Tuesday, January 10th, 2023


Fat of the Land

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidelines when it comes to childhood obesity. The gist: Overweight kids should be evaluated and treated early and aggressively; that means introducing drug interventions for kids as young as 12 and surgery for those as young as 13. "The guidelines come as new drug treatments for obesity in kids have emerged, including approval late last month of Wegovy, a weekly injection, for use in children ages 12 and older ... A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Wegovy, made by Novo Nordisk, helped teens reduce their BMI by about 16% on average." We can expect drug interventions to expand dramatically due to the increasingly popular and plentiful drugs that help people control blood sugar levels and lose weight. But there's a reason these drugs are so popular just as there's a reason an increasing number of kids are obese. And that reason has to do what what we consume. Instead of an ounce of prevention, nutritionists are left to pound sand. But, shouldn't we focus as much on the obvious cause of the ailment as we do on the potential cure? We don't because fat cat food lobbyists want processed foods, not processed facts. And the pharma lobbyists are cool with that, too. Let them eat cake. It's good for business.


Fed Zeppelin

"After soaring to nearly 17 percent during the first months of the pandemic, joblessness among African Americans has fallen to under 6 percent, a near-record low. African Americans have experienced their strongest wage growth ever. But these gains may be in jeopardy because of the Fed's interest-rate increases. Normally, unemployment among African Americans is almost twice what it is for their white counterparts, so if the overall jobless rate rises above, say, 5 percent, the rate for African Americans could very well be back in the double digits." The Fed needs to control inflation. Controlling inflation likely means rising unemployment. Do nothing, the working class gets hammered by higher prices. Raise rates, many of them lose their jobs. Michael Steinberger in the NYT Mag (Gift Article): Winning the War on Inflation. But at What Cost?
There's a good chance that the Fed could push the economy into recession. The pain will not be shared equally. (It never is...)


Stove Top Huffing

"The results are based on an analysis of previous research that estimated children living in homes with gas stoves were 34% more at risk of developing asthma. That risk factor, combined with data from 2019 showing that more than one-third of US households primarily cooked with gas, indicated that about 650,000 kids likely had asthma because of gas stoves." That gas stove you're cooking on could be giving your kids asthma.

+ A US federal agency is considering a ban on gas stoves. This will become a hot button cultural issue. If you're worried about gas stoves and health, you're too woke. If you cook over gas, you're a real American. Either that, or you're susceptible to lobbying. How the Fossil Fuel Industry Convinced Americans to Love Gas Stoves. Whether you're using a gas stove or listening the politically-driven arguments about its safety, I suggest you crack open a window. The fresh air will do you good.


IV the Win

Finally, a Georgia race that wasn't close... The Bulldogs won their second consecutive national championship after completely destroying TCU, 65–7. SI: Stetson Bennett IV and Georgia Redefine Dominance in College Football.

+ The Stetson Bennett IV story will provide years of locker room fodder for coaches and driving-to-practice motivational speeches for parents. He walked on at Georgia. No one believed in him. So he transferred to junior college. He won. He came back to Georgia. No one believed him. He won. And won. And won. Now that his college career is over, everyone is convinced he has no shot as an NFL player and will instead be local hero and highly successful owner of several Georgia-based car dealerships. I'm not so sure that will be his lot. Stetson Bennett IV haters: Take a walk and realize this dude is a college football legend.

+ Last night's blowout may have been one of the few times viewers turned off a sporting event. Sports events accounted for 94 of the top 100 telecasts of 2022.


Extra, Extra

Instormnia: Go easy on Californians who seem a little sleepy this week. Our endless atmospheric river is causing a ton of damage, mudslides, and floods. The wind and rain is also loud enough to keep us up at night. And there's no end in sight. We either get fires or floods. Welcome to the new normal, where the forecast calls for damage. "Even though 2022 wasn't near record hot for the United States, it was the third wildest year nationally both in number of extremes that cost $1 billion and overall damage from those weather catastrophes."

+ Doc Warrant: "President Biden's personal attorneys have discovered classified documents among what appear to be Obama-era records when the current president was vice president ... The Archives collected the documents the following morning and the matter is under review by the Justice Department." Yes, you'll be hearing a ton of false equivalence about this and the Mar-a-Lago case. It took the Biden team ten seconds to voluntarily turn over the docs. Trump refused to which led to the raid which led to the ongoing case. There's no similarity.

+ Lasers Espaciais: "Millions of Brazilians appear to be convinced that October's presidential election was rigged against Mr. Bolsonaro, despite audits and analyses by experts finding nothing of the sort. Those beliefs are in part the product of years of conspiracy theories, misleading statements and explicit falsehoods spread by Mr. Bolsonaro and his allies claiming Brazil's fully electronic voting systems are rife with fraud." NYT: What Drove a Mass Attack on Brazil's Capital? Mass Delusion.

+ Hot Bot: "Microsoft has been in talks to invest $10 billion into the owner of ChatGPT, the wildly popular app that has thrilled casual users and artificial-intelligence experts since its latest software was released last month." Makes sense for Microsoft. The product can be integrated into Word and other apps. It can also challenge Google's search dominance. Here are 20 Entertaining Uses of ChatGPT You Never Knew Were Possible. I can't stress this enough. This is a proof of concept level application. You ain't seen nothing yet.

+ The Kid Stays in the Picture: "Police say a 6-year-old student shot his teacher at a Virginia elementary school on Friday, and authorities face a difficult and uncomfortable question: How should they prosecute a crime committed by a first-grader?" Blame the culture, not the kid.

+ Slapdash: "When the head of a major sports organization is caught on video slapping his wife multiple times, his career should be in jeopardy. But other than a few days of remarkably mild criticism, Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White appears to be avoiding any real professional consequences." The Atlantic: The Sports Scandal Almost Nobody Is Talking About. The UFC's macho culture is cool with hitting women?

+ Social Mediation: "A new lawsuit filed by Seattle Public Schools against TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Snap, Instagram, and their parent companies alleges that the social media giants have 'successfully exploited the vulnerable brains of youth' for their own profit, using psychological tactics that have led to a mental health crisis in schools."


Bottom of the News

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince: "What other royal recollection would cover losing his virginity behind a pub, or go into such prolonged detail about a frost-bitten penis? This royal appendage gets more lines than many of his relatives." Spare review: The weirdest book ever written by a royal.

+ "He was a winner of America's most prestigious journalism prize, and his life story was turned into a movie starring Ben Affleck. He knows George Clooney, who reportedly introduced him to the subject of his latest work. Yet JR Moehringer is not among the rich, royal and famous who make appearances in Spare, Prince Harry's memoir. Instead, Mr Moehringer helped him write it." Who is Harry's celebrated ghostwriter, JR Moehringer? Even ghost writers are famous now. You gotta love modern society!

+ We were promised jetpacks. We're getting flying motorcycles.