This is another of the W.O.O.D. series of semi-regular
Weekly Occasional Open Discussions.
(i.e. if I forget and skip one, no big)
Immediate prior one here:
and remains open for threads running there
(at least until the ‘several month’ auto-close of comments on stale threads).
Canonical list of old ones here:
So use “Tips” for “Oooh, look at the interesting ponder thing!”
and “W.O.O.D” for “Did you see what just happened?! What did you think about it?”
What’s Going On?
Still cold, even though we’re into April. In California we’ve made a swap to a respite from the rain and snow, for now. “Back East” not so much. Europe still a bit cold. Rest Of World, well, I’ve not been keeping up. I guess it’s time to find out.
RT has gone back to their slightly baleful ‘West Bashing’ pot stirring. They’d been holding off in the hope that Trump would be the one to finally treat them like any other nation; but the tossing of diplomats has turned them back to the “Oh Well, they hate us” mode.
The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’m not seeing the upside for Russia in the Skripal poisoning. So “who gains” by it? Not Trump. It’s just another “Russia Bad” albatross looking for a neck to land on. Not Russia, near as I can tell they gain nothing and got EU / Western rejection in return. Most of the ROW (Rest Of World) is on the sidelines and neither gains nor loses anything. A weak case can be made for China, but only based on old historical border clashes with Russia and / or a general desire to keep any and all non-China players busy somewhere else.
What keeps coming back for me is The Great Game (Britain vs Russia in Crimea) and whoever it was who said about NATO, that its purpose was to “Keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”. It sure looks to me like the EU and UK are the big beneficiaries.
We’ll likely never know the truth.
Still doing that “going down thing”. Not all the indexes are in the “confirmed down” structure, but IMHO, it’s now a bear market. Tech had held up the best, after going up the most, but the key tech players have been getting their shorts pulled to their ankles. Not seeing who’s going to be the ball carrier going forward.
The Dems are continuing to go “All Out” on the Get Trump! Jihad and have Mueller all fired up and rolling. They seem to have missed that should they succeed, about 1/2 the country will want their scalps at the polls. It is always better to have your opponent hang themselves with their own policies than to be seen pushing them down the stairwell; but the Dims in the Dems have not figured that out yet.
Global Warming Propaganda
It has not let up. I’ve been under-motivated to sink more years of my life into “The Good Fight” since the weather has turned and Trump is in place to block them. But we see they are just pumping ever more BS ever harder AND they are trying to weaponize the judges appointed by the Obama Machine (and fellow traveler). Lately suing the Oil Companies for the Thought Crime of disagreeing with them. Even more push ongoing on the international front.
Clearly it’s going to be “no rest for Mikey”. Guess I need to “get over it” and get back to work.
It’s GOOD for you, but theoretically could give you cancer Department
Well, a judge in California has decreed that since coffee contains acrylamide and acrylamide can cause cancer in rats if you give them enough of it, Coffee MUST be labeled as a “known carcinogen” under Prop. 65 rules in California. Oh, and there’s a $2500 / person “fine” to be assessed for each time the warning was NOT given, potentially back dated to 2008 or so. Now, as Starbucks was collecting $5 / coffee, shelling out $2500 for each of them will clearly break the bank.
One hopes the judge realizes that if the entire State must suddenly go though coffee / caffeine withdrawal it will not be pretty and the economy will collapse. Since the entire Tech Industry / Silicon Valley runs on copious quantities of coffee applied several times per day; lets just say you can kiss off the entire Tech Industrial base in California. ALL those companies have a free coffee station and it does NOT have The Sign! (I figure Apple, alone, owes me about $6,387,500 for my days of coffee drinking there…)
Now realize there are 2 major implications of this that have been ignored by Herr Judge:
1) EVERY vendor of ANY coffee faces this same risk. COSTCO, Walmart, Safeway, Mom’s Restaurant, Wolfgang Puck’s, MacDonald’s, Denny’s, etc. etc. Essentially ALL grocery outlets and almost ALL prepared food vendors and MANY food packagers handle coffee or things with coffee as an ingredient. If the one Starbuck’s that was in the case gets nailed to the yardarm, the rest will face suit the next day.
2) All sorts of other foods have acrylamide or other carcinogenic ingredients in them in trivial quantities. All those foods are now on the chopping block too. Hotdogs. Salami. Tea. ANYTHING roasted or BBQ. Smoked meats and fish. Anything fried, seared, flame broiled or baked above 250 F.
Discovery of acrylamide in foods
Acrylamide was discovered in foods in April 2002 by Eritrean scientist Eden Tareke in Sweden when she found the chemical in starchy foods, such as potato chips (potato crisps), French fries (chips), and bread that had been heated higher than 120 °C (248 °F) (production of acrylamide in the heating process was shown to be temperature-dependent). It was not found in food that had been boiled or in foods that were not heated.
Acrylamide has been found in roasted barley tea, called mugicha in Japanese. The barley is roasted so it is dark brown prior to being steeped in hot water. The roasting process revealed 200–600 micrograms/kg of acrylamide in mugicha. This is less than the >1000 micrograms/kg found in potato crisps and other fried whole potato snack foods cited in the same study and it is unclear how much of this is ingested after the drink is prepared. Rice cracker and sweet potato levels were lower than in potatoes. Potatoes cooked whole were found to have significantly lower acrylamide levels than the others, suggesting a link between food preparation method and acrylamide levels.
Acrylamide levels appear to rise as food is heated for longer periods of time. Although researchers are still unsure of the precise mechanisms by which acrylamide forms in foods, many believe it is a byproduct of the Maillard reaction. In fried or baked goods, acrylamide may be produced by the reaction between asparagine and reducing sugars (fructose, glucose, etc.) or reactive carbonyls at temperatures above 120 °C (248 °F).
Later studies have found acrylamide in black olives, prunes, dried pears, and coffee.
Oh, and do note that no evidence of any cancer is needed. Also note that a history of IMPROVING health and longevity and lowering cancer rates is also irrelevant (coffee has that history in the bag already). There is NO defense. Any amount of acrylamide means you are up for suit and must put up a “MY FOOD CAUSES CANCER” sign. Even on your prune juice.
Oh, and the fact that the evidence for acrylamide in food causing cancer is uncertain at best also doesn’t matter. Someone, somewhere, sometime, claimed it might, so paranoia is mandated.
From the same wiki:
As of 2014 it is still not clear whether dietary acrylamide consumption affects people’s risk of developing cancer. Experimental results that are based on feeding acrylamide to animals might not be applicable to humans. Food industry workers exposed to twice the average level of acrylamide do not exhibit higher cancer rates.
We have detoxifying enzyme systems:
On the other hand, acrylamide and glycidamide can be detoxified via conjugation with glutathione to form acrylamide- and isomeric glycidamide-glutathione conjugates, subsequently metabolized to mercapturic acids and excreted in urine.
But that matters not. Feed a few pounds of it to rats and they get sick, well then, can’t have a few micrograms in your coffee… /sarc;
I don’t know if it’s a paranoia act by the PC Food Police, or just Lawyers Gone Wild with a poorly written law (prop.65) or what. Or just a general shake down racket by the government. That it’s absolutely nuts is clear.
We already have “Prop. 65″ warnings (WARNING: This establishment sells products containing chemicals known to the State Of California to cause cancer.” as a rough paraphrase) in pretty much every store possible. All gas stations. Hardware stores. Cleaning supply stores. Grocery stores. etc. etc. We all already 100% ignore them. Is it REALLY going to be any better if coffee shops buy the signs too? (Oh, and car repair places, car parts stores, sporting goods stores, department stores, etc. etc. etc…)
So “Watch This Space” since anyone who sells coffee or ANY other food product with ANY acrylamide in it is up for Lawyer Retirement Plan suits now.
Note that bolded by me “Maillard reaction” bit? That’s what happens when you brown food in a pan to improve the flavor. Browned meat or potatoes or really anything that tastes good from frying – that’s the name of the reaction that makes it taste good and makes it brown. So ANY food cooked hotter than 248 F (i.e. more than boiled) better come with a cancer warning our your company will be up for the shake down and your stock could plummet on the $2500 / head / day penalties.
So, you want BBQ or Baked Bread or a nice Steak, or even just a burger and fries: You either put up that Prop. 65 Cancer Paranoia sign, or get whacked. Oh, and BTW, you can be whacked retroactive as you “ought to have known” since it was announced that acrylamide was “an issue” some time before 2008…
One hopes the judge rules wisely and says folks get 90 days to put up signs and THEN penalties will apply. If it’s a retroactive reward, well, expect a LOT of bankruptcies of folks selling food in California.
One final point:
Some long time ago I read where hot beverages and hot water from the bath (a person of the habit of running hot water on their foot to set the temp) could cause cancer. In theory, this means ANY place with hot drinks or a hot water faucet must also have a Prop. 65 warning or is “up for grabs” in the legal land grab this Pandora’s box represents.
“California, land of fruits and nuts”… unfortunately the Nuts are running the government here and sitting on the court benches… IMHO of course.