Christmas in the modern era has something in common with singer Miley Cyrus; they both come in rather like a wrecking ball. The bizarre amalgam of biblical birth, Nordic folklore, and vast commercial exploitation is a dizzying onslaught of the senses and sensibilities alike, devastating everything in its path.
I find my frustration and distress rising daily as I read about ever more cases of sexual harassment. I presume I am in the expansive company of ethical people in general, fellow parents of sons and daughters alike. Perhaps as a preventive medicine specialist accustomed to looking for patterns of human vulnerability and finding means of preventing the next crisis before it recurs, the endless cycle of revelation and reactive repugnance is particularly intolerable (quite like the cycle of futile thoughts and prayers that follows each episode of mass casualty carnage).
More than 15,000 scientists from nearly 200 countries have signed their support for a scientific publication reminding humanity that we are soiling our nest. This is thought to be the largest assembly of scientists ever to co-sign and directly support a journal article- and I am proud to be one of them.
An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine predicts the future prevalence of obesity among adults in the United States based on the current prevalence of childhood obesity, and simulation models incorporating prevailing patterns of weight change over time. The news is far from good. As stated succinctly by Reuters among the extensive media coverage, nearly 60% of American children are on track to be obese by age 35.
Blessed, so Monty Python tells us, are the cheese makers. They go on to clarify that this particular Messianic assertion in the Life of Brian is allegorical, and actually connotes all participants in the manufacture of dairy products. I have colleagues who agree emphatically with that contention, others who just as emphatically denounce it. So it tends to go in all matters of religious fervor, diet salient among them these days.