How Oysters Can Protect Houses From Hurricanes

A new study shows that bivalves can make dynamic and cost-effective sea walls, a potentially valuable tool for protecting coastal communities from rising sea levels.

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The environmental impact of oysters, in one photo

The water in both tanks came from the same source. The one on the right has bivalves. Not only do oysters naturally filter the waters in which they live, they can even protect humans from destructive hurricanes. For more, read about New York’s efforts to bring back oyster populations in the once-toxic Hudson River.

Delicious AND helpful. Who knew?



US facing sanctions after defying WTO trade rules

The United States could soon be facing sanctions as a result of a ruling handed down by the World Trade Organization this week concerning an American meat labeling law contested by officials in Mexico and Canada.

On Monday, the WTO decided against the US and said the nation’s country-of-origin labeling law is in violation of international fair trade rules.

America’s country-of-origin labeling, or COOL, law mandates that the packages of most beef, poultry, pork and lamb sold in the US clearly list where the animal in question was born, raised and harvested. Canada and Mexico have called this COOL law unfair, however, and said it unfairly discriminates against exports from those countries. Indeed, Reuters noted this week that Canadian pig and cattle exports to the US have diminished since 2009 — one year after the current COOL law was adopted in the US.

In a statement Monday, the WTO sided with America’s neighbors and said that US COOL laws have “a detrimental impact on the competitive opportunities” of livestock that’s imported, “and thus accords less favorable treatment.”

America’s COOL law, the WTO said, “necessitates increased segregation of meat and livestock in the US market, entails a higher record-keeping burden and increases the original COOL measure’s incentive to choose domestic over imported livestock.”

The WTO ruled previously in June 2012 that American COOL laws unfairly discriminated against Canadian and Mexican meat and, in response, told the US to adhere to certain changes. Now with the WTO ruling once again against the US, possible sanctions are now reportedly on the horizon.

“Basically the (WTO) Appellate Body has told them three times now to get rid of mandatory country of origin labeling,” Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told Reuters. “I don’t see any negotiation, other than how long it’s going to take to make that happen.”

In a statement sent to Canadian media, Ritz saluted the WTO’s latest resolution.

“Today’s WTO compliance panel’s report reaffirms Canada’s long-standing view that the revised US COOL measure is blatantly protectionist and fails to comply with the WTO’s original ruling against it,”Ritz said on Monday. “The WTO’s clear and consistent findings in support of Canada’s position effectively supply a clear message to the US — end this protectionist policy that creates economic harm on both sides of the border and comply with your international trade obligations.”

Trade representatives in the US now have 20 days to appeal the WTO’s ruling, Reuters reported, but, should it fail to adopt new labeling rules, then Mexico and Canada may be given the clear from the group to begin imposing trade sanctions.

Bob McCan, the president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, acknowledged to the Financial Post that the WTO ruling may have a negative effect on American agriculture.

“The announcement today by the WTO dispute panel on the US Country of Origin Labelling rule brings us all one step closer to facing retaliatory tariffs from two of our largest trading partners,” McCan said Monday.

If Canada is given the go-ahead by the WTO to impose sanctions, then Ritz said certain agricultural products will soon be targeted.

We will target everything from California wine to Minnesota mattresses, not to mention the over $2 billion in US beef and pork sales to Canada,” Ritz told The Canadian Press. “We will do whatever it takes to stand up for an integrated North American beef industry and we will not rest until this work is done.”

Canada and Mexico will remain vigilant to ensure the harm generated by the protectionist COOL policy is brought to an end and that international trade commitments are respected,” representatives from both nations said in a joint statement this week. “We remain committed to using the WTO process to reach a satisfactory resolution to our concern, including if and as necessary, seeking authorization to implement retaliatory measures on US agricultural and non-agricultural products.”

From HERE.


Notice you all that there is not much discussion of bagpipes on this blog. And probably never will be.


In the debut episode of Who’s Fucking, Josh and Debra tell the remarkable story of how they first met, fell in love, and started fucking.


Dr.Oz-endorsed diet pill study was bogus, researchers admit

A diet study about the supposed benefits of green coffee bean extract, which got national attention after Dr. Oz promoted it on his TV show, has been retracted. The science watchdog website Retraction Watch reports that the two researchers who were paid to write the study admitted they could not verify the data.

“The sponsors of the study cannot assure the validity of the data so we, Joe Vinson and Bryan Burnham, are retracting the paper,” the researchers said in a statement. The study was originally published in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy in 2012.

In their work, the researchers claimed that that green coffee bean extract could help people lose weight without diet or exercise. However, federal regulators later discovered that key data, including the participants’ weight measurements,appeared to have been altered.

Dr. Oz touted the product on his show in May 2012 — publicity that helped the manufacturer sell half a million bottles of the pills.

After coming under criticism for promoting phony “miracle” cures, Oz revisited the topic by conducting his own trial on the the supplement. All 100 women in the studio audience participated; half of the women received the green coffee bean extract, while the other half received a placebo. Oz and his fellow researchers reported that after two weeks the women who took the supplement lost an average of two pounds, while the women taking the placebo lost an average of one pound.

However, many in the medical community, and some members of Congress, were not convinced.

Oz defended his role at a Senate hearing last June after being confronted about deceptive advertising for over-the-counter diet products, including the green coffee bean extract. “My show is about hope,” he said. “We’ve engaged millions in programs — including programs we did with the CDC — to get folks to realize there are different ways they can rethink their future.”

“I’ve got no problem with celebrity endorsements of any product but I do have a problem when a science-based doctor says something is a miracle when there’s no science to back it up,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, who chairs the Senate’s Consumer Protection panel, told CBS News’ Nancy Cordes in a June interview.

Then last month, the Federal Trade Commission filed a legal complaint against Applied Food Science Inc., the Texas-based company that sponsored the original study on green coffee bean extract, for false advertising. The FTC alleged that the study was “so hopelessly flawed that no reliable conclusions could be drawn from it.”

The company agreed to pay a $3.5 million settlement.

“Applied Food Sciences knew or should have known that this botched study didn’t prove anything,” Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement in September. “In publicizing the results, it helped fuel the green coffee phenomenon.”

Could Dr. Oz himself face legal action for talking up the product on his show? Legal analyst and CBS News correspondent Eboni Williams says it’s unlikely. “Basically this boils down to ‘good faith,'” she explains. Unless there was proof that Oz knew the data was fraudulent, he couldn’t be held liable. “A plaintiff could argue that he ‘should’ have known better, but it’s a high burden to prove the requisite knowledge required to prevail in court,” Williams said.


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After falling in love and escaping Auschwitz together, this couple was separated in the midst of World War II. In 1982, Cyla Cybulskawas relating her past to her cleaner who then informed Cybulska she heard a man by the name of Jerzy Bielecki relating the same story on a TV channel in Poland, and helped Cybulska track him down.

In the summer of 1983, they finally met at the Krakow airport. He brought 39 red roses, one for each year they had spent apart.


Hear Led Zeppelin’s Hedgerow-Bustling ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Alternate Mix

“It’s always interesting to hear stuff that you know really well and hear it differently, but the same,” John Paul Jones tells Rolling Stone

Led Zeppelin‘s weeklong sojourn at Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Sound Recorders in 1971 — when guitarist and producer Jimmy Page mixed several tracks that he would later disavow and remix for the group’s fourth album — has long been a curious part of the group’s history. Now, more than four decades after the record came out, the band is including the Sunset Sound mix of their most epic song, “Stairway to Heaven,” on the deluxe edition of their fourth record.

The Sunset Sound mix reveals a moodier approach to the tune. The pipes in the intro are quieter, the guitars are generally more present and the drums sit back a bit as Page takes control of the bridge. Its general murkiness makes for a somewhat more somber effect.

Video and more found HERE.


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Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)



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