May 6, 2014
commented on New York City Is Still Fighting Big Gulps
@Paul, 3, 12, 15, 18: It's not legislation; it's regulation. And that's not just a semantic difference - the entire court challenge to it is based on the fact that it was an administrative decision rather than a legislative one.
And the point here is that the portion size cap (it's not a "soda ban") changes the default choice to a healthier option. There was a really good post on this a while back that is worth reading if you really want to understand this issue:
Feb 14, 2014
commented on What Do You Think of the iWatch?
"This is going to sound obvious, but bear with me: When people have access to more information, they tend to behave in a smarter way. When calorie information is available in restaurants, people order healthier options. When cigarettes come with health warnings, fewer people smoke."
It does sound obvious, but it is unfortunately mostly not true, as @13 partially pointed out. As a public health guy, I can tell you that that health information very rarely equals behavior change. To really get people to change their behavior, you have to change the contexts in which that behavior is taken. Calorie counts and warning labels are really only useful in that they (a) shame the companies producing the unhealthful products and (b) are a small step toward the denormalization of the use of the products. For example, here in California a legislator just introduced a measure to put warning labels on soda. From a health policy advocacy perspective (and I could only say this off the record), this is less about the label and more about the media controversy it will generate. Every time this bill is discussed/debated/ridiculed, it will be accompanied by the implicit and/or explicit recognition that the overconsumption of soda is really fucking bad for society. That (very slowly) denormalizes soda consumption, with the goal being changes in consumption. Hopefully in 20 years we will look back at how soda was consumed and marketed today with the same head-slapping that we do now when we watch all the smoking in the office and around children in Mad Men.
Jan 30, 2014
commented on It's Quite Hilarious to Visit Puppets: Your Thursday Morning News
FYI, Ukrainians usually object to "the Ukraine," as it connotes that the country is a region (eg. the Midwest, the Berkshires, the Midlands, etc.) rather than an independent country. Given Ukraine's history of occupation, colonization, and annexation by the Russians, Poles, Austrians, et al it's hard to blame them for feeling sensitive about it.
Jan 25, 2014
commented on I, Anonymous
@39 is exactly right. This guy's style of parenting and potty training sounds pretty different than mine, but I feel for him much more than than Anonymous. But at least she is just (ignorantly) venting about it here, unlike the idiots calling for her to have confronted the parent. What sort of busy-bodied sociopath would go up to a random parent in a coffee shop and tell him - in front of his child - that they don't approve of the way he is potty training his kid in diapers? Fuck.
Oct 27, 2013
commented on Spooky Shit
Cienna, you could legally collect DNA evidence from the suspect's home garbage. Just put on some gloves and find some nail clippings, discarded hair, etc.
Sep 16, 2013
commented on Headline of the Day
Wait, Charles, maybe I'm being too literal here, but her parents ARE from the India Columbus thought he discovered. Right?