questionable topic – uneasy matters since 2008

Live Free And Die – NYTimes.com

Posted in anthropology, health by questionabletopic on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Live Free And Die

During the Bush years, every time a new estimate of life expectancy came out I would get letters saying “Hah! You say things are terrible, so how come life expectancy is rising, huh?” This was, of course, stupid: medicine continues to progress, the long-term decline in smoking has reduced lung cancer, etc.. Life expectancy is rising just about everywhere in the world; sharing in that trend is no big achievement.

On the other hand, failing to share in that trend IS a big achievement, in a bad way. And via Kevin Drum, we have this:

 

 

I guess the geography of the decline speaks for itself.

via Live Free And Die – NYTimes.com.

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The Price of Prohibition

Posted in debate, government, health, politics by questionabletopic on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Forty years after Nixon declared war on drugs, it’s time to give peace a chance.

Forty years ago this Friday, President Richard Nixon announced that “public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse.” Declaring that “the problem has assumed the dimensions of a national emergency,” he asked Congress for money to “wage a new, all-out offensive,” a crusade he would later call a “global war on the drug menace.”

The war on drugs ended in May 2009, when President Obama’s newly appointed drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, said he planned to stop calling it that. Or so Kerlikowske claims. “We certainly ended the drug war now almost two years ago,” he told Seattle’s PBS station last March, “in the first interview that I did.” If you watch the exchange on YouTube, you can see he said this with a straight face.

In reality, of course, Richard Nixon did not start the war on drugs, and Barack Obama, who in 2004 called it “an utter failure,” did not end it. The war on drugs will continue as long as the government insists on getting between people and the intoxicants they want. And while it is heartening to hear a growing chorus of prominent critics decry the enormous collateral damage caused by this policy, few seem prepared to give peace a chance by renouncing the use of force to impose arbitrary pharmacological preferences.

“The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” a recent report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy concludes. “Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won.” Each year that we fail to face this reality, the report says, “billions of dollars are wasted on ineffective programs,” “millions of citizens are sent to prison unnecessarily,” and “hundreds of thousands of people die from preventable overdoses and diseases.”

Neither Order Nor Liberty

Not only does the “war on drugs” war on peaceful people (only some of whom use intoxicants that the government disapproves of) create its own unattractive and dangerous artifacts, it also encourages people to rat on their neighbors.  (HT Mary O’Grady)

Some people call this war on peaceful people (only some of whom use intoxicants that the government disapproves of) a source of ordered liberty.  I call it tyranny – and it’s tyranny that doesn’t even deliver on its marquis promise: it creates disorder as it batters liberty.

See, by the way, Mark Perry’s stats on U.S. incarceration rates.  “Ordered liberty” my arse.

 
Call Off the Global Drug War

By JIMMY CARTER

IN an extraordinary new initiative announced earlier this month, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some courageous and profoundly important recommendations in a report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. The commission includes the former presidents or prime ministers of five countries, a former secretary general of the United Nations, human rights leaders, and business and government leaders, including Richard Branson, George P. Shultz and Paul A. Volcker.

The report describes the total failure of the present global antidrug effort, and in particular America’s “war on drugs,” which was declared 40 years ago today. It notes that the global consumption of opiates has increased 34.5 percent, cocaine 27 percent and cannabis 8.5 percent from 1998 to 2008. Its primary recommendations are to substitute treatment for imprisonment for people who use drugs but do no harm to others, and to concentrate more coordinated international effort on combating violent criminal organizations rather than nonviolent, low-level offenders. IN an extraordinary new initiative announced earlier this month, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some courageous and profoundly important recommendations in a report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. The commission includes the former presidents or prime ministers of five countries, a former secretary general of the United Nations, human rights leaders, and business and government leaders, including Richard Branson, George P. Shultz and Paul A. Volcker.

The report describes the total failure of the present global antidrug effort, and in particular America’s “war on drugs,” which was declared 40 years ago today. It notes that the global consumption of opiates has increased 34.5 percent, cocaine 27 percent and cannabis 8.5 percent from 1998 to 2008. Its primary recommendations are to substitute treatment for imprisonment for people who use drugs but do no harm to others, and to concentrate more coordinated international effort on combating violent criminal organizations rather than nonviolent, low-level offenders.

Not only has this excessive punishment destroyed the lives of millions of young people and their families (disproportionately minorities), but it is wreaking havoc on state and local budgets. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pointed out that, in 1980, 10 percent of his state’s budget went to higher education and 3 percent to prisons; in 2010, almost 11 percent went to prisons and only 7.5 percent to higher education.

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Charlie Sheen is a man with zero regrets.

Posted in alcohol, amazing, anthropology, culture, debate, entertainment, health, lifehack, motivation, opinions, PR, prominent persons, self improvement, story by questionabletopic on Thursday, March 3, 2011

охуенная статья о том, почему Чарли Шин важен и клев.
His appeal is that, while most guys — especially post–college — must reign in their ids and demure to society’s expectations to advance rung by rung up the soul–crushing ladder of corporate mediocrity, Sheen has reached the ultimate apex of manhood eternal: doing whatever he wants and speaking the complete truth, consequences be damned. (Even if the complete truth, as he perceives it, is “I got tiger blood,” “I have a 10,000–year–old brain,” and “I’m an F–18, bro.”)

сопливая статья о том, почему Чарли Шин шовинист и женоненависник (as if there was anything wrong with it)
Sheen’s m.o. seems to be to invalidate these women’s claims by accusing them of being money hungry or fame hungry. It’s interesting for him to consider women looking for money, particularly at the end of a relationship with him, as some kind of character flaw, considering his well–known practice of paying women to party with him, as well as his penchant for hookers. According to a recent GQ article, Sheen lost his virginity at 15 to a hooker in Las Vegas whom he paid for with his father’s stolen credit card. Kacey Jordan tells GQ of Sheen’s obsession with sex workers, “He is unhappy, and he probably relates to the porn girls, thinking they’re unhappy, too.”

вдумчивая статья о о том, почему Чарли Шин важнее Джастина Бибера в медиа–мире
If you didn’t hear, yesterday Charlie Sheen joined Twitter. Today he very well may reach 1 million followers (as I type he’s already passed the 900K mark).
How did it happen? Why all of a sudden did he wake up and decide it’s Twitter time? And how was it that Charlie Sheen went from non–twitterer to hardcore twitterer overnight? Short answer: he got a lot of help from a team of experts at Ad.ly, a small Beverly Hills start–up that focuses on celebrity endorsements via Facebook and Twitter.

Пустой сейф

Posted in anthropology, experiment, government, health, industry, prominent persons, science by questionabletopic on Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Craig Venter, человек, о котором несколько лет назад говорили, что ему под силу нарушить небесную монополию на создание организмов, дал интервью, в котором рассказал почему священная корова биофармакологов и генетиков всего мира — расшифровка человеческого генома — оказалась скорее коровьим навозом. 

Уж лучше заниматься судоку” — такой была его неформальная резолюция.

Demotivational poster – Easy decision

Posted in health, joke by questionabletopic on Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weekly schedule.

Posted in amazing, event management, health by questionabletopic on Thursday, January 21, 2010

Зал прихода, в 7 часов вечера:

Пон. — “Анонимные алкоголики”
Втор. — “Избитые жены”
Сред. — “Синдромы переедания”
Чет. — “Скажи ‘Нет!’ наркотикам”
Пят. — “Недопущение подростковых самоубийств”
Субб. — “Обеды для неимущих”

Воскресенье, 9 утра, проповедь “Радостное будущее Америки”

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Concrete jungle..

Posted in consumerism, event management, facts, government, health, self improvement by questionabletopic on Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New York, New York, it’s a helluva town! Там мерия вас научит правильно ширяться. (Здесь статья, а здесь pdf)

статья с освещением нововведений, и уже выпиленный прямой линк.

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Анекдот о врачевании

Posted in health, joke by questionabletopic on Sunday, July 27, 2008

В кабинете у врача.

— Вы знаете, доктор, то лекарство, что вы прописали мне в прошлый раз, помогло!

— Ну что я могу сказать? Бывает…

Genius Junk Food: 6 Snacks That Are Actually Good For You (by Men’s Health)

Posted in alcohol, amazing, consumerism, food, health, opinions by questionabletopic on Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Did you know there are more than 15 types of saturated fat?

And despite the fact that they’ve been damned as a whole by nutrition experts for decades, some of them are actually heart healthy. That’s good news, since high-fat foods are often the tastiest.

But a bad reputation is hard to shake. And though saturated fat is the most obvious example of a bad food gone good, it’s not the only one. I’ve run the numbers and scoured the research to determine which vilified foods have been unjustly convicted. The result: six snacks and drinks that deserve an immediate pardon.

PORK RINDS

WHY YOU THINK THEY’RE BAD: These puffy snacks are literally cut from pigskin. Then they’re deep-fried.

WHY THEY’RE NOT: A 1-ounce serving contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams (g) of protein,
and 9 g fat. That’s nine times the protein and less fat than you’ll find in a serving of carb-packed potato chips. Even better, 43 percent of a pork rind’s fat is unsaturated, and most of that is oleic acid–the same healthy fat found in olive oil. Another 13 percent of its fat content is stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that’s considered harmless, because it doesn’t raise cholesterol levels.

EAT THIS: J&J Critters Microwave Pork Rinds ($6.50 for a 10-ounce container; www.microwaveporkrinds.com). Because the rinds are cooked and puffed in a microwave instead of deep-fried, each serving contains only 4 g fat–meaning they’re lower in calories and less greasy than regular pork rinds.

ALCOHOL

WHY YOU THINK IT’S BAD: It has little nutritional value and is the reason we need the term “beer belly.”

WHY IT’S NOT: In a study of more than 18,000 men, Harvard scientists discovered that those who had an average of two drinks every day, 5 to 7 days a week, had the lowest risk of heart attack. And researchers at the University of Buffalo found that men who consume that same daily amount have lower levels of abdominal fat than those who drink only once or twice every 2 weeks but down more than four drinks each time.

DRINK THIS: Pinot noir. It contains more disease-fighting antioxidants than any other type of alcoholic beverage. Look for a Santa Barbara County pinot noir that’s a 2002 to 2004 vintage; those are generally recognized as the top wine-producing years for this finicky grape. We like the 2003 Foley, best in show at the San Francisco International Wine Festival (foleywines.com).

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Что делать, если котелок плохо варит?

Posted in anthropology, health, lifehack, memory, opinions, self improvement, work by questionabletopic on Monday, July 14, 2008

Проблема недостаточной умственной работоспособности и утомления, как выяснилось, заботит очень многих. На «Хабре» нашлись граждане, которые, кто в шутку, кто всерьез советовали в комментариях амфетамины, прозак, ноотропил, гинкго, винпоцетин. Я расскажу о более эффективных и менее опасных способах.

Материальная часть

Сперва расскажу немного о некоторых базовых принципах работы нервной системы. Не претендую тут на полноту, скорее, я намеренно сократил изложение, дабы понятно было большинству.

Работа нервной системы — это процессы возбуждения, торможения, проведения, интеграции. Нейроны принимают и обрабатывают сигналы, проводят их по своим отросткам и взаимодействуют друг с другом.

Проведение сигнала по отросткам нейронов — это электрическая активность. Вдоль отростков распространяется изменение поляризации мембраны, этот процесс требует энергии, затрачиваемой на работу ионных насосов.

Еще один важный процесс — синаптическая передача. Одна клетка выделяет в синаптическую щель молекулы-посредники, медиаторы, которые действуют на рецепторы другой клетки, стимулируя или угнетая ее активность.

Активность нейронов требует энергии. Много энергии. Откуда она берется? Одним из самых важных биологических процессов является дыхание. На уровне клетки дыхание означает окисление питательных веществ и получение энергии. Расскажу очень упрощенно. Кислород и питательные вещества поступают в ткани с артериальной кровью. Далее они попадают в клетку. Там есть целые цепи ферментов и коферментов, работа которых и обеспечивает окисление питательных веществ кислородом. Образуется углекислый газ, вода и другие продукты. Они должны быть выведены из клетки и из ткани в кровь.

Помимо дыхания есть еще очень много биохимических процессов. Например, синтез составных частей клетки (той же мембраны, ферментов, ионных насосов и др.), а также медиаторов. Все эти процессы также требуют энергии, питательных веществ, ферментов и коферментов. Нет медиаторов — нет синаптической передачи.

Работу нервной системы не стоит рассматривать только на клеточном уровне. Есть надклеточные структуры: группы нейронов, ядра и центры головного мозга, а также такая, во многих отношениях загадочная штука, как ретикулярная формация, а еще эпифиз, лимбическая система. Они оказывают влияние на кору головного мозга.

Есть структуры в головном мозге, которые характеризуются циклической активностью. Они стимулируют или подавляют активность других структур. Одним из важных циклов является суточный. Циклическое изменение активности нейронов крайне важно для процессов восстановления. Восстановиться должны запасы питательных веществ, макроэргических соединений, медиаторов, составных частей самой клетки. Должны образоваться новые связи между нейронами. В самих нейронах должны произойти структурные изменения.

Кстати, применяя стимуляторы, вы просто «сжигаете неприкосновенный запас». Как тупые партийные номенклатурщики, чтобы повысить в отчетах производство мяса, пускали на бойню молочные стада, так и вы, принимая кофеин, «энергетики» и тому подобные вещества, медленно убиваете свои нейроны.

Что делать?

Естественный и стабильный режим суток — самое эффективное средство

Естественный, устойчивый режим суток — это самое эффективное средство. Притом немедикаментозное. И это средство — самое недооцененное и самое нелюбимое большинством из нас. Можно жрать таблетки, но без режима суток можно практически с тем же эффектом спускать их в сортир.
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Англичанин изобрёл новый способ употребления алкоголя

Posted in alcohol, amazing, consumerism, culture, entertainment, event management, gadgets, health by questionabletopic on Monday, July 7, 2008

“Ох, и здорово же мы надышались вчера! — А чем дышали? — Сначала подышали пивом, потом вдохнули по бутылке вина! — Голова не болит? — Нет, приходи вечерком, водкой подышим”.
Такой странный диалог вскоре можно будет услышать в Великобритании, где принимать спиртное научились по-новому. Без похмелья.

Идея вдыхать любимые спиртные напитки посетила голову 30-летнего британского предпринимателя Доминика Симлера (Dominic Simler), который и считается изобретателем “алкоголя без жидкости” AWOL (Alcohol With Out Liquid). Новшество ориентировано на клубную молодёжь и, если эксперты не докажут его опасность для здоровья, должно стать настоящей “бомбой”.

Принцип действия довольно прост. Желающий выпить выбирает себе бутылку — судя о всему, дышать можно любым спиртным напитком — но не выпивает её, а выливает внутрь устройства на колёсиках под названием AWOL Machine.

Там алкоголь смешивается с кислородом и превращается в пар, который и нужно вдыхать через трубочку, напоминающую ингалятор.

Алкогольный газ, минуя печень, идёт прямо в кровь, обеспечивая мгновенный эффект, не похожий, по словам создателя, ни на что. Однако это — быстрое и интенсивное опьянение. Говорят, и длится оно не долго — минут 25.

У


У “пользователей” AWOL появляются эйфория и ощущение счастья

Получается своего рода кальян или, если хотите, винокур.

К одному выпарному аппарату могут подключиться несколько пользователей одновременно. Во избежание проблем рекомендуется дышать спиртным не больше 20 минут в час и не чаще 2 сессий в сутки. Тогда никакого похмелья не будет.

AWOL уже продаётся. Машина оценена в $2950, а купить “дозу” за 6 фунтов ($11) пока могут исключительно члены закрытого клуба Il Bordello, расположенного на голландской барже в Бристоле.

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The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating by NY Times

Posted in amazing, consumerism, facts, health, lifehack, self improvement by questionabletopic on Sunday, July 6, 2008
beets cabbage

Maybe you should be eating more beets or chopped cabbage.

Nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden has created several lists of healthful foods people should be eating but aren’t. But some of his favorites, like purslane, guava and goji berries, aren’t always available at regular grocery stores. I asked Dr. Bowden, author of “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,” to update his list with some favorite foods that are easy to find but don’t always find their way into our shopping carts. Here’s his advice.

  1. Beets: Think of beets as red spinach, Dr. Bowden said, because they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.
    How to eat: Fresh, raw and grated to make a salad. Heating decreases the antioxidant power.
  2. Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
    How to eat: Asian-style slaw or as a crunchy topping on burgers and sandwiches.
  3. Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes.
    How to eat it: Chop and saute in olive oil.
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Санэпидемнадзор

Posted in health, joke by questionabletopic on Monday, June 23, 2008

Заходит парень в кафе и читает прейскурант:
Гамбургер — 2$

Минет — 20$
Смотрит — за прилавком стоит продавщица — сногсшибательная блондинка, все при ней. Парень:
— Извините, а кто у вас делает минеты?
Блондинка с томной улыбкой на устах:
— Я делаю, а что?
Парень:
— Тогда вымойте, пожалуйста, руки — мне гамбургер.

звідси: dirty.ru

Improper Story – Proper Question

Posted in health, joke, quotations, story by questionabletopic on Monday, June 23, 2008

The day’s lesson was on sex, etc., and the teacher mentioned how sperm is 80% sugar (or something like that) whereupon a girl asks out loud, “How come it tastes so salty then?” Then she comprehends how it sounded like, turns beet red and runs from the room.

An Internet version began to circulate in 1997 in which a smart ass professor answers the girl’s question with, “Because the tastebuds for sweetness are on the tip of the tongue, and not the back of the throat.”

In one variation the instructor mentions that the amount of an average human male ejaculation is only about a teaspoon. One female student perks up and inquires, “Why does it make such a big mess, then?”

20 tricks to nuke a bad habit

Posted in health, lifehack, manual, motivation, self improvement by questionabletopic on Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Порушення мотто №2: пост про самовдосконалення.

  1. Commit for a Month. Thirty days is all you need to make a habit change permanent. Less time than that and the new alternative might not be hardwired into your brain. More time and any failures to last are usually a failure of strategy, not duration.
  2. Replace What You Lose. Your habits fulfill needs. When you suddenly cause a change, you may inadvertently cut them out. Before you make a change, write down all the benefits you currently get from your bad habit and make sure they are retained going into the new habit.
  3. Start Small . Changing habits isn’’t a matter of willpower, but patience and strategy. Don’’t expect to overhaul your diet, exercise or thinking patterns in a day. Tackle one habit at a time.
  4. Know the Benefits. Get clear in your mind what the benefits are of making a change. If making a change rationally seems good but it doesn’’t feel good, it won’’t stick. Emotions have more power than many of us realize.
  5. Write it Down . Winston Churchill once said, ““Plans are useless, planning is invaluable.”” Writing out any commitments you make will give you clarity both to what you desire and how you intend to do it.
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