Daily Archives: December 10, 2006

UN downgrades man’s impact on the climate

Sunday Telegraph | Dec 10, 2006

Mankind has had less effect on global warming than previously supposed, a United Nations report on climate change will claim next year.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there can be little doubt that humans are responsible for warming the planet, but the organisation has reduced its overall estimate of this effect by 25 per cent.

In a final draft of its fourth assessment report, to be published in February, the panel reports that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has accelerated in the past five years. It also predicts that temperatures will rise by up to 4.5 C during the next 100 years, bringing more frequent heat waves and storms.
 
The panel, however, has lowered predictions of how much sea levels will rise in comparison with its last report in 2001.

Climate change sceptics are expected to seize on the revised figures as evidence that action to combat global warming is less urgent.

Renowned cancer scientist was paid by Monsanto for 20 years

Guardian | Dec 9, 2006

A world-famous British scientist failed to disclose that he held a paid consultancy with a chemical company for more than 20 years while investigating cancer risks in the industry, the Guardian can reveal.

Sir Richard Doll, the celebrated epidemiologist who established that smoking causes lung cancer, was receiving a consultancy fee of $1,500 a day in the mid-1980s from Monsanto, then a major chemical company and now better known for its GM crops business.

While he was being paid by Monsanto, Sir Richard wrote to a royal Australian commission investigating the potential cancer-causing properties of Agent Orange, made by Monsanto and used by the US in the Vietnam war. Sir Richard said there was no evidence that the chemical caused cancer.

Documents seen by the Guardian reveal that Sir Richard was also paid a £15,000 fee by the Chemical Manufacturers Association and two other major companies, Dow Chemicals and ICI, for a review that largely cleared vinyl chloride, used in plastics, of any link with cancers apart from liver cancer – a conclusion with which the World Health Organisation disagrees. Sir Richard’s review was used by the manufacturers’ trade association to defend the chemical for more than a decade.

The revelations will dismay scientists and other admirers of Sir Richard’s pioneering work and fuel a rift between the majority who support his view that the evidence shows cancer is a product of modern lifestyles and those environmentalists who argue that chemicals and pollution must be to blame for soaring cancer rates.

Heart Attack Grill–nutritional pornography?

The Common Voice | Dec 9, 2006

 heart_attack_grill

“Do we really need a restaurant peddling sure death and mocking it while they do?
 
In a recent MSNBC article, I read the nurses are outraged by the “nurse” costumes worn by the staff at the Heart Attack Grill. THAT’S the controversy? The UNIFORMS?

Excuse ME!?

How about the food itself?

The Heart Attack Grill opened a year ago with a Hooters-like formula of red meat and sexy waitresses. Diners choose from among four cheeseburgers: the Single, Double, Triple and Quadruple Bypass. The Quadruple is a towering monstrosity with four half-pound beef patties, four pieces of cheese and a mound of bacon.

“Essentially, it’s nutritional pornography. It’s so bad for you it’s shocking,” Basso said.

Basso OWNS this place and calls his food “nutritional pornography”? Why nurse costumes, why not have the burger flingers wear undertaker outfits and pass the food out in little coffins?

In a day and age where 2.6 MILLION people DIED prematurely last year across the globe because of Obesity and Overweight related causes, do we really need a restaurant peddling sure death and mocking it while they do?

Cheney’s lesbian daughter pregnant

BBC | Dec 7, 2006

So far, I have not been able to discern who the proud father is. Could it be Ann Coulter? Your guess is as good as mine.

PW

“The vice president and Mrs. Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation” to the arrival of their sixth grandchild, a spokeswoman said.

Conservative groups have expressed dismay at news that US Vice-President Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter is pregnant.

Mary Cheney, 37, and partner Heather Poe are expecting a baby in late spring 2007, the vice president’s office said.

Concerned Women for America said the pregnancy was “unconscionable”.

Meanwhile, a gay-rights group said Mr Cheney faced “a lifetime of sleepless nights” for serving in a White House opposed to same-sex marriage.

Bill would ban ‘mercury vaccine’

Lawrence Journal-World | Dec 10, 2006

The first bill in the legislative hopper for the 2007 session is one near and dear to Lawrence’s Linda Weinmaster and a number of parents across the state.

Senate Bill 1 would ban the use of mercury-based thimerosal in childhood vaccines.

“I’m somewhat optimistic that it will pass this session,” Weinmaster said. “We’re going to give it our best try.”

Weinmaster and many others claim that thimerosal, which is used as a preservative in some vaccines, has caused the recent increase in the number of autistic children. Weinmaster’s 15-year-old son, Adam, has several impairments that she attributes to vaccinations.

Federal officials maintain there is no association between the disorders and thimerosal. Critics, however, say the studies are flawed and note that mercury is a known toxin.

In recent years, thimerosal is being used less and less in vaccines, according to health officials. And at least six states have banned or are phasing out the use of thimerosal.

Company claims herbal treatment for bird flu

Bangkok Post | Dec 9, 2006

A Singapore-based company has extracted key active ingredients from the elderberry to create herbal lozenges that could rival Tamiflu, HerbalScience claimed Saturday.

The firm claims that its pills are more effective than Tamiflu, the oral antiviral drug used against bird flu.

The raw elderberry comes from a farm in Austria, John McClelland, senior vice-president for HerbalScience, told The Straits Times. Elderberries are freeze-dried and delivered to the processing plant in Singapore.

The extract, delivered in the form of lozenges, will be on the market in January at a cost of 3 to 5 Singapore dollars (1.92-3.20 US dollars) for a one-day dosage.

Dead spy’s widow accuses Russian authorities

CNN | Dec 10, 2006

“Obviously it was not Putin himself, of course not. But what Putin does around him in Russia makes it possible to kill a British person on British soil. I believe that it could have been the Russian authorities.

The widow of the murdered former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko says she believes Russian authorities could be responsible for his death.

Marina Litvinenko, 44, told British newspapers about her husband’s last days as he lay dying of radioactive poisoning, revealing his final words to her were: “Marina, I love you so much.”

She told the Mail on Sunday she had placed her trust in British authorities, and did not plan to talk to Russian investigators because she did not believe they would tell the truth.

Asked who she blamed for the killing, she said: “Obviously it was not Putin himself, of course not. But what Putin does around him in Russia makes it possible to kill a British person on British soil. I believe that it could have been the Russian authorities.