Everyone agrees that the number of cavities have plummeted in the U.S. over the last couple of decades, after water fluoridation was introduced (that is why health officials call water fluoridation "one of the ten greatest public health accomplishments of the last century").
That proves that water fluoridation fights cavities, right?
It would, of course, if the cavity levels have not also plummeted in countries which do notfluoridate their water.
Let’s take a look at the scientific literature to get an unvarnished picture on the trends.
Cavity Levels Have Only Plummeted In the U.S. And Other Countries Which Fluoridate Water, Right?
The decline in caries [the scientific term for "cavities"] prevalence in communities without fluoridated water in various countries is well documented. The cause or causes are, at this time, a matter of speculation.
The Journal of Public Health Dentistrynoted in 1985:
Even the most cursory review of the dental literature since 1978 reveals a wealth of data documenting a secular, or long term, generalized decline in dental caries throughout the Western, industrialized world. Reports indicate that this decline has occurred in both fluoridated and fluoride-deficient areas, and in the presence and absence of organized preventive programs.
The prestigious science journal Naturenoted in 1986:
[D]uring the period 1979-81, especially in western Europe where there is little fluoridation, a number of dental examinations were made and compared with surveys carried out a decade or so before. It soon became clear that large reductions in caries had been occurring in unfluoridated areas. The magnitudes of these reductions are generally comparable with those observed in fluoridated areas over similar periods of time
The Journal of the American Dental Association noted in 1988:
The current reported decline in caries tooth decay in the US and other Western industrialized countries has been observed in both fluoridated and nonfluoridated communities, with percentage reductions in each community apparently about the same
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The Downside Hedge Twitter sentiment indicator for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) continues to paint a series of higher highs on a daily basis as the market moves higher. The selling on Monday due to the Ukraine crisis didn't do much damage to investor sentiment. Most traders brushed it off which resulted in a fairly neutral reading of -5. Normally a 20 point price drop in the first few hours of trading would result in at least a modestly bearish reading below -10. This indicates that traders and investors aren't running for the exit on bad news and suggests that the dip in January shook out a lot of weak hands.
Smoothed sentiment continues to rise at a fairly steep angle. The trend line being painted doesn't ...
The only thing that is unclear about the following clip released by the Ukraine's Border Guard supposedly capturing Russians "digging in" on a key route linking Crimea to the rest of the Ukraine, is what is funnier: that the Russian soldier is "painting" the drone with a laser flashlight, or that according to the Ukrainians said action was evidence the drone was being "shot at" by Russian soldiers.
As a follow up, here is another video made by a Ukrainian drone showing the distribution of Russian forces on the peninsula.
The takeover of Crimea by Russia is nearly complete. All that remains is the final vote on March 16. There would not be a vote if the outcome was uncertain.
Troops Install Minefields, Border Markers in Crimea
Bloomberg reports Pro-Russia Forces Occupy Ukraine as Separatist Vote Looms. Pro-Russian forces advanced in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, ignoring Western calls to halt a military takeover before the region’s separatist referendum. The U.S. estimates Russia now has 20,000 troops confronting a smaller Ukrainian force there. Ukraine has stepped up its eastern border defenses in the worst standoff between it and the West since the Cold War.
The Global X Social Media Index ETF (Ticker: SOCL) touched fresh record highs on Thursday morning, surprising no one given the top three holdings of the Fund are Hong Kong-based Tencent Holdings (12.678%), Facebook Inc. (12.506%) and LinkedIn Corp. (8.166%), which are up 130%, 160% and 22%, respectively, since this time last year. The SOCL reflects the performance of companies involved in the social media industry, including companies that provide social networking, file sharing and other web-based media applications. Shares in the ETF rose 1.3% today to a new high of $23.00, and have soared approximately 65% since this time last year.
Today brought three better than expected economic releases from Construction Spending, ISM Manufacturing, and Personal Income. The ISM figure was quite unexpected and Personal Income was well above expectations. If we ignore for a moment that the Final GDP reading for Q4 was lowered on Friday (which may or may not have been primarily caused by severe weather), we have had a week of better than expected economic numbers. Corporate earnings have also continued to exceed forecasts, albeit with a bit more cautious guidance.
Of course, none of that matters when the “war drums” start beating. Russia and the Ukraine are engaged in a serious game of “chicken” with a bear in the hen house. The Russian ruble has borne the brunt of the damage so far with a double digit drop today again...
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Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.
And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014? The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.
As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
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