Kony 2012

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In this podcast, the good guys discuss the latest viral internet video “Kony 2012”. Listen and learn to find out who Joseph Kony is, what the Invisible Children organization stands for, and whether or not the Kony 2012 is a good thing. And of course, catch up on the latest antics of our weekly challenges and segments! Thanks for listening!

Watch the Kony 2012 video here!

For more information about this topic, feel free to visit the following websites:
http://www.invisiblechildren.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kony

 

 

 

 

 

 

Controversial Invisible Children picture
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2113956/Kony-2012-Photo-shows-Invisible-Children-founders-posing-weapons.html

Medical Marijuana

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OK, so here are our magic videos.  Leave a comment and let us know who you think had the best tricks! A special apology to Mitch, the video didn’t switch for the first bit of his trick. You can see him in the little video on the bottom though.

Medical Marijuana content is below the videos.

 


 


 

History:
Marijuana has been in use medically, ritualistically, and recreationally for at least 5000 years.  The first reference to medical marijuana is thought to have been an ancient pharmacopoeia used by Chinese emperor Shen-Nung in 2700 B.C.  This ancient text, which is considered to be the world’s oldest pharmacopoeia, recommends marijuana for more than 100 ailments, including gout, rheumatism, malaria, and absentmindedness, and sits among other common herbal remedies such as ginseng and ephedra.  Interestingly, it was originally used as a tea; smoking marijuana has been a relatively recent form of ingestion of the drug.  From east Asia, marijuana moved west to Persia, Syria, Egypt, Greece, and Italy between 2000 and 1500 B.C.  Here, it began to be used not only for its physiologic properties, but also in the form of hemp for clothing, rope, and paper.  Many sources actually suggest that the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp-based paper!In 1854, marijuana was included in the US dispensary for the first time.  Many of the doctors we imagine as making “house calls” carried marijuana extracts in their black bags.  The drug was especially useful for insomnia, headaches, and anorexia, though it was commonly prescribed for pain, whooping cough, asthma, and sexual dysfunction.  Fast-forward to 1999, and you’ll find a report from the institute of medicine which summarized existing peer-reviewed literature, and found that there was at least some benefit in smoking marijuana for stimulating appetite, especially in AIDS-related wasting syndrome.  It also was found to be helpful for nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy.Throughout the 20th and 21st century, the popularity of marijuana has remained consistent.  Many people smoke marijuana for its mind-altering effects, but others maintain that, despite a lack of good randomized controlled clinical trials proving its efficacy, it is an excellent “organic” alternative to many of the drugs synthesized in laboratories.

Vocab:
Cannabis =
comes from the latin name for the common marijuana plant, of which there are 3 species; Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.  C. sativa is the most commonly cultivated species in the US.Cannabinoids = chemical compounds that activate receptors in the brain and in the immune system, causing euphoria, decreased pain sensation, and reducing inflammation.  There are 3 major types of cannabinoids: 1) endocannabinoids, which are produced naturally in human tissue.  2) phytocannabinoids, which are produced by plants.  3) synthetic cannabinoids, which are produced in a laboratory.  

THC = short for tetrahydrocannabinol, one of the main phytocannabinoids responsible for feelings of euphoria

Cannabidiol = the second of the two main phytocannabinoids – maximizes euphoria and minimizes anxiety

Recreational Use Today:
Marijuana is the most widely-used illicit drug in the world.  UN estimates report that at least 190 million people consumed the drug in 2007.  Most people smoke marijuana for a few reasons.  First, the drug is much more predictable this way.  The drug is absorbed very consistently through the lungs, especially when compared to the stomach.  As such, it allows for more effective titration of the drug to reach a desired effect.  Most people experience a mild euphoria, relaxation, and perceptual alterations (time distortion, intensification of ordinary experiences).  Unfortunately, some users react to the drug with anxiety and paranoia, whether they are using the drug recreationally or medically.  It is thought that unfamiliar situations can predispose to these negative effects.  The concentration of THC and Cannabidiol in marijuana does make a difference in the sensations a user can experience.  Greater levels of THC can cause a more potent euphoria, but may also cause a greater degree of anxiety and paranoia.  It is thought that an increase in cannabidiol is beneficial in two ways; it increases the euphoric effects of THC, and decreases the anxiety and paranoia.  As such, preparations with a large cannabidiol to THC ratio are the most sought-after.  

Medical Use Today:
So far, only 4 pharmaceutical cannabinoids have been marketed.  2 of these have been available in the US since 1985 (dronabinol and nabilone), the other two are available in Canada and Europe, but have not been approved for use in the US.  Both of the US drugs are used for appetite stimulation and anti-nausea effects, especially in chemotherapy and AIDS patients.  They’re administered in pill form, which is easier to market and sell, but, as mentioned earlier, makes them more difficult to administer safely.  Their variable absorption results in a tiny therapeutic window (the amount of drug that gives a benefit without causing adverse effects).  It begs the question: Why should we prescribe these pills over the inhaled form of THC?  Of course, there is a risk of medical side-effects when inhaling marijuana smoke.  Much research has been conducted on the effects of cigarette smoke on lungs, and they have shown greatly increased risk of cancers, COPD, asthma, and overall decreased lung function.  However, most cigarette smokers inhale 8-10 cigarettes per day.  Most marijuana users smoke a considerably smaller amount of marijuana.  One recent study found that marijuana smokers with fewer than 7 “joint years” (equivalent of one joint per day for one year) had no deleterious effects on their lung function, while those with greater than 10 joint years had at least some increased risk for COPD, asthma, and persistent pneumonias.  Unfortunately, it has been difficult to give marijuana the amount of research that it probably deserves.

Where’s the Research?
The story of the illegalization of marijuana in America goes back to the 1930s.  In 1936, the movie “Reefer Madness” portrayed marijuana as a substance that induced insanity and anarchy.  In 1937, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics passed the Marijuana Tax Act (despite objections from the American Medical Association), which taxed medical cannabis at $1 per ounce and recreational marijuana at $100 per ounce.  Some researchers suggest that this movement started with law enforcement officers in the southwest, who associated marijuana with stereotypes of low-income Mexicans and migrant workers, who they thought were instigators of crimes and social decline in the area.  In 1942, it was removed from the US dispensatory due largely to the economic costs imposed by the Marijuana Tax Act.  In 1970, the US Congress declared marijuana to have no medical value – bypassing many of it’s own review processes, and made it illegal, despite a lack of scientific testimony and evaluation.  Marijuana was subsequently classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning that it had no medical benefit and had a high abuse potential (other drugs in this category include heroine and LSD).  As such, researchers have had to jump through hoops in order to study the drug’s effects.  In fact, the only federally authorized source of cannabis is a strain from the University of Mississippi.  Researches can only access this strain by applying to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an organization which has historically been very much aligned with opponents of marijuana use.

Currently, 16 states plus the District of Columbia allow legal use of marijuana with very strict restrictions, despite a federal stance that marijuana is an illicit substance.  This means that people living in these states can simultaneously be following state laws and breaking federal laws.  The American Medical Association, the Institute of Medicine, and the American College of Physicians maintain a stance that the “current patchwork of state laws do little to establish clinical standards for marijuana use,” and continue to push the federal government to re-classify marijuana as a Schedule 2 drug, making it much more accessible to the normal channels of research that are used to scrutinize other drugs.

What do you think?

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881

Inspiration for, and large parts of this summary were pulled from a recent Mayo Clinic Proceedings article which you can find here:  http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)00021-8/fulltext

Immortality

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So I think exactly a year ago, we did the Paleo challenge that was basically to eat a diet that is more in line with what our human bodies have evolved to eat. So lately I’ve been thinking about the other side of that equation; exercise, and overall health. I’m pretty sure that our bodies weren’t designed to do what I do every day and sit at a desk for 8+ hours, and I’m always skeptical when I hear things like, exercising 20 minutes a day will add 10 years to your life etc.

So I got interested in thinking about life expectancy as it relates to health, and stumbled onto a cool concept called “Compression of morbidity” that I’d like to spend some time exploring today. So before we jump in and start defining this concept, we have a few terms to get our heads around that are important to understand and that I didn’t really have a firm grasp of until I started digging into this research. And I’m going to follow a paper by the guy who coined this term, James Fries, who was a Stanford professor that came up with this concept back in the 70’s.

Life Expectancy
– The average length of life we would expect for an infant born today. This includes absolutely as many deaths as possible statistically speaking so while it’s the one that is most talked about, it’s almost the least valuable for this discussion. It’s just a strict average, so has some of the problems that averages do. For instance, if there is a high infant mortality rate, that’s going to pull the average down.
– To get around some of these problems, we can start talking about life expectancies of humans that are a certain age today? So for instance, an infant born today in the US, has a life expectancy of around 78 years. But the life expectancy for someone who is 70 today, is about 15 more years, or 85. This makes sense right, because if you make it to 75, you’ve ostensibly gotten through a lot of time without having catastrophic accidents, dying from chronic disease, etc.
– So if you look at the history of life expectancy of humans, you see what we already kind of feel, that life expectancies have been going up for thousands of years. The world average in the Paleolithic era was only 33 years, and has now rocketed to 67 in 2010. But, just to emphasize why this isn’t the greatest measure of how this relates to health, in the paleolithic era, if you made it to age 15, you could expect 39 more years to 54, so that kind of cuts out some of that dramatic increase, because things have become a lot safer.

Life Span
– The average longevity in a society without disease or accident. So life expectancy will always be lower than life span, but can approach it as things get safer, medicine gets better, etc.
– Fries spends a good portion of his paper providing arguments for how lifespan hasn’t really changed all that much over the years, and pretty much for humans, hovers right around 85 years. So if you don’t get a chronic disease early, and don’t get in a car accident or die in war, you’re probably going to live to about 85. I’m not going to waste a bunch of time providing his arguments, because I think that’s a pretty easy one to buy.

Maximum Life Potential
– This is the oldest age achieved by any human beings.
– Oldest verified person ever was Jeanne Calment: 122 years, 164 days
– Oldest person alive today: Besse Cooper: 115 Years, 169 days
– The important part about this, is that there really hasn’t been any huge historical change with regards to maximum life potential over the past few centuries. It’s gone up to be sure, but nowhere near the amount that life expectancy has gone up over the years.

So now that we have those terms defined, Fries begins a little to turn to policy, and how we think about age. So much of the time we think about how people are getting older, more people are living longer, etc, and that is true, but if you accept the premise that really it’s futile to try to do things to make people live longer and longer, because really our lifespan has always hovered at around 85, and our maximum potential hasn’t increased all that much either. He makes the argument that it’s pretty much a genetically determined thing for the human body to live to about 85.

So the next piece to look at, and the part that I’m really interested, is that if we only can reasonably plan to live to about 85, what do those last years look like? I’m sure we’ve all been close to someone or known someone who has had some rough years at the end of their life. In and out of hospitals, severely decreased mobility, etc. It’s a pretty painful situation for everyone involved so I think we can all agree that we would want to aggressively avoid this.

This is where Fries introduces the concept of “compression of morbidity” So let’s define morbidity: It is the presence or incidence of a disease or medical condition that causes such a burden to the sufferer that it severely decreases their quality of life.

So it goes without saying that we want that morbidity window to be as short as possible, even zero would be great if we just dropped dead in our sleep right? So there are certain indicators of morbidity that kind of kick off this ‘window of morbidity’: You can probably name them; Pneumonia, Heart Attack, Stroke, Emphysema, Cancer, etc. I would also expand the definition to things like alzheimers, traumatic structural injury like a hip breaking.

It’s depressing, but these morbidity factors are likely going to happen to us and the people we are close to. The longer we live, the greater chance of this stuff happening. So if you take the traditional view, that people are just getting older and older, and life EXPECTANCY is going to continue going up up up, it seems that we are hopelessly destined to spend more and more time in this ‘morbidity window.’
That’s where things get a little more uplifting with what we talked about earlier related to life SPAN. If you buy that no matter what, we probably shouldn’t expect to live much past 85 years old, then we can focus on compressing that morbidity window as much as possible. That is, rather than trying to have long life as a goal, our goal should be super-compressed morbidity. Where we live as long as we can with a good quality of life and then drop dead.

So Fries discussion turns to delaying those factors that indicate morbidity. If we can just delay as long as possible that first morbidity indicator, we can start compressing that morbidity window, hopefully to the point where the first catastrophic thing that happens to us will kill us right there.

So now we have something hopeful to shoot for. We know that behavior changes can affect incidence of a lot of these things. I’m not sure why this idea feels more tangible or attainable to me, but I’ve got kind of a top 5 things to do to compress your own morbidity. You’ve heard all of these before, but I think it’s a valuable exercise to look at them in the light of delaying the onset of morbidity factors as long as possible.

– Eat a healthy diet. You guys know I drink the Paleo-kool aid, but this is one of those no-brainers that has been proven over and over again to help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, a bunch of other stuff. These are all indicators of morbidity, so instead of thinking, ‘oh, if I eat these vegetables instead of this cake, it’s going to add a couple years to my life,’ think, ‘If I eat these vegetables instead of cake, I’m going to be able to get a few days closer to 85 without having a morbidity event!”
– Cardiovascular Exercise – Again we hear this one over and over, but let’s look at it with a different lens. Remember, we are trying to compress morbidity; that period of our life where our quality of life sucks. When I get old, I want to be able to go for a walk and horse around with my grandkids. I don’t care at all about if I can run a 5K, so my ‘life’ fitness plan doesn’t really need to focus on traditional cardio where I’m trying to keep my heart rate at a certain painful level.
– Weight training – I want to be able to pick something up off the ground, stand up in the shower on my own, and get out of my chair without a struggle. So weight training will make sure that my bones and muscles know what that feels like. Want to focus on full body movements that are FUNCTIONAL, like squats, deadlifts, pullups, etc. Yeah curls can be fun to see your biceps bulge, but that kind of program where you isolate tiny little muscles, isn’t going to do much to compress your morbidity and increase your quality of life later on.
– Don’t smoke or drink too much – Again, another no-brainer because it’s super bad for you in many ways, but for some reason the reason that it’s going to delay morbidity is a more powerful reason for me than simply, “you’ll live longer if you don’t smoke.

Ultimately, I think that the way we look at longevity needs to shift a bit. We shouldn’t be trying to live longer and longer, because data shows that humans aren’t really made to live longer and longer. But we DO want to delay, as long as possible, the indicators of morbidity because that is going to ensure that the time we spend here with a poor quality of life will be minimized as much as possible.

Augmented Reality

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First off, let’s show you the Rube Goldberg vids.  Keep in mind that the rules dictated that the most energy transfers (of different types) would win the challenge.  Also, only ONE human intervention was allowed to start the machine:






Now onto AR.  Augmented reality is awesome.  I dare say that it is BETTER than reality…You can hear how excited I am because I’m giggling. I decided to download (almost) any and every AR app I could get on my iPhone and give a review of all of them for the listeners.  Here is the master list.  * denotes my personal  favorites…

 

Golfscape GPS Rangefinder

Spyglass

Car Finder

Star Chart

Stella Artois

Virtual Snow

*Yelp

*Word Lens

Geo Chaser

DishPointer

*Layar

CVSimulator

***ARBasketball

SnapShop

WikiTude

 

Go get the free ones and try them, trust me.  You won’t really get it until you try it out!!!

 

Bookmaking

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In this podcast the good guys investigate the world of sports gambling and bookmaking.  Bookmakers or bookies are market managers for sports wagering and knowing how to talk like one will definitely set you apart from the crowd the next time you discuss sports gambling!  From terminology to crazy bets to legality, we cover it all!  Now let’s go make some money!!!

Legal gambling in the Unites States:
STATE Charitable Pari-mutuel Lotteries Commercial Indian Racetrack
District of Columbia Yes No Yes No No No
Alabama Yes Yes No No Yes No
Alaska Yes No No No Yes No
Arizona Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Arkansas Yes Yes Yes No No No
California Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Colorado Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Connecticut Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Delaware Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Florida Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Georgia Yes No Yes No No No
Hawaii No No No No No No
Idaho Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Illinois Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Indiana Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Iowa Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kansas Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Kentucky Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Louisiana Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maine Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Maryland Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Massachusetts Yes Yes Yes No No No
Michigan Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Minnesota Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Mississippi Yes No No Yes Yes No
Missouri Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Montana Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Nebraska Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Nevada Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
New Hampshire Yes Yes Yes No No No
New Jersey Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
New Mexico Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
New York Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
North Carolina Yes No Yes No Yes No
North Dakota Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Ohio Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Oklahoma Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Oregon Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Pennsylvania Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Rhode Island Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
South Carolina Yes No Yes No No No
South Dakota Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Tennessee No No Yes No No No
Texas Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Utah No No No No No No
Vermont Yes No Yes No No No
Virginia Yes Yes Yes No No No
Washington Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
West Virginia Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Wisconsin Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Wyoming Yes Yes No No Yes Yes

2012!

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Happy New Year all. So as one nerd from work pointed out to me, the world isn’t set to end until the END of 2012, but I still thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the crazy predictions and hypes that the media has kind of exaggerated during our lifetimes, and looked at what actually happened after these outlandish predictions were made.

1. Y2K

– I realize some of our listeners hadn’t yet reached the age of reason in 1999, but Y2k was going to be the end of the world. It was all based on the fact that in the 70s when computing and software were in their infancy, disk space and memory was at such a premium, that many developers chose to represent dates with two digits instead of four. e.g. 1997 would be represented as simply 97. So people freaked out that shit would hit the fan when things clicked over from 99 to 00 in 2000. People  thought planes would be crashing because their navigation systems thought it was 1900, banking as we know it would cease to exist, and there would be overall chaos.

Take a look at what the red cross recommended you should do to prepare. It’s a bit of overkill in hindsight but at the time was seen as pretty reasonable. What really happened? Not a whole lot. Some slot machines malfunctioned, and some websites displayed the wrong date. Not that big of deal.

2. Swine Flu (And other medical pandemics)

In 2009, the WHO elevated H1N1 to phase 6 which meant the flu had spread worldwide. This didn’t necessarily mean that the disease was severe or would kill you, it more related to the fact that it spread to many countries. But the media ran with it anyway and we were all going to die. What really happend? Well about 14000 people worldwide died from H1N1. Which sounds like a lot until you compare it to the mortality rate of the straight up regular flu season that happens every year, were approximately 340 Million to 1 Billion people are infected, and up to 500,000 die of complications relating to the flu!

3. Environmental Catastophe

So this is a pretty hot topic all the time right? I don’t even want to debate the validity of anthropomorphic climate change, but just want to think about some of the claims that were made long ago and see if the predictions actually came to fruition. So I looked at a couple claims and how the media appears to have exaggerated them a bit.

– Al Gore in 2006 told Katie Couric that oceans were going to rise 20 feet by 2010 and the US, Asia, and Africa would become vast deserts if nothing was done. What actually happened? Well obviously the coast is not underwater, so clearly this didn’t come true.

-I also looked at a prediction by the IPCC in 1990 that agricultural production would be significantly affected by global warming in countries that were particularly vulnerable like Brazil, China, and several African countries. In reality, many of these countries have increased agricultural production significantly, so this is a good example of how even expert scientists can be bad at predicting long term changes.

4. The Segway (coming soon)

5. Apocalypse predictions (coming soon)