On September 13, the New York City Board of Health approved a proposal by mayor Michael Bloomberg to ban the sale of large sugary drinks at establishments that receive health department inspection grades. The rationale behind the ban was protection of New York City residents who might choose to drink more than 16 ounces of soda at one time, despite the evidence that sugary drinks can increase obesity rates:
“This is the single biggest step any city, I think, has ever taken to curb obesity,” Mr. Bloomberg said shortly after the vote. “It’s certainly not the last step that lots of cities are going to take, and we believe that it will help save lives.”
A few days ago, a new study was released that appeared to connect the consumption of sugary drinks with higher obesity rates:
A huge, decades-long study involving more than 33,000 Americans has yielded the first clear proof that drinking sugary beverages interacts with genes that affect weight, amplifying a person’s risk of obesity beyond what it would be from heredity alone.
This means that such drinks are especially harmful to people with genes that predispose them to weight gain. And most of us have at least some of these genes.
Collectively, the results strongly suggest that sugary drinks cause people to pack on the pounds, independent of other unhealthy behavior such as overeating and getting too little exercise, scientists say.
That adds weight to the push for taxes, portion limits like the one just adopted in New York City, and other policies to curb consumption of soda, juice drinks and sports beverages sweetened with sugar.
The government, in this case the city government in New York, is taking steps to limit the options of its citizens for their own protection. And it appears, at least superficially, that there is some justification in this. People consume a lot of sugary drinks, despite the fact that those drinks are bad for them. They apparently ignore this evidence, to the point that we are now in the midst of an “obesity epidemic.” Therefore, it was necessary for the government to step in and stop people from engaging in behaviors that could potentially be dangerous to them.
Which brings me to the marriage of Northstar and Kyle Jinadu. Back in May, on the TV program The View, which ordinarily features insightful and penetrating commentary on the day’s hottest issues, dedicated a segment to the topic. The level of discourse was disappointing, to say the least:
“In Astonishing X-Men #50, gay X-Man Northstar will propose to his boyfriend Kyle, with a marriage in an upcoming issue,” said [Whoopi] Goldberg. [Joy] Behar said “X-Men is cutting edge” about the issue, and [Elizabeth] Hasselbeck, an outspoken conservative on the show, said “It’s good!” [Barbara] Walters echoed the statement, appreciative of the move.
By focusing on the “gay marriage” angle of the story, the hosts have ignored the real, and dangerous, issue. Namely, the coupling of superpowered with non-superpowered people. Northstar is a mutant, with the ability to fly, move at super speed, and generate deadly concussive light blasts.
Kyle Jinadu is apparently a decent businessman.
Larry Niven has pointed out the dangers inherent when superpowered and non-superpowered individuals copulate.
The problem is this. Electroencephalograms taken of men and women during sexual intercourse show that orgasm resembles “a kind of pleasurable epileptic attack.” One loses control over one’s muscles.
Superman has been known to leave his fingerprints in steel and in hardened concrete, accidentally. What would he do to the woman in his arms during what amounts to an epileptic fit?