We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, September 14. 2021
Wednesday, August 25. 2021
Thursday, August 5. 2021
I term being overweight (aka fat) simply as a physical condition regardless of how it came to be. Many people seem to be quite content with being heavy even though it is not fashionable or entirely functional.
When people I see want to lose weight, I offer simple nutritional advice. Once in a while, they take it.
Friday, July 30. 2021
In history, being fat was a sign of prosperity. In this world of food abundance, it is the opposite: "You can't be too rich or too thin."
Money is great but it can't buy happiness, and you can be too thin but that is another issue.
Thursday, July 15. 2021
Sunday, July 11. 2021
Part 1 is here
Now to the related topic of Satiety.
It was not long ago that being pudgy or having a bit of a gut signaled prosperity, and leanness signaled lower class. Now it's the opposite. With incredible food abundance, and with obesity always in the news, funding for nutrition-related studies has grown. So now we know a lot more about how insulin works and about how the three food categories (fats and oils, carbs, and protein) are handled by the body. We are also learning about how hunger and satiety work. It's quite interesting but complicated.
These are "First World issues." In our world of nutritional abundance, recreational, social, and emotional eating, and the constant temptation of food porn, "hunger" often does not denote a need for nutrition except for the skinny, and satiety is often over-ridden by habit, speed-eating, stomach-stretching, delicious foods, sugar-and-carb dosing, and insulin-resistance. That is what it means when overweight people, who have no pressing energy needs at all other than water, vitamins, and minerals, eat hungrily two or three times a day. We term that appetite "false hunger" not because the appetite is not subjectively experienced but because appetite has, for them, disconnected from nutritional need and satiety signals (which are very slow to go into effect). That luxury used to be only for the wealthy.
It's like the flip side of anorexia. Anorexia nervosa is famously difficult to ameliorate, but it is not too difficult for most pudgy or fat people to re-set their bio-psycho-social food-o-stat if they want to. For starters, that entails small portions, plenty of protein to satisfy the hormones, and very slow eating so as not to short-circuit the awareness of the moment at which "That's enough to sustain me, because I don't feel hunger anymore." That way, the "Eat 'til I'm filled or stuffed...now I'm stuffed" effect never has to happen.
In the Western world, "sufficient" can be the stopping point, not "filled." Except Thanksgiving, when feeling ill from getting stuffed with stuffing is expected.
Being too scrawny, with underdeveloped muscle and bone, is life-limiting and unhealthy, but not as life-limiting as carrying excess fat around with its lengthy list of associated ailments. There's no need to carry it on your body, because there's a pizza joint on every corner to prevent sudden death from starvation. Most people, fortunately, make themselves sensitive to satiety signals most of the time so most active adults are neither significantly under- or over-weight.
Obviously, little of this applies to most children and adolescents.
Saturday, July 10. 2021
Where did the cultural habit of three square meals per day come from?
It's quite recent, actually, and really a European cultural concept. More specifically, a British aristocratic concept because even today an Italian breakfast (except for the tourists) is an espresso or latte and a biscotti, and a typical French breakfast is a cafe au lait and a croissant. Typical Italian supper? Soup and bread, or cheese and leftovers.
"Eating between meals"? I suspect people might feel better with 5 mini-meals - balanced snacks, really, because stuffed and lazy after supper is not an effective life plan. Stuffed and lazy after any meal is not a good plan except on Thanksgiving. Serious exercisers and athletes tend to discipline themselves to a 5 meal program to keep the nutrients flowing. They have to eat when they aren't hungry to maintain their level of fitness and power, and to keep their weight up.
A mini-meal for many can be something like a couple of slices of chicken and a handful of olives, or an apple and some cheese slices, maybe a slice of pizza or a cup of yoghurt or oatmeal with berries. Volume and details depending, of course, on total muscle mass, body frame, daily physical demands, physical goals, etc. Body-builders need 4-5 full meals daily to put on muscle mass, while the old-fashioned three squares/day will make most adults flabby if not obese.
To understand what your body needs, look at it nude in the mirror. One look will tell you what it needs in fitness and nutrition in terms of muscular development, leanness or fatness, posture, etc. When it comes to food, we can't listen to our body too much. It's a liar because it was programmed for scarcity a long time ago, before agriculture. Humans seem to have the instinctive inclinations (eat, nap, fight, play, sex, and repeat until dark when the predators come out) of monkeys, chimps, and gorillas but we have some added higher capacities, or so the scientists claim.
A brief history of the origin of three meals/day.
Part 2 tomorrow will deal with hunger, appetite, and satiety.
Saturday, July 3. 2021
I quit them years ago when they were hijacked by lefty functionaries.
This new AMA position paper is crazy, illiterate, and only comprehensible in tone: AMA Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity.
It sounds like the Babylon Bee.
Friday, July 2. 2021
Friday, June 18. 2021
It comes as a (tiny) weekly injection, done at home.
It is mainly an appetite-suppressant, and a highly-effective one according to a couple of patients. It can have some GI side-effects, but is usually tolerated.
It is something to consider for those who have too much trouble with food. As we have often said, it's impossible to burn off dangerous deep fat with exercise.
Friday, June 11. 2021
Friday, May 14. 2021
I am now a proud "anti-vaxxer." Actually, I'm not. But Merriam-Webster does define me as one. The funny thing is, I've gotten vaccinated. For polio, smallpox, MMR, tetanus, and even recently I received my second shingles vaccine. I got the shingles vaccine on the day I turned down the coronavirus vaccine. I have my own personal reasons for turning down the new vaccine. After all, I've had covid, and it was a bit tough, but nothing I couldn't handle. I have other reasons, too, which I won't share since the information on all of this is convoluted and tends to spark arguments (not discussions). It is not hard science by any stretch. Even my doctor, when I gave my reasons for rejecting it, tried to convince me to get it by saying "we know so little about it, the vaccine is a good idea." I replied that if you know so little, it seems odd that you're convinced that the vaccine will help me. I hardly see that as a reassuring argument. She agreed (which surprised me) and said "just realize you may get it again." I told her I've gotten the flu many times, too. Even after I was vaccinated. My reasons are mine alone and I'll get the answers and make my determinations as I go along. I have that right (in the old United States I did...).
I'm not opposed to the coronavirus vaccine, either. I suggested my father (85, with heart issues) get it when he asked me if he should. He is a retired doctor, I laughed when he asked me, but I was honest. He agrees with my reasons for not getting it. It could be he's not seeking to have a discussion, but I know he has his own questions. Mrs. Bulldog got it (and, as I suspected, had no side effects, as she has been exposed to covid several times and never gotten it. Long exposures, both from me and friends. She really is a Viking.) and I supported her decision to get it. My mother (85 and frail) got it. Other members of my family have gotten it. I just have my own questions about this particular vaccine. I have a right to question it, and be skeptical.
Even today, it's not uncommon to see or hear about fully-vaccinated people testing positive. I doubt this means they have covid. In fact, I'm willing to bet heavily the tests are incorrect (as so many are). I'm also not afraid of getting covid again. I dealt with it once, and it wasn't bad. I'm in better shape now than I was then (lost about 5 lbs, lifting more, using the elliptical for longer stretches - I made it a goal to get in better shape), and know how to deal with it (low sugar, lots of water, Vitamin D and lots of sun and fresh air). There are also improved treatments if I'm wrong.
All that said, I'm not an anti-vaxxer. Not even a little. Not even a tiny bit. I'll get the vaccine IF my questions are resolved by my doctor AND if I reach a point that I feel it is useful and necessary. In the meantime, I'm not a threat. At least not health-wise. That said, I do oppose mandates and forcing people to do things they don't necessarily want to do. And if opposing mandatory vaccine programs makes me an anti-vaxxer, then I am a political problem to some people.
What annoys me is that I'm defined by Biden and Merriam-Webster as an anti-vaxxer. That's wrong. The dictionary has extended its definition far too broadly. It's also wrong to have a President tell me that I have to choose between a mask and a vaccine. He, of all people, is unqualified to make this determination. He's just a power-mad elderly man with dementia (at least I think he's got dementia, he certainly behaves that way). I've gone without a mask pretty much everywhere (mostly outdoors, though I keep one in my pocket). Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Block Island, New Orleans, North Carolina - I've done quite a bit of traveling. I wear the mask if I'm asked to, but not otherwise. As time goes by, people will see I'm not a risk. But for now, politically, I am. I am a massive risk politically. And I'm loving it. I won't make people do things they oppose. I appreciate others who realize this is the essential reason for the creation of our great nation.
Tuesday, April 20. 2021
Recommended. You do not need to be a STEM student or an MD to understand this history. I had not known that this author had a serious family history of mental illness.
Wednesday, April 14. 2021
Friday, February 5. 2021
Why do people with any fat stores ever feel hungry, or eat anything at all, considering they may have 1-5 month's worth of energy stored as fat? (We term the hunger experienced by overweight people "False Hunger," because it is.) Except in the truly malnourished or extremely fit, low body-fat athletes, hunger is rarely a signal of an energy deficit or of any nutritional need.
Think about it. Even normal-weight (neither overweight nor underweight) people carry 8-10 weeks of energy stored in fat if they can only access it.
You can consider appetite in the pudgy or overweight, not to mention the obese, to be a design flaw based on the hunting and gathering, and, earlier, just plain gathering condition of human existence, same as the other great apes who only become overweight in captivity. Agriculture and food abundance, along with sedentary life, exposed the design flaw for people who overnourish themselves. Of course, physical inadequacy is another side effect.
Here are a few issues (below) -
Continue reading "Why do overweight people ever feel hunger? (re-posted)"
Monday, January 11. 2021
Wednesday, January 6. 2021
Tuesday, December 29. 2020
Sunday, December 27. 2020
I contracted Covid back in March. 2 weeks of coughing and headaches, no fever, and a general haziness for about 2 months afterward. I'm fine now, no long-term issues to speak of. I am heading in for some medical checkups since my insurance is ending soon. If you're over 50 and understand the prep process, you know what I'm talking about. At any rate, the doctors had me take a Covid test last week as a precautionary measure. It's a smart move, and of course I came up negative.
Thing is, I was visiting friends last night, and a few other people stopped in. We wound up spending a few hours together. This morning, one sent us a text telling us he'd awakened with a fever. Later he texted that he'd been tested and came up positive.
Most of the people there last night already had Covid, so we're fairly confident we should be in good shape. We'd all been tested and had the antibodies. There are no guarantees, but I'm fairly confident most of us will be fine. There wasn't a ton of interaction, touching and no coughing. But we were indoors, and Mrs. Bulldog has not had Covid yet. So she will go get tested in a few days. Meanwhile, we will quarantine for a few days...
Except I have that procedure on Tuesday morning. So I shot them a note to let them know, and will follow whatever measures they ask me to engage.
This is how things should be handled. Rather than locking down, we can take steps to manage ourselves properly. Lockdowns haven't stopped the spread, they've merely created a false impression that viral outbreaks can be 'stopped' or 'prevented' with policy. Except the policies haven't stopped anything, and often have only led to worse overall situations.
Thursday, December 24. 2020
Wednesday, December 23. 2020
Friends of mine have barraged me with commentary on the "disaster" that Florida is, particularly with regard to Covid. Anecdotally, I was told urban (and this seems to confirm) ICUs typically range from 55-80% full at any given time, depending on seasonality. The current occupancy rates, in some places, are in the 90s, so while that is very high, it's worth noting ICUs are usually very full. The real concern is the ability to expand, as needed. I believe, based on the response in April, this is something our system can handle fairly effectively. I'm not being too relaxed or naive. I'm not diminishing or putting down the efforts of our medical personnel. I am applauding them for their efforts, their hours, their professionalism, and creativity as they have found many solutions and treatments along the way to help mitigate and ease many of these issues. That is the beauty of not only our medical system, but our overall economic system. Flexibility and ingenuity.
Our friend the Manhattan Contrarian has presented his excellent piece on why Florida has made New York look silly and misguided in the midst of all this.
I doubt the media will present the story as MC has. I applaud our friend MC for presenting the facts. After all, he lives near the center of the echo chamber.
I'll toss in one more point of comparison - New Jersey, which like NY has similar governance, though a much smaller population (8.9mm) than Florida (21.5mm) and New York (19.5mm). Covid cases have reached 440k in NJ, about in line with where Florida is as a percentage, but it has almost 19k deaths - similar to Florida (older and with a larger population). Comparatively speaking, New York City alone has roughly the same population as New Jersey, but has had roughly the same number of cases as New Jersday (390k) and more deaths (24k).
"Follow the science" is a real thing, but not the way Progressives present it. For them, it's really "Follow the politics, which pretends to be science."
Sunday, December 6. 2020
Monday, November 30. 2020
Statistically-inclined readers may offer their explanations for this data, if valid.
Add: I doubt this was retracted for narrative reasons.
Sunday, November 15. 2020
Tuesday, November 10. 2020
For peace of mind, this is a remarkable deal: Lifeline Screening. No prescription needed. No reason not to do it. It's a great service.
Cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, aneurysms, and the like) is the #1 killer in the US (about 1 million deaths/yr) and in much of the world too.
If screening raises any issues, they can be pursued by your doctor.
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