food & drink

Tilling a teel of a tum, telling a toll of a teary turty Taubling

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How much water goes into a cup of tea? Somewhere around 30 litres of water is required for tea itself, 10 litres for a small dash of milk and a further 6 litres for each teaspoon of sugar. This means that a simple cup of tea with milk and two sugars could actually require 52 litres of water.

{ ResearchGate | Continue reading }

related { A Corpus Study of ‘Cup of [tea]’ and ‘Mug of [tea]’ | PDF }

oil on canvas { Roy Lichtenstein, Bread in Bag, 1961 }

The world’s current hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper

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Our objective was to analyze the association between consumption of hot red chili peppers and mortality. […] The frequency of hot red chili pepper consumption was measured in 16,179 participants at least 18 years of age. […]

Consumption of hot red chili peppers was associated with a 13% reduction in the instantaneous hazard of death. Similar, but statistically nonsignificant trends were seen for deaths from vascular disease, but not from other causes. In this large population-based prospective study, the consumption of hot red chili pepper was associated with reduced mortality.

{ PLOS | Continue reading }

photo { Stephen Shore, Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 1972 }

No one speaks English, and everything’s broken


As men are generally more short-term oriented in their sexuality than women, and given that cigarette and alcohol use are still considered masculine behaviors, we explored if female smoking and drinking can function as a short-term mating strategy. […]

The experiment showed that young men perceive women who use cigarettes and alcohol as being more sexually unrestricted. Furthermore, tobacco and (especially) alcohol use brought some short-term attractiveness benefits to women. In short-term mating contexts, drinking enhanced women’s attractiveness, whereas occasional smoking was found equally desirable as not smoking. However, in long-term mating contexts, frequent drinking and all smoking behavior harmed women’s desirability.

{ Evolutionary Psychology | Continue reading }

art { Edvard Munch, Girls on the Bridge, 1902 }

Your air in my lungs

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People are often the most aggressive against the people to whom they are closest—intimate partners. Intimate partner violence might be partly a result of poor self-control. Self-control of aggressive impulses requires energy, and much of this energy is provided by glucose derived from the food we eat. We measured glucose levels in 107 married couples over 21 days. To measure aggressive impulses, participants stuck 0–51 pins into a voodoo doll that represented their spouse each night, depending how angry they were with their spouse. To measure aggression, participants blasted their spouse with loud noise through headphones. Participants who had lower glucose levels stuck more pins into the voodoo doll and blasted their spouse with louder and longer noise blasts.

{ PNAS | PDF }

art { Sergei Eisenstein. Untitled, c. 1931 }

回転寿司

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Why so many of America’s sushi restaurants are Chinese-owned

The influx of low-wage Chinese immigrants — China recently eclipsed Mexico as the largest source of immigrants to the United States — has created fierce competition to provide cheap food. At the same time, Japan’s wealth and economic success helped its cuisine gain a reputation as trendy and refined. So for many entrepreneurial Chinese immigrants looking to get ahead, Japanese food has often become the better opportunity.

“Chinese entrepreneurs have figured out that this is a way to make a slightly better living and get out of the . . . world of $10, $5 food at the bottom end of the market,” says Krishnendu Ray, who leads New York University’s food studies program. […]

“Japanese food has more prestige and seems to, if you just look at a menu, have greater economic opportunity attached to it, because people are conditioned to pay more for rice and protein when it’s presented as sushi than rice and protein when it’s presented as a stir fry,” said Sasha Issenberg, author of “The Sushi Economy.” […]

“I can tell you it is easier to do than a Chinese restaurant,” says Kin Lee, the owner of Love Sushi in Gaithersburg, Md., “and the profit margins are better.”

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }

‘History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.’ –Churchill

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Can’t hear with the waters of. The chittering waters of.

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Seafood fraud comes in different forms, including species substitution — often a low-value or less desirable seafood item swapped for a more expensive or desirable choice — improper labeling, including hiding the true origin of seafood products, or adding extra breading, water or glazing to seafood products to increase their apparent weight. […]

One in five of the more than 25,000 samples of seafood tested worldwide was mislabeled.

{ Oceana | PDF }

polaroid photograph { Andy Warhol, Lobsters, 1982 }

Ah, but she was the queer old skeowsha anyhow, Anna Livia, trinkettoes!

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{ Apple consumption is related to better sexual quality of life in young women | PDF }

photo { Carla van de Puttelaar }

wherever you go, here you are

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Some philosophers and physicians have argued that alcoholic patients, who are responsible for their liver failure by virtue of alcoholism, ought to be given lower priority for a transplant when donated livers are being allocated to patients in need of a liver transplant.

The primary argument for this proposal, known as the Responsibility Argument, is based on the more general idea that patients who require scarce medical resources should be given lower priority for those resources when they are responsible for needing them and when they are competing with patients who need the same resources through no fault of their own.

Since alcoholic patients are responsible for needing a new liver and are in direct competition with other patients who need a new liver through no fault of their own, it follows that alcoholic patients ought to be given lower priority for a transplant.

In this article, I argue against the Responsibility Argument by suggesting that in order for it to avoid the force of plausible counter examples, it must be revised to say that patients who are responsible for needing a scarce medical resource due to engaging in behavior that is not socially valuable ought to be given lower priority. I’ll then argue that allocating organs according to social value is inconsistent or in tension with liberal neutrality on the good life. Thus, if one is committed to liberal neutrality, one ought to reject the Responsibility Argument.

{ Bioethics }

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road

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A majority of people the world over eat meat, yet many of these same people experience discomfort when the meat on their plate is linked to the death of animals. We draw on this common form of moral conflict — the meat-paradox — to develop insights into the ways in which morally troublesome behaviors vanish into the commonplace and every day.

Drawing on a motivational analysis, we show how societies may be shaped by attempts to resolve dissonance, in turn protecting their citizens from discomfort associated with their own moral conflicts. To achieve this, we build links between dissonance reduction, habit formation, social influence, and the emergence of social norms and detail how our analysis has implications for understanding immoral behavior and motivations underpinning dehumanization and objectification.

{ Personality and Social Psychology Review }

The fire’s in their eyes and their words are really clear

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Pterois is a genus of venomous marine fish, commonly known as lionfish.

Lionfish are known for their venomous fin rays, an uncommon feature among marine fish in the East Coast coral reefs. The potency of their venom makes them excellent predators and venomous to fishermen and divers. Pterois venom can cause systemic effects such as extreme pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, breathing difficulties, convulsions, dizziness, redness on the affected area, headache, numbness, paresthesia (pins and needles), heartburn, diarrhea, and sweating. Rarely, such stings can cause temporary paralysis of the limbs, heart failure, and even death.

Lionfish are skilled hunters, using specialized bilateral swim bladder muscles to provide exquisite control of location in the water column, allowing the fish to alter its center of gravity to better attack prey. The lionfish then spreads its large pectoral fins and swallows its prey in a single motion.

Lionfish have few identified natural predators, likely from the effectiveness of their venomous spines. Moray eels, bluespotted cornetfish, and large groupers, like the tiger grouper and Nassau grouper, have been observed preying on lionfish. It remains unknown, however, how commonly these predators prey on lionfish. Sharks are also believed to be capable of preying on lionfish with no ill effects from their spines. Park officials of the Roatan Marine Park in Honduras have attempted to train sharks to feed on lionfish as of 2011 in an attempt to control the invasive populations in the Caribbean. Predators of larvae and juvenile lionfish remain unknown, but may prove to be the primary limiting factor of lionfish populations in their native range.

The lionfish is a predator native to the Indo-Pacific. It aggressively preys on small fish and invertebrates. They can be found around the seaward edge of reefs and coral, in lagoons, and on rocky surfaces to 50 m deep. Two species of Pterois, the red lionfish (P. volitans) and the common lionfish (P. miles), have established themselves as significant invasive species off the East Coast of the United States and in the Caribbean. They have been described as “one of the most aggressively invasive species on the planet”. They resemble those of the Philippines, implicating the aquarium trade.

The lionfish invasion is considered to be one of the most serious recent threats to Caribbean and Florida coral reef ecosystems.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

Lionfish eat herbivores and herbivores eat algae from coral reefs. Without herbivores, algal growth goes unchecked, which can be detrimental to the health of coral reefs. […]

Whole Foods has begun selling fresh lionfish. Employees at stores carrying the fish have been trained to remove the spines, leaving white fish meat that’ll go for $8.99 per pound.

{ Quartz | Continue reading }

still { Karl Stromberg tests James Bond’s fish knowledge in the film The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977 }

police responding to N Yale/Macrum - report of a “Beer Olympics” taking place - participants urinating on cars

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A 2013 study published in the journal Circulation found that men who skipped breakfast had a significantly higher risk of coronary heart disease than men who ate breakfast. But, like almost all studies of breakfast, this is an association, not causation. […]

In a paper published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2013, researchers reviewed the literature on the effect of breakfast on obesity to look specifically at this issue. They first noted that nutrition researchers love to publish results showing a correlation between skipping breakfast and obesity. […] They also found major flaws in the reporting of findings. People were consistently biased in interpreting their results in favor of a relationship between skipping breakfast and obesity. […]

Further confusing the field is a 2014 study that found that getting breakfast skippers to eat breakfast, and getting breakfast eaters to skip breakfast, made no difference with respect to weight loss. […]

Many of the studies are funded by the food industry, which has a clear bias. Kellogg funded a highly cited article that found that cereal for breakfast is associated with being thinner. The Quaker Oats Center of Excellence (part of PepsiCo) financed a trial that showed that eating oatmeal or frosted cornflakes reduces weight and cholesterol.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

oil on canvas { Jeff Koons, Hair, 1999 }

related { Corn Flake Portraits of Pop Stars }