Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2009

Smoking still kills more men than women, because men started smoking substantial numbers of cigarettes long before women did. But, because so many men have now quit, male death rates from smoking are decreasing in many European countries where female death rates from smoking are still increasing. Taking men and women together, smoking causes about 0.7 million deaths per year in the 27 countries of the present European Union, including 0.3 million deaths per year before age 70 (more than one of five of all deaths before age 70). Those killed by tobacco before age 70 lose, on average, about 23 years of life (and those killed by tobacco at older ages lose, on average, about 8 years).

We are all for equality between the sexes, but this is not quite what we had in mind.

Sir Richard Peto, professor of medical statistics at the University of Oxford, UK, said “In Western Europe tobacco causes more premature deaths than anything else does, and among both men and women about a quarter of those who smoke throughout adult life will be killed by tobacco before they are old, unless they can manage to stop smoking.”

There are solutions which make quitting tobacco far easier than it once was. Eating a healthy diet can make cigarettes seem less appealing. If the nicotine cravings are too difficult to beat then invest in an e-cigarette so you can get your fix without the cancer.

Read Full Post »

Leslie Bennetts writes in MSNBC (Chores for two: Why men don’t pitch in) explaining how she gets her husband to pitch in for household chores.

Yes, dear readers, it’s true: Maintaining some semblance of parity in your marriage requires you to deploy the same kinds of nasty tactics you swore you would never stoop to as a parent but nonetheless found yourself using the minute you actually had a kid. Bribery and punishment work; so do yelling and complaining. Threats are also effective, as long as everyone knows you mean business. With husbands, tender blandishments and nooky are particularly useful, as is the withholding of the aforementioned.

Dr. Helen takes the time to explain nicely why those actions are actually teaching her children all the wrong lessons:

No, ma’am, you are teaching your children that mommy is a nagging bitch and that you hold men in such contempt that you view them as children to do your bidding. You are teaching them that psychological warfare is the only way to get what you want. You overlook your husband’s strong points and what he brings to your family and see yourself, as you mention, as a heroine. Your narcissism is deafening and while you may think you are “striking a blow” for all womankind here, you are doing nothing more than teaching your children that manipulation and threats are the way to engage in a “loving” relationship.

Rachel Lucas whips out the clue-bat and administers a vicious beating, sarcasm style:

Another thing I’ll be sure never to do, from now on as I fully manifest my inner bitch-martyr, is to ever stop for one fucking MINUTE to think about how I am singlehandedly causing every young man who reads my articles to run screaming in terror the minute a girl utters the word “marriage” to him. I will not worry that my words do nothing but a disservice to other women, confirming ugly stereotypes and mens’ worst fears about taking on a wife. It’s not MY problem if men are too weak and immature to sign up for a life closely resembling a forced death march.

Moron Pundit clearly and effectively shows how Leslie Bennetts is wrong by simply placing the shoe on the other foot:

Yes, dear readers, it’s true: Maintaining some semblance of sexual activity in your marriage requires you to deploy the same kinds of nasty tactics you swore you would never stoop to as a parent but nonetheless found yourself using the minute you actually had a kid. Bribery and beating work; so do yelling and bullying. Threats are also effective, as long as everyone knows you mean business (a convenient ‘fall down the stairs’ always works). With wives, throwing things, pushing her around and body blows are particularly useful, as is telling her you only do it because you love her after the aforementioned.

Ace joins in on the action:

But as to the real, bigger point: As was said of Tom in Miller’s Crossing, “I’ve never met anyone who made being a son-of-a-bitch such a point of pride.”Feminism seems to be teaching women that narcissism, unpleasantness, selfishness, and hectoring, nagging, domineering, insufferable behavior are somehow virtues to be praised.

We would like to thank Leslie Bennetts for airing dirty personal laundry in public, so the rest of us can learn a valuable lesson about what not to do.

Read Full Post »

If the members of the American medical establishment were to have a collective find-yourself-standing-naked-in-Times-Square-type nightmare, this might be it. They spend 30 years ridiculing Robert Atkins, author of the phenomenally-best-selling ”Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution” and ”Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution,” accusing the Manhattan doctor of quackery and fraud, only to discover that the unrepentant Atkins was right all along. Or maybe it’s this: they find that their very own dietary recommendations — eat less fat and more carbohydrates — are the cause of the rampaging epidemic of obesity in America. Or, just possibly this: they find out both of the above are true.

The worst part about the way other respected people in the medical community treated Dr. Atkins is in the way they acted contemptuously towards scientific principles.

In fact, when the American Medical Association released its scathing critique of Atkins’s diet in March 1973, it acknowledged that the diet probably worked, but expressed little interest in why.

The prevailing theory, that eating more carbohydrates and fewer fats was better for health, was itself a new and untested hypothesis at one point.

The alternative hypothesis also comes with an implication that is worth considering for a moment, because it’s a whopper, and it may indeed be an obstacle to its acceptance. If the alternative hypothesis is right — still a big ”if” — then it strongly suggests that the ongoing epidemic of obesity in America and elsewhere is not, as we are constantly told, due simply to a collective lack of will power and a failure to exercise. Rather it occurred, as Atkins has been saying (along with Barry Sears, author of ”The Zone’‘), because the public health authorities told us unwittingly, but with the best of intentions, to eat precisely those foods that would make us fat, and we did. We ate more fat-free carbohydrates, which, in turn, made us hungrier and then heavier. Put simply, if the alternative hypothesis is right, then a low-fat diet is not by definition a healthy diet. In practice, such a diet cannot help being high in carbohydrates, and that can lead to obesity, and perhaps even heart disease.

Given the spectacular failure of such low fat, high carb diets to cause people to lose weight and improve their health, the medical community should have been more open to other ideas. More importantly, Dr. Atkins’ hypothesis proved correct and was easily verified after only a few years on the market.

Here is how the nonsense got started:

It was Ancel Keys, paradoxically, who introduced the low-fat-is-good-health dogma in the 50’s with his theory that dietary fat raises cholesterol levels and gives you heart disease. Over the next two decades, however, the scientific evidence supporting this theory remained stubbornly ambiguous. The case was eventually settled not by new science but by politics. It began in January 1977, when a Senate committee led by George McGovern published its ”Dietary Goals for the United States,” advising that Americans significantly curb their fat intake to abate an epidemic of ”killer diseases” supposedly sweeping the country. It peaked in late 1984, when the National Institutes of Health officially recommended that all Americans over the age of 2 eat less fat. By that time, fat had become ”this greasy killer” in the memorable words of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and the model American breakfast of eggs and bacon was well on its way to becoming a bowl of Special K with low-fat milk, a glass of orange juice and toast, hold the butter — a dubious feast of refined carbohydrates.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest advocates neither science nor anything in the public’s interest until today. We will cover that in a future post.

According to Katherine Flegal, an epidemiologist at the National Center for Health Statistics, the percentage of obese Americans stayed relatively constant through the 1960’s and 1970’s at 13 percent to 14 percent and then shot up by 8 percentage points in the 1980’s. By the end of that decade, nearly one in four Americans was obese. That steep rise, which is consistent through all segments of American society and which continued unabated through the 1990’s, is the singular feature of the epidemic. Any theory that tries to explain obesity in America has to account for that.

Some scientists blame fast food, sedentary lives, and genes designed to store food as fat for the obesity epidemic.

This theory makes perfect sense and plays to our puritanical prejudice that fat, fast food and television are innately damaging to our humanity. But there are two catches. First, to buy this logic is to accept that the copious negative reinforcement that accompanies obesity — both socially and physically — is easily overcome by the constant bombardment of food advertising and the lure of a supersize bargain meal. And second, as Flegal points out, little data exist to support any of this. Certainly none of it explains what changed so significantly to start the epidemic. Fast-food consumption, for example, continued to grow steadily through the 70’s and 80’s, but it did not take a sudden leap, as obesity did.

Examining genetics reveals an important clue to the truth:

It is also undeniable, note students of Endocrinology 101, that mankind never evolved to eat a diet high in starches or sugars. ”Grain products and concentrated sugars were essentially absent from human nutrition until the invention of agriculture,” Ludwig says, ”which was only 10,000 years ago.” This is discussed frequently in the anthropology texts but is mostly absent from the obesity literature, with the prominent exception of the low-carbohydrate-diet books.

As our regular readers are aware, smart people easily support stupid ideas, all the more so if the new idea on the scene challenges their preconceived conception of what’s right.

The glycemic-index concept and the idea that starches can be absorbed into the blood even faster than sugar emerged in the late 70’s, but again had no influence on public health recommendations, because of the attendant controversies. To wit: if you bought the glycemic-index concept, then you had to accept that the starches we were supposed to be eating 6 to 11 times a day were, once swallowed, physiologically indistinguishable from sugars. This made them seem considerably less than wholesome. Rather than accept this possibility, the policy makers simply allowed sugar and corn syrup to elude the vilification that befell dietary fat. After all, they are fat-free.

David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., the Harvard endocrinologist, runs a pediatric obesity clinic.

He does not recommend the Atkins diet because he says he believes such a very low carbohydrate approach is unnecessarily restrictive; instead, he tells his patients to effectively replace refined carbohydrates and starches with vegetables, legumes and fruit. This makes a low-glycemic-index diet consistent with dietary common sense, albeit in a higher-fat kind of way. His clinic now has a nine-month waiting list.

Note the common themes prevailing here which are evident in other areas, and which will continue to pop up again and again:

  • Government stepping in with ambiguous evidence in an effort to provide a solution to a problem which may not exist. Government bureaucracy increases to handle this new “problem”, which requires increasing tax revenue.
  • Smart, very educated people unable to see past the end of their noses, even when doing so means accepting common sense.
  • The “experts” offer all sorts of advice which revolve around the idea that John Smith, typical citizen, cannot be held responsible for his actions. For example, “it’s not your lack of self control that’s making you fat, just blame the fast food industry for making food too cheap and delicious”.

Replacing individual responsibility with reliance on government is something which has been going on this country for several decades, and is coming to a head over the recent universal government healthcare bill. The only cure is for citizens to pay attention and to remain ever vigilant against encroaching tyranny.

Many experts do not see cradle to grave reliance on government as a flaw, but as a desirable goal. They truly believe that the average American is a moron unable to handle serious decisions, perhaps slightly smarter than cabbage. It is that brand of “we know what’s best for you” elitism which may bear the greatest responsibility for the obesity epidemic.

Read Full Post »

Two of our favorite people, Dr. Helen and Barbara Oakley (of Evil Genes fame) discuss the politicization of the American Psychological Association in this video Diagnosis Liberal: Most Psychologists Suffer From Acute Liberal Derangement Syndrome from PJTV.

Many people do not trust psychologists and with good reason. They exclude half of the population or more due to their leftist politics.

Barbara Oakley, Ph.D., P.E.,  was previously featured in an earlier post, Kiss My APA!

Is the APA a non-partisan 501(c)(3) or an organization of partisan hacks? Listen to the show and decide for yourself.

Read Full Post »

Be A Savvy Daddy

We recommend checking out Savvy Daddy, a great parenting resource geared towards fathers. We aren’t knocking the mommyblogger revolution, but sometimes a dad needs more tailored advice.

The site has a “survival guide” and “conversations” on such topics as how to talk with your daughter about her period, how to decide on the whole spanking thing, and how old is too old to let your kids see you naked.

They have a good set of core values.

There is no one right way to be a savvy daddy because every kid is different (and there’s no such thing as one “right” way). In fact, we may learn the most from dads we don’t agree with. Our goal at savvy daddy is not agreement or consensus or convincing you that our way is better (because it’s not!). Rather, our goal is to unleash thoughtful, intentional, and savvy daddying. However, we do hold to a set of core values that guides our approach:

  1. Character matters – We believe generosity, respect, and integrity are important so that our kids can grow up into responsible, productive, and happy contributors to the world.
  2. Enjoy it! – Part of being a great dad is sincerely enjoying it! We believe in delighting in our kids for who they are today, not just who they may become tomorrow.
  3. Every kid is unique – We believe every child is unique in his/her passions, gifts, talents, and personality, and it’s our job as dads to help them reach their full potential.
  4. Have fun! – Being a dad is fun because kids are fun! Admit it – your inner child is just looking for an excuse to get out!
  5. Better caught than taught – We believe that the best lessons we teach our kids are through our example, not our words.
  • Source
  • Read Full Post »

    Is “C-V Distance” The New Phrenology?

    Phrenology is pseudo-scientific (a.k.a. baloney) theory which claims to be able to determine personality traits based on skull shape.

    Kim Wallen, professor of psychology and behavioral neuroendocrinology at Emory University has proposed the idea that the clitoral-vaginal distance can be a physiological indication of a woman’s ability to experience a vaginal orgasm.

    In fact, there’s even an easy “rule of thumb,” Wallen says: Clitoris-vagina distances less than 2.5 cm — that’s roughly from the tip of your thumb to your first knuckle — tend to yield reliable orgasms during sex. More than a thumb’s length? Regular intercourse alone typically might not do the trick.

    Princess Marie Bonaparte, a psychoanalyst, studied this phenomena in the 1920’s, and gathered c-v and orgasm data.

    Recently, Wallen dug up Bonaparte’s measurements and analyzed them with modern statistical techniques. Sure enough, he found a striking correlation. Now he is hoping to do his own measurement study.

    As of now it remains plausible, but uncertain. We will withhold judgment until a modern scientific study is done. Some data has been gathered to indicate how widespread the problem may be.

    Preliminary work has revealed that only about 7% of women always have orgasms with sex alone, he says, while 27% say they never do.

    Dr. Wallen also preaches positivity:

    “Personally, I don’t think the inability to experience no-hands, penis-only intercourse with orgasm says anything about a happy sex life,” he says. “Maybe it could allow couples to be a bit more inventive in how they have sex.”

    Dr. Wallen is the author of Reproduction in Context: Social and Environmental Influences on Reproduction, which examines reproductive behaviors in animals ranging from turtles and lizards to humans and nonhuman primates from the perspectives of ethology, endocrinology, behavioral genetics, and evolutionary ecology.

    Read Full Post »

    Comments Are Now Open

    In light of the last post being our 100th, and our growing readership, we have decided to give the comments system a trial run.

    • You must be logged in to comment.
    • Comments must be approved before they appear.
    • Comments automatically close on posts after a week.

    We hope fostering discussion will help create a more dynamic and interesting experience for our readers.

    ~ The 3 Monkeys

    Read Full Post »

    Older Posts »