• OVER ONE-THIRD OF AMERICAN ADULTS AND NEARLY 75% OF ADOLESCENTS ARE ‘PHYSICALLY INACTIVE’ – the fourth global cause of death after smoking and high sugar or blood pressure, three times the percentage of adult Russians. The measurement standard for ‘inactive’ is fewer than 150-minutes weekly of ‘moderate intense’ activity (like brisk walking or cycling) or 75-minutes of ‘vigorous’ activity (like running or swimming). A 12-year, 300,000 person study at Cambridge Univ. found that “a brisk daily 20-minute walk, or equivalent, cut the annual death rate 25% for people of normal weight and 16% for the obese… Other research suggests that walking fast for 25 minutes daily can buy 3 to 7 years of extra life.” [THE ECONOMIST – Sep 5, 15]

• ‘AUGMENTED REALITY’ PLATFORMS will soon eclipse electronic display screens by expanding the computer-generated world of Virtual Reality to include the Real World. This technology involves “fashionable glasses that ‘paint’ an image with light onto the back of your retina (where the optic nerve receives photons and transmits them to the visual cortex of the brain)… so that everything becomes a screen.” Expected capabilities include: reading books & files, watching television, movies or anything digital on counters, walls, even sides of buildings; checking Email on your arm or hand; projecting Google map directions onto the road ahead as you drive; virtual shopping where your exact scanned body size displays clothing & make-up alternatives; studying inside a virtual environment where architectural structures are built to spec, or flying through planets, or sitting at the table with the nation’s founders debating the Declaration of Independence. Trillions of dollars in multiple markets will be dramatically disrupted by VR/AR technology in the next five years.         [PETER DIAMANDIS BLOG – Sep 13, 15]

• CARBON FIBER COMPOSITES MAY STILL SAVE THE PLANET’S ATMOSPHERE. With high strength and light weight properties, carbon fibers are increasingly used in aerospace & automotive industries, and a new ‘electrochemical process’ can now “take carbon dioxide directly from the air and convert it to oxygen and nanoscale fibers made of carbon…potentially a lot cheaper than existing methods…which could eventually replace steel, aluminum or concrete as a building material.” Additionally, when renewable energy powers the process, “the result is a net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere… Researchers calculate that given an area 10% the size of the Sahara Desert, this method could return atmospheric levels to pre-industrial levels within ten years – even if we keep emitting greenhouse gas at a high rate during that period.” [M.I.T. TECHNOLOGY REVIEW – Aug 19, 15]

• MOST HAMBURGERS ARE MADE WITH BEEF FROM CATTLE “FED WITH ANTIBIOTICS and other drugs to boost growth and prevent disease, but which are twice as likely to contain drug-resistant superbugs as grass-fed & organic beef,” say Consumer Reports researchers who tested enough ground beef in 26 American cities at over a hundred stores to cook around 1,800 quarter-pounders. Meat cooked at 160 degrees to kill bacteria is the safest way to eat any burger.                   [THE WEEK – Sep 11, 15]

• THE OBITUARY OF “COMMON SENSE” – RECENTLY PASSED FROM OUR WORLD – and who will perhaps be remembered for having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Life isn’t always fair; and Maybe it was my fault. Mr. Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (‘don’t spend more than you can earn’) and reliable strategies (‘adults, not children, are in charge’). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when overbearing regulations were set in place: a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; parents attacking teachers for attempting to teach discipline; schools requiring parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin. Common Sense lost the will to live as churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims – including thieves’ Rights to sue the owners of the homes they were robbing for assault – and finally gave up after a woman failed to comprehend that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was sadly preceded in death by his parents Truth and Trust, by his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility, and his son Reason. Five stepbrothers survive him: I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, I’m A Victim, and Pay Me for Doing Nothing. Not many attended Mr. Sense’s funeral because so few bothered to notice that he was gone. [INTERNET ANON]

• THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Specialty drugs for cancer and cystic fibrosis cost about $300,000 per year per patient – representing only about 1% of prescriptions but nearly a third of all spending on pharmaceuticals.

The world is full of innovation. How about HELIUM BEER! Results start at 3-minute mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87Z_h2a7Nhg