Saturday, August 16, 2008

Short Takes

Bush's "Reading First" program doesn’t work

According to U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige on March 18, 2003: “Reading First is a model for what No Child Left Behind is all about.”

Ooops, looks like taxpayer dollars are being wasted on another Republican failed policy idea.

New York Times/May 2, 2008: “President Bush’s $1 billion a year initiative to teach reading to low-income children has not helped improve their reading comprehension, according to a Department of Education report. Reading First did not improve students’ reading comprehension,’ concluded the report.

Interestingly, “Nevada’s Reading First website ( contains no hint of the questions that have been raised about the program.” The scores were noticeably unchanged.

Way to go Bushie.

The Pill Responsible for Picking The Wrong Guy.

LiveScience reports: “The Pill makes women pick bad mates,” followed by “Ability to sniff out a compatible partner affected by taking contraceptives”

The best mates are those that have different smells than you. The new study reveals, however, that when women are on the pill they prefer guys with matching MHC odors. It could ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the contraceptive pill, as odor perception plays a significant role in maintaining attraction to partners. The pill puts a woman's body into a hormonally pregnant state (the reason she doesn’t ovulate), and during that time there would be no reason to seek out a mate. So the pill puts a woman's body into a post-mating state, even though she might be still in the game. ”The pill is in effect mirroring a natural shift but at an inappropriate time,” one researcher told LiveScience. The results are detailed in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Now what? Should dating sites require women to drop the pill? What about those who have already gotten married, under the influence of, “the Pill.” Should we see what happens to their nifty marriage once the magical effects of the pill wears off? And finally, can you use this scientific fact as a reasons for divorce: “He doesn’t pass the sniff test, judge.”

Poor Air Quality Part of climate Change

A new report in Canada, titled “No Breathing Room: National Illness Costs of Air Pollution,” shows another side to the climate change debate. If your not convince that there is such a thing as global warming, then what about dying from the same problematic pollution because of disease?

The CBC provides these details: An estimated 700,000 Canadians will die prematurely over the next two decades because of illnesses caused by poor air quality, the Canadian Medical Association said in a report Wednesday. This year, an estimated 21,000 Canadians will die from heart and lung illnesses brought on by breathing polluted air. Most of the deaths will be among people over 65, who are most vulnerable to heart disease.

In the long term, air pollution leads to higher rates of cardiovascular disease by damaging muscle cells in the arteries of the heart, causing them to harden. In the short term, air pollution affects how blood clots leading to more heart attacks during bad air days.

If you want to appeal to the conservative greed factor to make your point, the run this by them: The costs of dirty air will add up to $10 billion this year. The costs will rise to $250 billion by the year 2031 if no improvements are made.

While the CMA does not make policy, they urged governments to respond to the health effects of the environment, or pay the price at the polls, since everyone has to breathe.

I'll tell you what, next time you're talking to a Republican, you might want to check to see if they are truly breathing. After failing at being fiscally conservative and good stewards on national security, are they faking that too?

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