Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Scream With Me Now...

It's been almost a week since I posted something here (there, and everywhere).  I was thinking about a couple of things, I already have a few things 'in the bag' as they say, but my mind changed as I opened my Yahoo! home page just moments ago.

"Yeah, so, what's the topic of today's post?" You ask.

Pretty much the same as it always is:  Bad News

Not MY news mind you (I'm doing fine, thanks for asking!), but rather, run-of-the-mill Bad News courtesy of the people in charge of the stuff - the real information power-brokers: 

The US Media Corps of Imagineers

"Oh, come on, the news is not all bad is it?  There have to be some good news reports out there somewhere, um, right???  Perhaps some happy story which snuck by the News Gods about a puppy rescued from a kennel in the White House kitchen, or something?" 

You have asked a fair question.  In response I must give you a fair, and honest, answer.


If I'm being honest with you (as I ALMOST always am), most of the news 'out there' is bad.  I'm not sure if recent news is designed to distract public thought away from 'political things' or if the news itself IS a by-product of 'political things'.  In any event, I'll list a sampling of the items found online this morning (with click-able links) and let you form your own opinions.  I, as always, will toss my two cents in -- take 'em for what you paid for them...

And now, on to the News, this day, May 1st, 2012:

As America's Waistline Expands, Costs Soar
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. hospitals are ripping out wall-mounted toilets and replacing them with floor models to better support obese patients. The Federal Transit Administration wants buses to be tested for the impact of heavier riders on steering and braking. Cars are burning nearly a billion gallons of gasoline more a year than if passengers weighed what they did in 1960.

The nation's rising rate of obesity has been well-chronicled. But businesses, governments and individuals are only now coming to grips with the costs of those extra pounds, many of which are even greater than believed only a few years ago: The additional medical spending due to obesity is double previous estimates and exceeds even those of smoking, a new study shows.


The U.S. health care reform law of 2010 allows employers to charge obese workers 30 percent to 50 percent more for health insurance if they decline to participate in a qualified wellness program. The law also includes carrots and celery sticks, so to speak, to persuade Medicare and Medicaid enrollees to see a primary care physician about losing weight, and funds community demonstration programs for weight loss.

Read More (If you dare)

Hot Weather's Return Brings Ozone Warnings
MONDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Health risks from ground-level ozone pollution spike between March and October, lung specialists at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston have found.

Ozone can cause severe breathing attacks, including intense chest pains and trouble breathing. Most at risk are children who spend a lot of time outdoors, seniors and people with asthma or other respiratory problems.

"If inhaled, ozone causes breathing and airway problems for asthma sufferers and smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease," Dr. Nick Hanania, director of the hospital's Adult Asthma Clinic and Pulmonary Diagnostic Laboratory, which is part of the Harris County Hospital District, said in a district news release. "For some sufferers, immediate hospital attention and treatment are required."
Not to be confused with the layer of ozone high in the atmosphere that protects Earth from the sun's harmful rays, ground-level ozone pollution can be dangerous, Hanania explained. It is created when pollution from cars and industrial sites combines with intense heat, and its hazy, foggy shimmer can be seen from miles away.


More information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides more information on ground level ozone.

Read More

Second Hand Smoke Permeates Many Apartment Buildings: Study
SUNDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- A new survey of American apartment dwellers reveals that upwards of a third of nonsmoking residents sniff the stench of secondhand smoke in their building's public spaces, while almost half smell it within their own homes.

"As a pediatrician, I have had a lot of feedback from parents who have been telling me that this is really a significant issue for them," said study author Dr. Karen Wilson. "But I do think for many people this is a relatively new concept to think about, in terms of looking at the situation and the potential impact, and then being able to do something about it."


"We certainly think that residents have an absolutely legitimate right to at least know whether they are going to be exposed to this kind of health risk when they are considering moving into an apartment," said Marie Cocco, a spokeswoman for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "Because we know that secondhand smoke is a deadly substance that contains more than 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which, at least, cause cancer."

Cocco said her organization has publicly endorsed measures, such as the one recently unveiled by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which would require multi-dwelling apartment buildings to fully disclose their smoking policy to all prospective renters and buyers.

"The Surgeon General has clearly [described secondhand smoke risks such as] lung cancer and heart disease among adults, and respiratory and ear infections and asthma among babies and children," she added.

Read More

Cannibal Shrimp:  The Invasion Has Begun
Do not be alarmed, but the cannibal shrimp invasion has begun.

The influx of the jumbo-sized shrimp (which look more like a small lobster than the little pink crustaceans you see at the grocery store) has increased 10 times in the last year, according to a report from the U.S. Geological Survey—from 32 in 2010 to 331 in 2011. The shrimp-eating shrimp have been spotted in waters from North Carolina to Texas.

Tony Reisinger of the Texas Sea Grant Extension Service, told CNN that the tiger prawn "are cannibalistic as are other shrimp, but it's larger so it can consume the others."

The black-and-white-striped sea creatures have shown up in the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast coast and, unlike their bottom-feeding cousins, are big enough—up to 13 inches long and up to a quarter-pound—to gobble up smaller shrimp.

Researchers worry that the Asian cannibal species is preying on the smaller, native sea life, competing for resources and carrying disease.

The increase "is the first indication that we may be undergoing a true invasion of Asian tiger shrimp," said marine ecologist James A. Morris, who works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research.

Scientists don't know exactly how the Asian variety got to the Gulf Coast—the possibilities include breeding in the local waters or being carried to the area by currents.

No matter how they got to the U.S., they're not welcome. Said Morris, "The Asian tiger shrimp represents yet another potential marine invader capable of altering fragile marine ecosystems."

The  numbers are probably much higher than the reported amount. Pam Fuller, the USGS biologist who runs the agency's Non indigenous Aquatic Species database, said, "The more fisherman and other locals become accustomed to seeing them, the less likely they are to report them."

The USGS will next look into the tiger shrimp DNA for clues to its origins, and asks anyone who spots a tiger shrimp to report its location to the USGS. 

[Moos Note:  What?  No Homeland Security involvement?]

Behold the Cannibal Tiger Shrimp from Hell!!!

Are you asking yourself the same question I am??? 

Which would be better: Tarter Sauce or Cocktail Sauce?

How seriously cool would it be to go to your local Red Lobster and order a Shrimp Cocktail for $11.95 and it be delivered as a single shrimp the size of a Chevrolet Volt with a 55-gallon drum of Cocktail Sauce?

When a shrimp is THIS big, is it chewy?  Can we train them to pull oil tankers from the Persian Gulf, saving vast amounts of fuel?  

But honestly, all I want to know about is if you can EAT these Cannibalistic Monster Shrimp is - are they tasty?

I'm not sure that I'll ever find out.  I tend to shy away from anything with 'Giant Mutant Cannibal...' in its name.  It makes me nervous. 

There is a common thread which runs through each of the above articles.  That thread which I am about to 'pull'?  According to each author quoted above...

The answer for each of the stories above is the same:  Government

According to the authors / sources above,

Only government can help YOU manage what you eat.

Only government can limit the number of people driving ozone-producing vehicles and assure that the air you breathe is clean 'outside of your apartment'. 

Only government can help you breathe freely within your apartment.

Only government has the power to track the DNA of a species which, according to the story, "the possibilities include breeding in the local waters or being carried to the area by currents." 

Yes, only government can outwit the fickle whims of 'Nature'.

When we continually look to 'Government' to fix 'stuff', we end up with well-intentioned legislation with 2,100 pages, and no one responsible for reading them.  

You want to fix the above HORROR stories? 

Do you really?  Okay, let's take a run at them, shall we?

How to fix obesity:
Stop giving Food Stamps to people who do not freaking WORK.  Typically, people who work, care about themselves and that which they put into their bodies.  They also tend to be cost-conscious when buying their own food since, well you know THEY are paying for it.  Here's a radical thought:  Make people more responsible, rather than more dependent. 

How to fix Ground Ozone:
Move away from the city, buy a farm, get some livestock (oops, METHANE!), and eat what your grow.  Now that I'm thinking about it, this will ALSO solve the Obesity Epidemic sweeping America.  Eating non-processed foods from the EARTH vs. that crap you buy at Mickey D's wrapped in 'Post-Consumer-Waste-Content' (read the box on that Quarter Pounder, it's there).

How to fix Second-Hand Smoke:
Go back in time to the 1300's prior to cigarettes.  Sure, you'll most likely die of the plague, toenail fungus, or by being run-over by a team of oxen, but hey, your lungs will be fine (assuming you don't have TB or something). 

In any event, you're dead by the time you're 50 from some other 'Natural cause' vs. living to your 80's at a time where second-hand smoke is killing you daily. 

Yeah, go figure.

How to fix Huge Mutant Cannibal Shrimp Invasions:
  1. Buy a net
  2. Buy a propane stove
  3. Buy a big steel pot
  4. Add water
  5. Ignite propane stove
  6. Boil
  7. Toss net
  8. Catch shrimp
  9. Decide for yourself:  Tarter?  or, Cocktail?
Live your life.  Be as happy as you can be.  Don't take stuff that you didn't work for, or doesn't belong to you (except for giant, mutant shrimp from the sea which may (or may not) have gotten here on their own or by other nefarious modes of transportation).   

And for the love of God stay away from computers. 

Um, except for visiting here, of course.

That's just fine. 

Have a nice day. 

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