The Obesity Era

Blaming individuals for obesity may be altogether wrong, as this article states. It points out a lot of research reveals that obesity is not just a failure of individual will-power and responsibility. Blaming individual people for their own (or their children’s) obesity is counterproductive (though it certainly is profitable). Most of this research “…makes it clear that obesity isn’t a simple school physics experiment.Much more research is needed.

The Case for Universal Vote-By-Mail

In case it’s not clear to everyone by now, ALL eligible people (Dem, GOP, etc.) should register to vote by mail-in ballot for the general election in November (and the primary, if your state hasn’t had one yet and there’s still time). There is one compelling reason for this that applies to all voters: COVID-19.

Do NOT rely on the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 emergency to be over by November. For the emergency to be over and for social distancing mandates to be relaxed we will require a vaccine — a well-tested and effective vaccine — to be available and administered to all people in the U.S. While at least one candidate vaccine is almost ready to test it will still take months for the test to run and confirm that it is effective and non-harmful. If it passes the testing it’ll take many more months to produce enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone and more months still to administer those vaccinations.

I’m not even talking about voter suppression as demonstrated in Wisconsin and other states. There’s a case to be made there, too, but that would require another, longer analysis and I am not the best person to make that argument. I’ll leave that to Heather Cox Richardson’s post from yesterday that covers the Wisconsin disenfranchisement.

Here’s one note from an article about an article about potential vaccines:

“This virus isn’t going away. It’s going to continue to bounce around the world,” Gottlieb said. “And it’s going to change our lives until we have a therapeutic that can vanquish it or really take the fear away from this virus spreading in the background.”

“How cannabis and cannabis-based drugs harm your brain” | Scents of Science

I am not a cannabis user but I believe that it should be decriminalized, not merely legalized… mostly. In addition, due to the racist and authoritarian origins of the War on Drugs, I think that all pot-related convictions should be expunged and that some form of reparations are appropriate though I have no concrete suggestions about how go about do that.

That said, I think that there is enough evidence to question the idea that cannabis is completely harmless. More studies need to be done and recommendations and policies based on the results of those studies need to be developed to help people weigh the costs and benefits of using this (or any) substance.

Long-term use of either cannabis or cannabis-based drugs impairs memory say researchers. The study has implications for both recreational users and people who use the drug to combat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain. They found that mice exposed to the drug long-term had “significant … memory impairments” and could not even discriminate between a familiar and […]

via How cannabis and cannabis-based drugs harm your brain — Scents of Science