Jan. 2nd, 2009

litch: (Default)
I have quite a bit of sympathy for the people who gripe about smoke-free laws. Even though I don't smoke cigarettes I was raised by smokers and it feels like an unwarranted intrusion on people's freedom. It's very hard to believe that someone simply smoking in the same airspace as you could really have all that deleterious effect. Then there was a study done about 5 years ago when Helena, Montana banned smoking in public and they found heart attacks fell by 60%.

There were a lot of problems with that study, it had a very small sample size, there were a number of potential cofactors, and it just didn't seem to make sense that there would be such a major difference.

Well, they did another study in Pueblo and using a much larger sample size over a longer period they found a similar 40% drop in heart attacks.Studies in Italy and Scotland have found drops as well (though they are more like 15%). So it looks like smoking in public really does have a major effect on the frequency of heart attacks.

It is something that really stands out about austin (which has a public smoking ban) when you go to other towns. It is odd to have the hostess ask you if you want smoking or non-smoking. And I suspect it is going to become more and more rare.
litch: (Default)
this is a wierd story
apparently this guy from tyler:

was visiting a girl he knew here in austin, and while he was here went upstairs with her 13 year old brother, she heard yelling and saw the guy (Sean Ewalt) coming down the stairs with a bloody knife he'd just used to stab the kid 14 times. He demanded her phone and car keys, she gave them to him.

Then he turns around and goes with her to check on the kind, she asks for and gets the phone back to call for help, he apologizes for stabbing him saying he thought the kid was going to kill him, then goes out and tries to leave. But wait, it gets wierder, the car won't start so he comes back and makes her open the hood and start the car. He then drives back to tyler (where he gets promptly arrested).


litch: (Default)

May 2009

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