Sunday, February 5, 2012

More Tid Bits

Alma Fausto: University's smoking ban challenged - Alma Fausto -

Which brings us to the truth of the matter: we're all adults and there are already consequences of smoking that are widely known. No one "gets away" with the damage caused by smoking. It's a decision we're capable of making on our own.

Forcing people to either quit smoking or not come onto campus infringes on our rights as students and as citizens to have freedom of choice. While it may not be the healthiest choice, it's legal and ours to make.
Yudof said the ban was announced because of concerns about the environment, the health of each smoker and the health of those around the smoker exposed to secondhand smoke.
These aren't persuasive reasons because smoking is just one of many human practices around campuses that put themselves and the environment at risk.

Commissioner vows complete ban on tobacco, Gutka soon

The city commissioner has said all injurious substances, including tobacco, Gutka, betel nut, Paan and other items will be banned in the city as these items cause cancer.

Roshan Ali Shaikh stated this while speaking as chief guest at an awareness programme in Sir Syed Town, North Karachi, on Saturday. 

He said that it was the need of the hour to ban such items so that innocent lives could be saved from numerous diseases.

“People are falling prey to different diseases, including mouth cancer mainly due to lack of awareness,” he said. The commissioner demanded of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and non-governmental organisations to help in eradicating this menace from society.

Amongst all kinds of freedoms one which a section of thinkers so vociferously advocates is `freedom to offend'. Here the limits are logical. For that to happen, we have to define and locate the nature and extent of offense. An individual's freedom to offend then has necessarily to be justified with the society's right to offend that particular individual. Laws and regulations then will have no bearing on the way a society runs. Letting people offend each other can be endless. Everyone can offend everyone else. Then this freedom cannot be granted to artists and writers only. If this luxury is to be legislated, then any ordinary individual can claim a right to offend. Presume that is granted to all and imagine a chaos we all will be thrown into. If one will be free to offend, the other will consequently have to throw the offense back at him. Offenses then will have to be borne on two counts. Moral and physical. 

Obesity and chronic liver disease can be triggered by a family of proteins that alter populations of microbes in the stomach, a discovery that suggests the condition may be infectious, Yale scientists report. The study, in the advance online publication of Nature, expands on earlier Yale research that showed how similar microbial imbalances caused by the same family of proteins increases the risk of intestinal diseases such as colitis.

Weak-FTR language-speakers have piled up an average of 170,000 more euros per person for their retirement than  strong-FTR speakers, and are 24 percent less likely to have smoked heavily, 29 percent more likely to exercise regularly, and 13 percent less likely to be obese. The weak-FTR speakers even had stronger grips and great lung capacity than did those whose grammar forced them to mark the difference between today and tomorrow. National records reflect individual habits too, Chen writes: "Countries with weak-FTR languages save on average six percent more of their GDP per year than their strong-FTR counterparts."

Sugar May Be Bad, But Is the Alternative Worse?

Swithers thinks she knows. In 2008, she and fellow Purdue researcher Terry Davidson fed rats a yogurt supplement sweetened either with glucose, a simple sugar, or zero-calorie saccharin. Apart from the supplement, both groups ate standard rat fare. Those that ate saccharin packed on more fat, gained more weight and consumed extra calories. A follow-up 2009 study reinforced the findings, and found that unusual weight gain persisted even when rats stopped eating sweeteners.
According to Swithers, two mechanisms may be responsible. When the rats’ bodies learned that sweetness didn’t predict an imminent caloric rush, as would naturally be produced by sugar-rich foods, their bodies may have automatically shifted into calorie-saving mode. At the same time, metabolic acceleration that normally occurs when eating high-calorie foods, and helps to process them, may have been slowed.

New rules, tests proposed for aid to poor

JACKSON -- People who receive public assistance would be subject to random testing for drugs or nicotine and would have to perform community service under new requirements being considered by Mississippi lawmakers.
Officials say some ideas are already being carried out, but others could be blocked by federal regulations.

The rub is that whereas for human-rights advocates this means no underhand shenanigans impinging on citizens' civil liberties, security experts think of the ability literally to see through people and detect whether they are carrying any potentially threatening implements. The latest spat erupted in January when Raymond Kelly, New York's police commissioner, declared that his force is working with America's defence department to have so-called T-ray scanners mounted on squad cars. Mr Kelly said that the technology offers "a great deal of promise" in detecting concealed weapons without a physical search.

These are just stories I found interesting in the last day or so.
It's much easier for me to blog this way since I usually let the stories do the talking for me.

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