- ‘ORGANIC’ LABELING IS FAR FROM FIRMLY DEFINITIVE, but: (1) For milk products, a USDA seal relates to dairy cows which haven’t been raised with antibiotics, hormones, pesticides or GMOs, and must get a third of their calories from grazing; (2) Organic bread products are supposedly baked without preservatives or sweeteners, but not limited to containing only whole grains; (3) Organic eggs supposedly come from chickens fed without antibiotics and if also marked ‘pasture raised’ means they weren’t cooped up in a cage. [THE WEEK – 10/4/19].
- IT’S ILLEGAL FOR BUSINESSES TO SEND COMMERCIAL EMAILS WITHOUT PROVIDING AN ‘OPT-OUT’ BUTTON. However (Surprise Surprise!), scammers can also target that ‘Unsubscribe’ button such that clicking will confirm your address validity and/or link to a spam website where malware greets your computer or phone. So, sending a questionable email to a junk file or spam-box is a much safer process. If you do accidentally click and get linked to a spam site, consider immediately running a malware scan. [BUSTLE.COM – 9/29/19]
- BOTTLED WATER IS 300 TIMES THE PRICE OF TAP WATER, AND NOT NECESSARILY SAFER. Apart from the environmental impact of some billions of disposable plastic bottles sold in the U.S., only 30% are subject to FDA regulation, while Tap water must comply with federal safety issues administered by the Environmental Protection Agency; seven in ten bottles are State regulated but to widely different standards. “A scientifically rigorous study done by the Nat’l Resources Defense Council revealed that about a third of tested bottles from 100 brands had levels of bacteria or chemical contaminants above industry standards, and a recent Consumer Reports investigation found several brands containing potentially unsafe levels of arsenic. An additional risk relates to bottles stored in hot areas (like a car) where “agents in the plastic can leach into the water.” [TIME – 10/7/19]
- THE CHINESE ‘SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM MAKES AMERICAN CONCERN OVER GOVERNMENT CONTROLS SOUND TRIVIAL. Once fully implemented, the System is “intended to standardize the assessment of citizens & businesses ‘economic & social reputation’ to constitute a new way of controlling behavior… by utilizing algorithms to develop a ‘social profile score’ based on factors including location, friends, health records, insurance, private messages, financial position, gaming duration, smart home statistics, preferred newspapers, shopping history & dating behavior… High scores will be used to manage rewards; low scores to exclude children from top schools, preclude access to public transport, loans, jobs, trains or domestic flights, renting hotels, using credit cards, etc.… Researchers believe the system is part of a plan to automate authoritarian rule by possessing a powerful means of quelling dissent, at comparatively low-cost and without requiring overt coercion.” [WIKIPEDIA – 5/19]
- THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder to find one these days…