears on his personal website in a white coat wearing his trademark “Yes, I’m a real doctor!” stethoscope will be happy to accept a nice commission from his supplier. (Sadly, a certain Mr. Jackson may well have contributed to such a cause – to the benefit of all but he.) On the other hand, with social medicine, the billions of tax payer dollars will be available to thrust yet more you don’t really need that drugs onto the unwashed masses. And who knows what all that stuff does once it goes down the toilet and then makes it way back into our water supply over the years. But who cares, the duplicitous lobbyists can use their donations to move up to the hills and live off bottled water. Nothing changes does it? 😉
*Acid reflux medicine? Really! Just drink a few glasses of warm water and cut down on all those simple carb laden pizzas and fizzy drinks!
Fight back club: Live as healthy as possible (see Lifetips section) and spend as little as possible on those you don’t really need that drugs, because unless you break a leg, your bod will self repair in it’s own time. That’s biotech for you!
…should be the pharmacuticals industry. This article* followed by the comments below it highlight what we already know, but few have challenged to date.
Fight back club: Live as healthy a life as you can to avoid an illness or condition that makes you subservient to a drug and manufacturer. Diabetes is a good example. So ride that bike to work!
*© 2009 The Independent
The blog was conceived to be an outlet for opinion, suggestion or even some entertainment, but in general it’s a way to blow off steam.
This (© The Guardian) is an excellent example of the type of situation that triggers one to vent. We have here an organisation (The Heartland Institute – note their founders and sponsors) that typecasts those who desire an alternative to a carbon based economy. It claims we are a threat to freedom and market growth. Untrue. No matter your opinion on the causes of climate change, a few points:
1. Carbon based economies* pollute. Just wipe your finger across your window sill a week after cleaning it. Those living in or near a city will know what I mean. And to think people (and animals) of all ages are breathing that same stuff in, 24/7. Worse, travel to Africa or parts of India and other poor countries without a grid based power system and be shocked at how millions of people cook using open fires inside small tents or homes, leading to all manner of respiratory illnesses and local atmospheric pollution. Ironic, these countries are often hot and so solar powered zero carbon stoves will offer a long term solution.
2. The majority of those of us involved in the environmental movement are in fact motivated for reasons of compassion and vision. We see problems and would like to fix them. If specific companies or individuals profit from this, great! That’s precisely the sort of market driven process that will create new jobs, motivate our youth and clear the air. Examples include the increasing number of companies (already mentioned elsewhere in this blog) who are working to increase the efficiency of solar cells or developing workable sustainable energy distribution systems.
3. Any dubious behavior by those exploiting environmental issues should not be used as an excuse to criticise people with genuine concerns who base such concerns on valid scientific evidence or common sense observation. And even if they are wrong about some threats, few of the incentives being taken do any harm and are a wise investment. This is little different to the moon missions of the 1960s that lead to major technological advances, new industries and job creation – even if the reasons for the missions was controversial.
*All economies are currently based on carbon. Some (Australia, Dubai, Israel and one or two others) are working to wean themselves away completely.
As hinted at in my ‘We’re not in a recession’ post of a few weeks ago, there are two types of human: Those stuck (financially and by tradition) in the past, who possess an ingrained inability to ‘see farther’ and those who sense that something’s definitely wrong and it needs dealing with or improving. It is critical not to let the former disuade the latter.
Fight back club: Ignore the terrified traditionalists and continue to lead an environmentally responsible lifestyle by investing in companies that are doing their part. Here is another incentive (1). And here is a great introduction to a product that will help get the ball rolling (2).
(1) © 2009 The Guardian. (2) © 2009 The Daily Telegraph.
As a primer, read this top to bottom. (© The Independent, Sunday 7th December 2008)
While out in Silicon Valley in the 1990s, I often tuned into two talk radio stations, KCBS and KGO 810. I cannot recall which one it was, but there was (and maybe still is) a very clued up host who would dwell on all manner of interesting or pertinent subjects. One day she discussed how much of what we pop in our mouths and/or down the drain ends up not just back in our bodies (even if unwanted), but in remote locations such as the arctic and antarctic. PCBs were mentioned a lot, in particular how they effect the sexual orientation of animals, including a certain dubious species of biped.
Of all the threats to life on Earth, it became obvious that endocrine disruptors was one of the greatest. Worryingly, because this issue lacks the shock and awe of threats such as asteroid impact, nuclear war and more, it has gone unnoticed and undiscussed for a decade or so since the radio broadcasts and low level media coverage of the 1990s. The disruption of the natural order of things is exceptionally dangerous.
This deceptively benign threat brings to mind the scenario featured in HG Well’s War Of The Worlds where the huge walking cyborgs were impervious to an array of military firepower, yet a subtle virus managed to kill them off – to the surprise of all.
Fight back club: Do you really need any of those ‘cleaning’ fluids, powders, chemicals and bleaches whose bottles clog up your kitchen and bathroom cupboards? A little warm or hot water and sunshine can do the job with no environmental impact And do you really need all those pills? Remember folks, most of what we buy was conceived as a way to earn a living for the seller or make life easier for the buyer. However, through no fault of our own, until recently we have failed to consider the future impact of our creations or purchases thanks to the laws of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs ensuring that more pertinent issues grabbed our attention.
It is probably high time we research and think very carefully about the consequences of what we make, buy and do – with an aggression, focus and sincerity unknown to date. No pussy footing around the issue any more.
On the same day that The Times of London discusses an issue I’ve been mulling over for years (see previous posting), The New York Times touches on something that I uncovered within months of arriving in Northern California in 1991 at a meeting with a retired executive of a pharmacuticals company. What occured back then was a fairly momentus turning point in my perception of reality – almost like discovering that there was intelligent life on the moon. The precise and appalling details are still in my old blog and will be imported into a forthcoming new section of Vision Aforethought.
It is interesting to study how in the past when there were important (almost humanity saving) medical discoveries or advances, they were often achieved by lone individuals motivated by the urge to do good, rather than exploit and/or profit from another persons misfortune.
Fight back club: Keep in good health (see Life Tips section of this blog), live sensibly and avoid any form of drugs – unless in situations where your life is on the line or you are genetically predisposed to fall apart without them! Do not, I repeat, do not spend money with entities that do not have your best intentions at heart!