Friday, June 28, 2013

Batch of links

- I don’t know why I never got around to posting this before, but it turns out that people who eat chocolate regularly have lower BMI’s than those who don’t, even though they consume more calories overall. Which is what I’ll smugly say to anyone who questions my dark chocolate consumption (not that anyone has commented).

- I’m sure you’ve heard about Paula Deen’s misfortune at this point. She used the N-word and allegedly fantasized about hosting a “Southern plantation-style” wedding staffed by African-American waiters in demeaning uniforms (the latter charge bothers me more than the first, despite how much I abhor the word she used). As a result, just about every company with which she had ties has dropped her because apparently, the public perceives racism as worse than adultery or substance abuse, for example. While I would tend to agree, I don’t believe the answer is to make her disappear off the map, but to use this as an opportunity to address the larger issue of racism, particularly in the south. (And I’d also like to point out that it’s a bit hypocritical of Smithfield to sever ties with Ms. Deen, given the fact that they’re more controversial than she is.) But here’s a link to an open letter to Paula Deen written by a Southern, African-American, Jewish, gay food writer, inviting her to dialogue in an attempt to mend things. It is more nuanced than anything I’ve read up to this point, which is why I’m sharing it.

- And while we’re on the subject, did you know that people in general, including African-Americans AND medical personnel, tend to assume that African-Americans feel less pain than Caucasians in the same situations? How do we even begin to fix that?

- How long can you wait to have a baby? I often complain that the media have the bad habit of misinterpreting scientific data, but this takes the cake. You know how we’re always told that women can rarely get pregnant after 35? It turns out that’s based on birth records from the 18th century! Modern data is, thankfully, much more encouraging, though little known.

- Did you know there are betting pools regarding not just the sex of the royal baby, but its name, date of arrival, weight, and hair color? I’m glad there isn’t that much speculation about mine.

- A very interesting article about how hard it is for older women to find lingerie.

- I don’t know how much people heard about this issue outside of the States, but I think it bears repeating. Texas lawmakers introduced an anti-abortion bill in a late-night emergency session (so draconian that it would have closed down most abortion clinics in the state), and the reason they had to do it behind everyone’s back is because the majority of voters are against it. So enter our new heroine, Wendy Davis, who filibustered the bill by speaking for 13 hours straight (according to a very strict set of rules, I might add), and even then the bill was defeated only thanks to a citizens’ filibuster in the minutes after she was stopped from speaking and before the vote was taken, too late to count. I hate living someplace where basic rights could be violated so easily as if we were still in the Middle Ages, and I do wish Governor Rick Perry would mind his own damn business (he doesn’t have a uterus, so he doesn’t get to tell us what to do with ours). On the bright side, you might get a kick out of the reviews for Wendy Davis’ pink running shoes.

- The shocking effects of meth addiction, with before and after pictures. This needs to be taught in all high schools.

- And finally, an Egyptian statue in a Manchester museum has been spinning on itself when no one’s watching. A time-lapse video reveals that it’s probably vibrations from visitors’ footsteps that are causing it to rock in its base and move, but the effect remains incredibly creepy. You can read the article here and watch the video here. If it were up to me, I’d probably offer it a sacrifice of beer and a meat sandwich, just to be on the safe side!

1 comment:

Amélie said...

Update: Paula Deen's upcoming cookbook, which was #1 on Amazon yesterday and looked like it was going to be her redeeming grace, has now been cancelled.