Re: Guest Post - Parenthetical

1

Dude there are so many fat vegetarians. I was forced to go into a vegan cupcake store yesterday and let me just say that most of those folks were not looking good in any way.

There's science suggesting that our brains got bigger when we started eating meat and consuming protein. But leaving aside whether the paleo diet is actually closely mimicking food that Paleolithic people ate (hint: it's not, and its sane advocates know that it's not; they're just avoiding grains) it's important to remember that the diet involves tons of vegetables -- I usually eat huge amounts of kale, collards or carrots every day, and any "paleo" cookbook you'll find includes tons of vegetable recipes.

Consider me successfully trolled.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 8:40 AM
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Dude there are so many fat vegetarians.

Let's all go ask the ten heaviest people in our offices if they are vegetarians and report back.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 8:42 AM
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This is the troll Halford thread, Moby, not the illicit negative thread. I believe what you mean is "I heard that eating six ounces of white flour a day will keep men potent into their 70s!"


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 8:46 AM
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The article mentions insects but then doesn't consider them again. It seems like the ratio of insects to everything else makes a pretty big difference in how you evaluate the hominid diet - describing it as vegetarian seems misleading.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 8:46 AM
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I was forced to go into a vegan cupcake store yesterday

Kidnapped by PETA? Again?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 8:52 AM
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One case made by a biologist that it doesn't make much sense to look solely at Homo sapiens

Sorry, but this make even less sense. We are H. sapiens, for better or for worse, so lets's look at us. You wouldn't ask a donkey farmer for advice on horse breeding.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 8:53 AM
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I know plenty of fat vegans and vegetarians. Admittedly, the majority were fat before they went veg, but it's not like some guaranteed weight-loss deal.

6: Okay, but, isn't a lot of that ev bio stuff looking way further back than H. sapiens sapiens? So it would tend to refute that. It would seem like the big question here is "to what extent did the evolution of hominids affect, or coincide with, changes in diet?"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 8:59 AM
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8

That's stupid. Donkey's cant talk, much less run a farm.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:00 AM
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9

I have made vegan cupcakes and snark ate them!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:00 AM
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10

Obviously, the vegan cupcake store is where the fittest vegans hang.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:02 AM
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I'm an overweight vegetarian, although now that I'm exercising 1.5 hours a day and eliminating desserts and carbs from my diet, I'm two pounds away from having a normal BMI again. I'm getting close to eating a paleo diet and it's working very well (I still have a bread roll with my salads). I don't have a sugar crash in the morning and I can manage hunger a lot better.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:05 AM
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9: That thieving bastard!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:07 AM
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What 6 said. Take our diet tips from animals that aren't us? Stupid.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:13 AM
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I know no fat vegetarians, although I am sur MMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOO!


Posted by: INTERRUPTING FAT VEGETARIAN | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:16 AM
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I also know plenty of fat vegetarians.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:18 AM
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It would seem like the big question here is "to what extent did the evolution of hominids affect, or coincide with, changes in diet?"

Yeah. and the quick and dirty answer has to be that it can't be known with certainty, because the digestive organs of earlier hominids don't fossilise. But the archaeological evidence seems to suggest that H. erectus was well into eating meat, given the chance. There's one narrative which suggests that the ability to digest large quantities of meat was intimately connected to the beginnings of serious brain enlargement, because it provides energy much more efficiently than a vegetarian diet. I don't know if that's right, but it's out there.

If you want to go further back than H. erectus, you're looking at beasties which are so different from us that there's debate over whether they should be assigned to the same genus. No big lessons to be learned there.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:19 AM
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I find it weird to discount evidence from other apes, given that we use them as proxies for humans in many scientific trials.

That being said, I really was just hoping to get a rise out of Halford with the link.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:21 AM
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I find it weird to discount evidence from other apes, given that we use them as proxies for humans in many scientific trials.

Only because it's conventionally regarded as less unethical than using humans in those trials. Now there's a fight we can have! But there's nothing intrinsically unethical in giving somebody a hot pork buttie with trimmings and seeing if they like it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:25 AM
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Assuming consenting adults, I hope.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:26 AM
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I'm not sure I know any fat vegetarians, but I don't know anyone who's a vegetarian in order to be "thinner and fitter than you."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:27 AM
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They are different animals from us, but we evolved as primates for much longer than as genus Homo, so I don't think it's prima facie ridiculous that Homo made some dietary shifts that made sense in its new niche but were not optimized for its digestive system. And that now that our brains are as big as they are, we could try to learn a thing or two from earlier forebears.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:27 AM
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You know, I want to apologize for 1.1 because it plays into some really dumb ideas. Weight alone is such a bad proxy for fitness. Being thin alone is not a good proxy for fitness or health. You do need lots of protein for strength and while that's definitely possible on a vegetarian diet, it's difficult.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:28 AM
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There are certainly fat vegetarians and vegans. French fries are (usually) vegan; things slathered with cheese are vegetarian.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:29 AM
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24

I was kinda joking about the fat vegetarians thing. (This wasn't actually written up as a post, it was an email.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:30 AM
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25

It's true. I kind of abused the email.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:33 AM
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26

I personally don't know any chimpanzees, fat or otherwise, although I'm sure they exist.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:34 AM
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27

On the veldt, our ancestors only had front page posts.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:35 AM
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You do need lots of protein for strength and while that's definitely possible on a vegetarian diet, it's difficult.

Is protein really hard on a vegetarian (as opposed to a vegan) diet? Eggs, butter, and cheese are about the best foods ever and high protein.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:36 AM
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29

25: It was happy to be abused!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:37 AM
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30

I have posted
the email
that was in
my inbox

and which
you were probably
intending
for me only

Forgive me
it was passably postable, and I'm
so lazy
and so bold


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:38 AM
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I personally don't know any chimpanzees, fat or otherwise

Chimps, BTW, not vegetarians. Kill and eat other monkeys, pigs, etc. on a regular basis.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:39 AM
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Eggs, butter, and cheese are about the best foods ever and high protein.

Butter? Not so high in proteing. But don't feel sad, 'cause two out of three ain't bad.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:40 AM
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33

30: Utterly fantastic.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:41 AM
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34

Misspellings, on the other hand, are a true and righteous cause for sorrow.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:41 AM
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31: As noted in the post and the OP.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:41 AM
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36

Um, not OP .. I meant article.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:41 AM
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31. This is true, but they eat a much lower proportion of meat than humans Americans and Europeans.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:42 AM
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Um, not OP .. I meant article.

I'm supposed to actually click through and read shit now? Bah.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:45 AM
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39

It was happy to be abused!

Parenthetical's emails have low self-esteem.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:46 AM
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40

You can pick them up two-for-one at the email shelter, I hear.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:48 AM
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That chimps eat meat is in the OP, too. Right before the dastardly fat vegetarians line.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:50 AM
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On a side-note, I'm moving next week into our own home after almost a year of living with my incredibly patient and generous in-laws. I cannot wait. I might even go paleo to celebrate.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:51 AM
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43

This thread is reminding me of how dumb the latest Planet of the Apes looked. So a bunch of apes wig out on us and don't just all get shot? Are they dodging bullets like Matrix monkeys or something? I couldn't bring myself to actually go see the movie and find out.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:51 AM
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44

Chimps eat meat, but they never eat meat with dairy and they don't eat shellfish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:53 AM
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45

43: Well, on earth, maybe. But on some other planet, who knows?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:54 AM
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46

43: it is apparently quite good. My adviser told me I should go see it (which was weird for other reasons, but whatever).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:55 AM
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47

I thought we should go the other way with this. Rather than looking at evolutionary roots before the Pleistocene, think about the evolution that has taken place since the agricultural revolution. We know for a fact that some of this has occurred. There are two separate mutations for lactose tolerance in adulthood, which seem to correspond to two independent times when cattle were domesticated for milk. East Asians whose ancestors didn't take this route lack this gene.

So I'm going to argue that we have evolved to eat grains, and that those changes occurred over the last 10,000 years or so. I think my case will be on as firm a ground as anyone's here.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:00 AM
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31: And they'll eat people's faces too. Re shooting: From what I've seen at the range here and what's reported on the news, it would be perfectly possible for ninja chimps to overwhelm L.A. while the gang-bangers hit the little kids nearby.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:00 AM
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46: I was pretty entertained by it, but also kind of gobsmacked. It was like the ALF made a movie. (Consider all cat-eating alien jokes per-made.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:00 AM
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50

Bah.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:01 AM
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51

I'm going to argue that we've evolved to eat only high-fructose corn syrup, to the exclusion of everything else.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:02 AM
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43: Going in I had the same objection, but it's not done badly in the movie.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:05 AM
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51: High-fructose corn syrup with electrolyes!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:07 AM
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54

ALF movie, coming soon


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:08 AM
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So I'm going to argue that we have evolved to eat grains, and that those changes occurred over the last 10,000 years or so. I think my case will be on as firm a ground as anyone's here.

Googling it is turning up a bunch of woo sites but I'm fairly sure there are documented mutations in human populations whose ancestors lived around the fertile crescent during the creation of agriculture that allow those populations to better digest gluten. So you might well be on firmer ground.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:18 AM
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Strictly from an evolutionary point of view, grains and agriculture were a big success. They made people shorter and weaker and live less long, but allowed us to have massively dense populations, lots of reproduction, and take over the planet. Evolution cares about how you reproduce, not if you lead a long, active life.

The only question is whether grains can lead to obesity or health problems when they are super cheap and available, because our bodies didn't evolve (and haven't really had reason to evolve) solutions to insulin resistance and inflammation caused by grains.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:25 AM
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Is there any actual citation for the idea that "grains" cause inflammation in the general population? Certain types of grain certainly cause inflammation in certain people, but it isn't all that common. Or is "inflammation" just something like "evolution" that gets tossed around aside from any of its usually meanings?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:33 AM
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The other significant event is cooking. The small number of neanderthal settlements that have been excavated suggest that cooking predates H sapiens, though it's not clear how much in a calorie-weighted sense, and we know nothing about typical neanderthals. These settlements don't show evidence of using ceramics.

Eating cooked food, especially fiber-rich plant cells and of course meat, is very different for a digestive system than eating raw. It is for this reason that the cited study has really limited scope-- chimps don't cook anything.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:34 AM
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I don't think 156.1 is even a little bit uncontroversial. *All* mammals got smaller at the close of the Pleistocene, as I understand it, for lots of reasons, many of them to do with crazy-ass weather.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:39 AM
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60

It sounds like you're intolerant to grain.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:40 AM
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61

156 is going to be a weird comment, I'm sure.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:41 AM
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Ha.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:44 AM
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61: Especially when we figure out that oud meant "get small" in the Steve Martin sense.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:44 AM
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There's definitely a well-documented correlation between the shift to primary reliance on agriculture (which in most places occurred long after the end of the Pleistocene) and various mostly negative changes in human health. This is most obvious in the case of dental health but can be seen in other ways as well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:51 AM
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The linked post is quite interesting, btw, although I don't really buy the central point and the writing is a bit overly precious at times.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:52 AM
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66

||

So much for thinking I could go on vacation without taking my work laptop. Sigh.

|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:57 AM
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and the writing is a bit overly precious at times.

So John Irving is doing science journalism now.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:58 AM
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64: Right, but that's when everyone starts getting reeeeal small.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 10:59 AM
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68: Well, sort of. It's more that everyone really big dies out entirely, some of the remaining species get smaller, and others don't necessarily change much in size but may adapt to different habitats/environmental conditions. Humans are in the third category AFAIK, with agriculture being one of the adaptations made in some areas.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 11:05 AM
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69 is wonderfully earnest.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 11:09 AM
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I know my role here and I do my best to play it well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 11:10 AM
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72

Teo understands the importance of being teo.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 11:39 AM
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73

UNG's wife was vegetarian for awhile. She was, at that time, obese. She trimmed down quite a bit during the pregnancy thanks to a gestational diabetes addressing diet. Paleo, I assume.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 2:51 PM
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I know my role here and I do my best to play it well.

Speaking of which, have you heard the Joe Walsh song, "Fairbanks Alaska?" (not a new song, but I remembered it today and thought of you).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 3:04 PM
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30 really is fantastic.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 3:12 PM
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15: Oh, me me! I'm a fat vegetarian. I'm not like crazy fat, but fat enough to count, I hope. Before I became a vegetarian, I was a really disgustingly fat kid--not the kind where you go, oh wow something is wrong with that child's metabolism, but the kind where you think, someone ought to chase that kid around the block. Then I lost some weight and got taller around 14, and was fully vegetarian at 16, the same size I am now, roughly speaking.

I get plenty of protein if I eat eggs, and would probably get plenty even if I didn't. My diet is mostly eggs, legumes, vegetables, and dairy, with a little bread and sugar only rarely.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 3:22 PM
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Oh, and I drink pretty often. If I gave up drinking I'd probably not be as fat a vegetarian.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 3:24 PM
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Speaking of which, have you heard the Joe Walsh song, "Fairbanks Alaska?"

I had not; thanks for linking it. (I hadn't heard the Michelle Shocked song about Anchorage either until someone linked to it on my Facebook page after I had moved here.)

I went to Fairbanks recently for the first time. It's not without its charm.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 8:53 PM
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but the kind where you think, someone ought to chase that kid around the block.

Those are the best kind to chase! The skinny kids always biking and skateboarding around can be hell to catch.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:00 PM
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80

Are these kids committing crimes, or are you chasing them just for fun?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 9:18 PM
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80: This last kid must be really elusive.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-12 6:38 AM
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If I gave up drinking I'd probably not be as fat a vegetarian.

It's not worth it!

Seriously, by far the most effective change I could make to reduce weight would be to cut back on alcohol (good for the budget, too), but what a loss that would be.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-11-12 10:39 PM
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It sounds like you're intolerant to grain.

Actually, it's lactose.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 08-11-12 11:39 PM
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