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In the News 18.01.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 19.01.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 19.01.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 19.01.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

Why (Almost) Everything You Know About Food Is Wrong

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There was a time, in the distant past, when studying nutrition was a relatively simple science.

In 1747, a Scottish doctor named James Lind wanted to figure out why so many sailors got scurvy, a disease that leaves sufferers exhausted and anemic, with bloody gums and missing teeth. So Lind took 12 scurvy patients and ran the first modern clinical trial.

The sailors were divided into six groups, each given a different treatment. The men who ate oranges and lemons eventually recovered — a striking result that pointed to vitamin C deficiency as the culprit.

This sort of nutritional puzzle solving was common in the pre-industrial era. Many of troubling diseases of the day, such as scurvy, pellagra, anemia, and goiter, were due to some sort of deficiency in the diet. Doctors could develop hypotheses and run experiments until they figured out what was missing in people’s foods. Puzzle solved.

Read the rest of this article at Vox

Li’l Donald

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From one perspective, the century-long transfer of prestige from intellectual culture to physical culture that created the modern sports-entertainment complex is an inevitable and arguably even healthy response to the alienation from the body that’s a more or less inescapable feature of mechanized modern life; from another, it’s just kind of sick and sad, an elevation of our most animalistic qualities — muscle, speed, aggression, force — over the intelligence and creativity once thought to distinguish humanity at its finest. When you spend your days in floating fluorescent cubicles staring at glowing screens, it’s maybe only natural that you would want those screens to have bodies on them; on the other hand, a society that considers Tom Brady a more significant cultural figure than just about any artist, scientist, philosopher, or poet is pretty obviously hell-bent on going down a perilous cul-de-sac. Mozart wrote the Jupiter symphony, but this guy — he flings oblong balls through space! But then, unless you’re going to front like you’re not eight matrices deep in your own private dreamworld of electronic representations, maybe it’s good just to have a way to experience space?

Read the rest of this article at The New Yorker

Shop Update: The Return of The Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Seacliff

Available now for Pre-Order: the Saint-Germain-Des-Prés in Seacliff or Bruyère. Shop at Belgrave Crescent or This Is Glamorous – The Shop

Why I Taught Myself to Procrastinate

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NORMALLY, I would have finished this column weeks ago. But I kept putting it off because my New Year’s resolution is to procrastinate more.

I guess I owe you an explanation. Sooner or later.

We think of procrastination as a curse. Over 80 percent of college students are plagued by procrastination, requiring epic all-nighters to finish papers and prepare for tests. Roughly 20 percent of adults report being chronic procrastinators. We can only guess how much higher the estimate would be if more of them got around to filling out the survey.

But while procrastination is a vice for productivity, I’ve learned — against my natural inclinations — that it’s a virtue for creativity.

For years, I believed that anything worth doing was worth doing early. In graduate school I submitted my dissertation two years in advance. In college, I wrote my papers weeks early and finished my thesis four months before the due date. My roommates joked that I had a productive form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychologists have coined a term for my condition: pre-crastination.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

Lunch With Roland Fryer

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We are five minutes into our lunch when Roland Fryer asks if he may use my notepad and pen to draw a chart. The youngest African-American to take up a tenured professorship at Harvard University is explaining his new research on racial differences in the use of force by US police. As a teenager, Fryer had guns pulled on him “six or seven” times by cops. “But,” he says, sketching a downward curve from left to right, “there is a disturbing trend of people discussing race in America based only on their own personal experience.” In a voice with a hint of southern drawl, he adds: “I don’t care about my personal experience or anyone else’s — all I want to know is how that experience gets us to data to help us know what is really going on.”

Read the rest of this article at The Financial Times

Is Bacon Dangerous? The Science Behind Food Trends

Is fat really bad for you? Should we consume less salt? And what’s wrong with gluten, anyway? A science writer and a consultant cardiologist separate fact from fiction

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Have you ever wondered why people on diets seem to be on and off them forever? Or why it’s really only people who struggle with their weight who have extra low-fat mayonnaise in their fridge? Most processed foods branded as diet, low-fat, light or lighter aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. And if you look at their lengthy ingredients lists, you’ll realise that they’re not even very good for you.

Take low-fat mayonnaise. When you strip out the fat you have to reinject flavour with sweetness. So an emulsion of eggs and oil becomes an emulsion of water, maize starch, extra sugar and glucose syrup. Or to put another way: water, sugar, sugar and sugar. That’s an awful lot of sugar, and because the traffic lights on packets of food don’t flash red until a whopping 27g of sugar is in each 100g portion – that’s just under seven teaspoons – a busy shopper won’t think twice about choosing this “healthy” option.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.