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Wed, 06 Dec 2023
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Health & Wellness


USDA Rejects 'Downer' Cow Ban

Agriculture Secretary Finds Existing Meat-Processing Rules Adequate


How Good People Turn Evil, From Stanford to Abu Ghraib

As an expert witness in the defense of an Abu Ghraib guard, Philip Zimbardo had access to many images (NSFW) of abuse taken by the guards. His TED presentation puts together a short video of some of the unpublished photos, with sound effects added by Zimbardo. Many of the images are explicit and gruesome, depicting nudity, degradation, simulated sex acts and guards posing with corpses. Viewer discretion is advised.

Courtesy Philip Zimbardo
View slideshow (NSFW)


US society helping to make people sicker

New York -- Americans should be living four years longer at current rates of healthcare spending, signalling that US society is helping to make people sicker, a report on health inequality said on Thursday.


Study: Spanking tied to sexual violence later in life

New research by a University of New Hampshire domestic abuse expert says spanking children affects their sex lives as adults. Professor Murray Straus concludes that children who are spanked are more likely as adults to coerce partners to have sex, to have unprotected sex and to have masochistic sex.


Parents facing full brunt of the state as more choose health freedom from vaccinations

AS states move to require more vaccines for school-age children, an increasing number of parents are saying no to some of the inoculations. They are seeking exemptions from the state in growing numbers, citing religious reasons or saying that they believe the vaccines will do more harm than good.

©New York Times
SECOND THOUGHTS Jaime Polatsek, of Trumbull, Conn., stopped allowing vaccinations for her children, Coby and Sophie, after Sophie was found to have autism.


Is depression good for you?

Pills aren't the answer to helping many people recover from depression, says a report out this week. But there's growing evidence that gloominess could be a positive experience.

What depressed the cavemen? It may strike us as a particularly modern malaise for a time-poor, fast-paced society but a new reappraisal of depression suggests it has always been around.


The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know

The YouTube clip opens with a woman facing away from the camera, rocking back and forth, flapping her hands awkwardly, and emitting an eerie hum. She then performs strange repetitive behaviors: slapping a piece of paper against a window, running a hand lengthwise over a computer keyboard, twisting the knob of a drawer. She bats a necklace with her hand and nuzzles her face against the pages of a book. And you find yourself thinking: Who's shooting this footage of the handicapped lady, and why do I always get sucked into watching the latest viral video?

Autism researchers
©Jessica Dimmock
Michelle Dawson, right, is autistic. She's also a researcher in the lab of Laurent Mottron (left), a psychiatrist who specializes in autism.


French Women Don't Get Fat but Do Get Lucky

Paris, France -- If I have to get old, I want to do it in Paris.

It's not because of the dank weather, the constant personal snubs or a fetish for unpasteurized cheese. It's because, quite frankly, I'd like to keep having sex.

Comment: While this piece is somewhat fluffy and celebrity-obsessed, it does point up something of the Puritanism of English-speaking societies, which can lead to a loss of playfulness in many areas of life. Engendered by such Puritan attitudes, deep-seated insecurities about oneself commonly lead to a fractured psyche - which can then be exploited all the more easily by our grim masters.

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Low-intensity exercise reduces fatigue symptoms by 65 percent, study finds

Sedentary people who regularly complain of fatigue can increase their energy levels by 20 percent and decrease their fatigue by 65 percent by engaging in regular, low intensity exercise, according to a new University of Georgia study.

"Too often we believe that a quick workout will leave us worn out - especially when we are already feeling fatigued," said researcher Tim Puetz, who recently completed his doctorate at UGA and is the lead author of the study. "However, we have shown that regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy - particularly in sedentary individuals."


Maternal love: How a mother's brain responds to her infant

The distinctive ability of mothers to identify the cries of their offspring is widely evident in nature, where it is critical to the survival of these offspring. In humans, we are aware that the distinctive ability of mothers to recognize and respond to the smiles and cries of their babies plays an important role in the psychological, cognitive, and social development of these babies. We have had a very limited understanding of how the maternal brain accomplishes these amazing feats, but a new study published in the February 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry now provides some new insight.