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Blast Furnace Canada Blog: No notwithstanding clause on assisted suicide

In the three months since the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its decision on assisted suicide in Carter v. Attorney General of Canada, there has been a lot of thumb twisting about what to do. The Court gave Parliament a year to come up with something new before the law is officially taken off the books. Given a fall election, it’s hard to imagine our legislators will come up with a new law

Things Are Good: Beer as Medicine

Beer is delicious and it can be healthy to drink on its own. Apparently, back in the day, beer was used to deliver medicine. It turns out that this isn’t a crazy idea and can be a good way to deliver need medicinal ingredients to patients.

Another option was to add the herbs during the brewing process, either when boiling the malt, or just slightly heating them in the beer after the boiling has taken place. Van Lis mentioned over fifty kinds of herbs to prepare medicinal beer, ranging from ginger, lavender, cardamom, hyssop, cinnamon, aniseed, rosemary, nutmeg, gentian, juniper (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Cuba Creates Great Doctors

Cuba is a beautiful country filled with nice people. Many of those people are educated doctors who go around the world saving lives for free, and they do the same at home. Al Jazeera has a nice long piece looking into the quality and motivations behind these great Cuban doctors. Spoiler: it’s not about money, it’s about helping people.

Cuba has sent about 185,000 health workers to more than 100 countries since the 1960s. Medical staff have been deployed to some of the world’s worst natural disasters, such as the catastrophic 2004 tsunami in Asia and the deadly earthquake in (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Budweiser Stops Pandering to Rapists?

Budweiser, the perfect beer for rapists:

Being up for whatever happens [even with its own hashtag: #UpForWhatever]

+

an evening environment that doesn’t include no in its vocabulary

+

all within our still vibrant rape culture

=

a recipe for Budweiser to demonstrate how pathetic they are at understanding how communication works.

And they end up being complicit in continuing to promote rape culture and a world where explicit consent for sex is either ignore, downplayed or rejected.

They still haven’t apologized, but they have said that they regret missing the mark. Continue to not expect integrity from corporations:

(Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: BC Health officials back Vancouver’s plan to license pot shops

Richard Hughes

 

PM Steve’s Health Minister Rona Ambrose sees pot as a narcotic that is an addictive substance. Where do these people come from. Are they really Martians? It sure feels as if

Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: 35th Annual Earth Walk Come Together For Peace, Earth and Justice

Richard —

I hope you are well. I’m writing to encourage you to participate in this year’s Earth Walk for Peace and the Planet, happening tomorrow, Saturday April 25th at 11:00 am at the

Read more…

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Where Abstinence Sex-Ed Goes Wrong

She's being completely condescending. "You can look up anything on the internet" Then refers him to site on abstinence education!

— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015

"You'll find a good girl. If you find one that says 'no,' that's the one you want." HE ACTUALLY JUST SAID THAT.

— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015

This hilariously depressing account of an American sex-ed classroom is a sight to behold.

Things Are Good: Turning Trash Into Health Care in Indonesia

Indonesia has a rather large number of people on reactively small landmass and as a result solid waste has become a problem. Enter Garbage Clinical Insurance which is a company focussed on turning trash collection into health care. It’s a simple solution insofar that people who can’t afford to see a doctor can bring in found trash in exchange for health care. It cleans the streets while keeping people healthy!

For patients, it’s like getting health care for free. “They think they don’t pay anything for the insurance—they just give garbage,” Albinsaid says. “So it persuades the community. And we’re (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Disaster Tourism at the English Bay Oil Spill

By Emily Griffiths

In the wake of the oil spill a few days ago, I set out this morning with my partner to see the aftermath first hand. I really didn’t want to go, because I don’t enjoy feeling depressed or enraged, but denial isn’t a healthy choice, either.

We arrive at English Bay around noon. It’s almost as if nothing has happened. It’s like any Saturday, folks are just out here, doing their thing; people jog, walk, or cycle along the seawall, a mass of tankers blocks the horizon. We know something’s up, though, as a helicopter hovers by (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Video Series That’s Fighting Obesity

The obesity problem in North America keeps growing larger and it’s within all of our interests to ensure that we trim the fat. An online video series directed at kids is making a difference. The Adventure to Fitness series educates kids about animals, geography, and other fun things while keeping kids moving. This is really great because any parent or teacher can use the series to bring more activity and learning into a kid’s day.

According to Dr. Jenny Delfin, the Adventure to Fitness medical advisor and a cardiologist at New York University Langone Medical Center, the program’s effectiveness (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s Wrong with Canada? We’re Not Denmark-ish

And I don’t mean we need to become Denmark, but we need to have the dialogue about why they can do what they do and we choose not to.

When Canadians are surveyed, a very large majority of us support these public goods. But those desires get subsumed with corporate, neoliberal, right wing government-cut rhetoric.

We need to explore the political sociology of Denmark to understand how they embraced the tax commitment to provide these public goods.

We can be Denmark, but we choose not to.

We need to respin the messages from the tax-hating corporations and make the economy (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: CVRD Failed To Enforce Their Land Use Authority–Shawnigan Faces 5 Million Tonnes of Contaminated Waste

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Here is the CVRD response to the BC Liberal governments decision to allow 5 million tonnes of contaminated soil into the Shawnigan Watershed property on Stebbings Rd.

Truth is the CVRD blew it from the outset by refusing to enforce their land use authority.

The anaemic response by then Director Bruce Fraser, supported by the then mostly Liberal friendly CVRD Board proved to be a deadly combination.

When the finger pointing and blame game commences look first to the ‘do nothings’ at the CVRD. This should and must serve as an example of how the Board works, (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Artificial Turf Controversy Fuels Dispute Over Health Concerns In North Cowichan

Don Maroc

Michelle Hutton-Marinier, in a letter to the Cowichan Citizen newspaper, voices her disappointment n North Cowichan Council’s decision to delay for a couple of weeks signing a contract to install an artificial turf field to replace one of the grass soccer pitches on Sherman Road.

Her son plays for the U13 team in the Cowichan Valley Soccer Association. She downplays the possible health concerns of using some artificial turf, noting only the dangers of suffering concussions.

When North Cowichan Councillor Robert Douglas requested taking a short timeout to study the health consequences for players, especially young children, using (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: It’s Official: Homeopathy is Bunk

“Homeopathy not effective for treating any condition, Australian report finds,” reads a headline in The Guardian this week. Well, that’s hardly news. But it repeats saying anyway. It’s a story about the latest in a series of studies that again and again debunk homeopathy as a treatment and conclude it is useless. Australia’s National Health and […]

Things Are Good: Habits for Happiness

It turns out that just by doing some small changes to your daily routine you can dramatically improve your happiness. By adding very small habits to your day you can see big change! It’s not only for happiness but you can also use habits to alter other aspects of your life.

The key is not to think about grand, sweeping changes, but rather, small ones. Fogg would say very, very small. Back at Stanford, Fogg used his research to develop the “Tiny Habits” formation by keeping it deliberately simple. It runs counter to the way we think about changing habits. (Read more…)

Left Over: Wheat a Minute – Sez Who?

Wheat Belly arguments are based on shaky science, critics say Scientists dispute claims in best-selling book, fifth estate finds

CBC News Posted: Feb 27, 2015 11:00 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 27, 2015 11:00 AM ET

 

You may refer to it as ‘shaky’ science, but those of us who have noticed a big difference in our health and our waistlines would tend to disagree..one has to wonder who financed these ‘critics’ and if the wheat lobby or those who make massive profits on such junk food as ‘cold’ cereal and white bread are prepared to out themselves…full disclosure (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Smoking = Stupidity

I don’t know how to sugar coat this in some politically-correct, sensitive, caring way that doesn’t overtly offend anyone, but if you haven’t already figured this out by now, here it is: smoking is stupid. Really stupid. Even worse, smoking makes you even more stupid while you do it: Researchers tested the IQs of more […]

Politics, Re-Spun: Looking for Heroes?

I’ve been watching The Book of Negroes this week. I have no words. I only recognize justice, integrity, brutality, acknowledgement, witnessing, story telling and a myriad of other foggy responses.

It’s easy to also ponder qualities of heroes.

Then I read this from earlier this week, and nodded. Do you get it?

Anishinabe Women Protest Energy East Pipeline on Family Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 16, 2015

‘Protect the Water, For Future Generations’: Message being shared today with local families, starting at Market Square at noon.

Kenora—Dozens of Anishinabe Women, their families, and supporters converge today on Market Square at (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Mindfulness Meditation Effective in Improving Sleep

Mindfulness meditation is already pretty great, and it keeps getting better! Not only can it help you go amongst your day in a more thoughtful, productive, focussed manner, it can even help you sleep!

A six week trial of getting people who had trouble sleeping to mediate proved to help them get better rest.

Importance Sleep disturbances are most prevalent among older adults and often go untreated. Treatment options for sleep disturbances remain limited, and there is a need for community-accessible programs that can improve sleep.

Objective To determine the efficacy of a mind-body medicine intervention, called mindfulness meditation, to (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Drinking Coffee Regularly Decreases DNA Damage

I start my day with coffee and writing a post about good news. Today those two things merged rather well: it turns out drinking coffee regularly can lower the chances that one’s DNA will get messed up.

DNA is always doing bizarre things and if those things get too bizarre then it can cause some very bad mutations. For some reason coffee keeps your DNA doing the right thing.

As one commentator on Reddit said:

Their findings indicate that those who drank 750 ml (~3 cups) of coffee per day experienced 27% fewer strand breaks in white blood cells than (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Discard These 20 Things to Improve Your Health

There are some minor things you can do around your home to improve your health and the health of the planet. These things range from where you plant trees and what you buy, Time magazine has looked in the opposite direction: what to throw away. They have a list of 20 things that (if you’re buying) you should discard.

Your stash of diet soda

If you haven’t already, you may want to reconsider your diet soda habit—especially if you’re trying to lose weight. A much-buzzed-about study published in the journal Nature found that non-caloric sweeteners such as saccharin (Sweet-n-Low), sucralose (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Wear Lycra, Live Longer (And Ride a Bike)

Here are things that have proven time and time again:

Bicycles are a great way to get around. Exercise helps your health. Bicycles are a good source of exercise. Exercise can make you happier. Bicycles are a sustainable transportation solution. Exercise reduces mental strain. Bicycles + exercise can slow the aging process:

Scientists who analysed the physiological functions of more than 120 regular cyclists aged between 55 and 79 failed to find any of the obvious signs of ageing that they would normally observe among people of the same age.

The volunteers – 84 men and 41 women – had (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Yet Another Logistical Solution to Homelessness

So, Utah has been eradicating homelessness by giving people homes. The bonus is that it’s easier and cheaper to provide social services to people when their housing needs are met.

From Amsterdam, we see yet another logistical solution for emergency housing while we have a national dialogue on a national housing plan.

A rich country like Canada should have no difficulty developing a national housing strategy that solves homelessness and unaffordable housing.

The houses will rent for 700 euros a month, or about $900. It’s a little less than someone might pay for a cramped single room in the city, (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A New Perspective on Depression

Depression seemed to be talked about more last year than in previous years thanks to celebrities revealing their troubles with the affliction. There’s also been more research into depression. With more people thinking about and looking into depression we get new perspectives on the issue.

Now, some researchers are arguing that depression could be a symptom of lifestyle decisions and some influence from our evolution. The evolution aspect is rather interesting because it could be interpreted that depression is a reaction to help one person not infect others with communicable diseases.

So if people with depression show classic sickness behaviour (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Political success, program failure

In February 2013, shortly before the provincial election campaign began, the BC Liberal Government made an announcement about a new program that was to be funded with over $100 million: GP For Me A Success Says Government

Friday, February 22, 2013 10:23 AM

The Province has announced new incentives and supports to work towards ensuring every family that wants a family physician, can have one by 2015…

It is now 2015 and the objective has not been achieved. But, that surprises no one involved in delivering medical care to British Columbia residents. The announcement was a pre-election ploy by the (Read more…)