Friday 150925

Workout

Shoulder Press
70% x5 x2
75% x5
80% x5 x2

From The Atlantic

Clean Diesel No More: Volkswagen Scandal Grows
The automaker now says 11 million diesel vehicles were equipped with the software that helped them cheat emissions tests worldwide.

VW

Volkswagen says some 11 million diesel vehicles were equipped with the software that helped them cheat emissions tests worldwide, just days after the EPA ordered the automaker to recall 500,000 vehicles over the deception.

Here’s more from the company’s statement:

To cover the necessary service measures and other efforts to win back the trust of our customers, Volkswagen plans to set aside a provision of some 6.5 billion EUR recognized in the profit and loss statement in the third quarter of the current fiscal year. Due to the ongoing investigations the amounts estimated may be subject to revaluation. Earnings targets for the Group for 2015 will be adjusted accordingly.

Volkswagen does not tolerate any kind of violation of laws whatsoever. It is and remains the top priority of the Board of Management to win back lost trust and to avert damage to our customers. The Group will inform the public on the further progress of the investigations constantly and transparently.
That amount of 6.5 billion euros (about $.7.25 billion) is unlikely to help the automaker’s shares, which lost nearly a fifth of their value on Monday, and fell a further 5 percent Tuesday.

On Monday night, Michael Horn, the president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said the company had “totally screwed up” over the scandal, which has prompted calls for investigations into the world’s second-largest carmaker.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin called for a “Europe-wide” investigation into diesel cars.

“This is not a minor subject, it’s not about speed or the quality of leather,” he told French media. “What we are dealing with is making sure people avoid being poisoned by pollution.”

South Korea’s Environment Ministry said it would test the diesel models of the Volkswagen Golf and Jetta, as well as the Audi A3.

My colleague Robinson Meyer describes how the “defeat devices,” as the software is being called, worked.

These devices, essentially, let the cars pretend to not break the law. The software could sense when the car was undergoing emissions testing and activate its pollution-control systems accordingly. When the car was being driven during normal use, these systems largely did not activate—making the car a much heavier polluter in real-life than it looked on paper.

With those systems deactivated, the car’s emissions violated the Clean Air Act and California’s state pollution-control regulation.

And as my colleague Bourree Lam reported, Volkswagen denied the allegations to regulators for years. Volkswagen faces fines of up to $18 billion in the U.S. over the deception, as well as class-action lawsuits. Reuters has the background:

VW, which for several years has been airing U.S. TV commercials lauding its “clean diesel: cars, was challenged by authorities as far back as 2014 over tests showing emissions exceeded California state and U.S. federal limits.

VW attributed the excess emissions to “various technical issues” and “unexpected” real-world conditions.

It wasn’t until the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board threatened to withhold certification for the automaker’s 2016 diesel models that VW in early September revised its explanation.

The scandal has brought into question the performance of Martin Winterkorn, the automaker’s CEO. Some analysts quoted by Reuters note that he might have to step down over the scandal.

A panel of Volkswagen’s supervisory board will discuss the scandal on Wednesday. The full board meets Friday to extend Winterkorn’s contract until the end of 2018.

Wednesday 150805

Workout – From Crossfit.com

Burpee + 185-lb or 50% of your 1RM back-squat ladder
Rest 3 minutes
Burpee + 115-lb or 50% of your 1RM shoulder-press ladder
Rest 3 minutes
Burpee + 245-lb or 50% of your 1RM deadlift ladder

For the ladder pattern, perform 1 rep of each exercise the first minute, 2 reps of each the second minute, 3 reps of each the third minute, continuing as long as you are able. Use as many sets each minute as needed.

Post number of minutes completed for each ladder to comments.

For the TitanFit gang headed to Vegas…from The Huffington Post

The Best And Worst Booze To Drink If You Want To Lose Weight

COCKTAILS
(Main photo: Getty Images)

Alcohol can either give you a beer belly or help you uncover your abs. After all, while one Archives of Internal Medicine study shows that people who put back one or two drinks a day are less likely to gain weight, research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that men consume an extra 433 calories on days they have just a couple of drinks.

While lowered inhibitions and drink-fueled munchies have something to do with it, 61 percent of the caloric increase comes from the alcohol itself. So, if you’re trying to lose weight while still enjoying the occasional drink, you’d better be wise about which drinks you choose. Here are the best and worst booze you can order.

THE BEST

Wine

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(photo: Flickr)

Red or white, you can expect to consume roughly 100 to 120 calories per glass. (That’s assuming, however, that you’re drinking a standardized 5-ounce glass. Research from Iowa State and Cornell shows that people tend to over-pour by 12 percent.)

However, there are some considerations to make when picking grapes: White wine typically contains fewer carbohydrates than does red wine, which makes a small difference in terms of calories, says Caroline Cederquist, M.D., author of The MD Factor and creator of bistroMD. Meanwhile, red wine is richer in antioxidants, and a 2014 study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, red wine’s ellargic acids delay the growth of fat cells while slowing the development of new ones.

Vermouth

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(photo: Pixabay)

“A fortified wine with higher alcohol content and infused spices and herbs, vermouth is a calorie saver if you have it by itself–as it’s commonly served in Europe,” says Georgie Fear, R.D., author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. A 1.5-ounce serving contains a mere 64 calories, and typically contains about 15 to 18 percent alcohol, she says. Plus, research out of Budapest shows that it’s jam-packed with polyphenol compounds, which may promote healthy weight loss.

Still, remember that if you mix it into a Manhattan or martini, you’re probably going to be consuming far more calories and sugar, Fear says.

Straight Liquors

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(photo: Getty Images)

When it comes to getting the most alcohol for the fewest calories, shots and straight booze on the rocks are the way to go. “There isn’t much of a difference between 80-proof hard liquors,” Cederquist says. “They all have around the same amount of calories and carbohydrates.” And as calories increase along with alcohol content, the difference isn’t huge. For instance, a shot of 86-proof whiskey contains 105 calories and a shot of 80-proof vodka contains 97.

However, you also need to keep in mind that the sweeter the liquor, the more calories it typically contains, she says. “If you’re looking for a lower calorie alternative, avoid the flavored vodkas and spiced rums and go for the original or ‘plain’ option offered,” she says. “If you are looking for a flavor boost, try low-calorie mixers like a flavored seltzer or fresh squeezed lemon or lime. This will provide the taste without the calories.”

Light Beers

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(photo: Getty Images)

With fewer calories and carbs, these are the best brewskis for weight loss, Cederquist says. Many light beers contain 90 to 100 calories per 12 ounces, while extra-light beers pack about 55 to 65.

However, just don’t use that as an excuse to have more beers than you typically would, or you’ll undo all benefits. Hey, they generally pack less alcohol, right? Well, yeah, but they actually tend to have a higher percentage of their calories coming from alcohol compared to standard brews. Budweiser Select 55 for example derives 88.2 percent of its calories from alcohol, compared to Bud Light at 74.1 percent, and regular Budweiser at 66.9 percent calories, Fear says.

THE WORST

Sugar-Packed Cocktails

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(photo: Getty Images)

“Margaritas and Long Island Iced Teas can set you back more calories than a large order of McDonald’s French Fries,” Fear says. Even worse, calories from sugar-laden drinks come as a sneak attack. When you drink a marg, your body is so overwhelmed with the alcohol content that your body doesn’t properly metabolize the sugar. Instead, it stores the sweet stuff as fat.

There is never a good excuse to drink these and other sugar-filled cocktails especially if you are trying to lose weight or not develop diabetes, she says. Now, if you’ve got a skilled mixologist behind your bar, you’re probably calorically safe ordering a cocktail. After all, he’d never serve up one of these artless offenses.

High-Alcohol Craft Beers

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(photo: Getty Images)

“The last five years have seen an explosion of craft breweries creating high-alcohol varieties, which pack more calories per bottle than you may realize,” Fear says. Remember, more alcohol means more calories. Every gram of the good stuff contains seven calories.

For instance, Flying Dog Horn Dog, which contains 10.2 percent alcohol by volume, also contains 314 calories per bottle, and Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA boasts 18 percent alcohol by volume, but also packs 450 calories into each bottle. That’s a meal in a glass. Unfortunately, though, all that alcohol can wind up making you hungrier.

Wednesday 150715

Workout

“Annie”

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AFTER “Annie”

Press

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Carol is part of a team that just won FDA approval!

orschell

IU cancer researchers play role in FDA approval of drug for treating people after radiation exposure

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center researcher played a role in the recent Food and Drug Administration approval of a drug to treat people exposed to potentially lethal doses of radiation.

Christie M. Orschell, Ph.D., a senior research professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a researcher at the cancer center, and colleagues performed preclinical work that contributed to the approval of Neupogen (filgrastim) to treat adult and pediatric patients exposed to myelosuppressive doses of radiation. Such exposure may happen in a radiation nuclear event.

Radiation destroys the bone marrow, resulting in loss of blood cells and increasing the risk of infection and uncontrolled bleeding, according to Dr. Orschell. Neupogen can help patients by facilitating recovery of bone marrow cells that develop into neutrophils, white blood cells that help fight off infections.

“The approval of Neupogen is an important step in advancing medical countermeasures for radiation,” Dr. Orschell said. “Still, we’re continually investigating new drugs that are easier to administer and perhaps only require a single injection.”

Neupogen is the first radiation countermeasure approved under the FDA’s Animal Rule, which was drafted to guide the development of drugs when human efficacy studies cannot ethically be performed. In March 2015, the FDA approved Neupogen for use following an acute exposure to a radiation dose capable of causing severe loss of bone marrow cells.

Dr. Orschell and her lab of nine researchers developed a mouse model to test medical countermeasures against radiation as part of a consortium of investigators working together to find drugs to treat irradiated people. Data from the Orschell lab contributed to the understanding of how Neupogen may work in humans.

Dr. Orschell explained that a mouse model is used to mimic a disease in humans. “Our mouse model of acute radiation syndrome has become one of the standard models to test medical countermeasures under the Animal Rule,” Dr. Orschell said.

In 2005, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awarded a federal contract to the University of Maryland School of Medicine, which established the consortium of institutions to facilitate the development of medical countermeasures that could be used in an emergency mass casualty situation involving radiation injuries. IU was an integral part of that consortium.

Dr. Orschell’s ongoing work recently earned her $750,000 in funding from the Department of Defense to study drugs for civilians or first responders who report to a site following radiation exposure. “In the case of first responders, you would have an opportunity to administer the drug to them before they are exposed at the site,” she said.