Hot Flashes: Tell It Like It IS

HEAVY METAL. Listen to it, sure. Just don't ingest it. Especially if you're a guy bent on being a dad. A UCLA School of Medicine study reported in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology found that the sperm of rats who drank water spiked with lead was 30-percent less successful at fertilizing eggs than was sperm from untreated rats. While the overall health of the lead-laced rodents wasn't adversely affected, sucking on fishing line weights probably should not be sold to the squeamish as the sliceless alternative to a vasectomy.

NEW FOOD LABEL requirements started this month. Among the changes is a standardization of serving sizes for each of more than 100 food categories--so that a "low-cal" pie or cake is no longer merely a paper-thin slice. No more "diet" or "light" bread that is identical to regular bread, just sliced thinner and often filled with extra air.

The list of nutrients must now include fat, cholesterol, sodium, protein, and carbohydrates. Moreover, under carbohydrate will be listed both fiber and total dietary sugars--which prevents manufacturers from hiding sugars under other names such as dextrose, corn syrup, etc.

Still, the new system isn't perfect. Misleading information remains, and future Hot Flashes will expose these flaws one at a time.

CONDOMS were used consistently by only 8-percent of people who had more than one sexual partner in the past year, although a relatively whopping 23-percent reported using a condom "every time" with their "nonprimary" partners, according to a recent nationwide survey published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Is anybody listening out there?

McDONALD'S isn't telling the whole truth, it seems, when their spokesperson claims that the fast food empire "uses 100-percent vegetable oil, which is a blend of corn and soy oil. . .it's a liquid oil that's minimally hydrogenated." That almost got by. But hydrogenating produces something called trans fat, an unsaturated fat that seems to raise cholesterol as much as animal fat does.

Moreover, the health letter Nutrition Action discovered that the spinmeister's statement applied only to the oil used in the restaurants' deep-fat fryers. The PR person, says NA, never even hinted at the fact that McFries are parfried before they ever reach the restaurant--in heavily-saturated shortening that nearly double's their cholesterol-raising fat. The healthletter backed up its claim with test data from an independent laboratory.

Time for Ronald to drain the crankcase and re-fill it with the good stuff--100-percent vegetable oil for all frying. Period.

BRIGHT LIGHTS make bright kids.

That's the conclusion of a Canadian study of 325 fourth graders which found that little ones who labored two years under the yellowish-orange glow of sodium vapor lamps had poorer records of achievement and attendance, and slower rates of growth and development than tykes who toiled under the daylightlike full-spectrum fluorescent lamps with ultraviolet supplements.

Not only were the bright light kids brighter, but they had fewer cavities, too. Honest.

How come? Even the researchers aren't sure. But the UV factor may be the trump card here. Ultraviolet radiation stimulates vitamin D production in the skin, allowing the body to use calcium more efficiently, thus preventing cavities. Ultra-V also kills bacteria, a possible factor in the bright light band's better health...which, in turn, results in better attendance, which promotes higher academic achievement.

Interesting marketing concept. Nutritional light bulbs.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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