Although genetic factors are important, physical activity and diet contribute significantly to maintenance of appropriate body weight. The combination of inactivity and detrimental dietary patterns has been ranked as the second leading factor contributing to mortality in the United States, after tobacco use (McGinnis and Foege, 1993). In addition, both diet and physical activity, in and of themselves, influence health. Studies show that men and women who are physically active have, on the average, lower mortality than people who are inactive (Kaplan et al., 1987, 1996; Kujala et al., 1998; Kushi et al., 1997; Leon et al., 1987; Lindsted et al., 1991; Paffenbarger et al., 1993; Sherman et al., 1994; Slattery et al., 1989). A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to 23% of deaths from major chronic diseases (Hahn et al., 1990). Furthermore, studies show that dietary factors are associated with 4 of the 10 leading causes of death, including coronary heart disease, stroke, some forms of cancer, and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (CDC, 1997c; USDHHS, 2000).
Alcohol has been identified as a top contributor to death in the United States (McGinnis and Foege, 1993), after tobacco use and diet and activity patterns. Compared with other threats to human health, alcohol causes the widest variety of injuries (Rose, 1992). Approximately 100,000 deaths are related to alcohol consumption in the United States each year (McGinnis and Foege, 1993; Rose, 1992), which translates into 15% of potential years of life lost before the age of 65 (Rose, 1992).
As early as 1926, a U-shaped relationship was described between mortality and consumption of alcohol (Pearl, 1926). The wide range of alcohol-induced illnesses and injuries is primarily attributable to differences in the amount, duration, and patterns of alcohol consumption as well as to differences in genetic vulnerability to particular alcohol-related consequences (USDHHS, 1997a; 2000). Long-term excessive drinking increases risk for high blood pressure, irregularities of heart rhythm (i.e., arrhythmias), disorders of the heart muscle (i.e., cardiomyopathy), and stroke (USDHHS, 2000). Long-term, heavy drinking also increases the risk of developing cancer of the esophagus, mouth, throat, and voice box and of the colon and rectum (NIAAA, 1993; USDHHS, 2000). Alcohol consumption appears to increase the risk of breast cancer in women (Smith-Warner et al., 1998); consumption of two or more drinks per day has been shown to slightly increase women's risk of developing breast cancer (Reichman, 1994; USDHHS, 2000).4 The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (USDA, 1995a) advises women to consume no more than 1 drink per day; while men are advised to consume no more than two per day. Because men and women have less body water as they age, older persons can lower their risk of alcohol problems by drinking no more than one drink per day (Dufour et al., 1992; USDHHS, 2000). Heavy and chronic alcohol use is a cause of poor pregnancy outcomes (NCHS, 1998a; USDHHS, 1993), including fetal alcohol syndrome, a major nongenetic cause of mental retardation (American Academy of Pediatrics, 1993; Bagheri et al., 1998; IOM, 1996). Sustained heavy alcohol consumption worsens the outcome for patients with hepatitis C (NIH, 1997a; USDHHS, 2000) and increases the risk for cirrhosis and other liver disorders (Saadatamand et al., 1997; USDHHS, 2000). Cirrhosis, primarily attributable to heavy drinking, is one of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States (Bureau of the Census, 1997; Hasin et al., 1990; Popham et al., 1984; Saadatamand et al., 1997; Schmidt, 1980).
What a wonderfully thoughtful post. I saw your tweet this morning and wondered what the heck MegaUpload was and when I realized what it was had some of the same thoughts you outline in your post -- especially about people who used it for legal upload/downloads.
I also have conflicting thoughts downloading things. I don't like it when my two teens watch movies or television shows from places other than legal ones, but I have downloaded movies (exactly three) that I cannot find anywhere else in any format for sale. I would have purchased them all if I had.
One thing that these individuals benefit from given these habits is their ability to associate artists to songs/movies. Complicating this is how busy I am, which contributes to me not being able to keep up with the latest music/movies/games. Plus, I'm kinda poor. I cannot tell you how many times someone tried to explain a movie and started listing actors, with me telling them blankly that it helps me none to do that. Worse, I will hear a song and half the time not know the artist or even the title. I'm ashamed to say, Mr. Coulton, that your name looked familiar but it didn't click until I saw one of the comments above mentioning Code Monkey. I thought it was just an indie song put out for my entertainment on YouTube, I had no clue that you had a CD. I'm sure that there are plenty of other songs that you have that I like, but again I like the song without much knowledge about the artist. Clueless, I know, and perhaps a bit shallow.
All of that to say this... While I am not an individual that tries to make money off piracy or even promote it to others, I have benefited from it. However, my practices also have extended a monetary benefit to bands/artists such as Linkin Park, 3 Doors Down, Disturbed, Evanescence, Cold Play, and Owl City. Now that I know who put Code Monkey out and that they have a product to sell, please add yourself to this list... as I'll probably download later this weekend it as a reminder to research more of your music. Thank you for your thoughts, art, and sense of being a common human being.
The whole issue of Intellectual Property rights versus the rights of the consumer is obviously coming to the fore at the moment. Its much more than just IP rights involved though, its also an issue over the rights of a corporation to enforce its business model on the customers that buy its products, and the lack of limitations on how they can enforce that business model.The real problem to me is that corporations have been granted the right acting as if they were a citizen under the law. It seems obvious to me that the resources available to any corporation far exceed the resources available to almost all private citizens. Thus those corporations are able to use their resources - money and influence - to distort the legal system and effectively use the current laws to get their way. The MAFIAA/RIAA have been doing so with their endless lawsuits directed at individuals they accuse of illegally downloading copyright materials - sue for a huge penalty then settle for a smaller amount. The huge penalty makes it into the news and the settlement seldom does (being a private matter under the law). The \"accused\" is more or less forced to pay this amount or face a legal battle they can't possibly afford. Legal blackmail in other words. Furthermore the onus is placed on the individual to prove their innocence - which also costs money.In the same way, these organizations can use their power and influence to make their outdated business model a political matter. The recent SOPA/PIPA legislation in the US is typical of this. Giving corporations the ability to censor whomever they want with just a single request is beyond acceptable to me and obviously to many others. Luckily this attempt to takeover the internet was obvious enough to many people and to some more or less responsible corporations who bucked the trend and protested the legislation. It will return in a more subtle form though, that is a guarantee, the media giants have too much at stake to give up. The freedom of expression and information exchange on the internet is gradually being eroded at every turn. This is a battle that will continue to be fought for many years I expect - and I sadly don't think the freedom side is going to win in the end.The problem is that the media corporations are stuck with their outdated business models. They are unable to adapt and rather than deal with that inability, they choose to legislate any competition out of the market instead. The concept of \"piracy\" they promote is completely a distortion of the reality. I suspect a lot of so-called \"piracy\" is really just copying media because the current methods of disseminating it don't meet with the needs of the individuals who want to experience it. Consumers are frustrated with the regional coding system for DVDs for instance, they would like to buy something but can't use in their players (because the old model says that the distribution rights must be sold by physical regions - in a world where the internet has made those regions effectively meaningless) - and so they download a movie from Europe that isn't being sold in North America for instance. People want to enjoy a TV show or movie without having much of it cut out to make room for an ever increasing number of advertisements - in some cases completely destroying the continuity of the original. People want to try something out first before they spend money on it etc.Yes, a percentage of people just want stuff for free and that is wrong under the laws of the moment. Those people are actually copying stuff illegally of course, but since there is no guarantee they would have spent a dime on buying it in the first place, not much real harm is being done. Someone who wouldn't have paid for something got it anyways, but no one lost anything as well.The media companies can deal with all of this illegal copying by making changes to their business model of course. Accept the fact that their models must change - mostly this means actually developing the infrastructure to distribute their media effectively and above all conveniently, and accepting that since it costs them effectively nothing to make a copy of a file available (a cost best measured in cents at the most), they need to accept that the price people are willing to pay is lower than they are currently demanding. Lower the price, watch the \"piracy\" decrease. Its all about the convenience of the consumer. I think most people are willing to pay for media, but they are willing to pay a lot less than those selling it think it should go for.Another problem is of course that these corporations are being marginalized themselves, since the need that gave rise to their existence and gave them the stranglehold on media distribution that is their sole business model has now more or less disappeared because of the capabilities of the internet. A lot of artists are cutting out the middleman entirely because it served little purpose other than to suck money away from the artist themselves. Most sales of music under the old model went primarily to these organizations and many artists saw little if anything as a result. The media companies also engage in a lot of \"creative bookkeeping\" that would have done the real Mafia proud - films that make millions at the box-office actually turn no official profit etc. 153554b96e