Saturday, November 20, 2004

An early panic for Christmas!

Church air is, potentially, worse than the air by major roads. According to Dutch researchers, levels of particulates after a heavy session of incense and candle burning are very high, in part because churches are so badly ventilated.

Will new rules come in preventing the smoking of incense in public places? 'It's all to protect the clergy, a poor-paid workforce who are often exposed to such levels in their jobs.' 'Church services often include many children and they need to be protected, too.' 'By banning the burning of candles and incense, we'll help many major religions kick the habit once and for all. In surveys, many creeds want to give up due to health reasons and the high cost of church candles, but then Christmas comes around and they fall off the wagon. This may be just the helping hand they need....'

BBC NEWS | Health | Church air is 'threat to health'

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Super Size Me for an Oscar?

Hmmm... crass, but mildly amusing film about McDonald's, or Touching the Void, powerful semi-dramatised re-telling of a mountain expedition gone wrong? I know which one I'd choose.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Fast food film makes Oscar list

Monday, November 15, 2004

The crusade against smoking: the Nazi parallels

This excellent article by Dr Michael Fitzpatrick notes the limited evidence against passive smoking. He shows how the earliest evidence of problems caused by smoking was uncovered in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, and was picked up by the Nazis in their war against cancer and in favour of racial purity. While the modern campaign against passive smoking is not based on racial motivations, it is just as authoritarian, unnecessary and politically expedient.

spiked-health | Column | We have ways of making you stop smoking