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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

March 19, 2010


SCIENTIFIC BLOGGING - Being skinny confers no advantage when it comes to the risk of dying suddenly from cardiac causes, a study presented today at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session has found. According to the authors, non-obese heart failure patients - including overweight, normal and underweight patients - had a 76 percent increase in risk of sudden cardiac death compared to obese heart failure patients. Normal and underweight patients showed a startling 99 percent increase in risk for sudden cardiac death compared to obese patients. . . The analysis found that decreased BMI or body mass index was associated with a large increase in the risk of sudden cardiac death.

POPULATION MEDIA CTR - Faith Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency, believes that if no big new discoveries are made, “the output of conventional oil will peak in 2020 if oil demand grows on a business-as-usual basis.” Coming from the band of geologists and former oil-industry hands who believe that the world is facing an imminent shortage of oil, this would be unremarkable. But coming from the IEA, the source of closely watched annual predictions about world energy markets, it is a new and striking claim. Despite repeated downward revisions in recent years in its forecasts of global oil supply in 2030, the IEA has not until now committed itself to a firm prediction for when oil supplies might cease to grow.

THE CEO OF the slowly collapsing New York Times got a bonus of $2.3 million. To get an idea of what that would mean to your income, multiply your salary by three.

RULES OF THUMB - If you're worried that you don't have any interests, browse in the nonfiction section of a library for five minutes. By then a book will catch your eye, whether it's about baking pie crusts or Icelandic crust formation. - Carolyn Lloyd, 15-year-old student,, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

BOOKSHELF: The Big Short: Inside the Wall Street meltdown

MORWENNA FERRIER, OBSERVER (On Sony's plans to bring good food to movie theaters) - Isn't shirking buttered popcorn and ice cream at the flicks a bit like shirking dessert at a Michelin-starred restaurant "because you're slimming?" In other words a complete waste of the treat? The point of big multiplex cinemas, surely, is that they offer spoonfed entertainment - big chairs, a big screen and a bit of quiet time. A trip to the cinema isn't supposed to be good for you, is it?


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