Pregnancy and living found to be incompatible

From the Globe and Mail, Too much caffeine raises risk of miscarriage:

New research warning expectant mothers against drinking too much coffee during pregnancy is adding further fuel to the heated debate over the role caffeine plays in a woman’s risk of miscarriage.

Pregnant women who consume more than 200 milligrams of caffeine, or more than two regular cups of coffee, on a daily basis are twice as likely to suffer a miscarriage as those who consume none, according to a study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research.

The researchers interviewed 1,063 women and found that 12.5 per cent of participants who reported no caffeine intake suffered miscarriages, compared with 25.5 per cent of women who said they consumed more than 200 milligrams a day.

In a related study, researchers found that engaging in a variety of practices collectively known as as “the finer things in life” while pregnant – a list that includes sex, laughter, most foods with flavour, and sunshine – slightly increased the possibility of having a baby with an abnormally large head and/or unusually small genitalia.

As a result, pregnant women are now being advised to spend the nine months of their pregnancy in a darkened room eating rice flavoured with water and avoiding all human contact.


No Links For You

Since I have not been taking the time to update the Ade Just Read feature on the sidebar, I have removed it for the time being.

There are a few things I’d like to point out as worth taking a look at today however.

First up, Luc’s new blog style is up and looking good, and he’s got a great podcast on the right-hand side that is well worth listening to. Very nice way to kick off a Monday morning.

Next, some pictures that range from stunning photography to amusing social commentary:

  • The sky itself is the best show in town (pan right for full photo).
  • Intelligent Warming
  • Ben Folds responds to mandatory FBI anti-piracy logo
  • Lastly, a quotation from Gore Vidal:

    The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal – God is the Omnipotent Father – hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates.

    Have a great week!


Voices from Guantanomo

The New York Times has a piece today called Voices Baffled, Brash and Irate in Guantánamo that takes a look at some of the detainees whose stories emerged from recently released Pentagon documents.

The article describes some bizarre situations:

At one review hearing last year, an Afghan referred to by the single name Muhibullah denied accusations that he was either the former Taliban governor of Shibarghan Province or had worked for the governor. The solution to his case should have been simple, Mr. Muhibullah suggested to the three American officers reviewing his case: They should contact the Shibarghan governor and ask him.

But the presiding Marine Corps colonel said it was really up to the detainee to try to contact the governor. Assuming that the annual review board denied his petition for freedom, noted the officer, whose name was censored from the document, Mr. Muhibullah would have a year to do so.

“How do I find the governor of Shibarghan or anybody?” the detainee asked.

“Write to them,” the presiding officer responded. “We know that it is difficult but you need to do your best.”

“I appreciate your suggestion, but it is not that easy,” Mr. Muhibullah said.

In related news, the Guardian newspaper reports on a new Amnesty International report that claims 14,000 people have been imprisoned in Iraq by US and UK forces without trial.

In a new report published today, the human rights group criticised the US-led multinational force for interning some 14,000 people.

Around 3,800 people have been held for over a year, while another 200 have been detained for more than two years, the report – Beyond Abu Ghraib: detention and torture in Iraq – said.

“It is a dangerous precedent for the world that the US and UK think it completely defensible to hold thousands of people without charge or trial,” Amnesty spokesman Neil Durkin said.

The detainee situation in Iraq was comparable to Guantánamo Bay, he added, but on a much larger scale, and the detentions appeared to be “arbitrary and indefinite”.


More Prisons

Keeping on the prison subject, I came across this today on Democracy Now!:

In other news, the State Department quietly announced this week it has requested $100 million dollars for Iraqi reconstruction – all of it for prisons. The Bush administration initially promised $20 billion dollars to reconstruct Iraqi infrastructure. But much of the money has been diverted to security. State Department Iraq coordinator James Jeffrey said the $100 million dollar prison project was the lone new reconstruction effort the US government will undertake over the next year.

In fact, according to the Washington Post, “roughly half of the money was eaten away by the insurgency, a buildup of Iraq’s criminal justice system and the investigation and trial of Saddam Hussein”.

So money originally earmarked for the rebuilding of “electrical, education, water, sewage, sanitation and oil networks” in Iraq is now being used to build prisons instead.


New Photos from Abu Ghraib Published

More filth from the American torture prison Abu Ghraib in Iraq. These photos date back to 2003 but are the second body blow to the American and British coalition in recent days, as they follow closely on the heels of video that depicts British soldiers brutally beating Iraqi youths.

Abu Ghraib

A large selection of the new Abu Ghraib photos is available, but be warned, they are graphic and disturbing. The horrible picture I posted is among the mildest and least-offensive in comparison.

Life, politics, code and current events from a Canadian perspective.

Adrian Duyzer
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