Home » Archives for January 2012
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Does the term ‘all natural’ really mean anything when it comes to food labeling? Increasingly, the evidence says absolutely not.
A new lawsuit launched from New York highlights the real lack of meaning behind the ‘all natural’ marketing stunt, stating that Frito-Lay’s popular ‘all natural’ snack foods like Tostitos and SunChips are actually made with genetically modified ingredients.
Chris Sakes leads the suit against the mega snack corporation, filing a class-action lawsuit that sheds light on the ‘all natural’ labeling scam.
Shake said that Frito-Lay products are not natural at all, as they contain corn oils and genetically modified plants. What is this phony ‘all natural’ claims worth? About 10 cents more than competing brands that do not claim to be all natural, which contain virtually the same ingredients.
The lawsuit reported that independent testing actually confirmed the presence of corn and vegetables oils as well as GMOs within the popular snack brands.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
The Coral Sea, off the coast of northwestern Australia, is home to some of the healthiest tropical marine ecosystems left on Earth, with tuna, turtles, whales and sharks still found there in healthy numbers.
The Australian government now has a plan to protect this global treasure across the full extent of its exclusive economic zone, great news for conservationists who campaigned passionately for this outcome for years. But protecting biodiversity is never simple.
The latest outcry from some ocean advocates is that the new proposal, currently out for public comment, does not do enough to safeguard many of the region’s most precious resources.
The short, eye-opening eBook linked below is titled Aluminum in Vaccines -- a Neurological Gamble, by Neil Miller, director of the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute. It documents the hazards associated with aluminum-laden vaccines. Children are receiving high concentrations of aluminum in their shots. This well-documented neurotoxin may be more dangerous than mercury.
Vaccines containing high concentrations of neurotoxic aluminum were added to the child immunization schedule when several vaccines containing mercury were removed. Two-month old babies now receive 1,225 mcg of aluminum from their vaccines -- 50 times higher than safety levels! Although the FDA, CDC and World Health Organization are aware of the dangers, they expect parents to play Russian roulette with their children.
When mercury was removed from many vaccines (except the flu vaccine) years ago, it was under the false guise that finally vaccines were now safe. What health agencies did not want you to know is that there are many other toxic additives still in vaccines, and one of them is aluminum.
Aluminum has not received the widespread media attention that mercury has, therefore many people don’t realize it’s a health risk.
“Aluminum is not perceived, I believe, by the public as a dangerous metal. Therefore, we are in a much more comfortable wicket in terms of defending its presence in vaccines,” said Dr. John Clements, WHO vaccine advisor.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
Aluminum Lake food coloring, used to heavily coat liquid medicines for children, contains dangerous amounts of aluminum and harmful synthetic petrochemicals. These “petrochemicals” are carcinogens containing petroleum, antifreeze and ammonia, which cause a long list of adverse reactions. Aluminum poisoning can lead to short and long term central nervous system (CNS) damage, such asmemory impairments, autism, epilepsy, mental retardation, and dementia.
Research shows that just 4ppm of aluminum can cause the blood to coagulate. This is what causes Alzheimer’s Disease and has been documented to inhibit learning. Aluminum consumption can also be associated with the development of bone disorders, including stress fractures.
Also known as tartrazine, FD&C Yellow Aluminum Lake is a chemical concoction derived from coal tar. It is known to be a reproductive toxin. All artificial colors contain Aluminum Lake, so when your child gets to pick between red, blue or green medicine, they’re really choosing which poison they get to consume. Several chemically enhanced food colorings contain ammonia and therefore produce compounds proven to cause various cancers in animal studies, according to CSPI, the Center for Science in the Public Interest. (http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm)
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Experts in EMF and wireless technologies are saying that cell phones and similar devices are capable of causing a number of health defects, including depression, body irregularities, infertility and even damaging your DNA.
A number of foreign countries are attempting to adopt precautionary protocols to limit cell phone use in an attempt to mitigate the number of adverse effects they have on human health. In 2011, the WHO/IARC released a report stating that cell phone radiation may have a carcinogenic effect on humans. In fact, the World Health Organization actually said that cell phones are in the same cancer-causing category as lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform.
The nature of our society in this day and age leaves little breathing room, however. In a country where cell phone subscriptions actually outnumber the amount of people, you are basically guaranteed to be exposed to cellphone microwaves whenever you enter a social setting. People rationalize that it’s a ‘necessary evil’, and it may be, but the acceptance leads to increased health risk overall. It is for this reason that we recognize the issues and develop a wide-scale solution.
Sunday, January 29, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
Global Internet censorship is here. SOPA and PIPA have been stopped (at least for now) in the United States, but a treaty known as ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is far worse than either of them. ACTA was quietly signed by Barack Obama back on October 1st, 2011 and most Americans have never even heard of it. But it could mean the end of the Internet as we know it.
This new treaty gives foreign governments and copyright owners incredibly broad powers. If you are alleged to have violated a copyright, your website can be shut down without a trial and police may even show up at your door to take you to prison. It doesn't even have to be someone in the United States that is accusing you.
It could just be a foreign government or a copyright owner halfway across the world that alleges that you have violated a copyright. It doesn't matter. So far, the U.S., the EU and seven other nations have signed on to ACTA, and the number of participants is expected to continue to grow.
The "powers that be" are obsessed with getting Internet censorship one way or another. The open and free Internet that you and I have been enjoying for all these years is about to change, and not for the better.
So how come the U.S. Senate never voted on ACTA? Doesn't the U.S. Constitution mandate that all treaties must be approved by a two-thirds vote in the Senate?
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Cancer is the most dreaded of all diseases, and ever since a "war on cancer" was declared 40 years ago, massive research has made progress, although the battle is far from won. Very little of this research has been directed at prevention. Advanced medicine, like the person on the street, has tended to think of cancer as something we have no control over: It happens to us or it doesn't.
The reason for thinking this way can be seen under a microscope, which reveals that malignant cells are misshapen compared to normal cells. Disastrous mutations at the genetic level lead to abnormal cell division, causing cancer cells to become rogues in the body, multiplying without check, crowding out normal cells, and in general wreaking havoc by losing communication with the body's fine-tuned intelligence.
Yet we may be seeing a revolution in our whole approach to cancer. Some highly-placed researchers now believe that 90-95 percent of cancers are preventable with drastic lifestyle changes. This represents a total reversal from what used to be taught in medical school, which held that only 5 percent of cancers could be traced to environmental factors like diet or chemical toxins. If the new view is correct, then for the first time we may have found an open road to ridding society of its most dreaded scourge.
To begin with, the genetic trail hasn't led to a cure, only to greater and greater complications. A disease like breast cancer, when examined at the genetic level, isn't one disease but hundreds. Yet at the opposite extreme, genetic mutations may be playing a much smaller part than anyone ever thought.
Saturday, January 28, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
How would you react if I were to tell you that you or your child were forced to participate in experimental vaccine trials?
Friday, January 27, 2012
Adolescents who consume foods and beverages containing high fructose corn syrup already have, present in their blood, evidence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes according to a recent study. The results of the new study, to be published in February 2012 in The Journal of Nutrition, provide strong scientific evidence of the negative health consequences of fructose on the human body.
Health consequences of HCFS show up early
An investigation by scientists from the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) followed 559 children ages 14-18. The study subjects' dietary habits were measured; their blood analyzed and blood pressure, body fat and other health measurements taken. The researchers found a correlation between high-fructose diets and markers for heart and vascular disease such as higher blood pressure, fasting glucose, insulin resistance, levels of C - reactive protein, related to inflammation.
Norman Pollock, assistant professor of pediatrics at GHSU and co-lead author of the study said that "There is not much data in children and adolescents," although "adolescents consume the most fructose so it's really important to not only measure the levels of fructose but to look at what it might be doing to their bodies currently and, hopefully, to look at cardiovascular disease outcomes as they grow."
Friday, January 27, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) contributes to illness in two distinct ways:
1) It alters food that is bad for us and makes it taste really, really, really good, in essence compromising our health by tricking our taste buds and intuition into eating things that are intrinsically harmful, or harmful when eaten excessively.
2) It is a toxic chemical that directly damages neurological tissue, as well as inducing a generalized endocrine disruption throughout the body known as "metabolic syndrome," the symptoms of which include hypertension, insulin resistance, elevated blood lipids and/or elevated blood sugar.
So, What is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)?
Common "Tricky" MSG Synonyms
Technically, MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid. Glutamic rich foods include wheat, dairy, corn, soy, seafood, etc. (Foods Highest In Glutamic Acid). The "YUMMY!" sensation that occurs immediately after ingesting a MSG (or various synonyms, e.g. hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed yeast) laced morsel the Japanese call umami (meaning: savoriness) and is considered one of five basic tastes.
You may think that this is an impossibility and that natural solutions simply do not compare to ‘scientifically proven’ pharmaceutical science. The truth of the matter is that scientific evidence is the very thing disproving the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs as well as highlighting the surplus of beneficial properties associated with inexpensive and free vital nutrients.
Contrast: Cancer Drugs Causing ‘Mega’ Tumors, Turmeric Reduces Tumors by 81%
Meanwhile, peer-reviewed research has found that a spice known as turmeric can reduce tumors by 81% naturally. Researchers found that curcumin (a derivative of turmeruc)dramatically decreased brain tumors in 9 out of the 11 studies examined by 81 percent. Furthermore, there was no evidence of toxicity. Widely used as a spice in South Asian and Middle Eastern countries, turmeric is continually being pinpointed as an extremely potent anti-cancer solution. What’s more is the fact that turmeric is extremely inexpensive, and can be found around the globe — from Saudi Arabia to Kentucky.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
If this week's raging solar storm was any indication, the sun is ramping up its activity — and scientists will be ready for it. By meticulously studying our planet's star, they are able to predict these potentially dangerous space weather events better than ever before.
A huge solar flare erupted Jan. 23, triggering the strongest radiation storm in nearly a decade. A wave of charged particles, called a coronal mass ejection (CME), bombarded Earth yesterday (Jan. 24). The bombardment is over now, but some minor disruptions to spacecraft and power grids were reported.
Scientists' forecast for the arrival of the disruptive wave was off by only 13 minutes, far more accurate than in the past. And with much of the world's networks interconnected and populations increasingly reliant on technology, the ability to predict and track potentially harmful space weather events will become ever more crucial.
When a CME hits Earth, the resulting geomagnetic storm interacts with the planet's magnetic field lines. This not only amps up Earth's auroras (the northern and southern lights), but, in the case of a strong CME aimed directly at Earth, can disrupt the operations of satellites in orbit and power grids and other communications infrastructures on the ground.
Forget all that nonsense about the search for the cure for cancer. It will never be found. The search for a cure is nothing but redirection from the reality that cancer is caused by modern life. It isn’t in your genes. It isn’t ever going to be cured. It’s an internal effect of the world we’ve created—and symbolic of our destruction of the natural world.
A study, entitled “Cancer: an old disease, a new disease or something in between?” was done by A. Rosalie David and Michael R. Zimmerman of the University of Manchester KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology. Published in the journal Nature Reviews Cancer, it strongly suggests that cancer is a disease of the modern world. It is, of course, controversial.
In an ancient society lacking surgical intervention, evidence of cancer should remain in all cases. The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialization.
CAFFEINE-LOADED energy drinks are responsible for an ever-increasing number of hospital visits and calls to poison hotlines, and are blamed for a variety of serious symptoms such as hallucinations, seizures and even heart attacks.
A new analysis of calls to the country's biggest poisons helpline, the NSW Poisons Information Centre, since 2004 found the number of calls related to energy drinks rose from 12 in 2004 to 65 in 2010, with at least 128 people requiring emergency department treatment over the seven years.
Although the most common symptoms were heart palpitations, agitation, tremor and upset stomachs, more than 20 people had signs of more serious poisoning, including hallucinations, seizures and interrupted blood flow to the heart.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Everyone knows that junk food is injurious to health, but still, who among us can resist that juicy burger or that refreshing cola? The ads make them look so tempting too. But it is those same ads that might actually be the problem. German researchers at the Max Planck Institute say those glossy pictures of junk food trigger hormones that make the viewer hungry and this may be the cause of increasing obesity.
This once again puts the focus on what health specialists in many countries have been trying to do: restrict certain kinds of junk food ads. In Canada, recent surveys have shown support for an outright ban on ads of products with high sugar, high fat or high salt content. A bit drastic, perhaps, but with child obesity becoming a growing problem, the day may not be far off when burger packets will carry warnings saying “Junk food can be injurious to your health”. Europe has imposed heavy taxes on such products and have even stopped their sale in schools.
Packaged and processed junk food is relatively new in India, but we are catching up fast. Colas, with their extremely high sugar content, are now drunk even by very young children, and the popularity of burgers, chips and the like is growing. An educational campaign that can offset some of the glamour of junk food ads can be one step towards making people aware of what exactly they are consuming and what the effects can be.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
UK scientists have detected a huge dome of fresh water that is developing in the western Arctic Ocean.
The bulge is some 8,000 cubic km in size and has risen by about 15cm since 2002.
The team thinks it may be the result of strong winds whipping up a great clockwise current in the northern polar region called the Beaufort Gyre.
This would force the water together, raising sea surface height, the group tells the journal Nature Geoscience.
"In the western Arctic, the Beaufort Gyre is driven by a permanent anti-cyclonic wind circulation. It drives the water, forcing it to pile up in the centre of gyre, and this domes the sea surface," explained lead author Dr Katharine Giles from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at University College London.
"In our data, we see the trend being biggest in the centre of the gyre and less around the edges," she told BBC News.
Dr Giles and colleagues made their discovery using radar satellites belonging to the European Space Agency (Esa).
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
A Guide to Staying Healthy and Fighting Back
The Dangers of Mercury
Exposure to mercury, even in small amounts, is a great danger to humans and wildlife.
When mercury enters the body it acts as a neurotoxin, which means it harms our brain and nervous system. Mercury exposure is especially dangerous to pregnant women and young children, but all adults are at risk for serious medical problems.
Most mercury pollution is produced by coal-fired power plants and other industrial processes. The most common way we are exposed to mercury is by eating contaminated fish.
NRDC is working hard to reduce mercury pollution in our air and water.
Protect Yourself and Your Family from Mercury Exposure
*Learn more about the dangerous effects of mercury
*Understand your risk with our Mercury Calculator
*Follow these simple steps to reduce your risk
*Use our Mercury in Fish Wallet Card to easily identify safe options
*Take advantage of our Sushi Guide and Safe Sushi Card
*Find out the answers to common medical and dental questions (we also have more information for medical professionals)
Help Stop Mercury Pollution
Learn about the assault on the EPA and the Clean Air Act, and what NRDC has been doing to reduce mercury pollution.
A Global Issue: Reducing Worldwide Mercury Emissions
Mercury is a pollutant that knows no borders. Mercury released halfway across the globe can end up in your local lake or in the fish you buy in your grocery store.
That’s why NRDC is working with the United Nations and the Zero Mercury Working Group, a coalition of over 80 non-governmental organizations, on a global treaty to cut mercury pollution around the world.
NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and STEREO missions detected a strong M9 class solar flare and associated Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) on January 23 at about 3:59 Universal Time (11:59 pm on January 22 EST). The associated moderate geomagnetic storm may cause aurora borealis activity in the northern United States.
M solar flares are the second strongest classification of solar flares, with X solar flares being the strongest. This solar flare was almost strong enough for the X classification.
The CME is headed in Earth's direction and will likely cause a moderate geomagnetic storm on January 24 (UT Date) and a minor geomagnetic storm on January 25 (UT date). In North American time zones, the new Universal Time date begins in the evening hours (8 pm in the EST zone). Hence the geomagnetic storms will extend from the nights of January 23/24 to January 24/25 in North America.
The geomagnetic storm may have some small effects on the power grids at high latitudes. The effect most noticeable to the average person will however be the possibility of aurora or northern lights. The interactions between the charged particles in the CME and Earth's magnetic field cause the aurora, also known as the northern or southern lights.
On the night of January 23/24, during the moderate geomagnetic storm, observers as far south as the latitudes of New York and Idaho have a good chance of seeing the northern lights. On the night of January 24/25 the geomagnetic storm, if it follows predictions, will subside to a minor geomagnetic storm. Minor geomagnetic storms typically cause auroral activity as far south as the latitudes of Michigan and Maine in North America. Space weather predictions are not always right, so there is no guarantee of Aurora, but there is a strong possibility.
To observe the northern lights go outside to a dark clear location with a flat northern horizon. Look towards the north. No optical instruments are needed. Aurora are best seen with the naked eye.
NASA Earth Observatory has confirmed with imagery courtesy of Solar Dynamics Observatory, that the largest solar storm since 2005 has just been unleashed from the sun. Reports are circulating the news wires and the internet on the possible repercussions of such an event. We highly recommend that you make sure your emergency preparations plans are in order. Scientists really have no idea what will happen to the Earth, but our job as parents, and concerned loved ones is to have our preparation plans in order.- EFG-BN
NASA Earth Observatory Says the Following:
Following one of the longest and weakest periods of activity in many cycles, the Sun is brimming with activity again. In late January 2012, our nearest star offered a preview of what may be to come in the solar maximum of 2012–13. The storm has the potential to disrupt some communications and satellite systems and to bring auroras to high-latitude skies.
Biggest solar storm since 2005 pummels Earth
A potent solar flare has unleashed the biggest radiation storm since 2005 and could disrupt some satellite communications in the polar regions, US space weather monitors said Monday.
The event started late Sunday with a moderate-sized solar flare that erupted right near the center of the Sun, said Doug Biesecker, a physicist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center.
“The flare itself was nothing spectacular, but it sent off a very fast coronal mass ejection traveling four million miles per hour (6.4 million kilometers per hour),” he told AFP.
A rush of radiation in the form of solar protons already has begun bombarding the Earth and is likely to continue through Wednesday.
The radiation storm is the largest of its kind since 2005 but still ranks only a three on the scale of one to five, enough to be considered “strong” but not “severe,” he added.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine have been studying the effects of media violence for more than a decade. Now, for the first time, they are showing that violent video games directly alter brain activity--not after years of play, but after one week.
It must be noted that the researchers, who presented their findings at this week's Radiological Society of North America annual meeting in Chicago, studied only 28 young men, ages 18 to 29. In other words, these findings are preliminary at best.
"For the first time, we have found that a sample of randomly assigned young adults showed less activation in certain frontal brain regions following a week of playing violent video games at home," Yang Wang, assistant research professor in IU's Department of Radiology and Imaging Science, says in a news release. "The affected brain regions are important for controlling emotions and aggressive behavior."
The researchers studied a healthy group of 28 22 18- to 29-year-old men with low previous exposure to violent video games, randomly splitting them into two groups of 14.
Sunday, January 22, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
Saturday, January 21, 2012
This is a troubling result, because carbon nanoparticles are already in use in medicine and electronics, and that use is increasing. As one of the study authors said, “The human body needs intact barriers, whether it be skin, airway linings, gut walls or the kidney cells we looked at in this study. We need to gain a better understanding of how CNPs modify and change characteristics of barriers as these tiny particles become more common in the air we breathe.”
Saturday, January 21, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
It all sounds good on the surface, but NaturalNews readers no doubt have lots of skeptical questions about this technology. For starters, Novartis apparently isn't planning on conducting any clinical trials that might take into account the safety issues of swallowing microchips. "Novartis does not expect to have to conduct full-scale clinical trials to prove the new products work," reports Reuters. "Instead, it aims to do so-called bioequivalence tests to show they are the same as the original."(http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS...)
But I have a question: What chemicals or heavy metals are contained in the microchip itself? A microchip that transmits data obviously must have a power source, meaning it needs to have a very small battery or capacitor of some sort.
It is one of the marvels of our time that the nuclear industry managed to resurrect itself from its ruins at the end of the last century, when it crumbled under its costs, inefficiencies, and mega-accidents. Chernobyl released hundreds of times the radioactivity of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs combined, contaminating more than 40% of Europe and the entire Northern Hemisphere.1 But along came the nuclear lobby to breathe new life into the industry, passing off as “clean” this energy source that polluted half the globe. The “fresh look at nuclear”—in the words of a New York Times makeover piece (May 13, 2006)2—paved the way to a “nuclear Renaissance” in the United States that Fukushima has by no means brought to a halt.
Consider these damage control pieces from major media:
• The “miniscule quantities” of radiation in the radioactive plume spreading across the U.S. pose “no health hazard,” assures the Department of Energy (William Broad, “Radiation over U.S. is Harmless, Officials Say,” NYT, March 22, 2011).
This is highlighted by the severe mortality rate of the disease, which has killed more than 1 in every 2 people that it infected. Paul Keim, chair of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, explained how volatile of a weapon the mutated bird flu could become:
Friday, January 20, 2012
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed new school meal guidelines [PDF] that call for substantially more whole grains. But if you thought that meant kids would start seeing bulgur and spelt on their cafeteria trays, think again. What it really means are the same old dinner rolls, pizza crusts and bread sticks—only with extra whole wheat flour mixed in.
The federal government allows products that are at least 51 percent “whole grain” to be labeled as such. The only actual grain the USDA sells to schools through its commodity program is brown rice.
The proposed rule change would require that all grain products on school menus qualify as “whole grain-rich” within two years. Schools would have to offer students up to two grain servings for breakfast every day. Currently, schools have a choice of offering a grain or a meat or meat substitute, such as yogurt or cheese.
Friday, January 20, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
In response to growing awareness about the dangers of artificial sweeteners, what does the manufacturer of one of the world's most notable artificial sweeteners do? Why, rename it and begin marketing it as natural, of course. This is precisely the strategy of Ajinomoto, maker of aspartame, which hopes to pull the wool over the eyes of the public with its rebranded version of aspartame, called "AminoSweet".
Over 25 years ago, aspartame was first introduced into the European food supply. Today, it is an everyday component of most diet beverages, sugar-free desserts, and chewing gums in countries worldwide. But the tides have been turning as the general public is waking up to the truth about artificial sweeteners like aspartame and the harm they cause to health. The latest aspartame marketing scheme is a desperate effort to indoctrinate the public into accepting the chemical sweetener as natural and safe, despite evidence to the contrary.
G.D. Searle & Company first patented aspartame in 1970. An internal memo released in the same year urged company executives to work on getting the FDA into the "habit of saying yes" and of encouraging a "subconscious spirit of participation" in getting the chemical approved.
A new study finds that low concentrations of the chemical methylisothiazolinone has subtle but measurable negative effects on the neural development of tadpoles. The chemical is found in some cosmetics, although the study does not provide any evidence that cosmetics are unsafe for humans.
PROVIDENCE, R.I.[Brown University] — Scientists, health officials, and manufacturers already know that a chemical preservative found in some products, including cosmetics, is harmful to people and animals in high concentrations, but a new Brown University study in tadpoles reports that it can also interrupt neurological development even in very low concentrations.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Yet, the fight is still far from over. Even though the New York Times reported that the White House statement "all but kill[s] current versions of the legislation," the Senate is still poised to bring PIPA to the floor next week, and we can expect SOPA proponents in the House to try to revive the legislation—unless they get the message that these initiatives must stop, now. So let’s take a look at the dangerous provisions in the blacklist bills that would violate the White House’s own principles by damaging free speech, Internet security, and online innovation:
Thursday, January 19, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) are two bills that sound like they have a mildly positive aim but, in reality, have serious potential to negatively change the internet as we know it. While the Obama administration has come out against SOPA, effectively shelving it indefinitely, the very similar PIPA bill is still alive and well. Both SOPA and PIPA put power in the hands of the entertainment industry to censor sites that allegedly "engage in, enable or facilitate" copyright infringement. This language is vague enough to target sites you use every day, like Facebook and Google, making these bills a serious problem. Here's what you need to know about the bills and what you can do about them.
Due to the recent opposition of the Obama administration and focus changing to PIPA, we decided to make an update to this post to make it a bit more relevant. While SOPA is likely dead, we're explaining both bills as they're very similar.
The idea behind these bills sounds reasonable. They came about in order to try and snuff out piracy online, as the entertainment industry is obviously not excited that many people are downloading their products without payment or permission. The issue is, however, that it doesn't really matter whether you're in support of piracy, against it, or just don't care. The methods are ineffective. Here's what they are and why they're problematic.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
No. 10 - Unzen, Japan, 1792
Mount Unzen's biggest eruption happened way back in 1792, when, along with a related tsunami, it killed 15,000 people. The Japanese volcano was largely quiet for the next 200 years or so. And then Unzen began to rumble. It started to ooze lava a couple weeks before it violently erupted in 1991, killing 43 people, including a group of scientists and reporters, and forcing the evacuation of thousands of homes. It remained active, releasing lava and ash until about 1995. Since then, it's been getting some much-needed rest.
No. 9 - El Chichon, Mexico, 1982
How about a swim in a mountaintop lake? When El Chichon erupted in 1982, it killed 2,000 nearby residents in Chiapas, Mexico, and left behind a brooding, sulfuric, acidic lake that formed when the dome collapsed into a crater and filled with water. Probably not something you'd want to take a dip in. What's worse, no one saw the eruption coming. Most people thought that the volcano had long ago gone extinct, so when El Chichon belched out a "hello," it was quite the unpleasant surprise. Like other large volcanic explosions, the ash sent into the atmosphere had a worldwide atmospheric effect, leading to cooler temperatures across the globe, along with a nice bonus in the form of some particularly colorful sunrises and sunsets.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by UnHealthyEarth · 0
PARIS – Is democratic time too slow to respond to crises, and too short to plan for the long term?
At a time of deepening economic and social crisis in many of the world’s rich democracies, that question is highly relevant. In Italy, for example, Prime Minister Mario Monti has the necessary and legitimate ambition to carry out comprehensive reform. He is both competent and honest, but faces a quasi-structural impediment: whereas leaders once had three years to convince voters of their policies’ benefits, they now have three hours to convince global financial markets to back their approach.
Caught between Italian legislators who, deep down, do not understand that change and markets in quest of near-immediate certainties, can Monti transcend his natural prudence and act with sufficient clarity and decisiveness?
Democracies suffer not only from their slow reaction time at moments of crisis, but also from the difficulty that they face in projecting themselves into the future and planning for the long term. On both sides of the Atlantic, political leaders know what they must do for their countries, but don’t know how to get re-elected if they actually do it. They seem to be structurally condemned to short-termism.
If they’re healthy, probably not.
Five South American presidents and former presidents, including Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, have been recently diagnosed with cancer. Chavez speculated on Wednesday that American agents may be inducing the disease in South American leaders by feeding them or injecting them with an unspecified substance. The State Department rejected Chavez’s insinuation on Thursday. Can you give someone cancer?
Not reliably. Injecting cancerous cells into a person isn’t enough to give him the disease—the abnormal tissue has to penetrate and grow in other areas of the body. If you injected someone with live cancer cells, his immune system would almost certainly attack and destroy the foreign tissue. In theory, secret agents might be able to induce cancer in a leftist South American president with a severely weakened immune system. Or perhaps they could harvest tissue from him, expose it to a carcinogen, and then reintroduce it into his body. As far as the Explainer knows, however, these techniques have never successfully caused cancer in a human.