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Entries in Adam Butler (19)

Death of a Spokesperson

Recently the story of Natasha Harris hit the news. She died. She was 30 years old. In the months before her death she is reported to have consumed up to 10 liters of Coca Cola a day. That's sad. Sugar is a drug and she was an addict that overdosed. That meant that Natasha’s death was being directly linked to the overconsumption of Coke and her accompanying poor diet. The sugar delivery system people had to weigh in on this ASAP. 

The Coca Cola Company didn’t keep the global media waiting. A spokesperson named Karen Thompson was sent to make the rounds with talking points and she dutifully delivered, "The grossly excessive ingestion of any food product, including water, over a short period with the inadequate consumption of essential nutrients, and the failure to seek appropriate medical intervention when needed, can be dramatically symptomatic.” 

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Can mint-green baseball caps, dodgeballs stenciled with the number "1200," and a whist tournament dissuade kids from smoking? According to a renegade team of designers and community leaders, the answer is yes.

Check out the full Fast Company article on MenthLab, a recent design workshop to combat teen smoking with the organization behind the "Truth" campaign and FearLess collaborators The Butler Bros, COMMON and Common Lab.


Meatless Monday: Ridiculously Easy Curried Chickpeas and Quinoa

FearLess contributor Adam Butler submitted today's Meatless Monday recipe via FatFree Vegan Kitchen:

A high-quality curry powder is essential here because we’re relying on it for most of the seasoning. My favorite is Maharajah blend, which is fresh and flavorful but not hot. If you use a mild curry powder such as Maharajah, you can add as little or as much red pepper as you like to adjust the heat.

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Reality, TX

It was a privilege for my firm to contruibute our efforts to The Climate Reality Project. After all, we're citizens of earth. 

In my lifetime as a Texan, I have never experienced the combination of record heat and record drought that we had this year. Apparently there is no record of a hotter and drier year dating back to 1895 when record keeping began in the state. My intuition and the climate models coalesced on my daily bike commutes--this was a new kind of hot.

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Clinton's Clean Little Secret

Bill Clinton should make his personal diet the subject of his keynote at his next Global Initiative.  It stands to reason that if plant-based eating (sans added oils) is helping Number 42 reverse his own heart disease, that a strong dose of plant-based eating could begin to reverse three major health problems facing the developing world--obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.  And there is a certain gal that could use some help, too: Mother Nature.

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Accept the Invitation

While biking to work last Friday, I crossed paths with another cyclist who was clearly distraught. As we pondered running a stale red light, he told me he needed to, “Hurry because my grandfather is dying, turning purple right now.”

His grandfather's house happened to be the same way I was going. We ran all of the stop signs for the next nine or so blocks. We arrived at the address. He asked me to come inside the house. I accepted.

I stood at the foot of a dying mans bed. His name was Maximino Z. Castro. He was 95 years old. And he was battling throat cancer. Two of his grandsons and one of his daughters were in the room. They were frantic and calm at once. Spurred to attention by the cosmos with earthly orders to stand down. The waiting place. The launch pad.

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America Has Subsidized Itself Sick


Several years ago I had a meeting with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

Dr. Esselstyn was the first person I had ever heard indict our federal government for their imbalanced subsidization of animal protein. It's clear that Dr. Esselstyn has a strong bias towards plant-based eating as a means of preventing and reversing heart disease. In fact, he wrote the book. My own father-in-law is healthy living proof of Dr. Esselstyn's claims. So I have a bias built on gratitude.

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Is Groupon a Strip Mining Operation?

Groupon filed for an IPO. They have 83 million couponers in their club. They've grown their revenue 20,000% since June of 2009. These are gaudy numbers. And Groupon CEO Andrew Mason has outlined several characteristics that he says define the company and should justify investor confidence in an increasingly competitive space. This via Huff Po:

"We don't measure ourselves in conventional ways"..."we are unusual and we like it that way"..."we are always reinventing ourselves"..."we aggressively invest in growth."

So Groupon has big numbers, says edgy things about themselves, has a super-slick tech interface, and writes funny-as-hell copy. Man, that copy is Onion-like funny sometimes. The net-net: Groupon has produced diamonds while the global economy has become so many lumps of coal. But what about the companies they prospect for and the investors they court?

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Biking the Talk

In the summer of 2008 I told my wife I wanted to sell our pickup, become a one car family, and ride my bike to work everyday. She suggested that I try it for a month first. I listed our pickup on Craigslist that night. 

It was far from an impulsive decision though. You see, the internet is full of things that will put the pedal to the proverbial metal on this whole biking to work fantasy. For starters there are lots of websites with really cool bikes. Lots of websites. But outside of the idea of getting a bike JUST for commuting, which is the ultimate justification for a new bike BTW, I found some very cool calculators online that helped inform the more "logical" side of the decision. The one called "The real costs of car ownership" was my favorite. Run your own numbers and see what you get. I bet you'll get bike lust.

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Bike Lane Rage

Road rage. It mostly happens between drivers. Horns are blasted and bumpers are ridden. It's usually stressed out people in need of a deep breath, less talk radio, and a lingering hug. Sometimes drivers and cyclists have exchanges too. Encoded finger gestures are swapped and often saliva is forcefully channeled back and forth. In all of these cases egos clash and sometimes, unfortunately, the things the egos are piloting collide too. This is all dangerous tom-foolery. Let's not over analyze it.

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