Monday, November 19, 2007


I am a bit obsessed with agriculture, it's history and development, and our food choices past and present.

Noah's Ark was real, and it spawned farming.

Some thoughtful comments about the food bill and how, perhaps, government policy might be related to the epidemic of obesity. Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, is outstanding and really covers all the aspects of navigating the modern food system.


This press release about a book about living the good older life started off really promising by reminding us of something obvious but which everyone seems to forget it (quality counts over quantity in things like "life"). It then goes on to degrade into some absurdly oversimplified advice such as "enjoy a stable marriage." I realize I'm criticizing a press release, and presumably the book has far more content about how to achieve such a thing. But still! They also tantalize you with "you just need to have fun and dance" and then go on to prescribe the same boring routine of going to the gym and lifting weights and doing cardio, which has got to be the most unhelpful advice ever. All the people who are actually going to go to the gym regularly already go to the gym regularly. I used to think, when am I going to get my shit together and start going to the gym 3 times a week? and then I realized, I already have my shit together and I'm just not a gym kind of person.

There are 14 volumes of books about pipes and permafrost. Who knew?

My favorite quote in this press release about a new traffic control system is:
traffic optimizing for a situation that basically is true on average but that is never true for any single day or minute: essentially for a situation that never exists.
It somehow captures my current frustration with medicine--the mythical average person/response which isn't helpful/relevant to individuals.

On Katrina. I wonder if the toxic sludge/floodwater everyone was exposed to somehow had some kind of effect. One of my new theories this week is about low grade but chronic exposure to environmental contaminants contributing to the rise of anxiety disorders and stuff. There seems to be Something Big missing from the whole picture when you think about the prevalence of many diseases and the "mysterious" origins of all of them (when studied with correlation studies, which is another whole rant).

Thank god they've got the postal workers on here!

When I was in St. Petersburg earlier this year, I was using my trusty Diva cup and was irrationally* worried about getting giardia (which is in the municipal water supply) from rinsing it. Really I should have been worried about squirting a load of (let me quote) "butyl methacrylate, which is used in coatings, adhesives, solvents, resins, oil additives and to finish leather and paper" up there. I don't know why we have this epidemic of cancer in the modern world........

*Giardia, of course, needing to be in the digestive, not reproductive, track to make one sick.

What is a chocolate placebo??



Blogger Chris said...

I think we're living in a big ol' toxic experiment called life, with no idea what the results will be (beyond not good).


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