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TygrBright

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 17,523

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Let's plan our "Gun Appreciation Day" celebration! I got a great idea....

....for a really BOFFO celebration, but it requires some slightly distasteful sacrifice from our African-American friends & neighbors, and our Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh friends & neighbors, which I realize is going to be a LOT to ask. But I do think it would make a WONDERFUL way to celebrate "Gun Appreciation Day," which (I'm CERTAIN it's coincidental!) also happens to be Martin Luther King's birthday.

You know, that "MLK" guy who was all into equal rights and nonviolence? Anyone remember him...?

Anyway, here's the idea:

It would be so cool if our African-American neighbors, and our Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu neighbors, could pull together little "Gun Appreciation Party" groups of right around 5-6 people, each. And definitely bring your pieces if you have them and it's legal to carry them where you are.

Then attend (as a group) the nearest "Gun Appreciation Day" celebration at your local firearms shop. Bring signs, wear festive attire! Tell everyone how excited you are to be here, and that you plan on purchasing MANY weapons! Line up at the counter to buy guns!

It will add so much to the enjoyment of all your melanin-deficient "Christian" neighbors who will be there to celebrate, too!

I realize it's a lot to ask, as you probably would cross the street to avoid them in most cases, but if you're there in a group, happy and smiling, festively attired and packing your heat, you'll be part of the celebration, and it'll be fun!

Sort of. Well, for you, anyway.

Whaddaya think?

Great way to celebrate "Gun Appreciation Day," doncha think?

eagerly,
Bright

P.S. Forum mods, I think "Gun Appreciation Day" is a "current event" so I'm putting this here. But please feel free to move it to the Gungeon if you think it's more appropriate (and/or more FUN!) there...

Weight, Health, Life Expectancy: "It's Complicated"

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/health/study-suggests-lower-death-risk-for-the-overweight.html?_r=0

Yet another "breakthrough study" on the relationship between weight, health, and life expectancy. Number 9,726 in an apparently endless series.

I'm encouraged, though. Many of the recent items of reportage on this topic have pointed out a key concept that's often missed in the cultural dialog, which is:

It's complicated.

Fifty years ago the conventional wisdom was that we had cracked the nutrition code. We knew everything important about how food, weight, and health interrelated. The components of food could be broken down into three major groups: fats, carbohydrates, proteins; and a handful of trace elements such as vitamins and amino acids, all required by our bodies in order to function.

Research then moved on to determining the exact ratio of these elements in the health-optimal diet. All we needed to do is determine the precise ratio of fats to proteins to carbs, and the precise balance of vitamins and amino acids, required for the optimal weight/health relationship. Then ensure that everyone understood the magic formula and based their diet on it.

Conventional wisdom and popular consciousness remain largely stuck at that stage, exacerbated by the needs of our consumer-based culture and economy to sell lots and lots and lots of food products, diet and supplement products, clothes and beauty products, and other health-related products. Establishing an ideal that never quite settles but always remains fluctuating at a level largely unobtainable for a majority of the population optimizes the function (read: profit) of that consumer-dependent economy. A set of "simple" rules, standards, beliefs about what will enable a consumer to attain the ideal gives the Marketing Dept something to work with.

So it's not at all surprising that the growing body of research that concludes that, yes, the relationship between food, weight, health, body function, life expectancy is not just complex, but very complex, gets cherry-picked, oversimplified, or not reported at all.

Granted, science related to the impact of mitochondrial DNA on metabolic patterns, the relationship of molecular variants in food components to digestive and metabolic processes, and other abstruse and not-easily-classifiable variables, is not exactly Reader's Digest fodder. Discussing complex interactions between non-food-related endocrinological processes, and how an individual's body metabolizes food, begs a lot of questions and in the absence of simple answers, may be better left unexplored by the Junk Science Press.

(Yes, your body processes calories differently when you are under various types of stress. And different individuals are differently affected by stress hormones, creating more variables in that equation.)

All of which is to say that as a general working understanding, using the food pyramid as a guide for "healthy eating" is probably adequate for the vast majority of us. Avoiding extremes of obesity and skinniness, ditto. Reasonable levels of physical activity, ditto.

But now we're learning more. And one particular thing that is beginning to emerge poses a major threat to the vast consumer economic machine. Expect it to be ignored, and when it doesn't go away, watch it get repeatedly "debunked," "refuted," "contradicted," questioned, have doubt cast upon it, etc. Because it's really, really scary to those whose vast wealth depends on us feeling inadequate and insecure about our looks and our health.

So what is it, this scary, scary thing?

It's the growing awareness that our body works best and is healthiest when we feel happy with how we look and feel, generally. (Yes, happy people do tend to live longer-- who'd-a thunk it? But our economy depends on us needing to buy stuff to be happy. Work it out.) And also, that changes in our metabolic function should be slow, gradual, incrementally tiny, and based on a variety of factors much greater than calorie consumption and expenditure via exercise. And when we start trying to consciously alter our metabolism at an unnaturally fast pace, based only on those two factors, we risk throwing sand into a delicate mechanism we don't really understand. And a messed-up metabolism will do us more damage than being a few pounds over or underweight over the long haul.

So, yeah, it's complicated. The "good thing" about the complexity is that it keeps the consumer machine well-oiled with excuses to update the Magic Formula! New!! Improved!! Anti-oxidants are so last week, people! This week, buy our new, improved, gluten-free Sweet Tarts(c) or apple juice!

The "bad thing" about the complexity is that it keeps us focused on finding magic bullet after magic bullet, vulnerable to the Marketing Dept's conditioning about how we should look or feel in order to be sexy, happy, vibrant, socially acceptable, powerful, young, fulfilled consumers.

The next-to-the-next-to-the-last thing they want is for us to grab the admittedly simple, big picture truth of Michael Pollan's healthy eating formula: "Eat food. Not too much. Mainly vegetables."

The next-to-the-last thing they want is for us to internalize the realization that industrially-produced, highly-engineered foodlike substances manufactured from a few highly-processed organic compounds that started life as food, do not actually comprise "eating food" in the sense of fueling our bodies to maintain healthy metabolic processes.

And the last thing they want is for us to realize that health and happiness have no intrinsic relationship to what we buy.

Yet those three simple realizations are the real fundamental, cut-through-the-Gordian-knot Magic Formula for achieving an ideal weight, a healthy body, and a long, happy life.

We're doomed.

Doomed, I tellya...

pessimistically,
Bright

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