Rants & Raves – 08/04/12

Oh, the webbernet! It gets me all riled up with dire news and mainstream idiocy, then blammo! it hits me with something so awesome, it must be shared. Welcome to this week’s collection of Rants & Raves!


Can you believe it? Only two rants this week, and they’re both food-related doozies. One is funny; the other is just tragic.

If it’s in a can, will it survive the apocalypse?
The fun (but mostly un-paleo) food site Yummly gathered an astonishing collection of bizarre canned food. Feast your eyes on Creamed Possum and Canned Whole Chicken. Then mourn the fact that your retinas will never be the same. Seven more canned atrocities here.

Another argument in favor of real butter
A chemical called diacetyl (DA) is what gives junk food its singular, buttery-but-not-like-butter flavor and aroma. Packaged junk food like microwave popcorn, margarine, and baked goods get their distinctive taste from DA — which also forms naturally in some fermented drinks, like beer and buttery chardonnays. Researchers “realized that DA has an architecture similar to a substance that makes beta-amyloid proteins clump together in the brain — clumping being a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. So they tested whether DA also could clump those proteins.” You can probably guess the bad news on your own; DA does lots of terrible stuff to the body. “In light of the chronic exposure of industry workers to DA, this study raises the troubling possibility of long-term neurological toxicity mediated by DA,” say the researchers.


Happy news, please.

Paleo gets a shout out from Men’s Health
On the down side, it’s under the headline “4 Cult-Like Food Fads,” but on the up side, it says this: “Though these are small studies on the specific paleo diet, the broader tenets—eat real foods, avoid processed junk—are sound advice for anyone.” Read the rest, along with what they had to say about Veganism, Gluten Free, and Raw Diets.

Do you think he looks so forlorn because there’s no protein on his plate?

I’ll take a tiny lamb chop, please.

I was just delighted by the photos and details in this piece about miniature butcher shops and dollhouses during the Victorian era. “…such playsets—like the ones produced by famous turn-of-the-century toymaker Christian Hacker—did well with Victorian children who weren’t at all squeamish about imagining themselves cleaving a calf’s flank.” Nice use of “cleaving,” right?!

“I try to separate, try to separate my body from my mind…”

Social Distortion lyrics aside, the connection between mind and body probably shouldn’t be broken. According to the tenets of modern psychology, ““The mind is in the body,” says this piece on Psychology Today. As we paleo eaters know all too well, hormones, triggered by our behavior and released inside our bodies, shape our thoughts, emotions, and ultimately, our behavior. “The gut has its own neurotransmitters that respond to and remember experiences, providing a physiological basis for intuition and gut feelings. Even the immune system acts as an extension of the mind, responding to psychological stress and influencing your mood… the brain uses what’s happening in your posture, breathing, and muscles to understand your emotional state and self-image.” It’s fascinating stuff; read more here.

And now, a little break to rock out with Social D:

One badass 12 year old

I shared a Nike “Find Your Greatness” ad a few days ago, and now there’s this:

The star of the commercial is 12-year-old Nathan Sorrell from London, Ohio. He’s 5’3′, weighs 200 pounds, and is working on losing weight. If he’s successful, Nike will do a follow up on his progress. How was the post-lunch commercial shoot for Nathan? “I got sick in a ditch,” he told the Record Herald.

I kinda love this kid. More power to you, Nathan. Everyone Starts Somewhere.

Olympics Links

And today, in continuing Olympics Fever…

Slate.com: Down With the Perfect 10!: A mathematician explains the genius of the new gymnastics scoring system

Refinery29.com: You Know Who This Weightlifter Doesn’t Lift For? Closed-Minded Jerks (So awesome!)

The FW.com: This Is How Olympic Divers Really Look While Diving

Gloss.com: Awesome Olympic Manicures (Love the combo of girliness and badassery!)

NYTimes Well Blog: Olympic Bodies Quiz

The Big Picture
The Big Picture has this to say: “Eight thousand two hundred and fifty seven images flowed into our system from Reuters, AFP, Getty and The Associated Press (and it’s only mid-afternoon), yet they represent only a fraction of the visual coverage available of the summer games.”

This is one of my faves because holy crap! I totally want to try a steeplechase! I mean, I would fail and crash miserably, but it would be a fun battering, no?

Athletes compete in the men’s 3000m steeplechase round 1 heat at the Olympic Stadium, Aug. 3, 2012. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

Also… wheeee!

A combination picture shows table tennis players watching the ball during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Players are, top row (L to R), Denmark’s Michael Maze, Brazil’s Caroline Kumahara, Austria’s Werner Schlager. Middle row (L to R) China’s Zhang Jike, Iran’s Neda Shahsavari, Germany’s Kristin Silbereisen. Bottom row (L to R) Colombia’s Paula Medina, South Korea’s Oh Sangeun, India’s Soumyajit Ghosh. (Reuters/Staff) #

See more amazing Olympics photos at Big Picture: 94 photos | 56 photos from Week One of the Games

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  • Tricia says:

    Glad to see the shout-out for Zoe Smith! I was supporting her anyway as a member of Team GB, but when I read those comments I became a huge fan. My current deadlift is 80 kg, so I know how heavy she is lifting (and she’s a lot smaller than me). I’m looking forward to seeing her lift in Rio!

  • Maria says:

    Wow, lots of interesting. First of all, I kind love this kid too. It baffles me that so many kids are overweight. I just cannot wrap my head around it. When I see overweight people walking or jogging, it always makes me so proud because they are out there taking the first step to improve. So rock on Nathan!

    And OMG, creamed possum…I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

  • Amy says:

    Some of my favorite things from my childhood dollhouse were the tiny steak, ham, and cleaver.