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Video: FED UP. #ChildhoodObesity #fedup #netflix

Why isn't this on the news every night?

This is the movie the food industry doesn't want you to see. FED UP blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.

Read more: Video: FED UP. #ChildhoodObesity #fedup #netflix

How Much Room Do We Need To Supply The Entire World With Solar Electricity? #cleanenergy

In 2009, the total global electricity consumption was 20,279,640 GWh. The sun creates more energy than that in one hour. The tricky part is collecting that energy and converting it into useful electricity with solar panels. How much area would need to be covered with solar panels in order to capture enough energy to meet global demand? Actually, it’s not as much as you’d think.

The image above has three red boxes showing what area would need to be covered for Germany (De), Europe (EU-25), and the entire world.

Read more: How Much Room Do We Need To Supply The Entire World With Solar Electricity? #cleanenergy

Video: Everything Wrong With The Social Media Generation #socialmedia #truth

Social media sites can be depressing because everyone else’s lives are better than yours… But are they really? The following video perfectly depicts everything wrong with our generation on social media. It may make you think about the way you use social media…

Read more: Video: Everything Wrong With The Social Media Generation #socialmedia #truth

Tidal may be a revolution – for the rich recording artists #music #tidal #endthesuffering

Artists including Beyonce, Daft Punk, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Kanye West and Madonna recently joined Jay Z in New York to launch Tidal, his artist-owned streaming service.

Their two targets, poor audio fidelity and a loss of artist control, indicate a dissatisfaction with the way that consumers are treating music. The Tidal revolution hopes to convince consumers that music and creativity can be better in the age of digital streaming. Yet within a day of the announcement there has already been significant backlash.

The internet is awash with scepticism of Tidal’s revolutionary claims. Though judgement should be reserved for a year or two, first impressions don’t look good. For many music fans, Tidal presents an elitist call to reverse the more democratic music revolution of the early 2000s.

Whilst Tidal’s website places focus on music fidelity, its publicity has veered more towards a story of revolutionary social justice for the arts. Tidal is framed as streaming service owned by artists. Their videos subtly rail against the use of their music as something to encourage advertising revenue or the sale of a new gadget. This publicity implies that consumers are getting music wrong. They’re listening at too low a quality, they’re paying too low a price and they’re consuming in spaces owned by the wrong people. As a result the “sanctity” of music has been lost and creativity is under threat. 

Read more: Tidal may be a revolution – for the rich recording artists #music #tidal #endthesuffering

University lecturer plays students X-rated video of herself #art #sex

University drama students were stunned when their lecturer played them an X-rated video of performance theatre - showing her vagina. Lauren Barri-Holstein screened a clip of her production Splat!, which features graphic female nudity.

As part of the introductory presentation to her Theatre and its Others module at Queen Mary University of London, the actress and PhD student showed first-year students the explicit material.

The graphic clip was described by Ms Barri-Holstein as "feminist performance art concerned with the female body".

Read more: University lecturer plays students X-rated video of herself #art #sex

5 Consumer Trends Driving GE LED Lighting Design via @GELighting #energy

“We know the light consumers love, and we’ve reinvented and perfected the LED to emulate incandescent light,” says John Strainic, General Manager, Consumer Lighting for GE in North America. “We know that when consumers think about energy-efficient lighting, many are deterred by the memory of early CFL bulbs produced by some manufacturers, and we want them to know that with GE LED lighting – there are no tradeoffs.”

Read more: 5 Consumer Trends Driving GE LED Lighting Design via @GELighting #energy

Doctors Announce World's First Successful Penis Transplant #science

A South African surgical team has just announced the world’s first successful penile transplant. On December 11, 2014, a young man received a donor’s penis during a nine-hour procedure performed at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town. Now, three months after, the transplanted organ is fully functioning -- for sex and for urination -- though full sensation may take a bit longer. "Our goal was that he would be fully functional at two years and we are very surprised by his rapid recovery," team leader Andre van der Merwe of Stellenbosch University says in a statement.

The sexually active 21-year-old recipient will now be able to have children if he chooses to. Three years ago, he lost all but one centimeter of his penis when complications arose during a ritual circumcision -- which members of the Xhosa group often undergo. "There is a greater need in South Africa for this type of procedure than elsewhere in the world," Van der Merwe adds, "as many young men lose their penises every year due to complications from traditional circumcision." According to previous estimates, as many as 250 penile amputations occur across the country every year.

Read more: Doctors Announce World's First Successful Penis Transplant #science

Come to Shangrila #travel

It is probably ironic that I found the area around Srinagar in “the Vale of Kashmir” to be one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to, in its physical sense, at least. However, in the last few decades (I was there in 1983), there has been much agitation and many terrorist acts as a result of a separatist movement to take predominantly-Moslem Kashmir out of the Indian federation.

Srinagar, the capital, inspired the West’s notions of “Shangrila”. I remember Dal Lake, on which the city sits, being absolutely beautiful even in November. I marvelled at the siting of the famed Shalimar Gardens overlooking the lake below. The whole valley is surrounded by snow-covered mountain peaks at that time of year.

Read more: Come to Shangrila #travel

When Parents Hesitate About Vaccines, What Should Health-Care Providers Say? # science

In recent years, the US has witnessed multiple outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses, including pertussis (whooping cough) and measles. In the same time frame, vaccine refusal rates have gone up, and an increasing number of parents are requesting modified vaccine schedules that differ from the one recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The majority of parents do have their children vaccinated on schedule. It’s a small number of parents who refuse all vaccinations for their children. A slightly larger minority want their children to receive some but not all vaccines or want a different vaccination schedule.

Why do these groups disregard AAP recommendations about vaccination? A 2011 study suggests it has a lot to do with fear of vaccines' negative side effects. Some parents worry about the “chemical composition” of vaccines or multiple vaccines being given at once. Some don’t believe vaccines are effective. Others feel the illnesses some vaccines protect against, like influenza or varicella (chickenpox), aren’t that serious. Importantly, though not the focus of this article, the AAP Committee on Bioethics notes that some parents might refuse vaccines due to cost issues or barriers to accessing appropriate health services.

Read more: When Parents Hesitate About Vaccines, What Should Health-Care Providers Say? # science

Burning Fires in Moonlight in Turkey #travel

We had finished 5 days of sailing on the Aegean coast and had a pleasant ride in our minivan, hugging the Mediterranean coast, and arriving at the ruins of the ancient city of Olimbos, which has undergone changes which made it almost unrecognisable from a previous visit here. The archaeological site has been cleared of all of the shabby development that encroached on the ruins but at the same time all of this development has been squeezed into a long and unattractive band of shops, bars and small restaurants.

Nearby, is the small town of Cirali, with its many small hotels and B&B’s that nestle between the mountains and the sea, comprised mostly of self-contained bungalows. The beach is long and wide and dinners are often served overlooking the sea, under the stars and candlelight.

Read more: Burning Fires in Moonlight in Turkey #travel

Teenage Pot Users Show Poor Long-Term Memory as Adults

Young adults who smoked marijuana every day for three years during their teen years have an oddly shaped hippocampus and performed poorly on long-term memory tasks, according to a new study published in Hippocampus this week.

A team led by Northwestern’s Matthew Smith used MRI to map the brains of 97 participants: 44 healthy controls, 10 subjects with a history of marijuana use disorder, 28 schizophrenia patients with no history of substance use disorders, and 15 schizophrenia patients with a marijuana use disorder. Participants with past cannabis use disorder were in their early twenties during the study and had stopped smoking pot for two years; they all started using marijuana daily when they were between 16 and 17 years old for about three years.

All of the recruits took a narrative memory test designed to assess their ability to encode, store, and recall details from stories. "The memory processes that appear to be affected by cannabis are ones that we use every day to solve common problems and to sustain our relationships with friends and family," study co-author John Csernansky of Northwestern explains in a news release. Previous work have linked adolescent cannabis use with poor short-term and working memory, as well as the abnormal shape of sub-cortex structures. The hippocampus, on the other hand, plays a key role in long-term (or episodic) memory—the ability to remember life events.

Read more: Teenage Pot Users Show Poor Long-Term Memory as Adults

The shocking lesson of The Prince isn’t that politics demands dirty hands, but that politicians shouldn’t care. #politics

You remember the photograph: President Obama hunched in a corner of the Situation Room with his national-security staff, including Hillary Clinton with a hand over her mouth, watching the live feed from the compound in Pakistan where the killing of Osama bin Laden is under way. This is a Machiavellian moment: a political leader taking the ultimate risks that go with the exercise of power, now awaiting the judgement of fate. He knows that if the mission fails, his presidency is over, while if it succeeds, no one should ever again question his willingness to risk all.

It’s a Machiavellian moment in a second sense: an instance when public necessity requires actions that private ethics and religious values might condemn as unjust and immoral. We call these moments Machiavellian because it was Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince, written in 1513, that first laid bare the moral world of politics and the gulf between private conscience and the demands of public action.

Read more: The shocking lesson of The Prince isn’t that politics demands dirty hands, but that politicians...