linkfest – 05/27/12

Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath? – sounds like the answer is: uh-huh.

A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity“The [obesity] epidemic was caused by the overproduction of food in the United States…. I think the food industry doesn’t want to know it. And ordinary people don’t particularly want to hear this, either. It’s so easy for someone to go out and eat 6,000 calories a day. There’s no magic bullet on this. You simply have to cut calories and be vigilant for the rest of your life.”

Chimps’ personalities are like people’s, study says

Feeling strong emotions makes peoples’ brains ‘tick together’“[F]eeling strong emotions makes different individuals’ brain activity literally synchronous.”

Humanity’s Best Friend: How Dogs May Have Helped Humans Beat the Neanderthals

Jews and Abortion – from mr. a. epigone, esq.

The oldest farming village in the Mediterranean islands is discovered in Cyprus“[T]he discovery of Klimonas, a village that dates from nearly 9000 years before Christ, proves that early cultivators migrated to Cyprus from the Middle Eastern continent shortly after the emergence of agriculture there, bringing with them wheat as well as dogs and cats.”

Why great ideas come when you aren’t trying

‘Personality genes’ may help account for longevity“[C]entenarians had lower scores for displaying neurotic personality and higher scores for being conscientious compared with a representative sample of the U.S. population.” – i’m doomed. (~_^)

Relationship Between Social Status and Wound-Healing in Wild Baboons“[M]ale baboons that have a high rank within their society recover more quickly from injuries, and are less likely to become ill than other males.”

Relatively speaking: Researchers identify principles that shape kinship categories across languages

bonus: Schoolboy ‘genius’ solves puzzles posed by Sir Isaac Newton that have baffled mathematicians for 350 years – geek alert! (^_^)

bonus bonus: The General Age of Leadership: Older-Looking Presidential Candidates Win Elections during War

bonus bonus bonus: Mood darkens in Beijing amid crackdown on ‘illegal foreigners’

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Do Plants Smell Other Plants? This One Does, Then Strangles What It Smells

(note: comments do not require an email. platypus alert!)

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24 Comments

  1. @ “Schoolboy ‘genius’ solves puzzles posed by Sir Isaac Newton that have baffled mathematicians for 350 years.

    Why am I skeptical? Without knowing a thing about it I’ll give ten-to-one odds that this is a non-story.

    Reply

  2. About that schoolboy genius: I think I get it. Newton couldn’t solve the problem, but plenty of people have since. He only got second prize, according to Wikipedia.

    Reply

  3. About the great ideas coming to you when you’re not trying, I could have told you that! ;P Often ideas come to me fresh first thing in the morning or even while I am half sleeping/waking up. For smart/creative people especially, “zoning out” while awake is probably the brain’s way of taking a moment to process the huge amounts of information that comes at us during the course of the day. I spend quite a bit of time during that myself ;) , and indeed that’s how many of my blog posts start out.

    Reply

  4. Also on the obesity thing,

    He’s probably quite right about the causes of the obesity epidemic, but once again people fail to realize that there is no such thing as free will. You can’t just tell people to cut back on what they eat if nothing about availability changes. Indeed, as it’s known (but not commonly) that foods taste differently to different people, this means that certain people are predisposed to liking “unhealthy” food. It is actually an extra hardship for a person who’s lost weight to keep the weight off compared to someone who was thin all along. Hence, no amount of preaching is going to change people’s behavior with regard to food, and it is this reason that diets don’t work (since they’re impossible to stick to).

    Attacking the supply-side might help. If price of food was actually reflective of its caloric content (as opposed to the exact opposite, as it is now), you might see a difference. How to get that through in a capitalist economy is beyond me, however.

    The mostly likely effective solution will be drugs, depending on how well Qnexa does.

    Reply

  5. There is no matheatical challenge to losing weight. Just do the math, it is easy. Exercise can’t do much, the only way to really lose weight is through diet.

    First and foremost we eat too much, too many times a day, and a large percentage of it is processed.

    I can do pages on this. I lost 65 pounds, and I wasn’t what you would consider “that fat”. So now my rule of thumb (though I do break it) is: If you couldn’t get it or eat it in 1850 it probably isn’t good for you.

    Reply

  6. @jayman – “For smart/creative people especially, ‘zoning out’ while awake is probably the brain’s way of taking a moment to process the huge amounts of information that comes at us during the course of the day. I spend quite a bit of time during that myself ;)”

    (^_^)

    i usually have interesting ideas (such as they are) when i’m brushing my teeth. (^_^) or making some food. i’m usually zoning out when doing either of those two things. (yes, i’m a terrible cook! (~_^) )

    Reply

  7. @jayman – “…but once again people fail to realize that there is no such thing as free will.”

    in full agreement with you there! wrt eating/dieting and all sorts of behaviors.

    Reply

  8. @rjp – “Just do the math, it is easy. Exercise can’t do much, the only way to really lose weight is through diet.”

    afaics, it really is just calories in vs. calories expended. depending on individual metabolism, you just can’t eat more calories per day than you use or your body’s gonna store it as fat for a rainy day (or, maybe, a cold, snowy winter’s day).

    @rjp – “If you couldn’t get it or eat it in 1850 it probably isn’t good for you.”

    probably a good rule-of-thumb. i reckon one of the worst things in the modern diet is sugar ’cause it is such a very recent introduction into our diet. we are NOT adapted for it prolly — at least not for too much of it. tastes good tho! especially in cupcakes. (^_^)

    Reply

  9. Re: Mood darkens in Beijing

    I wonder what would happen if a westerner in Beijing had a psychotic breakdown while sitting on a bus and stabbed his seatmate, beheaded him, and ate part of him after the other passengers had fled. Chinaman Vince Li did this in Canada but it hasn’t turned people against Chinese immigrants.

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

    Reply

  10. @rjp Exercise can’t do much, the only way to really lose weight is through diet.,

    @hbd chick “afaics, it really is just calories in vs. calories expended. depending on individual metabolism,”

    “depending on individual metabolism,” Theres the rub.

    The Secret Behind the Success of Takeru Kobayashi – 6 Times Professional Eater Champion
    “Takeru Kobayashi…competitive eater. … does weight training … to increase his metabolism.
    … 165 lbs
    … he eats about 6,000 calories a day.

    Dieting Lowers Metabolism
    “Obesity 15:2964-2973 (2007) Effect of Calorie Restriction on Resting Metabolic Rate and Spontaneous Physical Activity…
    group of subjects reduced their calories below normal by 25%…
    resting metabolic rate decreased in subjects on the 25% calorie restriction group after only 3 months.

    Reply

  11. @rjp — “If you couldn’t get it or eat it in 1850 it probably isn’t good for you.”

    But it’s probably all moldy by now.

    Reply

  12. lol @ sNOOPy

    i reckon one of the worst things in the modern diet is sugar ’cause it is such a very recent introduction into our diet. we are NOT adapted for it prolly — at least not for too much of it. tastes good tho! especially in cupcakes. (^_^)

    1850 was just ~6 generations ago. think how much has changed since then. historic societies lived on wheat. the difference? it was ground whole wheat, not just “the good part”. ground whole wheat goes rancid. whole wheat flour in the supermarket is not whole wheat. no 24 hour restaurants or supermarkets. no gas/electric ranges. no refrigerators. no microwaves. no mason jars (fer drinkin ar shine from).no hermetically sealed packaging. no oranges in the north in winter. no year round strawberries. what you ate was in the cellar or sold in bulk in the general store, or in season. i assume there were bakeries but you probably didn’t need to be a chemist to read the label. salt cured meats (i haven’t seen salt pork or a salt cured ham since i was a child).

    anyways, my point is that 6 generations is not enough for our bodies to adapt to the evolution of the average american diet

    Reply

  13. @rjp – “ground whole wheat goes rancid.”

    that’s why we make beer. (~_^)

    @rjp – “anyways, my point is that 6 generations is not enough for our bodies to adapt to the evolution of the average american diet”

    won’t argue with you there!

    Reply

  14. @sNoOOPy – “But it’s probably all moldy by now.”

    (^_^)

    i used to work in a museum where they had a couple of tins of hardtack from the civil war. no apparent mold on it, although it did smell a little stale. i really wanted to try some, but of course you can’t go ’round eating all the museum artifacts. (^_^)

    Reply

  15. @sNoOOPy – “‘depending on individual metabolism,’ Theres the rub.”

    yup! i still think it’s a matter of calories in/calories out, but different people burn calories at different rates so the calculation will be different for different individuals.

    could also be something to the infectious agent idea for some people. it wouldn’t surprise me anyway. those microbes can really get up to no good sometimes!

    Reply

  16. @melykin – “…and ate part of him after the other passengers had fled.”

    i never heard that there was a cannibilistic element to that attack. =/ if i did, i blocked it from my mind.

    Reply

  17. @ A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity

    Increasing poly-unsaturated fats in vegetable oils are damaging liver, causing insulin problems.

    poly-unsaturated fat and vegetable oils increased:
    us polyunsaturated fat consumption

    Saturated fat consumption is decreasing.
    Saturated butter consumption down to 25% 1900 level:
    U.S. butter and margarine consumption

    French have lower poly-unsaturated fat consumption and are thinner than UK and US:
    French paradox
    “diet relatively rich in saturated fats……The French eat four times as much butter

    Diet and disease–the Israeli paradox: possible dangers of a high omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid diet.
    “Israel has one of the highest dietary polyunsaturated/saturated fat ratios in the world

    paradoxically a high prevalence of…non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and obesity-all diseases that are associated with hyperinsulinemia (HI) and insulin resistance (IR), and grouped together as the insulin resistance syndrome or syndrome X.

    Saturated fat prevents alcohol from damaging insulin producing-liver:
    (fructose in sugar has similar effect as alcohol on liver)

    Dietary Saturated Fat Reduces Alcoholic Hepatotoxicity in Rats by Altering Fatty Acid Metabolism and Membrane Composition
    “We fed…rats…ethanol.

    the dietary fat was corn oil

    In other groups, saturated fat…beef tallow

    In rats fed the corn oil…hepatotoxicity was accompanied by oxidative stress.

    As dietary saturated fat content increased, all measures of hepatic pathology and oxidative stress were progressively reduced, including steatosis (P < 0.05).

    dietary saturated fat increased liver membrane resistance to oxidative stress.

    chronic oral consumption…containing ethanol and high levels of carbohydrate causes hepatosteatosis

    body weight gain decreased as the saturated fat content of the diet increased..despite the isocaloric intake of energy.

    As the dietary saturated fat content increased, liver pathology scores and ALT values decreased

    At 30% dietary saturated fat, ethanol-induced hepatic necrosis was eliminated, and …steatosis and inflammation were markedly reduced

    There was an almost complete elimination of alcohol-induced liver pathology, including a marked reduction of steatosis, as the saturated fat fraction of total dietary fat increased from 0 to 30%.

    Reply

  18. @ sNOOPy

    so what you are saying is that the liberal prescribed diet is a recipe for death.

    since i lost the weight i have shied away from butter, but cheese is still a good friend – probably 30% of the calories i consume come from cheese.

    Reply

  19. @sNoOOPy – “…diet relatively rich in saturated fats….”

    sounds like my diet. (^_^) so maybe when i have dieted, i didn’t really notice the effects of these polyunsaturated thingamajigs.

    @sNoOOPy – “The French eat four times as much butter….”

    @rjp – “since i lost the weight i have shied away from butter, but cheese is still a good friend”

    i love butter. i eat butter. scr*w margarine. yuck! i don’t even know what it is. all i know is that it doesn’t MELT when you put it on toast, so i don’t trust it one little bit. (~_^) don’t eat it. never will. cheese is good, too.

    polyunsaturated foods? to tell you the truth i had to look them up. nuts? i eat them sometimes, but i wouldn’t call them a regular part of my diet. don’t eat much seeds. i like salmon and tuna and eat a good deal of those, but no other fish really. leafy greens? is that lettuce and spinach? if so, then — yes! (^_^)

    and, of course, meat. eat a lot of game (deer) and some beef.

    Reply

  20. i used to eat a ton of butter, with a big bowl of chili, i would eat half a sleeve of saltines, all smeared with butter. butter and onion sandwiches. don’t use margarine, never have. now i try to use olive oil.

    eat a lot of nuts and seeds. sunflower seeds (and hard nuts like roasted almonds) don’t digest well so you are consuming calories that won’t hit your system.

    love spinach straight out of the can. and lima beans.

    chicago is not a fish town, i guess i could pay $10 a pound for some at whole foods because i sure wouldn’t buy it at my local chain supermarket.

    oh and this might be gross …. but there is no milk in my house, only half and half, been drinking it since high school. and i put it in my espresso liberally.

    never been a fan of deer, of all the times i have had the opportunity to eat, it has only tasted good once – but i think that is because most of the ones i have tasted were bow and shotgun kills that had to be chased down. eat a lot of ham.

    Reply

  21. @hbd chick “butter…toast”

    Take home made yeast bread dough and coat the top with butter before baking to keep it from drying out.

    When fresh out of oven take a stick of butter and use it like a crayon to ‘draw’ on the hot bread, coating it with butter. The bread will absorb a large quantity of butter. When it cools, the crust will be extremely delicious, much better than the inside. I don’t know how they manage to make store bread crust so awful.

    The inside of the bread should be torn into chunks and dipped into a saucer of melted butter.

    Reply

  22. @hbd chick polyunsaturated foods?

    polyunsaturated fatty acids = PUFA

    There are two kinds PUFA:
    1. Omega 6, or linolec acid
    2. Omega 3, or linolenic acid

    Its the omega 6 which actually causes the problems.
    Omega 3 isn’t harmful and is the kind of PUFA in fish.

    All fats contain a certain percentage of Omega 6.
    Butter 3 %
    Coconut 2 %
    Beef tallow 2%
    Olive oil 9%
    Peanut oil 33 % (in peanut butter)
    Soybean oil 54 %

    Comparison of dietary fats
    cooking oils side-by-side

    Reply

  23. @ rjp “oh and this might be gross…half and half”

    It will spoil you for regular milk, which will start taste like skim milk.
    Skim milk, now that’s gross.

    Reply

  24. @rjp – “…butter and onion sandwiches….”

    @sNoOOPy – “The inside of the bread should be torn into chunks and dipped into a saucer of melted butter.”

    stop it! you guys are making me hungry. (^_^)

    @sNoOOOpy – “Skim milk, now that’s gross.”

    very gross.

    Reply

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