Friday, September 07, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Study Proves that Hyperactivity is a Symptom, not a Disease

A new study proves what smart parents have been saying for years: Food additives cause hyperactivity in children.

"The researchers discovered that children in both age groups were significantly more hyperactive and that they had shorter attention spans if they had consumed the drink containing the additives. The study did not try to link specific consumption with specific behaviors. The study’s authors noted that other research suggested that the hyperactivity could increase in as little as an hour after artificial additives were consumed."

The most ridiculous comment about the study I've heard so far was from ... you guessed it ... a specialist in Pediatric Psychopharmacology (read "a psychiatrist who specializes in drugging kids") who said, “Is it powerful enough that you want to ostracize your kid? It is very socially impacting if children can’t eat the things that their friends do.” Sure doctor, let's not take away the toxic chemicals that are making the poor kids bounce off the walls. Let's give them something else instead. I know how about some nice psychiatric drugs that only have mild side-effects like suicide and homicide. After all we don't want the kids to feel left out, do we.

Honestly!

This is a hybrid??

I just saw an ad for the 2008 Chevy Malibu Hybrid. the ad contains all the usual hype about how great the car is and the wonderful improvements in gas mileage, etc., etc. But then I looked at the small print and then I looked at it again, wondering if my eyesight were failing or something. Here is what I saw:

- Non-Hybrid Malibu: with 2.4L engine: EPA rating 22 city/30 highway.
- Hybrid Malibu with 2.4L engine: EPA rating 24 city/32 highway.

Excuse me?? Did I read that right? GM has spent how many millions to produce a mere 2 mph (about 10%) improvement? My Honda Civic Hybrid has an EPA rating of 48/47 which is about 50% above the normal Civic. How come GM is incapable of producing a workable hybrid engine?

Then I saw their ad for the Tahoe Hybrid SUV - it gets an amazing 19 mpg on the highway (they don't dare mention it's mpg in the city). And that is an amazing 25% better than the non-hybrid. Man, you may as well just turn on the pump and drink the gas yourself.

In GM's favor I will say that they are also pursuing alternative fuel, electric and fuel cell cars but they are concept cars with no real delivery date.

How come the Japanese can create extremely popular hybrids that are very fuel efficient and America can't? Doesn't anyone get the importance of cutting down on pollution and our dependence on Middle Eastern Oil?

References:
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Debuts at All-Star Game
Chevy Malibu Hybrid

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Birthday to the Helicopter - 100 years old.


I had no idea that the first helicopter got of the ground 100 years ago. I thought it was a more recent invention but here is a really interesting pictorial history of the helicopter: A century of helicopters

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Some Iraq Reality in Venice

A couple of movies at the Venice Film Festival are presenting realistic views of the Iraq war. One movie pulls no punches and may be hard for film goers to take, the other includes the reality as part of the story and may be more palatable.

The movies are Brian De Palma's "Redacted" and "In the Valley of Elah" by Paul Haggis. You can read more about them here: 2 Venice films look at Iraq war horrors

I think movies like these are important. As De Palma says, with Vietnam, "we saw pictures of the destruction and the sorrow of the people who were traumatized. We saw the soldiers ... being brought back in body bags. We see none of that in this war."

One could even come to the conclusion that the media was "in on it", attempting to gloss over the true horrors of what is going on in Iraq. And, indeed, when the connections between the people on the boards of directors of large media conglomerates and the people on the boards of the corporations benefiting from the war (arms manufacturers, oil companies, engineering companies, etc.) are examined, it could definitely make you suspicious.

But, of course, in this most perfect of all perfect worlds, corruption, rapacious greed and avarice just don't exist and the billions of dollars being made out of the war are just an unfortunate side-effect. I'm sure the people at Halliburton and Bechtel had no idea they'd make huge profits and I'm sure it never crossed the minds of their political friends in high places either.