Latest Articles

Health Effects of Antibiotics in Meat – Undercover in an American Slaughterhouse
By: Joffe - 20 May 2013 - 1 Comment

Where does our meat come from, and how dangerous is it to our health? There have certainly been many controversies over meat during the past years. Infectious diseases ended the heyday of fast-foodism, from the Jack-In-the-Box ecoli scare in the early 1990s to the mad cow disease controls of the early 2000s. And recently new concerns have arisen about what we put into our meat, from pink slime to antibiotics to horses. Harper’s Magazine sheds new light on what you should be concerned about in eating meat with a headline article this month by Ted Conover on a bovine [...]

Jody Arias, Amanda Berry and America’s Obsession with Sensational Trials
By: Joffe - 13 May 2013 - 0 Comments

America’s obsession with sensational trials was on full parade this past week, as crowds cheered at the murder conviction of Jody Arias in Arizona and celebrated the arrest of Ariel Castro after the dramatic release from captivity of Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus. With so many other newsworthy stories in the world, why do we, time and again, return to the sensational murder trials? Consider for example that over a thousand people recently died in the collapse of a building housing textile sweatshops in Bangladesh, yet the news media has remained fixated on the lives of these [...]

What It Takes to Win – LeBron James, Luol Deng and the Chicago Bulls
By: Joffe - 08 May 2013 - 0 Comments

Life is not easy and it certainly is not fair, but there is something that certain people have that helps propel them–what it takes to win. Perhaps it’s the Chicago Bulls’ upstart victory against LeBron James and the Miami Heat that’s got me going, but success at life is clearly not handed out on a silver platter. And even those that do start out with a silver spoon in their mouths often have all the same problems as the rest of us (dysfunctional relationships, insecurities, illnesses, maybe even money). Consider for example Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng, who approaches basketball with [...]

Kim Jong-un’s Rise to Power
By: Joffe - 29 April 2013 - 1 Comment

Kim Jong-un’s rise to power in North Korea reveals much about the country’s inner power circle and its exultation of the military.  With his father Kim Jong-il dead and a constitution that emphasizes the military above all else, Kim Jong-un’s position serves as little more than a figurehead to mask the machinations of those with true power in North Korea: it’s military leaders. Perhaps the most surprising fact about Kim Jong-un’s rise to power is that he is the youngest of former leader Kim Jong-il’s three children.  How is it that Kim Jong-un has replaced his father as head [...]

The North Korean Ideology of Power – What Kim Jong-un Wants
By: Joffe - 15 April 2013 - 1 Comment

As North Korea and its young leader Kim Jong-un have raised their militaristic rhetoric, threatening  even “thermonuclear war“, the world has been cautiously reticent in its response.  Perhaps this is because it is not exactly clear what North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un actually want.  But as some examination of the North Korean ideology reveals, the answer may be surprisingly simple: money and power. North Korea is often thought of as one of the last vestiges of communism, a relic left over from the Cold War. It is not. In fact, in 2009 North Korea revised its constitution to completely remove [...]

Why You Were Rejected From College – Suzy Lee Weiss and How College Admissions Work
By: Joffe - 08 April 2013 - 0 Comments

Last week’s Wall Street Journal featured an op-ed by Pittsburgh high school student (and Ivy League aspirer) Suzy Lee Weiss, who bemoaned her rejection from college at top schools and resented being duped by the advice, “Be yourself“, into not padding her college application with puffery.  While I do not have any sympathy for Ms. Weiss, I enjoy the fact that the Wall Street Journal published this, because it provides an opportunity to unpack a lot of misconceptions about the college admissions process. While there are certainly many problems with this admissions process, college administrators are much more savvy than [...]

Why Better Gun Control Is Important – Reflections on Violence in America
By: Joffe - 02 April 2013 - 0 Comments

President Obama urged Congress last week to remember their duty to stand up and fight for gun reform in the wake of the Newtown tragedy (and amidst tremendous popular support for better gun control legislation), reprimanding “shame on us if we’ve forgotten.”  Obama’s words are a test of whether Americans’ resolve; about whether we really care this time around and whether Newtown is, was, will continue to be, different. Our culture is fraught with violence, and statistics show plainly that guns are a large part of that problem with violence.  Yet it still remains unclear whether Americans are willing [...]

US State Gun Violence Statistics: Where the Murderers Strike
By: Joffe - 25 March 2013 - 14 Comments

In my previous post on gun violence, I examined national gun violence statistics in order to assess the scope of gun violence in the US.  The US, however, is a large country and gun violence can vary widely from one state to the next.  So what do US state gun violence statistics tell us about guns in America?  Well, they tell us where the killers are, of course. Based on FBI Uniform Crime Reporting data (I have generally used 2010 state gun violence statistics throughout this article for consistency), the average gun murder rate per US state in 2010 [...]

Five Foods You Should Not Eat Because of GMOs and Sugar
By: Joffe - 18 March 2013 - 0 Comments

As discussed in my previous post, GMOs and sugar pose serious and often hidden dangers for your health.  The problem with avoiding GMOs and sugar, of course, is that many foods which we think are perfectly healthy are actually loaded with pesticides or sugar, and in a way that is not apparent. In that spirit, below are some of the top offending foods you should not eat that can be very bad for your health, and that you might not necessary realize are bad for you. 1.  Ketchup.  While the first thing that might come to your mind when you think [...]