Rabbi bans students from eating soy, fearing it will turn them gay

At the Hasidic yeshiva of Gur, an ultra-orthodox sect in Israel, a rabbi has banned his students from eating any soy-based products, fearing it will turn them gay.

Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter believed that eating soy will cause the boys to become more feminine causing the teachers and older students to become attracted to them. The rabbi also believes that the high level of soy in a female’s diet will cause them to sexually mature faster.

There is no scientific evidence to support the rabbis claim, but soy does contain estrogen-mimicking compounds that have been said to cause things like breasts on men.


The Case for Managed Care

As reported by Reuters, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that doctors are more likely to recommend an expensive treatment over a cheaper one when they reap the profit. Physicians who owned special radiation machines needed for an expensive prostate cancer treatment were twice as likely to suggest the treatment than doctors without a financial interest, even though cheaper options are available.

The American Urological Association said the study was deeply flawed. But regardless of whether the study holds true or not, it brings to light a potential pitfall of our current fee for service healthcare system – the profit motive.

Doctors study for many years, rack up large student debts and then work long hours to keep their patients healthy. They deserve to be highly compensated for their labor. But the current reimbursement system is skewed – a doctor’s pay is proportional to the number of tests he runs and procedures he performs, not to whether his patients actually get better. For a doctor with bills to pay, suggesting a few extra tests can’t hurt. And once in a while those tests will catch something critical, which can make all the difference.

Enter Obamacare, which encourages health maintenance and accountable care organizations that bundle all the procedures together and reward doctors for curing more people with fewer procedures, and for keeping them healthy. This is supposed to lower costs and improve the quality of care that patients receive.

Unfortunately, it’s no panacea. Health maintenance organizations have been around for decades, and they have yet to transform medicine with massive savings. Also, patients in a managed care plan can only go to the doctors in the network. Specialists that belong to another network are off limits, unless the patient wants to pay for the treatment himself.

Obamacare’s shift towards managed care has already led to many hospital mergers, as hospitals seek to cut costs through the economies of scale. Perhaps they will achieve their goal and rein in American’s excessive spending on health care. As America moves away from a fee for service healthcare model, further ramifications remain to be seen.

Silverman’s Topless Lemon Gains Attention

Sarah Silverman Topless For Susan 313 Pilot

It is not surprising the the media is riveted by a woman going topless for a show. However, it is slightly less flattering that a failed pilot is attracting attention due to a pair of breasts being the only focal point of the showcase. this is just a sad reminder that the media cannot resist making a spectacle of a topless woman.

Why Our Breasts Age Quicker Than The Rest Of Us

Why Our Breasts Age Quicker Than The Rest Of Us

Due to a 4 year trial in research, scientists at UCLA  have found substantial information leading to an explanation for why breasts sag so quickly. The ” biological clock” of our bodies has a genome that reveals certain body parts age faster than others. These findings may help scientists in creating a full picture of the aging process, and things that can be done to retard its speed.

A Fantastic Journey at the Brooklyn Museum of Art

A Window, Not a Mirror A Survey of Wangechi Mutu at Brooklyn Museum

The New York Times had an interesting interpretation of A Fantastic Journey, an exhibit now open at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Does art speak of life’s passions of reform, politics, war, love and global issues? Or is most of it just simply pretty enough to seek an art collectors dollar.

Riding-Death-in-My-Sleep   Wangechi Mutu, the Kenyan born artist seems to be doing all of the above in her new show. Her work is stimulating and vibrant in appearance, however translating to issues with racial identity, death and other global concerns. Mutu does unimaginable works in her typical ink and collage medium as well as adding to her arsenal with new sculpture works and video installations shown in the exhibit. A Fantastic Journey is open until March 9 2014 at the Brooklyn Museum.


Pedestrians vs Vehicles: Who Has The “Right of Way”

Around the boroughs of NYC some may have wondered what the bright orange outlines of bodies on the streets were. Under the cover of darkness, the community organization, “Right of Way Riders” rode over 50 miles and stenciled the outlines of eight children killed by bikes14n-3-webmotorists. They included the name of the victim and a plea of  “Why. Ray. Why?”

This plea is in response to the bikers perception that the pedestrian and biker are often blamed by the NYPD without a complete investigation.

Using commando tactics, they are attempting to bring to light the danger both pedestrians and bike riders have while navigating the busy city streets.  One of the organizers Keegan Stephan, 29 of Williamsburg told the Daily News, “Right now it seems like it’s not safe to be a child in the streets of this city.” Many New Yorker’s may agree. Often the tensions between bikers, cars and pedestrians can be very volatile. right of way

The trifecta of this tension came to a head in August when Sian Green, a British tourist enjoying the summer day had her leg severed while enjoying her time in NYC. A cab came out of nowhere jumping the curb and barreling into her. The cab driver claims a bicyclist beat on the hood of his cab causing him to lose control, while witness claims differ. The altercation seems to have happened but the cab responded aggressively to the bike and lost control as a result.

While the debate is open and there are many perspectives, the cyclists who honored the children though, while breaking the law made their point, loud and clear.

Are GMOs really a threat to you?

What's a GMO

GMOs or genetically modified organisms are taking over the food industry in which there’s been a push to add GMO labeling to foods containing them. Europe has been labeling foods containing GMOs since 1997, and about 20 states hope to do the same. GMO food labeling would increase consumer choice. But many say that the labeling will cause fear in the foods that we eat when we realize how many foods have been genetically modified, limiting people’s options. And adding the labeling to these foods will increase the price of food to an average of $450 a year.