This Diet Doesn’t Just Help With Weight Loss. It May Also Prevent Major Diseases.

If you have friends or family members who’ve lost weight or are very focused on their health, chances are you’ve heard of the ketogenic diet.

As those who’ve adopted the low-carb, high-fat diet will tell you, it comes with many health benefits, especially when it comes to dropping extra pounds. But did you know that besides making it easier for you stay in shape, it could potentially prevent major diseases as well?

According to HealthLine, over 20 studies show that following the ketogenic diet will help with weight loss, and may even prevent significant diseases such as diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease. But it gets even better.

Health professionals including Dr. Valter Longo from the University of Southern California’s Davis School of Gerontology have found that low-calorie diets can slow tumor growth and starve cancer cells of the glucose they require for fermentation.

According to The International Journal of Preventative Medicine, studies “indicate that [the Ketogenic Diet] had an inhibitory effect on tumor growth and 9 researchers expressed that [the Ketogenic Diet] could enhance survival time.”

So what exactly does this diet entail? It focuses on high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate foods, which put your body in a metabolic state known as ketosis, forcing it to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. The standard guideline is to make sure what you eat consists of 75% fat, 20% protein, and just 5% carbs.

Diet Doctorrecommends you keep your carb intake to under 50 grams per day, as the fewer carbs you eat, the more effective the diet will be. Meals should be based on meats, fish, eggs, butter and cheeses, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, avocados, and low-carb vegetables. Coffee or tea without sugar or sweeteners is acceptable, as is an occasional glass of wine — but water should be what you’re drinking the most.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/ketogenic-diet/

Trump Is Freaking Out About the Wrong Border: Killer Fentanyl Is Coming From Canada

President Donald Trump has made building a wall along the southern border the backbone of his anti-drug policy to keep deadly narcotics like fentanyl from entering the country from Mexico.

But last month, as the president was delivering remarks at yet another public listening session on the opioid crisis, focusing his attention on a multimillion-dollar security investment on Americas southwest border, law enforcement officials in Canada announced they had shut down a massive flow of deadly narcotics coming to the U.S. from the opposite direction.

The trafficking operation, based in Calgary, Albertajust a three-hour drive north of the Montana borderwas capable of producing an estimated 18,000 counterfeit pills an hour for export to the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Cutting dyes on seized pill presses bore the stamps 80 and CDN, which are commonly associated with the prescription painkiller OxyContin. But there was no oxycodone (the active ingredient in Oxys) to be found. Instead, investigators from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Clandestine Lab Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) Team discovered 18 kilos of suspected fentanyl in two different locations.

The investigation began in 2016 when police near Provo, Utah, pulled over a pickup truck carrying three men and 200 pounds of methamphetamine. Press reports at the time described it as the states largest ever meth bust, valued at $1.5 million on the street.

The men were all Canadian, and police would soon learn that meth trafficking was just a small part of the bilateral flow of drugs the group was moving across the U.S. border with Canada.

Had their trip been successful that day, the men would have continued traveling north on I-15, through Montana, and into Canada for their final stretch into Calgary. Thats where the leader of their group, Allistair Chapmanonce a rising star in Albertas competitive amateur ice hockey communityhad assembled a multi-national narcotics enterprise that exported counterfeit pills from Canada to the U.S. and returned home with cocaine and methamphetamine trafficked from Mexico. Primarily this group acted as a wholesale drug distributor. Were talking about large scale drug shipments at the multi kilo level, said Staff Sgt. Barry McCurdy, a spokesperson for the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) in Calgary, at a press conference on March 1 announcing the arrests of Chapman and five associates on drug and firearms charges.

At the time of the raid authorities said the pill presses were being used to manufacture steroids, but tests showed they were contaminated with fentanyl.

By dismantling this lab we cut off a significant amount of fentanyl, McCurdy said.

Investigators believe the group was also responsible for a double homicide committed in 2017 outside a Calgary shopping center that they believe was tied to a drug dispute.

The bust was the third major fentanyl seizure in Alberta in less than a year, and the second since January. Last July, police in Edmonton raided five homes in what was then-touted as the largest fentanyl seizure in Canadian history: 130,000 counterfeit pills along with two presses capable of producing 10,000 pills an hour. Then in January, rescue personnel responding to a house fire discovered 16 kilos of carfentanila powerful synthetic opioid believed to be 10,000-times more powerful than morphinemixed with a cutting agent in the basement of another house in Edmonton. The powder was dyed pink and blue (indicating is was prepared to be pressed into pills).

For the Edmonton Police Service, in respect to carfentanil, its the largest seizure that Im aware of, Inspector Shane Perka of the Edmonton Police Service told reporters after the bust. This is a very substantial seizure.

Last July, police in Edmonton raided five homes in what was then-touted as the largest fentanyl seizure in Canadian history: 130,000 counterfeit pills along with two presses capable of producing 10,000 pills an hour.

Some of that fentanyl is making it onto U.S. soil. From 2013 to 2016 fatalities linked to illicit fentanyl in the U.S. rose more than 500 percent; most of those who died, including the musician Prince, didnt choose to take the drug.

A report this month indicates that Prince, who died in Minnesota (which shares a border with Canada) had exceedingly high levels of the synthetic narcotic in his system. Authorities found an assortment of counterfeit pills in the musicians home.

Investigators have not revealed where the fentanyl that killed Prince came from or how he obtained it, but the Minnesota Department of Health has identified Canada as a primary conduit for Chinese-made synthetic opioids entering the state.

As The Daily Beast reported in 2016, in recent years Chinese labs have become a supplier of powerful fentanyl analogs designed to skirt U.S. law by modifying the chemical structure of the drugs.Last year China banned more than 100 of these analogs, and over the past two years the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has scheduled dozens of new novel opioids with close chemical structures to fentanyl. However they were unable to keep up with innovative clandestine chemists, and in February the DEA classified all chemicals with a structure similar to fentanyl under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

Canada is hardly a new player when it comes to satisfying demand for contraband in the U.S.

Long-established smuggling routes exist across Americas notoriously porous northern border, which has 120 points of entry, and stretches more than 5,500 milesencompassing large areas of remote wilderness and numerous waterways.

The Northern Border doesnt always make headlines, but for too long it has been understaffed and there have not been sufficient resources to effectively combat drug trafficking and other crimes that can come across the border, said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), who has sponsored legislation to strengthen security at the U.S.-Canada border.

During Prohibition, its estimated that 60-90 percent of booze entering the United States came from distilleries and breweries north of the U.S. border.

The border between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit was a nexus of post-war drug trafficking; and until the early 1980s, heroin traffickers associated with fragments of the French Connection were still funneling large quantities of heroin from French-speaking Quebec to distribution networks in New York.

In 1987, federal prosecutors in Florida indicted 49 people in a massive cross-border conspiracy that was responsible for supplying 3.5 million counterfeit quaaludes to the U.S. market, or 70 percent of the illegal trade in the drug, according to prosecutors. And in 2008, authorities shut down a marijuana smuggling operation that had been shuttling hundreds of pounds of high-quality pot across the border from Ontario and into Western Pennsylvania disguised as commercial food shipments.

In recent years, Canada emerged as a global epicenter of synthetic and counterfeit drug manufacturing and processingwith everything from MDMA to fake Viagra flowing from clandestine labs north of the U.S. border. A 2005 State Department cable identified Canada as a significant producer and transit country for precursor chemicals used to produce synthetic drugs, and a hot spot of rising clandestine lab activity.

From 2012 to 2015 more than 500 pounds of MDMA was seized at the northern border, accounting for more than 90 percent of all Customs seizures of the drug.

We are increasingly concerned about the multitude of routes of travel these illegal and grey-market synthetic drugs are taking as they come into the region, and Canada is one route we feel bears watching, said Jeremiah Daley, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), a program run by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. While cross-border cooperation remains very strong with Canadian law enforcement, with so much focus being placed on our Southern Border, with good reason, we still need to be vigilant about threats coming from the North.

In 2016 alone, U.S. Customs officials reported 2,015 drug arrests at land crossings at the U.S.-Canada border, while Canadian officials made more than 18,000 drug seizures. Trafficking groups routinely engage in so-called double exchanges in which designer drugs passed from Canada to the U.S. are exchanged for other narcotics, such as cocaine, for shipment back to Canada.

Trafficking groups routinely engage in so-called double exchanges in which drugs passed from Canada to the U.S. are exchanged for other narcotics like cocaine for shipment to Canada.

A dozen U.S. states share a border with Canada, including some of those hit hardest by the overdose crisis, such as New Hampshire and Vermont.

A State Department document published in 2011 describes the difficulty of policing the flow of drugs over these border crossings:

The stealth with which both natural and synthetic drugs including marijuana, MDMA, and methamphetamine are produced in Canada and trafficked to the United States, makes it extremely difficult to measure the overall impact of such transshipments from this shared border country, although U.S. law enforcement agencies record considerable seizures of these substances from Canada.

For years hockey bags have been described as a favored means of moving drugs from the U.S. to Canada, and in some cases they have been literally thrown across the border for pickup on the other side.

A story published in the Canadian news magazine MacLeans in 2009 refers to Canada as The New Global Drug Lord, citing data showing that more than 60 percent of the methamphetamine seized in Japan and more than 80 percent in Australia is synthesized in Canada.

While the fentanyl crisis is often treated like a monolith in the U.S. press, there are wide geographical variations in supply of the drug. Mexico remains the dominant supplier of illicitly manufactured powdered fentanyl in most major heroin markets, but the first wave of fentanyl overdoses following the crackdown on prescription-drug abuse in the U.S. was driven largely by a wave of adulterated pills, many of the them from Canada.

Part of the blame lays with the pharmaceutical industry.

When Purdue Pharmaceutical introduced a new abuse-deterrent OxyContin in the U.S. in 2010which made it more difficult to crush for snorting and shootingthe original formulation remained on the market in Canada for another two years.

Smuggling of OxyContin from Canada to the U.S. spiked.

Im talking about trafficking organizations that are bringing in a thousand pills or so at a time, said James Burns, assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administrations operations in the state of New York.

Then, suddenly, OxyContin dried up in the Canadian market as well. In May 2013, just months after Purdue began withdrawing the drug from the Canadian market, authorities in Montreal seized 10,000 pills made of acetyl fentanyl in a microwave oven and toaster that were destined for Colorado. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration enough additional material was seized to make three million more pills.

The RCMP blames much of the trafficking on criminal groups with connections to Asian source countries, where the precursors for most synthetic drugs are sourced. The Criminal Intelligence Service of Canada says Asian gangs are especially strong in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Torontoall cities where fentanyl is endemic. According to published reports, the powerful 14K and Sun Yee On triads are suppliers of precursor chemicals to Mexicos Sinaloa Cartel.

Much of the focus is on transnational shipments of the drugs and their precursor ingredients from China. And Asian organized crime groups in Canada have been implicated in a number of cross-border drug trafficking schemes over the years. A 2011 report from the Department of Justice said Vietnamese and Chinese gangs produce tens of millions of [MDMA] tablets for the U.S. market, smuggling the drugs through border crossings in Washington, Michigan, New York, and Vermont.

Last year, when federal authorities in the U.S. unveiled their first indictment of Chinese nationals for trafficking fentanyl they traced shipments to from China via Canada. The investigation was launched following the death of an 18-year-old North Dakota man.

Five Canadians were arrested as part of the trafficking ring.

Fentanyl is easier to synthesize in a lab than MDMA, and Canadian syndicates are not only pressing pills but also manufacturing the drug.

Between 2011 and 2015, six clandestine labs were identified in Canada where illicit fentanyl production occurred or was intended to occur, according to Health Canada.

In 2015 authorities in Alberta seized 100 kilograms of the fentanyl precursor N-phenethylpiperidinone (NPP) at the Edmonton International Airport. They said the precursor was capable of producing 38 million fentanyl pills. The seizure led to a nine-month investigation dubbed Project Alchemy that ultimately turned up four kilos of the synthetic opioid W-18, 3,200 fentanyl pills, 2.5 kilos of methamphetamine, and more fentanyl precursor chemicals.

Canadian authorities are so concerned about transnational trafficking in designer opioids that they issued an advisory in January describing red flags for exposing money laundering tied to the importation of fentanyl or precursors used to make the drug.

The Department of Justice declined comment on the administrations commitment to northern border security.However, the emerging threat of synthetic drugs trafficked from Canada has not gone unnoticed by officials in the U.S. In 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Northern Border Security Review Act, which was sponsored by Sen. Heitkamp and passed Congress with bipartisan support. As a result of the law, last year the U.S. government issued its inaugural Northern Border Threat Assessment identifying bilateral drug trafficking as the single greatest threat along the U.S.-Canada border.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) has just one agent at the northern border for every nine patrolling southwest points of entry, despite the Canadian border being more than twice as long.

With fentanyl on its way to replacing heroin in most major drug markets, its not a matter of if, but how traffickers will get the synthetic opioid on U.S. soil. President Trump seems intent on closing one window for traffickers, but it will have limited effect as long as another, even bigger window, remains ajar.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-is-freaking-out-about-the-wrong-border-killer-fentanyl-is-coming-from-canada

Bernie Sanders Economic Inequality Town Hall Draws 1.7 Million Live Viewers

WASHINGTON ― Sen. Bernie Sanders’ televised town hall on economic inequality drew about 1.7 million live viewers during an online broadcast Monday night.

The panel-discussion-style event, called “Inequality in America: The Rise of Oligarchy and Collapse of the Middle Class,” exceeded the viewership of Sanders’ first live town hall on single-payer health care in January.

The broadcast provided the Vermont independent with an opportunity to expand his new alternative media revue beyond “Medicare for all” to the broader issue of economic inequality, which he maintains that commercial media outlets frequently ignore.

“What I would say to our friends in the corporate media: Start paying attention to the reality of how many people in our country are struggling economically every single day ― and talk about it,” Sanders declared at one point during the discussion.

Not content to wait for the cable television channels and newspapers to take him up on his advice, Sanders partnered with The Guardian, The Young Turks, NowThis and Act.tv to do just that for about an hour and a half on Monday night.

Three co-hosts aided Sanders in his efforts: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), New School economist Darrick Hamilton and filmmaker Michael Moore.

Together they interviewed three guests with specialized knowledge of the economic and political structures suppressing economic mobility and funneling wealth upward. Catherine Coleman Flowers, a founder of the anti-poverty Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise Community Development Corp., spoke about the destitute poverty of the rural black community in Lowndes County, Alabama, where exposure to untreated sewage prompted a rare outbreak of hookworm.

Cindy Estrada, a vice president of the United Auto Workers, addressed the role of organized labor in raising living standards ― and how its decline has lowered them. And Gordon Lafer, a political scientist from the University of Oregon, explained how corporate interests neutralized public opposition through campaign donations and massive lobbying efforts.

An audience of about 450 people attended the town hall in person in the U.S. Capitol auditorium. An additional 100 people viewed the event on monitors in an overflow room.

The rest of what Sanders’ staff estimates were 1.7 million live viewers saw the event online. (HuffPost’s back-of-the-envelope tally from the social media pages of Sanders, Warren and the various digital partners produced a similar figure.)

Billed as a seminar on the causes of, and solutions to, rising income and wealth inequality, the town hall often doubled as a progressive pep rally for social democratic reforms.

During Estrada’s appearance, for example, Warren’s homage to labor unions elicited thunderous applause. “Unions built America’s middle class. It’ll take unions to rebuild America’s middle class,” she said.

For his part, Moore focused on the failure of the Democratic Party, which fashions itself as the party of working people, to stand true to its mission. This line of inquiry took Moore first into a discussion of the ostensibly Democratic leanings of the three wealthiest men in the country ― Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos ― and later into a riff on the Democrats who voted to authorize the Iraq War exactly 15 years earlier.

Moore appeared to be saying that letting Democrats off the hook had contributed to the collapse of the middle class.

“It’s so important that we hold the people who say they’re for the people ― hold their feet to the fire! And if they’re not going to do the job they say they’re going to do, let’s get somebody else,” he concluded to loud ovation.

The origins of American inequality that Sanders and his allies sketched on Monday are by now familiar to left-leaning activists immersed in the works of Robert Reich and Jacob Hacker, among other progressive thinkers.

In this history, former President Ronald Reagan ushered in a new era of corporate domination with his symbolic decision to fire striking air traffic controllers in August 1981. The move was the opening salvo in a prolonged war against organized labor that steadily diminished unions’ ranks and reduced their clout, according to numerous liberal scholars.

A host of tax breaks, deregulatory measures, corporate-skewed trade agreements and safety net reductions backed by members of both parties in subsequent decades served to heighten the inequality generated in the 1980s. The result, Sanders said in his introductory remarks, is a country where “the top 10th of 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 99 percent.

“In recent years, we have seen incredible growth in the number of billionaires, while 40 million Americans continue to live in poverty and we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on Earth,” he continued.

A prominent feature of the evening’s analysis that Sanders’ critics have sometimes accused him of downplaying was an explicit breakdown of the racial roots of American poverty.

Flowers, who invited the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty to witness the squalid conditions in Lowndes County, argued that state authorities have failed to address the issue of inadequate sewage systems because of entrenched racist views.

Some of those same types of attitudes that existed prior to the 1960s, the structural racism that was reinforced by racial terror, is still in existence today,” Flowers said.

Hamilton suggested that the universal programs Sanders favors would not erase the racial inequities that follow black Americans at every level of socioeconomic and educational attainment. He noted that a black household headed by a college graduate has, on average, less wealth than a white household headed by a high school dropout.

“So when Sen. Sanders proposes that we should have tuition-free public education ― absolutely, but as an end unto itself. We exaggerate the returns from education, particularly to marginalized groups,” Hamilton said.

Sanders, Warren and Moore all endorsed relatively well-known left-leaning solutions to inequality, including a $15 minimum wage, stronger unions, free college education and paid family leave policies.

Perhaps in keeping with his intersectional focus, Hamilton embraced more radical measures. His preferred solutions included the creation of trust funds for every American at birth, a federal job guarantee, the replacement of private payday lenders with postal banking and an end to academic tracking in grade school, which he argued often replicates racial segregation, even within relatively integrated schools.

“To really get beyond our race problem, when we’re ready as a nation to come together, we need to come to grips with reparations,” Hamilton concluded, prompting cheers from the crowd.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-economic-inequality-town-hall-million-viewers_us_5ab08fb6e4b0e862383ab6b4

Janice Dickinson remembers feeling ‘anger, disgust and ashamed’ in testimony on alleged rape by Bill Cosby

Norristown, Pennsylvania (CNN)Reality TV star and supermodel Janice Dickinson testified in court Thursday that she confronted Bill Cosby and wanted to punch him in the face after she said he drugged her and raped her in a hotel in Lake Tahoe in 1982.

“I wanted to hit him, I wanted to punch him in the face,” she said. “I can remember feeling anger, disgust, and ashamed.”
Dickinson is the fourth “prior bad acts” witness to testify in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, court against Cosby, 80, in his trial on three charges of aggravated indecent assault.
    The criminal charges deal solely with Cosby’s actions toward Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee who says Cosby drugged and then assaulted her at his home in January 2004.
    She is scheduled to begin her testimony Friday morning.
    However, prosecutors are allowed to seek testimony from up to five other women who have said Cosby also drugged and assaulted them in previous incidents. The prosecution argues that these “prior bad acts” witnesses show that Cosby’s behavior shows a pattern of misconduct and he did not make a one-time mistake in his actions toward Constand.
    Cosby has said the sex with Constand was consensual.

    ‘I couldn’t move’

    Dickinson, now 63, was a supermodel in 1982 and said Cosby flew her out to Lake Tahoe, a resort area on the California-Nevada border, to meet her.
    At dinner with him and another man, she mentioned she had menstrual cramps, she testified. Cosby said he had something for that and she said she was given a blue pill.
    They went to a room, and she began to feel lightheaded and couldn’t get the right words out, she testified. Cosby then got on top her, she testified.
    “He smelled like cigars and espresso and his body odor,” she said. “I couldn’t move, I felt like I was rendered motionless.”
    “Here was America’s dad on top of me, happily married man with five children and how very wrong it was,” she said.
    She recalled feeling vaginal pain.
    “I passed out after he entered me. It was gross,” she testified.
    When she woke up, she was sore and remembers her pajamas were halfway off, she testified. That’s when she confronted him.
    During a spirited cross-examination, Cosby’s defense attorney Tom Mesereau asked why a passage in Dickinson’s 2002 book about the Lake Tahoe visit does not say she and Cosby had sex.
    “I wasn’t under oath when I wrote that book,” she testified.
    Heidi Thomas, Chelan Lasha and Janice Baker-Kinney have each testified over the past few days that Cosby incapacitated them with drugs or wine and then assaulted them in separate incidents in 1984, 1986 and 1982, respectively.
    On cross-examination, Cosby’s defense attorneys have worked to point out inconsistencies in their stories. In opening statements, Mesereau called the prosecution’s strategy with these witnesses “prosecution by distraction” because they did not have enough evidence in Constand’s case.
    “When you don’t have a case, you have to fill the time with something else,” Mesereau said. “Remember my words as you listen to the people testify.”

    Woman says she felt dizzy after Cosby gave her drink

    The fifth and final prior accuser to testify, Lise-Lotte Lublin, said she remembered being in Cosby’s room and blacking out, but does not remember a sexual assault.
    She was 23 in 1989 when her modeling agency arranged for her to meet “The Cosby Show” star. She said Cosby spent time with her family and introduced her as his daughter to others.
    “I felt like he was representing himself as a father figure and a mentor to me,” she said.
    She said Cosby offered her a drink at another meeting in Las Vegas, one about acting. She said she told him she didn’t drink but he said that it would relax her.
    “I kind of trusted him because he’s America’s dad,” she said.
    She testified she began to feel dizzy within minutes, and he asked her to come sit with him. She sat in front of him between his legs and he began to touch her hair, she recalled.
    She vaguely remembers walking down a hallway of a hotel suite, she said. She remembers nothing from then until she woke up at home in her bed, she told the court.
    Years later, in January 2015, after hearing accounts from other women, she said she realized “something else had happened after I blacked out. I don’t know what it was, but I believe I know what it was.”
    Defense attorney Kathleen Bliss asked her about testimony and prior statements, in an apparent attempt to point out inconsistencies about her comments about sitting between Cosby’s legs.
    Bliss also targeted Lublin’s memory.
    “You have absolutely no idea if you were sexually assaulted,” Bliss said.
    “I don’t know what happened after I blacked out,” Lublin replied.

    Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/12/us/bill-cosby-trial-janice-dickinson/index.html

    ICE Now Detaining Pregnant Women, Thanks to Trump Order

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement is ending its practice of automatically releasing pregnant women from detention, according to internal communications reviewed by The Daily Beast.

    This is because of President Donald Trumps executive order Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which requires stricter enforcement of immigration laws. Previously, the agencys general practice was to release women from detention who were pregnant.

    Now, pregnant women will only be able to get released if an ICE officer determines so on a case-by-case basis.

    Pregnant women were still sometimes detained under the previous internal guidelines. Immigrants rights advocates say the practice is dangerous to women and to their unborn children, and that pregnant women are more likely to miscarry if theyre in detention than if they are free. This new policy means more pregnant women will spend time in detention.

    This new ICE policy memo confirms our fears that the government is continuing its barbaric policy of detaining pregnant women despite substantial evidence that detention of this particularly vulnerable population has been linked to serious health implications to the mother and unborn child and also constitutes a significant barrier to receiving a meaningful day in court, said Katie Shepherd, who does legal advocacy for asylum-seeking women at the American Immigration Council.

    Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/ice-now-detaining-pregnant-women-thanks-to-trump-order

    Eight feminist ways to love your body | Van Badham

    A young woman from Perth has declared next month to be Weigh Free May. I am so in

    I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram, said Selena Gomez, who has 133 million Instagram followers, when she was interviewed by Vogue last year.

    Selena. Freakin. Gomez.

    Of course, shes not the only one. In 2017, the UKs Royal Society for Public Health released a survey of 1,479 young people analysed on their attitudes to social media and found that Instagram, where personal photos take centre stage, received the worst scores for body image and anxiety.

    Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies arent good enough, admitted a respondent.

    But blaming social media for womens poor body image is easy. Harder to face is that Instagram is just the latest platform for the insidious syndrome of relentless body-hating our culture encourages in women. On this subject, a Glosswitch piece in the New Statesman exhorted feminists to remember the analysis in older tracts like Susie Orbachs Fat is a Feminist Issue and Naomi Wolfs The Beauty Myth, that oppression was structural and bodies were real.

    Once upon a time, we may have been angry about this, she despaired.

    Is feminism failing in the fight for the female body? The $160bn global beauty industry is growing at up to 7% a year, more than twice the rate of the developed worlds GDP.

    My own belief is that its hard to escape a cage with a shape that keeps changing. Feminism may have accepted Naomi Wolfs 1990 dictum that dieting is the most potent political sedative in womens history but in 2018 #cleaneating and #fitspo dont admit to being diet cults, even 37m or 54m Instagram posts later. In her latest book, Natural Causes, Barbara Ehrenrich criticises the recent paradigm shift in which now, health is indistinguishable from virtue. The last decade has witnessed the emergence of orthorexia an eating disorder in which a fixation for healthy eating is what causes one harm.

    However the propaganda message redesigns itself, we cant we must not abandon a feminist imperative to own our bodies as sites of our unconditional love.

    Its an activist mission thats inspired Grace Ritter to declare Weigh Free May. The 24-year-old student from Perth is now in recovery from an eating disorder that dominated her life for 10 years. Shes created a website and Facebook group, encouraging others to let go of obsessive, aesthetic self-assessment for just one month.

    Her campaign requires no donation, there are no events beyond your own commitment: I just wanted to start up a way to get people talking and thinking about ways they could be valuable and things they could do, she says, that werent about shrinking themselves.

    Grace, I am so in. And in the belief that bodily comfort is a feminist act, Id thought Id share my own super scientific recommendations for simple ways to celebrate your body in a weigh-free May.

    A
    A poster from Grace Ritters Weigh Free May campaign. Photograph: https://www.weighfreemay.com/

    My eight feminist ways to love your body again

    Take an Epsom salt bath. You can buy box of magnesium crystals for about five bucks (2.50) in the supermarket, and poured into a bathtub of warm water they make a sound like fairy magic. The Epsom Salt Council claims the magical properties of a long soak include relaxing muscles, nursing bruises, softening skin and relieving irritations like sunburn. At the very least, you can relax in the tub safe in the knowledge that somewhere in the world theres an Epsom Salt Council.

    Wear comfy slippers. A fancy pair of slippers not only make your feet feel like kissed princesses, they also decrease your risk of catching colds and flu by keeping you warm. Changing into slippers stops you from traipsing gross germs from outside to inside, keeps your carpets cleaner, reduces risk of foot infections, prolongs the life of your socks, prevents floorbound slips, and makes you more productive. Relaxed workers as it turns out get more work done.

    Cuddle a puppy. Puppies are fluffy bombs of love and adoration that keep you warm and cosy and live for your physical presence. Theyre also powerful chemical weapons that activate oxytocin in the brain, reducing bodily stress, improving the immune system and lessening the impact of pain.

    Enjoy casual sex. Researchers from NYU and Cornell University concluded that if you want to have casual sex, you definitely should as doing so lowers stress and raises overall emotional wellbeing. Only when people bring their hangups to hookups do they become problematic. And theres a really easy way not to get emotionally hung up on a sex partner. Have a shower and leave, deleting their number on the way out. What you experienced can live on forever in your own smug smile.

    Share a cake. Cake is delicious. And according to researcher Penny Wilson from ANU, the consumption of cake also connects us to its social role as a symbol of joy and celebration; the conveyor of history, culture and tradition; as a token of love, belonging and social occasion. These are lovely feelings to share with another person. So get someone over and have another piece.

    Get around in bamboo underpants. Theyre so soft! Theyre made from sustainable material! They hug your bum like a baby blanket all day and even better discourage the proliferation of vaginal thrush. No, they do not resemble any costume of a Vegas showgirl but, girls, anyone who kicks you out of bed for being comfortable is not gonna provide you much comfort in bed.

    Have a cup of tea. Sure, tea reduces risk of heart attack and stroke, may help protect your bones, can alleviate depressive symptoms and studies suggest it can diminish cancer-risk, but the main reason to have a tea is that its tasty. Its dreamy flavours and perfumes are transportive. If you brew a quality teabag of black tea in boiling water for no less than three minutes, no more than five, remove the bag and add milk to taste, take a deep sniff and sip … hating anything is really hard.

    And, remember, Celeste Barber is good for you. If ever there was an antidote for the body hating blues, it would have to be the Australian comedian. Her legendary Instagram account doesnt only mock the falsity of Instaperfection, but inspires a vision of female experience in every way superior for a failure to live up to it.

    Because we can starve ourselves, measure our pieces, work ourselves into the metal of the gym-machines, suck in our cheeks and become obsessed with our own shame for doing so.

    But maybe May is a good month to put on our slippers, get comfortable, watch Celeste and observe that eating chips off the floor, dancing around in your pants and spraying yourself in the face with a hose really does look a lot more like fun.

    • Van Badham is a Guardian Australia columnist

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/13/eight-feminist-ways-to-love-your-body-without-even-leaving-the-house

    How The Milk Of The Humble Platypus Could Help Us Beat Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

    The first scientists to examine a platypus in 1799 dismissed it as a fake made of different animals sewn together. Centuries later, this bizarre Aussie critter continues to confound us. Now, it appears its milk could be our savior in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

    Back in 2010, scientists realized that platypus moms produce very special milk. They found that it has unique bacteria-fighting properties that could be used to kill superbugs. Unlike most other mammals, including us, these weird creatures don’t have teats, so their milk is expressed onto their stomachs where their babies lap it up. This exposes it to the bacteria-filled world so bug-fighting properties are pretty useful.

    The duck-billed platypus is certainly an oddity in nature. Although it’s a mammal, it doesn’t really follow mammalian rules. It has the bill of a duck, it lays eggs, and it has venomous spurs poking out of its feet. It belongs to an Australian group of animals called monotremes, which also includes the prickly but adorable pointy-nosed echidnas, otherwise known as spiny anteaters. Monotremes certainly wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of Pokémon.  

    But as well as being bizarre and adorable in equal measures, the platypus could help us treat infections at a time when overprescribing antibiotics is a serious threat to humanity.

    Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, which include many ailments from a chest infection to life-threatening meningitis. They’re our best defense against bacterial diseases, but recently we’ve encountered a problem. Antibiotics are used so much that ever-evolving bacteria are mutating to be resistant to them, forming nasty superbugs like MRSA. If a serious antibiotic-resistant disease broke out and spread across the world, we’d be in pretty big trouble.

    Enter the duck-billed platypus.

    To investigate exactly how a platypus’ milk is so potent, a team of researchers from CSIRO took a closer look. They managed to isolate the monotreme lactation protein and analyze its structure, which, like the platypus itself, is totally unique.

    “Platypus are such weird animals that it would make sense for them to have weird biochemistry,” lead author Dr Janet Newman said in a statement.

    “We’ve characterised a new protein that has unique antibacterial properties with the potential to save lives.”

    The team’s findings are published in the journal Structural Biology Communications. They replicated the protein in the lab so they could get a good look at it and discovered a strange never-before-seen 3D fold. This is important because the shape of a protein controls its function.

    Adding to this story’s strangeness, the protein has a ringlet-style structure, so obviously, the researchers decided to call it Shirley Temple, after the child-star’s golden locks.

    Excitingly, discovering the unique structure of the “Shirley Temple” protein will help scientists in their quest to find alternatives to antibiotics. Platypuses, we salute you.  

    Saving Lives with Platypus Milk from CSIRO on Vimeo

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/how-the-milk-of-the-humble-platypus-could-help-us-beat-antibioticresistant-superbugs-/

    When Surviving Cancer Gets In The Way Of Your Sex Life

    The closer Robert “Tripp” Moore got to his new girlfriend, the more he knew he had to end things.

    Moore, now 26, had started seeing an elementary school teacher he described as a “really good and nice person” casually last summer. But when things started to get physical, she started to have some questions. She asked him why he never seemed to respond physically when they were intimate ― why she could never feel anything “down there.” Moore, not willing to tell her the truth, dismissed his impotence as a consequence of too much coffee.

    Eventually, and before they had sex, he told her he was too young for a relationship and needed to “explore.”

    “I would’ve done anything to have stayed with her, but I was too anxious about what would happen if we tried to have sex and I couldn’t get it up,” he recalled.

    Moore is a testicular cancer survivor who had chemotherapy and one testicle removed. Immediately after treatment, he struggled to get erections.   

    “It’s bad enough to have cancer, but then to survive it and not be able to have a normal sex life makes it even tougher on a person,” he said.

    For most cancer patients — Moore included — survival is the No. 1 goal during treatment. But as cancer treatments continue to improve, the population of survivors is growing larger. An estimated 5 percent of the U.S. population, or 15.5 million people, survived cancer in 2016, and that number is estimated to grow to more than 20 million people by 2026. 

    As survivors are living longer, there’s a growing need to address the unique and often lifelong health issues they face as a result of treatment. That includes addressing sexual dysfunction.

    It’s bad enough to have cancer, but then to survive it and not be able to have a normal sex life makes it even tougher on a person. Cancer survivor Robert Moore

    Studies show that an estimated 30 to 100 percent of women experience sexual dysfunction of some kind immediately after receiving cancer treatment, while less than 25 percent of men who’ve had some kind of pelvic cancer can achieve the erections they had before cancer ― even among those who had excellent erections before treatment and were under 65 years old.

    For teens and young adults who survive cancer, this is especially pressing. Older survivors may already be paired up with a partner or have a lifetime of sexual exploration to draw from, but young adults can struggle with telling potential new partners about their medical history ― especially if it’s tied to present-day sexual dysfunction.

    Therapists who work with these young survivors have to walk a fine line between basic sex education and making space for the patient’s own sexual expression to unfurl naturally, said Aleece Fosnight, a physician assistant and sexual health counselor at Transylvania Regional Hospital in North Carolina.

    “When it comes to adolescents or people in their 20s that haven’t been as sexually experienced, it’s still a little controversial,” she said. “Do you give them Viagra? Do you give them Cialis? Do you give them a vibrator? Especially under the age of 18, how much do you push?”

    Research on how surviving cancer affects younger survivors’ sex and relationships paints a complex picture of what it’s like to be simultaneously grateful to be alive and anxious about defining sexuality with a changed body.

    In the most recent study on the matter, which surveyed more than 800 young cancer survivors in Denmark, more than 400 respondents said that cancer changed their perception of their bodies for the worse, while 45 percent said they felt less attractive. Cancer reduced the desire for sex in 31 percent of respondents, while 24 percent said they had no desire to flirt, date or be in a relationship.

    Treatment-related physical impediments to sex, like vaginal dryness, difficulty having an orgasm or maintaining an erection, put these young adults at particular risk for these psychological problems.

    American researchers have found similar rates of sexual dissatisfaction and poor self-esteem, said Christian Graugaard, who led the Danish study. For instance, a 2017 study in the U.S. found that 49 percent of teen and young adult survivors said that cancer negatively affected their sexual function a year after diagnosis, and 70 percent of those respondents said the same thing two years after diagnosis.

    Graugaard’s study hinted at one way to mitigate the sexual dysfunction and related fallout that cancer treatments cause: encouraging open conversation between patients and health professionals. People who spoke to health care providers about their sexual problems during follow-up consultations were significantly more likely to express a desire to flirt, date, have a partner or have sex after cancer. Seven sex therapists HuffPost spoke to also said that doctors could prepare patients for the sexual fallout before their cancer treatment starts.

    This link between open dialogue and better sex ― something so simple and common-sense ― makes Graugaard’s final finding all the more dismaying: While 80 percent of respondents said they needed to discuss these issues with a health care provider, 62 percent said their doctors did not broach the topic or did so only in a limited fashion.

    “Sadly, I am also quite sure that the failure of health-providers to address these important life dimensions is trans-national,” Graugaard told HuffPost in an email. “We know this from adult patients, and I have no reason to believe that doctors and nurses in adolescent oncology are any better at talking about sensitive stuff. Neither in Scandinavia nor in the US.” 

    A 2017 study in the U.S. found that 49 percent of teen and young adult survivors said that cancer negatively affected their sexual function a year after diagnosis.

    To address these issues, comprehensive cancer centers are beginning to incorporate clinics specifically dedicated to survivors’ sexual issues. Because the discipline is relatively new, these programs can take many different forms ― some are headed by gynecologists or urologists, some by psychiatrists or other experts. There is now some kind of aftercare program specifically addressing sexual function at places like the University of Chicago, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, the University of Wisconsin and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York.

    “There’s a wave across the country now to create these programs,” said Jeanne Carter, head of the female sexual medicine and women’s health program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “I think people feel it’s a very important survivorship concern, and I know that there are many programs across the institutions that are trying to help cancer patients as they are coping with the changes to their body.”

    While more cancer centers are getting the message, Dr. Thomas Schwaab of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center said there was only so much a doctor could do to prepare patients for sexual side effects.

    “I will cover side effects with the patient, but the patient really is focused on, ‘I want to get rid of my cancer and have my cancer treated,’” he said. “But then six months later, when the cancer has successfully been treated, the patient all of sudden realizes that there was a significant impact on quality of life.”

    That’s where survivorship clinics play a role, said Schwaab. Once patients feel safe and can begin to mentally process what the future looks like, they can get care for things like sexual side effects or new health concerns that arise after treatment. As a cancer doctor, Schwaab calls such clinics or survivorship treatments a “must-have,” but says they are still relatively new and can be an afterthought in some clinics.

    Indeed, Moore says his urologist did warn him that erectile dysfunction could be a side effect of cancer treatment, but he wasn’t in a place to process it at the time because his choice was either treatment or death. After treatment, Moore said it took him six months to work up the courage to approach his doctor about his erectile dysfunction. He was prescribed a pill to get erections as his nerves continued to heal, and Moore said the confidence boost that came from achieving erections again helped him begin a new relationship ― one in which he was completely honest about his potential sexual challenges.

    “Everyone knows sex isn’t everything, but it’s still an important part of a relationship,” Moore said. “I’m so thankful that I was born in the time I was — first of all for the chemo, and second of all for the medicine ― [specifically] Viagra.”

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/when-surviving-cancer-gets-in-the-way-of-your-sex-life_us_5ace3b4ae4b0648767760e6d

    Why Does Nanny-State California Hate Coffee So Much?

    Last week, a judge in California sided with the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, which had filed a lawsuit in 2010 against establishments that sell coffeeStarbucks, gas station vendors, convenience stories like 7-Eleven, and so forthto tack on a warning to their coffee (not unlike a cigarettes Surgeon General warning) that each cup of java contains acrylamide, a chemical produced when coffee beans are roasted.

    This, of course, incited backlash from everyday coffee fans to the National Coffee Association, which made a statement calling the ruling misleading, saying that it did nothing to improve public health (PDF).

    The Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) is a part of the Metzger Law Group, which describes itself as a boutique firm focusing on environmental and toxic chemical exposure in California. In the lawsuit it brought against Starbucks (PDF), Metzger is described as a California corporation, acting as a private attorney general, in the public interest.

    The problem with its description as the plaintiff? Its overexaggeration of the carcinogenic potential of coffee consumption is in fact a potential public disservice.

    To be clear, CERT isnt technically wrong that coffee contains acrylamides (a chemical regulated by the Food and Drug Administration) and of its cancer-causing potential.

    In the National Toxicology Report, a cumulative breakdown of toxins and agents that scientists have found to cause cancer and produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, acrylamides are reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogeneity from studies in experimental animals (emphasis their own).

    What does this mean? Scientists tested how acrylamides have affected mice and rats and have found symptoms ranging from benign thyroid and adrenal gland tumors to benign lung and mammary gland tumors. Those tumors occurred in a higher number of instances than the baseline level, which suggested to researchers of these studies that there was something about acrylamides that was problematic.

    Sure, those are serious and damning results to take away from these experiments. But theres three blaring problems with declaring coffee as a carcinogen on equal footing with, say, cigarettes.

    First, these are tumors that were found in rodents. While mice and rats are often used in animal experiments for drugs as a preliminary testing ground and model for humans, the fact is that they are mice and rodents, not humans. The way humans process enzymes and chemicals and additives and so forth can be very different and have effects that can vary wildly from what happens in humans.

    Second, rodent experiments often focus on dumping one chemical in large amounts into a rodents system. For mice and rats in these experiments, which not only have smaller bodies than humans but also are intaking inhumanly larger quantities of the chemical being tested, that means that they develop irregularities that might not occur during normal human consumption. Theres no doubt that acrylamide can cause cancer in high doses and has been proven to instigate tumors in rodents. The closest link to cancer between coffee and humans was a study that suggested there might be a link between consuming hot beverages and esophageal cancer (PDF).

    But the fact is that you would have to intentionally be consuming acrylamide at ridiculous, nearly impossible-to-consume doses to even be at risk of cancer. As Popular Science pointed out with the help of a statistician, it would take an adult at highest risk to consume 160 times as much as the rodents in these experiments. Even then, that would still only be at a level that toxicologists think unlikely to cause increased tumors in mice. In other words, solely focusing your entire diet on acrylamide and practically imbibing the stuff cant even guarantee that youeven micecould get a tumor.

    Which brings us to the third problem with the acrylamide lawsuit and hoopla around its apparent cancer-causing properties. Its not just coffee that contains trace amounts of itits any food thats gone through high temperatures. That can be everything from fried chicken to roasted chicken, french fries to baked potatoes, those healthier versions of potato chips made out of root vegetables to roasted produce. To avoid acrylamides would require you to avoid virtually any food that is cooked.

    The Report on Carcinogens says as much. They point to a correlation between male factory workers at places that process water soluble polymers (where acrylamides are often used) like oil recovery, water treatment facilities, and paper thickening processes. They also think there might be a correlation between Swedish, French, and American women, their diets, and instances of breast tissue showing signs of cancer, but the link was at best weak, and researchers admitted that other factors like smoking could have played a role. A 2017 meta-analysis in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention backs this up, stating the overall evidence suggests no association of coffee intake with cancers of the stomach, pancreas, lung, breast, ovary, and prostate overall.

    So when CERT points to the fact that acrylamides are in coffee and back at Proposition 65which states that California businesses with more than 10 employees are required by law to warn consumers if their products contain one of 65 chemicals that the state deems carcinogenic, causing birth defects, or harmful for reproductive systemstheres a need to pause and evaluate the real risk of acrylamides.

    If were slapping on warnings on a cup of coffee that declares it to be just as harmful as a pack of cigarettes, thats a dangerous, illogical equivalency that results in confusion and fear mongering. Making coffee consumption the equivalent of slurping poison is ludicrous. Drinking a cup or two or even three of coffee will not be dangerous; at best, youre a little less groggy, at worst a bit jittery. But at risk of developing tumors and cancer? Probably not.

    The blatant truth is that coffee can never be as violently carcinogenic as cigarettes, and calling it a cancer causing agent doesnt make sense, especially because no one drinks cups of coffee on end and therefore probably cant be poisoned by coffee in any way. In fact, the National Cancer Institute says as much on its website, noting that acrylamide levels vary and that people are exposed to substantially more acrylamide from tobacco smoke than from food.

    And there are certainly worse chemicals to worry about than a minute trace of acrylamides in coffee. Remember the trans fat bans that swept the nation about a decade ago? Hydrogenated fats are legitimately dangerous to consume, and the heightened attention given to their near-ubiquity in processed foods and ties to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke were well documented in humans to cause negative outcomes.

    But acrylamides in coffee? Nah.

    If anything, Proposition 65 and the case of labeling coffee as carcinogenic is indicative of the messiness of food studies, particularly with respect to those that teeter between sin and healthy indulgence. Theres probably no such thing as eating too many vegetables and facing negative consequences. But foods like coffee, eggs, wine, and chocolate fall in a grey area. Theyre lusciously sinful and offer something almost tantalizingly indulgent with their richness, so it makes sense that were always trying to gauge whether or not these foods that bring us so much joy are good or bad.

    The messaging, of course, is frustrating. One minute wine is heralded for its antioxidant properties, the next its vilified for its connection to various liver issues. Chocolate is similarly celebrated for its antioxidant properties, but really, who only has one square of it? Eggs too have sparked debate among industry experts who point to the whites as excellent sources of protein and nutrients, but the yolk is one big nutritional question mark.

    Coffee is like these foods, hopping back and forth between linked to a 64 percent decrease in early death and its current status as potential carcinogenic. Its apparent benefits address American health epidemics: reductions in developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease and stroke. Its benefits seem universal, linked to longer lives among Americans across demographic and socioeconomic lines, in both its caffeinated and decaffeinated forms. It might decrease rates of breast cancer and liver cancer. Of course, these are results that should be taken with a grain of salt, but theyre benefits worth noting in light of Californias painting of coffee as a demonic chemical.

    The point is this: Everything in moderation is a great nutritional phrase because it rings so true. Every human body is different thanks to the complicated gymnastics of genes and environment and chance that make everyones nutritional needs different. Seeking to figure out if a food is good or bad does nothing but muddle the debate; simply put, foods that dont fall into fruits, vegetables, legumes, water, or their ilk have good and bad qualities to them, and understanding your unique physiology and dietary needs will make their consumption either safe or not so much so for you. And its crucial to remember that niche food industries have well-oiled marketing groups that also fund studies and constantly attempt to veer public attention toward the nutritional benefits of food to eek up their profits. Food is, after all, big business.

    Which brings us back to the case of the evil cup of java, Proposition 65, and how coffee might become a villain in the state of California. Putting a warning on a cup of coffee is going to not only confuse customers, it takes away from a daily pleasure for the majority of Americans. A cup of coffee makes people less grumpy, more alert, and simply more awake. Its a bonding activity, a much-needed break in our harried world, and an art form whose most ardent fans will compare its roasting and farming and brewing to those of wine. To make coffee a nutritional devil is a step gone too far (at this rate, any foodstuff that goes through some heating for cooking could contain acrylamides).

    The bottom line: Coffee is safe. Labeling it a carcinogenic is not.

    Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/why-does-nanny-state-california-hate-coffee-so-much

    THIS Woman Allegedly Cooked Her Chihuahua To Death In An Oven Because She Thought Her Ex Was INSIDE The Animal

    Earlier this month, an Oregon woman allegedly cooked her pet Chihuahua to death in an oven because she thought her ex-boyfriend was INSIDE the animal.

    According to Clatsop County Jail records, Noelle Georgia Moor (above) has been charged with first-degree animal abuse for the alleged incident.

    Related: Uber’s Self-Driving Car Just Killed A Pedestrian!

    Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua Marquis told People that on March 19, authorities arrived at the 28-year-old’s residence at least twice over a dispute. When they entered the property, they “realized something was very wrong,” and eventually found the poor dog in the oven.

    Court records obtained by The Oregonian say Moor, who was detained at Columbia Memorial Hospital, believed a former flame was actually inside the canine.

    Although Marquis is awaiting the results of her mental health investigation, “it’s likely going to be handled as a criminal case,” adding:

    “A lot of people who do very bizarre things also have mental health issues.”

    The suspect is currently at the Clatsop County Jail, and will appear in court on Tuesday.

    [Image via Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office.]

    Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-03-26-noelle-georgia-moor-clatsop-county-jail-chihuahua