Lucky iron fish fights anemia

In Cambodia, a considerable proportion of the population is iron deficient. This preventable condition can lead to anemia, weakness, impaired cognitive ability, compromised physical development in children, and increased risk of illness. It can even lead to death.

But one little fish can change all that.

The Solution – fashion the small piece of iron into the shape of a fish, a cultural symbol of hope and good fortune in Cambodia.

One Lucky Iron Fish can provide an entire family with up to 75% of their daily iron intake for up to 5 years. All you have to do is cook with it.

It’s a simple, affordable, and effective solution anyone can use.

After just 9 months of using the Lucky Iron Fish every day, we saw a 50% decrease in the incidence of clinical iron deficiency anemia, and an increase in users’ iron levels. And people are feeling the difference. That’s why the Lucky Iron Fish has become an integral part of their lives.

And this is just the beginning…

Visit the LuckyIronFish website. Check out the various levels of support you’re able to provide to the project. They’re moving out to other cultures with iron deficiency anemia – ready and willing to appreciate the value of the Lucky Iron Fish.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Idjits ready to whine about “Death Panels” all over again!

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You’ll probably be hearing a lot about death panels these next few days.

That’s because Medicare, the federal insurance program for elderly Americans, wants to start reimbursing doctors for having conversations with their elderly patients about death. Those talks might cover things like how much medical treatment a person is willing to endure in exchange for the chance of a few more months on the planet, and the circumstances under which a person would prefer to let go.

Similar ideas were stripped out of the the Affordable Care Act after that great medical intellect Sarah Palin started using the provocative term “death panels” to describe them. It was picked up by Obama-haters everywhere and the end-of-life counseling notion was soon declared DOA. A lot of [opportunist] media outlets used the language to describe Medicare’s announcement…

You can pretty much count on the death-panel trolls crawling back—some of them might even be running for president. Times have changed, and we’ve probably gotten smarter on this, but you can count on some of the old death-panel trolls to come crawling back—and some of them might even be running for president. We’ll see. In any case, they will be profoundly and tragically wrong. The proposed conversations will not only save the healthcare system a bundle, they will improve the quality and duration of people’s final days. Even tea partiers will benefit from the policy, which, if it survives its critics, will almost certainly be adopted by private insurers. (Some are already doing it.)

Michael Mechanic supplements the article with an earlier interview of author, surgeon, and New Yorker staff writer Atul Gawande, whose best-seller “Being Mortal” covers this topic. A worthwhile read. Click the link up top to RTFA.

I visit this topic from time-to-time. As a cranky old geek, questions of mortality are closer to my own life than most. As I said in January, “We had our first Death Panel get-together with my wife’s doctor a few weeks back. I have nothing but contempt for the conservative idjits who coined that term – so, of course, I deliberately use it as a joke. My wife’s doctor didn’t smile.”

Koch Bros flunky opposes more national parks

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…Throughout the national park system, an enormous backlog of deferred maintenance is eroding the visitor experience and threatening the very resources that the National Park Service was created to protect. Earlier this year, the park service announced that the cost of deferred maintenance had reached $11.5 billion…

Despite this, in December President Obama effectively spread the maintenance budget even thinner by adding seven new parks totaling approximately 120,000 acres to the park system. The administration also supports reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which devotes up to $900 million annually from offshore oil and gas leases to federal land acquisitions and state recreational grants — but nothing explicitly for the maintenance of our federal lands.

Adding more land to the federal estate is irresponsible when the government is failing to maintain the parks, forests and grazing lands it currently owns. Rather than using the conservation fund to acquire more land, Congress should use the money to help address the deferred maintenance backlog.

True conservation is taking care of the land and water you already have, not insatiably acquiring more and hoping it manages itself.

Advocates for reauthorizing the conservation fund, including the Interior Department, point to broad public support for public land acquisition, particularly for private holdings within park boundaries and other ecologically sensitive parcels threatened by development. However, federal land agencies can acquire these priority parcels in a revenue-neutral manner by swapping them with other federal lands, leaving the land and water conservation money for critical maintenance and repairs.

Reed Watson, the executive director at the Koch-backed Property and Environment Research Center blthers on with sophistry for a spell – then, gets to his point:

First, Congress should stop acquiring more land and use the Land and Water Conservation Fund to help pay down the deferred maintenance backlog. Second, Congress should renew and expand the authority of federal land agencies that oversee our parks, forests and rangelands to charge user fees and allow those fees to be used at the locations where they were collected.

No thought given to reordering priorities on how our government spends its whole budget.

The Park Service budget for fiscal year 2015 is $2.6 billion – less than 1/10th of 1% of the federal budget. At the same time all of the regular activities of the Department of Defense are projected to consume 54% of all federal discretionary spending, or $598.5 billion out of a total of $1.1 trillion.

Might we consider withdrawing the taxpayer subsidies in the billion$ we hand over to fossil fuel companies? Nope, flunkies like Watson spend their lobbying time before Congress and the public prating about more efficient use of the pittance set aside for nature’s natural heritage in the United States. In the heart of hearts of creeps like the Koch Bros, there is nothing they’d like better than ignoring real conservation – until after they’ve sucked every bit of carbon from the ground and stuffed it into the air we breathe.