The former Vince Fumo aide who reportedly spied on Ed Rendell for the now-disgraced senator is coming under Congressional scrutiny. Christian Marrone now serves as chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security; the conservative Washington Times says a Congressional committee hearing today is likely to dig into how he obtained hs role given his previous controversial service.
Almost exactly one year after the University of Pennsylvania Health System announced a move to weed out tobacco users from its payroll, Main Line Health just released details about a new tobacco-use employment policy, effective May 1, 2014, which will bar nicotine and tobacco users from employment at the health system’s four hospitals and other area facilities. Current employees will be required to disclose whether or not they use tobacco or nicotine products, and those who do will pay a surcharge for their health care benefits beginning in 2015.
The powers-that-be at CVS Caremark announced this morning that they will stop selling all tobacco products at the company’s more than 7,600 stores by October 1st.
Calling all vegans: Do you really want to be able to eat a McDonald’s Big Mac? Best-selling vegan author Kathy Freston has created a petition on Change.org urging McDonald’s to add a plant-based sandwich option to their menu. And she’s not the only vegan celeb who wants to be able to hit the McDonald’s drive-thru: Folks like Alicia Silverstone, Russell Simmons and Ellen Degeneres have signed the petition, along with 91,000 other people.
The petition, titled “It’s Time For A Healthy, Meatless Option (Please!)”, argues that over one third of Americans already buy meat substitutes for both health and ethical reasons. So why wouldn’t McDonald’s listen to consumers and jump on the plant-based bandwagon? Just add a veggie burger to the menu and voila: There’s a little something for everyone.
In case you missed this tickle of a tidbit in the Inquirer recently, there’s a newly minted Itch Center at Temple University School of Medicine, solely dedicated to—you guessed it—studying itches. It’s helmed by itch-obsessed dermatologist Gil Yosipovitch (and, no, the ironic fact that the word “itch” comes at the end of his name is not lost on him), who joined Temple’s payroll in September.
In this week’s bizarre fitness trends: Jason Rosell, a New York-based personal trainer, is trying to make Sexercise a thing. Yep, Sexercise. But this workout isn’t done between the sheets; it’s a stamina and muscle-building workout to make you better at, well, sex. I guess that’s one way to get people to work out?
• Because working two muscles at once is obviously better than doing ‘em one at a time, try this: a one-arm shoulder press—with one teeny, tiny modification—that’ll whip your six-pack into shape in no time. [Men's Health]
Yikes, Philadelphia! You might want to consider donning a face-mask before hopping on SEPTA: The folks over at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have developed an online flu predictor that tells you exactly when your city will be ravaged by the ever-dreaded influenza virus. And guess what, Philly? Our time is now.