The National Academy of Sugar

Fale_-_Barcellona_-_194You might think an outfit calling itself an academy would be, you know, academic. But as Jon Stewart put it, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is as much an academy as the “Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product” called Kraft Singles is cheese.

The last time the academy was in the news, it was for taking an undisclosed amount of money from Kraft in exchange for giving Kraft permission to put the academy’s “Kids Eat Right” logo on Kraft Singles. When nailed for this, the academy denied that this amounted to putting a stamp of approval on Singles. What it really was, they claimed, was an ad for the academy’s Kids Eat Right initiative. If this were true, it would be the first time in the history of the world that an advertiser received money for placing an ad, instead of paying for it.

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Please manipulate me

opi_fb-marty_71414_539_332_c1 What do you call it when media try to manipulate your feelings without first asking for informed consent?

Tuesday.

Example: The average Facebook user sees only 20 percent of the 1,500 stories per day that could have shown up in their news feed. The posts you receive are determined by algorithms whose bottom line is Facebook’s bottom line. Continue reading Please manipulate me

Eeeek! I’ve been snooped!

Credit Cards The idea that the United States Government might be spying on some of our personal communication is a little creepy.  If I phone a friend in Baghdad, Kabul or Moscow, or even London or Paris, there’s apparently a chance that a record of my call could wind up in a National Security Agency electronic file.  Or if I email my cousin in South Dakota to exchange recipes for home-made cherry bombs or bottle rockets to celebrate July 4th, there could be a record of our discussion at NSA Headquarters. Continue reading Eeeek! I’ve been snooped!