The Shady Politics of Big Soda


by Johnny Adamic

People are drinking less liquid sugar than in previous decades, and the soda industry is doing everything it can to get back in the game.

Did your grandparents ever tell stories of how soda used to cost a nickel, and was served in a small, 8-ounce glass bottle, typically enjoyed on Saturdays as an afternoon treat?

Well, those days died quickly.

Over the span of the last century—particularly from the 1950s into the first 10 years of the new millennium—soda will go down in the history books as a driving force in the obesity epidemic. We demonize fat, but sugar is probably the bigger threat. I’d go so far as to coin this period “the years of liquid sugar”—aka, when big soda won.

But in 2015, liquid sugar may have met its match. A new culture of health is booming, and has been for the past few years. It’s one where powerhouse health advocates, entire cities (Berkeley, San Francisco, New York City), and the media finally understand the effects liquid sugar plagues on the body and brain.

More importantly, we understand the arsenal—marketing, lobbying, and philanthropy that big soda companies have used to cast a spell on society, enchanting the masses to consume what once was an special occasion 8-ounce bottle of soda pop, into a daily addiction.

“[Soda companies] are scrambling to figure out what to do,” says Marion Nestle, a professor in the department of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, whose new book Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning) comes out October 5.

Nevertheless, the big players in the game—Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, backed by the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry—are doing everything they can, like shifting blame for obesity away from bad diets, to prevent sales from falling even flatter. But sales have been falling flat for the last decade.

“The word is out: drinking sugar in liquid form is not a good idea,” Nestlé says. “The publicity given to Coca-Cola’s funding of researchers was a revelation to lots of people. They were shocked that a company as well known as Coca-Cola would do such a thing.”

In case you missed it, Nestle is referring to a recent analysis of beverage studies published in the journal PLOS Medicine, as pointed out recently in The New York Times, that studies funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association, and the sugar industry are five times more likely to find that there is no link between soda consumption and weight gain.

“The New York City Health Department has a poster campaign that lays out the relationship between physical activity and diet: you have to walk three miles from Union Square in Manhattan to Brooklyn to work off the calories in one 20-ounce soda,” says Nestle.

Nestle tracks both the studies whose findings favor the food sponsor, and those that go the other way.

“I have been tracking studies funded by food companies and posting them on my blog,, every time I have five. I’ve been doing this since March this year and so far have posted 65 studies, all with results that favor the sponsor,” explains Nestle. “Despite my pleas to readers to send in studies that don’t produce favorable results, I only have three. This is a bigger gap than is found in systematic studies of industry funding, but not much bigger.”

Studies funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association, and the sugar industry are five times more likely to find that there is no link between soda consumption and weight gain.

But how corruptible are the academic, research, and scientific communities to make the (seemingly preposterous) “science-based claim” that exercise is more important than diet? Even the layman can tell you diet affects the waistline more than pumping iron…




Posted in Big Food, Conspiracy, Financial Terrorism, Freak U.S.A, Globalization, Health, Living, Manipulation, Media&Culture, News, Psychology | Leave a comment

The Decay of Western Civilization


Description from YouTube:

Thank god the allies won! Can you imagine what life on earth would have been like had those evil Nazis won?

The goal of every culture is to decay through over-civilization; the factors of decadence – luxury, skepticism, weariness and superstition – are constant. The civilization of one epoch becomes the manure of the next.



Posted in Curiositys, Europe, Globalization, Islam, Media&Culture, News, Politics, Racism, Rights, Terrorism, Unbelievable, War | Leave a comment

‘Purely to observe, not to shoot people’: Police snipers spotted on rooftops at Manchester anti-austerity march


© Ruptly

by RT

A crowd of at least 60,000 anti-austerity protesters in Manchester was chaperoned by snipers, who carefully watched over the march which had been staged to coincide with the Conservative Party conference held in the city. Activists at the march spotted several snipers along their route and were quick to report it on Twitter. Sharpshooters were seen on the top of several roofs in the city center, with one user, Ben Whittingham, posting an aerial photograph of one of the marksman.

Just a police sniper on roof of Tory party conference, which resembles a prison,” he tweeted. City police confirmed the activists’ worst fears, but insisted that the snipers had been placed on the roofs “purely for observation” as they supported the security on the ground of the event.

They are high up for that reason, to observe. And they [the guns] are used for their powerful sight, which is stronger than any pair of binoculars,” a Greater Manchester Police (GMP) spokesperson told the Manchester Evening News.

“They are not there to shoot people,” the spokesperson emphasized.

Comment: Perhaps not yet. Those snipers might have been merely measuring wind speed, best positions and distances, in case a firing order comes down from above. That is, if the Tories and their shadow government banker buddies determine ‘the rabble on the streets got too difficult’ and they are losing control over the minds of people.

Meanwhile the police made at least five arrests after a crowd of some 60,000 – according to police estimates – marched against the government’s austerity policies, vowing to “chase the Conservatives out.”

The organizers, the Trades Union Congress and The People’s Assembly, insist that as many as 100,000 activists took part in the event. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party and leader of the opposition addressed the crowd.

We’re here to bring a message of hope to the people of Britain,” he said. “The Tories don’t have a monopoly on visions for people for the future!

The crowd meanwhile seemed preoccupied with mocking Prime Minister David Cameron with pig jokes and banners telling him not to bomb Syria, cut welfare or slash funding for the National Healthcare System. Those attending the conference that is held from October 4-7 were told to hide their conference passes while walking on the streets. The advice, however, did not save some of the delegates from insults and being pelted with rubbish as they passed into conference headquarters at Manchester Central.



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A Short Vision (1956)


This short animated film is Peter and Joan Foldes’ second and last film together. Its bleak subject – the end of the world caused by a nuclear apocalypse – reflects a widespread preoccupation in 50s Britain which would soon lead to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). The film is composed mostly of still drawings, creating a terrifying effect amplified by a sombre commentary spoken in the style of the Bible. The film had a very strong impact on audiences, in particular across the Atlantic, where it was shown on primetime television to millions of American viewers and reportedly produced one of the biggest reactions since Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast in 1938. (Christophe Dupin)



Posted in War, Media&Culture, Visions, Nuclear, Curiositys, History, Art | Leave a comment


4 Reasons Why Your Brain Gets Foggy - and How to Stop It

Image Credits: Allan Ajifo / Flickr.

What would you do when your brain gets a little foggy?


Toxins are all around us, and while we already know how harmful they can be to the body, have you stopped to think about what they can do to the brain?

Studies suggest neurotoxins impede brain development in kids, something that might also lead to ADHD, autism, or Parkinson’s later in life. Keeping your brain free from toxin exposure could go a long way in boosting overall brain health, but if your thoughts are feeling a little sluggish, there might be other things—besides pollution—you should consider.

Four Causes of Brain Fog

If you’re having trouble concentrating, thinking clearly, or even relaxing your mind, your brain may have invasive forces trying to impede your health. Here are just four reasons your brain could be foggy.

1. Stress

The body releases cortisol during stress; small bursts can help us manage things during these times. The problem comes in when the body is in a constant stressed-out state. If a pregnant woman were stressed from poverty, for example, cortisol could ‘“get through the placenta into the fetus, potentially influencing her baby’s brain and tampering with its circuitry.” After birth, the child’s cortisol could, then, continue to sabotage brain development.

2. Air Pollution

One study suggests traffic pollution could be responsible for lower memory test scores and slower cognitive development in kids. But, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) aren’t only from traffic pollution; they’re also products of everything from burning coal to tobacco smoke, so avoiding them completely might be easier said than done. You can definitely take steps to limit your exposure though.

3. BPA Exposure

BPA is such a nasty toxin that many manufacturers have started making BPA-free products; however, some studies say its substitute bisphenol-S, or BPS, could be just as bad for your brain health, suggesting BPA/BPS exposure could be linked to altered brain growth and hyperactivity. And always be careful when buying food; there are still a lot of canned goods out there that still use BPA in the linings of cans.

4. Diabetes

A new study even suggests type 2 diabetes “is associated with worse performance on cognitive tests measuring abilities involved in the control of emotions, behaviors and thought.” Because doctors encourage self-management (diet, blood sugar, medication) and many patients already burn out when it comes to managing the disease, this loss of executive function is worrisome, to say the least.

Other Ways to Improve Brain Function

So if you find yourself feeling foggy, there are things you can do. First things first: get outdoors. One study even found being outside was linked to positive cognitive development in kids. That sounds like a great idea for all ages! Another easy thing is taking probiotics. There’s lots of research that suggests our gut health is directly connected to our mental health. Exercise is also a great way to rev up the creative and analytical thinking skills.

What would you do when your brain gets a little foggy? Tell us about it in the comments.

This post originally appeared at the Global Healing Center.



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Head-spinning & never-seen-before: NASA releases over 10,000 images from Apollo mission (PHOTOS)

© projectapolloarchive© projectapolloarchive / Flickr

NASA has uploaded dozens of galleries containing over 10,000 photos from the manned Apollo missions. Blurry astronaut faces, stunning lunar vistas and iconic moonwalking photos – they are all there.

The high-res images are untouched and unprocessed, showing exactly what the astronauts were facing on their trips to the final frontier. 

© projectapolloarchive© projectapolloarchive / Flickr

The huge trove of photos includes every single picture taken on the moon’s surface on the Apollo missions, and also some from the journey to the moon and back, the project’s lead, Kipp Teague, told The Planetary Society.

© projectapolloarchive© projectapolloarchive / Flickr

© projectapolloarchive© projectapolloarchive / Flickr

© projectapolloarchive© projectapolloarchive / Flickr



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Posture: A Gateway to Self Awareness

by Amy L. Lansky, PhD, Contributor, Waking Times

Most people in the modern world tend to have poor posture. I’m sure that part of it is our general detachment from our bodies. We spending most of our days sitting in front of computers, TVs, on couches, in cars, or on punishing assembly lines. Perhaps if we were more in touch with our bodies, with nature, and with the natural functions that our bodies evolved to perform, our posture would be better.

I remember how sad I was as I watched my children’s wonderful and natural child posture slowly deteriorate as they grew older. Slouching at their computer or while watching TV, I constantly tried to get them to “sit up straight!” To no avail, unfortunately. Gradually, this seems to happen to most of us. In fact, poor posture has become so much the norm that chairs, car-seats, and the like are now all designed in such a way that they foster poor posture.

Unfortunately, the ultimate results of chronic poor posture include chronic body pain and even internal organ dysfunction. This is a blind spot of conventional medicine, but is well understood by alternative practitioners such as chiropractors. I’m sure that 90% of the chronic aches and pains that people experience could be rectified through better posture. My own personal posture problem has always been something called a forward neck.  In the past, it has led to all kinds of problems, including tingling on one side of my body.  My problem was finally solved when I went through a series of posture classes called the Gokhale Method, which I wholeheartedly recommend. Another fascinating teaching about posture can be found in F.M. Alexander’s book, The Use of the Self. Many years ago I took lessons from an Alexander teacher on the “Alexander Technique”. It is a form of posture therapy that is popular among musicians and actors, since it is so important for their craft to maintain good posture.

But have you ever considered that body posture pertains not only to our bodies but also to our psyches — our feelings, our thoughts, even our energy bodies? As I point out in Active Consciousness, the spiritual teacher G.I. Gurdjieff was well aware of the relationship between posture and the Self. As he said, “Every race… every nation, every epoch, every country, every class, every profession, has its own definite number of postures and movements… A man is unable to change the form of his thinking or his feeling until he has changed his repertory of postures and movements.

If you think about it, posture is a key aspect of body language. As Gurdjieff points out, we can even read people’s nationality or profession or social class from their posture. We may not be consciously aware of it, but these kinds of impressions are deep within our unconscious awareness. What messages are you conveying to others through your posture?

Gurdjieff would often require his students to take on unusual postures and hold them in order to feel the effects on their minds and feelings. I decided to use my neck issues as a vehicle for exploring this very thing. I soon discovered that posture, thought, feeling, and sensation all have an intimate relationship with one another. When I was in a particular mental state, I tended to assume a particular posture. And when I deliberately changed my posture, my internal feelings and thought processes immediately changed as well. In other words, I discovered that posture is a gateway to self-awareness!

My meditation teacher Gary Sherman has been emphasizing this point to his students for years. As he points out, aligning with the central core of our bodies can also align us with our inner Selves. During my awareness experiments with my neck, I noticed that when my neck was in the forward position, I had the sense of leaving my body energetically to meet or to perceive others. I felt ungrounded or uncentered with my Self. I also felt a bit more insecure, fearful, or anxious. It evoked the feeling within me of being an anxious or pleading child.

However, when my neck was in the correct position, centered over my spine with my chin down, I felt completely different: energetically centered in my body, more connected to my inner Self, more confident, assured, and relaxed. Aaah. Not only did my body feel better physically, but the rest of me did as well — my thoughts, my feelings, my sensations, and my energy bodies too. And looking in the mirror, I could see that I looked younger as well!

Why not experiment with posture as your next Self-awareness project?



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Music Therapy: Healing for Body and Mind

A hospital music therapist plays her guitar and sings along with a patient at a hospital in Atlanta in this file photo. Music therapy can be deep and emotionally healing. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

A hospital music therapist plays her guitar and sings along with a patient at a hospital in Atlanta in this file photo. Music therapy can be deep and emotionally healing. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

By , Epoch Times

When a 9-millimeter bullet ripped through U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s skull and tore across the left side of her brain, it caused extensive damage in the part that controls language. After the attempted assassination, she lost her ability to speak.

Although Giffords couldn’t say the word “light,” she could sing “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.”

With guidance from a music therapist, Giffords was able to rewire her brain. Music involves both hemispheres, and singing allowed her to build a speech center on the undamaged side—something that no drug can do. Although Giffords is not as eloquent or talkative as she once was, she has recovered her ability to speak.

Giffords’s speech recovery is not unique. Since time immemorial, cultures around the world have used music to heal. In Chinese, thecharacter for medicine evolved from the character for music, and in Chinese medicine, different tones are seen to correspond with different organs and body systems.

Although using music for therapy is far from standard practice in much of modern medicine, it has been accepted for decades with the first academic program to train music therapists established in 1944 at Michigan State University. But music therapy gaining traction as research continues to show its value for everything from weight loss to psychological disorders, to cancer.

Music therapy can also help autistic children develop communication skills, help patients with Parkinson’s improve motor functions, and even serve as a natural pain reliever, according to the American Music Therapy Association, which represents over 5,000 music therapists.

It can also help premature infants improve sleep patterns and gain weight. Jayne Standley, a professor of music with a courtesy appointment in the college of medicine at Florida State University, found in her research that if premature babies were given a device that played lullabies triggered by their sucking, they left the ICU 11 days earlier on average compared to preemies who did not have access to music.

According to the National Institutes of Health, music can assist with various kinds of recovery and is a “low-cost intervention that often reduces surgical, procedural, acute, and chronic pain.”

A report published in the Journal of Music Therapy in 1993 said that listening to music can also decrease cortisol, a hormone that in high levels causes the body to build up belly fat…




Posted in Brain, Curiositys, Health, Living, Media&Culture, Music, Psychology, Visions | Leave a comment

The Super-Rich Students Invading London

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

by Tom Sykes

The sons of sheikhs and the daughters of global business titans are dropping billions on London real estate, restaurants, and nightlife.

“Student accommodation” has never been a sought-out residence for real estate brokers aspiring for big commissions.

Indeed, most graduates looking back on their student days recall, with shivers, an endless parade of grimy apartments, thrift shop clothing, and a diet of beer and breakfast cereal (and we don’t mean the $7 a bowl stuff).

However, in London, a new breed of super-rich students with lifestyle expectations more akin to their billionaire parents’ than the poor coeds’ on 1980s BBC sitcom The Young Ones are changing the face of the capital’s super high-end residential property market.

Not only are they flashing their foreign bank account-linked credit cards in the city’s most expensive restaurants, clubs, and bars, they are willing to pay big for their own luxury version of student housing.

With the new academic year just beginning, London is suddenly awash with super-rich, foreign 21-year-olds who are being avidly targeted by the city’s most exclusive estate agents and nightlife promoters.

Peter Wetherell, whose eponymous agency specializes in sales and rentals in the posh Mayfair section of London, recently rented an apartment overlooking Hyde Park to an American fashion student who is paying £21,000 ($31,755) a month for it. The unit is one of six in the building.

Wetherell is pitching the apartments as “London’s ultimate student pads,” a sign of how dramatically perceptions of renting to students have changed.

“Students living in Mayfair are a world away from everyday U.K. students living in normal digs,” Wetherell explained to The Daily Beast.

“Some wealthy overseas students from the Middle East, North America, Asia, and Africa can afford to pay over £2,000 ($3024) per week for luxurious apartments in Mayfair. These students have a spending power to rival advertising directors and have generous six-figure allowances, which enable them to shop on Bond Street, eat at Scott’s on Mount Street, and enjoy nightlife in elite venues such asAnnabel’s, 5 Hertford Street, and Whiskey Mist.”

Figures from the U.K.’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), show China contributes the largest single group of foreign students, making up 18 percent of all foreign students in the capital.

The U.S. is second with 9 percent, followed by India (7 percent), Hong Kong (5 percent), Malaysia (4 percent), and Nigeria (4 percent).

Wetherell is hardly the only one noticing the trend in ultra-posh student accommodations in London.

Indeed, the Nido Collection, a new real estate start-up, is specializing in high-end London student rentals starting at around £1400 ($2117) per week…




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Painting by Honoré Daumier titled “Meeting of thirty-five heads of expression.” Photo Credit: Honore Daumier / WikiArtPainting by Honoré Daumier titled “Meeting of thirty-five heads of expression.” Photo Credit: Honore Daumier / WikiArt


They May Be Secrets, But People Sure Love to Talk About Them

We at WhoWhatWhy say that “We do not cover the news. We uncover the truth.” And of course we are referring to the secret ways of the world. But there are other secrets, the personal kind, and they have their own charm.

What is it about a secret — by definition, something you don’t know — that makes it so irresistible? It’s a black hole. A blank. Something you can only speculate about. It’s none of your business, so of course you want to know all about it. It is forbidden, so you think its discovery will be enormously entertaining or shocking or both. Preferably both.

The funny thing is, there is a reverse situation: To paraphrase Voltaire — the secret to being a bore is to tell all. Don’t leave out a single detail, no matter how dull or irrelevant! I have fantasies of the CIA’s John Brennan listening in to my gabby old Aunt Kate (who was very thorough when telling all), and being cured — by aversion therapy — of ever wanting to listen in again. This could become a secret weapon in the war for privacy.

In the meantime, we will continue to wonder about our fellow human beings — those who do not tell all. Here are some intriguing comments that should make the process of wondering all the more enjoyable.


Of course I can keep secrets. It’s the people I tell them to that can’t keep them. (Anthony Haden-Guest)

He that communicates his secret to another makes himself that other’s slave. (Baltasar Gracian)

A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept. (Carlos Ruiz Zafón)

Confidante: One entrusted by A with the secrets of B confided to herself by C. (Ambrose Bierce)

He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore. (Sigmund Freud)

The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn’t one. (Margaret Atwood)


We have secrets, and we have the same secrets that criminals have. Sometimes the only difference between a criminal and a law-abiding citizen is that somebody found out the criminal’s secret. (Jane Velez-Mitchell)

In 1930s mysteries, all sorts of motives were credible which aren’t credible today, especially motives of preventing guilty sexual secrets from coming out. Nowadays, people sell their guilty sexual secrets. (P.D. James)

Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides. (Andre Malraux)

If we knew each other’s secrets, what comforts we should find. (John Churton Collins)

A man nearly always loves for other reasons than he thinks. A lover is apt to be as full of secrets from himself as is the object of his love from him. (Ben Hecht)

One of the things I wanted to introduce in The Same Sea beyond transcending the conflict, is the fact that deep down below, all our secrets are the same. (Amos Oz)

From infancy on, we are all spies; the shame is not this but that the secrets to be discovered are so paltry and few. (John Updike)


Most of the secrets the CIA has are about people, not machines and systems, so I didn’t feel comfortable with disclosures that I thought could endanger anyone. (Edward Snowden)

The NSA’s business is ‘information dominance,’ the use of other people’s secrets to shape events…




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