When it comes to stimulating our brains, Dr. Kessler noted, individual ingredients aren’t particularly potent. But by combining fats, sugar and salt in innumerable ways, food makers have essentially tapped into the brain’s reward system, creating a feedback loop that stimulates our desire to eat and leaves us wanting more and more even when we’re full....This get's the No Shit Sherlock award.
The result is that chain restaurants like Chili’s cook up “hyper-palatable food that requires little chewing and goes down easily,” he notes. And Dr. Kessler reports that the Snickers bar, for instance, is “extraordinarily well engineered.” As we chew it, the sugar dissolves, the fat melts and the caramel traps the peanuts so the entire combination of flavors is blissfully experienced in the mouth at the same time.
On airlines such as Southwest and United, people who can't fit into 17-inch seats with the armrests down and their seat belts fastened must buy a second seat or they don't fly. US Airways and American Airlines are likely to offer free second seats, but on a full flight they make extra-large passengers pay for them.Obesity is as often as not not a simple matter of gluttony or lack of will power. There is a ton of research going on that show there are dozens of factors, from viruses to air-conditioning to trace synthetic hormones. It seems pretty clear that in many, if not most cases of true obesity, too many Twinkies are not the cause.
Under the proposal, the sales tax would increase from 5 percent to 6.25 percent, which is estimated to bring in an additional $900 million annually, roughly a third of which would be earmarked for the transportation system.No word in this story about the cuts that are included. I'm sure they'll be in the full edition of the Globe tomorrow.
The budget would also boost taxes on meals by 1.25 percentage points statewide, estimated to raise $108 million. Cities and towns would be allowed to raise the meals tax by an additional 0.75 percent.
In addition, the budget would eliminate an exemption on alcohol taxes for items sold in retail stores, and allow communities to raise the local hotels tax by 2 percentage points.
Convicts do not have a right under the Constitution to obtain DNA testing to try to prove their innocence after being found guilty, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.As usual, those who claim to defend rights are the ones narrowing them:
Thursday’s ruling in District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne, No. 08-6, reversed a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Joining Chief Justice Roberts in the majority were Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.While this particular case has some weirdness to it, the overall precedent is truly astounding. All I can say is I hope our state legislature has already created a legal means for people to obtain potentially exonerating DNA evidence if no such testing was done prior to, and presented at, their trial.
3 Public Forums: Exploring the Possibility of a National Forest DesignationAs someone who casually enjoys the woods, mountains and waters of our region, I'm curious where this proposed forest would be and how it would affect us. Good? Bad? Indifferent?
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has hired the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution & Public Collaboration (MODR) to conduct a series of focus groups with a broad range of stakeholders to explore a new model for a "family-forest based" National Forest designation in western Massachusetts.
Stakeholders including state and municipal officials, environmental organizations, recreational and sportsmen organizations, foresters, forest industry/wood producers, agricultural organizations, private landowners, land trust and conservation organizations are asked to attend these focus groups.
The purpose of the meetings will be to hear the thoughts, concerns and ideas of local citizens and to identify ways in which the public can be actively engaged in the exploration of the concept of a National Forest designation in Massachusetts.
Local Focus Group Meetings:
Monday, June 8, 2009, 10AM to Noon
Berkshire Community College
Tuesday, June 9, 2009, 10AM to Noon
Mass. College of Liberal Arts
Tuesday, June 9, 2009, 2pm to 4PM
Mass. College of Liberal Arts
Please RSVP by Tuesday, May 26th to Courtney Breese at MODR (617) 287-4046 or firstname.lastname@example.org.