It is hard not to be amused. I assume that everyone knows about Grantz’s (Sorry, Glantz’s) latest perversion of ‘pseudo-science’ (yes, you read that correctly – not only is the stuff pseudo-science, it is perverted pseudo-science). Dick Puddlecote took his claims apart and so did Michael Siegel. Basically, what Grantz said was that smoking prevalence is not falling as quickly as it used to be, but more people, as a percentage of the remaining smoking population, are making quit attempts. So, he says, since the smoking population is getting smaller over time, the increase in ‘quit attempts’ shows that more and more of the ‘surviving’ smokers want to quit. He interprets this to mean that the remaining smokers are actually ‘softening’ in their determination to carry on smoking.
It means nothing of the sort! In fact, it shows the opposite! Think about it. I used the phrase “…. in their determination to carry on smoking” deliberately in the previous sentence to illustrate a point. That point is that quitting does not depend upon ‘determination to quit’ (which is why I used the opposite idea of ‘determination NOT to quit’). The word ‘hardness’ in the remaining smoking population describes the continuation of smoking and not pious intentions or wishes to quit. Thus, the study itself shows that the difficulty of stopping smoking, regardless of ‘quit attempts’, exists.
Grantz concludes that ecigs should not be promoted because ‘the softening’ (of attitudes) means that they are not needed. But his own study (which shows ‘the hardness’ of actually quitting) shows that he should be welcoming ecigs if they help those ‘hard’ smokers who have tried again and again to quit without success. In other words, ‘quit attempts’ do not mean ‘softening’ in hard-core smokers. ‘Failure’ of quit attempts means ‘hardness’. I think that Grantz got mixed up between adjectives and nouns.
The City decided that it did not like people cooking and eating shark fins and concocted an reason to ban it – it was said that sharks accumulate mercury in their fins which would poison people who ate them. A quote:
“Of course, this was a sham to distract Calgarians from the fact that council had no authority to enact the ban. No councillors were truly motivated by concern over mercury poisoning. To his credit, Coun. Andre Chabot did not support the ban, because he saw it as an attempt by a handful of his colleagues to codify their feelings into law.”
The author goes on:
“Well, it’s happening again. This time, council is about to enact a ban on vaping. And just like the previous ban, some councillors (spurred on by Alberta Health Services executives) have prioritized their disapproval of vaping over restraining themselves within their proper authority. The adopted narrative this time is that vaping is unsafe and a nuisance; it should therefore be banned in all public spaces — including all private property to which the public has access. It’s prohibition all over again.”
Needless to say, the article follows the fiction that SHS is utterly and completely to be abhorred because of its mystical death ray qualities, but at least it supports the ‘high moral ground’ position of vapers. But I still find it sad that ‘the vaping community’ has had to turn upon smokers in its attempt to justify its position. In effect, it wants to be seen as a ‘cut above’ those disgusting, filthy, stinking smokers. I suppose that there is no other way, and I can’t say that I blame them. Not everyone would agree with me on that, but I see no other way to stop the onward march of the Zealots. A line must be drawn, and that line could be the treatment of vapers.
But there are always people who undercut their own position, aren’t there? People who just don’t see that the Zealots give no quarter. For example, here is the first comment on that article:
“If people smoking e-cigarettes would refrain from doing so indoors, and on public transit, and other areas where regular cigarette smoking is not allowed, I wouldn’t have an issue. Unfortunately, I have been stuck on a train where I couldn’t get away from said people vaping, and having to breathe and smell their e-cigarette pollution.”
I know that the quote is not from a vaper, but watch this:
“I’m a vaper and I agree Alyssa. They shouldn’t be vaping where smoking is not allowed. And they should also be considerate when vaping in areas where it is allowed.”
Do you see? Painful, is it not? Here is another:
“I live in Ontario where a new bylaw went into effect that restricts vaping where tobacco smoking is already restricted. Like many vapers I talk to, I don’t have an issue with that. Neither do I have any issue restricting vaping products to those of legal smoking age. But to insist that vaping is a gateway to cigarettes is preposterous”
What???? He does not have an issue with vaping being treated as smoking? What sort of twisted intellect could complain about ‘the gateway affect’ whilst agreeing with vaping bans? In fact, you could reasonably say that the guy has got it altogether the wrong way round! It is more likely that there is a ‘gateway affect’ than that ecig vapour is dangerous. That is because ecig vapour contains no toxins and therefore has been proven not to be dangerous (by any reasonable yardstick) whereas the possibility of a ‘gateway affect’ has not been disproved (which it cannot be, of course).
There are only 19 comments. Read them and be amazed at the ignorance and lack of clarity in the thinking. Is it just me, or is there a class of person whose intellectual pathways are a messy mixture of logic and emotion? For I just cannot understand the failure of so many people to understand that what other people do is none of their business, or that private property is private property, regardless of the artificial construct of ‘public places’ (private property open to the public).
Do I despair? Of course not! The more that tobacco control pushes, the harder will become the resistance. It is in the interests of pure smokers that TC demands Ecig bans (not that I want them to succeed!).
So Greece has defaulted. What has physically changed? Nothing. What has happened is that some entries in ledgers on computers have not been made. I suspect that the Troika do not want people to understand this. In Greece, nothing has changed – or rather, that is the situation unless the powers-that-be bugger physical events up. Tourists will still arrive and spend money, locals will still serve the tourists, taxies will still pick up fares, bakers will still bake bread, etc.
To put it as simply as it can be put, what Greece will need for some time is SUPPLIES. It will need supplies of fuel, food, and such things, especially those things which its tourist industry needs in the short term. It is not about macro-economics and international banking. The Greek Government, its banks and its people must act is though it is at war. It is not at war, because it has no real, physical army at its doors, but the EU will do its best to destroy the Greek infrastructure without dropping any bombs.
We must wait and see.
Ed gave me some plants. I planted them out and, over the past couple of weeks, quite a lot of the ‘sand lugs’ (the first flush of leaves) have gone very pale green, partly pale green and yellow of fully yellow. This is not odd since Ed has cultivated the plants with some force (if I may put it that way – heat, light, fertilizer, water, cloches, etc). I picked those leaves and towelled them. Over three days at most, they all turned a bright yellow.
For fun, I have a couple of pics:
My mobile does not take the best of pics. You need to imagine that the leaves are coloured bright yellow (which is why they are so shiny). The leaf at bottom right has indeed gone somewhat brown. This afternoon, I pegged them out on the washing line in the sun to dry them. Strangely, they did not dry very much. Anyway, eventually, I decided to microwave them. Here is the result:
Those colours are pretty accurate. Some leaves, or parts of leaves, have stayed quite yellow, some have gone light brown and some have gone dark brown. I like it. That is the way that it should be. That is nature at work.
Excuse typos – I’m off to bed.