Grab bag Friday

There have been just a few things that I wanted to cover but that don’tneed separate posts.

  • From the Economist: ONE IN six adults in the 33 mostly rich countries of the OECD is obese (measured as a body mass index of 30 or more) according to a report published on September 23rd. The fattest countries are the United States and Mexico, where around a third of adults are obese. Britain’s adults are the biggest in Europe. By contrast, Asian OECD countries Japan and South Korea are the leanest. Governments will count the eventual cost: health-care spending on an obese person is 25% more than for someone of average weight. And the problem is not confined to the rich world. In rapidly developing countries such as China, Brazil and India obesity rates, though still low, are growing fast as the dietary habits of the ever-increasing middle classes change. (Ed. Note – The Economist notes that they made an error in these data. The US is the most obese country and NOT Mexico.)

  • For some reason, there is a buzz around the $100 million that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is giving to the Newark public school system. He might be trying to clean his image. Really? S, he is the first millionaire billionaire to try to whitewash his image? If you give me $100 million, I’ll hold a press conference and thank you without worrying about your motivations. Arianna has more: So the $100 million donation to Newark’s crumbling public schools is not in and of itself the story? The story is figuring out the motivation behind it? Is this what we have come to? Can you think of anything more ridiculous? I really don’t care why Mark Zuckerberg is donating $100 million of his own money that will make a profound difference to the lives of Newark’s children. I care very much that it’s being done — that one of America’s worst school systems will be getting a massive infusion of funds.
  • The Republican “Pledge” is one of the biggest pieces of public misinformation in a long time. I’m still laughing at Republicans who now think that their plan will reduce the deficit.
  • One of the best examples of a non-story is Rep. Steven King being steamed that Stephen Colbert testified on Capitol Hill. I’m sorry, but I don’t care that Rep. King is steamed. He seems to love being on Fox and will say anything to be on the network, again.
  • Speaking of a media hound, there is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president. He made wildly inaccurate statements during his UN speech yesterday, accusing the US of being behind 9/11.  Then again, this is par for the course. He has denied that millions of Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
  • Finally, on a lighter note, a lost language may have been found.