Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Digest News 2010 2011 Films Finance Politics Health Obesity Net World

Tags: Entertainment Electronics Corporate Power Investments Cost Colleges Retirement Health


Most of the news I thought Important which I covered and mostly unread or forgotten is worth your review time. Jim


Smart Phones: New i-Pad out. www.apple.com ;Motorola’s Xoom Tablet worth considering NY Times;



Entertainment: Natalie Portman: About 3 years ago she was on Letterman saying she had to move back with her parents because she could not afford her NYC apartment without making money as an actor. When Letterman has smart guests, I like to watch. Unlike what many may think, actors have to be smarter than average to succeed in acting. My experience at UCLA which is quite good in training actors showed me that many are smart and emotionally fragile. Natalie Angier of the NY Times had a nice article Science Times March 1. Portman could have been a really good scientist. Hard worker, smart, and imaginative.


Inception: Really enjoyed unlike the NY Times survey readers who disliked it immensely. I guess the older folks who read the Times have no imagination and concentration. Made $250 million already. I like to watch films on CD because with films I like, I can go to the director’s discussion about the film. Too loud at the theaters. Feb 26 Times had a survey of the Times reader’s for best films. Inception came in last. People like Royalty and wait for the UK wedding with great anticipation. The King’s Speech which I will probably regret seeing will probably be boring. The Swan, an unpopular film, will be more interesting.


U.S. Patent Law Allows Corporations to do their Own Studies on Genetically Altered Food by Doug Gurian-Sherman , www.latimes.com Feb 29, 2011. About 5 percent of weeds are now resistant to Round Up. Toxins found on corn, soybeans, and other GMO crops treated with Round Up. Monsanto refuses to provide permission for researchers to work on GMO crops. The Corporate Supreme Court by-passed regulators and allowed the production of GMO Beet Sugar. It is even hard to get data on crop yield except what they say. Some neutral observers find that GMO crops don’t add increased yields as they claim. It is just a way of making a profit and risking the health of humans all over the world.


Justice Thomas and Scalia are the oldest Catholic Supreme Court conservatives. Too bad they cannot be shamed into leaving for their crimes. Both don’t like serving, but they are so ideological that they won’t leave until their agenda is complete.


Shop for the Right Credit Card for You Tribune Feb 6, 2011, If you want to transfer debt, try to get an introductory zero interest rate for 21 months by Citi Platinum Select MasterCard and the Chase Freedom Visa. I recall the credit card companies that have the most complaints are JP Morgan Chase, Cave Men Card, and one other. If you pay each and every month, Discover Card and Cash-back cards like American Express Like blue Cash. Reward programs tend to increase spending. Also you can get a card the only lets you spend the cash you put into the card. Eg. $500.



States Widen Probe in Wall Street Fraud of State Pensions WSJ Feb 3, 2011 by overcharging the states fraudulently.


Toxic Assets Still Lurking at Banks Need to look at soon available Annual Reports to see how much they still have. Now they are allowed to hide their losses as Other comprehensive income. WSJ Feb 7, 2011.



Bond Pros such as Pimco and JP Morgan expect inflation starting this year. Probably towards the end of the year or when the Fed buying of bonds stops. Of course Food Inflation and indications that everyone is starting to raise prices support this conclusion. This thinking is too sophisticated for me to really understand.


The WSJ Feb 5-6, 2011 says sell cash (CDs) and long term bonds, Financials, utilities & consumer staples, and Gold, real estate. Buy Floating-rate funds, inflation-linked CDs Small-company value stocks, Commodities, real-return funds. They say what is happening now has no historical precedence. So it is a guessing game. Because the rich has so much assets, they tend to act early. The Financial services are telling their customers to get out of cash and longer term government bonds and Treasuries. Depending on demand can sharply increase interest rates.


Gold is now overpriced about 25 percent. WSJ. Market will probably go down about 10 percent which will draw in average investors. Probably a mistake. However, buy gold after it goes down sharply. Oil is good for the long term, but uncertain in the short term because of the uncertainty in our economy. The sharp rise in gasoline prices is not due to higher prices for oil. Oil is not bought on the spot market, but in long term contracts. That is why they have record profits now. We are the suckers. It is just an excuse to raise the price. See if it sticks. In Oregon it is now close to $4 per gallon for premium.


Emerging Markets have gone down 16 percent in the last year anticipating inflation. Inflation is rising at an alarming rate now. South Korea at a 4.1% clip, Brazil 5.6%. I warned you earlier that the big boys have succeeded getting ordinary investors into Emerging markets so they could sell. That is how it always happens. We are the suckers.


Since the Republicans are really trying to sabotage our economy by cutting programs and jobs for Americans, it is hard to tell how successful they will be. Obama now has more experience so he may be able to outwit the Republicans and blame them for the bad economy.


Since the 1980s, the middleclass got raises of one penny an hour each year. Those with incomes of $1.2 million increased their income to $6.6 million or so. Yes, the 300,000 top 0.1 percent made all the increase in income because of the Reagan revolution. Bush’s tax cuts did nothing for the MiddleClass. The shipping of 5 million jobs overseas greatly affected the income of average workers negatively. Fifty-thousand manufacturing plants were sent elsewhere during the Bush regime.


Considering only neutral polls which just asked what they favored without saying whether it was liberal or not as http://maddowblog.msnbc.com reported, showed the populist bent of Americans by a large margin. Without cultural distractions, the Republicans would lose every election. Just tell Republicans and Independents that imposing cultural norms may hurt rather than help your income because Republicans represent Large Corporations, not the small businesses where most Americans work.


Rich marginal Students are now able to buy their way into Harvard or Yale because of their large losses in the stock market. This has been the case for a long time, but it is now more open. The colleges are now saying this.


Escalating Arms Race for Top Colleges: WSJ Feb 5-6, 2011, Admission applications and rate of acceptance. MIT: 6,405 Early Applicants, 772 accepted. U.C. Berkeley, Freshman applications fall 2001 35,473; Applications fall 2011 52,900. 2001 17.8 rate of admission rate Yale 2001; Yale class 2014, 7.5%


Jennifer Moses had a twin boy and a girl. $30,000 a year for private school for her daughter, vocabulary words such as abscission, fugacious or defalcate at $125 per session, SAT and ACT tutoring $1132.87, each applying to ten or more colleges, going through many tutors to find the right one for $693, cost of the necessary visiting the colleges, $3,998.23. Cost of someone showing her twins the ropes at these colleges $703.91. She is an author and her husband is a professor at Rutgers University. She is waiting for the fat envelopes.



Structural Change in Workforce: 54 yrs 89% working or looking; 56-57 40%; About half cyclical and half structural. Baby Boomers still have plenty of money to not work and enjoy life. Work surveys should not ask whether they are happy or not, but what parts of working troubles them. Bloomberg business week. In contrast the Wall Street Journal Feb 20, 2011, reported that Boomers do not have enough to live to 85.


Fidelity has a good website for retirement: www.fidelity.com/incomestrategy There are inflation adjusted annuities and annuities bought at 65 and only works if you live beyond 85. During the 20 years it increases in value hopefully. Fiscally its a great deal and could substitute for a Nursing Care fund or insurance after 85 the average lifetime for those retiring at 65. Very expensive nursing care. Suicide much cheaper or refusing medical treatment for heart attacks and other life prolonging life is another option.


Prostate Cancer: Wait to see its progress before getting treatment. This is what they do in Europe and don’t have increased deaths.


Fiber-Rich Diet correlates strongly with Longevity. WSJ Feb 15, 2011.


Sangamo BioSCiences Gene Therapy: They think they can make Stem Cell treatments safer by avoiding viruses. Bloomberg …


Republicans Stopping Regulation of commodities and SEC by cutting off funds. Bloomberg.


Conservative Leaves Fed and Replaced by Liberal Yellen, an Inflation Dove.


Peter Coy of Bloomberg Bus Wk says the best way to fix the budget by eliminating all deductions and then telling people how much each benefit to corporations or individuals does to the cost to taxpayers.


Want a beach front hotel or condo? Go to www.thebeachfrontclub.com


Airlines are competing with other websites by having savers programs. For example Feb flights would have been cheap but not August. Some help!


Bullying: Science Times Feb 15, 2011: We seem to be a society of bullies. We love news about famous people going downhill because Americans seem to envy successful people and love to see them go down. The media attack on Charlie Sheen was cruel and excessive. Give the guy a break! I would go nuts being on television throwing out inane jokes for years.


Most bullying seems to now occur when people want to take a rival down. We only hear about the suicides. I agree with Mika Brzezinski unlike the jerk Joe that they should leave Sheen alone. Bill Maher said Sheen is a smart and great friend when he is not on drugs and alcohol.




HEALTH


North Korea: Alarming malnutrition in North Korea. Food stocks gone by mid-June. Too much rain. AP


Sharpest Increase in Strokes among men 15 through 34 with 51% increase seems have increased sharply if we compare the rate in Clintons time and Bush time. AP feb 10, 2011.



Alzheimer’s Disease: Research in this area has long had the problem of not funding imaginative approaches to solving this difficult problem affecting half of American’s by age 85. Stupidly most of the studies have been done on the genetic variant of the disease which is just a few percentage points above zero cases. Almost all are late onset disease.


The report in the Science section of the NY Times Dec 14, 2010, praises the work of the scientist who found that the victims do not make more amyloid, but for some reason cannot get rid of it. He had a hard time getting enough funding for his simple experiments which could have taken only a few months but it took seven years.


The reason I think many very smart scientists are so dumb is that once they get an idea, good or not, keeps them narrowly focused on proving their “brilliant” idea. So much literature comes out now that many ignore reading widely to generate new ideas. I sent the Sharon Begley article http://www.newsweek.com/authors/sharon-begley.html which criticizes scientists who studied Alzheimer’s Disease! Their approach was too narrow and their primary assumption is probably wrong.


Only in recent months did they give up on plaques and started considering the interruption of synaptic something I have harped on for several years. It is the only way we can explain why Alzheimer’s patients sometimes have moments of clarity. I won’t explain it here again. Discover Magazine had an article about why smart people can be so dumb.


ScienceDaily (Feb. 24, 2011) — http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223163605.htm New research shows that Alzheimer's disease and other dementing illnesses may be easily misdiagnosed in the elderly, according to early results of a study of people in Hawaii who had their brains autopsied after death.


"Diagnosing specific dementias in people who are very old is complex, but with the large increase in dementia cases expected within the next 10 years in the United States, it will be increasingly important to correctly recognize, diagnose, prevent and treat age-related cognitive decline," said study author Lon White, MD, MPH, with the Kuakini Medical System in Honolulu. …



Obesity: Reagan’s motive for making high fructose corn syrup so cheap that any amount of sweeteners could be added to prepared foods was to increase the profits of the food manufacturer. It was never tested in humans. Pets also like sweets.


In a cheaper operation of $10,000, the Omentum and parts of the stomach were removed for highly obese patents at an Alabama hospital which specializes in treating obese patents with larger door openings and much larger and stronger beds. In just one month their diabetes Type 2 disappeared and they lost a huge amount of weight.


Our Omentum controls our appetite and stores triglycerides for a rapid energy source. It is below the belly muscles and can weight about 15 pounds. That is why www.doctoroz.com recommends losing just ten pounds because this is the most harmful fat and in the era of plentiful foods, it is not necessary. The patients no longer developed hunger so they ate on schedule. This procedure is fairly new so we shall see what happens to their patients.


Gut Trillions of Microbes Controls Our Health, Weight, and Survival: I wrote about the coming of use of intestinal microbes to cure diseases and prevent obesity when the research of at its infancy. The breakthrough in technology to determine our human genome largely by the government NIT which deserves most of the credit. This led to techniques to increase the speed and accuracy of determine the DNA of many species.


This made it possible to start looking at the trillions of microbes in our intestines which greatly affects our health and welfare. Discovery Magazine March 2011.


Minnesota immunologist and gastroenterologist Alexander Khoruts saved a women’s life from an intestinal infection by Clostridium difficile which causes severe inflammation of the intestines. This bacteria goes beyond MRSA as one of the most dangerous because it has developed resistance to essentially most or all drugs. She lost over 60 pounds in months of treatments and was about the die.


Dr. Khoruts decided to try a new procedure never used on humans by giving her fecal material from her husband who was healthy to try to grow his intestinal organisms in her intestines which could fight off this bacteria. With the use of so many antibiotics her intestines were essentially free of organisms except for the Clostridium difficile which is often just called C. Difficile. He injected a saline solution her husband’s fecal sample into her colon. Within 24 hours, her diarrhea stopped. After a few days her illness symptoms were gone.


Since that time 23 other patients were successfully treated using this technique.


Our colon is often called our second brain. If you feed it the right foods, it will thrive. With many teenagers and preteens and adults getting half their calories from high fructose corn syrup made of up of free fructose and glucose and is soluble in foods and drinks to a very high extent. The poor eat much more of the high calories high sugar so they tend to more obese than more affluent Americans.


Not realized by most Americans is that we start craving foods we eat too much daily. Carbohydrate bugs proliferate and cry out for more sugar and fiberless bread and pastries. So being human and caring, we feed this machine as much as we can. This leads to obesity. Only a Chinese Mom mentality will keep their kids from straying.


Just about all animals and pets are now obese (Sharon Begley), most likely due to sugar being added to make the junk food more palatable. The chance of this happening is about 18 million to one. Many of these foods are also made from corn products of questionable nutrition and not meat. How do wild wolves survive? They eat meat. Make you own pet food or find one that is good for your dog or cat.


Eating local plain yogurt every day with my oat bran has done marvelous things to my colon. In spite of the hype about Probiotics, it can be good for you. Instead of buying the expensive stuff from Dannon, I found that plain yogurt was good enough.


Vitamin D: Yesterday USNews & Repot Health reported that the University of California, San Diego and a Texas researcher studied thousands of seniors over 65 for about 8 years to determine whether the vitamin D metabolite 25-hydroxy D, needed higher levels to prevent cancers. Surprisingly to them, it took 4,000 IU of Vitamin D3, to stop cancer growth.


I looked at the way vitamin D metabolite works. It is essentially in equilibrium with cancer enhancing substances so the more I take, the less chance I will get cancer. Once the cancer grows it throws out enzymes and proteins to block the vitamin D receptor in all our cells. The vitamin D metabolite also causes early cancer cells to self-destruct.


Only 10 percent or so seniors had levels between 30-80 nanograms/ml of the metabolite. Only those in the sun all the time during work had enough in Texas. Remember, once people live above the latitude above Los Angeles, supplements are necessary. They recommend a level about 40 nanograms per milliliter. A nano gram is one-billionth of a gram.


Exercise: Helps brain cells grow. High school students do much better in class if they exercise before class. NY Times

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