so I guess bread is back in; but juice is now out?

There’s a neat little statement as Edward Gibbon compares the doomed Romans to their future steppe tribe conquerors.  Gibbon makes the point that the tribes are composed of folks who had likely never tasted bread.

Granted, this is a pretty blatant stereotype.  Not every Hun or Vandal spent their lives drinking only goat milk and eating fire roasted meat right off the bone.  Gibbon is only using the idea to make a point about how a hard living martial culture can destroy a weak culture, even one as old as the Romans.

I think this is roughly what the paleo goons are going for.  It’s more a hardcore thing than a nutrition thing.  It’s a fad, a selling point to display generally how folks choose to live their lives.  The concept of living one’s life and food intake in the hard living martial culture category.  Rather than reaching for a box in the cereal aisle.

But I’d always found it weird when the paleo goons adopted the Gibbon model and shut down bread or grains or glucose in their diets.  Now the news reports that bread has been in the human diet for over 10K years and the headlines question whether the paleo folks can now eat bread again?

Well, sure, why not.  I guess?  But really, whatever, who cares?  Because honestly, please keep in mind the key thing the paleo folks should remember is that cars are only about a 100 years old.  So since humans weren’t using cars in 3746 BC, the paleo crowd should probably stop driving cars.

I’ve also begun seeing more and more ‘advice’ from ‘experts’ that humans beings have no business drinking straight juice.  The summary of this wisdom is that take an orange.  You can eat an orange or two and that’s a pretty decent sized snack.  But a glass of orange juice comes from like seven oranges.  The idea is that no human would ever be able to eat the natural sugars of seven oranges in one sitting.  So a person has no business drinking juice, at least in any large quantity whatsoever.

This is all well and good except that like bread, humans have been drinking juice for thousands of years and somehow we all haven’t burst into flames.  Hey I’m all for progress in culture and our diets, after all, life saving surgery is a pretty cool thing.

But I guess all this paleo or anti-juice stuff just kind of rubs me the wrong way.  Our lives and modern culture is pretty cool, but to think that all of a sudden we’ve got all the answers is pretty darn arrogant.  That somehow after say 5K years of food and drink, that we’re the first generation to be wise enough to forgo bread and juice.

If folks want to eat, drink, or not bread and juice then whatever.  That’s a personal choice.  I just can’t stand the self righteousness of it.  Or the need to redefine arbitrary standards when they’re confronted with reality.

Eat what they want.  Drink what they want.  Or not.  It’s all good.  Just don’t wear it on the sleeve, shove it in other folks faces, and think they’re better than others (and all of human history).

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an arrest record one can be proud of

If you’re like me and try to read the BBC every day you’ll realize that at any given time, probably 1/3 of the links on their News main page is pure clickbait.  I’ve always found this weird and kind of shameful for what should otherwise be a professional news organization.

But I guess every website feels compelled to use clickbait now.  There’s a charity that helps cure malaria in children, and on their web page front and center is a link that says: “You’ll never guess what job can increase your happiness this much!”.  Hint, it’s undertaker.

Hey speaking of death, the BBC got me.  I’m so ashamed.  I couldn’t help myself and dove into this clickbait headline:

Ethiopian ‘prophet’ arrested after trying to resurrect corpse

Essentially this dude had folks dig up a corpse and he tried to bring said dead body back to life:

Getayawkal Ayele had tried to revive the corpse of Belay Biftu by lying on top of him and repeatedly yelling “Belay, wake up”.

When this didn’t work (for whatever reason) the guy’s family started to beat up this false god.  For his efforts, Mister Ayele got himself arrested for messing with a dead body, which is apparently a crime even if you received the family’s permission to do it.

We at TAP have a few conclusions to draw from this most consequential of today’s events.  Please bear with us as we display only keen insight and brilliance.  Your cooperation, as always, is truly appreciated.  We truly desire to keep liquidation to an absolute minimum.

1) What did the family of the deceased expect to happen?  I’ve seen some pretty crazy shit in my life, but I’m pretty sure there are some things you can bet your life on.  For example, unicorns don’t exist.  Did the family really expect that they would be the first folks to experience something that has never, ever happened before in all of human history?

2) What did Ayele expect to happen?  Either he’s insane, was intoxicated, or what?  But did this guy actually expect this to work?  Usually a grifter has a backup plan.  When he discovered that he could, in fact, not actually resurrect the dead what was his next move?  Was he just going to run away in a puff of smoke ala the Roadrunner?

3) This is an arrest record one can be proud of.  If you’re going to get wrapped up by the authorities, it should be something you can be proud of.  “I got taken in for drunk driving”, makes you sound like a dick and a loser.  “I got taken in for trying to resurrect a corpse”, instantly makes you the most popular dude in the bar.

4) Fuck Netflix’s The Frankenstein Chronicles.  So bad.

5) This will not be the last time in your lifetime you see an attempt to resurrect a corpse.  Soon, they’ll be growing human hearts in a lab.  And a guy or gal will have a heart attack and essentially, well, die.  Then they’ll rush that corpse to the ER and instead of calling it, the doc will try and put a new heart in the person and essentially bring them back to life.  The social and religious implications of this are astounding, but it’s going to happen.

6) “My mum found my first grey hair at seven.”  Hmm, that sounds weird.  Maybe I’ll click on that, and so [eyes glaze over], no, No, NO! [waves hands around head as if shooing away flies]

7) The title of this blog post was intentionally clickbait.  Did I get you?  If so, I’m not sorry.

PS, I really am sorry.

video games are hazardous to your health; ebola is not

We’re back!  After an unexplained 17 week absence.  We got a little turned around lately.  But we’re here again and ready to go.  Did you miss us?  No?  Oh.  We, ah, we thought folks missed us.  [cricket; cricket; cricket]

But you have to understand that even for the most jaded degenerate blog author, life has to take priority and can get out of hand.  We finally got divorced (there is a God) and I lost one of my dog buddies.  He will be missed, and is currently barking in Valhalla where he belongs.  Eh, it’s been a long few weeks.

So we’re here to write about what important topic to all humanity today?

– The World Cup (aka Uncle Vlad’s Guide to Effective Bribery of International Organizations 101)?

– The fact that immigration policies, procedures, and methods employed during the Obama administration are suddenly beyond the pale?

– The creation of Space Force (aka that thing that will never actually happen)?

– Chronic forthcoming global instability created by manic squirrels?

Wrong.

We’re here instead to briefly rant about the World Health Organization’s decision to state that playing video games is a classifiable addiction disorder.  Long term readers of this blog will be aware of two key facts:

1) I play a lot of video games.

2) I have a very low opinion of the WHO.

Granted, the WHO’s response to the recent ebola outbreak in Congo has been pretty good.  It seems they learned their lessons from the outbreak in West Africa a few years ago.  What could easily have turned into an even bigger nightmare if ebola had made its way down the river to Kinshasa (aka one of the biggest cities on Earth) seems to have been stopped in its tracks.  Good on them.

But then every once and a while the WHO reminds people how much money they burn on stupidity that could be spent vaccinating people against [insert anything here].  Hell, if video games are now an addictive disorder (as in the same category as nicotine) then we might as well classify drinking water as addictive.

Ever hear the term ‘everything in moderation’?  This is a pretty good term to live by.  Just about anything can be bad if you go at it too often.  You can even drink so much water that it kills you.  And your body is made up mostly of water.  But does that mean something is so powerful it can literally alter your body?

For example, I’m pretty sure if you play video games for a year your physical brain chemistry isn’t going to change.  If however, you decide to smoke crack for a year, I’m pretty sure you come out the back end of that year an entirely different person.

If you still don’t get where I’m going with this, just go ahead and put a crack addict and stand them next to even the most extreme South Korean player of StarCraft II.  I’m pretty sure you’ll see what I’m getting it.

Focus on ebola WHO, stop wasting my time.

geralt.jpg

“Hey there kiddies.  Wanna get high?”

apparently, even bread and potatoes can kill you now

Oh no, it’s happening again. Everything’s trying to kill me. The rain’s trying to drive my car off the road into a watery grave. I caught my dogs trying to practice their knife fighting skills last night. The elves that inhabit my dreams are telling me to burn things. And, oh no, my bread is poisoning me, and, wait, what? What?

Oh yes, my friends. They’re at it again. Science has determined that bread, or potatoes, or other starches are a carcinogen that can kill you. Truly.

Humans have been consuming bread and potatoes for like 10,000 years. If these things cause cancer, then the very air you breathe must do so as well. But this supposed breathtaking science news was given front billing on the BBC. So everybody’s going to read this and wonder what’s going on. As a brief aside, I’ve noticed that the BBC believes the world is composed entirely of vicious death traps. If I claimed that cutting your grass led to lymphoma, I’d get published in the BBC overnight.

Well, we at TAP are here to help. We’ll leaf through this insanity because we’re insane, and bored, and don’t want junk science giving our tasty food choices an undeserved bad name.

The idea is that acrylamide, a naturally occurring chemical, is a supposed carcinogen. When you fry or heat starches such as bread or potatoes above certain temperatures, acrylamide naturally appears in that food. It also naturally appears in other stuff such as coffee.

So the scientists have decided the solution to reduce your risk of cancer is to heat starches in manner that reduces the risk that acrylamide will appear. In other words, don’t always fry potatoes, boil them. Toast your bread, but not too much. Uh, okay.

First off, six sentences into the BBC report, this juicy line appears:

“However, Cancer Research UK said the link was not proven in humans.”

Oh, you, you mean nobody’s actually proved it’s a carcinogen. Oh.

Plus, may I remind you that acrylamide is naturally occurring. Humans didn’t invent it, it’s just there. So when the servants toasted the Pharaoh’s bread in 7,634 BC, he ingested acrylamide. If only they’d known to lightly toast the bread, but oh that goofy Pharaoh, he beheaded the last servant who tried that. Also, at some point thereafter, that Pharaoh died. So is it reasonable to conclude that Pharaoh died of acrylamide poisoning? Hey, why not?!

But wait, the scientists say! Acrylamide is actually a poison. If you ingest too much of it at once it’s toxic, you die. Governments regulate industries that leach out natural acrylamide and use it in industrial processes. So since it’s a poison, it makes sense that it’s a carcinogen, right?

Well, no, I’m afraid. I don’t quite agree. For you see, any substance, on the entire planet, can kill you if you ingest it with excess. Even water, yes freaking water, is toxic if you drink too much of it at once. So making the scientific assumption that just because a massive amount of acrylamide will kill you, thus indicates that even a little acrylamide will ultimately kill you, is worthy of third grade chemistry.

If you want to know why people don’t trust science, and why folks believe vaccines don’t work, or that climate change isn’t happening, I give you example A as to why folks distrust science.

Even if acrylamide is actually a carcinogen, I’m pretty sure it’s like a 0.000085% increase. If you have to devolve the cancer warnings to the point that folks have to divest bread and potatoes, you might as well post a warning asking folks never to leave their front doors each day. Hey it’s dangerous out there folks! Life kills!

Man, all this typing sure does make me hungry. Think I’ll go get a grilled cheese sandwich, with extra toasted bread. [gives cancer the finger] Thanks science, you’re swell. You’ve inspired me to add some enjoyment to my life before I some day become a bleached skeleton. Cheers!

the balance with life

For the first time this year, American deaths by drug overdose will overtake deaths by car accident.   If you loosely add in the suicides per year that can directly be traced to drug use as the primary causation, you enter an era where over 50K people a year are dying this way.  No other cause of death not related to old age or cancer (fuck cancer) even comes close.

In one of the mid-sized counties just north of mine, they have a sign on the way to the airport that logs death’s per year specifically from opioids / heroin.  It’s over 60 lives already this year.  That county is not that big, folks.

When it’s not playing psychotic referee to the sewer that is Washington politics, The Washington Post can actually output some high quality journalism.  They’ve run a multi-part series examining this issue in detail.  You should read each part, alongside a shorter but similar piece by BBC Magazine.

In many ways, I’m a freedom based lunatic.  And so for years I’ve been of the impression that the way to end the drug war is to legalize all drugs.  Let folks get high, whatever, tax it, and offer treatment.  However, I’m beginning to wonder if the growing drug lethality upends the game on this issue.

Science, reckless doctors, and pill companies have created drugs that are exponentially more powerful than what was available even 15 years ago.  Where it was once extremely difficult to get clean once you were hooked, it might now be nearly impossible to recover once you’d trained your brain to accept modern opioids.  When you add in the ultra vicious horror story drugs like fentanyl (which apparently is so lethal it can get into your blood if you even touch it), and whatever other death dealing nightmare synthetic drugs science will soon create, it seems we’re at a bit of a crossroads with all of this.

You can probably do a few lines of coke in your day, or smoke hundreds of joints, and come out mostly okay.  With this shit, you can literally die on the first hit, or after just a few months find yourself hooked for life without a way out.

When you add this to the already everpresent overmedication of anti-depressants, and whatever other societal ills you can think of, it becomes quite the balance with death.  It’s moments like this why I barely care about the presidential election.  Nobody has answers for these types of problems that are literally killing tens-of-thousands of Americans a year.  Neither political party is interested in proposing deep core type solutions to tackle these problems.  Instead, they’re chasing that sound byte.  Idiots.

I find more solace in those identified within these articles who are on the street, helping every day.  The elderly councilor aiding dozens in addiction classes, the local mayor putting his ass on the line to identify and fight the problem, a young man who lost his friend and now battles to save others.  When our national leadership is garbage, and the topic is as dark as this, it’s hopeful to know that folks are still fighting to save others with ferocity and compassion.

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Behold the potential cause of America’s downfall.

all hail the bunny

So let’s say it’s 1673, and you’re guzzling Reinheitsgebot beer at a pub in the Duchy of Westphalia. It’s a few days before Easter. Your buddy Carl leans over, wasted, and he’s like, “Hey, you know what, we should get some eggs and color them.” You don’t say a word, because beer is tasty, and you’re not sure if you just heard Carl correctly. And in any case, beer is tasty, so who cares. But then Carl continues, “but the eggs have to appear from somewhere, so a rabbit should bring them to the kids.”

You have no idea where Carl’s brain is, but seeing as how you can’t say nothing, you start with the simple, “Rabbits don’t lay eggs.”

“Right, right, but they can carry them, right?”

Your head hurts, “Rabbits can’t carry things, they don’t have opposable thumbs, and they hop around.”

Carl’s getting frustrated, he pulls on his stein, he needs you to understand the genius that’s at work here, “Okay, okay, but it’s all for fun, so if I say the rabbit can carry eggs, then he’s carrying the freaking eggs.”

“Okay.”

“But the eggs are colored, see,” Carl drinks again, “so that way they’re neat and colorful and you can find them easier.”

You’re barely listening at this point. You motion to the barkeep that you’d like another. But remember, Carl’s your buddy, so you have to play along to some degree. “What was that, about kids?”

“Well, kids get to find the hidden colored eggs.”

“So the rabbit hides eggs?”

“Right.”

“So that kids can then find them?”

“Exactly!”

“Why?”

“Doesn’t matter, because the rabbit wants to, he’s a hopping happy rabbit, or whatever, doesn’t matter. And all the kids search for the eggs, and they’re happy. Because kids like wonderful bright colors, and they like to run around, and play, and find things,” Carl starts chuckling uncontrollably.

Your next beer arrives, you desperately want to drink it, but you take a moment to furrow your brow in frustration. “Okay, okay Carl, so, uh, why would we do this?”

“Because it’s Easter!” Carl shouts as he raps his fist on the bar.

“WHAT do a rabbit, colored eggs, kids have to do with that Jesus guy rising from the dead?”

“Who cares! Everybody will love this.”

“Okay friend, okay.” And because it’s 1673, you put that next beer back in about 30 seconds, and you’re off. As you depart, Carl’s already shouting his idea to somebody else at the bar, who like you, couldn’t care less. And you’re quite certain Carl should have stopped at five beers.

But then it’s 1698, and eggs, bunnies, and color are everywhere. Kids are playing, everybody’s hiding eggs in bushes and under cobblestones, and it’s become an Easter tradition, full of spring joy and life.

Meanwhile, Carl’s made millions off his egg decorating business. And you’re still a day laborer at the local mill. But at least, every time you’re at the pub, Carl offers to buy all your beers.

bunny.jpg

Oh the joy of irrational youth, where my parents could dismiss us from the room and tell us to come back in ten minutes.  And then we’d get back, and Dad would defiantly state the Easter bunny had just stopped by, and hid a whole bunch of eggs in the backyard that we had to find.  We’d just missed him, honest.  Go get the eggs now.  And so we did.

so I guess I’ll have to stop eating meat now?

So that pork dish from Saturday night? Off limits. My Brother’s tasty chili accompanied by his own homemade hot sauce? Not going to happen. That leftover Indian dish I made last week? It’d be like I’m eating shards of glass.

All of this is the path you shall now take. For the World Health Organization (WHO) has decided that meat causes cancer.

Let’s leave aside for a moment that the WHO is tackling this urgent meat-flavored issue when they otherwise seem to have trouble executing their core mission.

Per the BBC:

 

Processed meats – such as bacon, sausages and ham – do cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Its report said 50g of processed meat a day – less than two slices of bacon – increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.

Meanwhile, it said red meats were “probably carcinogenic” but there was limited evidence

 

That’s kind of exact if you ask me. Exactly 50 grams of processed meat equals a 18% chance I commute to Valhalla? How could they possibly get so specific?

That’s like telling me a scientific study has proven that if I drive exactly 13 miles per hour over the speed limit my chances of a twisted metal death are increased by 14%. Would you believe such a stat? I wouldn’t.

And then they go ahead and say straight meat, non-processed variety, is “probably carcinogenic” but then admit they can’t prove it. Well, I say that listening to Justin Bieber is probably carcinogenic, but I can’t prove it. But just take my word for it, okay.

So I guess I’ll have to stop eating meat now? Because they said so?

Let me lay this out for a second. Every human who has consumed food, any food at all, has died. The fatality rate for the consumption of apples is 100%. Everybody who’s ever eaten a piece of fish will ultimately become a bleached skeleton. That’s science you can bet your soul on. It’s 100% guaranteed.

Just ask this guy. He hate some hummus in 69 BC, and look what happened to him:

grave

So is this a license to dip your coffee in bacon fat each morning? Or drive down the road 34 miles over the limit while drunk and listening to Bieber at top volume? I mean, you could, I guess?

But no, not really. Common sense does apply. You don’t need the WHO to tell you that.

But I guess this pseudo-science really does bug me. Because it gives decent, legit science a bad name. And it could convince people to change their behavior for all the wrong reasons.

It’s your life. Live it.

As to me, so I guess I’ll have to stop eating meat now? No, not a chance. The leftovers to this excellent dish is what I’ll be eating tonight. It’s 100% guaranteed.

dinner