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Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: What do we know about Bell’s Palsy?

Bell’s Palsy is one of those rare ailments, and one that annoys more than threatens, but can be difficult and socially awkward for sufferers. It’s also one that still baffles researchers as to its cause. And also for an effective treatment. According to facialpalsy.org, The name ‘Bell’s palsy’ comes from 19th-century Scottish anatomist and surgeon […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Canadian Police and Suicide Hotlines Violating Privacy

It’s mind boggling that Canadian police would think it’s justified in sharing mental health information with Homeland Insecurity in order to help the USA discriminate against people with mental illness.

What in the heck made them think it’s okay? Are they crazy?

People need to trust that they can reach out to a Suicide Hotline without fear of future reprisals. Canadian police have seriously damaged this expectation, and therefore are likely to have harmed people who’d have otherwise sought help. It would be hard to learn definitively if this abuse of authority has killed people, because the people we’d learn (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What Yoko Ono Knows About Fracking

Today we are fresh off the tar soaked heels of Enbridge’s lie and spin machine in Kitimat, leading to a vote AGAINST their toxic future.

In Kitimat, in a non-binding plebiscite, the people of Kitimat, but not the first peoples who live outside the town boundary, voted about 60-40 to kick out Enbridge.

They’re liars, don’t you know, making up a fake map of BC’s coast to pretend that oil tanker risks are lower than they are.

But it also turns out that Yoko Ono knows a thing or two about fracking and carbon energy.

And we also know (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Xenophobics out to get Chinese-language Acupuncturists AKA Idiots volunteering to be discriminatory, racist idiots

  Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that Canadians have the PRIVILEGE of using as an alternative medicine. But some idiots who VOLUNTEER to see an acupuncturist wants to enforce […]

Things Are Good: Overwhelming Proof You Can’t Eat Enough Fruit and Vegetables

We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us – but did you know that at any age you can reduce your risk of death by 42%? According to some fresh research eating seven portions of fruit or veggies per day can provide massive health benefits, indeed with every serving increase you can reduce your risk of death by 17%!

Compared to eating less than one portion of fruit and vegetables, the risk of death by any cause is reduced by 14% by eating one to three portions, 29% for three to five portions, 36% for five to (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Eat Less Meat and Save More Wildlife

Just reducing the amount of meat one has in their diet can have a positive impact on our food system, the planet, and wildlife. Take Extinction Off Your Plate is a campaign to get people not to be vegetarian, just to get people to reduce their meat intake. Producing meat in the modern farming system requires a lot of energy; indeed, Stanford warns about the dangers of global meat production.

It’s easy to be vegetarian, but remember – even decreasing your meat consumption can have positive impacts on the world and your health!

Meat production is one of the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Smart People Trust Others

Oxford University researchers have concluded that the more intelligent a person is the more likely they are to trust other people. This is assumed to be the case because smarter people have a better at determining what sort of people they want to be around and self-select to be around people who can indeed be trusted. The study also points out the benefits of trust for society at large (including not intelligent people).

The Oxford researchers found, however, that the links between trust and health, and between trust and happiness, are not explained by intelligence. For example, individuals who trust (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage

Now, stop tolerating ignorance! And smile, TGIF.

Hello.

It’s Friday.

For many people it’s TGIF. But for many people who aren’t even teenagers, the work week isn’t ending today.

We often THINK minimum wage is for the new entries to the job market. Maybe it was one day. Maybe just for one day.

But today? If it isn’t a living wage, it’s exploitative.

And if it is just minimum wage, we are likely not too accurate on who is suffering with these low wages.

Let’s take a peek:

It is not the stereotypical pothead living in their parents’ basement.

(Read more…)

Things Are Good: New Research: Brains Do Heal Themselves

After a traumatic brain injury, it sometimes happens that the brain can repair itself, building new brain cells to replace damaged ones. But the repair doesn’t happen quickly enough to allow recovery from degenerative conditions like motor neuron disease (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS). Siddharthan Chandran walks through some new techniques using special stem cells that could allow the damaged brain to rebuild faster.

Politics, Re-Spun: How the Conservative Government Dishonours the Military

So Canada is leaving its occupation of Afghanistan.

I never liked the mission. I never liked the context. I never liked the propaganda. I never liked the transformation of some kind of Canada into this occupying Canada.

162 killed and 2,179 wounded? But here’s the very very hard question. Who is the government NOT counting? They are the people the government is actively disowning, to the shame of all of us.

I’ll tell you who some of them are:

They are the human casualties of our new flashy militarism:

they are the veterans whose pensions have been replaced with lump (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Decrease Blood Pressure By Simply Changing Your Diet

I love knowledge and it’s exciting that a meta-analysis in JAMA Internal Medicine has concluded that a vegetarian diet is perfect for decreasing blood pressure!Meta-analysis of research data is the assessment of a multiple research papers related to the same issue and sometimes the meta-analysis can disprove existing assumptions, in this case the meta-analysis confirms what many already thought!

Plus, researchers found that “the effect sizes are similar to those observed with commonly recommended lifestyle modifications, such as adoption of a low-sodium diet or a weight reduction of 5 kg, and are approximately half the magnitude of those observed (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Play a Game and Help Cure Cancer

This month Cancer Research UK released a game that helped scientists find a cure for cancer. It takes the obscure data that needs to be analyzed and translates that into a fun little game which can be played on Android or Apple devices. The aggregate data of players help scientists understand what’s going on in the body when someone is impacted by cancer.

The game’s ingenuity lies in its simplicity. Racking up the combined data crunching power of what we hope will be thousands of casual gamers will help our scientists spot the subtle patterns and peaks and troughs in (Read more…)

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Why Does Canada Participate in the Olympics Anyway

I took this screenshot (CBC website) of the standings yesterday showing Germany in first place with 8 medals, Canada second with 10 medals and Norway in third place with 12 medals.

Yes, that’s right, because only being the very best in the world (well best at that particular place at that particular time) counts, the rest are all losers, so it seems.

Why do we rate the Olympics that way. The

Trashy's World: Ten years and counting…

It’s an important anniversary for me today – on February 4, 2004, I smoked my last cigarette. And that was one of the best decisions of my life. It was very difficult. But I did it. And I haven’t become one of those rabid anti-smokers; even though I now find the smell absolutely disgusting. Smoking […]

cmkl: A minor tear in my right, outer meniscus

We expect. We hope. We being me and the awesome physiotherapist I saw today at the Carleton Sports Therapy Clinic. The meniscus is the donut-shaped bit of padding between the ends of the upper and lower leg bones that join at the knee.

Politics, Re-Spun: Mental Health and The Hypocrisy of #BellLetsTalk

Bell didn’t actually start any conversation about mental health, despite their PR.

So now that Bell has enjoyed PR-pimping mental health as a self-aggrandizing excuse to give money to Canadian mental health programs, I didn’t actually expect to see #MentalHealth trending in Twitter like #BellLetsTalk did yesterday, and to a lesser extent today. However, there are huge problems with this kind of charitable activity:

If Bell had simply donated $5.4 million to mental health programs, quietly, even with the tax advantages, they could stand firmly in the face of criticism that this is in part a PR stunt designed (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s With Pipeline-Loving Old Men?

High 5′s to people are aren’t old men! [on average, 19 times out of 20, +/- 3.6% of the time.]

My apologies if you’re a man, or over 55, but those two demographics love the Big Oil, and they’re giving you all a bad name!

Here’s why.

I know lots of men and people over 55 who know that moving to a post-carbon energy infrastructure is the only sustainable future. The problem is convincing their peers that getting rid of their Lexus [it used to be Hummer] is in everyone’s best interest.

Maybe it’s because some of those (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The NHL Gladiator Pimps

Risking player’s brain trauma for profit makes the NHL a gladiator pimp organization.

At some point, as estimates continue to roll in, the NHL accountants and lawyers will realize that reducing concussion risk in the NHL will make the league more profitable. The NHLPA needs to do a better job advocating for the health of its membership.

That will get me watching again, and my kids.

And that may be the only thing, aggravated by class action lawsuits, that get the game safer for players. Oh and the CBC getting rid of Don Cherry.

Here’s information from a recent study (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Game Designed to Help Solve Eye Problems

Diplopia – A VR Game to Help Strabismus and Amblyopia is exactly what it sounds like. This sounds like a great gaming project! The game is meant to help people who have some eye issues strengthen their weak eye to restore (near) perfect control over their stereo-vision.

You can contribute to the project at IndieGogo (only 6 days left!).

From the developer:

Strabismus, better known as crossed eye, is present in about 4% of children. In those affected both eyes do not line up properly causing diplopia (double vision), amblyopia (lazy eye), and loss of vision in one or (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Bill Gates Shares Some (More) Good News From 2013

Bill Gates is best known for his hyper capitalistic behaviour creating Microsoft, but since he left the company he’s trying to change that perception. Indeed, he has done good things for the planet since he left he company he once founded. Gates and his wife have created the Gates Foundation to improve the world. They have done great work in leading American philanthropy and also contributed greatly in the fight against malaria.

He is optimistic about the future and you should be too! He points out some good news in his 2013 year in reviews.

Child mortality went down—again. (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution

It’s mostly us.

Many of us have heard of the idea of planning policy to consider effects seven generations downline. We’re pretty smart. It shouldn’t be that hard. But we have many incentives to think short term. Sometimes so short that we are ignorantly and apathetically victimizing our descendants.

But I’m going to challenge you to embrace this ultimate new year’s resolution…

How high does a barrel of oil have to get before we embrace the reality of our future and do something before our apathy victimizes us all?

- via Canada22: Who Will We Be Over the Next 7 (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Ending Homelessness: Easy If You Simply Care

If we are a caring society. If we acknowledge that there are a myriad of reasons why a community’s homeless population is homeless. If we thought we should invest our tax dollars and take advantage of good research, good experience, good pilot projects and professionals to address homelessness and other problems. If we were interested in treating people as people instead of the poorn or poor bashing of dehumanizing people. If all this…we could fix homlessness and address many or all of the things that lead to homelessness and preventable human suffering. Here’s how.

Give homeless people homes.

There, that (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Greed + Government Cuts Erode Society [Bah, Humbug!]

The greedy and selfish among us are NOT on our side.

Happy Christmas Eve!

I hope you’re all giving lots of money to charities because ’tis the season and all that. But what happens if generally, as a society, we can’t or won’t give so much?

Coupled with public sector social service cuts, a decline in charitable giving creates preventable suffering.

But the Fraser Institute is a big fan of the charitable giving solution to public sector cuts. What do they have to say about that this year? It’s not good.

Greedy, selfish, people who love their money and want (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight

Some breaking news occurred yesterday, the Joint Review Panel of the National Energy Board approved the Enbridge pipeline, but with 209 conditions. To quote a teenager from 1994: “Big whoop.” Also, big whoop goes out to the awesome pictures of soon to be decimated pristine wilderness on the report cover.

What do you think of the Enbridge approval and where things will go?

What do I think of the approval? Disappointed and hardly surprised. When Joe Oliver starts talking about something being “science-based,” I remember how his party has people who believe dinosaurs and humans walked the earth (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Fixing Cyncial Corporate Media

How to inoculate yourself against cynical corporate media.

Corporate news media is not on our side. It is on the side of stoking fear, cynically eroding possibilities of a better, more robust democracy, and scaring us into obedience to corporations and government through sensational stories that undermine our happiness.

But we can fix this. And it’s not hard.

While crime rates have been dropping, media coverage of crime has increased. This creates buzz and sensationalism and higher ratings which translates into higher advertising revenue for corporate media. I don’t think we can fix this.

Corporate news media is also guilty (Read more…)