WHAT’S THE BEEF?

first_imgBy Tom PurcellThe World Health Organization is the United Nations’ public-health arm. I think we should change its name to the World Killjoy Organization — at least where its position on meat eating is concerned.Last week the WHO released a report that argues that meat eating can cause cancer — that colon cancer and, possibly, stomach cancer are caused by processed meats, such as ham, sausages and bacon.Why? Because the curing and smoking process produces carcinogenic chemicals — what we non-scientists refer to as flavor.Not content to vilify bacon — hey, WHO, you may as well tell us that puppies and afternoon naps are bad for us — the report says unprocessed meats, such as beef and pork, may cause colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer.I don’t imagine the scientists who produced this report are invited to many barbecues — and certainly not to my family’s barbecues.This summer my nephew smoked a pig in my yard. We built a make-shift block smokehouse, then spent the day setting hot coals under the dripping meat.The aroma was so wonderful that far-away coyotes howled and total strangers wandered into my yard in a trance, a big smile on their faces as they smacked their lips.I have a smaller smoker, too, that turns raw hunks of beef and pork into mouth-watering delicacies so tasty that even my elderly Aunt Edna, a lifelong churchgoer, cusses like an iron worker.And there is my glorious Weber Grill, seasoned with gunk and grease from a thousand grillings. It transforms raw T-bones and pork tenderloins into gastronomic delights so satisfying, people drive miles to my house just for a sniff of the stuff.You see, the meat products that the WHO tells us are bad for us are the same products that have been around for a long time — brought to America by immigrants who had mastered them.Take the American hot dog. It originated in Germany “from a widespread common European sausage brought here by butchers of several nationalities,” writes the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.The hot dog has become an American staple with each American consuming 60 a year — more than 7 billion total.If meat eating and hot dogs are so bad for us, then we’re all cooked. But are we? Well, let’s put it in perspective.First, the WHO report isn’t telling us to stop eating meat — it isn’t in the business of making health recommendations and also admits that meat has healthful benefits. Its report is just warning us that there is “sufficient evidence” of an increased risk of cancer from the consumption of processed meat.Second, the scientists who reviewed the report did not reach a consensus. Though a majority of the 22 scientists who reviewed the data approved it, others had differences of opinion.“The panel’s conclusions were based primarily on epidemiological studies linking what people ate with cancers they developed later,” writes The New York Times. “Often such studies can’t prove a causal link.”Third, even if it is true that 34,000 cancer deaths annually are caused by the consumption of processed meat — the link between beef and pork and cancer are not as clear — that number pales in comparison to deaths caused by tobacco and booze.According to The Times, “Tobacco smoking causes about a million cancer deaths a year worldwide; alcohol adds another 600,000 annual cancer deaths.”So what do we make of the latest be-wary-of-meat-eating study?I’m no scientist or expert, but isn’t moderation the key? My solution is to routinely eat fruit, vegetables, fish and chicken — and occasionally make beef and pork feasts on the smoker.Beyond that, what’s the beef?FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Biggest questions facing the Warriors this season

first_imgIn the wake of an NBA Finals loss, Kevin Durant’s departure and moving into a new arena, the Warriors faced several questions as they opened training camp three weeks ago. Yet, the preseason may have given rise to more questions than answers.Here are the biggest concerns facing the Warriors ahead of the regular-season opener against the Clippers on Thursday.How many points will Steph Curry score per game?The season before Durant’s arrival in the Bay Area, Steph Curry scored 30.1 points per …last_img read more

Challenging situations on both ends of the river in water quality struggle

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Secret fishing spots are guarded more closely than cherished family recipes. Instead of the corn and soybean markets, they talk about the walleye catch and the perch numbers. Instead of high dollar tractors, they buy bigger, better boats.For the people around Lake Erie, that productive blue green expanse on Ohio’s northern border is their life, food, water, career, heritage, recreation, and home. In short, is sort of like your farm is to you.So, when the people of Lake Erie see their way of life marred by a slick, poisonous green nightmare, it is not something they take lightly. Then they see the convincing (and legitimate) numbers of extensive water quality monitoring pointing squarely to agriculture as a leading culprit. They don’t take that lightly, either.Toxic algae need phosphorus (P) to grow, and while there is still room for debate about the exact contributions of various sources, there is no doubt that agriculture is one of the culprits sending P down the river to the lake — from your farms to theirs.Farmers know that the solutions to this problem are not simple in the fields, but the challenges with the algae on the lake are not simple either. Kelly Frey is the Ottawa County Water Sanitary Engineer and has been at the plant since 1980. Not far along into his time there, he started work to implement a new treatment facility to improve drinking water quality for the residents and the growing number of tourists coming to the county. In 1999 the new, conventional water system was implemented and all seemed well. The system takes water from an intake at the mouth of the Portage River 1,800 feet off shore where it is eight to 10 feet deep.“Then in the last few years comes the algae issue. It clogs everything up and we have to take that out of the water. It creates plant operation problems, increases costs and reduces efficiency and supply,” Frey said. “It clogs filters twice as fast as normal and the extra gallons we thought we had for expansion are now needed to allow extra time and resources for addressing the algae problem. This is creating issues with trying to anticipate what will happen in the future and how we will manage it. The biggest problem we see is on our sand filters. The algae is very fine and hard to filter. The challenge is just dealing with the amounts of algae that we have — trying to deal with the accumulation that is coming into our plant and treat it and be cost effective. Our costs have accelerated and actually doubled in terms of our chemical costs during the algae season.”Costs also have increased in terms of time and safety.“It has slowed down our processes in our plant to the point where we are taking almost twice as long to treat the water so our capacities are down. It is very tedious and there is a lot of room for error,” Frey said. “We are trying to protect public safety by providing the best drinking water we can and assure them that it is safe to drink, but the magnitude is so much more than was ever anticipated when the plant was designed. I think that is true for all of the plants along the lake.”The algae itself is a tremendous problem for water quality, but the mycrocystin toxin it creates are even more challenging.“It is creating a tremendous burden on us being able to treat it and take the toxins out of the water. Part of the toxin removal is through filtration and it is very hard to predict,” he said. “The mycrocystin issue is a real mystery for us. There is no specific guideline as to how to treat this and there is not much history with this. It is not something you can see. Testing is very cumbersome. It takes almost eight hours to get results back and the tests are not always accurate. We do the best we can with that. There is a lot of gray area out there that we have not seen before. We really need more information about the levels and how high they can get.”As his list of water treatment headaches grows, Frey is looking for potential causes of the problem, and targeted solutions.“It is important for Ohio’s farmers to realize the situation that the water industry is in. This is something that is not going away and needs to be addressed. It is affecting everyone here in terms of safety. I appreciate what the farm community is doing and I appreciate the efforts they are making, but I can tell you that the lake is not getting better. The efforts from the farm community and municipalities are good, but they are not enough,” he said. “If it is believed that was is being done is good enough, I can tell you from first hand experience that it is not. We have to do a better job, all of us, in making the water safer and less nutrient loaded to reduce the algae to the point where it is not a threat to our drinking water system. Until this nutrient overload is stopped, this problem will get worse.”And, there is no doubt that agriculture is a significant part of the problem, often blamed for 65% to 85% of the phosphorous flowing into the Western Lake Erie Basin from the Maumee River. Tests are being developed to better hone in on the exact source of the P in the water.“There is research coming out on phosphorus fingerprinting so we can track the specific P itself,” said Chris Winslow, interim director of Ohio State University’s Stone Lab on Lake Erie. “Is it coming from manure, septic tank failures, commercial fertilizer, or other human sources? There is potential moving forward that when we find P in the water we can ascertain its actual source.”This tool could be helpful in the ongoing broad effort to reduce to phosphorus loading in the Western Lake Erie Basin — specifically from the Maumee River watershed — by 40% of the levels found in the water in 2008.“We are looking at 2008 because that was one of our wetter years. Typically you only see that amount of rainfall every 10 years or so. There are always extreme weather conditions where you still could see blooms with the kinds of reductions were are looking for, but when we put recommendations in place to manage nutrients, we want to put that nutrient reduction in a situation that is a high rain anomaly. That way if we can do a 40% reduction based on what we saw in that year, in most years — nine times out of 10 — you’ll see a bloom that has fairly low concentrations, like what we saw in 2012,” Winslow said. “The target of a 40% reduction from 2008 concentrations you would see entering the water should reduce scares of the huge toxic events we have been seeing.  As the climate changesThe staff at Stone Lab uses this boat to conduct various research projects in Lake Erie.we are seeing more frequent storms, though, and we may discover that looking at 2008 for the 40% reduction levels may not be the benchmark we need.”While P has been the clear focus of water quality improvement efforts, there is growing evidence that nitrogen from agriculture and other sources is also playing a role in the toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie.“We’ve known for a long time that marine systems are limited by nitrogen — N is in the shortest supply in terms of demand for algae growth. Lake Erie is a fresh water system and those are typically P limited. So if you have an algae bloom in fresh water, it is going to be because of an addition of P,” Winslow said. “That said, there are regions in the lake, like Sandusky Bay, that actually need N to trigger some of the growth. Usually when you hear about toxic algae or cyanobacteria in Lake Erie you hear about mycrocystis. In Sandusky Bay, you are dealing with a type of cynaobacteria called planktothrix. N has also come onto the radar recently because it seems like it has the potential to play a role in the toxicity of planktothrix. P is still the major driver for those blooms but now we are seeing that N may play a role in how toxic the algae blooms are. When we say nutrient management we are not just talking about P. There is some indication that we also need to be looking at N, which is a trickier element to worry about.”The research efforts into addressing the problem of the toxic algal blooms are extensive and include the study of algae growth under the ice, algae and the lake ecosystem, and the looking for native critters that actually eat the bad algae. With these and many more facets to this extremely complex problem, there is much work to be done — both on on the farm and on the lake.last_img read more

Video Tutorial: How to Create a Seamless Foreground Transition

first_imgAdvanced Foreground TransitionIf I really want some versatility, I can mask both edges of my foreground object, completely isolating it from the background. Once it’s isolated, I can now bring it up to track 3. This will give me more precision when timing the transition, as I’ll be able to adjust both the wide and close-up shots on tracks 1 and 2. I could even export this with an alpha and reuse it on future projects.So there you have it — a smooth foreground transition. Now I can use this technique to smoothly bring my viewers into a new location, change the composition of my shot, compress time, or just avoid an unnecessary jump cut.Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?“Success Story” by Vincent Tone“Aesthetics Trap” by CymatixLooking for more video tutorials? Check these out.How to Export with Transparency from Adobe After EffectsHow to Properly Pancake Timelines in Adobe Premiere ProVideo Tutorial: Determining The Best Lens for Your ProjectTutorial: Removing Audio Pops and Recording Audio DifferentlyHow to Change the Color of Exterior Lights in After Effects Step 1 — Capture the Foreground Object ShotNaturally, a transition occurs between two shots. In this example, I’m going to transition between a wide and close-up shot of my subject sitting on a bench. First, I’ll capture the wide shot. At the end of the shot, I’ll walk in front of the camera, making sure that the frame is covered from top to bottom by my body. Next, I’ll grab the second shot of my subject sitting on the bench — this time as a close-up shot.Step 2 — Layer the ShotsNow that I’ve captured my two shots, I’ll bring them into my NLE. I’m using Adobe Premiere Pro for this tutorial, but you can pull off this technique in many other popular NLEs. All you need is a mask that is keyframable.Now I want to transition from the wide shot to the close-up, so I’ll stack the two clips on my timeline, with the wide shot on video track 2 and the close-up on track 1. With my shots in place, I’m ready to bring this effect to life.Step 3 — Animate a MaskYou create this transition by masking the top layer to reveal the footage underneath. The key is to mask the edge of the foreground object (me) as it moves across screen, adding keyframes to the Mask Path as you go along. To make sure your composite looks good, adjust the Mask Feather. Feathering can be especially helpful when your foreground object has a lot of motion blur. You’ll most likely need to change position of each clip to time the transition perfectly. By adding in a foreground transition, you can make smoother edits and add some interesting dynamism to your video project.The foreground transition is a simple technique that can help you move between shots, scenes, and locations. If you execute the transition properly, viewers won’t even notice it. This method is a great alternative to straight cuts, and it gives editors another way to immerse viewers in a story. (The foreground transition can also help avoid the pesky jump cut.)Let’s take a look at how to create a foreground transition in just a few simple steps.last_img read more

Lake St Martin finally reaches deal with Manitoba Ottawa on devastating 2011

first_imgAPTN National NewsPeople from Lake St. Martin First Nation have been displaced for more than three years since the 2011 flood in Manitoba.Deals have come and gone between the chief and council, the Manitoba government and Ottawa to compensate and relocate the community.Now there is some hope the latest signed offer on the table will be the final one.Chief Adrian Sinclair has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Manitoba and Ottawa that would see the community received a settlement package for losing their homes.The deal is estimated to range between $250 million to $300 million and will be split by Manitoba and Ottawa.last_img read more

New Grocery Stores in TCI

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales – Another industry in the Turks and Caicos bringing variety and intense competition… grocery shopping. Quality Supermarket is poised to open its massive new store later today in a ribbon cutting ceremony. This is the third location for Quality and the second food store to announce movement to the down town area of Provo in weeks… Graceway IGA has shared that it is leasing the former Island Pride to expand its brand of business. The Department of statistics reported that for the first quarter of the year, Turks and Caicos imported $86 million dollars in food, with a 24% hike in alcohol and tobacco imports over last year same period. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more