Re: Causes of Obesity

1

Let's wax veldt-y!

If I were an evolutionary biologist, I'd speculate along the lines of "The human body has evolved to seek, process, absorb and store calories; the range of malfunctions leading to obesity is expectedly broader than those associated with malnutrition because the consequences of failing in any of those functions were, for millions of years, much more severe than, say, being 3-5% more likely to put on midsection fat."

Something feminism something?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 5:27 AM
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Earlier this month, for example, the American evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller expressed the zeitgeist in this tweet: 'Dear obese PhD applicants: if you don't have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won't have the willpower to do a dissertation. #truth.'

What a douchebag. And an evo-psych douchebag at that.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 5:58 AM
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Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuits remain 2 for $3. Hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 5:59 AM
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Drop and give me 20, Moby.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:02 AM
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That would require $30.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:04 AM
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Plus tax.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:05 AM
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You might find $5 while you're down there, though.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:12 AM
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2: From Wikipedia:

In 2007, Miller ... published an article in Evolution and Human Behavior, concluding that lap dancers made more money during ovulation. For this paper, Miller won the 2008 Ig Nobel Award.

God, I'm trying to think of things to say about that, but I guess I don't really need to add anything.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:13 AM
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7: I did once find (or receive as change) a silver dime from that McDonald's.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:14 AM
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If it's really true that there is unexplained weight gain in lab animals that have carefully controlled diets, then obesity researchers should drop everything else, and explain that. They're never going to get a more-controlled environment to test their theories.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:29 AM
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Temperatures above and below the neutral zone have been shown to cause both humans and animals to burn fat, and hotter conditions also have an indirect effect: they make people eat less. A restaurant on a warm day whose air conditioning breaks down will see a sharp decline in sales (yes, someone did a study).

I am willing to believe that hot weather is an appetite suppressant, but God what a stupid fact to offer in evidence.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:35 AM
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A restaurant whose dishwasher breaks will see an even sharper drop in sales, so maybe clean plates cause obesity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:37 AM
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11 jumped out at me, too. Really? The drop in sales came from the same number of people coming in, sitting down, but ordering slightly less than they otherwise would have because their appetites were damped?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:42 AM
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12: It's all part of the system, man.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:45 AM
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11, 13: Presumably they controlled for the number of patrons, but still seems lame.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:49 AM
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And I still can't walk without limping. That isn't going to help.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:49 AM
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And per 10, it was the lab animal thing that really jumped out at me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:50 AM
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Temperatures above and below the neutral zone have been shown to cause both humans and animals to burn fat

Inside the neutral zone, on the other hand, everyone is dead, because there's no way to save the Kobayashi Maru.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:52 AM
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Oh wow, I just remembered part of my dream (in the running for alltime boringest openers): an extremely complicated inside-the-dog-it's-too-dark-too-read joke that hinged on a rube goldberg-esque set-up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:54 AM
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DO NOT ENTER THE NEUTRAL ZONE.


Posted by: OPINIONATED ROMULANS | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:56 AM
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This also bugged me:

Why, if body weight is a matter of individual decisions about what to eat, should it be affected by differences in wealth or by relations between the sexes?

because of course individual decisions are influenced by environment and culture. Even if "a calorie is a calorie is a calorie" is the only cause of rising obesity rates, this would still be true.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:56 AM
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The hypothesis in 1. has a name, thrifty gene hypothesis, and testable consequences. It's not an airtight case, since equatoreal populations are much less predisposed to obesity than northern ones, hunter-gatherers especially not predisposed to obesity.

The consequences of malnourishment are actually not that well understood, I think. In particular, caloric restriction lengthens lifespan, nobody really understands why.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:59 AM
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Inside of a dog it's too dark to knock over a candle with a bowling ball nudged by a water balloon.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:00 AM
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Yes to 10 as well. And the article just goes ahead and cites this and then doesn't come back to it and wanders off into this long untestable explanation of how obesity is caused by Global Capitalism. Dude! The macaques aren't participating in Global Capitalism! Except for the ones that are determining UK fiscal policy, obviously.
21 is also a good point.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:12 AM
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I didn't see much mention of activity levels in the article, either. As another broad family of explanations around population level weight-gain. My vague memory of reading around the same topic is that gross calorie intakes for most people have not, in fact, gone up since the 1950s [when people were much slimmer]. However, our daily lives are much much more sedentary.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:16 AM
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Except for the ones that are determining UK fiscal policy, obviously.

In my second zoo anecdote of the week, the macaques at our local zoo are not on display while their habitat gets fixed up somehow and the sign reads AWAY ON MONKEY BUSINESS. Now I can tell the girls where they've gone and what they are doing!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:18 AM
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In particular, caloric restriction lengthens lifespan, nobody really understands why.

Didn't that just get shot down? It originally worked in mice, so they put a population of monkeys on caloric restriction, but it takes a while because they have fairly long lifespans, and it turned out to have no measurable effect? I'm making it up from a vague recollection, and I really really need to work rather than google this morning, but I'm pretty sure that caloric restriction (that is, the impressive results from severe restriction, not anything about generally skinny people being healthier) is no longer generally believed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:18 AM
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Does that mean I can have lunch at McDonald's also?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:21 AM
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How many other places are you having lunch at, today?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:23 AM
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re: 27

I thought the benefits of some kinds of calorie restriction were increasingly well attested even in humans. Not necessarily in terms of life-extension, but in terms of measurable changes to blood chemistry, and lots of other things.

It apparently cures some types of diabetes, for one thing.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/jun/24/low-calorie-diet-hope-cure-diabetes


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:23 AM
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27, yes. You have it exactly right. There was an important detail that maybe didn't get as much play. The first primate study did replicate the mouse data, but the setup was that monkeys either got calorie restricted diet or were fed ad libitum. This gave the expected result, where calorie restriction led to longer lifespan, with the ad lib mokeys having problems like heart disease and diabetes. However, smarter researchers performed a study with a better design: monkeys were either fed a restricted calorie diet or a "normal" calorie diet (equivalent to human recommended caloric intake). This study failed spectacularly to replicate the previous results, and IMO should end debate about calorie restriction and lifespan.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:27 AM
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the benefits of some kinds of calorie restriction

Yeah, I was talking about the specific longevity thing. I'm sure that various diets can have all sorts of effects on all sorts of conditions, but I think the idea that severe lifelong caloric restriction will specifically extend lifespan by a substantial percentage in an otherwise healthy organism generally has been debunked.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:28 AM
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On the other hand now we can test the hypothesis that eating whatever the fuck nasty junk food you can shove in your face all the time may lead to lifespan reduction!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:29 AM
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34

If I lost twenty pounds, my ankle might stop hating me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:30 AM
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The lab animal thing is a little more complicated than it sounds in this article, I suspect. I think there's reasonable support for the virus theory (perhaps it affects gut bacterial populations?), but it's a hard thing to tease out when you also consider lab animal kibble. Basically every lab animal gets some kind of species-specific food. Mice get pellets, marmosets get stuff resembling wet cat food. The constituents surely aren't the same as they were fifty years ago, given the changes in how we produce food. I don't doubt that calories and activity level haven't shifted much, but it's hard to believe that the rest of the nutritional content is unchanged. (One example? Primates can be given stuff like fruit leather as a treat. High fructose corn syrup is often used in sweetening medications, etc. I am not sure what primates historically got, but I bet it was different.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:38 AM
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25. Personally I believe that activity level and processed food (lots of sugar, most dietary fat saturated) is what's leading to widespread human obesity, so agree. My tenuous basis ofr this is the gradient of obesity by state in the US.

27. My main point was that metabolism is complicated, we don't actually understand malnutrtion well. But addressing lifespan: There are two primate studies with differing results (one shows longer lifespan, the other doesn't) and a bunch of rodent studies which mostly do show extended lifespan. I am more interested in the rodent studies because inbred mice are genetically identical, no need to worry about variation between individuals as a complication to the study.

QUoting from the newest study (Mattison JA, 2012) which shows no effect:


Another important difference in study design was that the NIA study control monkeys were not truly fed ad libitum, unlike the WNPRC study. The regulated portioning of food for the NIA control monkeys may be a slight restriction and thus, largely prevented obesity. It has been reported that 10% CR increased lifespan in rats compared to ad libitum, even more than 25 and 40% CR20. The NIA control monkeys may experience survival benefits from this slight restriction.

That is, control monkeys in the no-effect study got healthy, portion-controlled food.

and the takeway for self-obsessed primates indifferent to the zany biochemistry of food metabolism:


In the first randomized trial in humans, 6 months of CR improved several biomarkers of ageing and improved cardiovascular health, suggesting a reduction in risk of age-related disease. However, a lifespan study in humans is improbable27. Even a self-imposed CR regimen in lean individuals improved several metabolic, inflammatory and cardiovascular measures28. Current findings show that in nonhuman and human primates, CR evokes very similar metabolic, hormonal and physiological changes that are linked to longevity in CR rodents28.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:41 AM
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The bonobo are the only non-human primate that can make high fructose corn syrup.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:42 AM
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I thought 35 was the point of the article: the calorie content of the lab food hasn't changed but the constituents have, therefore weight gain is not accounted for purely by calories in vs. calories out, therefore "put down the fork you lazy fuck" is not necessarily a helpful public health message.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:47 AM
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36: I guess my takeaway from that is that the 'nobody knows why' effect of caloric restriction really has been shot down in primates. I mean, there are all sorts of well-known even if incompletely understood effects of overeating: metabolic syndrome, diabetes, whatever, and caloric restriction is going to obviously rule out those effects. But my understanding of what people were thinking about the rodent studies was that as between a population of healthy, not overfed animals and a population of what we would normally think of as severely underfed animals, the underfed animals had a significantly longer average lifespan that wasn't a simple result of taking causes of death related to overfeeding out of the mix. And that doesn't seem to be replicable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:52 AM
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35. So the mouse results might be an artifact of a shitty lab diet? Huh, interesting idea.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:52 AM
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This jumped out at me:
"If you or your parents - or their parents - were undernourished, you're more likely to become obese in a food-rich environment. "

Especially, I suspect, if the food-rich environment contains a lot of nutritionally bankrupt calories.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:53 AM
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No time to comment today or to read the article, but if 38 isn't the point of the article, it should be. Also 25 is based on my understanding pretty clearly wrong -- activity level per se will not get you thin, though it is very likely to help you feel better in other ways (which may then make it easier to avoid comfort eating). I think obesity in the modern world is pretty easily explained -- in the past 50 years we have very very cheap and continually accessible processed foods, in particular but not exclusively highly sweetened and sugary foods, for pretty much the first time in human history.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:58 AM
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I don't know if this is well-supported at all by the science, but I have a pretty firm belief that weight is largely a one-way ratchet, and that the things that are sufficient to prevent weight gain are completely different than the things that are necessary to reverse significant weight gain.

My main reason for believing this is that it seems like the only way I can see to reconcile the (well supported) data that losing weight is incredibly difficult, and the people who do it do it by keeping obsessive focus on it for the rest of their lives, with the obvious fact that population levels of obesity have gone way way up in what looks like a response to fairly small changes in activity and diet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:02 AM
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activity level per se will not get you thin

I think that's true if "activity level" means what kind of activity you can do while living a white-collar life in the U.S. if you are past thirty or something. I used to work construction during the summers, meaning I was in the heat working for 10 to 12 hours a day, and I would lose twenty pounds over the summer despite eating anything in front of me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:03 AM
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Except the pigs. They were still alive and much larger than me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:04 AM
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44 -- not sure it holds true even there vs your youth -- anecdotally, older construction workers are not thin, though not morbidly obese either, surely. Anyhow, there have been many studies, including those linked and discussed at length here, that show that a drop in activity level due presumably to the car or desk jobs or whatever does not explain the rise in levels of obesity, which was the claim of 35.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:08 AM
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Anecdotally, older construction workers do the jobs where you operate machinery and send the younger guys to do with manual labor parts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:10 AM
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25. Anyhow, eat protein, no sugars, no processed food, very limited starches, no grains if you want to kick it into unproven but awesome, it's simple, you're good, I'm out.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:10 AM
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35. actually, CR lifespan extension in mice being an artifact makes sense-- wild mice die from accidents or environmental stress, lab mice get an artificial environment and diet that might be systematically defective. CR happens to correct a defect in lab diet, so the longest lived mice are the CR ones.

Huh, I think that had been the only plausible candidate for a demonstrated effect to lengthen lifespan.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:11 AM
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I think 43 is correct. Certainly for me my body seems to have decided that I ought to weigh a certain amount and it requires heroic effort to get much below that but basically nothing to get back to the set point.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:14 AM
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With one last link out the door.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:14 AM
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52

Personally I believe that activity level and processed food (lots of sugar, most dietary fat saturated) is what's leading to widespread human obesity, so agree.

The thing I honestly don't understand is why obesity rates have escalated since, say, the 80s or 90s. I have a hard time believing that processed food and sedentariness have really increased/decreased since the 90s, but obesity rates continue to rise.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:18 AM
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52: That link makes a great deal of sense, but it is quite different from 42.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:23 AM
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52 is right. This is a new development. New new new. It's happening in other countries that are being exposed to the US diet too, and people are bemoaning the US diet making everyone fat, but we in the US have had the US diet for decades.

Environmental hormone pollutants?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:24 AM
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Anyhow, eat protein, no sugars, no processed food, very limited starches, no grains if you want to kick it into unproven but awesome, it's simple, you're good, I'm out.

For even better results run down your prey on foot and kill it with your bare hands.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:25 AM
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I would blame the economics of fast food (7-11 introduce the Big Gulp in 1980, first 2-liter bottles were 1970 for Pepsi), more palatable processed food in the grocery store now than 20 years ago (TV dinners and hot pockets were nasty then), and economics of a completely sedentary lifestyle caused by sprawl. I believe It's a political problem, not a biological one.

I would be very interested to see a comparable map of obesity frequency for Mexico.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:26 AM
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I think long work hours, few sitdown cooked meals, and restaurant eating have increased a lot since the eighties. It's hard to remember because contemporaneous discussion of it is largely about decline on those measurements, but the process has gone on a lot since then.

My kids eat infinitely more takeout than I ever did, with two fulltime employed parents in the eighties, and we're I think above the median in terms of how much we cook among our peers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:28 AM
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When I was young, we used to buy Pepsi in bottles that we had to bring back to the store to get our deposit back. Plus onions on our belts, etc.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:30 AM
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The thing I honestly don't understand is why obesity rates have escalated since, say, the 80s or 90s. I have a hard time believing that processed food and sedentariness have really increased/decreased since the 90s, but obesity rates continue to rise.

I doubt cohorts growing up in the 80s and 90s were much if any less obese than cohorts growing up today. The population stats were different because in the 80s and 90s there were a lot more cohorts who grew up in earlier decades still around (and similarly there were fewer cohorts who grew up as sedentary sugar-eaters). That's my uneducated guess, at least.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:31 AM
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33: Moby did that experiment. It causes ankle pain and bad jokes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:31 AM
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59: I don't know about adults, but childhood obesity has been rising pretty steadily that whole time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:34 AM
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60: The ankle pain was from trying to exercise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:35 AM
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61 addendum: That is, I know that adult obesity has been rising over that period, but I suspect that much or most of the increase is due to what you are talking about or just in general because the population is getting older.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:36 AM
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61: This says that childhood obseity rates increased steadily over the course of the 1980s and 1990s, but then plateaued and there has been no statistically significant increase in childhood obesity rates since 1999. (Populations statistics keep getting worse due to cohort effects.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:39 AM
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html fail.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:40 AM
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Being pregnant and now breastfeeding has been an interesting exercise in completely losing whatever connection I thought I had between hunger cues and healthy eating. I am hungry all the time, and my body says I want sugary things (presumably because I'm tired because it turns out that being a milk factory is a lot of work), and the smartest thing I can do is to ignore the sugar cravings and have some protein.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:41 AM
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I would imagine sedentariness has increased; anecdotally, lots less kids are walking to school than did so in the '80s, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:41 AM
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If you want me to sound really, really, really 'onions on our belts' about this, I also think there's a newish folk-medical belief about energy levels/mood management through not 'letting your blood sugar drop' that encourages people to think of not having access to food for literally hours at a time as a problem, and to raise their kids that way.

Back when I was a girl (shakes cane, speaks in creaky voice), we ate food at meals, and if we were hungry otherwise, that was our own problem. That wasn't about weight management or anything, just that snacking was recreational, and there wasn't any reason for Mom and Dad to go to any trouble to make food available other than at a mealtime, or to worry too much about whether we liked what was available then. And that was pretty standard, as far as I could tell.

Now, everyone I know with kids worries that their kids are going hungry in the hour between breakfast and snack, and adults with or without kids think about whether they need to plan to have food available for themselves for a three hour car trip.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:42 AM
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I don't know that food has gotten much worse, but I things like school recess and general free play etc. were still being trimmed over the course of the 80s and 90s.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:42 AM
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64: That said no statistically significant increase from 1999 to 2006, which is dated and very much not the same thing as saying that cohorts growing up in the 80s and 90s (especially the 80s) were less obese than those growing up today.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:44 AM
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Back when I was a girl (shakes cane, speaks in creaky voice), we ate food at meals, and if we were hungry otherwise, that was our own problem.

We had cookies around the house pretty much always.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:46 AM
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and adults with or without kids think about whether they need to plan to have food available for themselves for a three hour car trip

People do this?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:46 AM
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68: I do notice this in particular with regard to driving as evidenced by the cup-holder revolution and every gas station being a "mini-mart."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:47 AM
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70: 64 was meant as a correction to 59, in that it looks like it's wrong the say cohorts in the 80s and 90s were no less obese than cohorts today. Although, at least based on that link, I think the cohort explanation is correct for changes occurring since the late 90s.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:48 AM
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71: Oh, we did too off and on, there was usually something in the kitchen to scavenge if I was actually hungry. I'm shaking my cane at what I see as a common belief that a kid (or an adult) not having food within reach if they have a hunger pang is an actual problem in terms of managing their mood and energy levels that needs to be planned around, as opposed to a minor annoyance. That sort of culture of required total food availability at all times seems to me to be both newish since I was a kid, and to be an obvious problem in terms of encouraging overeating (partially because the sort of food that can be kept instantly available at a moments notice is all processed carbs -- nothing else keeps as well.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:52 AM
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73 inadvertently to 72.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:53 AM
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68: if your blood sugar is typically kept well primed with glucose*, any crashes in glucose levels cause real moodiness and unpleasantness. It's not wrong to describe it as feeling sick, and certainly unhappy.

*Is this even the right word? I don't remember. Sugary stuff.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:53 AM
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77 to 75. "Hunger pang" from a blood sugar crash is both a lot more sudden and more unpleasant than the soft growl of genuine caloric deficit.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:56 AM
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(78 not referring to real starvation in any sense, of course.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:58 AM
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I do think 68 and 75 are part of it--although maybe just as one symptom of our changing conceptualization of food. Portion size increase* (and for more than just Big Gulp type drinks) is another. All of this has changed significantly during my lifetime.

*I have come to think of my having a quart-capacity cup** to drink water out of as part of the pathology. It helps normalize that a quart of any liquid is a reasonable thing to put into your body.

**How do quart-size plastic cups come to be in the house in the first place? Shut-up is how.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:02 AM
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All of this has changed significantly during my lifetime.

If it's all your fault, then knock it off.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:03 AM
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My poorly informed sense is that blood sugar crashes are more likely if you are eating lots of simple carbs like sugar. Complex carbs and proteins take longer to digest, so they smooth out the highs and lows. IOW snacking on sweet stuff makes blood sugar crashes more likely, not less.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:06 AM
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I am the Lizard King. I can do anything. I made the blue cars go away.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:07 AM
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I am the Lizard King. I can do anything.

That's a great campaign slogan.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:09 AM
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I find that swimming really depletes the blood sugar (or whatever*) more than any other exercise. I don't know if this is of any use in the discussion, but I've always been a little surprised by how hungry I am after swimming.

* I'm not very good on biochemical whatnotery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:10 AM
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85: We need to study the correlation between swimming pools and obesity.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:11 AM
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I'm much lighter in a pool.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:12 AM
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So this is all right there in front of me at the moment. I've known for some time that I've been borderline 'metabolic syndrome' (although not everyone agrees that is actually a thing in and of itself), but just had the doctor's appointment which might lead to some form of medical intervention beyond exhortations and good advice. Followup appointment next week.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:13 AM
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89

Like baby aspirin or something?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:18 AM
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An personal case study in portion size: The pizza joint near my workplace offers a two-slice + drink for a slightly reduced unit price. That is what I've always purchased. In support of trying to confront this (for the zillionth time, so booooooring) last time I went I got one slice and a drink, but holy hell did I have to fight myself on it. And of course one slice is more than adequate (and much cheaper).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:19 AM
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My weight does seem to be closely associated with whether I'm working an office job or in school. Does anyone have any advice regarding standing desks?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:24 AM
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I don't think they need more guards than a regular desk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:28 AM
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The pizza joint near my workplace offers a two-slice + drink for a slightly reduced unit price. That is what I've always purchased.

My parents raised me to be much more conscientious about getting good deals than about watching portion sizes. Those offers are dangerous to my weight. But now that you mention it, there's a pizza shop near my place that has a similar offer, maybe I should head over today. (It's pathetic how weak a suggestion needs to be to be influential when it's what I want anyway.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:29 AM
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37, how else could they make sweet, sweet monkey love?

40/49, I suspect so, although I'm not sure where to look to find a helpful link. I would guess that Big Ag has made significant contributions in this area (I was looking around at Purina Lab Diet but couldn't pull anything out quickly). It would at least sort of explain domestic pets getting fatter as well (because corn meal is obviously what a cat should eat) if you imagine feeding recommendations didn't change in the decades between 1990 and present. I think the CR mice might work for a number of reasons, some of which wouldn't translate to humans. I don't thing it's a relevant model.

Overall, I don't like only diet as single explanation of obesity, though. It seems a bit like everyone is nodding their heads that if you eat only organic vegetables and grass fed bison, you won't get fat, which is overly simplified, too. It's a really complicated area of research, and populations are really heterogeneous (which is why inbred mice are a dumb model). There are a lot more random additives (not just in food - think of flame retardants, antibiotics, plasticizers) used in everything than there were when we were kids. Probably many are endocrine disruptors, but testing isn't generally required, or if it is, it's performed in mice, maybe rats. I'm not even going to touch the idea that using weight is a good proxy for actual health since I have no idea what type of assessment would actually be useful.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:42 AM
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It's funny, I was born in 1970 and my childhood memories indicate that we were taking in substantially more preservatives than similarly coastal MC kids are today.

Maybe the additives and preservatives are just better disguised today than they were back in the glorious heyday of TV dinners?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:45 AM
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"the sort of food that can be kept instantly available at a moments notice is all processed carbs -- nothing else keeps as well."

This is why god invented the cashew. And if we're just talking three hour car trips originating from home, many forms of fruit will keep just fine, as will a bag of baby carrots.

I hate going more than two hours without eating and pretty much never leave the house without my Nalgene. If I was rich enough I would pay someone to follow me around everywhere holding a bottle full of water and a giant bag of nuts. Ideally this person would also carry a boombox and play music from the movie "Tron".


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:50 AM
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52, 54 -- look at the graph in 51. There's a huge change in the US diet since about 1980 that completely accounts for the growth in obesity -- the diet has not remained "pretty much the same" over the period of the obesity boom. That increase in food consumption is in itself sufficient to be a total explanation for the rise in obesity (as mathematician guy we discussed here previously found). It's highly unlikely that global changes in activity level (which cut both ways) have much to do with it.

Note that all of this is true even if you accept the calorie-is-a-calorie theory. If you think that diet composition (ir processed/HFCS/increased sugar content etc) is more important than pure calorie consumption alone, the sir gets worse because guess what was being consumed more greatly during that period. Too much bad food too cheap and eaten too often really does explain it all.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:53 AM
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Buying cashews to snack on is an excellent way for me to absentmindedly consume like 3500 calories.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:53 AM
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Anyhow, the perfect snack is obviously pork rinds.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:53 AM
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I also remember thinking that Mcdonald's shamrock shakes were great, which leads me to wonder how I survived to adulthood.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:53 AM
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(as mathematician guy we discussed here previously found).

C/arson Ch/ow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:54 AM
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I remember realizing at some point prior to high school that the upper bound on the number of McDonalds cheeseburgers I could happily eat was somewhere well north of ten.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:54 AM
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95, I admit I don't know a lot about this, but I suspect that while the absolute quantity might be lower, the substance of the preservatives might be different, and there are definitely extra additives and dyes. (This conversation is making me sound way more hippie about this stuff than I really am. We're all going to die of something, fat or thin. As a kid, I loved the flavor of artificial grape. I still love the icky sweet breakfast cereal.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:59 AM
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and my childhood memories indicate that we were taking in substantially more preservatives than similarly coastal MC kids are today.

I'm curious to know how obesity rates have risen once you account for class. I mean, my belief is that all economic classes have gained weight, and that the poorest continue to fair the worst, but I wonder to what portion of the obesity trend is caused by the poverty trend.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:02 AM
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Goddamnit, pwned by dz in 96, but the correct non-processed snack is obviously this or maybe just the raw almond packets TJ also sells.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:04 AM
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This thread is making me despair my completely sedentary lifestyle and actually look up various gyms nearby. Maybe something will come of it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:07 AM
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When I've been in supermarkets in poor areas, I've noticed that the produce is low quality, and that white bread is everywhere while wheat bread is obscurely placed if existent. Combine that with the fact that cooking meat is time-intensive and owning functional cooking equipment-intensive, not to mention pricier than an equivalent amount of McDonald's, and the fact that obesity correlates with poverty doesn't surprise me at all.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:12 AM
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Before I do something radical: is there any chink in the scientific consensus that being completely sedentary is bad for you?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:14 AM
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the produce is low quality

High quality produce is expensive.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:15 AM
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||

Manning not guilty on abetting the enemy; guilty of leaking shit violating the Espionage Act. I had imagined they'd stitch him up on all of them.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:18 AM
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I shake my cane furiously at the new high-status four-compartment fridges. They have a shallow drawer at toddler height for snacks. I suppose it could always have apple slices and celery sticks, but I has my doubts.

I have seen what looked like good population-level studies finding that one's chances of breast cancer were pretty directly proportional to the number of years living a USian lifestyle; the smoking gun, as i recall, was in tracking the rate in women who had moved from rural Japan to the US as adults (of various ages). Seems useful for 94.3.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:19 AM
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110: Seems like the best he could reasonably hope for. Hopefully now they'll let him out of solitary.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:25 AM
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111: Apple slices with caramel for dipping?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:28 AM
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Being pregnant and now breastfeeding has been an interesting exercise in completely losing whatever connection I thought I had between hunger cues and healthy eating. I am hungry all the time, and my body says I want sugary things (presumably because I'm tired because it turns out that being a milk factory is a lot of work), and the smartest thing I can do is to ignore the sugar cravings and have some protein.

I had the insane sugar cravings in pregnancy, and less so though still occasionally now that I'm nursing, and I'm convinced that they usually mean that I really do need sugar. After spending years trying to cut down on sugar and simple carbs in my diet, it was really confusing at first. I... need this?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:29 AM
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113: Packaged in something with a lot of plasticizers.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:32 AM
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112: The Guardian is saying he faces up to 130 years in a military jail. I bet they don't let him do anything that would give him access to the press ever.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:35 AM
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Two-slice and a soda deal: one needs a coworker to split with. Or a friend one wants to have two straws in a drink with (and a Y-connector on the MP3s).


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:38 AM
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More `that's funny' in the line of the OP; until -- the 1930s, maybe? -- pop lit praises women we would definitely think of as plump, and food ads are often for food that will help you gain weight. The industrialized world had had cheap sugar and processed grain since, mm, the 1880s in some parts (though also cheap opium and possibly cocaine and tobacco, so). Surely someone's looked up *where* the price of a kCal dropped first, and correlated this with incomes and weight. As we know them. WWI draft found short, underweight men, didn't it? Off to rummage.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:42 AM
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116: Oh there's no doubt he's in for a very long stint in jail, but at least he might be able to get the hell out of solitary. The conditions of his detention so far have been abusive.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:44 AM
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but at least he might be able to get the hell out of solitary. The conditions of his detention so far have been abusive.

Why do you think they'd let him out, or stop abusing him? The government has treated Manning the way they have in order to make an example of him. Unless they're forced to stop, why on earth would they?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:46 AM
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The idea that a single slice of pizza could be an adequate lunch is crazy. I can't believe it's even being suggested. If you're on a diet and are okay with (or at least resigned to) the fact that you'll be hungry all afternoon, then sure, okay. But if you're actually trying to make it to dinner without being hungry...?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:46 AM
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Topically, but maybe callously, Manning still looks pretty thin and it can't be easy to be active under those conditions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:46 AM
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121: Yes. I can get a whole (small) pizza and a soda for $5, so that's what I usually get if I have pizza.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:47 AM
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re: 95

True, I think. A while ago I read an answer to a question in a food magazine where the questioner asked why so many things had to be refrigerated now, when in the past people stored them in the cupboard. The food scientist answering said that preservative levels are much lower now, and food spoils more quickly out of the fridge than it once did.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:49 AM
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Perhaps related to this, I am a little bit freaked out by the lowering age of puberty.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:49 AM
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It can't happen twice, no matter what chemicals are in the water.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:50 AM
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re: 114

Mrs ttaM [breastfeeding] is eating huge amounts of sweet stuff at the moment. It's not good for _my_ waistline, having loads of biscuits and chocolate in the house. She swears she needs it. She's also losing weight at a rapid rate, despite hoovering up a metric-shitload of junk every day.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:52 AM
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On the other end of the spectrum, I am breastfeeding, monitoring my intake with dreary watchful care, exercising boatloads, and have lost about one! single! pound! since I posted about this, early this summer. (I am VERY FRUSTRATED but I try to keep this to myself.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:55 AM
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I think Mrs ttaM, 4 months after the birth, is less than 10lbs above her pre-pregnancy weight. With no effort whatsoever to do any dieting [the opposite, as per 127].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:56 AM
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125: Is that really happening? Again, I read somewhere, god knows where, that it's not clear whether age of puberty is dropping at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:58 AM
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re: 130

I thought the drop was significant. Or at least that was the latest thing I read on it. In girls. Not boys.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:02 AM
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130: I don't know for sure on a more global level, but my understanding is that it's clear that girls with early trauma and/or malnutrition, early obesity, or who are black are at heightened odds to hit puberty before age 10, and I've seen that happen to the kids of several local friends of mine and not thrilled about the prospects of it on the homefront.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:04 AM
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121: These aren't just slices but slices (largish ones for selling by the slice). I do usually have some other thing like a candy bar or cookie.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:07 AM
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I've been reading this, on the advice of my physician, and it seems pretty solid. Everything is evil except fruits and vegetables and legumes and nuts, so don't eat anything else, ever. Has some harsh things to say about paleo.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:07 AM
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Last thing I read on the subject was critical of the broad claim that puberty is coming sooner, because it didn't distinguish between different aspects of puberty. First menstruation is coming sooner, but other things, like breast development, might not be. We don't have clear data on that, because the developments themselves have vague boundaries, and because no one likes to talk about it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:08 AM
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Off the advice of a physician, it's too dark to read.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:08 AM
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The idea that a single slice of pizza could be an adequate lunch is crazy. I can't believe it's even being suggested.

Depends on the diameter of the pizza and how they slice it. There's a place I go to occasionally that has single slices big enough to be an adequate lunch.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:08 AM
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135 to 130.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:09 AM
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134: The header on that site is the best awkward-white-guy picture ever.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:10 AM
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Oh, I eat sugary things, too, but I find I feel better if I don't. I try not to keep junk in the house so if I want cookies I have to go through the effort of baking them. The end result is that I'm getting really good at making cookies.

I was about three pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight at my six-week check-up. No clue what I weigh now, as I don't own a scale and the gym at work is under construction this summer. I'd guess I'm hovering right around my usual weight, maybe a bit heavier, but I am a *lot* squishier.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:21 AM
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121: These aren't just slices but slices (largish ones for selling by the slice).

Yeah, one of those things could certainly be lunch, in my book. In related news, I had half of a Chipotle burrito for lunch and am plenty satiated, though if I hadn't had someone to split it with, I bet I would have gone on eating it well past the halfway point.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:24 AM
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When I go to chipotle, I get the bowl because flour tortillas taste of nothing and have lots of calories.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:26 AM
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Purely anecdotal, but I eat extremely healthily as a general rule, with one exception. We eat a fair amount of fresh veg at home, we almost never have take-out, almost all of our evening meals are cooked from scratch, using real ingredients [meat, veg, pulses, grains] rather than preprocessed or packaged convenience ingredients. I eat health levels of saturated fat, and quite low levels of fat in general. Other than 2% milk, I eat very little dairy. Much of that is personal taste, rather than any attempt to eat healthily. I like cooking, and I don't like very fatty, or very salty foods.

However, I have a sweet tooth, and [probably due to chronic lack of sleep] tend to find myself grabbing a chocolate bar or a pastry with my morning coffee, and ditto at some point late in the afternoon.

I'm pretty fat. So either the pastries are doing for me, or I need to start looking at the viral type explanations. When I've calorie counted to lose weight, I need to eat something like 1000kcal a day below my supposed basal metabolic rate before I begin losing weight at all. If I eat what I like my weight is stable around the same point and has been for years, but going down requires serious calorie restriction.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:31 AM
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And the high-fructose corn-syrup and junk food explanations don't fly, as I consume almost none of either.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:32 AM
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Aren't pastries and chocolate bars junk food? Is the term only used for savory foods in the U.K.?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:36 AM
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When I go to chipotle, I get the bowl because flour tortillas taste of nothing and have lots of calories.

Burritos are a lot easier to cut in half, though!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:45 AM
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Maybe they'd give you a second bowl if you asked nicely?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:51 AM
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re: 145

Well, sure. I meant more that I'm not drinking a lot of coke, or eating pizzas or fried foods or things with trans-fats. And the pastries/chocolate don't contain high-fructose corn-syrup. They are still sugary crap, of course. I can buy the 'too many calories' explanation, but not the 'special nasty calories' one.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:52 AM
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Sugar is a special nasty calorie, as is the stuff you're using to encase your sugar.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:57 AM
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Paper?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 11:57 AM
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Much more here.


Posted by: Robert Halford |
Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:06 PM
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here


Posted by: |
Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:07 PM
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Or not.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:08 PM
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Thanks for the link in 51, El Tigre, although the grain consumption story per Figure 6 of one of the publications he cites is pretty interesting. Summary: Continuous decline from 1940 to about 1970, but then trending upward from 1970 in alignment with obesity trends.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:10 PM
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Interesting!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:15 PM
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I've noticed that cars are getting bigger since the ethanol-gasoline combo started to become common.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:16 PM
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Normalizing pathological obesity.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:21 PM
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142 I get the bowl because flour tortillas taste of nothing and have lots of calories.

I was just arguing with my parents about this yesterday. If you're eating a Chipotle-style burrito, chock full or rice and beans and all sorts of calorie-laden stuff, why do you care so much about losing the calories from the tortilla? Isn't that in the noise?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:26 PM
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or s/b of


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:26 PM
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Patholigizing normal obesity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:27 PM
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158: It's really about flavor - the plastic bowls just taste better.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:33 PM
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Their rice is awful. Skip it entirely.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:38 PM
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4 months after the birth, is less than 10lbs above her pre-pregnancy weight.

How nice for her. You too, Cala.

(I'm not actually as bitter as that sounds, but jesus christ has this been frustrating. It's gotten so much harder with each pregnancy.)

(I'm not even trying to return to my pre-pregnancy weight. I'd merely like to return to my inter-pregnancy weight.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:40 PM
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163: heebie, I'm gaining weight in sympathy with you, if it makes you feel any better. Because I'm a feminist!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:41 PM
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162 is just wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:42 PM
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I think I've said it before, but increasing calorie burning from exercise is really really hard. For instance, the most energy intense activity anyone can do, running hard, only burns about 100-150 calories per mile, or about 1000 calories an hour if you're pretty darn fast.

In other words, for every extra 12 ounce can of non-diet soda you consume, you have to walk or run another mile.

And if that graph in Halford's link in 51 is correct that average calorie consumption has gone up by about 500 calories per day, everyone would have to run 4 miles each and every day to make up for that fact.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:54 PM
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155: When you look at the contribution %s for different sources from Figure 8 of the same report it is sugars and fats and oils that have consistently gone up, grains with the "U", and meats going up until ~1970 and down after that. (Given the overall calorie increase since the mid-70s would like to see a chart of total calorie contribution not just %s).

Going out on a limb, I am going to say there are two different "patterns" going on here which overlap somewhat from say the mid-50s to the 80s. The first is meat and sweets becoming more affordable for the masses, and then the increase in processed foods and snacks which probably started several decades earlier, but which really takes off and dominates after the mid-70s as it becomes affordable for almost everyone in conjunction with better living with modern industrial food processing and stuff like high-fructose corn syrup.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:55 PM
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163: Join the club, I say, twelve years almost exactly since my last kid was born. You get used to it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 12:56 PM
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That's a strange club, but it still makes more sense than the Shriners.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:02 PM
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Poor heebie. My friends seem to have had the same experience - each kid is harder. The ones with the oldest kids (where the "baby" is four), seem to be slowly slimming back down with no added effort. Maybe this will be you?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:05 PM
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Ah, this looks to be te source for much of the data in those charts, USDA "Nutrient Content of the U.S. Food Supply, 1909-2000" (pdf). I'll give it a look tonight. Must work now, since per my mid-cycle review, "For JP to be successful for the 2nd half of 2013 he will need to focus and manage his time better." Ha! Good luck with that! (It was actually a rather favorable first half review, but I have in fact been pretty useless since about Memorial Day.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:05 PM
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In other words, for every extra 12 ounce can of non-diet soda you consume, you have to walk or run another mile.

I'd walk a mile for a Camel Coke.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:06 PM
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LB's youngest child is almost 12??

Are we really that old?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:08 PM
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Thanks for the commiseration, all. It's actually really nice to read, in part because I hate that this has gotten under my skin.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:09 PM
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163: I'm sorry. To be clear, I think weight is a pretty ridiculous measure of fitness/health, and it worries me a little because a weight drop almost certainly came out of lean body mass and bone density for me (hence squish.) And you're ~14 weeks pp; get off thine own back. Nine months on, nine months off, etc.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:10 PM
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In other words, for every extra 12 ounce can of non-diet soda you consume, you have to walk or run another mile.

But I'm so far from ever doing anything as obvious as consuming non-diet soda. I mean, I'm at the level where I write it down when I finish the kid's sandwich crusts and count it. It's really hard not to be neurotic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:11 PM
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Hmm. Chipotle claims that the tortilla has as many calories as the rice and beans combined. That's really counterintuitive to me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:16 PM
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Nutritionally, I think beer is probably about as bad as non-diet soda, but it does really help me to be not neurotic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:16 PM
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(And now I'm embarrassed that I admitted that.)

I went shopping for a bathing suit yesterday, because we're visiting Jammies' parents next week, and that's partly why the current spike in body-despair. How's that for a cliche?

In general, I'd say I'm working very hard on keeping perspective and getting fit and not worrying too much on what I look like. (Today I just do not have much perspective. I'll get it back tomorrow.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:22 PM
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176: In a recent study, researchers discovered that rats that were especially neurotic about counting every calorie were 23% more likely to gain weight.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:24 PM
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171 is fascinating.

"In 2000, sugars and sweeteners provided 39 percent of the carbohydrate in the food supply"

Wow.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:28 PM
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The link in 171 is great. We should do some kind of collective close reading.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:32 PM
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Hmm. Chipotle claims that the tortilla has as many calories as the rice and beans combined. That's really counterintuitive to me.

Interesting -- I also have/had the impression that you wind up with more rice and beans in a bowl than you do inside a tortilla, but perhaps not! I see that their little online calculator assumes that everything is additive, and that there's no making up for lost space, and maybe that's so, though that's not how I'd been thinking of it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:33 PM
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What I see in 171 is that starting in 1980, the average USian steadily consumed more calories. Roughly one third of that increase comes from grains, one quarter from sugar, and one third from fat (mostly salad and cooking oils).


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:37 PM
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182: Yes, a quick peruse gives some concerns as to how to really interpret it. For instance, it has total calories in the food supply in the 3,000s while other sources (like 51) have it in the 2,000. So probably does need a close reading ("in the food supply" may mean differnet things, for instance).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:39 PM
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Or there may be different wastage assumptions.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:39 PM
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Lactating bodies are just weird. Some women lose weight. Some women report that their body just holds onto fat stores until the baby weans, and then it all drops off. Some women wind up a bit heavier. I don't think anyone has a blessed idea why.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 1:40 PM
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Jezebel had a funny article yesterday with 89 simple steps for losing weight.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 2:18 PM
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188: I'd guess that it was inspired by the article in the OP. The last item on the list is an "in all seriousness read [this]" recommendation followed by several quotes from the article.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 2:41 PM
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187 is the truth. Also 188 is how I got to the OP article.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:01 PM
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Off to walk (halfway) home for the 2nd day in the row. It's not kayaking but 3+ miles along the riverside trail. Part of a conscious effort to be more active.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:03 PM
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173: He's still adorable, if it helps.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:06 PM
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Another weight-loss tip (I haven't read the whole list in 188, but I don't think this is on the list): raise your brown fat activity level, by exposing yourself at least sometimes to cold temperatures.

(Admittedly probably not helpful advice for people in TX in summertime.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:10 PM
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192: I remember when he was five.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:11 PM
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194: I remember when your kids were born.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:23 PM
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raise your brown fat activity level, by exposing yourself at least sometimes to cold temperatures.

I think you're telling me to turn down the AC. For my health.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:28 PM
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I've been swimming twice a week since the start of this month and I've had a very notable change in my musculature. The skin on top of my muscles has a bunch more freckles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:29 PM
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Also, my ankle hurts. But I think I mentioned that before.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:34 PM
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I'm also back in the pool. I couldn't run outside anymore toward the end of June. It was just too freaking hot and humid.

I'm a terrible swimmer, so it is a fantastic workout. The gym at my office has a lap pool so I've signed up for the hot months and been using that.

Certainly helps me sleep and doesn't leave me nearly as sore as running.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:52 PM
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I was thinking the other day that there can still be a willpower component even if the obesity epidemic is due to circumstances largely out of people's control.

Think about the "willpower" to be anorexic. That type of "willpower" is highly related to intelligence/self-control/good-grades:

http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/170/5/566.short

"women with the highest school grades had a higher risk of eating disorders (hazard ratio = 7.7, 95% confidence interval: 2.5, 24.1 for high compared with low grades in Swedish, adjusted for parental education)."

Maybe something has changed where the ability to ignore what your body is telling you is now needed to keep thin where that perverse ability wasn't needed 30 years ago.


Posted by: lemmycaution | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:57 PM
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Swimming's great but it's a terrible way to lose weight, largely because it makes you hungry.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 3:57 PM
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Plus, it lets you feel like you deserve a trip to the bar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 4:03 PM
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Swimming just drives me crazy not to listen to something while I exercise.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 4:10 PM
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||
Got a friend flying to Pittsburgh on business in a couple of weeks. Anything happen there on Tuesday nights?

Also, recos on where to eat if you have multiple food issues would be appreciated.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 4:14 PM
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209: anorexia is the only mental illness that requires affirmative executive control resources. Very interesting!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 4:21 PM
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Think of how many of us are just too irresponsible to catch it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 4:32 PM
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The dumb thread wondered why none of her friends had anorexia.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 4:35 PM
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I really like that swimming forces me not to distract myself with anything. I'm also a horrid swimmer, so it's a hell of a workout. It is kind of a pain because the pool has weird hours and I had to get a new swimsuit.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 4:35 PM
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16: copycat.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 4:44 PM
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I haven't noticed that this time around, re: hunger, but it certainly can be that way.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 4:45 PM
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203 I got bonsaisue a waterproof mp3 player for like $80. Works a treat.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 4:51 PM
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209: I prefer "philosemite".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 5:05 PM
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204.1: Not really.
204.2: If the issue involves meat, Jewish law, or not avoiding fries, I know some options.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 5:10 PM
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200: Yes, the pain of self-starvation feels really, really good because it's prood of success, IME. I was so relieved that when I was doing the intermittent fasting I didn't have that giddy feeling of being back in control. I am afraid that if I lose weight I'll start to believe it makes me morally superior or something, but it would still probably be a good idea to do for other reasons.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 5:39 PM
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From the report linked in 171:

However, these values represent the amount of nutrients in foods that disappear into the marketing system and are neither a direct measure of actual nutrient consumption nor are they based on the quantity of food actually ingested. As such, these values typically overstate actual nutrient consumption because commodity measures do not account for edible food losses, resulting from trimming, cooking, plate waste, and spoilage. ... With these limitations, food supply nutrients are more appropriate as indicators of trends of nutrient availability over time on a per capita or national basis than as absolute levels of intake by individual Americans.
So it sort of makes sense that it would show on the order of 1,000+ more cloaries per day. Still probably pretty good for looking at varying contributions of food groups across time (it does take into account imports and exports).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:17 PM
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And the kick is so divine/when she sees bones beneath her skin


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:19 PM
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177: Hmm. Chipotle claims that the tortilla has as many calories as the rice and beans combined. That's really counterintuitive to me.

This caught my attention. Yeah, I've noticed from reading the labels on store-bought tortillas that some are kind of high-cal. Checking just now on some of the major brands: well, Mission tortillas show "coming soon" on nutritional information on some of their types. The so-called Carb Balance Large/Burrito Whole Wheat Tortillas has 210 calories per tortilla and 2.5 grams of saturated fat (13% daily value). That's a large tortilla, of course. The smaller size Multi-Grain Medium/Soft Taco Flour Tortillas has 150 calories, 1.5 grams saturated fat (8%).

There's a lot a difference with tortillas across brands, I've noticed. The lesser brands aren't so indulgent.

Pita bread isn't necessarily as awesome as you might think, either. Again a lot of variance across brands.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:44 PM
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That is all to say that my big bad boogie man, diet-wise, is carbs. Even when I think I'm doing well by having a tortilla or pita bread, not necessarily.

Now that summer's fully upon on, I wish to get off the freakin' carbs a bit more in favor of lovely! fresh! delicious! salads. We have squash and cucumbers and basil and parsley and green beans and tomatoes, both large and meaty and small and fruity. Surely I can do something with that.* (Peppers not doing so great. Cantaloupe proceeding apace. Kale and swiss chard didn't manage to continue past their overwintering; they were planted last fall and were fine until April or so.)

* Also nasturtiums, edible flowers in the watercress family, kind of peppery tasting and delicious. Super easy to grow, and really pretty.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 6:58 PM
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I went shopping for a bathing suit yesterday, because we're visiting Jammies' parents next week, and that's partly why the current spike in body-despair. How's that for a cliche?

Not even going there. I just got my new board shorts and rash guard in the mail today. I'm hitting the beach dude-style: not showing any more flesh than I would in any other public place.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:01 PM
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I went shopping for a bathing suit yesterday, because we're visiting Jammies' parents next week, and that's partly why the current spike in body-despair. How's that for a cliche?

Not even going there. I just got my new board shorts and rash guard in the mail today. I'm hitting the beach dude-style: not showing any more flesh than I would in any other public place.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:01 PM
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Oh, I did indeed buy board shorts, and I will be wearing them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:06 PM
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214: What ended up happening with the intermittent fasting? Did it ever get reasonably not-too-hard?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:08 PM
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I finally bought a rash guard. It took a week for the sunburn to heal after a single day in the ocean last year and I'm going for a week this year.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:13 PM
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I admit to not knowing what a rash guard is.

On investigation, it is not what I thought it would be. Also Wikipedia is asking for $3.00, and say that if everyone reading Wikipedia right now gave that, they could stop asking within the hour. Okay, I can do $3.00!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:29 PM
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A tee shirt made of something that doesn't absorb water.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:34 PM
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WTF?!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:42 PM
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222: It was never hard for me when I was doing it, but then I decided I was too peevish to manage anything other than eating my feelings, so I've been doing that. I don't know if I've gained back all the weight I lost doing it, but it's good to know I can undo it in a month or so if I choose to.

Our nastirtiums took over their area of the garden and are delicious, but next time I need to plant arugula.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 7:44 PM
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Topically, I ate some cake today, and now feel gross.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:25 PM
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HEEBIE, YOUR MASS IS WELL WITHIN THE PREDICTED LIMITS. DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED HIGGS BOSON | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:29 PM
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Oh don't give me mass.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:31 PM
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What. EVER.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:31 PM
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Why the fuck do birthdays have to involve cake? Why is cake basically nonconsensually forced on us at the workplace? What is the source of this scourge?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:32 PM
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It tastes good, sorry to say.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:39 PM
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What country has the best no office party birthday cake/standard of living ratio? I'll bet in Sweden you just eat some herring and don't have to put up with this bullshit.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:40 PM
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Damn, I'm wrong, the Wikipedia "birthday cake" entry blames the 15th century Germans for the contemporary form of birthday cake and says its now widespread throughout the West. How did the Reformation not put an end to this bullshit? Way to fall down on the job, Luther, your whole job was to get rid of the problems of 15th century Germany. We need a new reformation to ravage this cancer out of Western culture.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:51 PM
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I'm really enjoying my 4 month orgy of carbs, now more than half over: cherries, beer, tortillas. I look like crap, of course, but that'll mitigate, to the extent it ever does, by Columbus Day.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 8:57 PM
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no office party birthday cake/standard of living ratio

Um.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 9:00 PM
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Figure it out for me, Professor. Meanwhile I'm off to execute Germans, birthday cake, and Heebie's excess baby weight.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-13 10:00 PM
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The only possible explanation is that heebie is pregnant AGAIN.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:00 AM
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I'll bet in Sweden you just eat some herring and don't have to put up with this bullshit.

"God dag, Sven."
"God dag, Minna. Today I am 37 years old. The thought fills me with gloom and anguish."
"One year closer to death, Sven."
"I suppose so, Minna."
"Are you seeing any signs yet of your inevitable decay into senility, Sven?"
"Yes, I have a crick in my back."
"Herring?"
"Oh, go on then."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:47 AM
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234, 237: The ratio of standard of living to no office birthday party cake is too big.


Posted by: Milton Waddams | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 5:53 AM
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182: [re: link in 171] We should do some kind of collective close reading.

I was able to give it a quick read last night. A lot of movement within categories. A few trends that stood out from 1909 to 2000:
Potatoes way down: 188 lbs. to 83 lbs.
Poultry way up: 17 lbs. to 93 lbs.
Fats and oils up: 40 lbs. 79 lbs. (with butter/animal fats down, so vegetable-based way up).
Carbohydrates overall U-shaped.
Proteins and fats both up over that time period. (All 3 up from 1970s through 2000 in line with overall rise in calories.)

No surprise, but the one item which absolutely has grown since the early '70s is high-fructose corn syrup from nothing to nearly being on par with refined sugars (which actually dropped somewhat over that time period). [See the small insert chart on Figure 5 on page 17.]


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:19 AM
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Potatoes way down: 188 lbs. to 83 lbs.

I've thought about trying an all potato diet to see if I couldn't slim down a bit and maybe tap into the wisdom of the ancient early modern Irish and maybe write a bestselling book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:24 AM
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232: Why is cake basically nonconsensually forced on us at the workplace?

I fled from cake yesterday, anti-socially leaving a colleague's retirement ceremony early to avoid the scourge. (But I had been at a dinner for him the night before where I had the best NY cheesecake that I have had in quite some time.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:27 AM
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Reminds me of the joke about the US and Russian generals arguing about whose troops are best, and the American says "US army rations are second to none; Russian troops only get 2500 calories a day, US soldiers get 5000 a day" and the Russian goes "5000 calories a day? Impossible. No man can eat an entire sack of potatoes in 24 hours."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:29 AM
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If I'm not mistaken the nutritiousness of potatoes has been trending steadily downwards as the are increasingly bred for size and robustness on the way to market and similar considerations. The OG potato was a hearty meal. Now they are mostly just carbs. Same thing has been going on with supermarket tomatoes.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:30 AM
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Why is cake basically nonconsensually forced on us

Non-consensual cake-forcing is also known as S&Mmmm.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:30 AM
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246: I'll use heirloom potatoes. Thanks for the tip.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:34 AM
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And maybe I'll come up with some bullshit reason why you have to make your own butter to eat with the potatoes and how this is best done using a $89.99 plastic piece of crap with my name on it. It's all about branding. Fitness and branding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:45 AM
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It's all about branding

The Hick Butt-o-matic


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:48 AM
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As god is my witness I know how to close a tag.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:49 AM
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Now I'm not going to be able to get anything done until I look up WKRP and turkeys on YouTube.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:50 AM
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Sour cream, chives, bacon bits. Cheddar.

The all-potato diet could be the new nail broth.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:58 AM
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245: [US & Russian WWII rations.]

And lo and behold from the report [emphasis added]: Food supply nutrients were first estimated in the early years of World War II (WWII) to assess the nutritive value of the food supply for civilian use in the United States and to provide a basis for international comparisons with the food supplies of our allies.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:12 AM
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(I'm guessing that the Danny Kaye version had dropped out of pop culture before many of you would have been aware of it.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:14 AM
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252: It's there, my friend. I just looked for it last week.

The book 1493 has a fascinating picture of 20 different varieties of potatoes native to Peru.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:18 AM
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The book 1493 has a fascinating picture of 20 different varieties of potatoes native to Peru.

And fascinating information about the all-potato diet!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:18 AM
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I'm going to keep Peru out of my business plan, because pan pipes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:37 AM
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The government has issued me a PIV card. Hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:45 AM
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I only know PIV as an acronym of penis-in-vagina sex. Congratulations on your card, Moby.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:50 AM
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I cannot think of a damn thing to post.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:52 AM
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260: Thanks for making that explicit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:55 AM
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And now it's time to take Hawaii to the dentist, so any posting will have to be on the phone, which is challenging. Way to drop the ball, EVERYBODY.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:57 AM
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I don't have a ball card from the government.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:01 AM
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Philip Greensun had some interesting thoughts on the Asiana Crash, here:
http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2013/07/11/asiana-214-training-with-passengers-in-the-back/

Reading what pilots write makes me uneasy about flying in small planes. Every so often I get curious about airport operations, a crazy mixture of engineering, regulation, and human behavior. I'm consistently surprised that commercial flying works as well as it does.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:03 AM
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Hmm, heebie, I'm reading a book about the legacy of Gideon v. Wainwright and the need for reform in the public defender system. Not sure that's controversial enough.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:03 AM
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That case sounds like a Bonanaza episode.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:10 AM
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Before I link we can guess what type of gifts are being referred to in the lede of this recent article: Gabrielle Glaser delivered her third baby and noticed a radical difference in the type of gifts that were being dropped off by her female friends. (Or someone can cheat and search and post the link and we can discuss that.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:17 AM
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259, my work switched a while ago and I'm still giggling inappropriately. I want to make more of a show about inserting my card into the cardreader, but I'm the only one in my little cube farm who'd find it funny.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:18 AM
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Please tell me the third baby got gifts in leather, like the dumb anniversary suggestions (paper, cotton, leather, WTF). Although, maybe she got a nicely giftwrapped birth control device?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:23 AM
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I'm guessing tummy tucks and vajazzling or something. No clue.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:28 AM
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I googled and I'd be really surprised if anyone guessed successfully. The article sounds completely silly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:36 AM
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Ira Glass doing Reagan's work for him.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:45 AM
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The government has issued me a PIV card

I have a TWIC card, which is much less exciting.

Way to drop the ball, EVERYBODY.

I had something I meant to send you, but then I felt like I'd been sending in too many links so I didn't; let me look for it. Also, here's a pair of links that I saw recently.

A depressing story about poverty and just how low the minimum wage is.

For a woman who's working full-time at a minimum wage job, the cost of an adequate supply of diapers, which researchers estimate to be around $18 a week, or $936 per year per child, may eat up as much as 6 percent of her gross pay.

A pick-me-up after you've been depressed.

"This particular photograph has reaffirmed for me the power of the still image. Even before I became a professional, I was intrigued by the power of the still image and its ability to make people think. . . . I doubt if I'll ever make another photograph as good as this one, but this one image has given me reason enough to keep trying."

(both from Labrys)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:53 AM
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268, 272: that article is really silly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:03 AM
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272, 275: Right, the answer is alcohol (wine, specifically)! The 3rd baby hook is odd and the whole article does seem to be lame.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:10 AM
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275: 'Tis and it makes me wonder if there have been any studies on how lesbians metabolize alcohol versus straight women, if they're going to be making broad generalizations like that.

274.1: I'm glad NickS (and Labrys) are on the buzzkill beat so that it doesn't have to be just me!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:12 AM
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That is truly a silly article. Oh no! Wimmens is doing this thing that doesn't appear to be bad for them but doesn't jive with the eternally-sacrificing pigeonhole!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:23 AM
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Jibe. Things that jibe match (or turn downwind, but that's not important right now), things that jive either dance or dodge.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:24 AM
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The 3rd baby hook is odd and the whole article does seem to be lame.

On the veldt, baby hooks made it easier for the babies to grab on.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:24 AM
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I am, as always, an LB.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:24 AM
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Jibe ho!


Posted by: Bertie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:24 AM
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"Jive with the enternally-sacrificing pigeonhole" is more fun read in light of, as opposed to corrected by, 279.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:25 AM
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Huh. I knew that jive mean dancing, I just thought the expression meant that things were dancing together. I'll make a concerted effort to watch myself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:28 AM
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Way to hone in on a problematic new usage.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:29 AM
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I will say that there are more marginal savings with the 3rd baby than I expected. She's so entertained by the other two, and they're so helpful and occupied by the baby. Having three is easier than having two and being super pregnant.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:30 AM
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I forget what I was reading, but it was a formal news article that used the phrase "way more". Way to sound way more professionaler.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:38 AM
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286: At one point, my mom had three, was super pregnant, and broke her foot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:45 AM
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When the boat jibes the sailors better jive.

(Boom vang, boom vang.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:53 AM
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288: oh dear god.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:54 AM
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Of course, grandma lived two blocks away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:54 AM
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290 was me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:55 AM
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And she had a hired helper.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:55 AM
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291: Aren't blocks in Nebraska about ten miles long?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:56 AM
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Shuck and jive down the primrose path to the pigeonhole of constant sacrifice.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:57 AM
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Also, I know this photo essay of black Chicagoans in the 70s has been making the rounds on FB, but what's striking to me in light of this thread is that basically no one is overweight.

No patience for HTML on the iPad: http://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/photos-that-give-a-window-into-black-life-in-chicago-in-t?fb_action_ids=10100471519638147&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210100471519638147%22%3A340710936062613%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210100471519638147%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Oh jeez there's a whole mess of facebook redirection in that link, isn't there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:59 AM
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My friend who is divorcing is texting me about just now telling the six year old that she's moving out. It sounds like absolutely horrible and gut-wrenching. And of course I know this daughter pretty well, and am having sympathetic horror for what she's going through right now. She is an incredibly stoic kid, usually, but really broke down. Ack.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:04 AM
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Hawaii, OTOH, is getting three cavities filled. When we tried this last summer, she came out ten minutes later, too scared and upset to proceed. But enough time has passed that it seems she's getting it done this time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:06 AM
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I'm going to need a crown on one of my teeth. It isn't even a cavity. I just wore out the enamel on the top part.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:08 AM
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But good luck getting those done with a small child. That's got to be nerve wracking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:10 AM
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They are very strict about parents staying in the lobby. So, so far it's been easy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:12 AM
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What if the parents smoke? Can you go outside?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:14 AM
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They should have thought of that before their kid got a cavity.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:19 AM
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I have to have four cavities filled. Blah.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:22 AM
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You might get stickers if you're good while they are filled.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:24 AM
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I am, as always, an LB

I like the cut of your jiv.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:24 AM
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296: What's striking to me is the kids' hairstyles. Most of the little little ones have what we'd now call protective styles (medium-sized braids, in this case, with no rubber bands or other things holding the hair) that would be almost unthinkable, especially for little girls. Surely someone has studied when beads and ballies became the norm, but I don't actually know. Anyway, I do think the reason that the older girls can all wear two braids when many of the girls I know now couldn't has to do with the early protective styles that encourage growth.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:27 AM
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Spell that out? The pictures in the essay show styles that are better at promoting growth/avoiding breakage than standard styles now? What's the difference with standard styles now, and why would the 'protective styles' be unthinkable?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:42 AM
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Thorn, I'd noticed the style shift but hadn't thought to wonder why. I think of Rudy from the Cosby show as pretty classic hair for a little girl, but you're right that it's not a style I've seen on a kid in a long time.

The headlines in photo 29 (The periodical is entitled Climax? Sold at a newstand?) are interesting, quaint but still dirty.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:52 AM
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Right now, little girls' hair is not considered "styled" in mainstream US black culture unless there's some kind of bow or barrette or ballies or beads in it. Even Beyonce is getting criticism for not meeting "doneness" standards. Obviously afros were in style then and they are not protective but are definitely a style. Right now Nia's hair is in corkscrew threaded twists but I have beads at the end both to hide the knots of the weave thread and because it makes it clear that her hair is styled and thus no one will come up to me on the street and tell me I need to find someone to take care of her hair.

Curly hair breaks more easily than straight hair because of all the bends, and the more you manipulate it, the more likely it is to break. So tiny rubber bands cause breakage and so do heavy bead loads, which also can encourage traction alopecia (baldness caused by hair strands pulled out because of excessive tension in a hairstyle, like tight cornrows or extensions for older women).


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:52 AM
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309: Yeah, Lee always had the center part and two braids look growing up, though neither of our girls has hair long enough for it yet and I think most girls get their hair chemically straightened before it would be long enough to do it anyway, which seems like a big cultural change.

Mara has locs/dreadlocks now, which is not really culturally acceptable here but is what she needs anyway and I just have to do what I can to keep them looking tidy while she swims every day, which is basically impossible.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:56 AM
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310: Got it -- I hadn't realized that a style without things (beads, whatever) in it would look neglectful these days.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:00 AM
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thus no one will come up to me on the street and tell me I need to find someone to take care of her hair.

Can't you just tell them to go fuck themselves or something? That sounds easier than beads.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:03 AM
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313 made me laugh. It does sound like a lot of work!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:04 AM
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The periodical is entitled Climax? Sold at a newstand?

Clearly you're not a fan of the early, funny Woody Allen (NSFW).


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:14 AM
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In New York, one of RWM's knitting groups shared a starbucks with a bible study of young black women with natural hairstyles. We were always kind of curious whether they went to a church where everyone had natural hairstyles, or whether the bible study was just that particular subset of the church. Or maybe they didn't go to the same church at all and it was intentionally a bible study for young women with natural hairstyles.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:14 AM
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313 is kind of Lee's response, and come to think of it she manages not to do hair. Nia does at least get that people judge us based on how she looks and I think that helped her stop trying to restyle her hair during school and invariably failing.

But hair stands in for care in general and I don't feel like I have the right to just opt out of that. Nia's grandmother marveled at how long Nia's hair has gotten, and from the way she said it I could tell she meant it was the sort of thing you could tell a judge to prove that Nia's being cared for right. But then I found myself doing it with Mara's sister, whose hair is growing for the first time since I've known her now that she's in a new home, so I'm guilty too. Plus, they didn't ask to be stuck with two moms and they don't deserve to be clucked at and ostracized because their white mom doesn't care about community norms. So I do hair all the time.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:15 AM
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Mara has locs/dreadlocks now, which is not really culturally acceptable here

There are places where dreadlocks aren't culturally acceptable? I've lived in some pretty whitebread plains/midwestern spots in my time, and my impression was that dreadlocks had become pretty mainstream.

A rural thing? I was always in cities or reasonably large towns.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:18 AM
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Maybe do both then, hair and telling to fuck off.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:19 AM
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318: On 5-year-olds? The only other children in our school system with them are middle school and up, though I know of other families in the larger metropolitan area with younger kids who have them.

316: I've belonged to some natural hair boards and gone to natural meetups back before we had kids, and I wouldn't actually be surprised if it was specifically a natural hair bible study group. NYC seemed to have hair groups meeting all the time.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:22 AM
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294: You're thinking of chains in New Orleans.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:24 AM
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For a little girl? Also, I think white people would mostly think "aww, a little hippie", but in the black community it might show a failure to conform to standards. Especially given that ol' white buzzkill Thorn is going to get extra attention on the topic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:24 AM
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NYC seemed to have hair groups meeting all the time.

So you were there in the '80s?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:27 AM
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Dreads would look unusual to me on a little kid as well in NYC, I think -- not very unusual, but enough to make me think (fairly or not) something like "Your parents are grad students, aren't they."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:28 AM
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I guess my impression of how normal it is for fairly small kids to have dreadlocks has been skewed by where I'm living now, where I see it all the time.

I'm surprised it's unusual in NYC.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:30 AM
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318, 322: I don't think I've ever seen dreads on a small child. Mostly I see them on white college kids who wear clothing that refers to pot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:30 AM
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Anyway, I know I'm doing a good enough job on their hair because no one has ever said anything to Lee about getting anyone to do their hair. Really, one of the other big changes is that I can pretty much guarantee it was a mom or big sister or auntie doing the hair of every single girl in those pictures (except the one where it's a neighbor actively parting her neighbor's hair, from the looks of it) and now many, many girls are going to quasi-professional braiders or stylists from a very young age. I am not going to pay to do that for a lot of reasons, but again that means it sets the girls apart visually. I do hair fine for a mom, but I'm never going to be a pro.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:30 AM
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Hawaii is home now, with all these rules to make sure she doesn't bite through her cheek, lip, or tongue. Mostly she has to hold a little tube in her mouth for the next two hours.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:31 AM
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328 sounds like hell. I mean, not great for Hawaii but hell for the person who has to make her keep the stupid tube in her mouth.

(Also, I have to caveat 327 and say that the only blog people who've seen Mara saw her when her hair was absolutely not culturally acceptable in any way, though it was the way she prefers it. Basically she wants to look like Basquiat so her locs are loose and she can yank on them and pull them around, which she calls "starfish style." I'd flat-twisted them down for the day at camp but she helpfully pulled them out, sigh.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:41 AM
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I suppose this is part of why I'm not cut out for parenthood, but I can't even fathom the idea of trying to get someone else to keep their hair a different way than they want to.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:52 AM
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307: Surely someone has studied when beads and ballies became the norm

Melissa Harris-Perry has done a series of programs on MSNBC on black women's hair: she's had a number of scholars and activists on to explain the history, politics, etc. of the matter. Google Melissa Harris-Perry black hair -- lots of links. I don't have time at the moment to look into just who she had on the discussion panel, but I saw one of the shows, and the women knew what they were talking about. There's a whole lecture circuit about it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:55 AM
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Apropos of nothing, I'm kind of in love with campaign communications director Barbara Morgan. I mean, OK, bad on you for not clarifying the conversation was off the record. But it's so lame that in a political campaign in NYC you can't call some fucking intern who betrays your campaign to give a tell-all story to the Daily News a "twat" and a "slutbag" without having a bunch of language nannies come down on you for "slutshaming." The best traditions of politics rely on relentless cursing and hearty fuck yous to betraying shitsippers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:56 AM
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Link.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:57 AM
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Well, given that one major reason she wants it loose are to stick it in her ears, I am comfortable being dictatorial, not that she listens to me.

331: Yeah, I know (by reputation and in a few cases personally) a lot of the experts she's had on. There's a lot of history on adult hairstyles; I just don't know of much on kids' and I'd have expected to have run across it by now if it were readily available.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:00 PM
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332: The whole Weiner campaign meltdown is pretty great, but this really was a nice touch:

"Fucking slutbag. Nice fucking glamour shot on the cover of the Daily News. Man, see if you ever get a job in this town again"

"That was off the record, right?"


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:05 PM
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I've met a small kid with Basquiat hair, but (a) Ber|<eley and (b) parents were grad students. Looked good on the kid -- as though it was both durable and sculpturally plastic -- am now dubious if that was true.

A while ago I was on a bus near the Seattle downtown library and overheard a grown woman telling off a girl for having insufficiently done hair. (Both black.) I think her words were "You're always reading! Your hair's a mess! That's not even a style!" and now I wonder if it lacked beads or other put-ins. But! I was trying to frame a It-Gets-Better response about how I had myself been a girl nerd, which eventually got me a job so good I had time off to hang out at the library, except I couldn't get the whole causative chain into catchy form and ALSO I realized my hair and clothes were just horribly dowdy. Have actually tried to look better, at least tidier, since then to represent sustainable hedonism.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:09 PM
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332: NYC mayoral race, Deadwood-style.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:13 PM
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OT: NMM to Hu/go Sch/wyz/er's "I'm a male feminist, but believe me, I get plenty of action, which you shouldn't" racket, I guess. A tragic loss.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:16 PM
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||
Is shyster antisemitic? I was surprised just now that a coffee shop had a drink called 'the Shyster' but when I googled it, a website said it was a misunderstood term, like niggardly.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:20 PM
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It's Yiddish, right? I wouldn't think it was antisemitic at all from someone who'd use bits and pieces of Yiddish otherwise (that is, a Jew or someone who's been in a Jewish enough environment that they've picked up words, like me), it just means a sleazy lawyer. There are usages where I'd think it was antisemitic, though, if someone who didn't naturally use Yiddish vocabulary pulled out 'shyster' to indicate that someone was not just a sleazy lawyer, but a Jewish sleazy lawyer.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:28 PM
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Sources guess it's from Scheißer. Shylock is the anti-Semitic one.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:33 PM
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This tidbit from the Wikipedia page makes me want to incorporate the word into my everyday vocabulary: "The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says it is based on the German Scheißer (literally "defecator" but also used to refer to deceivers)."


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:33 PM
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Scheißer-pwned.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:34 PM
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337. But she did not say C*****cker.

In realted news of the American west, typefaces that have huge slab serif look the way they do because they were originally made of wood, like this one:
http://www.woodtyperevival.com/products/french-clarendon-ornamented


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:37 PM
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344.2: What is it about wood that makes those shapes easier? I'd have thought you could cut it into any shape you liked.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:43 PM
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345: It breaks along the grain lines, so you can't have narrow extensions perpendicular to each other.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:44 PM
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I'm pretty sure a coffee shop in this town is not run by a couple of yids. But I could be wrong. It was iced coffee with brown sugar and cream.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:48 PM
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No ductility, crude tools so only thick lines are possible, fat elements wear better, maybe better results on battered letterpresses. Less work to cut away the forms maybe.

I just found this site a bit ago, so excited that I nealrly wet myself:
http://www.utexas.edu/cofa/rrk/history.php


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:49 PM
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338: This bit from the interview almost made me laugh out loud, because I'm a moral monster.

What are you going to do now? ... Second, I need to get my marriage right. There's some bad shit that went down. I had an affair, which is very off-brand for me.

Yes, that was a bad bit of brand-management right there.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:53 PM
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347: What a weird name for a coffee drink -- it's like calling a latte "The Used Car Salesman". You could ask? Maybe it's named after a particular lawyer who habitually ordered it and jokingly referred to himself as a shyster?

I wouldn't think it's antisemitic, in any case, even if the coffee shop is as goyish as all get out, just because there's no coherent referent. Stupid, maybe -- they seem to be using a word they don't understand. But not antisemitic unless there's an unpleasant little caricature on the menu next to the word.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:53 PM
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332, 335: Yes, a tweet from today, "Not my best day yesterday." Gee, d'ya think?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:55 PM
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I had an affair, which is very off-brand for me.

That's fantastic.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 12:59 PM
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they seem to be using a word they don't understand.

It is normal in our culture to tattoo symbols in a language you can't read on your person. It is only fair that the English language gets the same treeatment.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:06 PM
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I seriously am pissed off about this. What will happen to politics if you can't swear and have to tread lightly on a totally backstabbing incompetent intern? And why is TPM even publishing that as a scandal. I am totally going to print out a Team Barbara Morgan T-shirt.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:09 PM
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352: And now even though it's been easy not to care about him at all for years, I really want to know who it was, which is of course what he wants. Argh!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:10 PM
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354: I liked the "never get a job in this town again" line. It sounds like something from a movie.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:11 PM
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I almost quoted the "off-brand" line but I wanted to allow you reprobates the bliss of discovery. Christ, what a tool.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:14 PM
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Here's the whole thing. So great:

"I'm dealing with like stupid fucking interns who make it on to the cover of the Daily News even though they signed NDAs and/or they proceeded to trash me," Morgan told TPM, referring to a non-disclosure agreement. "And by the way, I tried to fire her, but she begged to come back and I gave her a second chance."
"Fucking slutbag. Nice fucking glamour shot on the cover of the Daily News. Man, see if you ever get a job in this town again," said Morgan.
"And then like she had the fucking balls to like trash me in the paper. And be like, 'His communications director was last the press secretary of the Department of Education in New Jersey," Morgan said. "You know what? Fuck you, you little cunt. I'm not joking, I am going to sue her."
"It's all bullshit," she said. "I mean, it's such bullshit. She could fucking -- fucking twat."

I really am totally in love.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:14 PM
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Fuck yeah, sign me up for Team Barbara Morgan as well.

Weiner may be toast, but can there be a write-in campaign for Barbara Morgan?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:19 PM
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I'm conflicting about hating on Schw/yzer. On the one hand, I mean, yes, he's a total narcissist who tried to kill his girlfriend. On the other, I think reading his blog way back when, along with reading BitchPhD's blog and other feminist blogs, really helped me become somewhat less clueless about sexism. Flawed people, even very flawed ones, can sometimes be valuable. To be honest, I think his obvious narcissism helped me relate to him.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:27 PM
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356: Well yes, explicitly invoking Julia Phillips one presumes. Someone who fans of the aggressively unrepentant should admire. We all have our standards. People behaved in an ugly and despicable fashion towards me. I felt no constraints. Nothing I did in my book is as mean as any of the people I wrote about. and I wasn't a pariah because I was a drug-addicted, alcoholic, rotten person and not a good mother. I was a pariah because I hit them with a harsh, fluorescent light and rendered them as contemptible as they truly are.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:29 PM
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Yes, a tweet from today, "Not my best day yesterday." Gee, d'ya think?

But the pic accompanying that tweet is wonderful.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:29 PM
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Is alleging a past career in New Jersey state government libelous in NYC?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:45 PM
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It's libelous everywhere.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:46 PM
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I think the reference to suing was because of the NDA in general, not the communication director from New Jersey.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 1:50 PM
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I'm conflicting about hating on Schw/yzer. On the one hand, I mean, yes, he's a total narcissist who tried to kill his girlfriend. On the other, I think reading his blog way back when, along with reading BitchPhD's blog and other feminist blogs, really helped me become somewhat less clueless about sexism. Flawed people, even very flawed ones, can sometimes be valuable. To be honest, I think his obvious narcissism helped me relate to him.

The thing is, I don't think he's that much more flawed than any analogously privileged person. I think that there's this huge failing amongst the left/social justice/whatever-the-hell-the-kids-call-it-these-days crowd, in that we imagine that somehow there are lots and lots of nice, decent, good people out there who are nice and decent and good along their axes of privilege and that therefore HS was some kind of evil anomaly. Hello, I have news for you - even white people who do racial justice activism are usually pretty fucked up about race! Even straight dudes who are feminists are assholes to women in petty stupid ways a lot of the time! HS is exactly like every other charismatic self-doubting basically feminist white dude of his generation, except probably a little more reflective and honest - he's always reminded me a bit of the sainted David Foster Wallace in some ways. Oh, he's an asshole who slept with his students and has been pretty unacceptably rude to some women writers of color, but that's how charismatic straight white men are under white supremacy. The problem is that a lot of very naive People On The Internet still basically want a parental "good" white straight male figure to look up to. I think HS got knifed a lot for being, basically, slightly better than average. I found his writing kind of simplistic and his tone impossible, but you know what? I strongly suspect that everything I've ever written "from my perspective as a white person" reads a bit the same way to POC.

Also, I am not especially bothered by the whole "tried to kill himself and his girlfriend" thing - it was an awful thing to do and it's incredibly fortunate that he didn't succeed, but that's how shit goes down under patriarchy. It wasn't any more patriarchal and entitled than lots of young men's callow behavior; it was just more dramatic.

Honestly, internet criticism of any social justice/cultural left figure who has a flaw is just gross and brutal and stupid - and it's because most of us are not able to look at ourselves and acknowledge our own flaws, selfishnesses, bigotry and failure, so we tear up people who have the nerve to be - as HS basically was, even though he was also annoying and trite - honest about their flawed interiority.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:11 PM
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I mean, just look at this comment section from lame asshloes on TPM, who want the awesome Barbara Morgan fired for failing to be as humorlessly non-"misogynistic" as they are. Lighten up you ickwads, if you can't go off on a fucking backstabber who can you go off on.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:13 PM
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I've never read HS, even once, and therefore have nothing to contribute, but I'm pretty sure that "tried to kill himself and his girlfriend" is not really super ordinary behavior, patriarchy or no.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:18 PM
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Ordinary or not, it's very gender balanced.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:19 PM
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367: What part of "never read the comments" did you miss?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:19 PM
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366 is good.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:22 PM
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369: Sure right. If he's so liberated, why doesn't he ever sleep on the wet spot let her do the killing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:23 PM
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371: Yes it is. But do we know that Frowner always lives up to it?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:25 PM
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I've never read HS, even once, and therefore have nothing to contribute, but I'm pretty sure that "tried to kill himself and his girlfriend" is not really super ordinary behavior, patriarchy or no.

Apparently it was one of those "we are in a fucked up relationship, we get high a lot, I have been suicidal and, while we are both high, decide that I am going to turn on the gas" sorts of things. Everyone spun it as "look, he was so entitled that he thought he was entitled to kill his girlfriend because just like a patriarchal male he felt that he had jurisdiction over her Very Life" , but it just sounds like bog-standard self-dramatizing young guy bullshit to me, plus lots of drugs. Horrible and stupid and selfish, but seriously, that headspace of love/tragedy/drugs/self-dramatizingness is pretty ordinary. I felt that exploring just how ordinary it was would have been a better direction for the piece to go - and it would have been even cooler to talk about male romantic myths (of which the "our tragic love, we had to die, we were too beautiful and doomed to live" nonsense is certainly a subtype).

People talked about the dude like he was So Much Worse Than Everyone Else. Frankly, some of my best friends are straight white dudes and I have a fairly realistic sense of how "male feminists" grow up under patriarchy; hence, my expectations are, oh, somewhat realistic.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:26 PM
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If you replace "turning on the gas" with "drunk driving" then it's not such unusual behavior among young substance abusing couples. And I doubt the former has a higher death rate than the latter.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:32 PM
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I think the Schwyzer thing isn't necessarily that he's worse than anyone else, but that he's more annoying than most people. I have a pretty high tolerance for smug, sanctimonious, and condenscending (that is, people bitch about sanctimonious smugness all the time, and even when I agree with the evaluation of the people who are bitching about whoever it is after thinking about it, it usually didn't actually bother me up front). But Schwyzer set off my "Man, you have no idea at all what you sound like" reaction even before I heard people complaining about him substantively.

This isn't a reason to condemn him morally (more than any of the rest of us in a privileged position), but it's a reason not to read him.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:33 PM
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Also, the chinchilla thing is just peculiar.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:34 PM
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Actually turning on the gas is much more dangerous.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:35 PM
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But it smells so strongly.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:36 PM
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375 -- There's a big honking element of intent there that's pretty dang different, making your analogy officially BANNED. And while I get what Frowner's saying, I think the murder-suicide thing (if seriously contemplated and attempted and not just some kind of purely romantic fantasy) pushes it into a realm of sociopathy that's probably not just standard-grade dude misogyny.

But like I say I haven't read a thing he's written or any of the reaction to him, except I guess remembering that his name has come up once or twice here, so I probably shouldn't be contributing here at all.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:38 PM
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This isn't a reason to condemn him morally (more than any of the rest of us in a privileged position), but it's a reason not to read him.

Oh, sure, I'm not exactly a huge fan of his work. I think he deserves quite a lot of criticism! Including criticism for being such a selfish young idiot as to almost kill his girlfriend! It's just that that criticism should come from a standpoint of being realistic about ourselves.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:40 PM
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What now counts as drunk driving used to count as calling it a night early to avoid drunk driving.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:40 PM
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If you replace "turning on the gas" with "drunk driving" then it's not such unusual behavior among young substance abusing couples. And I doubt the former has a higher death rate than the latter.

Maybe I just knew a lot of lower-middle-class goths when I was younger, but fucked up young people who do various suicidal or suicidally foolish things while taking substances....it just doesn't seem that out of the ordinary to me.

I think part of what seemed so weird about the whole internet flap was that people's outrage didn't cut in at the "using hard drugs, having a ghastly relationship and being in very poor mental health" stage. Folks seemed at the time to be discussing it as if HS was just some random dudebro who decided out of the blue to get really high and turn on the gas.

My sense of the story was very much "here is someone who is mentally unstable and using a lot of drugs; unsurprisingly, he makes a spectacularly bad decision that follows directly from the former situation". Also, I think people ought to catch a break for being mentally ill, which HS obviously has been off and on.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:45 PM
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(And just to keep right on posting - see, yes, he's incredibly annoying, not unlike Tim Wise. And frankly, I find the prose styles of a lot of movement stars really sanctimonious. I wish merely being smug about your own virtue were enough to disqualify you from writing radical commentary on the internet. I might actually pay good money to read radical left writing that was really attentive to the ways that we are actually all flawed and messed up instead of focused on externalizing messed-up-edness.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:49 PM
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Again, I think the reaction there was largely to how he told the story; I think he took it back down (for obvious reasons), but I recall it as "Wow, look at what an emotional mess I was" not "In retrospect it's terrifying that I could have killed someone else." He seemed to have missed the point that doing dangerous things to people isn't important because it reveals that your psyche is damaged and unhealthy, it's important because you can hurt people who haven't consented to it.

And that self-centeredness was him writing now(ish), so not with the excuse of being young and addicted (I suppose he could be as mentally ill now as he's ever been).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:52 PM
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But it's not just a question of the fucked up things he did when he was younger. Remember the original article? It's his grown-up, supposedly more reflective, no-longer-fucked-up self that chooses to write a totally sensationalist piece about the incident, including the salient detail that he has "desperately hot, desperately heartbreaking sex" with his "emaciated, broken" ex-girlfriend who has just been raped and whom he is about to try to murder. I mean, ugh.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:54 PM
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Somebody just ride by on a Brompton.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:55 PM
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I would, but I'm kind of far away.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:57 PM
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I don't think I've seen one in person before.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 2:58 PM
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Eh, I dunno. I know a guy, who, when he was much younger, used to drop hella acid with his girlfriend. Their responses to the drug were very different: He would take off his clothes and wander around the apartment with the windows open, and she would scream continuously. That caused a few raised eyebrows. And by "raised eyebrows" I mean "police battering down the door."

I concur that one really fucked up incident, or even a pattern of such incidents, occurring in one's misspent, drug-addled youth, can't really tell us much about the kind of person that kid might become.

That said, I had never heard of this guy until this thread, so maybe he's a complete asshole and people were right to hound him off his blog.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:13 PM
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The patriarchy is actually pretty good on the whole don't murder people thing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thou_shalt_not_kill


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:20 PM
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||

Pretty awesome.

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:24 PM
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[In a fucked-up, not really SFW way]


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:26 PM
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OK, I just read that. Yes, he really and clearly did try to murder his girlfriend. No, doing that isn't too common even among the more drug-addled and misogynistic. He certainly seems to have remorse about it and writes honestly, so points for that, but the whole thing is a very odd and self-involved presentation of a story in which you are confessing to attempted murder. It's more about the integration of the incident into his romantic personal narrative of his life story than it is about the attempted murder itself.

To be clear, he may need to construct an integrated narrative of the event and its role in his life to sleep through the night, and that is fine, but it's extremely weird as a public presentation of the event. And, if this was presented as part of a strategy of self-promotion as a writer on feminist issues it's . . . pretty gross and exploitative, because he's clearly trying to use the attempted murder to sell himself.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:27 PM
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392, Most excellent, thank you.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:28 PM
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392: I sincerely want to believe that transitive 'herniate' isn't a Cupertino.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:31 PM
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394 to 386. 392 is super great.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:31 PM
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392 really is awesome. I am no saint by any measure, but my crimes are only criminal as a result of laws that are themselves criminal, and by that I mean drugs.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:40 PM
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396. On first skim I actually thought he meant that his daughter was like a part of him that would break free and become her own entity, as though a strangulated hernia could detach from the rest of the intestine and become an independent organ. Upon reflection that makes no sense, but it seemed so poetically gross.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:43 PM
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392: I like that he's into women with small quarks.


Posted by: Turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:58 PM
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It helps to interpret HS not as his preferred "male feminist, inevitably imperfect," but rather "man who is trying to sell us and himself something," that something being his ascent out of the original sin of patriarchy and his consequent authority to inform the rest of us of our shortcomings and sins. Rarely has Nietzsche's aphorism about the priest dining on sin been more apt.

On reflection, I concur with Frowner to the extent that this is likely a far from rare phenomenon with recovering addicts, but I see no reason to let the guy make a career telling the rest of us how much we suck.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 3:58 PM
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When I first read that piece, I was like "ew, this is your response?" but then I thought "huh, that must have been an intensely traumatic, scary, shameful, horrible thing to have to accept that you did, and I am not surprised that you have not written a wise, saintly piece about it ?". I give a LOT of points for honesty, actually, because there are a whole lot of things that Serious Movement People are never supposed to talk about, and there's a whole lot of Movement Secrets as a result - a whole lot of people who've done stuff that's varying degrees of bad who can never admit it, process it and move on because We Don't Talk About Those Things. My point isn't that he's a great guy, or that getting high and trying to kill yourself and your girlfriend is a mere bagatelle; it's that our whole set of expectations around Having Done Bad Things is totally off.

I emphasize that I don't think that HS is a sterling upstanding fellow, or that he ought to be some kind of "poster child" for feminism. I think that the radical movement as I know it loves to prop people up as wonderful heroes and then loves just as much finding out that they have done [varying degrees of] bad stuff and tearing them down. The more I think about it, the more I realize that this whole thing bugs me because it's the same old pattern again and again and we get trapped in it.

And I continue to maintain that I have seen what I consider much, much worse instances of male entitlement - dudes who stone cold sober and in average mental health have done awful things to women. "Morally bad" and "bad consequences" do not map perfectly onto each other, to my mind.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 4:01 PM
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I'm going to call bullshit on Frowner's comments. I've known a bench of asshole men, and none of them have attempted to murder their girlfriends. I'm sure in many ways I'm an asshole, and yet I've never attempted to murder any of my girlfriends. Not even once. Of course people attempt murder, but killing your girlfriend because Sid Vicious did it and he's cool is not normal behavior.

Honestly, HS is a fucking nut who's weird psychological issues have driven him to spend years trying to set himself up as the pope of male feminists. His behavior says more about him than it does about patriarchy. We'll have equally crazy people in utopia.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 4:02 PM
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I just realized that I do frequently agree with you, Frowner, and yet I never say it when I do. Because I suck.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 4:05 PM
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I haven't attempted to murder any of my girlfriends, either, but I still feel that Frowner's comments get at something important.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 4:21 PM
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Not that I don't appreciate it, Walt...er, I do, I mean.

But I would say "none of them have tried to murder their girlfriends that you know of". No, really, I'm serious. Our own experiences right here on Unfogged (perhaps you recall that SEK situation some years ago) suggest that there is a lot of Terrible Shit going on that is kept secret (not that there was a murder involved, but basically a really ugly secret came to light and was discussed as it happened over Unfogged, and then for safety reasons the post was taken down).

I actually lived above a guy who threatened to kill his wife. He was a guy who'd been in jail, had a really hard life, had some kind of mouth cancer and could not really talk anymore....he got drunk or maybe high and plausibly threatened her with a knife. Her son called the cops and he - who had been on probation - went back to jail. She wanted there to be some alternative other than jail, but our system does not permit that. I don't think "he was a bad person" really gets at the complexity of that situation.

And you know what domestic murder no one ever talks about? James Tiptree killed her husband. Shot him. It gets spun as "oh, he had a terminal illness" - but he didn't! He was in ill health and disabled, and she was depressed and crazy, poor woman. And of course, she's a feminist icon.

I'm not saying that any of this is okay. I'm saying that people are complicated, even people who do terrible things, and that most of us will recognize that people we like are complicated, but refuse to recognize that in people we don't. Which is why there's the Tiptree award, handed out at WisCon, and no one says boo.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 4:24 PM
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Whoa. I didn't know that about Tiptree.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 4:27 PM
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I've known a bench of asshole men

Oh, is that the collective noun?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 4:31 PM
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The thing is, HS's confessional piece looks a lot more like part of a self-branding campaign that had been going on for years than like a random "I just had to get this off my chest" thing.

In addition to humblebrags about how many hot young women he slept with ("but thank God I've recovered!"), he had a whole schtick about how young men today are pigs & brutes & totally not worthy of teh womenfolk (with the implicit "in contrast to me" loud and clear).

The persona of the courageously self-lacerating feminist man who, by virtue of overcoming his bad boy past, is uniquely qualified to lead the way is one he's been building online at least as long as I've been aware of him. I think the confession was just the moment when the whole thing jumped the shark.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 4:33 PM
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It should probably just be 'a bench of assholes' because that even makes sense.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 4:33 PM
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Basketball commentary would seem more interesting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 4:51 PM
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Having not previously heard about that dude except in passing he seems like he pretty much couldn't be any better designed to make me dislike him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 4:53 PM
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412: What's his position on the extension of copyright?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 5:06 PM
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How does he feel about the memory consolidation theory of dreaming?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 5:21 PM
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I realize the gassing-the-girlfriend thing is different from dangerous-driving-with-a-soon-to-be-ex-in-the-car, but I had the latter happen twice in my youth and I'll bet the drivers (one female, one male) don't even remember it as anything terrifying or meaningful. I basically lean toward Frowner's way of viewing the backlash, but he was also smug and sanctimonious and when I was reading him not insightful in ways that were useful to me. So I guess I'm torn. I never wished him harm or even hoped that he'd shut up, since he did seem to be serving some Smug Gateway Drug service, but I don't know, also didn't bother with him much.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:17 PM
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Oh, 415 reminds me of another incident with the fellow from 390: We were coming home from a show, me, 390, a mutual friend, and 390's then-girlfriend (not Ms. 390, someone else). 390 has always been a major stoner, and smoked up in the gas station parking lot while his girlfriend was paying for the gas. She noticed, and drove the rest of the way home (5 or 10 minutes) like a bat out of Hell, wrenching the wheel around crazily and speeding and stuff. 390 finally said something like "hey, are you okay?" and she replied "yeah, I just wanted to do something too." That was a very ill-conceived relationship, which only lasted a couple more months, I believe. Everybody lived relatively happily ever after though.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:38 PM
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we imagine that somehow there are lots and lots of nice, decent, good people out there who are nice and decent and good along their axes of privilege and that therefore HS was some kind of evil anomaly

Catching up on the thread, I managed to read 'HS' here as 'high school'.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:42 PM
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Also, 'a bench of assholes' is, of course, derived from the gymn usage of 'bench' as a verb.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 6:52 PM
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Hey Awl have you read Past Continuous (I can't remember the Hebrew title) by Shabtai?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:14 PM
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Wow, this thread is great.

265: That is really disconcerting. If I die in an airplane crash, I want it to be for a good reason, such as being shot down by a UFO. It better not be because this is the pilot's first time landing a non-simulated Canadair Regional Jet.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 7:55 PM
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419: Nope! But I've been meaning to for years.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:04 PM
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417: Me too! Figured it out a couple sentences later though.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:07 PM
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Not that anyone should generalize from me. It's becoming clearer all the time that I may be uniquely bad at relationships.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 8:29 PM
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I dunno, you haven't tried to murder your girlfriend, unlike Walt.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:02 PM
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shit, maybe halford will talk to me.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:42 PM
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Looks like a physicist from my grad school group is once again claiming to have proven the Riemann hypothesis, or something close to that. I don't want to link out of paranoia about generating trackbacks, but surely nothing in 1307.8395 is actually new or real progress?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:53 PM
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I didn't have a strong opinion about HS back in what, 2004-2005/6? - when I read his blog for a while. Seemed like a guy who had had problems he talked about and still had problems he wasn't talking about, but who on good days probably was helping to promote feminist viewpoints.

I had no idea he was still around, much less that he seems to have become a lot more prominent than just "guy with moderately trafficked blog." The fact that that was happening seems like an indictment of our public culture.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 9:55 PM
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It's a bit unclear to me what the paper claims to prove and what it claims not to prove, since it uses words like "more rigorously" and argues that their numerical calculations provide "more evidence" of the proposition. My only other bit of wisdom to add is that asymptotic Riemann (every zero with large imaginary part lies on the critical line) is totally open (and should be almost as hard as Riemann), so it's not that they're claiming well-known stuff. The known zero-free regions are quite small, so even if the authors are confusing whether for large imaginary part the zeros are on the line or just really close to the line, they're still claiming a result much stronger than anything known.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:22 PM
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It seems they're claiming to prove an asymptotic result for the zeros from some simple manipulation involving Stirling's formula, so something's fishy. (There was one month in 2006 or 2007 when this guy claimed to prove RH as well as solve two major open problems in theoretical physics, so, you know, but he does have some actual accomplishments as well...)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:27 PM
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Oops. Me, obvs.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:27 PM
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I mean, it does seem like he has numerical evidence of something, whether it's rigorous or not, but I don't know if that's new.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:29 PM
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I suspect the error is "take the limit δ → 0 while imposing that χ(z) is zero." I'm not sure what that means in this context, but it sure looks like nonsense.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:31 PM
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It also seems like the formula involves arg(zeta) at a zero, and I don't know what that means. But they claim to get really precise numerical estimates that match known zeros?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:34 PM
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As far as I can work out though, their formula involves knowing the zeros of the zeta function as an input...


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:39 PM
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It's giving them as an implicit function of n, IIRC.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:43 PM
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I mean IIUC. Or maybe "if I read correctly". I should get some sleep.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:43 PM
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I think this is what's going on:

1) Their claimed proof of asymptotic Riemann hypothesis is total nonsense.

2) Once you assume the Riemann hypothesis, you know already from Riemann the right estimate of the growth of the number of zeros, which should give you some sort of approximate formulas for the size of the nth zero.

3) They give a "Newton's method" style method for approximating the zeros of the zeta function (at least for large imaginary part). This technique may or may not be new, I'm not knowledgeable about it to be sure. It seems to be effective from their numerical evidence.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:47 PM
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That is, they don't know arg(\zeta) near the zero, so they first find an approximate zero vaguely nearby and they use that to estimate arg(\zeta) which then allows them to find a better estimate. Iterating this process gets them near a zero (though not actually at it, since they used a large imaginary part approximation elsewhere).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 10:50 PM
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I thought great numerical methods for finding zeroes were already known, which is why they already things like that the first 2 million zeroes are on the critical line, etc.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:03 PM
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424: I have a strict rule of only murdering my boyfriends. Because I'm a feminist.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-31-13 11:04 PM
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I believe another term for "a bench of asshole men" is "The Supreme Court of the United States."

I personally prefer 'mess' as the default quantifier, though perhaps 'a murder of asshole men' is more apropos of the conversation.

I also side with people saying that attempting to murder your girlfriend is not normal patriarchy behavior, even for assholes, at least in 20/21st century America. If you think otherwise, you might want to let any potential partners know that upfront, so they have time to back slowly away before getting too involved.



Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 12:00 AM
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426 et seq: I don't know anything about the Riemann hypothesis, but I love the construction "[this equation]...was derived by one of us" in the abstract of a two-author paper. We're not going to tell you which one of us it was!


Posted by: opinionated astronomer | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 1:05 AM
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Really, if you think about it, falsely claiming to have proven the Riemann is basically what we can expect every day under the patriarchy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 1:48 AM
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My girlfriend proved the Riemann hypothesis back at university. Naturally I murdered her, because I'm a feminist.

424 and 423 made me laugh.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 2:12 AM
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415 So I guess I'm torn.

In Jamaica you are.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:42 AM
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++


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:37 PM
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Heh. That one took me several reads. Strong work, Smearcase.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:45 PM
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447, now I get that one, too.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:48 PM
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secretly relieved someone saw my end-of-thread joke


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 9:28 PM
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449: I once thought of doing a blog* called Sad Puppies that consisted entirely of forlorn comments at the end of threads begging to be responded to.

*I guess it would be tumblr now? I think I am bad at tumblr other than being annoyed when it comes up in image search and I can't figure out how to do the specific link I want.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 1:36 AM
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Maybe tumblr. Tumblr happened after my "I'm not doing any more of these GET OFF MY LAWN" moment. Tumblr, Pinterest, even Instagram which everyone uses. I can't. I liked email. Email was the computer thing I liked.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 6:17 AM
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(But I like your tumblr idea and would be featured prominently on it.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 6:17 AM
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Getting back to the OP, the one (inadvertant) diet I've found that worked for me is what I call the Unemployment Diet. I lost ten pounds over the couple of years I was between full-time gigs without doing anything special. It might have had something to do with the (officially) part-time tutoring business I was running - lots of nights where dinner was a prepackaged ham sandwich grabbed from a gas station somewhere while driving between clients, and not much opportunity to snack on the job. Kind of an expensive way to lose, though, so I doubt I could write a best-selling book about it.

(Alas, I've also gained it all back with my return to full-time employment.)


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 6:34 PM
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I find that large amounts of professional and personal stress, including long hours in the office, combined with a co-worker who maintains an overflowing bowl of fun-size candybars for her officemates to snack on, works wonders for preserving and enhancing the healthily well-fed appearance I value so much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 6:41 PM
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(In other words, I think I've put on five pounds in the last three weeks, and am looking at a snowdrift of sparkly mini-Twix wrappers on my desk.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 6:42 PM
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If Bloomberg would promise to outlaw fun-size candy bars in the workplace, I would consider him presidential material.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 6:45 PM
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455: You're still at the office?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 6:48 PM
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Given that the unofficial first lady of the state is Sandra Lee, I'm lucky we're not being served bowls of them embedded in canned frosting, formed into replicas of Grant's Tomb.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 6:49 PM
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457: It's been that kind of a month. And will continue to be that kind of a month until my vacation, which starts the 24th, but which no longer includes a previously mentioned trip out to the West Coast for that-kind-of-month related reasons.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 6:51 PM
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Oh man, LB, my sympathies.

I just feel grouchy over the sheer amount of time I'm spending scheduling things. It is SO much work, and technology has not made it faster or easier for the kinds of scheduling I have to do. I know, because I remember doing this in the '90s.

My ability to do actual important, productive work would greatly increase if I had anyone to do scheduling. The few times that I have, it's been like a dream. So great.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:07 PM
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I should be having that sort of month, but instead my main complaint tonight is losing points in online boggle. (Well, other than the effort of sublimating creeping undone work dread.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:14 PM
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458: Want.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:33 PM
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