A Scanner Darkly

Keanu Reeves will star in _A Scanner Darkly_, based on the Philip K. Dick novel. Richard Linklater is in talks to direct. The film will employ the same technology Linklater used in _Waking Life_: it will be shot live-action, then animated.

Martial Arts Defend Against Aging

A new study on the health benefits of martial arts.
>In their study, Douris’ team examined the overall fitness of 18 individuals between 40 and 60 years of age. Nine of the study participants had been practicing soo bahk do, a Korean martial art similar to karate or tae kwon do, for about three years. The other nine participants maintained a more or less “couch potato” lifestyle. Overall, the soo bahk do devotees “were much more flexible, had more leg strength, less body fat, better aerobic conditioning and better balance” compared to the sedentary study subjects, Douris reports.

Debunking the Economist — again

James Kenneth Galbraith debunks the Economist on globalization.

>Confronting the problems of the stricken Third World will require a balanced approach. What the poorest countries need perhaps most of all is sustainable finance, permitting them to build their infrastructure, their human resources, their public health systems and their industries — both for domestic consumption and foreign trade. This is an old formula. But it is one with a track record: It worked in Europe after World War II, and then in Japan, Korea and in China, each of which saw decade after decade of sustained growth and industrial transformation. Here’s the rub: Pursuing these goals will require placing the world’s private financiers under a degree of regulation and control — such as we used to have in the real golden age of development, from 1945 to 1970. That, of course, is not on the Economist’s agenda. But it should be on ours.

Meat-resistance genes

A study finds that humans evolved genes to offset high cholesterol and chronic diseases assocated with a meat-rich diet.

>”Meat contains cholesterol and fat, not to mention potential parasites and diseases like Mad Cow,” he said. “We believe humans evolved to resist these kinds of things. Mad Cow disease — which probably goes back millions of years — would have wiped out the species if we hadn’t developed meat-tolerant genes.”