Are e-cigs a good addiction to have?

In an article from slate

Unfortunately, the report provides very little new info and presents what we knew about youth e-cigarette use in a sense that verges on deceitful.

For example, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy asserts youth vaping is a “kind of tobacco use.” This really is just incorrect; e-cigarettes contain absolutely no tobacco. Moreover, the report neglects to mention that e-cigarettes are not likely to exceed 5 percent of the dangers related to smoking, in line with the Royal College of Physicians.

The Washington Post repeated Murthy’s claim unchallenged saying “e-cig are the most often employed form of tobacco among young folks.” The New York Times was also not overly critical of the claim reporting “e-cig are the most popular tobacco product among youths.”

Nothing could be further from the reality. While it is right to point out at that e-cigarette use among young people surged from 2011, Murthy fails to highlight some critical facts.

We should’ve found an explosion in teen cigarette smoking, if vaping was in any way a gateway to smoking, but instead, we’ve seen the precise opposite. Obviously, it would be preferable if minors didn’t use either vapor goods or standard cigs, but if young people are choosing for vaping instead of smoking that is certainly a win for public health.

Another section of the graphic conspicuous by its absence is that the vast majority of teens using cigarette do so only occasionally or experimentally. Just around 1 percent of high schoolers vape day-to-day.

But if you should read the L.A. Times coverage of the report you would be left with a very distinct impression (differing from the impression left on your typical review website) with the paper asserting “many of these pupils are vaping on a regular basis.” The basis for this claim being that 16 percent of high school students in 2016 tried vaping at least once in the last 30 days.

The Surgeon General’s report and the media ’s deferential reaction to it are a portion of a bigger narrative that’s hostile to e-cigarettes, prizing nicotine abstinence above all else.

But by discounting the advantages, simply reporting the possible harms of vaping and neglecting to explain its danger relative to smoking the media lose the whole point of e-cigarettes — widespread tobacco harm reduction.

This form of coverage has real consequences for the way the people perceive the dangers of vaping and smoking. The percentage of smokers who think cigarette are equally as harmful as tobacco cigs tripled between 2012 and 2015 to 35 percent. This really is despite overwhelming evidence that the e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes and are helping millions of adults to cease smoking.

A Beginner’s Guide To Lucid Dreaming

When you hear the stories of people that have had what is called a lucid dream, people are at least a little bit interested in what this is. From some perspectives, it is simply a very vivid dream, one you can experience while you are fully awake. This might seem hard to understand, but it really is not. You are literally awake in the dream, aware of the fact that you are actually asleep in your bed, and that you have consciousness within the context of a dream that you are having. Let’s look at the difference between a regular dream and a lucid dream, and then provide you with a couple of tips on how you can experience this very fun form of dreaming.


The Difference Between Regular And Lucid Dreams

Almost everyone has had a regular dream before. We tend to remember them right after we wake up. If we do not write them down, they quickly fade from our conscious mind. They are most memorable if they were frightening, or extremely funny. There seems to be a connection between your emotions and your ability to remember them. Within a regular dream, you are merely participating within the context of the dream. In other words, you are fixated on the dream itself. However in a Lucid dream, you can read more about this at this lucid dreaming website –, you are fixated on yourself, fully aware of the duality that you are both in the dream and currently asleep.

What Can You Do In A Lucid Dream?

A lucid dream is different from a regular dream because you can actually manipulate the dream you are in. Many people have reported being able to stop the dream, and even rewind the dream, having full control of that reality. One of the most common features of this type of dream is the ability to fly. You are able to glide through the air, either flying high, or just over the rooftops of the imaginary world that you are in. Many people report feeling as if they are flying which makes no sense since none of us can really fly. But there is a definite feeling involved, similar to how it would feel being in an airplane perhaps, or hang gliding if you have ever done that.


How Do You Wake Up In The Dream?

Waking up in the dream is probably the hardest part of this entire process, second only to losing control once you have woken. The moment that you become fixated on any part of the dream, it literally becomes a regular dream where you become a participant within its context. If you are able to stay only focused on yourself, remembering that you are dreaming, you are like a god within that dream, capable of doing virtually anything that you want. You wake up by either remembering that you are asleep, looking at your hands which will alert you to that fact, or recognizing something that doesn’t seem right. For example, you might wake up in what appears to be a friends house, yet the furniture may be moved around, or perhaps the roof is gone. When this occurs, you are able to make a mental comparison of what is real, and what is not, allowing you to remember that you are actually asleep.

It takes a little bit of practice to learn how to do this. Some people referred to this as learning how to ride a bike. Once you have done it a couple of times, it’s something that you will never forget. It is thought to be one of the most exhilarating experiences that a person can have, but you will never know until you try. Use these simple tips on how to have a lucid dream, and you may soon see why so many people try to do this every night.

Why are so many Japanese restaurants owned by Chinese immigrants?

Zhou, 44, has joined many hundreds of other Chinese immigrants in the United States in seeking a leg through Japanese food up the economic ladder. Chinese Americans have opened many of the sushi joints that dot suburban malls and city blocks across the country.

Which cuisines sell good and which do not may appear a mix of ethnic and opportunity tastes. But the outsized function of Chinese Americans in the food company that is Japanese, according to academics who’ve analyzed it, sheds light on forces that are deeper. The influx of low-wage Chinese immigrants — China recently eclipsed Mexico as the biggest source of immigrants — has created intense competition to provide cheap food. At exactly the same time, economic success and Japan’s wealth helped its cuisine develop a name as refined and trendy. So, for many entrepreneurial Chinese immigrants seeking to get ahead in this country, Japanese food has frequently become the better chance.

It seems that Japanese cuisine tends to have more prestige and, if you look at the menu, has greater opportunity associated with it from an economic standpoint. People have been trained to pay more for protein and rice, especially when it is not presented to the consumer as a stir-fry and instead is presented as sushi.

More at the Washington Post. Worth a read if you at all like Sushi and have wondered about who’s really running your favorite local sushi joint.

A short guide for Millennials and investing

Investment apps and websites have become as omnipresent as laptops and smartphones themselves and with new smartwatches such as the Apple watch, it won’t be long before timing trades becomes as easy as telling time.

There’s no question that millennials hold a serious edge over older generations of investors as it pertains to using this technology. But unlike, say, a random group of torch programs where just about anything will do, the world of finance-related programs demands illumination of another type.

The biggest question is, What kind of investor do you desire to be? Are you ever going to be considering holding individual stocks in your portfolio, or can you simply desire to be able to place it and forget it?

When it comes to overall allure, you’re in control of the process. Many advisers don’t comprehend this, but most people find talking to a financial advisor to be fraught with tension. Engaging with a beginners guide for options trading or using a program online gets millennials in control of their own finances.

The technologies have myriad variables, from ease of use in helping users occasionally have a little fun and start investing with confidence – to effectiveness while they are at it. Here is a list of 3 investment apps and websites that cater to new and millennial investors.

Betterment. Founder Jon Stein’s site follows a clear-cut path where you enter your age and one of five general investment targets (i.e., “construct riches” and “safety net”). It then invests the cash in a combination of stocks and bonds: a fully diversified investment portfolio of 12 global asset categories. “Betterment is a fantastic stage for young investors to get started,” Weliver says. “It has no minimal investment, and it is simple to make small, monthly investments via direct deposit.” The Betterment program (accessible on iOS and Android) uses screenshots to show overall account performance and account balances.

FinMason. This free (as in air) service gives straight and fair views of the world of investing without selling any advice. The service helps investors understand which type of advice is best for them by exposing them to different views. “It’s the essential tenet of our existence.” FinMason uses easy bar graphs to carry portfolio comparison, in large part due to its own research.

Acorns. Your “extra change” from connected credit and debit card purchases is rounded up to the closest dollar and invested in half a dozen different funds based on a risk tolerance you select. “Acorns supplies a turnkey approach to investing, as it lets millennials to easily take repeated micro-sums cash from regular purchases and accumulate them over time,” says Rahul Sethuram, co-founder and chief operating officer of social investing stage Trick’d Off. “This creates a less stressful and more accessible foray into the investing world.” The app bills $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 and 0.25 percent of your yearly assets for accounts over $5,000.

Can Apple spend its way out of a Jam?

You may have heard Apple has a bit of money stashed away.

It’s the largest business on the planet, and a surprising amount of that cash has already been in the bank. With the core business at its peak, there’s no apparent spot to set that money, which is why it’s not so difficult to pour cash into areas like health- tracking or Frank Ocean albums.

So in the outside, it’s not unsurprising that the company is being wasted on security. Bug bounty program caps were recently launched by the business’s out at $200,000, just a fraction of the millions that are frequently spent iOS exploits on the black market. Exploit dealers are paying more for the exact same bugs as Apple is holding onto billions in the bank.

The result might have unintended effects on its own security workforce behind catching every bug if Apple really did set its enormous cash reserves. Building and deploying patches is hard work, every bit as finding vulnerabilities creative and as delicate. Businesses desire dedicated teams to do that work — but with skyrocketing prices for iOS vulnerabilities, why not place in a couple of months turn it in for the bounty, to find an exploit, then spend the remainder of the year working on your own tan? “If Apple or other defense bounties attempted to outbid and sometimes even match violation bug prices, they may lose the agents they need most to mend the issues,” Moussouris says.

More at the Verge.

Wikipedia’s unusual pages

MR had a post yesterday with a link to unusual pages at wikipedia. Standouts included:

  • Badlands Guardian: “A natural topographic feature in Canada, which, when viewed from above, looks remarkably like a human wearing a Native American headdress and earphones.”
  • David Hahn: “A 17-year-old, known as the Radioactive Boy Scout, who irradiated his back yard attempting to build a nuclear breeder reactor from spare parts.”
  • Cesar Chavez: “Formerly Scott Fistler, this white, right-wing, pro-business politician changed his name to match the Hispanic, left‑wing labor activist in an attempt to get more votes.”

There are a lot of fun facts here but this is a complete time sink. You have been warned…