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HuckleB

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 31,611

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The “pH Miracle Diet” naturopath is guilty, but California still has a problem

http://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/the-ph-miracle-diet-naturopath-is-guilty-but-california-still-has-a-problem/

"Robert O. Young, a naturopath in California who ran a luxury medical clinic, was found guilty of two counts of practicing medicine without a license. While this news marks an end to the saga of Young’s spree of quackery and precarious trial, during which the jury was nearly hung and ordered by the judge to return to deliberations, it is important to note that Young was not found guilty on charges of grand theft. Young faces jail time but will not be held accountable for the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, that he took from patients as they believed the outrageous lies about his “pH Miracle Diet.”

Young was arrested in January 2014 after an undercover investigator with the California Medical Board revealed that he and other practitioners at his resort-like clinic were diagnosing diseases and providing dubious treatments to patients who were terminally ill with cancer or suffering from other serious conditions. Young does not have any medical training. He graduated from a now defunct diploma mill in Alabama named Clayton College of Natural Health, where he received “doctorate” degrees in naturopathy and biology. Based on this training, Young constructed an elaborate belief system around the notion that acidity in our blood is related to poor nutrition, which in turn causes cancer and health problems. By his logic, if acidic foods in the diet are replaced with alkaline foods, disease can be stopped in its tracks. If diet alone could not “alkalize” the blood, then it seems to have been necessary to give patients intravenous injections of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) allegedly to neutralize the body’s offending acids. Patients are reported to have spent over $2,000 per day to stay at his Rancho del Sol facility in Valley Center, California, and some paid out between $50,000 to $120,000. (He also operates a retreat in Como, Italy and “pH Miracle” cruises in the Caribbean.)

...

California has a unique law that gives unlicensed practitioners of alternative medicine free rein to do as they please. SB577 passed in 2002 and was championed by the California Health Freedom Coalition which argued that Californians deserve the right to make informed choices about their health care options. That sounds reasonable, but really, the law is designed to allow woo-woo practitioners such as homeopaths, reiki masters, crystal healers, and Robert O. Young wanna-bes to advertise and provide their health “services” without fear of being prosecuted by the medical board for practicing without a license.

...

Thus, if Robert O. Young had earned an ND degree from National University of Health Sciences or Bastyr University, he would be legally allowed to give intravenous injections of baking soda, a common mineral. He could advertise all sorts of nonsense about it too and remain within the confines of the California Naturopathic Doctors Act. Indeed, here is an example of one California naturopathic clinic advertising intravenous baking soda, plus a slew of other dubious treatments, such as high-dose vitamin C, homeopathy, and chelation therapy. In Arizona, it is even more hairy. Colleen Huber, a prominent naturopathic “oncologist” in Phoenix, is a big proponent of using intravenous baking soda to treat cancer. Her practice site and the site for the IRB she runs are good reads if you want to learn about a serious wrangler in the Wild West of Naturopathic Medicine. I cannot comprehend how she claims a 90% success rate in treating cancer.

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Another piece on this story:

A quack goes to prison, but it’s not enough
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2016/02/09/a-quack-goes-to-prison-but-its-not-enough/

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This stuff has been allowed to turn into ever more ridiculous abuses. Regulation is needed, everywhere.

Scientists create synthetic biopathway to turn agriculture waste into 'green' products

http://phys.org/news/2016-02-scientists-synthetic-biopathway-agriculture-green.html

"Researchers at the University of Minnesota have engineered a new synthetic biopathway that can more efficiently and cost-effectively turn agricultural waste, like corn stover and orange peels, into a variety of useful products ranging from spandex to chicken feed.

The groundbreaking study was published today in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

For years, researchers have been looking for more sustainable sources for the raw materials used to make the products we use every day. Recently, biomass made from corn or sugarcane is used in manufacturing of a wide range of non-food products from plastics to fuel. However, use of food to make inedible products is controversial because it affects the food supply and can elevate food prices.

In this study, researchers looked at turning inedible biological byproducts, that scientists call lignocelluloslic biomass, to produce useful products to avoid the "food versus chemical" purposes. They specifically looked at the process to use lignocellulosic biomass to produce butanediol (BDO) that is used to produce more than 1 billion pounds of spandex each year used in clothing and home furnishings. In 2010, it was estimated that spandex was used in 80 percent of all clothing.

..."



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Scientists create synthetic biopathway to turn agriculture waste into 'green' products

http://phys.org/news/2016-02-scientists-synthetic-biopathway-agriculture-green.html

"Researchers at the University of Minnesota have engineered a new synthetic biopathway that can more efficiently and cost-effectively turn agricultural waste, like corn stover and orange peels, into a variety of useful products ranging from spandex to chicken feed.

The groundbreaking study was published today in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

For years, researchers have been looking for more sustainable sources for the raw materials used to make the products we use every day. Recently, biomass made from corn or sugarcane is used in manufacturing of a wide range of non-food products from plastics to fuel. However, use of food to make inedible products is controversial because it affects the food supply and can elevate food prices.

In this study, researchers looked at turning inedible biological byproducts, that scientists call lignocelluloslic biomass, to produce useful products to avoid the "food versus chemical" purposes. They specifically looked at the process to use lignocellulosic biomass to produce butanediol (BDO) that is used to produce more than 1 billion pounds of spandex each year used in clothing and home furnishings. In 2010, it was estimated that spandex was used in 80 percent of all clothing.

..."



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My food paranoia wake-up call: The EWG wants us to be afraid of the food we feed our kids — don't be

http://www.salon.com/2016/02/07/my_food_paranoia_wake_up_call_the_ewg_wants_us_to_be_afraid_of_the_food_we_feed_our_kids_heres_why_i_refuse/?utm_content=bufferd25cf&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

You're making claims promoted by corporate organic marketing, but not by science-based evidence.

All of the food we eat has been genetically manipulated by humans, including all organic produce, some of which is created using mutation breeding. If you don't know what mutation breeding is, then you should look it up. Also, organic is just a marketing term. Nothing more. It also uses herbicides and pesticides, including Bt, as noted in the article.

Further, while some GMO plants are created to allow them to be treated with less toxic herbicides than were used in the past, that does not mean that they are tolerating some massive amount of them, nor that farmers spend money using lots of herbicide. They wouldn't be able to make a living, if that were the case.

On Organic Pesticides:
https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/organictext.html

Organic Pesticides: Not An Oxymoron
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2011/06/18/137249264/organic-pesticides-not-an-oxymoron

Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/httpblogsscientificamericancomscience-sushi20110718mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/

It's also interesting that you tried to use the superweeds argument, which was shown to be off base in the article I posted about Chipotle, in the OP. You can learn more about the topic in this piece:
http://weedcontrolfreaks.com/2013/05/superweed/

How Much Glyphosate is Sprayed on Our Crops?
http://www.nurselovesfarmer.com/2014/08/how-much-glyphosate-is-sprayed-on-our-crops/

More On The Reality That All Food Is Genetically Modified
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science/sorry-hipsters-organic-kale-genetically-modified-food-180952656/?no-ist

And a good bottom line article on the issue:
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/07/are_gmos_safe_yes_the_case_against_them_is_full_of_fraud_lies_and_errors.html

Regarding organic farming. Well, it's not necessarily good for the environment, just because its proponents claim it to be.

The Ecological Case Against Organic Farming
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/09/10/is-organic-food-worth-the-expense/the-ecological-case-against-organic-farming

Organic food: no better for you, or the planet
https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22240-organic-food-no-better-for-you-or-the-planet/

HERE’S WHY YOUR ORGANIC WINE IS ACTUALLY REALLY BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
http://vinepair.com/wine-blog/heres-why-your-organic-wine-is-actually-really-bad-for-the-environment/

Organic farms’ need for more land is bad for Earth: study
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/organic-farms-need-for-more-land-is-bad-for-earth-study

Six Reasons Organic Is NOT The Most Environmentally Friendly Way To Farm
http://www.science20.com/agricultural_realism/six_reasons_organic_not_most_environmentally_friendly_way_farm-110209

Organic farming not always best for environment, says government adviser
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/07/organic-farming-environment-lord-krebs

 Transgender Russians Struggle to Take Their Movement Out of the Shadows

 As the country grows more conservative on gender and sexuality, transgender Russians are fighting for their lives under great threat.
http://www.thenation.com/article/transgender-russians-struggle-to-take-their-movement-out-of-the-shadows/

"Alex Shmik stood in the court chancery of the Russian town of Mirny, staring in disbelief at the three pieces of paper delivering the judge’s verdict. After four years in bureaucratic limbo, he would be able to officially leave behind his life as Alexandra and change the gender marker on his passport to male. One question kept repeating itself in his mind: Will I be able to live as a normal person now?

Normality is a sought-after commodity among many transgender Russians. Misunderstood and misrepresented throughout history, members of this minority are accustomed to facing a hostile environment. In today’s Russia, their breathing space is shrinking at an accelerating rate, as they become increasingly vulnerable to hate crimes and outright opposition by the authorities. The Russian government has shown little interest in solving the problems affecting transgender Russians; in fact, a number of lawmakers have proposed transphobic legislation in recent years. Meanwhile, there are few trained professionals that can address trans people’s medical needs, and legal barriers prevent them from undergoing gender reassignment surgery and changing the gender marker on their official documents. Without a strong activist network to campaign for social change, unemployment, poverty, and discrimination push many to find a way out—some through self-imposed exile, other through suicide.

In recent years, the Russian government has become the target of much criticism from the West for its treatment of the Russian LGBT community, particularly following the introduction of the 2013 “gay propaganda law,” which forbids the promotion of a “nontraditional” lifestyle among minors. And even though the Soviet Union’s first successful gender-reassignment surgeries took place in the early 1970s, transphobia, homophobia, and discrimination have afflicted queer Russians throughout history. Russian sexologist Igor S. Kon documented in his book The Sexual Revolution in Russia how persecution and discrimination in the Soviet Union pushed many “blues” (the belittling term Russians use to refer to the country’s queer population) to conceal their identity, while Russian LGBT expert Brian Baer said that the lack of a clear distinction between gender and sex in Russian culture has often compromised people’s ability to comprehend the difference between sexual orientation and gender identification.

As nationalistic and conservative ideas gained a foothold following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia remained anchored to its misconceptions. Even in the liberal 1990s most Russians considered queerness a phenomenon foreign to their culture, particularly given the role of Western organizations in the development of an LGBT activist network within the country, Baer notes. “Unfortunately, this reinforced in a lot of Russian eyes that was a Western import and didn’t really have a natural place in Russia,” he explains.

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I don't watch it, any more.

I had mostly stopped because it had become completely intolerable as an entertainment, when the ads completely took over from the game itself, and I'm not just talking about the Super Bowl. Every game is really a big, long infomercial for various corporations, with a break now and then for a play or two.

On top of that, the NFL is the worst of the ugly corporate world of professional sports, where every league does everything it can to con communities into paying for new stadiums for their teams.

Still, the NFL's lackluster response to the concussion issue has made me choose to completely ignore the sport.

Women are being marginalised by news websites, study finds

Research of more than two million articles finds outlets prefer to use pictures of women while quoting men as experts
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/women-are-being-marginalised-by-news-websites-study-finds-a6851586.html

"Women are being marginalised by news websites which prefer to use pictures of them while quoting men as sources or experts, a study of more than two million online articles has found.

Men’s views and voices tend to dominate the text of most news articles published online, while women appear proportionally more in images, according to the research conducted by the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff.

Women were also found to feature more in articles about fashion, entertainment and art but were much less present in those involving sport and politics, which researchers said provided “empirical evidence” that they were being marginalised by the media.

The study, which is the largest undertaken to date in this area, used facial and name recognition technology to analyse more than 2.3 million news articles, collected over a period of six months from more than 950 different news outlets.

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There is still a long, long way to go.

A Small Asteroid Will Definitely Miss Earth on March 5. But by How Much?

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2016/02/08/small_asteroid_2013_tx68_will_swing_by_earth_on_march_5_2016.html

"In the “don’t panic” category, the small(ish) asteroid 2013 TX68 will definitely miss the Earth when it swings by our fair world on March 5.

The orbital mechanics on this are pretty clear; it certainly won’t hit us. The thing is, it’s not clear by how much it’ll miss us, and the range is a bit uncertain: It’ll pass somewhere between 17,000 to 14 million kilometers from Earth.

...

That’s the problem; with only three days of observations of TX68 back in 2013, it’s impossible to predict exactly where it will be when it passes the Earth in March. What you get is a fuzzy prediction that puts it near the Earth, with a range of likely distances based on that. The closest it can get is 17,000 kilometers, but it could pass us 14 million kilometers away.

From a position of “Ohmygod is this thing gonna hit us?” we’re pretty safe. From an astronomer’s position of “Hey I want to observe this thing for myself and help nail down its orbit” it’s frustrating. That uncertainty means we’re not even really sure where it’ll be in the sky at a given time. Our best bet is to use wide-field telescopes, scan the most likely areas it’ll appear, and hope for the best.

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Interesting stuff, or so I think.

The GMO-Suicide Myth: Yet Another Anti-GMO Deception

http://issues.org/30-2/keith/

GMO and Indian Farmer Suicide
http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/gmo-and-indian-farmer-suicide/

Indian farmer suicides not GM related, says study
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/nov/05/gmcrops-india

And a good piece that covers the reality:

Profile of an Indian GM farmer: high-tech seeds on a traditional farm
https://medium.com/the-odd-pantry-spillover/high-tech-seeds-in-a-traditional-farm-profile-of-an-indian-gm-farmer-d573a9043e11#.f36s6ystd
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