Hey, Big Brother

I was sitting in one of the countless terminals at O’Hare yesterday, waiting for my flight back to Columbus, when I heard a series of announcements from the Department of Homeland Security over the PA system.  One reminded me of the 3-1-1 rules that apply to carrying liquids (no more than 3 ounces, in 1 clear plastic zip lock bag, and 1 bag per passenger).  Another advised us all to sneeze or cough into our arms, so as to avoid spreading germs.

Seriously, is this what we’ve come to?  Americans can’t even sit in an airport terminal without being hectored repeatedly by a federal agency about how to sneeze and cough, and using a particular kind of baggie when going through security?  Can’t we leave it to the mothers of America to teach their children to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough?  And why should it make a difference to the feds whether my liquids are stored in one plastic bag versus two?

I’m tired of our ridiculous Big Brother government.  And when the announcements made me think of Big Brother, I thought of this classic song from Rare Earth.  Our Big Brother government is far more intrusive now than it was in the ’70s when this song was recorded — but at least humming this tune made me feel a little better.

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Guzzle Coffee, Live Longer

Here’s news that will warm the already rapidly beating hearts of coffee lovers — drinking a lot of that black brew apparently makes you live longer.

A large study of more than 400,000 men and women by the National Cancer Institute found a correlation between significant coffee drinking and life span.  Men and women who drink two to three cups of coffee a day were at a significantly lower risk of dying from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, and diabetes than men and women who drink no coffee.  These coffee hounds therefore have an increased chance of outliving their wussy, coffee-abstaining counterparts.

The researchers don’t know why coffee might have positive health effects; further studies will be done on that score.  Although the scientists haven’t figured out the cause-and-effect issues, this coffee fan has some suggestions.  Coffee decreases your risk of heart disease and stroke because it gets your heart pumping and your blood coursing, leading to a strong and well-exercised heart and blood vessels free of clotting debris.  It has a positive effect on respiratory systems because coffee aficionados like to breathe deep the heady aroma of their brew.  It lessens the likelihood of diabetes because coffee drinkers, charged with caffeine surging through their systems, will get up and move around to avoid the jitters and that exercise helps to keep their weight down.  (That is, unless they are drinking one of those sugary whipped cream concoctions from the neighborhood coffee house.)

Time for another cup!