Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Coffee will A. save you B. kill you C. swindle you or D. none of the above

I drink more Keurig dark roast coffee at work than any self-styled environmentalist has any right to, so I couldn't help but notice the contrasting studies this week on the world's favorite bean drink:

Coffee May Protect the Liver
More than 14,000 of the subjects drank coffee. After controlling for age, sex, race, education, smoking, alcohol consumption and other factors, the researchers found that compared with people who drank no coffee, those who drank three cups a day were about 25 percent less likely to have abnormal liver enzyme levels. Among the more than 2,000 who drank only decaffeinated coffee, the results were similar.
Two cups of coffee a day can harm fertility
Men who drank two or more cups of strong coffee a day had just a one in five chance of becoming fathers through IVF. However, for those who drank less than a cup, the chance of having a child rose to nearly 52 per cent.

The researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, told a conference in Hawaii that caffeine may harm sperm at a molecular level. A shot of espresso contains around 100mg of caffeine. Those men who drank 265mg or more had the least chance of becoming fathers.

The study also showed that men who drink around a pint and a half of beer a night could improve their fertility.
Study on coffee, weight loss retracted
A 2012 study showing that green coffee bean extract helps dieters lose weight has been retracted, and a company selling the extract has paid a $3.5 million fine to the Federal Trade Commission for touting the unproven research in its advertising.

The FTC said Applied Food Sciences issued a misleading news release about the study, which it had commissioned, and then sent out a second news release promoting its extract after the topic was highlighted on "The Dr. Oz Show."
Perhaps once we've had our morning cup with Swiss Hitler creamers, we can all settle down, grill up some food with our Coffee Charcoals, and sort things out from there.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

From Doha to Dearborn: twin pillars of ISIS support

As Kobane falls and a Kurdish humanitarian crisis seems all but imminent, let's review two crucial chapters in the ISIS cause-and-effect story:

1. Doha, Qatar -- the Silicon Valley of Islamic militancy

2. Dearborn, United States -- home of the house-arrested preacher telling American kids to join ISIS

I'll let you peruse these two longreads and draw your own conclusions.

As much as I'd hate to dwell on ISIS on this blog, it's impossible not to watch a slow-motion trainwreck as it happens live across websites, Twitter, YouTube, and broadcast news.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Secret Service and ISIS: The White House has a problem with communication problems

The head of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, resigned today over yet another revelation of a security fumble...adding to its long list of lapses in judgement.

Speaking of security, U.S. airstrikes are reportedly happening despite intelligence gaps -- which makes the Iraqi army plane accidentally dropping off food and ammunition to ISIS forces all the more fitting.

Not to mention the failed online counter-propaganda efforts rooted in inter-agency squabbling and the failure to fully understand how much Turkey will actually help out against ISIS in favor of letting them decimate separatist Kurds.

At least President Obama finally admitted to underestimating ISIS,  Now we just need him to admit to overestimating the competence of his confidants.

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