From The News …

      127 Comments on From The News …

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been two weeks since my last confession. During that time, I engaged in … no, wait. Sorry. Flashback from my Catholic school days.

Bless me, readers, for I have sinned. It’s been 11 days since my last post. During that time, I was swamped with a brain-draining work project that I finally finished on Friday. Then just when I expected to have a chill-time weekend, I received an email from our accountant reminding me that the firm’s deadline for submitting my tax paperwork is Tuesday.

Ugh. That’s a ton of paperwork. I’m an employee at my programming job, but Chareva and I are also both employees of the s-corp that I started back in my contract-programmer days, but which now mostly deals with the Fat Head business. So I had to pull together all those income and expense reports, along with payrolls, W2s, W3s, employer tax-payment documents, mortgage documents, health insurance documents, out-of-pocket medical expenses (which are considerable this year, thanks to the shoulder and bicep surgery), etc., etc. There went a nice chunk of the weekend.

But hey, it’s all for the benefit of a federal government that’s managed to rack up $20 trillion in current debt and another $75 trillion or so in unfunded liabilities while producing those awesome dietary guidelines, so what’s not to like? I’d say it’s worth forking over our money just for that brilliant Daylight Saving Time gift they give us for eight months of the year. We’ve already saved up so much extra daylight, we’re thinking we might wait until 2:00 a.m. on April 1st and then spring an hour of daylight on the whole neighborhood as a gag.

Anyway, here are some interesting items from my inbox and elsewhere that piled up while I was busy …

Yet another (ahem) “paradox”

The French Paradox, the Spanish Paradox, the Israeli Paradox … boy, those paradoxical exceptions to the Lipid Hypothesis just seem to pop up everywhere. Here’s another one, as described in MD Mag online:

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients tend to have lower total cholesterol levels and a higher risk for heart disease.

So do Russians. Average cholesterol well below 200, but one of the highest heart-attack rates in the world. Perhaps they all have rheumatoid arthritis. If only someone could come up with a way to explain away these embarrassments.

Known as the Lipid Paradox, the conundrum may be closer to a solution thanks to the work of North Carolina researchers. Their recent study suggested that a lack of physical exercise is the explanation for this contradiction to common wisdom about fat and the risks for heart disease.

Thank goodness someone is on the verge of solving the conundrum. The only other option was to accept that cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease.

“We identified intriguing associations for basal or minimal physical activity and exercise time with lipoprotein parameters suggestive that a large part of the RA lipid profile is mediated by a lack of physical of activity,” Kim M. Huffman MD, PhD and her colleagues wrote.

So it turns out people whose joints hurt like hell don’t exercise as much. And that’s why they have more heart attacks, despite having lower cholesterol. Got it. Paradox solved.

Here’s another possibility: maybe heart disease has more to do with inflammation than with high cholesterol. I’m pretty sure rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition.

Coconut-oil sales are dropping

An MSN article declares that sales of coconut oil are dropping and gives credit to our old pals at the American Heart Association:

We’re not shocked to be reporting that coconut oil-once known as a healthier-for-you Paleo alternative-is now no longer en vogue with home cooks. We’ve previously covered how coconut oil’s high levels of saturated fat can negatively affect your cholesterol level, and how the American Heart Association recommends opting instead for other heart-healthy oils.

Despite widespread claims that coconut oil can boost immunity and help dieters lose weight, industry sales fell flat in 2017, according to data from market research firm SPINS, reports Food Navigator.

When the American Heart Association published new reports that coconut oil had too much saturated fat, sales began to slow down. By the end of 2017, retailers sold $52 million less in the coconut oil category-a whopping 24.3 percent drop from 2016, the Post reports.

I see. So this is all happening because people wised up and listened to Dr. Frank Sucks and others when they declared in the American Heart Association’s presidential advisory report that they were right all along about the dangers of saturated fat.

That struck me as an odd explanation, since more and more people are rejecting the arterycloggingsaturatedfat! theory and buying full-fat foods. So I took a peek at the Food Navigator report mentioned in the MSN article. Here’s what I read:

Another consideration is, since animal protein and animal fats are now more likely to carry label-based attributes with natural product industry appeal [for example on-trend brands such as EPIC Provisions now sell beef tallow, pork lard and duck fat], we are finding consumers picking up a jar of ghee [clarified butter commonly used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines] instead of coconut oil.

Sales of coconut oil have dropped because consumers are buying more beef tallow, lard, duck fat and ghee — also known as saturated animal fats. I’m pretty sure that means they’re not listening to Dr. Frank Sucks and the American Heart Association.

Why people hate vegans, part … I dunno, whatever

Over the years, we’ve read about the vegan who demanded her roommate stop eating animal products or move. And the vegan who gave away her cat because she couldn’t bring herself to feed meat to a carnivore. And the vegan who trashed the meat section in a grocery store. And the vegan activist in Switzerland who’s so annoying, her neighbors want to deny her citizenship.

Here’s the latest attempt by the wacky wing of the vegan movement to make themselves popular, as reported on Pedestrian TV online:

A group of 35 animal rights protesters staged a protest at a popular Melbourne steakhouse on Saturday night, chanting through megaphones and waving graphic signs.

The vegan activists, who identified themselves as members of Direct Action Everywhere Melbourne and the curiously-named Melbourne Cow Save Animal Liberation Army burst into Rare Steakhouse on King St in the Melb CBD at about 6:30pm.

Manager Arryanne McIntosh told News.com.au: “It was hard to communicate with them. I asked who was in charge and one lady said, ‘We all are.’ We were trying to talk to them but they were quite in-your-face with talking and speaking over the top of you – they were very loud, yelling.”

Yeah, that’ll draw more regular folks to the movement. At least one vegan who commented on the incident had some common sense:

“This is not cool. Best way for non-vegans to think ill of vegans. People are spending money, buying a meal, uniting with family, celebrating their life’s joys, on dates. You have successfully ruined these moments for them, they will never want to hear from a vegan again.”

Bingo.

I’m very, very white

Okay, you probably suspected as much already. Based on what I know about my grandparents and great-grandparents, I’ve always told people I’m roughly three-quarters Irish and a quarter German, with some fraction unaccounted for. The unaccounted fraction was because of a great-grandfather who refused to answer questions about his ethnicity. He just told us he was from Kentucky and let it go at that. Given great-grandpa’s prominent cheekbones and nose, my dad wondered if the old boy had some Cherokee blood and preferred not to admit it. (This was before you could pretend you were part Cherokee to get on the fast-track to Harvard Law School and a possible Senate seat.)

Nope, no Cherokee heritage for me. Chareva’s mom gave us all 23andMe kits for Christmas, and I got my results back a couple of days ago. The one mild surprise is that I’m 0.4% West African. The report says that means I probably had one West African ancestor who was born between 1720 and 1810. I’m also 2.3% Scandinavian. (No, I won’t be adding lutefisk to my diet.) The rest is pretty much what I suspected. I’m 74.5% British/Irish, 10.4% German/French, with the remaining 12 and a fraction percent labeled simply as “Broadly Northwest European.”

Oh well. Guess I’ll pour a Guinness on St. Patty’s Day and forget about a run for the Senate.

The Save The Grains Campaign comes to New Zealand

Ever since books like Wheat Belly and Grain Brain convinced a chunk of the population to ditch grains, we’ve seen quite a few articles that I collectively refer to as The Save The Grains Campaign. Here’s the latest and greatest, from NewsHub online in New Zealand:

The country’s fibre deficiency is costing the country more than half-a-billion dollars every year.

A report has found $600 million spent on healthcare costs and lost productivity could be saved if adults ate another two servings of grains a day.

More than $200 million could be saved in healthcare costs, and economic activity would be boosted by $403 million, the report claims.

Increasing grain intake reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes.

I saved the punchline for last:

The report was compiled by an economist, and commissioned by breakfast food company Kellogg’s.

So I’m sure it’s an unbiased analysis.

A bit of sanity on calorie-count laws

I’m pretty sure CNN doesn’t like it, but they did report on it:

The way restaurants and other food establishments in the United States label calorie counts on their menus could look different starting this spring, and while some politicians and industry groups are applauding this potential change, some public health experts are raising concerns.

Currently, under the Affordable Care Act, food establishments have until May 7 to comply with requirements to add calorie information labels to the food items they serve and offer, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

On Tuesday, the House passed legislation that would amend exactly how those restaurants and retail food businesses are to provide the calorie count information to their customers.

Instead of listing the total calories contained in a menu item when it is offered for sale, such as a shared appetizer, businesses would be allowed to provide just the calories per serving in that “multiserving” menu item, without disclosing total calories.

The legislation would also allow certain businesses, such as carry-out restaurants whose majority of customers order meals off-premises, to post such information on the internet as the sole method of disclosure instead of on the premises of the business.

These calorie-count menu laws don’t do diddly. Studies have demonstrated that people confronted with calories on restaurant menus don’t eat less. Even The Guy From CSPI had to admit that after one of the studies was published.  He made some excuse about poor people not being “amenable” to calorie counts.

So of course, CSPI still wants us to be confronted with calorie counts on menus:

Consumers want to make informed choices about what they eat, and the bill that passed the House could make that harder for them, said Colin Schwartz, deputy director of legislative affairs at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

“So that’s the importance of menu labeling, and we see from the research that actually, when consumers are given this information, they actually can make lower-calorie choices, and restaurants can also come out with lower-calorie options,” Schwartz said.

Wow, talk about a clever use of weasel words. If consumers are given this information, they actually can make lower-calories choices. Notice he didn’t say they do make lower-calorie choices. Because they don’t. He knows that. People don’t go to restaurants to count calories. They go to order meals they enjoy.

If sanity prevails, perhaps someday you’ll finally be able to just order and enjoy your meal without having the calorie count shoved in your face if you don’t want to know. If you really do want to know, you can go online.

And who knows, if this whole sanity thing catches on in Washington, maybe we’ll skip Daylight Saving Time next year.

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127 thoughts on “From The News …

  1. Emily

    “He made some excuse about poor people not being “amenable” to calorie counts.”

    Poor people rarely eat out. Because it’s expensive. So… huh?

    I try to be compassionate toward vegans. Many of them are likely suffering mental issues from not getting animal fat — and, on top of that, from following the American Heart Association’s recommendations and not getting vegetable fats either. That sounds sarcastic and snide, but I’m being sincere. I know how hellish anxiety is, how it can make someone obsessively lash out, and how it can make calm and logical thinking much more difficult. And I know first-hand how for some people, anxiety can be cured by getting enough animal fat. Many second-generation vegans in particular are likely suffering badly.

    Also there are a LOT of people, particularly young women, who use veganism as a cover for an eating disorder. So I think compassion, not scorn, is the best path. It’s also the one that’s likely to work in the long term, though it takes patience.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      The Guy From CSPI insisted on the menu laws partly because poor people eat more fast food meals. He believed — with no evidence — that confronting them with calorie counts would encourage them to eat less.

      Reply
      1. Walter

        Why would .a poor person choose foods with fewer calories? If you are not getting food energy nothing else matters. Give up what you want to eat, for fewer calories?

        I heard the median income in the USA is about $50K for a family, (but I understand that most have some off the books gigs),

        It’s probably the middle class that eats at fast food restaurants. Of course, for the anointed the middle class is considered poor.

        Reply
  2. Lori Miller

    I have a hypothesis that night owls tend to dislike DST. Me, I went through mornings bleary-eyed for most of my adult life, and one hour either way didn’t make any difference.

    Speaking of Native American ancestry, one of my aunts thought she was part of the tribe because she was dark skinned like her Arapahoe friends. Grandma said no, and my 23 and Me test proved Grandma right. But given my German name (Müller in the old country), it was surprising to see that I’m 62% British and Irish. I also have 289 Neanderthal variants, more than 68% of 23 and me customers.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I’m a natural night owl, so yes, having to get up an hour earlier ticks me off.

      I suppose which country our great-grandparents or great-great grandparents called home doesn’t always tell the full story. People have been moving to other countries for a long, long time.

      Reply
    2. Jennifer Snow

      I’m a serious night owl and I hate when we go OFF DST in the winter because there’s a good chance I’ll only be awake for 2 hours of daylight (seriously).

      Reply
    3. Laura

      Funny, I always thought that it was morning people like me that hated DST. Just when it’s getting light enough for me to see where I’m going on my morning walk, some idiot says it’s time to change my clocks so I’m enshrouded in darkness once again. And then, when it’s time for bed, the sun is streaming in the windows and the neighbors are playing basketball, which is fine, but it’s bedtime for me, and thump thump thump and yells from teenage boys isn’t restful. Please excuse me if I’m grumpy.

      Reply
  3. Barbara

    I don’t care to know the calories of the food choices I have on a menu, but I would like to know if there is any added sugars or grains. And I would vote to not jump the clock an hour every spring and fall. Choose a time and let it proceed from there.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I also like to know if there are added sugars and grains, but I don’t consider that a justification for a law. If the restaurant won’t tell me what’s in their food, they don’t get my business.

      Reply
  4. Emily

    “He made some excuse about poor people not being “amenable” to calorie counts.”

    Poor people rarely eat out. Because it’s expensive. So… huh?

    I try to be compassionate toward vegans. Many of them are likely suffering mental issues from not getting animal fat — and, on top of that, from following the American Heart Association’s recommendations and not getting vegetable fats either. That sounds sarcastic and snide, but I’m being sincere. I know how hellish anxiety is, how it can make someone obsessively lash out, and how it can make calm and logical thinking much more difficult. And I know first-hand how for some people, anxiety can be cured by getting enough animal fat. Many second-generation vegans in particular are likely suffering badly.

    Also there are a LOT of people, particularly young women, who use veganism as a cover for an eating disorder. So I think compassion, not scorn, is the best path. It’s also the one that’s likely to work in the long term, though it takes patience.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The Guy From CSPI insisted on the menu laws partly because poor people eat more fast food meals. He believed — with no evidence — that confronting them with calorie counts would encourage them to eat less.

      Reply
      1. Walter

        Why would .a poor person choose foods with fewer calories? If you are not getting food energy nothing else matters. Give up what you want to eat, for fewer calories?

        I heard the median income in the USA is about $50K for a family, (but I understand that most have some off the books gigs),

        It’s probably the middle class that eats at fast food restaurants. Of course, for the anointed the middle class is considered poor.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          The poor eat more fast food compared to the middle class, who eat more meals in sit-down restaurants. The poor also have a higher obesity rate, which of course led The Guy From CSPI and other members of The Anointed to assume the poor weren’t aware that double-cheeseburgers and fries are high in calories and needed to be told.

          Or as I put it in Fat Head, everyone I knew who really liked Super Size Me shared a dearly-held belief: Poor People Are Stupid.

          Reply
          1. Lori Miller

            And yet a lot of poor people live in supposed “food deserts.” Wouldn’t poor people be starving if they lived in real “food deserts”?

            Living near one, I can tell you food deserts are a load of baloney. IRL, there are a lot of little places to buy food there that don’t meet the standard of “grocery store” because of the size or number of employees. Where I live, most people live in houses with lots more than large enough to grow a garden, and Indiana’s climate makes it easy to grow one. Really–I’ve had volunteer tomatoes, pumpkins and melons. For whatever reason, though, poor people tend to want tchotchkes, not vegetables, in their yards.

            Reply
            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              Yup. If people in those “food deserts” wanted more fresh produce, I’m sure some greedy capitalists would rush in to sell it.

  5. Lori Miller

    I have a hypothesis that night owls tend to dislike DST. Me, I went through mornings bleary-eyed for most of my adult life, and one hour either way didn’t make any difference.

    Speaking of Native American ancestry, one of my aunts thought she was part of the tribe because she was dark skinned like her Arapahoe friends. Grandma said no, and my 23 and Me test proved Grandma right. But given my German name (Müller in the old country), it was surprising to see that I’m 62% British and Irish. I also have 289 Neanderthal variants, more than 68% of 23 and me customers.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’m a natural night owl, so yes, having to get up an hour earlier ticks me off.

      I suppose which country our great-grandparents or great-great grandparents called home doesn’t always tell the full story. People have been moving to other countries for a long, long time.

      Reply
    2. Jennifer Snow

      I’m a serious night owl and I hate when we go OFF DST in the winter because there’s a good chance I’ll only be awake for 2 hours of daylight (seriously).

      Reply
    3. Laura

      Funny, I always thought that it was morning people like me that hated DST. Just when it’s getting light enough for me to see where I’m going on my morning walk, some idiot says it’s time to change my clocks so I’m enshrouded in darkness once again. And then, when it’s time for bed, the sun is streaming in the windows and the neighbors are playing basketball, which is fine, but it’s bedtime for me, and thump thump thump and yells from teenage boys isn’t restful. Please excuse me if I’m grumpy.

      Reply
  6. Barbara

    I don’t care to know the calories of the food choices I have on a menu, but I would like to know if there is any added sugars or grains. And I would vote to not jump the clock an hour every spring and fall. Choose a time and let it proceed from there.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I also like to know if there are added sugars and grains, but I don’t consider that a justification for a law. If the restaurant won’t tell me what’s in their food, they don’t get my business.

      Reply
  7. Lynda

    OMG, I’m from New Zealand and that was a total crock of sh*t!! Sadly people read this stuff and believe it. Anyway, I digress… I came across a video the other day that might interest you. It’s from a man who has written a book about gluten free diets and how unhealthy they are. Heck, if eating gluten makes you look like him the I’ll pass. You may have seen this but if not then, enjoy 🙂 .

    Reply
    1. Bonnie

      People eat the “same stuff” because they identify it as being safe? I don’t think so. When I was eating a crappy diet, I ate a lot of the same stuff – mostly bread & sugary things. I rarely ate fresh vegetables. I haven’t eaten any grains in well over 4 years & have a very diversified diet. And I don’t take vitamins, either. No anemia, no vitamin B deficiency.

      And why didn’t he shave before filming? Did he forget? Maybe all the wheat is affecting his memory. 😉

      Reply
  8. Mark B

    Just a note on those DNA tests. They appear to be pretty bogus. I read a blog post that the blogger sent samples to 6 different companies because he was confused about the report from one of them. They all sent him completely different results.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Interesting. 23andMe must be reasonably accurate, since they correctly identified both of our girls as one-quarter Ashkenazi Jewish. You wouldn’t guess that by their names.

      Reply
  9. Lynda

    OMG, I’m from New Zealand and that was a total crock of sh*t!! Sadly people read this stuff and believe it. Anyway, I digress… I came across a video the other day that might interest you. It’s from a man who has written a book about gluten free diets and how unhealthy they are. Heck, if eating gluten makes you look like him the I’ll pass. You may have seen this but if not then, enjoy 🙂 .

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Holy crap, what a moron. We need to eat gluten grains because they’re fortified? They’re only fortified because they cause mineral deficiencies. You’ll consume too much arsenic because you’ll eat more rice? How about if I go gluten-free and skip the rice too?

      He certainly didn’t change my mind.

      Reply
      1. Dianne

        Eat gluten so you won’t eat so much rice? What lame logic! Actually, I can’t imagine many people bothering to read this book. People on gluten free diets know how much better they feel without gluten, how much worse they feel with it, and how many problems (like arthritis pain and digestive discomfort) either disappear or improve significantly when they avoid gluten.

        I have the blood markers for gluten sensitivity, but an endoscopy showed no celiac. Still, going gluten free seemed worth a try. I was thinking my improved health might be my imagination, but then my sister commented that she hadn’t seen me looking so well in years, so I guess it wasn’t. Then she tried doing without gluten, and felt better too. Believe me, no book extolling the virtues of fortified grains is going to change our minds about gluten!

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          That’s another reason the Save The Grains Campaign will fail, just like the attempts to trash low-carb diets will fail. People aren’t going to read an article and decide they didn’t experience what they know they experienced.

          Reply
          1. Walter

            Unfortunately sometimes they do as I have read on this site and others. White coat awe kills a lot of people.

            Reply
    2. Bonnie

      People eat the “same stuff” because they identify it as being safe? I don’t think so. When I was eating a crappy diet, I ate a lot of the same stuff – mostly bread & sugary things. I rarely ate fresh vegetables. I haven’t eaten any grains in well over 4 years & have a very diversified diet. And I don’t take vitamins, either. No anemia, no vitamin B deficiency.

      And why didn’t he shave before filming? Did he forget? Maybe all the wheat is affecting his memory. 😉

      Reply
  10. Tom Welsh

    I sympathize with your tax travails. But it must be worth it, if only to support the marvellous F-35 programme. You lucky taxpayers are going to get 2,400 of those lovely aircraft for the bargain basement price of just $240 billion. Only a little over $1,000 per US taxpayer, as I see it.

    Who else could have done such a good job?

    Reply
  11. Tom Welsh

    “The French Paradox, the Spanish Paradox, the Israeli Paradox … boy, those paradoxical exceptions to the Lipid Hypothesis just seem to pop up everywhere”.

    Do you think it would simplify things just to lump them all together and call them “The Human Paradox”?

    After all, the Lipid Hypothesis originally arose from research on feeding rabbits cholesterol, didn’t it?

    The great David Attenborough (aka “Whispering Dave”) has been doing an interesting TV series on animal babies. We saw an episode recently which told us a great deal about the panda (described by its first European observer as “a most excellent black and white bear”). Including the probably quite well-known fact that pandas were carnivores only a few million years ago, before adopting an extreme vegan diet in the form of bamboo. Yet their guts are quite clearly carnivore guts – short and simple. The result: pandas are very slow, sedentary, easy-going creatures – simply because they lack the energy to be active.

    According to the Hunting Hypotheses, homo sapiens went in exactly the opposite direction a little later. But it seems significant that pandas can survive and function (more or less) on a vegan diet even though they evolved as carnivores. (Only because they have plenty of bamboo and no predators, of course).

    Reply
    1. Emily

      But to do that, they have to eat pretty much all the time. It’s also very tough to get them to want to breed. While I would like to see America adopt the French model of taking 2 hours to eat the biggest meal of the day, I don’t want to adopt the Panda model of spending up to 16 hours a day eating.

      Reply
      1. Walter

        And from what I heard, zoo keepers put some better food in captive pandas diets, so they do have the energy to do cute things for the public, instead of eating all the time they aren’t sleeping.

        Come to think of it, human vegans are going in the same direction having to eat every 2 or 3 hours, and I suppose some approach continuous eating or give up the veganism. Albeit, vegans do have more energetic foods available than bamboo is.

        Bamboo sprouts are used in Chinese cuisine; so most of us have eaten them.

        Reply
  12. Firebird7478

    Every time I read these stories about vegans, I am reminded of a joke that Bill Cosby use to tell. When at a party someone offered him a hit of cocaine. When he asked what cocaine does, the person offering the cocaine said, “It enhances your personality.” Cosby replied, “But what if you’re an asshole?”

    Regarding New Zealand, I’ve watched a few TV shows from there that have appeared on streaming video services, one of which starred Jay Ryan before he starred in the CW’s “Beauty and the Beast”. They eat utter crap down there…lots of toast and jam, lot of pizza and Chinese take out.

    Reply
  13. Tom Welsh

    “The one mild surprise is that I’m 0.4% West African”.

    Doesn’t that imply that you are 99.6% from the rest of Africa? (If you go back far enough).

    Reply
  14. KidPsych

    Maybe amusing to others –

    https://www.tastecooking.com/caul-me-by-your-name/

    I emailed USA Rice via its general inquiry line and heard back from spokesman Michael Klein within minutes. We set up an interview over the phone for a couple days later. “It’s a bit malicious and maybe nefarious,” said Klein. “Is it hurting our reputation if you’re giving kids cauliflower rice and calling it fried rice—fried cauliflower rice—and kids don’t like it, and they have a negative connotation about rice?” Klein added. “That’s something that we have to think about.”

    Reply
  15. j

    Hey! Leave Fauxcahontas alone.. She said her parents or other told her she was Native American..or something like that.. And gosh darn it, nothing can take that away ftom her… Especially not some silly Definitely Not Accurate test..!

    Reply
  16. Mark B

    Just a note on those DNA tests. They appear to be pretty bogus. I read a blog post that the blogger sent samples to 6 different companies because he was confused about the report from one of them. They all sent him completely different results.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Interesting. 23andMe must be reasonably accurate, since they correctly identified both of our girls as one-quarter Ashkenazi Jewish. You wouldn’t guess that by their names.

      Reply
  17. Tom Welsh

    I sympathize with your tax travails. But it must be worth it, if only to support the marvellous F-35 programme. You lucky taxpayers are going to get 2,400 of those lovely aircraft for the bargain basement price of just $240 billion. Only a little over $1,000 per US taxpayer, as I see it.

    Who else could have done such a good job?

    Reply
  18. Tom Welsh

    “The French Paradox, the Spanish Paradox, the Israeli Paradox … boy, those paradoxical exceptions to the Lipid Hypothesis just seem to pop up everywhere”.

    Do you think it would simplify things just to lump them all together and call them “The Human Paradox”?

    After all, the Lipid Hypothesis originally arose from research on feeding rabbits cholesterol, didn’t it?

    The great David Attenborough (aka “Whispering Dave”) has been doing an interesting TV series on animal babies. We saw an episode recently which told us a great deal about the panda (described by its first European observer as “a most excellent black and white bear”). Including the probably quite well-known fact that pandas were carnivores only a few million years ago, before adopting an extreme vegan diet in the form of bamboo. Yet their guts are quite clearly carnivore guts – short and simple. The result: pandas are very slow, sedentary, easy-going creatures – simply because they lack the energy to be active.

    According to the Hunting Hypotheses, homo sapiens went in exactly the opposite direction a little later. But it seems significant that pandas can survive and function (more or less) on a vegan diet even though they evolved as carnivores. (Only because they have plenty of bamboo and no predators, of course).

    Reply
    1. Emily

      But to do that, they have to eat pretty much all the time. It’s also very tough to get them to want to breed. While I would like to see America adopt the French model of taking 2 hours to eat the biggest meal of the day, I don’t want to adopt the Panda model of spending up to 16 hours a day eating.

      Reply
      1. Walter

        And from what I heard, zoo keepers put some better food in captive pandas diets, so they do have the energy to do cute things for the public, instead of eating all the time they aren’t sleeping.

        Come to think of it, human vegans are going in the same direction having to eat every 2 or 3 hours, and I suppose some approach continuous eating or give up the veganism. Albeit, vegans do have more energetic foods available than bamboo is.

        Bamboo sprouts are used in Chinese cuisine; so most of us have eaten them.

        Reply
  19. Firebird7478

    Every time I read these stories about vegans, I am reminded of a joke that Bill Cosby use to tell. When at a party someone offered him a hit of cocaine. When he asked what cocaine does, the person offering the cocaine said, “It enhances your personality.” Cosby replied, “But what if you’re an asshole?”

    Regarding New Zealand, I’ve watched a few TV shows from there that have appeared on streaming video services, one of which starred Jay Ryan before he starred in the CW’s “Beauty and the Beast”. They eat utter crap down there…lots of toast and jam, lot of pizza and Chinese take out.

    Reply
      1. Walter

        I thought he was recognizing himself as an asshole and didn’t want to become more of one. He at least had the virtue of hypocrisy.

        You loved his public act or his public persona confusing it with the actual person is frequently made mistake. It’s like loathing a stage actor just because he or she plays the bad person roles.

        Reply
  20. Tom Welsh

    “The one mild surprise is that I’m 0.4% West African”.

    Doesn’t that imply that you are 99.6% from the rest of Africa? (If you go back far enough).

    Reply
      1. Walter

        “I am, in point of fact, a particularly haughty and exclusive person, of pre-Adamite ancestral descent. You will understand this when I tell you that I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal primordial atomic globule. Consequently, my family pride is something inconceivable.”

        Speaking of primeval, I used to call TV DeForrest’s prime evil. Nowadays, TV’s have no tubes.

        Reply
  21. KidPsych

    Maybe amusing to others –

    https://www.tastecooking.com/caul-me-by-your-name/

    I emailed USA Rice via its general inquiry line and heard back from spokesman Michael Klein within minutes. We set up an interview over the phone for a couple days later. “It’s a bit malicious and maybe nefarious,” said Klein. “Is it hurting our reputation if you’re giving kids cauliflower rice and calling it fried rice—fried cauliflower rice—and kids don’t like it, and they have a negative connotation about rice?” Klein added. “That’s something that we have to think about.”

    Reply
  22. j

    Hey! Leave Fauxcahontas alone.. She said her parents or other told her she was Native American..or something like that.. And gosh darn it, nothing can take that away ftom her… Especially not some silly Definitely Not Accurate test..!

    Reply
  23. Ulfric Douglas

    “The one mild surprise is that I’m 0.4% West African.”
    The “testers” admitted to slipping those bits in as an evil joke,
    I can’t find the link but believe me. There’s an interesting article about it.
    You are probably 0% African.

    Reply
  24. Angel

    Coconut oil is expensive! It costs more per serving than even the grassfed beef tallow I get from US Wellness meats. That’s the main reason I use tallow instead of coconut oil in my everyday cooking. Also, tallow splatters less any other cooking oil or fat I use.

    Reply
  25. George Henderson

    Regarding RA, cholesterol, and heart disease:

    The synthetic pathway for cholesterol has a fork in it, and inflammation drives the synthesis of non-cholesterol, inflammatory products. Thus, inflammation lowers cholesterol but increases CHD risk.

    Even a minor infection e.g. a cold lowers cholesterol measurably.
    https://tinyurl.com/yau4357s

    The risk of a heart attack is increased during such a minor infection e.g. a flu.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180124172422.htm

    Could be due to inactivity though – that flu bed rest is deadly!

    Reply
    1. Matt

      How about a serious blood-borne infection? I was in the hospital for a long time last month after emergency surgery. With all the blood tests they did on me, it’s not too surprising that I later found that one of them was a basic cholesterol test. The total and LDL cholesterol numbers were each about 100 mg/dl points lower than about a year before. HDL was lower too, but not nearly that much and still in the good range. Triglycerides were unusually low.

      On the inflammation note, one of the results from a “basic metabolic panel” blood test taken a couple weeks after I went home showed my C-reactive protein as sky-high, about 10 times a good result. I don’t think I’d ever had that specific test before so I don’t know what it was before all this started. I hope nothing like that! Fortunately I also found a decent A1C result of 5.3%.

      Reply
  26. Ulfric Douglas

    “The one mild surprise is that I’m 0.4% West African.”
    The “testers” admitted to slipping those bits in as an evil joke,
    I can’t find the link but believe me. There’s an interesting article about it.
    You are probably 0% African.

    Reply
  27. Angel

    Coconut oil is expensive! It costs more per serving than even the grassfed beef tallow I get from US Wellness meats. That’s the main reason I use tallow instead of coconut oil in my everyday cooking. Also, tallow splatters less any other cooking oil or fat I use.

    Reply
  28. George Henderson

    Regarding RA, cholesterol, and heart disease:

    The synthetic pathway for cholesterol has a fork in it, and inflammation drives the synthesis of non-cholesterol, inflammatory products. Thus, inflammation lowers cholesterol but increases CHD risk.

    Even a minor infection e.g. a cold lowers cholesterol measurably.
    https://tinyurl.com/yau4357s

    The risk of a heart attack is increased during such a minor infection e.g. a flu.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180124172422.htm

    Could be due to inactivity though – that flu bed rest is deadly!

    Reply
    1. Matt

      How about a serious blood-borne infection? I was in the hospital for a long time last month after emergency surgery. With all the blood tests they did on me, it’s not too surprising that I later found that one of them was a basic cholesterol test. The total and LDL cholesterol numbers were each about 100 mg/dl points lower than about a year before. HDL was lower too, but not nearly that much and still in the good range. Triglycerides were unusually low.

      On the inflammation note, one of the results from a “basic metabolic panel” blood test taken a couple weeks after I went home showed my C-reactive protein as sky-high, about 10 times a good result. I don’t think I’d ever had that specific test before so I don’t know what it was before all this started. I hope nothing like that! Fortunately I also found a decent A1C result of 5.3%.

      Reply
  29. chris c

    If you weren’t already a comedian, reading the news would make you into one.

    Relieved you are back, first I couldn’t access your site for a few days, then it came up with an ACCOUNT SUSPENDED sign. At first I thought McAsswipe and his follower had had you deleted.

    True story, a West African friend had a Jamaican wife (citizen of the world, obviously). Her family name was the same as mine. It was a sobering thought that maybe a few generations back we had owned her.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I think you should pay her reparations just to make sure.

      Our internet provider shut down the site because someone was attempting to hack it. They’ll be getting back to me with a report after looking into it.

      Reply
      1. chris c

        Tell them to look on the floor near the servers. If they find biscuit crumbs and whole grains it was dieticians. Feathers and it was your rooster. Raccoon scat would also be a possibility.

        Seriously though would be interesting if a source was identified, or even a country.

        Reply
          1. Walter

            They died of apoplexy on reading your site. ‘You killed my mother, prepare to see your site die?’

            Reply
  30. chris c

    If you weren’t already a comedian, reading the news would make you into one.

    Relieved you are back, first I couldn’t access your site for a few days, then it came up with an ACCOUNT SUSPENDED sign. At first I thought McAsswipe and his follower had had you deleted.

    True story, a West African friend had a Jamaican wife (citizen of the world, obviously). Her family name was the same as mine. It was a sobering thought that maybe a few generations back we had owned her.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I think you should pay her reparations just to make sure.

      Our internet provider shut down the site because someone was attempting to hack it. They’ll be getting back to me with a report after looking into it.

      Reply
      1. chris c

        Tell them to look on the floor near the servers. If they find biscuit crumbs and whole grains it was dieticians. Feathers and it was your rooster. Raccoon scat would also be a possibility.

        Seriously though would be interesting if a source was identified, or even a country.

        Reply
  31. Dianne

    So, is this your “new look” or just a temporary fix? Either way, it’s good to have you back!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      A bit of both. We had to choose a different theme because the old one wasn’t compatible with the updated PHP version our web provider installed partly as a security measure. But now I can’t figure out how to make this one accept a header graphic. I’m following the steps exactly, but the graphic refuses to show up.

      It’s a reminder of why I’ve always sworn I’ll never, ever become a web programmer. When I set a graphic in a Windows desktop program, it shows up exactly where I want it, period, end of story. And I don’t get people telling me it looks great on one machine, but is wrapping strangely on another machine. I like the internet for all the benefits it provides, but as a platform for development, browsers pretty much suck wind.

      Reply
      1. Walter

        Don’t say that. Micro$oft may take that as a hint that they are too compatible between versions of the OS, which takes away a lot of the incentive for upgrades.

        Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      A bit of both. We had to choose a different theme because the old one wasn’t compatible with the updated PHP version our web provider installed partly as a security measure. But now I can’t figure out how to make this one accept a header graphic. I’m following the steps exactly, but the graphic refuses to show up.

      It’s a reminder of why I’ve always sworn I’ll never, ever become a web programmer. When I set a graphic in a Windows desktop program, it shows up exactly where I want it, period, end of story. And I don’t get people telling me it looks great on one machine, but is wrapping strangely on another machine. I like the internet for all the benefits it provides, but as a platform for development, browsers pretty much suck wind.

      Reply
      1. Walter

        Don’t say that. Micro$oft may take that as a hint that they are too compatible between versions of the OS, which takes away a lot of the incentive for upgrades.

        Reply
  32. Ross

    I’m a right winger (to the right of Ghengis Khan). On a few occasions I’ve been at a restaurant (like In N Out or some such place) and after seeing the total calories of an item have opted to not get it (I know it’s carbs you should watch, but if it’s high calorie it’s probably high carb). And every time this happens I have the thought, ‘I’m actually making good use of lefty legislation’ which humbles me a bit.

    Reply
  33. Ross

    I’m a right winger (to the right of Ghengis Khan). On a few occasions I’ve been at a restaurant (like In N Out or some such place) and after seeing the total calories of an item have opted to not get it (I know it’s carbs you should watch, but if it’s high calorie it’s probably high carb). And every time this happens I have the thought, ‘I’m actually making good use of lefty legislation’ which humbles me a bit.

    Reply
  34. Walter

    There was another vegan outrage in Toronto. I emailed Tom about it, but it deserves to be here to show it’s not an aberration. The owner of the restaurant came out and carved up a deer leg during the demonstration. This caused the Vegans to get their panties in a bunch, but with Vegans it’s hard to tell.
    Quote the article

    “Once the deer was cooked Michael Hunter, owner of Antler, sat back down at the window to eat the dead deer,” she wrote.

    “Look in the window. Look at Michael Hunter. That deer was treated like a joke. That deer was an innocent animal who did not want to die.”

    Len Goldberg, another animal rights activist in Toronto, livestreamed about 20 minutes of the encounter.

    end quote

    LOL, they urinated many people off and advertised the restaurant. The livestream is no longer up. 🙁

    That’s the type of behavior that happens from Vegan malnourishment.

    Reply
  35. Walter

    There was another vegan outrage in Toronto. I emailed Tom about it, but it deserves to be here to show it’s not an aberration. The owner of the restaurant came out and carved up a deer leg during the demonstration. This caused the Vegans to get their panties in a bunch, but with Vegans it’s hard to tell.
    Quote the article

    “Once the deer was cooked Michael Hunter, owner of Antler, sat back down at the window to eat the dead deer,” she wrote.

    “Look in the window. Look at Michael Hunter. That deer was treated like a joke. That deer was an innocent animal who did not want to die.”

    Len Goldberg, another animal rights activist in Toronto, livestreamed about 20 minutes of the encounter.

    end quote

    LOL, they urinated many people off and advertised the restaurant. The livestream is no longer up. 🙁

    That’s the type of behavior that happens from Vegan malnourishment.

    Reply

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