Open Thread for February

Happy Chinese New Year: the Year of the Aardvark (Earth Pig)! Thank you, Aard regular Aquadraco, for the lovely illustration!

Extra likes for mentions of zumba, Barry Manilow and Queen Claude of France.

Advertisements

98 thoughts on “Open Thread for February

  1. It’s February 6th and I hear a Robin singing. Not quite as disturbing as hearing them on New Year’s day, but not natural.

    Like

  2. Nice picture, Aquadraco.

    There is a phenomenon in music which is sometimes called the truck driver’s key change. Fred Clark discusses the phenomenon here (although he does not use the term), and cites Barry Manilow’s “Weekend in New England” as an example of how effective a key change can be (the title of that post is taken from the chorus of that song).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All of this warm sunny weather we are having is seriously depressing. You can tell by the collective chuckles and gurgles of delight that absolutely no one is enjoying it. It doesn’t mean they are not simultaneously head scratching and worrying about what the climatic implications are.

    Take down of Jane Goodall:
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/jane-goodalls-troubling-error-filled-new-book-seeds-of-hope

    It’s long past time someone nailed her for what she is. It isn’t ‘troubling’. That’s not the right word for it.

    I could scarce forbear to grin inanely at this quote: “His only professional experience prior to taking up his crusade against biotechnology is as a ballroom-dance teacher, yogic flying instructor, and political candidate for the Maharishi cult’s natural-law party.”

    Stop it! You had me at “yogic flying instructor.”

    Like

  4. February 7th, 35 degrees north fruit trees in full bloom, with honeybees no less. Our climate is clearly fucked, if any other evidence is necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bison butchery?
    I’ll raise you The Predator Song.
    And while into gothic music, I noticed The Prodigy with “Wild Frontier”. And Kent with “Maximum 500”

    Like

    • We’ve had bison butchery, now we have polar bear invasion – the worst kind of predator: huge, silent, immensely powerful and one it is illegal to defend yourself against. Polar bears scare me shitless.

      In truth, anything much larger than a miniature French poodle scares me shitless, and even some of them are a bit too snappy for my liking. There’s an Alaskan Mamalute living in our block that is absolutely gigantic, bigger than a cold climate wolf and much more heavily built, and the sight of that thing just makes me freeze in abject fear. In reality, it is terrified of bicycles and seems to be in a constant state of heat stress. The perfect dog to keep in a small high rise apartment in a sub-tropical climate (sarcasm).

      I can see Kent as gothic – sort of adult male versions of Wednesday Addams. But are the Predator Song and The Prodigy gothic, or something else? Are there sub-divisions of gothic? Gothic metal I suppose, but it seems a bit of a mis-use of the term. To me gothic evokes dark and eerily creepy, not raging murderous aliens/apemen/berserkers. I stand to be corrected and enlightened, as usual.

      Like

  6. German word Hottentotenpotentatenstantenattentäter means “one who assails the aunt of a Hottentot potentate”. Well, allegedly; I haven’t tried working through it, myself.

    Sobering thought for the day: for most of anatomically modern human existence, the Khoisan (the earliest group to diverge from the rest of anatomically modern humanity) had the largest effective population size (and therefore it’s safe to assume the largest population – so you could reasonably argue that all of the rest of us diverged away from them, not vice versa) of any population group. Today they number about 50,000, which is too small a sample size to do a GWAS on.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Dreading going to the gym because today is the day in the 4 day cycle of my self-devised exercise programme when I have to do Romanian deadlifts. But if you want hamstrings like a Samoan rugby player and an arse that people can bounce bricks off, you need to do them. Nothing gets me gasping for oxygen like deadlifts. Why are they Romanian, particularly? They were named after a Romanian weightlifter called Nicu Vlad – some kind of very muscular vampire, I imagine. They’re called that to distinguish them from straight legged deadlifts, which you definitely do not want to do. Why would I want a muscular arse? Try walking strongly with wasted arse muscles – you can’t.

    True fact: in China, the exercises that most women look up on the Internet are those that will enhance their bums. True. If you are familiar with phenotypical differences in anatomy, you will understand why.

    Ladies, forget those insipid hip raises; if you suffer from flat arse syndrome, they won’t do nuthin’ – if you want bunz of steel, you need to do heavy deadlifts. And DON’T do them unless supervised by someone who knows what he’s talking about, or you will destroy your lower back. Why heavy? Because light won’t do nuthin’. But it’s a relative term – heavy just means the heaviest you can do for 3 sets of 10 repetitions, hopefully reaching refusal or near refusal on the last repetition of the last set, by which time you will be gasping in huge amounts of air, because big muscles like the hamstrings, gluteal muscles and spinal erector muscles use a lot of oxygen.

    Like

      • Fat has no attractive shape. It’s the underlying muscle that gives the nice shape. If a woman wants to enhance her butt, the only way she can do it is to exercise to make the gluteal muscles stronger, and therefore bigger and with a nicer shape. Same with bust – breasts are pretty much just bags of fat, so the only way to do bust enhancement is to exercise the underlying supporting pectoral muscles.

        My feminine ideal? Allyson Felix, world’s greatest ever 200m runner, is as close as anyone.

        Like

  8. Very serious research in The Guardian. The order in which you drink wine and beer does not affect the size of the hangover. Remind me again: why do people worship nausea and vomiting so much they are willing to pay serious money for it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The people who drink to the point of nausea are a distinct group from those who are snobbish enough to go for the high-end stuff. There is some overlap between the two.

      The drink-to-get-drunk types will tend to go for the cheap stuff, if it is available. (I recognize that in some countries, such as Sweden, alcohol taxes are so hight that there effectively is no chap stuff). I don’t understand either why anybody would want to do this, but empirically, such people exist. It’s worse in some cultures (e.g., Anglo-American) than others.

      Then there are people like the bunch of City bankers a few years back who managed to rack up a GBP12k bar bill by drinking three bottles of wine at lunch (the restaurant comped their food). That just sounds to me like a way to make your urine expensive. But certain wineries in France and California, of which Chateau Lafitte Rothschild is the most notorious, depend on the existence of such people as their business model.

      I prefer moderate amounts of moderately priced stuff myself.

      Like

    • When my wife and I accidentally encountered Richard Starkey and his wife in Bali, they were both very drunk at 10.00 am, his wife so much that she could hardly stand up – I think it was probably not that they had started drinking early in the morning; more likely they were still up from drinking all night the night before; or maybe just hopelessly jet lagged and out of synch time-wise. They had no idea what time it was; Ringo asked my wife what the time was, and she had to explain to him that it was 10.00 am, not pm. He was surprised to learn it was morning. He wasn’t offensive or threatening or anything like that, although he tried very unsuccessfully to charm my wife; he’s only a little bloke, and physically unimpressive. I had to explain to her afterwards who he was. She was under-awed by having met pop music royalty. It takes an awful lot to impress my wife, and the usual things of money and fame don’t do it.

      I saw Pete Best interviewed, and he said he thought he was sacked from the Beatles and replaced by Ringo because the other band members were jealous of him (because of his good looks and popularity with fans). Wishful thinking. No, it was because he was a mediocre drummer at most, and Ringo was a ‘less is more’ drumming genius with a unique, original style, due in part to him being left handed but playing a right handed drum kit. John Lennon said as much in not so many words when asked about it – Best was crap and Ringo was a lot better. He was already a genius with a fully developed unique style when he was inducted into the band. That was not the case with George Harrison, who started out a pretty ordinary guitarist and developed as time passed.

      I don’t think less of Ringo for his substance abuse problems, because I understand them. He had an absolutely dreadful childhood, plus there is a genetic component to alcohol dependence. That’s why it’s worse in Anglo-Americans (often of Irish or Scottish ancestry) than some other cultures – it’s genetic as well as cultural. By rights, Ringo and his wife should both have drunk themselves into early graves a long time ago, because they really were hopeless alcoholics and everything was working against them, but to their credit they dragged themselves out of it, and that’s worthy of respect; that and his musical genius. I appreciate his drumming a lot more now than I did when I was a kid, because now I understand it and can see it for what it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Found at Youtube:

    Spiking the guns; the attack on Bomarsund fort.

    Why did Space X build a stainless steel spaceship?

    Like

  10. We’re having a lot of snow. Apparently two snow storms stacked up over the Pacific and will be passing through. Before we left though, we saw a salmonberry flower blooming in mid-January. They usually wait another month. Granted, we’ll be having snow, more snow and snow followed by cold weather. It’s just as well I’m sick with a respiratory ailment or I’d be going stir crazy.
    Is Queen Claude of France one of those Anne Boleyn conspiracy theory characters? The name crops up in those circles. I tend to avoid them. The Tudor story was wild enough and full of intrigue. It doesn’t need conspiracy theories. You’ll note that Shakespeare, a noted Tudor apologist, got by just fine without that kind of thing.
    Sorry, nothing on zumba or Barry Manilow, though I think he’s a cult figure in some kind of dental conspiracy theory. Again, I tend to avoid them.

    Like

  11. Lots of yet more snow.

    New Scientist says neanderthals may have been the first to use a permanent, year-round “home”.

    New Testament stuff: I understand how Johannes might be turned into John by abbreviation. I do not get how Jakob could get turned into James.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, they are thought to have been sedentary.

      When I was a little kid, I was corrected when I first wrote my own name phonetically as Jon, and I couldn’t understand why it had an unspoken ‘h’ in it to unnecessarily complicate the spelling. No one explained to me that I was getting off lightly, the name having derived from Yehohanan.

      Like

    • If James really is derived from Jakob, then that solves a minor mystery for me.

      In Spanish, Saint James has two possible equivalents: Santiago and San Diego. I could not see a plausible relationship between those names. But if the original name was Jakob, I see how you get from there to Iago. Diego is, I admit, still more of a stretch, but not as much as going all the way to James.

      But then James, unlike other Biblical names in English, does not have obvious cognates in many European languages. It’s easy to see how John (English) is related to Jean (French), Juan (Spanish), João (Portuguese), Giovanni (Italian), Johann (German), Jon (Swedish), or Jan (Polish), and only slightly more difficult to connect to Sean (Gaelic) or Ivan (Russian). Likewise, Maria is a name in most European languages, with slight variations in French (Marie) and English (Mary). That’s how it works for most names of Biblical origin, whether the ultimate language of origin is Hebrew (Mary), Greek (Peter), or Latin (Paul). But not James.

      Even odder: Jacob actually is a valid English name, with cognates in German (Jakob) and Russian (Yakov), among others.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “…a modern descendant of Iacomus…”
        Well, that explains why the French “Jaques” is an equivalent for James, and “Giacomo” is the Italian. Although it doesn’t explain why Jack is a familiar version of John in English, nor why Jock is the Scots equivalent of John. The Scots for James is Hamish, of course, and the Irish equivalent is Seamus; but the Scottish king was named James, not Hamish, and his followers were Jacobites. My own theory is that the name Seamus or one of its variants was the Anglo-Celtic original, and the whole “Jacob” thing was grafted on when Christianity came into fashion.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. While kaleberg and Birger are getting more snow than they actually need, we are having May weather in February. Not only did we not get Winter this year, we are not getting Spring either. The plant life is totally confused, as are all of the birds. The sparrows which should be driving me mad by now by nesting on top of our air conditioners and twittering non-stop outside my window are notable by their absence. No sign of any nesting behaviour at all – not just sparrows; none of the birds are nesting. That should have started in late January but it didn’t, and it still hasn’t.

    The question therefore arises – if we are getting May now, what are we going to get in May? Yes, Charles, climate really is screwed, and it’s screwed now, not some time in the future.

    Like

    • “…climate really is screwed…”
      That is the thing that worries me the most. I know many people are shifting to alternate energy sources, shifting to lower pollution transport, building houses to be more energy efficient etc. I just feel that it’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic – without major, immediate and coordinated international action, the climate is screwed, we’re screwed, and so is the World as we know it. And saddest of all, maybe it’s already too late anyway.

      Like

    • Pretty much my thoughts. Driving yesterday, Wife expressed serious concern about the weather we are having and asked: “What can we do about it?” Me: “Us? Nothing that will make the slightest bit of difference.” Even if, overnight, there was major concerted action by all governments and major corporates, it’s too late to reverse it; at best it might slow it down, and it’s obviously not going to happen anyway. Plus I am thinking that the tipping point has probably already been passed.

      The only country that matters and that is trying to do anything serious about it is China, but they are starting from a very bad baseline condition as the worst contributor. And the common pattern in China is that there is a big difference between the central government issuing decrees that certain things are to be made to happen, and those things being properly and fully implemented.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Where I live we have been alternating between February and May. We get the occasional snow or mixed precipitation storm, maybe one or two of what used to be typical winter days, and then thaws with temperatures rising to the +10 to +15 degree range. This at a similar latitude to Harbin or Sapporo. So I have to keep both my winter coat and my fall/spring jacket handy.

      I think Kaleberg lives in the same part of the US as my mother. They don’t know how to deal with snow in the cities there, because it is so rare to get accumulating snow at sea level there (I have visited when there have been snow events). They’re not quite as bad as Washington DC, which has a reputation for shutting down on a forecast of even 1 cm of accumulating snow, but it’s still pretty bad.

      Like

    • Exactly what you said – she’s a 29 year old woman. Plus, she’s intelligent, articulate and… you know… brown.
      Terrifying to old white dudes with fascist leanings.

      Like

    • AOC’s haters are afraid of a future where leaders look like her, rather than being old white males. People who got a lot of unearned respect under the old system are going to have to start earning it, and many of them either cannot or do not want to earn that respect.

      Like

    • She’s brown? I see her as white, but with less pink in her reflected light spectrum than Anglo-Americans. I’m not normal, though. But she does have really very dark eyes, almost black like my daughter’s eyes.

      Like

      • To me she’s just from the Mediterranean part of the spectrum, rather than the Nordic. I was using the term “brown” to indicate how she would be seen, rather than how she is.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Her surname is also of obvious Hispanic origin. “Hispanic” is a national origin rather than racial designation (it refers to people from countries where Spanish or Portuguese is the dominant language), so people who are Hispanic can be white, black, indigenous, or even Asian (at least one of my high school classmates was an Asian Hispanic). The average, however, is rather darker than most Europeans. That’s why most Americans would perceive AOC as being “brown”.

        Like

      • Her ancestry is 100% Puerto Rican. By ancestry, using the one drop rule, she can legitimately claim to be black, indigenous, European and Hispanic, and unquestionably American by birth, so none of the ‘birther’ shit is going to fly. I have been trying to figure out what she reminds me of, appearance-wise, and I finally twigged – she looks for all the world like some young, attractive Flamenco dancer from Andalusia.

        I have a different theory to the “not an old white male” theory. It is that she is a politician who actually does the *one job* that politicians should do, which is to formulate policy, as opposed to the large majority of politicians everywhere who don’t actually do the one job they are supposed to do. AOC already has an extensive and well researched and thought through policy platform, and she is a visionary – a true leader. And unlike Hillary Clinton, she is inclusive and doesn’t play identity politics – she appeals to all voters, except for maybe the ultra-wealthy.

        I think it is those two things that make people so afraid of her. She is a clean politician who focuses on doing the job she is supposed to do, and who aims to serve the interests all voters, and that’s becoming a rarity in modern politics in liberal democracies.

        That’s what makes her such a fearsome political opponent, in my book.

        One proviso – I haven’t heard her on foreign policy yet, which is something that obviously concerns me.

        She should learn Flamenco dancing. Seriously. She’d be perfect. I’d be happy to play for her to dance to.

        Pity she’s only 29, because Elizabeth Warren is not going to win the 2020 Presidential Election for the Dems – I’m willing to call that now, with certainty.

        Liked by 1 person

      • In the US system, foreign policy is a purview of the executive branch, not the legislative branch. The Senate has advice and consent duty on treaties and ambassador appointments, but the House has no role. So I can understand why AOC hasn’t put much effort into foreign policy yet: it’s something over which she has no more influence than an average US citizen. If and when she decides to run for President (which will be no earlier than the 2028 cycle because of her age), I will expect her to develop an understanding of foreign policy. The evidence, based on what she has presented so far and how quickly she has picked up on how the House works, indicates that she will be a quick learner when the time comes.

        As for “birther” stuff: You would be surprised how many Americans do not realize that Puerto Rico is part of the United States. The usual suspects have been attempting that kind of thing with Kamala Harris, who was born on the US mainland to immigrant parents (Jamaica on one side, India on the other). I don’t think it has gained traction yet, but then even with Obama this stuff was patently ridiculous: Obama was born in the US state of Hawaii, and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution explicitly states that being born in the US is a sufficient condition for US citizenship regardless of the nationality of his father. I suspect the “birther” stuff is more likely to go away due to its adherents dying off than on the actual nonexistent merits of the issue.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Christ on a bike: she was born in the Bronx. Does someone get any more American than that?

        I notice she also says she has some Sephardic Jewish ancestry, so we can add that to the mix. But she scored HUGE points with me for saying: “DNA isn’t culture.” That right there is an indicator to me of a clear-sighted intellect. And: “”to be Puerto Rican is to be the descendant of: African Moors + slaves, Taino Indians, Spanish colonizers, Jewish refugees, and likely others. We are all of these things and something else all at once — we are Boricua.” And undoubtedly culturally American as well, having been born and grown up in the Bronx.

        So, she gets it.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Volkswagen is going to destroy Tesla in the electric car market – in all sectors of the market, because they own Porsche, but they will also focus on producing affordable cars for the family car sector. Check two years from now and see if I am right.

    Remember, you heard it here first.

    Like

  14. Newsbiscuit:
    The IRA withdraws balaclavas after ‘blackface’ allegations.
    Jacob Rees-Mogg caught stockpiling urchins.

    Like

    • I suppose the tiger could be a symbol for contemporary weirdness. You have to go to the Ramtop Mountains to find weirder portents.

      Like

  15. Oh vey. Jewish and muslim tradition has a moving rock/well following Moses through Sinai, providing water. In hadith, Muhammed has the rock running away with Moses’ clothes when he is bathing.
    Babylonian talmud Jewish tradition says the water from this holy well/rock could not become impure, which led to an infamous claim by Muhammed.
    Paul was weird, but not even he accepted the moving rock as literal truth.

    Like

  16. ….but at least the moving rock gathered no moss. If you-know-who are the avatar/genius loci of the rock, it makes sense they have the power to continue their musical careers into their seventies.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Did I mention the problem with unity/trinity goes away if you assume gods are at least as flexible as AI?
    ‘Strong’ AI should be possible to upload, download or be cloned, as they are not chained to a biological substrate like human minds.
    The T-1000 is an AI distributed across a substrate of liquid metal, when it is split into fragments they move together and merge again.
    So Yahwe/El can probably morph, merge and split as much as they want.

    And Satan is an obsolete program, like the Merovingian or Agent Smith.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. …and the Demiurge is a hacker. Damn, absence of sleep is better than drugs for inspiration.
    Next project, write a sequel to Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Hakka sister in law came back from a trip and gave me some Vietnamese coffee she had bought me as a gift. She’s always been my good pal. If you don’t know about Vietnamese coffee, well…I’m not the right person to enlighten you on its merits, but it definitely has some.

    Like

    • I have yet to encounter a coffee I consider drinkable, but am willing to admit the possibility that such a thing exists somewhere in the world.

      I presume that Vietnamese coffee is a legacy of the French colonial period. And that Vietnam has a better climate for coffee growing than for cultivating wine grapes.

      Like

    • Oh shit. I omitted to mention that Hakka sister in law also has a very mischievous sense of humour. A belated label check revealed that what she has bought me, no doubt at considerable expense, is ‘weasel coffee’. A quick google confirmed my worst fear – that Vietnamese refer to palm civets as ‘weasels’. Plus there are some online warnings that some Vietnamese civet shit coffee is not as ‘sanitised’ as it should be. And there’s no way I can tell from the label whether this is the ‘clean’ stuff or the stuff still full of civet shit.

      So now I don’t know whether to try this civet shit coffee or throw it out. Daughter (beaming helpfully): “You could do both!”

      Like

      • If you use boiling water to make the coffee, that should take care of any pathogens. That’s a big reason why the Chinese developed the habit of drinking hot tea.

        You definitely don’t want to make iced palm civet coffee, even if it is supposedly “clean” stuff.

        Like

      • Yeah, iced weasel shit doesn’t sound too appetising. Allegedly, the ‘clean’ stuff is ‘clean’ because the beans are washed (carefully, allegedly) 3 times to get all of the shit off them, and then left out in the sun to dry. That doesn’t sound too persuasive to me.

        But they would roast the beans, wouldn’t they? Coffee beans get roasted. I would think that ought to kill pathogens and parasites, but I know nothing about the actual process.

        Like

      • Yes, what am I thinking? Of course the beans get roasted, which means that the internal temperature of the beans is raised to at least 200C and the external temperature even higher, which should be enough to kill just about everything.

        I guess most people wouldn’t much like the idea of drinking a distillation from roasted civet shit, but it seems very unlikely it would do them any harm.

        Tea is different.

        Like

  20. Boil the coffee thoroughly. Mustelid commensal organisms are unlikely to be as hard to kill as the Alien.
    Sweden has imported some stuff about Valentine’s Day. I find these new pseudotraditions blatantly motivated by commercial interests.
    And Spanish politics seems geared to provoke stronger Catalan nationalism .

    Like

  21. The Valentine’s Day commercial crap is in full force in HK, along with all of the other imported commercialised pseudotraditions. But being as cunning as a shithouse rat, I slimed out of the Valentine’s Day crap right off the bat – told my wife before we were married that “we Australians don’t celebrate it”, so under the reciprocal agreement we had to respect one another’s customs/cultures, she had no choice but to put up with me just ignoring it. Daughter has inherited my outhouse-rodent-like qualities and has always blithely ignored Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Fine with me, I don’t want her bothered by that rubbish. I have never yet managed to remember my wedding anniversary – Wife doesn’t care, she never remembers it either.

    Weasel shit coffee problem solved – Wife tried it. It doesn’t smell too strongly of weasel shit, Wife didn’t collapse writhing on the floor frothing at the mouth, and she said it is “quite nice”, so I gave it a try. Yep, it is really rather good, but *very* strong, which is the way Vietnamese like coffee – super strong, in small glasses. Next time, I am going to dilute it quite a bit with boiling water because, as much as I don’t mind strong coffee, it’s far too strong for my taste without dilution.

    I really had a moral obligation to try it – Hakka sister in law went through the full horrors of breast cancer last year and took it all like the trooper she is, and she deserves a chuckle at my expense. So, I’ll see her for dinner Saturday night, I’ll thank her politely for her very ‘thoughtful’ gift with a deadpan face, and then we can both have a good laugh about it.

    Eric, yes, it was the French who got Vietnamese farmers to start growing coffee. They also taught Vietnamese to make French bread and pastries, and lots of other stuff, and they have carried all of those things on, particularly noticeably in Hanoi.

    Like

  22. YES! The book “Good Omens”, jointly written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, will be serialised with Benedict Cumberbatch in the role as the devil.

    The Guardian has an article “How a Slovakian neo-nazi got elected”, it details the dangers of populism.

    Like

    • Before you get too cocky about politics in liberal democracies, you want to watch the Youtube video of Joe Rogan talking to Tulsi Gabbard (it’s a long thing, but worth it) and hear what she has to say about it. You can try to pass her off as a Hindu weirdo if you want, but she comes across to me as anything but weird – eminently sane and honest person.

      Like

      • It’s a crowded field already. Declared candidates so far, in addition to Gabbard (and this is just from memory): Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro. In addition, Sherrod Brown and Kristen Gillibrand are known to be considering runs. Plenty of good choices on that list. And Gabbard is from Hawaii, with no obvious power base on the mainland, and little for a constituency that is both likely to vote for a Democrat and not covered by one of those other candidates.

        Like

      • I think what Tulsi Gabbard is really shooting for is to be a potential Vice President to Sanders (if he runs) or Warren, with the prospect of being a serious presidential contender after that. She’s only 37, so time is on her side.

        Like

  23. Second cup if weasel shit coffee consumed, this time diluted with boiling water – sort of OK, but really nothing special. Verdict – not worth it.

    This Mediterranean diet study was hugely impactful. The science has fallen apart.
    https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/6/20/17464906/mediterranean-diet-science-health-predimed

    Remember the Mediterranean Diet? OK, now forget it. What I am about to say is going to seem blindingly obvious once I say it, but I will say it anyway – what is best for you to eat is a function of your gut microbiome, which is unique to each individual (and is affected to some extent by what you eat, but not hugely). So there is no ‘best’ diet for everyone, which should have been obvious all along, but wasn’t obvious to the dietary ‘experts’ who are supposed to know about this stuff.

    A really smart Israeli researcher has developed a test for people to determine what sort of diet is better for them, and he’s developing a direct to consumer service where you can take this test and get the assessment back, but I don’t have an address for where to find it. Not very helpful of me. His name is Eran Segal and he is a computational biologist who has his own lab at the Weizmann Institute of Science , so maybe you can track him down – he gave a TED talk in 2016 on the findings of his research, which is on Youtube, so you could look that up if you are interested.

    One of the things he found during his research was that some people’s blood sugar level spiked more after they ate brown rice than after they ate icecream, which is really surprising. Some people’s blood sugar spikes after eating tomatoes, which are supposed to be universally good for everyone. Obviously, you don’t want your blood sugar to spike a lot, because that leads to all sorts of nastiness, including obesity and the medical problems associated with that, insulin resistance, and Type 2 Diabetes, which is now in epidemic proportions world wide and getting rapidly worse.

    Like

  24. A (dead) New Zealand poet revealed as rapist of his wife -herself a distinguished poet- when researcher went through his notes from 1960.

    Like

  25. This is April -warm, stuff is melting. This follows a week of much snowfall, following two weeks of extreme cold.

    Elections in Nigeria are rigged- each area has the exact same proportion of new registered voters. Methinks Republican fixers wisely have relocated, predicting the incarceration of former employers.

    Like

  26. The British-Irish Dialect Quiz.

    I did it, and their conclusion was that I don’t belong anywhere. Which was the correct conclusion. I very faintly correlated with London, but only very faintly; almost invisibly.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. When we (HK engineers collectively, but I was involved in it in a big way) were building HK’s new international airport in the 1990s, all the talk was of needing longer runways to accommodate the new ‘superjumbos’, which were the big new thing in commercial aviation – bigger and bigger planes were the ‘coming thing’. Just to illustrate how projections and predictions can be so diametrically wrong, the era of the superjumbos is now rapidly coming to a close in favour of smaller, lighter twin engined planes that are far more fuel efficient and have longer flight ranges.

    Like

    • Jumbo jets are also designed for a hub-and-spoke network, where you have passengers feeding the flight at one or both ends. But megahub airports only have so much capacity, and many travelers, especially business travelers who can afford it, would prefer direct flights when they are available.

      Until 2012, if I wanted to travel to Asia from Boston (the nearest major airport to me) I would have had to change planes at least once. Today, nonstop flights are available to Tokyo-NRT, Seoul-ICN, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai. None of those routes have enough demand for a 747 or an A380.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. But the statement “While no genetic signals consistent with H. floresiensis … were detected in the genomes of the modern population around Liang Bua” is potentially a bit misleading. All attempts at extracting viable DNA from H. floresiensis remains have been unsuccessful. What they mean is, there is nothing in the genomes of the modern population around Liang Bua that could possibly have come from H. floresiensis.

    Like

  29. Youtube: Seven undeniable facts about evolution, by Abdullah Sameer.
    we need to hammer in these facts over and over again, as long as there are groups who see a benefit in spreading desinformation.

    Martin, I found a short, 150 pages SF novel recommended by, wossname, the author of one of the books you read. It is in the mail.

    I have neglected my duty to taunt hinduism, jainism, shinto et al, since islam and christianity (especially the fundamentalist kind) are such tempting, low-hanging fruits. So I have been picking them, and no one has banished me from any gardens.

    Like

  30. Fool-on-fool aggro: Ann Coulter and The Donald had a falling out because he was not hard enough about immigration and the wall. May all the grifters end up fighting each other.

    Cancer, and pain medication. I just learned the husband of a friend in California has topped himself to stop the pain.
    Since opiates soon lose their effect and cannabis in this case was not an effective replacement, we really need some breakthroughs in how the brain processes pain and how to block it.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s