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Current Topic: Health and Wellness

Neurodiversity Forever
Topic: Health and Wellness 11:38 pm EDT, May 13, 2004

To him, the diagnosis explained the sense of disorganization that caused him to lose track of projects and kept him from completing even minor personal chores like reading his mail. But to others, it seems like one more excuse.

"I had always thought of myself as someone who didn't finish things. Knowing why is such a relief."

As the number of Americans with brain disorders grows, so has skepticism toward the grab bag of syndromes they are being tagged with, from ADD to Asperger's to bipolar I, II or III.

"For a while it is going to be a rather relentless process as there are more and more discoveries of people that have something that could be called a defect and yet have immense talents in one way or another."

"Neurotypical individuals find it difficult to be alone and are often intolerant of seemingly minor differences in others. Tragically, as many as 9,625 out of every 10,000 individuals may be neurotypical."

Neurodiversity Forever

Fast Food's True Message
Topic: Health and Wellness 10:33 am EDT, May  7, 2004

Chick Fil A's apparent anti-burger catchphrase is actually a challenge from the entire industry: Eat More, Chicken!

The Altered Human Is Already Here
Topic: Health and Wellness 9:38 am EDT, Apr  6, 2004

In the popular imagination, the technologically altered human being is a cross between RoboCop and the Borg.

The hardware that would make such a mating of humans, silicon chips and assorted weaponry a reality is, unfortunately, still on back order.

Many people, however, have already made a different kind of leap into the posthuman future.

This is a social change on the same order as the advent of computers.

Behaviors and physiological changes that were once simply aspects of life have been turned into syndromes or diseases.

As old problems recede, new ones arise.

The Altered Human Is Already Here

Are You Going to Eat That?
Topic: Health and Wellness 6:34 pm EST, Mar 14, 2004

I wouldn't want to let anything go to waste ...

"Hey, tubby! Want another Pop Tart, tubby?"

Are You Going to Eat That?

Today's Theme Is ... Fat.
Topic: Health and Wellness 6:33 pm EST, Mar 14, 2004

"The fingers you have used to dial are too fat. To obtain a special dialing wand, please mash the keypad with your palm now."

Today's Theme Is ... Fat.

Eating Too Much? Time to Pay the Price
Topic: Health and Wellness 9:02 am EST, Mar 11, 2004

In a comment on an NYT editorial about McDonalds, I suggested that the logic had a sort of Mad Lib quality to it. Other NYT readers were thinking along the same lines.

McDonald's decision to downsize its meals causes one to reflect on other aspects of our lives that need downsizing.

Our wants, needs and necessities have bloated, just like the average American waistline. More clothes to wear, bigger cars to drive, more space to live, more power, more influence -- the plague of gigantism has hit us. In our mad rush to the big, we should remember that dinosaurs were not the most successful form of life on this planet.

Eating Too Much? Time to Pay the Price

Downsize That Order!
Topic: Health and Wellness 9:37 am EST, Mar  8, 2004

The New York Times continues the series of random editorials with their take on my "Damn McDonald's for creating so many fast food nations!" rant.

Eating a great deal less than all you can eat is a very good idea in terms of health and life expectancy. And yet the basis of America's eating habits is that if the food isn't as good as it should be, more of it will make it better. Thus, America's waistline.

Eating food is just one of many human activities where this logic applies. Try it; it's like a mad lib. Just replace "eating" and "food" in the sentences above. Almost anything works, but some choices are clearly better than others.

What's the first thing that comes to mind?

Downsize That Order!

Heroin in America | NPR
Topic: Health and Wellness 9:25 am EST, Feb 23, 2004

Cheap and very pure heroin is creating a growing addiction crisis across America. Heroin -- much of it from Colombia -- is replacing crack cocaine as the drug of choice, particularly among the young. In Massachusetts, for example, more than 4 percent of high school boys report having used heroin.

In the '70s, a bag of heroin -- enough to get a user high once -- cost $30 and was about 28-percent pure. Today, it's 80 percent to 90 percent pure, which makes it powerfully addictive, and it sells for $4 a bag -- cheaper than a six-pack of beer.

This is the first story in an unfolding five-part series on heroin. Running time is 7 minutes 32 seconds. (Requires RealPlayer)

Heroin in America | NPR

Public Health Posters at the National Library of Medicine
Topic: Health and Wellness 9:16 pm EST, Feb  8, 2004

"Posters have been a powerful force in shaping public opinion because propagandists have long known that visual impressions are extremely strong. People may forget a newspaper article but most remember a picture.

A pamphlet or a newspaper can be thrown away, unread; the radio or television turned off; films or political meetings not attended. But everyone at some time or other notices messages when walking or driving, or sees posters on bulletin boards in offices, hospitals, clinics or pharmacies.

The main objective of posters, as with other communications media is to influence attitudes, to sell a product or service or to change behavior patterns.

Public health posters are clearly in the third category, their purpose being to alter the consciousness of the public to bring about an improvement in health practices."

If you liked "American Social Hygiene Posters", you'll probably like these, too.

"A sailor doesn't have to prove he's a man!" Remember: There's no medicine for regret


"She may look clean, but 'Good Time' girls spread syphilis and gonorrhea. You can't beat the Axis if you get VD!"

Public Health Posters at the National Library of Medicine

Ramen Jiro Noodles: A Test of Greatness
Topic: Health and Wellness 8:24 pm EST, Jan 19, 2004

Success at the Tokyo restuarant Ramen Jiro starts with knowing yourself:

Can you handle the large size?

It's a sign of greatness to finish the bowl of pork-laden noodles. But if you fail, you face the wrath of the chef.

Producer Andy Raskin tells the tale.

Ramen Jiro Noodles: A Test of Greatness

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