Restaurant Chain Menu Choices To Die From

Most people wouldn’t think to order two orders of deep-fried steak and eggs for breakfast at a casual chain like Bob Evans. But if you order Bob Evans’ Cinnamon Cream Stacked & Stuffed Hotcakes, you’ll be getting 1,380 calories and 34 grams of bad fat—about what you’d get in two country-fried steaks and four eggs. But the hotcakes are worse because seven grams of their bad fat comes from trans fat—more than one should get in three and a half days. Syrup adds another 200 calories for every four-tablespoon serving.

Bob Evans Cinnamon Cream Stacked & Stuffed Hotcakes. Pancakes, which are usually lightly fried white flour topped with sugary syrup, have never been a healthy breakfast. But Bob stuffs his hotcakes with cinnamon chips made of sugar and fat; adds a layer of cream-cheese-flavored filling; and tops them with sugary “cream” sauce, whipped topping, and powdered sugar. And that makes the item one of CSPI’s top Xtreme Eating dishonorees for 2010.

To put these numbers into context, keep in mind that the average American should consume about 2,000 calories per day, and consume no more than 20 grams of saturated fat.

Xtreme Eating 2010. Continue reading “Restaurant Chain Menu Choices To Die From”

Behind Obama’s Education Reform

The U.S. spends more per pupil than any other but whose student performance ranks in the bottom third among developed nations isn’t failing its children for lack of resources but for lack of trained, motivated, accountable talent at the front of the class.

Before they successfully organized in the 1950s and 1960s, teachers endured meager salaries, political favoritism, tyrannical principals and sex discrimination against a mostly female work force.

But now a 165-page New York City union contract … not only specifies everything that teachers will do and will not do during a six-hour-57 ½-minute workday but also requires that teachers be paid based on how long they have been on the job. Once they’ve been teaching for three years and judged satisfactory in a process that invariably judges all but a few of them satisfactory, they are ensured lifetime tenure.

via The Teachers’ Unions’ Last Stand –

In Europe “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”.

Europeans have boasted about their social model, with its generous vacations and early retirements, its national health care systems and extensive welfare benefits, contrasting it with the comparative harshness of American capitalism.

Europeans have benefited from low military spending, protected by NATO and the American nuclear umbrella. They have also translated higher taxes into a cradle-to-grave safety net. “The Europe that protects” is a slogan of the European Union. But all over Europe governments with big budgets, falling tax revenues and aging populations are experiencing rising deficits, with more bad news ahead.

With low growth, low birthrates and longer life expectancies, Europe can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle, at least not without a period of austerity and significant changes. The countries are trying to reassure investors by cutting salaries, raising legal retirement ages, increasing work hours and reducing health benefits and pensions.

via Payback Time – Deficit Crisis Threatens Ample Benefits of European Life –

Video: Surf’s Up On Russian Bridge

The Russian Emergency Ministry has closed a seven-kilometre-long (4.3 miles) bridge which crosses the Volga River in Volgograd, after the structure started to undulate.

Strong currents in the river caused by the huge flow of extra water from melting snow upstream had apparently loosened one of the vertical supports, which affected the balance of the entire bridge.

The bridge, the longest in Europe, was completed last year and opened in October 2009. Its construction cost 80.36 million dollars.

via Russian authorities shut down wobbly bridge.

Forget Greece: Europe’s real problem is Germany

Germans look at the current crisis and blame their spendthrift Mediterranean neighbors for using the cover of the euro to rack up public and private debts that they now cannot support. They blame hedge funds and other speculators for making a bad situation worse and profiting from other people’s misery. And they are furious that they are being told by their leaders that they have no choice but to bail everyone out.

What Germans won’t accept is that they wouldn’t have been able to sell all those beautifully designed cars and well-engineered machine tools if Greeks and Spaniards and Americans hadn’t been willing to buy those goods and German banks hadn’t been so willing to lend them the money to do so. Nor will they accept that German industry was able to thrive over the past decade because of a common currency and a common monetary policy that, over time, rendered industry in some neighboring countries uncompetitive while generating huge real estate bubbles in others.The danger of Germans misunderstanding the causes of the current crisis is that it leads them, and the rest of Europe, to the wrong solutions.

via Steven Pearlstein – Forget Greece: Europe’s real problem is Germany.

Man Is A Trader

What made Homo sapiens so special? Dr. Ridley argues in “The Rational Optimist,” that it wasn’t our big brain, because Neanderthals had a big brain, too. Nor was it our willingness to help one another, because apes and other social animals also had an instinct for reciprocity.

“At some point,” Dr. Ridley writes, “after millions of years of indulging in reciprocal back-scratching of gradually increasing intensity, one species, and one alone, stumbled upon an entirely different trick. Adam gave Oz an object in exchange for a different object.”

The evidence for this trick is in perforated seashells from more than 80,000 years ago that ended up far from the nearest coast, an indication that inlanders were bartering to get ornamental seashells from coastal dwellers. Unlike the contemporary Neanderthals, who apparently relied just on local resources, those modern humans could shop for imports.

via Findings – Doomsayers Beware, a Bright Future Beckons – Continue reading “Man Is A Trader”

New Clue Found To Existence

In a mathematically perfect universe, we would be less than dead; we would never have existed. According to the basic precepts of Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics, equal amounts of matter and antimatter should have been created in the Big Bang and then immediately annihilated each other in a blaze of lethal energy, leaving a big fat goose egg with which to make stars, galaxies and us. And yet we exist, and physicists (among others) would dearly like to know why.

The new effect hinges on the behavior of particularly strange particles called neutral B-mesons, which are famous for not being able to make up their minds. They oscillate back and forth trillions of times a second between their regular state and their antimatter state. As it happens, the mesons, created in the proton-antiproton collisions, seem to go from their antimatter state to their matter state more rapidly than they go the other way around, leading to an eventual preponderance of matter over antimatter of about 1 percent, when they decay to muons.

via From Fermilab, a New Clue to Explain Human Existence? –

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