Royce Eddington

Nothing to see here. Move along people.

Date: November 18, 2009

“Food Insecurity” (or just old fashioned “Going Hungry”) in 2008

Before getting into this tidbit, I want to talk about the wonderful phrase “food insecurity”. Instead of saying the truth in a clear and understandable manner, the phrases “going hungry”,  “not having enough to eat” and especially that horrible word “starving” have been phased out by people reporting on this horrible situation in favor of a understated, underperforming, and inoffensive phrase…. “food insecurity”.

Now. Having said that, I would like to post this article from Food Business News the mainstream media has completely missed out on.

A recent study by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the United States has had… “the highest food insecurity rate since 1995. Seventeen million U.S. households, or nearly 15%, were food insecure during 2008… The number of families that had difficulty putting enough food on the table at times during the year was up from 13 million households, or 11.1%, in 2007, and was the highest level recorded since food security surveys were initiated in 1995.”

Let’s try that paragraph again. This time, substituting “going hungry” and “starvation” for “food insecure”.

A recent study by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the United States has had… “the highest STARVATION rate since 1995. Seventeen million U.S. households, or nearly 15%, were GOING HUNGRY during 2008…. The number of families that had difficulty putting enough food on the table at times during the year was up from 13 million households, or 11.1%, in 2007, and was the highest level recorded since food security surveys were initiated in 1995.”

See how much more terrible it is when I say it without coddling the truth with that “food insecurity” phrase? Saying it straight and clear kind of makes it more important, dontcha’ think? Maybe a bit more newsworthy. Especially if you crunch the numbers a little more. 15% of 100% literally means 15 out of every 100 people is going without enough food. Reducing that down to a more manageable fraction, you get 3 out of every 20 people are going hungry in the United States.

But running with those numbers in the opposite direction is perhaps more eye opening. If you look at the ballpark current US population of 307,960,000, 15% of that is 46,194,000 people. 46,194,000 people is just slightly less than the combined 2007 populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Charlotte, El Paso, Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Louisville-Jefferson County, Washington, Nashville-Davidson, Las Vegas, Portland, Oklahoma City, Tucson, Albuquerque, Long Beach, Atlanta, Fresno, Sacramento, Cleveland, Kansas City, Mesa, Virginia Beach, Omaha, Oakland, Miami, Tulsa, Honolulu, Minneapolis, and Colorado Springs… which all total to 46,240,297.

I think that’s pretty important myself. Important enough to post it early, during the week, and not with the usual “news you missed” pieces I put together on Saturdays.

Here’s the link to the FOOD BUSINESS NEWS article and the link to the official study from the USDA.

Warner Brothers DVD to BLU-RAY trade in program

Warner Brothers is running a promo where you can send in your existing DVD copy of a Warner Brothers movie and “upgrade” it to a Blu-Ray version for $7.95. The official Warner Brothers trade in site is here.

But it’s not all Warner Brothers titles. Just 55 select ones. So far, the list is limited to…

10,000 BC
2001: A Space Odyssey
Alexander Revisited: (Unrated) Final Cut, The
American History X
American in Paris, An
Any Given Sunday
Aviator, The (2004)
Beetlejuice
Blazing Saddles
Body of Lies
Bucket List, The
Christmas Story, A
Clockwork Orange, A
Collateral Damage
Constantine
Dark City: Director’s Cut
Deliverance
Dirty Dozen, The
Dumb and Dumber
Elf
Eraser
Final Destination
Fugitive, The
Full Metal Jacket
Gods and Generals
Golden Compass, The
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (Unrated)
History of Violence, A
Journey to the Center of Earth
Last Samurai
Lost Boys, The
Michael Clayton
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Ocean’s Thirteen
Orphanage, The
Pan’s Labyrinth
Perfect Storm, The
Pride and Glory
Rio Bravo
Risky Business
Rumor Has It
Rush Hour 3
Scanner Darkly, A
Searchers, The
Shining, The
Speed Racer
Superman II: Richard Donner Cut, The
Superman Returns
Swordfish
Taking Lives
Training Day
We Are Marshall
Wedding Crashers
Wedding Singer, The
Wyatt Earp

Is it a good deal? Somewhat. If you go to Amazon.com, quite a few of these titles that Warner Brothers are currently offering on Blu-Ray are around $9.99 brand new anyway.

For example : 2001 is $9.49. Blazing Saddles is $8.99. Wedding Crashers is $9.99. A History of Violence is $9.49.

A few titles hover around the $10 to $15 range, though. Lost Boys is $14.99. Dumb and Dumber is $15.49. Full Metal Jacket is $11.99.

This trade in is a really good deal for Warner Brothers. They get a used DVD they can sell to Netflix or Redbox, and also get to sell a Blu-Ray for little under what it retails for on Amazon brand new. (And you know they’re still making a profit on it.)

If you want to jump on this offer, I strongly suggest you check Amazon‘s pricing first. To me, saving $2 isn’t worth the upgrade. But saving $10 and up might make it worthwhile.

And don’t forget there are no truly portable blu-ray players yet. DVDs are still great for road trips and for watching on older systems.

FDA Warning : Don’t take Plavix and Prilosec/Prilosec OTC together

This is pretty serious. The FDA just announced that there is a big problem If you take the anti-clotting drug Plavix in addition to the stomach acid reducer Prilosec. It turns out that Prilosec cuts the effectiveness of Plavix by half. For people with blood clotting problems, that’s really bad.

The official announcement says… “patients at risk for heart attacks or strokes who use Plavix to prevent platelet aggregation will not get the full effect of this medicine if they are also taking Prilosec.”

The science behind it is pretty straightforward. “Plavix does not have anti-clotting effects until it is converted or metabolized into its active form with the help of the liver enzyme, CYP2C19. Prilosec blocks this enzyme, thereby reducing the effectiveness of Plavix.”

But it’s not just Prilosec that causes problems with Plavix. Others on the hit list are… “Nexium (esomeprazole), Tagamet and Tagamet HB (cimetidine), Diflucan (fluconazole), Nizoral (ketoconazole), VFEND (voriconazole), Intelence (etravirine), Felbatol (felbamate), Prozac, Serafem, Symbyax (fluoxetine), Luvox (fluvoxamine) and Ticlid (ticlopidine).”

The good news is that … “Zantac (ranitidine), Pepcid (famotidine), Axid (nizatidine), and antacids [that] do not inhibit the CYP2C19 enzyme aren’t expected to interfere with the anti-clotting activity of Plavix.”

Here’s the link to the official FDA warning here.

Recall : RockHard Weekend from RockHard Laboratories

To me, a “Dietary Supplement” is a glass of OJ with my eggs. Some bacon in my Whataburger. Things you actually consume with a meal as part of a meal to enhance said meal.

Having said that, I still fail to see how something called “RockHard Weekend” from RockHard Laboratories has anything to do whatsoever with “Dietary Supplement”. It’s either that or I’ve been doing something horribly wrong for breakfast, lunch and dinner this whole time.

The FDA announced that “RockHard Laboratories is conducting a voluntary recall after being informed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that voluntary lab analysis found… sulfoaildenfil, an analogue of Sildenfil, an FDA-approved drug used as treatment for male Erectile Dysfunction (ED) making RockHard Weekend an unapproved drug.”

In other words, just like the “stiff nights” recall, “RockHard Weekend” has some prescription-based ingredients that they tried to slip under the radar.

The FDA’s justification for the recall is the same one they used on the “stiff nights” recall. It might kill you! Maybe.

“The undeclared ingredient may pose a threat to consumers because the analogue may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin) and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Consumers with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates. ED is a common problem in men with these conditions, and consumers may seek these types of products to enhance sexual performance.”

Here’s the link to the official FDA recall notice.

Busy Bee (Second Set – 5 photos)

Yesterday I saw this little bee working through a small cluster of flowers late in the afternoon. None of the buds had fully opened, but he was easily reaching inside each one he landed on. I stayed still long enough for him to fly near me and took these photos.

I didn’t see any other bees in the area. This guy was doing it all by himself.

Busy Bee II 1

Busy Bee II 1

Busy Bee II 2

Busy Bee II 2

Busy Bee II 3

Busy Bee II 3

Busy Bee II 4

Busy Bee II 4

Busy Bee II 5

Busy Bee II 5

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