May 10, 2009

Health Perspectives

For a while, we were hearing about the dangers of swine flu. Now it seems that it is more of an ordinary flu that is aggravated by other health considerations. This New York Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/09/health/09flu.html) about the epidemic shows that many factors contribute to our overall health—age, other existing conditions, diet, exercise. With all the factors that affect our health, it can be difficult to get a good idea of the dangers of a disease or the efficacy of a treatment. This is similar to what we read about in the Taubes HRT article and in Good Calories, Bad Calories.

May 4, 2009

panacea, palatable

1. panacea-noun
a solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases: the panacea for all corporate ills | the time-honoured panacea, cod liver oil.
(From The Oxford Dictionary of English (2nd edition revised) in English Dictionaries & Thesauruses)provided through the University of MN


1. palatable-adjective
(of food or drink) pleasant to taste: a very palatable local red wine. • (of an action or proposal) acceptable or satisfactory: a device that made increased taxation more palatable.
(From The Oxford Dictionary of English (2nd edition revised) in English Dictionaries & Thesauruses)provided through the University of MN

But this panacea for armies and navies still had a long way to go before it was either sufficiently cheap or palatable to be accepted by the general public(Pickled, Potted, and Canned, page 249).


sentences
He thought the psychiatrist's panacea would take care of his mental sufferings, depression, and diseases, but he was wrong.
Her daugter's mother's day breakfast was very palatable and began her day with such delight.

abdicated

1. abdicate-verb
[no obj.] (of a monarch) renounce one's throne: in 1918 Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated as German emperor | [with obj.] Ferdinand abdicated the throne in favour of the emperor's brother.
(From The Oxford Dictionary of English (2nd edition revised) in English Dictionaries & Thesauruses) using University of Minnesota database.

In 1814, only two months after Napoleon had abdicated and been exiled to Elba, leaving an exhausted and bewildered France and yet another Louis on the throne, Nicolas Appert made a visit to London(Pickled, Potted, and Canned, page 236-37)

Sentence- The British ruler abdicated his throne to marry his love, Whitney Creed, who had no royal blood and was just a poor peasant.

May 3, 2009

carrion

carrion - noun
[mass noun] the decaying flesh of dead animals.
- ORIGIN Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French caroine, caroigne, Old French charoigne, based on Latin caro ‘flesh’.
(OED, 2nd Ed, accessed through U of MN Libraries)

Flies, of course, lay eggs on carrion, and their larvae then hatch out as wriggling maggots (A History of Food, page 663).

The vultures keen sense of smell lead them to the carrion which they immediately feasted upon.

hermetically

hermetic
1. hermetic-adjective
(of a seal or closure) complete and airtight. • insulated or protected from outside influences: a hermetic society.
(OED, 2nd Ed, accessed through U of MN Libraries)

"Those flasks which were not hermetically sealed were soon swarming with maggots, but the others remained free of them" (A History of Food, page 663).

Sentence: My mother's delicious beef stew was hermetically sealed so that I may enjoy again this winter.

April 30, 2009

Truely A Last Resort

While the need for geoengineering is still far off, we need to do all the research we can. The idea that humans are thinking about purposefully changing Earth’s climate is scary. While, according to this article, humans are the cause of most climate change in the first place, that was inadvertent and not done with the intent to change the climate. The climate is a very complex thing that has not been the topic of very much research. Going into a geoengineering project blind, so to speak, is not very bright. Laws need to be put in place regulating the private sector to only research and not actual deployment and the international community needs to come together to work on this issue since it is an international problem.
While I fully support the research needed for geoengineering, I think it should be used only as a very last resort. Humans trying to fix a human-made problem by constructing a human-made solution seems to me like the phrase two wrongs don’t make a right. However, having a last resort would make many of us feel more secure and would give us time to come up with other solutions. Research on geoengineering should absolutely not take the place of research and funds being used to reduce emissions. Reducing a problem we created is definitely the better of the two options, even if it hasn’t been all that successful.

April 29, 2009

Geoengineering

I was not convinced at geoengineering being the solution of the problem. It may be that I don't believe in global warming because I wanted to hear more about the issues of global warming and evidence. I believe that he put too much information and went from one point to another. I don't agree with international laws governing this. Although I do what I can to help the environment, I don't think there is a problem with global warming. I know this may anger many people, but even looking at it from a the global warming perspective geoengineering does not sound like it would help. I just think that the earth is changing in certain areas. Some are beginning get colder and some warmer. I just have not been convinced and believe that some people are just feeding into it. But, like I said I do my part just in case.

April 28, 2009

Transitions

This is a short article that explains a lot about the field of geoengineering. It introduces the reader to a subject they likely haven’t heard of before, and explains some pressing issues surrounding this technology. Overall, the article conveys its ideas well with the help of good organization and strong transitions.
The topic heading used in this article aren’t very specific (“Lone Rangers”) but they do inform the reader where one point of discussion ends and another one begins. “Albedo Enhancers” is about the advantages and disadvantages to one geoengineering approach, “Lone Rangers” describes the harm that just one country could cause with a geoengineering venture, and “From Science Fiction to Facts” emphasizes the need for scientific and international consensus on geoengineering matters. Tying these sections together are strong transitions that serve to orient the reader. These transitions help speed up the pace, when it is easy get caught in technical details.
One particularly strong transition appears at the very end of “Albedo Enhancers”: the author writes about potential disadvantages and disasters caused by artificially raising albedo. He (or she) then mentions that the massive consequences of geoengineering projects mean that international responsibility is needed, before moving on to “Lone Rangers” and the risks of unilateralism.

ec

calamitous(adjective): being, causing, or accompanied by calamity
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/calamitous)

"Chances are that if countries begin deploying geoengineering systems, it will be because calamitous climate change is near at hand" ("A Last Resort Against Global Warming?" 4)

My grandma's hair feel out because it was calamitous to her chemotherapy treatment.

Really?

The reading about geoengineering was not what I expected. I thought it was going to be another good example of how to formulate an argument. Surprisingly, it was terribly constructed and did NOT convince me that geoengineering would be an effective method for preventing our climate from warming. Throughout the argument he jumped from one idea to the next. I think he mentioned the idea of establishing international laws for geoengineering numerous time throughout his paper. He did not have organization and it was extremely hard to follow his logic. He also concentrated on too many negative aspects of genoengineering to even convince me that it would be beneficial. Admitting that there is not a lot of research being conducted about geoengineering is not a good argument supporting your idea. Maybe I completely missed the mark on this article, but I thought it was poorly written.

April 24, 2009

Speaking of Obesity...

Obviously this proposal did not get passed, but I thought it was pretty amazing that it was even considered.

HOUSE BILL NO. 282
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS FROM SERVING 1 FOOD TO ANY PERSON WHO IS OBESE, BASED ON CRITERIA PRESCRIBED BY 2 THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT TO 3 PREPARE WRITTEN MATERIALS THAT DESCRIBE AND EXPLAIN THE CRITERIA 4 FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A PERSON IS OBESE AND TO PROVIDE THOSE 5 MATERIALS TO THE FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS; TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT TO 6 MONITOR THE FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS 7 OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES. 8 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
1. (1) The provisions of this section shall apply 10 to any food establishment that is required to obtain a permit from 11 the State Department of Health under Section 41-3-15(4)(f), that 12 operates primarily in an enclosed facility and that has five (5) 13 or more seats for customers. 14 (2) Any food establishment to which this section applies 15 shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, 16 based on criteria prescribed by the State Department of Health 17 after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity 18 Prevention and Management established under Section 41-101-1 or 19 its successor. The State Department of Health shall prepare 20 written materials that describe and explain the criteria for 21 determining whether a person is obese, and shall provide those 22 materials to all food establishments to which this section 23 applies. A food establishment shall be entitled to rely on the 24 criteria for obesity in those written materials when determining 25 whether or not it is allowed to serve food to any person. 26
(3) The State Department of Health shall monitor the food 27 establishments to which this section applies for compliance with 28 the provisions of this section, and may revoke the permit of any 29 H. B. No. 282 *HR03/R51* 08/HR03/R51 PAGE 2 (RF\LH) ST: Food establishments; prohibit from serving food to any person who is obese.
food establishment that repeatedly violates the provisions of this 30 section. 31 SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from 32 and after July 1, 2008.


Aetiology

Aetiology

OED: 1. The assignment of a cause, the rendering of a reason; also, the reason annexed, the wherefore of a command or utterance.
2. The science or philosophy of causation; that part of philosophy which treats of the demonstration of causes; the part of any special science which speculates on the causes of its phenomena.
3. That branch of medical science which investigates the causes and origin of diseases; the scientific exposition of the origin of any disease.
(OED, 2nd Ed, accessed through U of MN Libraries)

Taubes’ “Response”: “Significant fat loss on carbohydrate-restricted diets, unrestricted in calories, is the kind of paradoxical observation that might actually inform our understanding of the true aetiology of the disorder itself.”

Sentence: The scientist conducted interviews to learn more about the aetiology of the epidemic.

April 23, 2009

Taubes at the Stevens Institute of Technology

Following up to Lana's post: Here's video of Taubes presenting at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

Taubes on Larry King...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoQGRJqGQTs

EC

anecdotal (adjective): based on or consisting of reports or observations of usually unscientific observers
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anecdotal)

"His evidence that you can lose weight without reducing calories is 'anecdotal'" (Bray 259).

During high school my research papers contained anecdotal evidence because I didn’t have high-quality research methods.