Health & WellnessS


60 Million Containers Of Pet Food Recalled After Unknown Number of Pets Die

WASHINGTON A major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger and other store brands recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths.

An unknown number of cats and dogs suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected pet food, Menu Foods said in announcing the North American recall. Product testing has not revealed a link explaining the reported cases of illness and death, the company said.


Flashback Intentional Imitation : How to play the president

Is John Kerry a good enough actor to become president? As the campaign enters its final leg, with the first of the proposed televised debates approaching on Sept. 30 and a stark political choice facing the voters, the question may sound cynical, disrespectful, even uncivic. After all, an actor is an illusionist, whereas a political leader is supposed to be, as Kerry himself has put it, "the real deal."

Yet as anyone who follows modern politics knows, it takes a great deal of talent, practice, and discipline -- not to mention the combined efforts of numerous image consultants and communications experts -- for a politician to appear appealingly authentic, especially on television. As the playwright Arthur Miller wrote in a 2001 essay, "On Politics and the Art of Acting," "Political leaders everywhere have come to understand that to govern they must learn how to act."

The elaborately staged political conventions were the easy part, with everything scripted and well rehearsed. It only gets tougher from here. For the fall ad campaign, John Kerry's leading "image maker" is Robert Shrum, who has written speeches, produced ads, and developed strategies for a long list of Democratic politicians, including Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Bush's consultant of choice is Stuart Stevens, who produced the Bush campaign's television advertising in 2000. (Stevens also worked for Massachusetts governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci, and wrote early episodes of the television series "Northern Exposure.")


Killers' faces provide new truths on lying: Can you really conceal your intentions?

While studying the faces of convicted killers, a Halifax psychologist says the truth about lies can be found in facial expressions.

Dr. Steve Porter, a forensic psychologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S., studies micro expressions and says the face of someone telling a lie is different from someone experiencing true emotion.

"People manifest particular concealed emotions, so how does that express itself on your face?" he told CTV.

Porter looks at emotions frame-by-frame and says it's nearly impossible for someone to mimic the complex muscle movements of such emotions as sadness, stress or despair.

Evil Rays

Peering Into The Soul - What is your intent?

Years ago, Woody Allen used to joke that he'd been thrown out of college as a freshman for cheating on his metaphysics final. "I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me," he confessed.

Today, the joke is on us. Cameras follow your car, global-positioning systems track your cellphone, software monitors your Web surfing, X-rays explore your purse, and airport scanners see through your clothes. Now comes the final indignity: machines that can look into your soul.

Red Flag

Smallpox shot infects soldier's toddler son

In the first case of its kind in years, a 2-year-old boy is being treated in Chicago for a rare and life-threatening infection that he contracted from his father, a U.S. Army soldier recently vaccinated against smallpox.

The Indiana boy is in critical condition with eczema vaccinatum, an unusual side effect of the smallpox vaccine that can affect people who receive the shot or their close contacts.


This Is War! Weaponizing Food

You are a target in a war. So are your children, grandchildren, parents, and the people half way around the world whom you have never met. The war is for resources and you are in the way.

You Are In the Way. It's that simple.

Comment: All of this REALLY makes you wonder why, if they are trying to kill people off - and it is clear they are - are they so anti-smoking? Is there some health benefit that smoking confers that we don't know about?


Toxic bosses

Beyond the good, the bad and the ugly are the toxic.

Bosses, that is.

Since most of us are going to be in the workplace from age 23 to 65, we're guaranteed to run into one. Or two. In some industries, you might bounce from a bad boss to a worse one and back again.

You need deft armor and an exit strategy to protect yourself. Now.

You also need some boss-dar so you can distinguish between the merely lame (taking you to lunch - at Wendy's) from the distracted (no annual review for years); or the thoughtless (forgetting to give you credit) from the malicious (claiming your best idea was his or her own).


Eating Disorders: A Midlife Crisis for Some Women

You starve yourself, shedding pounds, and it feels too good to ever stop.

Or you eat lots -- as much as you want, more than you want -- and then sneak away from your loved ones to purge it all.

But you're not 16, not 19, not 21. Not a young woman at all. You're in your 30s, 40s, or 50s. And you can't stop.

Anorexia and bulimia used to be considered health problems that afflicted teenage girls. But doctors are finding that a growing number of older women are now being diagnosed with some sort of eating disorder.

"It can happen to anybody at any stage of their life," said Dr. Alexander Sackeyfio, a psychiatrist and eating-disorder specialist at the Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. "I think we're becoming more aware of it and are better at diagnosing it."


Americans Not Eating Enough Fruits and Veggies

Most Americans are still not eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, a new government report shows.

Even though many people know that fruits and vegetables help lower the risk of many diseases, consumption is still a long way from reaching the government goals set inHealthy People 2010, the researchers said. Their bad news is delivered in this week's issue ofMorbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Only 32.6 percent of adults are eating fruit two or more times per day, and only 27.2 percent are eating vegetables three or more times a day," said researcher Dr. Larry Cohen, an epidemic intelligence officer at the CDC.

That falls far short of the national goal of getting 75 percent of the population to eat fruit two or more times a day and 50 percent to eat vegetables three or more times per day by 2010, Cohen said.

The irony is that most Americans are aware of the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, Cohen said. "However, translating that awareness to actually doing it is lacking."


Associative Memory -- Learning At All Levels

"Green" means "go," but what does "red" mean? Just about everybody says "stop" since we all have learned to imbue certain colors with meaning (or we would be road kill by now). Long thought to be limited to higher levels of information processing, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies successfully traced this type of associative learning to early stages of the visual processing pathway.

"Sensory neurons in the visual cortex that handle incoming information are very plastic and what they 'see' is determined by our experience in the world," says lead investigator Thomas D. Albright, director of the Vision Center Laboratory. Their findings, reported in the March 14 issue of the journal Neuron, will help scientists to better understand how such learning takes place in the brain based on our daily experiences.

Human memory relies mostly on association and objects frequently seen together to become linked in our mind; when we try to retrieve information, one thing reminds us of another, which reminds us of yet another, and so on. Not surprisingly, neurobiologists have been trying to uncover the underlying mechanisms for decades.