Forget About That Corny Corner-Ribbon's Drivel! The Real Secret is HERE Indeed - not over there!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Statistics Sundays - Alarming Air Edition (Not Just For Airheads!)

No can do. I cannot abandon the ol' gloom and doom thing...

Look at the facts:
I'm stuck with a hereditary background that probably has already numbered my days.

I have enemies - more than anyone can imagine.

I am breathing polluted air, inside and outside and everywhere I go really...

I am consuming genetically-modified foods and other products crammed with artificial preservatives...

And this is, I'm afraid, only the tip of the iceberg...

Now really - I simply cannot stop with the gloom and doom!

No freaking way.

Such was my reply days ago to a comment left here; and such is my stance forevermore! It is every living being's right and natural instinct to act towards SELF-PRESERVATION. Granted, some have definite AUTO-DESTRUCTIVE tendencies... I'd rather be the latter myself -or, as I am really, a mix of the previous two here- than being as messed up as, say, a schizophrenic autophagic neurotic empty shell of a human being bent on nothing else but the annihilation of oneself and anyone that might *dare* to try and help out in going the opposite way from that nihilistic proclivity!

Thank The Good Lord, I am not so abysmally concerned! I have some self-preservation sense in me, absolutely - in that, I will not tolerate that another decides when I am to make my exit! No one else will undermine my health either - I shall do that MYSELF! Here comes the "auto-destructive side" into play; that stems from my lack of fear really! I do not fear the Grim Reaper. I said so many times before. I see it not as the end, but as the beginning. Even more, it is the deliverance of the soul, freed from its mortal coil. I liken death, hence, to a prisoner being set free at last. The ball and chain are severed from the prisoner's ankle, and up we go, into the starry ways - sort of like that Red Bull commercial, only the former convict will not ascend with the ball and chain in tow - at all (you see, we're all convicted to LIFE TERMS! Oh, that's so metaphorically rich - is it not? But I digress...)

I strive therefore to be "released early, for good behaviour" - and I have strived for that for years! (Not *actively*, mind you - I am not suicidal! That would not achieve the point here... Only God Will Decide the time and place of my "departure" - ok?) However, I mustn't be such a saint after all, since I made it past the age of Christ... Forces appear to be converging anyway, as summarized at the top of this post here, to facilitate such a hasty departure... Alas, for these forces, I am tougher than they thought! Mercy on those that underestimate me or those that are like me...
Not that I will be showing much of it or any at all really...!

I am still standing - after years of being stuffed with BHT and other unholy substances...

Speaking of BHT, BHA/BHT is short for Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), both of which are chemical preservatives.

BHA and BHT have been banned from human use in many countries. In the US, they are still permitted in pet foods.
Apparently, though, they have also been allowed, for many years and to this day, as one of the preservatives on certain products meant for human consumption. BHA is generally used to keep fats from becoming rancid. It is also used as a yeast de-foaming agent. BHA is found in butter, meats, cereals, chewing gum, baked goods, snack foods, dehydrated potatoes, and beer. It is also found in animal feed, food packaging, cosmetics, rubber products, and petroleum products.
BHT also prevents oxidative rancidity of fats. It is used to preserve food odor, color, and flavor. Many packaging materials incorporate BHT. It is also added directly to shortening, cereals, and other foods containing fats and oils.

I always thought that Frankenberry, Cap'n'Crunch, Count Chocula and especially Toucan Sam were not looking out for *my* best interests at all...
There is a far more positive side to BHA/BHT than the ability to prevent fat spoilage, and it is this: both BHA and BHT have undergone the additive application and review process required by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, the same chemical properties which make BHA and BHT excellent preservatives may also be implicated in health effects. The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity; however the same reactions may combat oxidative stress. There is evidence that certain persons may have difficulty metabolizing BHA and BHT, resulting in health and behavior changes. BHA and BHT may have antiviral and antimicrobial activities. Research is underway concerning the use of BHT in the treatment of herpes simplex and AIDS.
Wow - such high hopes for these chemical structures; surely for naught! That'll be the day when man-made compounds can reverse the effects of a bonafide End Times Plague...!
But I digress...

Another source of possible *big time trouble* for me and for you too: genetically-modified foods! Aye - Frankenfoods! Mary Shelley would be proud! Or not. But that is another story...

Once again, the concept comes packed with good intentions; On the horizon are bananas that produce human vaccines against infectious diseases such as hepatitis B; fish that mature more quickly; fruit and nut trees that yield years earlier, and plants that produce new plastics with unique properties.
Hmm... There's truly a little something for everyone in there! All industries would benefit from the full-time instauration of these new norms - and profit is everything, right?
Enhanced taste and quality of the crops - whatever it is, it will also be ripe faster than ever before, and speedier maturation equals more profits! It also would have a longer shelf life... No one stopped to think then about the DIGESTION of these; what of that? Talk about potential catastrophic tummy troubles here...! Not to mention the effects of all this on mother nature; that which surrounds man, the consumer/destroyer, said nature that is only on LOAN to him, but he seems not to grasp that notion very well...?
In this light there comes to mind the eloquent words of the late Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, condensed as follows:

"A year after…a massive spraying…there was not a sound of the song of bird….. What was man doing to…our beautiful world…Who has made the decision that sets in motion…this ever-widening wave of death."

No doubt mechanical patterns in nature are real. But they can be a superficial by-product and not reflective of the deepest or true essence of life.

Just some of the dangers of genetically-modified elements in the food chain - and the domino effect that ensues... At random:
Direct Cancer and Degenerative Disease Links - In 1994, FDA approved Monsanto's rBGH, a genetically produced growth hormone, for injection into dairy cows – even though scientists warned the resulting increase of IGF-1, a potent chemical hormone, is linked to 400-500% higher risks of human breast, prostrate, and colon cancer. According to Dr. Samuel Epstein of the University of Chicago, it "induces the malignant transformation of human breast epithelial cells." Rat studies confirmed the suspicion and showed internal organ damage with rBGH ingestion. In fact, the FDA's own experiments indicated a spleen mass increase of 46% - a sign of developing leukemia. The contention was that the hormone was killed by pasteurization. But in research conducted by two Monsanto scientists, Ted Elasser and Brian McBride, only 19% of the hormone was destroyed despite boiling milk for 30 minutes when normal pasteurization is 30 seconds. Canada, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand have banned rBGR. The UN's Codex Alimentarius, an international health standards setting body, refused to certify rBGH as safe. Yet Monsanto continues to market this product in the US.
Recorded Deaths from GM - In 1989, dozens of Americans died and several thousands were afflicted and impaired by a genetically altered version of the food supplement – L-tryptophan. A settlement of $2 billion dollars was paid by Showa Denko, Japan’s third largest chemical company. (Mayeno and Gleich, 1994).
Near-deaths from Allergic Reactions - In 1996, Brazil nut genes were spliced into soybeans by a company called Pioneer Hi-Bred. Some individuals, however, are so allergic to this nut, they go into apoplectic shock (similar to a severe bee sting reaction) which can cause death. Animal tests confirmed the peril and fortunately the product was removed from the market before any fatalities occurred. "The next case could be less than ideal and the public less fortunate," writes Marion Nestle, head of the Nutrition Department of NYU in an editorial to the New England Journal of Medicine. About 25% of Americans have adverse reactions to foods. 8% of children and 2% of adults have food allergies as tested by blood immunoglobins.
Antibiotic Threat – Via Milk - Cows injected with rBGH have a much higher level of udder infections and require more antibiotics. This leaves unacceptable levels of antibiotic residues in the milk. Scientists have warned of public health hazards due to growing antibiotic resistance.
Plenty more where that came from: here.

Gee... even the milk for the already hazardous cereal! Talk about a lose-lose situation... Add to that eating that dangerous concoction in the morning in a contaminated atmosphere (various contaminants can be listed at this point) with the knowledge that your own metabolism is ticking away on you (no one can stop heredity!) and you get the doomed picture: it isn't just me! All of us: we can't eat, drink or even breathe now, without some hazard to our health being there, oftentimes undetected...

Speaking of breathing...
We all know that co2 emissions are one of the greatest threats to our planet's atmosphere - and that our poor lungs are not up for such abuse for a very long time. Yet, I hear it so often I could puke: "a car is a necessity". So is dying, quite obviously - who wants to live forever? Especially in this mess that we've made... Brazil (I should spell it the way they do down there too: Brasil!) has made a splendid job paving the way to a post-petrol world, with the progressive switch to ethanol, which a zillion times better and all... But the rest of the world - especially we know who - are not following suit. Uncle Sam was always a difficult one - picky when he shouldn't have been (some leader of the free world; if he hadn't been bothered in Pearl Harbor, he wouldn't have done a thing about the Nazis, the Fascists and the Nippons! Sheesh...) and Uncle George's constant flip-flop over co2 emissions and the USA's responsibility is quite the pathetic display of greed mixed in with complete incompetence... The rest of the world does not have to follow Uncle George's example though...
Emissions of carbon dioxide have been falling since 1970. However, there were peaks in 1973 and 1979 because of severe winters, the state of the economy and high oil prices (resulting in increased use of coal) in those years.
The general decline in carbon dioxide emissions is due to increased efficiency in energy use, a switch from coal to natural gas and nuclear in power stations, a move away from coal towards gas and electricity in the domestic sector and a decline in heavy industry. Transport is the only sector that shows an increase in CO2 emissions. This reflects the increase in road traffic, which has outweighed improvements in energy efficiency of vehicles.
Carbon dioxide emissions are expected to rise again after 2005 despite the use of more advanced technology and abatement equipment. Consumption of fossil fuels is likely to increase with increasing energy demands and decreased use of nuclear power for electricity production.
What is being done about it, you asked?
Under the Kyoto Protocol, the UK has a target to reduce emissions of six key greenhouse gases (including CO2) by 12.5% relative to the 1990 level over the period 2008 to 2012. It also has a domestic goal to cut CO2 emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2010.
Hmm... those years emerge once again as turning points: 2010, 2012... The Mayans would be proud! ;)

Let's wrap this up, cause I feel nausea getting to me (lest it is la moutarde qui me monte au nez... Eh?)
So, in short...
I can't eat to my heart's -or stomach's- content, because the food is not 100% kosher (meant figuratively only, I assure you! Rabbis - don't flatter yourselves!)
I can't drink to my heart's content either - water's polluted beyond belief, tap water has to be boiled, for it has killed before, and bottled water is not all that reliable, as we have seen on this blog weeks ago...
I can't sleep even, because of NOISE POLLUTION...!!!
I can't walk around and breathe to my... lungs content really, cause everywhere I go, there's air pollution of some kind.
Gee... you might as well be dead indeed!
But... I am not! I am alive! I will survive!
So will so many that shouldn't, though - the very ones who are making this mess and others, even more insidious, messes!
It is getting really hard to do as Anna Nalick suggests though - and that is just to "BREATHE".
(Ha - gotcha there, eh? You thought for a second that I was going to post Gloria Gaynor's song, hmm? Nah - disco is dead, haven't you heard? It is better off that way...)

Is it just me or does Miss Nalick remind one a little or a lot of that boastful brunette up in Vancouver, British Columbia who led the way in the lynching and all-around sickening murder of one Reena Virk...? Miss Virk sure is not breathing anymore...
As for Miss Nalick; it's just a physical resemblance - I hope.

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