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March 2012 Volume 14 , Issue 3 submit to us!

by Jim Whitaker -- Staff Writer [Email This Story]

Researchers. Scientists. What do "they" know?

That's the problem. They know too much - then they insist on publishing, disseminating their findings, their con-cluuuuus-ions so the rest of us just have to know too much too.

Dieting Forces Your Brain to Eat Itself

Well, anything tastes good drenched in chocolate.

Busybodies at the Albert Einstein College of medicine at Yeshiva University in New York have found that as dieters struggle with weight loss their brain cells, in an effort to stave off starvation, eat themselves to provide nutrition for the body.

Ever hear the phrase "fat and stupid?" Ha! Now it's "diet and get stupid." Oh, not really. Other cells in parts of your body eat themselves as well when the brain thinks you're wasting away. I've noticed as I diet that my toes are eating themselves. Nothing else. Just my toes.

On the up side, these findings, "they" say, could lead to diet breakthroughs. Stopping brain cells from self-consuming in test mice impeded the levels of hunger from rising in response to starvation, resulting in slimmer mice (bad news for famished cats, I suppose.)

Perhaps this process would work in humans as well, thus maintaining energy balance, the study concluded. If it only works in mice, I suppose we'll just have to live in a world of mice that look like Malibu Barbie.

Decision fatigue: Can't Conclude If I'm Tired or Not

Here's another brain thing.

Apparently as your brain makes decisions it decides it's tired of making decisions. For instance, I fell asleep 14 times before I finished this column. But that's no excuse for you to pass out while you're reading it.

According to the New York Times, a study of 1,100 parole board outcomes found that potential parolees facing the board members later in the day got the shaft -- they were statistically more liable to be denied parole than prisoners appearing earlier in the day, no matter the similarities or difference among the prisoners.

Thus, decision fatigue -- your brain just doesn't want to deal with it anymore and that "explain(s) why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can't resist the dealer's offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can't make decision after decision without paying a biological price."

Ahhhh, come on baby, it was just decision fatigue. You understand, don't you?

Tighten Your Belt: Antimatter Encircles the Earth

Antimatter. I have enough trouble wrapping my head around the concept of antipasto.

In antimatter, there are antiparticles as there are particles composing matter. A positron is the antiparticle of the electron (as in normal matter, like you and me). An antiproton is the opposite of the proton (as in normal matter, like you and me). While the proton and electron combine to make a hydrogen atom (as in normal matter, like you and me), the antiproton and the positron combine to make an antihydrogen atom (as in antimatter like Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and a dozen guys I went to school with).

So what does this mean to you and me? "They" say proving their assumptions about antimatter means potential advancements in medicine, science and rocket propulsion.

So the next time you go to the moon it could be at a velocity of 100 kilometers per second! Wait a minute. I don't know about you but that's a lot slower than last time I went.

The More You Sit, the Shorter Your Life Becomes

I'd better hurry up and finish this piece in the 17 or so minutes I have left to live.

This report was so shocking to me that when I read it I had to stand up. Published in the "American Journal of Epidemiology," a study concludes that "when muscles, especially those in the legs, are ‘sitting,' they stimulate or suppress various hormones which then affect triglycerides, cholesterol and other markers for heart and other diseases." So much so that in the study conducted over 14 years, the men were more likely to have problems by 17 percent and the women by 37 percent. Ladies, stop throwing things at me. I am only the messenger. So get off your big fat  . . .  chair . . .  and pick up these Flamenco wedges, ok?

Drinking Diet Soda Every Day Boosts Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

Better make that the next 14 or so minutes.

Here go those epidemiologists again. At the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, "they" found that there was a significant increase in the incident of stroke among people who drink more than one diet soda daily and not regular soda.

Why is that? "It's unknown at this point," said Dr. Hannah Gardener.

Unknown? Unknown? You don't know?!!!!!?????? What kind of study was that?

Somebody pass me a Coke Zero. And as soon as "they" find out why this stuff is killing me, I'd better be getting a phone call.

Well, folks all this, these studies  . . .  It's true. It's true. Ignorance is blissful. So if I were you, I'd go back and read this column backwards so you'll forget all this gunk and find something else to stress about.

Jim's book, "Hill of Beans," is available at whiskeycreekpress.com, barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com (Kindle).

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Features -- March 2012 -- Beginning Month Issue

Jim Whitaker
-- Additional Work --