Tuesday, July 13, 2004

From the US Department of Duh

Report Questions Value of Color-Coded Warnings

Aww, but I'd incorporated so much more yellow into my wardrobe . . . .

And in other news:

Random Public Policy Gripe of the Day:
Not to bust a libertarian move or anything - but, must the federal government really spend money overhaul the food pyramid?

Apparently, there's still confusion over what constitutes a portion size and general befuddlement over spacial relations that allow a person to interpret the top of the pyramid (fats, oils, sugars) as smaller than the bottom (grains, breads). How about we just make it smaller - that seems to be the main problem with ever-growing Americans.

Since weight-loss is something with which I'm quite familiar, I have lots of anecdotal and personal thoughts on the matter. However, from a public policy perspective, I'll just say this: I think most government involvement in this area is silly and some of the worst examples of special-interest influence out there. Lawsuits are worse, of course. There are two regulations I would support however: 1) Fast food wrappers should have printed on them those little "nutrition info" boxes. The companies have the information already - but it's a pain to get it; and 2) all food producers and fast food restaurants should be required to drop the cagy crap. By that I mean, don't get coy and halve the calories and slip that "Serving Size: 2.5" at the top. We all know no one eats half a burger or drinks 1.25 of a 20 oz coke or Snapple. And when you list the calories for a burger, etc, don't list it without ketchup, cheese, mustard, and whatever else comes with it 9/10 times (Subway - I'm looking at you). Full disclosure = no grounds for lawsuits.

More Billboard Fun:
Two billboards are going up in Times Square today, featuring Xtina and Andre 3000 with their mouths sewn shut and the caption "Only you can silence yourself." The ads, by Declare Yourself, are part of an effort to give voting "cultural cache." (watch out, the article features a quote from bad-girl-blogger Wonkette - who is, to confirm Phoblog Reader Misty's info - covering the Demo convention for MTV [insert primal blogger scream here]).

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors:
Benjamin Netanyahu argues, fences can always be moved.

Two Hot Blooded Films Reveal, you know, Something:
The Passion and Fahrenheit make for interesting audience analysis.

Dick Jokes:
Still falling flat, this story is still getting lots of coverage, but probably little resolution. If you watch the video, he looks less evil - but just as stupid. The question to ask here isn't whether Riordan should stay Secretary - it's why the hell we have a Secretary of Education to begin with since there are about 3 people in Sacramento who all think they're in charge of schools (note how well CA schools are running, too . . . .)

From the Ewww Dept.:
Making a killing at cleaning the mess people leave behind in this world
Seems someone paid a lot of attention to Pulp Fiction - who said movie-watching isn't a fruitful endeavor?

At first, Smither relied on trial and error to learn which chemicals and tools to use. Now, he uses a custom-made liquid enzyme that coagulates just about any protein -- including blood, brain, flesh and human waste -- into handy-to-pick-up solids . Also a critical tool: the wire scrub brush. And lots and lots of paper towels.

Kinda makes you want to pull out that chemistry set, don't it.

And, lastly, for now anyway - More on the AIDS Conference:
France Accuses U.S. of AIDS Blackmail
More on the battle between patent law and humanitarian efforts. Altruism v. Capitalism, continued.

::SITE STATUS UPDATE::

Scott Lay over at Around the Capitol confirms that - poof - my XML works again. A CYD friend advised me that after clicking for months, it just up and worked the other day. Who knows how or why (there are definite limits to Phoblog's code prowess). But, in short, I'm fully syndicate-able again. Knock yourselves out - the link is at the bottom of the side bar.

And speaking of the side bar - you'll note the addition of a Voter Reg icon at the top which takes you to a great site with easy info on registering, absentee ballots, etc, provided by Declare Yourself, linked the clip above as well. There may be a few other timely links appearing in the next day or two, so check back.

Regular readers may also notice a change in the side bar's appearance. Remember a graf or two ago when I said there are limits to my code prowess? Well, I'm not entirely sure how I got the sidebar to change - but I like it better this way. Maybe you do too. At any rate - there'll be more tinkering to come, I'm sure . . .

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