If Soda Companies Don’t Want to Be Treated Like Tobacco Companies They Need to Stop Acting Like Them – By Patrick Mustain on October 2016

The evidence for comparing the two industries keeps coming. Both try to sway public opinion, avoid accountability, and muddle the science

Cigarettes used to be normal.


They were ubiquitous, cheap, and easy to get. They offered no benefit other than a temporary pleasurable sensation. Most folks probably knew they weren’t that healthy, but didn’t question their normalcy, or ubiquity.

These days, sodas are normal. They are ubiquitous, cheap, and easy to get. They offer no benefit other than a temporary pleasurable sensation. Most folks probably know that sodas are unhealthy, but few question their normalcy or ubiquity.

Today, the evidence is clear: smoking too many cigarettes can lead to life-threatening illnesses.

Today, the evidence is clear: drinking too many sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to life threatening illnesses.

In the last several decades, as we recognize more and more the role our food environment has had in the rise of obesity and its associated health problems, the practices of the food industry have been under increasing scrutiny, and its actions have earned it comparisons to the tobacco industry.

“There are, of course, differences between food and tobacco as substances.” As Kelly Brownell pointed out in a 2009 paper published in The Milbank Quarterly: “The most obvious is that humans must eat to maintain health and life, whereas the unnecessary activity of smoking is, in the words of former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Joseph Califano, ‘slow-motion suicide.’”

Article continues:

US election 2016: Hillary Clinton’s bid for Republican stronghold – Anthony Zurcher 23 October 2016


If Hillary Clinton is going to break through the narrow electoral map that has dominated the US presidential landscape for 16 years, some traditionally conservative states are going to have tilt her way.

If she is going to not just edge past Donald Trump but win in a rout, states like Arizona will have to fall into her column.

The home of the Grand Canyon last went Democratic in 1996, when Bill Clinton carried it.

Before that? Harry S Truman in 1948.

The state has a Republican governor and two Republican senators. Going into this election, it had a solid conservative red hue. Now, however, polls indicate Arizona and its 11 electoral votes (out of 270 needed to win the presidency) aren’t just in play, they may be leaning toward Mrs Clinton.

A recent opinion poll has the Democrat up 5% – and others have her with narrow leads or within the margin of error.

Polls aren’t just the only indicator of shifting winds in the desert, however. Voter registration is up big among Democrats, particularly with the state’s growing Hispanic population. In Maricopa County, which contains Phoenix, the state’s largest city, Democratic activist groups claim more than 150,000 new voters added to the rolls.

Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has downplayed these numbers, telling the Boston Globe that they constitute “wishful thinking” because Hispanics “don’t get out to vote”.

According to Arizona State University political science Professor Richard Herrera, however, there’s reason to think a surge in voter registration will lead to higher turnout.

“Studies have shown that first-time voters as a result of new registration do tend to vote,” he says. “Arizona is definitely a battleground state in 2016.”

The Clinton campaign certainly believes the numbers are real – and is shifting resources accordingly.

It recently announced it would spend $2m on advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts in the state. Last week, it sent a slew of its top surrogates to help rally party faithful who have long been toward the back of the line when it comes time for national help.

Article continues:

Doctor Strange: 5 things to know about Marvel’s best looking movie yet – Updated by Todd VanDerWerff Oct 23, 2016, 3:01a

Your magic spells, cast today! No money down! Marvel Studios

Your magic spells, cast today! No money down! Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange, Marvel’s latest journey into its ever-expanding cinematic universe, exemplifies both the best and the worst of the comic-book movie studio.

On the one hand, the movie is visually inventive, peppered with solid jokes, and beautifully acted. On the other hand, the story’s a bit of a mess, with a script that’s roughly two-thirds exposition and a main character arc that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

But this is still a movie people are probably going to want to see — especially Marvel diehards.

Some of the images that director Scott Derrickson cooks up are the sort of things you’d never imagine appearing anywhere other than the pages of a comic book, and if nothing else, Tilda Swinton’s performance as a guru who seems largely disinterested in whatever we pitiful human beings are up to is a lot of fun.

There will be time for a fuller review, with more comics context, closer to when the film opens on Friday, November 4. But for now, here are five things to know about Doctor Strange.

1) This might be the first Marvel movie to win an Oscar*

Article continues:

Behind Duterte’s Break With the U.S., a Lifetime of Resentment – By Trefor Moss

Philippines president, driven by a sense of grievance over colonial history and perceived slights, threatens to undo a vital American relationship in Asia


In an effort to clear tension with Barack Obama, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approached him during a dinner at a regional summit in Laos last month, two days after he had openly criticized the U.S. president.

It made things worse. Mr. Duterte didn’t feel Mr. Obama treated him as an equal in the encounter, says a Philippine official present, because Mr. Obama said a follow-up would come from White House staff, not himself. The next day, Mr. Duterte boycotted a group meeting with Mr. Obama and Southeast Asian leaders.

Mr. Duterte “expected more respect from Obama,” says his sister Jocellyn Duterte. White House officials say they can’t confirm the wording of the exchange, saying it consisted of a handshake and pleasantries.

The perceived Laos snub fits into a lifetime of resentment toward America and what Mr. Duterte sees as U.S. arrogance toward the Philippines, interviews with his friends, family and associates show—a sense of grievance that threatens to undo a vital American relationship in Asia.

Article continues:

Three Ways to Bring Solar Power to the People Who Need It Most – GREGORY BARBER 10.22.16


Throwing solar on a house can drastically cut a family’s utility bills. But while the cost of solar panels has declined, they’re still out of reach for the people who need them most. Families eligible for federal energy assistance spend around 13 percent of their income on power bills—nearly two times the national average. In 2013, low- and moderate-income households (about 40 percent of the country) made up just 5 percent of the rooftop solar market. That’s partly because many are renters with ­little control over what goes on their roof. But even if you own your home and can get a loan for the pricey panels, the barriers are high. A leaky roof, for example, can jack up the cost of installation, and incentives that offset the upfront costs of solar only work if you pay enough taxes to qualify. But several organizations are finding new ways to bring solar to low-income families. Here are three shining examples.

1. Share the Photons

Article continues: