Thursday, 25 September 2014

Delicious maths


plus four

equals food porn

and satiety for about 6-8 hours on a Saturday.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

I hate this movie

The last few weeks in my country, and possibly yours, have been playing out like an old movie. We all think we've seen this movie before but can't figure out why Hollywood would choose to do a re-make on a story that was shitty when it first came out. No amount of improved CGI or fresh-faced actors is going to hide the fact that it's a shitty story. It has a shitty plot, it cost a shitload of money to produce and has a shitty, unsatisfactory ending. For everyone.

But here we are. Listening to politicians telling us we should be shit-scared of being plucked off the street and beheaded in broad daylight. That we should surrender our privacy and freedoms for some vague sense of security. That they have everything under control and that we should trust them to ensure we can sleep soundly at night. 

I have great trouble trusting people who have a long and distinguished career in talking out of their arses. These people lie for a living, are quite unconcerned about being caught in a lie, and live in some bizarre fantasy land where it's always someone else's fault that they lied.

Their supporters and believers will tell me that the dangers of a terrorist event in this country are very real and that I would not be so skeptical if it were someone I knew or loved that had been captured and allegedly decapitated. They will claim that if I have nothing to hide then it shouldn't bother me that new laws will encroach deeper into my privacy. They will say that stricter laws will ensure safety and that a reinvigorated war effort against the 'enemy' will succeed where it didn't the first time. Or the second time. Or all the other times after that.

So it seems my options are to (a) trust a bunch of lying toads and give up certain rights and freedoms that I've become rather accustomed to, or (b) risk some crazy nutter attacking me in the street with a machete/grenade/whatever.

Call me naive and overly insouciant, but I think I'll take my chances with option (b). 

More great cartoons from David Pope here
I understand that the world has changed dramatically in the last decade or so. I understand that there are quite a few crazy fuckers out there, somewhere, who make it their life's mission to cause pain and misery.

I get that. 

I also get that we couldn't be much further from the rest of the world but we continue to commit our soldiers to fighting battles that have vague and ever changing goals, and that these battles are more likely to increase our status as a terrorist target than ensure our safety from the nasty brown men with beards.

In the last 13 or so years we've had laws and restrictions forced on us with the promise that these changes will keep us safe when we venture outside our comfy homes. A massive security industry has blossomed in this new terrified world and the authorities continue to use our fear for their gain. 

Rubbish bins are welded shut so they can't have bombs placed in them. Liquids and nail clippers are prohibited on plane flights. Minorities are told to act like white people or fuck off back where they came from - all strategies that are based very feebly in the realm of logic, and then, with great pomp and ceremony, we are informed of a foiled plot to wreak terror and destroy our way of lives.

The suits all pat themselves on the back and march toward military action in another country. Again. And the believers all breath a sigh of relief and vow to vote for these staunch moral leaders at the next election.

I hate this movie. It's shit. 

And not just because it makes me talk about politics. 


Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Benefits of Breakfast Cereal - a systematic review of the evidence base.

A sane person would expect a research paper with the title "The Benefits of Breakfast Cereal" to be a very short one. Kind of like a paper entitled "Welding shut rubbish bins and the association with reduced terror attacks". 

In either of these papers, a simple "There is none" would suffice. But not when the paper on cereal is funded by 

No, in this case the paper runs for a whopping 38 pages including 7 pages of references. It doesn't take a genius to realise they needed this many to bury the non-evidence for the massive pile of steaming horse shit that is the conclusion:

That first sentence is a classic. You can't help but wonder if the author is taking the piss and laughing his arse off as he wrote it. Maybe he was high. The possibilities are endless.

My disclosure is that I couldn't read it word for word or study the many referenced meta-analyses. I read the abstract, skimmed the rest and at that point I'm pretty sure I'd lost 2 or 3 IQ points. My mind was numb. Yes, that is probably lazy of me, but I make it a policy of mine to not waste the only life I have on stuff that is blatantly insulting my intelligence. 

On pages 22 and 25 there is some amusing tap dancing around the association between breakfast cereals and teeth problems. Apparently it's quite plausible that the milk you add to sugary cereal will offset the hatred that your teeth have toward sugar. Or something like that. 

There is a lot of vagueness in this paper - admittedly the author does admit the lack of evidence of causation between cereals and 'good things' in parts, but that doesn't change the overall tone, which is pretty damn shitty if you're not able to think for yourself and you're relying on this 'scientific study' to guide you in your breakfast routine.

I've chosen some of the more amusing anecdotes for your reading pleasure:

no need for further study. nothing to see here.

Rice Krispies are heart healthy.

RTEC = ready to eat cereal = shitty HbA1c = meh

Sounds like a quote from the Heart Foundation
All good for a laugh, but at this point it shouldn't surprise anyone that the author has been a dietitian for 30+ years, was President of the Dietitian's Association for a couple of years and worked for Kelloggs at one point as Director of Scientific Consumer Affairs - whatever the hell that means. 

But that is not a conflict of interest because he doesn't work there any more. Ha.

I stumbled across this quote from a 2013 Canberra Times news article:
It is true, he certainly is shocking. 

If you're reading this blog post and thinking "but you haven't refuted any of his arguments, where is your evidence that he is wrong?"

And if you are...I'm sorry but I don't care. Use your brain and decide for yourself whether your bowl of Cornflakes is really doing your body any good. 

Sia's "Elasic Heart" isn't about cereal, but the video is a bit surreal:

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Milk shakes and genetics, discussed in detail.

Instant messaging programs are quite entertaining. Subject, of course, to having a few colleagues with similar tastes in humour, i.e. sarcastic, politically incorrect and a little bit sick.

My attention span is not great. When I've got a few minutes to kill, it is mentally refreshing to shoot off some random bait, a quick conversation transpires, and I can get back to work with renewed vigor. 

Or something like that. Nonsense conversations seem to wipe the noise from my head. Clears the slate, so to speak.

I had a go at Facebook once, and that shit just steals your life - I got lost in a sea of bullshit, but maybe that was just the quality of my pretend 'friends'. 

This is not like that. Honest.

The context for the following conversation is that I'd just read the latest Calories Proper post, where Bill had listed the protein percentage of rat's milk (49%). 

Yes, that's right, I focus on the important bits.

Me10:13 AM
Stop what you're doing. I have a brilliant idea for making shitloads of money. Ready? 
Muroidea Whey shakes
Brilliant or what?
Colleague 10:13 AM
Me10:13 AM
Can't call it rat whey otherwise the bros won't buy it
they won't know how to look up "muroidea"
muroid sort of rhymes with steroid
You can buy a share in my start up company for $50k
that's mates’ rates
I'm setting up a rat dairy
OK, OK, you can pay me $25k now and the rest in 6 mths
Colleague 10:13 AM
bro you can get 10ml of test/decka/tren for $250 a vile. who the hell would pay $25K for rat milk?
Me10:13 AM
ugh, my brilliance is obviously wasted on you
I'm not selling you rat milk
I’m selling you a share in my dairy
Any ideas on how to milk a rat?
never mind, not sure why I bother
Colleague 10:14 AM
have you researched if it’s any good for the human liver?
Me10:15 AM
fuck n hell. 
I roll my eyes at you
Colleague 10:15 AM
why do you think we don’t drink steroids?
bro if you wanna get big let me know
I’ll hook you up with some estrogen
Me10:15 AM
you are so unedumucated
Colleague 10:15 AM
you'RE so wrong
Me10:16 AM
Rhino milk has 0.2% fat. And yet their babies are fucking massive. Ask your nutrition lecturer to explain that one.
Mouse milk has 27% fat and they're tiny
Colleague 10:16 AM
It’s called genetics loser.
Me10:16 AM
you are so uneducated
genes are a myth
invented by some "scientist"
ha. as if.
Colleague 10:17 AM
genetics is everything. fuck, are you trying you annoy me or are you just dumb? 
Me10:17 AM
i thought that was obvious
apparently not
Colleague 10:17 AM
body building comps - kai greene didnt win mr olympia because his genetic make up isn’t perfect, some said his build was bigger but his muscles formed differently and then phil heath, perfect muscle definition all round, and he’s mr olympia. It’s all genetics. 
Me10:17 AM
shut the FU
about Kai Greene
he's a narcissistic freak
they all are
hint: I was joking about genes being a myth
you take things too literally
Colleague 10:18 AM
you're not getting the point, we aren’t talking about your opinion about them specifically, we are talking genetics
Me10:18 AM
I don't give a rat's boob about your argument
or your point
Colleague 10:18 AM
You totally do
Me10:18 AM
you're right
they are awesome
I so want to be that narcissistic and self-absorbed. I am so jelly.
I really want to be that big that I can't wipe my bum properly
Colleague 10:19 AM
really? god you seem to change your mind alot
Me10:19 AM
you have no idea
my mind is a vortex of randomness
Colleague 10:19 AM
ok I’m over this convo now, i'd say talk soon but no
Me10:19 AM

Six minutes of intellectual massage with a fellow genius and lateral thinker and I was raring to get back in to my role as a zombie office worker. A role that I excel at, in case you were wondering.
Kai Greene is probably a lovely man.

Praying to J.C. is a waste of time - the proof is in.

My care factor just can't get out of bed when it comes to discussing religion. If someone finds a particular brand fulfilling and rewarding then that is fantastic for them - it's only when that religion does damage to people's lives and preys on the weak and gullible that it gives me the shits enough to bother talking about. 

The Church of Starvation Dieting (aka Jenny Craig) has been around since the 80's. It's been known to recruit so-called celebrities to vouch for their particular religion, a little bit like Scientology I guess, but perhaps with less star power. 

One of the JC enlistees is Magda Szubanksi, probably only known to Australian audiences as a mildly amusing actor who, it appears, has always been morbidly obese.  

About five years ago she made money aligning her attempt at weight loss with J.C. and as with any drastic dietary change, and with a bank account full of motivation behind her, it seemed to work:
But what was surprising to no-one, except maybe Magda and the sort of people who pay money to read IQ-depleting magazines, was that she then proceeded to put it all back on.
“You know, you’re busy, you’ve got long hours and it just creeps up ... your portions get a bit bigger again and you start to forget — ‘calorie amnesia’ as they call it,” Szubanski said.
The Church of JC recently offered to buy her self-respect (again) for something around a million dollars. Magda may be a lot of things, but she's not silly enough to knock back a million bucks for doing what thousands of people attempt to do for free.

When asked earlier this year why she had accepted another million-dollar plus deal, Szubanski said “may as well get paid for it, I say”.

And yet, despite this massive incentive and with the population of bored house-wives/husbands watching on - the bland, nutritionally void offerings of Her Majesty The didn't work. In the words of a JC stooge:

"Magda will pursue her weight loss journey privately."

Magda may be a lovely person, or she may not, but I think everyone deserves to be happy with themselves and it seems she is not. I don't wish her ill will and this is not some snarky smart arse put-down. Despite her apparent willingness to prostitute her self-loathing for a shitload of money, I hope she does eventually find a weight loss solution that works for her. Given her ridiculous comments about 'calorie amnesia' it would seem she's a fair way off from finding one.

JC's teachings and values may work for some people. I can't see how, but I'm willing to acknowledge the possibility that some people on this earth actually like eating tasteless food and fighting their body's cravings for nutrition. 

Logic would suggest that starving a human body that is already messed up metabolically is pretty much the last method someone should be trying. But yet, millions do, repeatedly. 

Alternate methods are laughed off as fads or dangerous because The Church has them in their clutches and when you're that hooked into a religion, I imagine it would be pretty hard to break the spell. 

I wonder if dear old JC realises the damage she has done.

Addendum: It seems Magda may not be such a lost cause as she has apparently (I really must keep up to date with trashy news) moved on to a Health Retreat, where "packages start at $1000 for two nights, offers counselling sessions, organic meals and yoga classes." 

Sounds like a shitty con on the surface, and it may well be, but at least the food appears to be real. And the proprietor appears to have a brain:

"Your food should be nourishment and enjoyment for your body and soul, not punishment."

Amen, brother.

Friday, 12 September 2014

iPhone 6 and the demise of the human race

I'm pretty sure this means we're doomed as a species

Hey Mum! Aren't you proud?
I can certainly relate to being lured in to handing over hard-earned cash for a shiny new toy. What I don't relate to and can't imagine doing (while my brain is functioning) is lining up for 9 days to buy that shiny toy.

Things I would wait in line for 9 days for:

  1. essentials for life (food/water/medicine/shelter/a hug)
  2. a seat on the last spaceship leaving earth before it is wiped out by a meteor

That someone would add to this list “to be one of the first few people in my city to buy the latest i-phone” is, to put it bluntly, completely deranged.

I don’t know what tests are involved to prove whether someone is mentally competent to stand trial for a crime, but they should add this question to it:

If the latest i-phone is due for release in nine days' time, would you:

(a) rush to the Apple store and wait in line. For 9 days.
(b) wait until they are being sold and consider buying one then.
(c) wait until the night before the sale and strangle the person at the front of the queue.
(d) do nothing because any phone that requires you to use itunes is idiotic.
(e) what's an iphone?

Anyone answering (a) gets a one way ticket to a mental institution. 

Answering (c) gets you a job as CEO of a major corporation. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Fat people's excuses - debunked

It’s about bloody time some brave soul went out there and said what every normal thin person has been thinking, i.e. “fat people are fatbecause they eat too much, and quite frankly, they make all us thin people sick”.

What a relief. What weight off my mind and shoulders. I had no idea who Katie Hopkins was before today, but from now on she will be forever known to me as The Blonde Truth Whisperer. She doesn't appear to do a lot of whispering, rather loud shouting, but that’s neither here nor there.

It seems Katie has conducted a randomised, double blind study and concluded that “fat people are basically full of shit”. 

Simple, concise and breathtaking in its honesty - if only there were more researchers with this amount of guts and intelligence.
her husband is obviously a killjoy and drain on her mojo
Coincidentally, I conducted a similar trial in my late teens, albeit unintentional. After playing regular sport for all of my childhood, I reached age 19 and thought “bugger this, I’m going to see how big I can get” and stopped running around after a football. My 21st birthday photos depict a young man whose face appears to be so puffed up, to be on the verge of popping. I was not morbidly obese, but I tipped the scales at somewhere around 100kg (220 lb).

But then I got a bit sick of looking like a tube of toothpaste that had been left out in the sun and I stopped eating loads of sugary shit and I got off my arse once in a while. Easy.

After correcting for (a) my genetic background (b) the circus of hormones running through my young body (c) the amount of carbohydrates and sugar I had been mainlining into my organs (d) many other similarly irrelevant variables, my conclusion was strikingly similar to Ms Hopkins’;

Humans just need to stop eating loads of chocolate cake and pancakes with bacon, and we’ll all be lean, healthy and incredibly smug. If one person can do it, then everyone else with the exact same biological and genetic makeup should be able to do it too.

Amen and pass the fruit salad.

Let’s all hold hands in a circle and hate fat people together.

lisa jane looks like she could lose a few pounds herself.
Put down the cake and get to the gym, lisa.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Perfect killing machines or just selfish bastards?

About 3 weeks ago my free range egg source was cut off at the knees - two of our three brown ladies dispatched by an unknown predator. Call me an unfeeling, cold bastard, but after the official mourning period of at least 2 minutes, where thoughts of "oh, shit, the poor buggers - I hope they didn't suffer" filled my mind, anger inevitably set in. I turned my head to the sky (don't know why) and shouted "you selfish bastards, they were my chooks and I was going to eat them!" 

the sole survivor - delicious-looking, no?
In all seriousness, it was pretty sad. Chooks aren't the most intelligent animals, but they all have their own personalities and the sight of them running at dinner time never failed to make me laugh. There were placid and friendly and it was, in all likelihood, an unpleasant death.

I initially thought the executioner might have been one of the hundreds of hawks that circle overhead during the day - sick of the odd rat or lizard - choosing instead 2 of my lovely, plump breasted chooks. But the more I thought about it, and with some input from my fauna expert father-in-law, the more it came obvious that it was probably a selfish arsehole stray cat.

The birds had chunks taken from their backs, but were otherwise left whole. A hawk, as my FIL told me, would have turned them over and gone straight for the nutrient-rich internal organs. An animal that hunts for food would not have wasted such a precious resource. No, this was a cat, who probably thought it was highly amusing and also good sport to chase them around the yard, frighten them to death and then take a bite, lose interest, and bugger off. 

All very fascinating, I'm sure. My point is - that it annoyed the shit out of me to realise our girls were killed for sport. That the meat and another 600 potential eggs were wasted only added insult to injury. 


Anyway, re-stocking the flock, we ended up with another 4 young girls, who are understandably petrified of the one remaining old bitch who flies into a psychotic rage every time the wire is removed from between them. 

The picture above is her giving the death-stare to the new intruders on her turf. Two weeks of living side by side and the blind rage has not subsided.

Keep that psycho bitch away from me
no idea what breed this is and don't really care as long as she lays eggs.
egg making potential in white
The old bird is not only psychotic but, it seems, also racist. The new white girl copping the majority of the abuse. I have no clue as to what race she is, possibly some half breed silkie, but I feel her pain. It's so hard being white.  

Another 6-8 weeks and my breakfast will be restored to its former glory. In the interim, a few cat traps might be in order.