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Current Topic: Health and Wellness

Sperm counts and teen pregnancy rates. By Liza Mundy
Topic: Health and Wellness 3:02 pm EDT, May  3, 2006

Today, May 3—in case you didn't know it—is "National Day To Prevent Teen Pregnancy." In the past decade, possibly no social program has been as dramatically effective as the effort to reduce teen pregnancy, and no results so uniformly celebrated. Between 1990 and 2000 the U.S. teen pregnancy rate plummeted by 28 percent, dropping from 117 to 84 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-19. Births to teenagers are also down, as are teen abortion rates. It's an achievement so profound and so heartening that left and right are eager to take credit for it, and both can probably do so. Child-health advocates generally acknowledge that liberal sex education and conservative abstinence initiatives are both to thank for the fact that fewer teenagers are ending up in school bathroom stalls sobbing over the results of a home pregnancy test.

Sperm counts and teen pregnancy rates. By Liza Mundy

Hackers on Atkins
Topic: Health and Wellness 8:16 am EST, Oct 30, 2003

] But while there's nothing particularly bleeding-edge
] about eating the hamburger but not the bun, now that
] low-carb dieting has gone mainstream, the diet does
] appear to hold a special attraction for hackers,
] programmers and other close-to-the-machine dwellers. For
] some geeks, the low-carb diet is itself a clever hack, a
] sneaky algorithm for getting the body to do what you want
] it to do, a way of reprogramming yourself. Programmers,
] who are used to making their computers serve their will,
] are now finding that low-carb diets enable the same kind
] of control over their bodies.
] Doctorow, who lost 75 pounds by cutting out
] carbohydrates, sees a natural affinity between his
] brethren and the diet: "Read the
] FAQ, and you'll find people
] attacking their bodies like they would attack a logic
] board," he says. "Substitute 'faster bus speed' for
] 'metabolism,' and you've got something pretty close to an
] overclocking FAQ, he adds, referring to a practice
] popular with hardware hackers in which computer
] processors are tweaked so that they run faster than their
] out-of-the-box speeds.

I've been trying to convince Dementia to join me on a revisit to the land of Atkins after I get back from China, because one thing you do need is moral support. You gotta have someone that's in it with you. Anyway, I thought this was a very interesting article in the fact that (1) Cory Doctorow wrote a story about hacking his body and now we learn that he has pretty much done that and (2) it's timely in accordance with what I've been doing and want to ramp up in another week.

Hackers on Atkins

What do women want?
Topic: Health and Wellness 3:00 pm EDT, Aug 12, 2003

Men have eagerly embodied their reputation as the sexually enthusiastic half of the population, and yet this study seems to suggest that women, deep down, are really thirsting for more. But, according to one of the study's coauthors, Northwestern psychology department chairman J. Michael Bailey, the study really just reinforces what we already know: Men are sexually simple, and women are not. "I think it really shows us how much we don't know about women more than it shows us what we do know," he says.

Interesting article about sexuality and the different means of arousal for the various gender roles.

What do women want?

Masturbation Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer
Topic: Health and Wellness 3:25 pm EDT, Jul 16, 2003

Australian scientists have shown that the more men masturbate between the ages of 20 and 50, the less likely they are to develop the disease that kills more than half a million men each year.

Don't let those nuns convince you that it's a sin!

Masturbation Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer

McDonald's curbs antibiotic use in meat
Topic: Health and Wellness 11:24 am EDT, Jun 20, 2003

McDonald's is telling its direct suppliers -- those that control all stages of animal production -- to phase out such antibiotics by the end of 2004. Direct suppliers provide most of McDonald's poultry and 20 percent of its meat.

This is definitely the best news I've seen come out of the fast food industry, ever. Premium Salads are a joke, since most of them have more calories and fat than a Big Mac.

For those of you that haven't ever read up on this before, cattle, poultry and pig farmers were looking for a better way to provide growth energy (aka calories) to their livestock, because it would take several years for a calf to get big enough to send to the slaughterhouse. Through research and experimentation, it was discovered that corn was an excellent source of energy, however, the animals couldn't digest it properly. Actually, it would make them sick, so to counteract that effect, livestock are regularly fed antibiotics.

One of the theories regarding antibiotic resistant viruses is based on the fact that the food we consume has already been given antibiotics. It is possible that the virii out there have already mutated to survive the antibiotics given to the livestock.

McDonald's curbs antibiotic use in meat

Killing with kindness
Topic: Health and Wellness 7:53 am EST, Feb 26, 2003

According to the CDC, the 17-state Southern region, from Texas to Washington, D.C., not only has more residents with HIV and AIDS, it also has the ugly distinction of being the only area in the country with a significant increase in infections (9 percent). And worse, the CDC says the South accounts for 40 percent of people estimated to be living with AIDS and 46 percent of the estimated number of new cases.

Why did the South get this most unwanted distinction? There are a lot of demographic reasons. We have the highest concentration of the group most likely to be infected: African-Americans. We have the highest concentration of another group most likely to be infected: poor people. We also have the highest concentration of the group most likely to stop effective AIDS prevention efforts: Bible Belters. But there's something more. A context that amplifies these demographic factors: the southern culture of politeness and indirectness.

Eek! A little tongue in cheek, I think, but a good article to read, none the less.

Killing with kindness

Ireland plans to ban smoking in pubs
Topic: Health and Wellness 7:29 am EST, Jan 31, 2003

WOW. This one is a huge surprise to me.

[Health Minister Micheal] Martin said the health department surveyed opinion among Ireland's 3.8 million people, about 70 percent of whom don't smoke, and decided that designating no smoking areas within pubs simply wouldn't work.

Ireland plans to ban smoking in pubs

Alcohol Cuts Heart Attack Risk in Men -Study
Topic: Health and Wellness 7:51 am EST, Jan  9, 2003

Regular male drinkers cut their risk of heart attack by about one third compared to nondrinkers, and one beer every other day may do the trick, according to the results of a large, long-term study released on Wednesday.

Alcohol Cuts Heart Attack Risk in Men -Study

Bush's drive for global abstinence
Topic: Health and Wellness 7:23 am EST, Dec 19, 2002

Standing before a hall packed with representatives from over 30 Asian countries, Dewey stated unequivocally that the U.S. would seek to block the passage of any international family planning policy that permits abortion or promotes contraception for adolescents. "The United States supports the sanctity of life from conception to natural death," he said. "There has been a concerted effort to create a gulf by pushing the United States to violate its principles and accept language that promotes abortion."


But when the U.S. demanded that even the phrase "reproductive health" be struck from the proposal in order to protect unborn children, critics -- even those from highly religious countries like the Philippines and Iran -- suggested that U.S. foreign policy had been hijacked by the religious right.

What the hell? Are we looking at a law to prosecute pre-marital sex in the near future? This is getting scarier every day, I just hope that enough people have the sense to kick out the current rehash of old administrations in 2004.


Yes, I'm a liberal and damn proud of it.

Bush's drive for global abstinence

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