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Comment Longevity of low-carb high animal protein dieters (Score 1) 441

Background: Data on the long-term association between low-carbohydrate diets and mortality are sparse.

Objective: To examine the association of low-carbohydrate diets with mortality during 26 years of follow-up in women and 20 years in men.

Design: Prospective cohort study of women and men who were followed from 1980 (women) or 1986 (men) until 2006. Low-carbohydrate diets, either animal-based (emphasizing animal sources of fat and protein) or vegetable-based (emphasizing vegetable sources of fat and protein), were computed from several validated food-frequency questionnaires assessed during follow-up.

Setting: Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals' Follow-up Study.

Participants: 85Â 168 women (aged 34 to 59 years at baseline) and 44Â 548 men (aged 40 to 75 years at baseline) without heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.

Measurements: Investigators documented 12Â 555 deaths (2458 cardiovascular-related and 5780 cancer-related) in women and 8678 deaths (2746 cardiovascular-related and 2960 cancer-related) in men.

Results: The overall low-carbohydrate score was associated with a modest increase in overall mortality in a pooled analysis (hazard ratio [HR] comparing extreme deciles, 1.12 [95% CI, 1.01 to 1.24]; P for trend = 0.136). The animal low-carbohydrate score was associated with higher all-cause mortality (pooled HR comparing extreme deciles, 1.23 [CI, 1.11 to 1.37]; P for trend = 0.051), cardiovascular mortality (corresponding HR, 1.14 [CI, 1.01 to 1.29]; P for trend = 0.029), and cancer mortality (corresponding HR, 1.28 [CI, 1.02 to 1.60]; P for trend = 0.089). In contrast, a higher vegetable low-carbohydrate score was associated with lower all-cause mortality (HR, 0.80 [CI, 0.75 to 0.85]; P for trend â 0.001) and cardiovascular mortality (HR, 0.77 [CI, 0.68 to 0.87]; P for trend

Comment Re:Some things should not be.. (Score 1) 522

Your so-called 'shock therapy' seems to consist almost entirely of ad hominem and naive futurism. The GP is absolutely correct - our civilisation in its current form is by definition unsustainable, because we depend on burning vast quantities of oil, natural gas and coal on a daily basis. These are resources that will not be replaced on any timeframe that is meaningful to the current civilisation. It is not a foregone conclusion that we can maintain current societal complexity (read 'standard of living') without them.

You suggest the world needs only install solar panels over a single digit percentage of the Sahara desert. We'll be parsimonious and say that's 1% of the Sahara's 9,400,000 square kilometres, giving us 94,000 square kiometres of solar panels. Hmmm. I see your point though - there is certainly a vast amount of energy out there to be tapped... if only it will be economically (or energetically) viable:

"In 2008, total worldwide energy consumption was 474 exajoules (132,000 TWh). This is equivalent to an average power use of 15 terawatts (2.0×1010 hp).[7] The annual potential for renewable energy is: solar energy 1,575 EJ (438,000 TWh), wind power 640 EJ (180,000 TWh), geothermal energy 5,000 EJ (1,400,000 TWh), biomass 276 EJ (77,000 TWh), hydropower 50 EJ (14,000 TWh) and ocean energy 1 EJ (280 TWh).[8][9][10]"

Yes, that's a whole lot of potential. However, in your simplistic analaysis, you overlook that the fact of the world having such massive potential renewable energy to be harnessed is no assurance that we will have the energy or money to be able to do so. In fact, with Energy Return On Investment (EROI) declining, we are relying on continuous improvements in renewable tech for these energy sources to be competitive. Efficiency improvements are helping maintain affordability to some degree also, but remember that becoming more efficient with fossil fuels only maintains their affordability; people are able to continue to use them for many discretionary activities (a rephrasing of Jevon's Paradox). And for most uses renewables simply aren't there yet, even in spite of generous subsidies in many parts of the world (e.g. power companies paying 4x their own retail unit cost back to those 'feeding in' to the grid). The most overlooked subsidy of all, however, is all of the fossil fuels embedded in this renewable tech. As EROI continues to decline, it remains to be seen how affordability of renewables will keep pace. We may see a 'receding horizons' scenario, where increasingly expensive fossil fuel, embedded at every stage of producing renewable tech, renders said renewables increasingly unaffordable.

In short, there are many blind spots and a hell of a lot more doubt concerning this whole situation than you seem to think.

Comment A quarter gig of RAM is actually a helluva lot! (Score 1) 543

My main PC is a Toshiba Portege 3480CT (Pentium3 600) and it maxes out at 192 MB RAM.

I just set up on the fly RAM/swap compression with zram yesterday (had to upgrade to Debian Wheezy) and am loving the increase in memory capacity!

I use ScrotWM, Iceweasel (Firefox 7), Alpine and a fair number of text-based apps. And I'm about as productive as I've ever been on any previous computer.

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In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll