4-19-14 Hodgepodge

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Evolving Science of Nutrition

A recent article in Wired about a study of the gut bacteria in an African tribe of hunter-gatherers well illustrates many of the difficulties of understanding certain aspects of the human diet.

That's not to say you should start stocking up on exotic roots, berries, and wild game hoping to create the perfect balance of beneficial bacteria for your belly. [Alyssa] Crittenden and her research partners warn against turning their research into a diet, even if the link between the Hadza's gut microbiome and their lower rates of gastrointetinal [sic] illness prove true. "Even if you try to emulate the diet of the Hadza, you're not living in the environment," explained Amanda Henry, a dietary ecologist from the Max Planck Institute in Germany, and a co-author of the study. "There are transfers from the soils, from the animals." In other words, it's not just what the Hadza eat that contribute to their remarkable gut flora, it's where and how they are eating it, too.
The article also illustrates the deeper point that knowledge is contextual.

Weekend Reading

"Just for fun, try this: Once a day, do something only for yourself." -- Michael Hurd, in "Embrace the Positive in Place of Victim-Think" at The Delaware Coast Press

"[H]ypnosis, as a therapist understands it, is nothing as conveyed on a Vegas stage or on TV -- where most people get their impressions of it." -- Michael Hurd, in "What Hypnosis Is -- and Is Not" at The Delaware Wave

"After her independence in 1991, the country had a choice: look west and embark on a course of more political and economic freedom, or remain entrenched in the Soviet-era mindset of political and economic corruption, cronyism, and favoritism." -- Anders Ingemarson, in "Ukraine Shares the Blame for Russia's Aggression" at The American Thinker

My Two Cents

In his column about embracing the positive, Michael Hurd notes in passing that many of the fellow residents of the tourist area he calls home eventually fall into a rut -- and end up not seeing or doing the things that drew them there  in the first place. When he hears this, he replies that they could choose to do so. This, and his suggestion that we should treat ourselves to something each day remind me of the term "staycation". It isn't just residents of areas most people associate with vacations who can be oblivious to the fun and interesting things right around the corner. The fact that I have had to move around a lot during two periods of my life, first while in the Navy and now during my wife's medical career, helped me see this.

Scissors, Anyone?

After I circulated this collection of photos of men with "crazier eyebrows than Andy Rooney's face fur" to my family, my mother asked whether any of their wives owned a pair of scissors.

-- CAV


Today: Added link and teaser quote for article by Anders Ingemarson.  


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

To add to your collection of grooming atrocities, I give you "drum roll....."

Ear Hair!


Although I have it on some authority - my older brother - that your ear hair isn't too long until it gets integrated into your comb-over.

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...

Yikes! It seems like most of these are of a few guys -- at least one of whom has a scissor-less wife -- who are having way too much fun with it.

Also, nose hair. My grad school mentor had a colleague show up at my poster session during my first scientific conference. The guy looked like he had paintbrushes sticking out of each nostril. I can thank him for making me aware that men get hair growth in odd places as we grow older -- and that we can and should do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of nose hair, here's a classic from the first "Major League."

Harry Doyle: "Heywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. When this guy sneezes, he looks like a party favor."

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


I once likened a comment thread on this blog to a beard. Perhaps this one can be thought of as a tuft of nose hair grown as a stunt.

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write, "Perhaps this one can be thought of as a tuft of nose hair grown as a stunt."

Which of course requires the obligatory reference: "Say, who mows your nose hair?"

Gus Van Horn said...

I need to see that movie, already.