I don’t know about you guys, but I like these link-o-rama posts because they let me get rid of a bunch of tabs on Firefox and disseminate info that probably isn’t worth an entire post.
First, let me start out by linking to one of my wife’s recent posts. We’ve had a spate of people writing us through the website asking about cookbooks, of all things. She did a post a couple of months ago about her favorite cookbooks. In case you missed it, here it is.
Second, I’m going to start using these link-o-ramas to link to some of my older posts that I think would be of interest to a lot of people now. One that I thought was pretty good on how to dissect a scientific article didn’t get many readers since I wrote it back when maybe three people read this blog. The notion that it didn’t get many readers is evidenced by the fact that there are zero comments on it. So, without further ado, here is Baboon Business.
After all the recent posts about the savagery of the nature, I thought I would throw this item into the mix just to show that nature can be tamed, at least in the short run. There is a guy who is a fixture in downtown Santa Barbara who has a dog, a cat and a rat as pets. He is always down on State Street, the main street running through town, with the cat riding on the back of the dog, and the rat riding on the back of the cat. Here is the YouTube, so you can see for yourselves.
I came across an interesting article titled Is Food the New Sex? in a little journal I get called Policy Review. The writer of the article posits that our appetites for food and sex have more or less switched positions in our hierarchies of taboos since the 1950s. She uses a woman who was a housewife in her 30s in the 1950s and her hypothetical granddaughter who is in her 30s today. The housewife of the 1950s had no taboos on food and all kinds of taboos about sex whereas her granddaughter reads every label and is scared to death of her food, yet expects to live together for a trial run before marriage to her boyfriend and has friends with all sorts of alternative lifestyles. A fun, but long, article to read.
What follows are a couple of quotes separated by years, but nevertheless related. So I figured I would post them juxtaposed so that the connection would be obvious. The first is from Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), an economist of the Austrian school.
The luxury of today is the necessity of tomorrow. Every advance first comes into being as the luxury of a few rich people, only to become, after a time, an indispensable necessity taken for granted by everyone. Luxury consumption provides industry with the stimulus to discover and introduce new, things. It is one of the dynamic factors in our economy. To it we owe the progressive innovations by which the standard of living of all strata of the population has been gradually raised.
The next quote is from the transcript of a CNBC interview with Warren Buffett last year. I don’t agree with Mr. Buffett on everything, but I do on this.
…we’ve had a number of recessions in this country; in fact, we had a Great Depression, we had–we’ve got world wars. And throughout, the genius of the American economy, our emphasis on a meritocracy and a market system and a rule of law has enabled generation after generation to live better than their parents did. And, I mean, most of the people in this room, practically all of them last night, lived better than John D. Rockefeller lived. I mean, all kinds of things have happened. And in the 20th century alone, the standard of living of the average American went up seven for one. There’s never been a period like it in history. And that’s not an accident. It’s because we unleash human potential and will continue to do that in the future.
Here is a link to a site containing a video of Gary Taubes, Dr. Jay Wortman, Dr. Alan Einstein and me taken last year at a conference in Phoenix. We’re all expounding on the problems of the low-fat diet. It’s the first video in the link. I haven’t watched the other two, so I can’t tell you what’s in those.
For those of you interested in intermittent fasting, here is an article on the subject from the Los Angeles Times. I’m working on another post on IF that I hope to have up within the next couple of weeks.
Researchers aren’t sure why the body apparently benefits from a state of mini-starvation. One theory is that the process produces just enough stress in cells to be good. “What our evidence suggests is that nerve cells in animals that are on dietary energy restriction are under mild stress,” Mattson says. “It’s a mild stress that stimulates the production of proteins that protect the neurons against more severe stress.”
What they do know is that occasionally going without food or reducing calories daily makes the body more sensitive to insulin, which helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. And animal studies suggest calorie restriction may reduce the risk of cancer by slowing the growth of abnormal cells.
Monthly Book Reviews
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