Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Posts Tagged ‘diet

Study: Too Late To Make Resolutions For 2015

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resolutionsBethesda, MD, January 5 – Scientists at the nation’s leading institute for chronological studies have concluded that as of today, there is no point in resolving to make a positive lifestyle or behavioral change to mark the new year.

Researchers at the University of Maryland analyzed data from each year over the last 50, and determined that the temporal deadline for making a New Year’s resolution never occurs later than the fourth of January. Any resolution voiced or otherwise accepted after that date sill simply not take force, and the would-be resolver will have no choice but to wait until the following January 1 to make a valid commitment.

The study carries important implications for commitment studies, especially as they affect diets and relationships, says researcher Indyan Giver. “For many people, the onset of January activates their resolutions, but that only works when a person has a resolution lined up that can kick in the moment midnight arrives to usher in the new year,” she said. “But the calendar has some flexibility, meaning that as many as three more days can pass before it’s simply too late to make a resolution, and that person will remain unable to make any lasting positive changes for nearly 365 more days.”

To some, notes Giver, missing that tiny window of opportunity is a blessing in disguise. “Our study also found that up to 75% of Americans are physiologically incapable of sustaining a resolution beyond the third week of January, and 95% beyond the first week of February,” explained. “So this study is good news for most people, who shouldn’t bother anyway.”

The consequences of missing the resolution deadline generally involve becoming stuck in a rut of weight gain, bad habits, dysfunctional relationships, and undesirable work situations, with no hope of personal, professional, or any other sort of positive transformation. Which is just a well, says Giver.

“Imagine the deteriorating self-esteem that would result from all these losers being forced to confront their own inability to stick to anything positive,” she said. “The realization can be crushing, and send a person into an even more acute downward spiral of binging, guilt, inadequacy, shame, and a bevy of other unpleasant emotions. This way, they’re better off, knowing that it makes no difference most of the time anyway.”

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Written by Thag

January 5, 2015 at 8:24 pm

Sewer-Dwelling Slugs Ask What The Hell You’ve Been Eating

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slugsHoboken, NJ – Mlug and Glorph, gastropods that inhabit the municipal sewage system, expressed concern today over the disturbing contents of your fecal outputs.

The pair, which are part of a larger group of sewer slugs subsisting on decaying human excretions and other liquid waste, were nonplussed by changes in the composition and texture of their environment where your residential plumbing feeds into the city system. They remarked that nowhere else had they encountered such a dismaying indication of a diet gone wrong.

“We’ve been around the block a few times,” said Glorph, with an unusual literalism, “and both of us have seen some nasty [expletive]. But neither of us has ever seen anything like this,” he said, gesturing toward what appeared to be the remains of barbecue-flavor Doritos eaten simultaneously with overripe bananas and vinaigrette.

“That’s nothing compared to Wednesday,” added Mlug, who described the scene at the same location not two days ago. “What was it, toothpaste? With hedge trimmings? And maraschino cherries, like fifty of them?” Glorph nodded his confirmation.

The slugs also expressed concern for your welfare, noting that it was not healthy for a human digestive system to handle so much butter at once, and certainly not in conjunction with cream cheese eaten straight from the container. They also distanced themselves from association with what could only be what was left of a peanut-butter-and-bacon sandwich on spelt bread, and garlic-mushroom ice cream.

“We don’t really want to know what’s going on outside those pipes,” said Mlug, “but at the same time we’ve developed this morbid fascination that won’t let us stop thinking about it,” he confessed.

“I guess that’s not surprising,” noted Glorph. “If you are what you eat, well, how can we [expletive]-for brains be expected to ponder anything else?”

Written by Thag

January 24, 2014 at 10:20 am

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Agency Surprised By Backlash Against Ads Mocking Fat Kids

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fat kid ad

The ad reads, “When your child gets fat, his smile gets smaller.” Not shown: the McDonald’s ad on the sign’s opposite side, touting the array of “SuperSize” offerings.

Tel Aviv (AP) – Publicity firm JCDecaux was taken aback by the completely unforeseen reaction to an advertising campaign that distorted the images of children to make them look excessively overweight. The company found itself unexpectedly on the defensive after large swaths of the public expressed disgust at a campaign intended to draw attention to the growing problem of obesity in children, a campaign that revolved around mocking images of fat kids, a development no one in the organization foresaw.

In a statement, JCDecaux apologized for its strategy, saying it had no idea anyone could find offense in the notion that fat children should be mocked. It attempted to explain its actions by noting that no one had ever thought overweight children might suffer disparagement of their girth, so naturally the firm could not expect the public to object to such a series of depictions.

The campaign, plastered on billboards throughout the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, was scheduled to end next week, but the company removed the ads yesterday, replacing them with a self-congratulatory statement about having succeeded in raising awareness of the issue, as if only a small portion of public was aware of children who take up more space, and thus are more visible, than other children. The statement also called on the viewers to make the next move, as if JCDecaux’s job were done, without an indication as to what any “next move” might be.

JCDecaux-Israel’s spokeswoman Mor Bidlio-Beese said the campaign targeted the parents of overweight children, emphasizing the social pitfalls of obesity related to appearance and gait, and the disparagement that such awkwardness would attract. What the firm did not count on, she said, was that people would defend their fellow humans from just that sort of disparagement, pointing out that the last thing an obese child, who already suffers from low self image and motivation problems, needs is more negative input that only serves to make the underlying issues more severe.

“We were dumbfounded,” admitted Bidlio-Beese. “Since when does anyone care about fat people?”

Her remarks to reporters were the source of a second round of opprobrium from all corners, including a Facebook campaign to have Ms. Bidlio-Beese dismissed. Company executives have declined to comment, merely issuing a second press release accusing the media of focusing wrongly focusing on JCDecaux as the story instead of the tens of thousands of obese children in the country who require constant browbeating so they will finally get off their ample derrieres and do something to shed that weight.

Written by Thag

January 9, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Texas To Offer Gluten-Free Lethal Injections

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Texas sealAustin, TX (AP) – The Lone Star State was the first US state to perform an execution by lethal injection, and aims to retain its leadership in the administration of the death penalty by offering health-conscious alternatives for Death Row convicts. The certified gluten-free alternative will be made available for all executions taking place after July 2014.

Governor Rick Perry signed the new legislation into law on Wednesday, touting it as an important demonstration of his administration’s dedication to balancing an uncompromising attitude toward crime with a compassion for the rights and needs of those accused, a continuation of his predecessor George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” policy.

Currently, 32 states practice capital punishment, and each of them uses lethal injection, though some also offer alternative methods such as hanging or firing squad. Texas has the largest number of convicts on Death Row among all states, and the state accounts for 40% of all executions in the United States. It was only natural, says Perry, that Texas should leverage its status as the capital punishment leader to institute a more enlightened, healthful method of lethal injection, one that would not put such a strain on the digestive system.

“More and more people are showing sensitivity or allergies to gluten, unfortunately,” acknowledged Perry, “and our current methods do not adequately account for those awaiting execution who nevertheless still benefit from the right to have the state take their dietary needs into account.” The new bill, he promised, will make a gluten-free chemical or combination of chemicals available to executioners upon the request of the inmate. He pointed out that Texas is the first, and for now the only, state that shows concern for convicts’ dietary sensibilities as it kills them, and he hopes other states follow Texas’s lead in providing healtheir options for those executed.

Lethal injection methods vary among the states, but the most common method involves a three-drug combination that anesthetizes, paralyzes, and stops the heartbeat of the convict. Various degrees of controversy surround some of the drugs, as do difficulties in securing an adequate supply of the necessary chemicals. The new law does not specify what drugs will be procured or synthesized for the gluten-free executions, nor how the state will ensure that the chemicals will be certified as gluten-free. Given some recent shortages of some of the drugs commonly used for lethal injections, it remains unclear how Texas will fare in having a steady supply on hand, especially if the state is to maintain its position as the most prolific performer of capital punishment.

Governor Perry, however, remains confident that the law will be carried out with little trouble. “We had some of the same difficulties when we expanded the available menu for a prisoner’s last meal back in 1985,” he recalled. “People doubted we’d be able to secure both beef AND turkey. Well, we had no problem then.”

Currently, a prisoner’s last meal in Texas automatically comes with wheat rolls, and cake for dessert.

Written by Thag

December 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Study: Apparently, Cookie Dough Can Be Baked Before Eating

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NantucketCambridge, MA (AP) – Food scientists at Harvard University shocked the culinary world this week when they released research results suggesting that cookie dough could be eaten even after baking it. They said, however, that this should is no way be construed as a recommended method of preparation.

A team of physicists and chemists subjected tablespoonfuls of cookie dough to temperatures of 375° F (190°C) for up to 15 minutes at a time and reported on the outcome. The scientists discovered that although the baking time altered the consistency, shape, and color of the dough, it remained edible, even tasty. The team intends to continue extensively researching this phenomenon, and scientists at many other institutions have expressed their own intention to attempt to replicate the research as soon and as frequently as possible.

Dr. Nestle Toll-House of Harvard and his fellow researchers used a standard formula to prepare cookie dough, a popular snack food, dessert item, or main course, depending on one’s mood. They combined butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, salt, baking soda, flour, and chocolate chips in a specialized piece of laboratory equipment. Whereas at this point traditional procedure would call the dish complete, Dr. Toll-House’s team had decided to perform a “baking” procedure, which until now has been used on cookie dough only in certain obscure circles.

They obtained flat sheets of aluminum and evenly spaced lumps of the dough several inches apart, and placed the sheets in a preheated oven. After several minutes the lumps of dough could be seen to melt somewhat, and after about 10, their final shapes had stabilized. According to the report, when the sheets were removed from the oven, the cookie dough lumps were crisp, with slight browning, and the chocolate chips were soft enough to leave streaks on the lips, cheeks, and chin.

The study’s publication prompted a harsh response from proponents of traditional methods. “It’s a shame Harvard wasted precious ingredients and power just to destroy perfectly good cookie dough,” said Piya Mess, Professor of Gynecology at Yale. Dr. Theo Bromine of Texas A & M concurred: “…Why…why would you do that?”

Others, however, have not been as swift in their judgment. “We have seen the study and do not question its scientific integrity. We do, however, reserve judgment on the conclusions until we have tasted, er, seen enough cumulative evidence from similar studies that support them,” read a statement from the Food Science Institute of America, based in Atlanta.

“This method represents a potential radical shift in kitchen behavior,” noted Dr. Ginger Snaap of Johns Hopkins University, a chemist who was not involved in the study. “Currently there are few practical applications for this theoretical knowledge, since cookie dough has a half-life of six seconds, meaning it disappears completely within a few minutes in the presence of humans. But this study means that a cook who wishes to prepare a tremendous quantity, perhaps in anticipation of close friends stopping by later, might be able to ‘bake’ lumps of the dough to make it easier to store.” She cautioned that the quantity that would need to be prepared to ensure its survival would far surpass the capacity of most domestic kitchens.

Dr. Toll-House has ambitions to explore what happens when the baked cookie dough is given a chance to cool to room temperature before it is eaten, but acknowledges that such data would be merely theoretical.

Written by Thag

December 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm

God Admits Creation Of Celery A Joke

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celery cross-sectionJerusalem (AP) – The Almighty convened a press conference this afternoon to admit that He created celery in a fit of silliness, but found that the way humans treated it as food was so entertaining that only when the joke got old could He bring Himself to reveal it.

Initially the family of celery plants were relegated to the countryside with myriad other rejects from the Lord’s experimental phase; many such species died out eons before humans developed. But as early as the second millennium BCE, humans were already treating celery – at least celery seeds – as either medicine or as food, and God was so tickled He decided to see how long people would keep falling for it. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

December 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm

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CDC: Nothing Wrong With Gluten; ‘Man Up’

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CDCAtlanta (AP) – Urging Americans to grow a pair, the Centers for Disease Control has issued new dietary recommendations yesterday that dismiss widespread concern over gluten in grains.

A two-decade study of dietary components and human physiology have led the CDC to conclude that, “the all-too-common assumption that the human body is somehow incapable of properly processing gluten – principally wheat gluten – has no scientific basis and rests solely on the documented increasing wussiness of Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm