Friday, January 18, 2008

things we know now, 2007 ed.

I’m back from Boston. Three days of panhandlers and gay marriage. Interesting town.

Found an article listing 50 things we learned during 2007. Here’s a few of the more learned ones …

3. Men who have only daughters have a higher risk of prostate cancer than men with at least one son, suggesting a chromosome defect. (Got one of each. Just fine. Keep your fingers out of my ass, thank you very much.)

4. Baking pizza dough at higher temperatures for longer periods enhances levels of antioxidants that researchers believe reduce a person's risk of developing cancer and heart disease. (I don’t eat pizza for the health benefits. I eat it because I specifically do not care about my health. Leave my diet alone.)

6. People who are optimists do better in most avenues of life, whether it's work, school, sports or relationships. They get depressed less often than pessimists do, make more money and have happier marriages. (What are you implying? That I am angry? Depressed? WTF? Leave me alone. I’M FINE. DAMMIT.)

8. Minorities from low-income areas are at increased risk for having a leg amputated as a result of severe peripheral artery disease, or PAD, a type of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, of the legs. (Yeah, OK, but why? This is like saying that women that engage in sexual relations have an increased risk of getting pregnant. This is pure data reduction. We learned nothing. NOTHING. See 6 above.)

9. A survey of 25,000 Americans found that 62 percent said they do not eat any fruit on a typical day, and 25 percent said they do not eat vegetables. All told, 11 percent ate the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables, it found. (Well, if you would stop making pyramids and circles and whatever else you contrive to help us stupid people get confused about nutrition, then maybe, just maybe we can figure out what to eat. You people give me the yips. See 6 above.)

11. Electronic noses used in the food industry and for sniffing out explosives can perform better with the addition of artificial "snot." (I knew snot was good for something besides a midnight snack.)

14. Scientists have discovered particles of cocaine and marijuana, as well as caffeine and tobacco, in the air of Italy's capital. The concentration of drugs was heaviest in the air around Rome's Sapienza University, though officials warned against drawing conclusions about students' recreational habits. (Gather the data and refuse to interpret. How utterly useless. If the concentration is higher in Place “A” rather than Place “B” then is follows that more of the substance is present in “A” – and it didn’t get there through thermal inversions.)

17. Dolphins living off the coast of Wales whistle, bark and groan in a different dialect from dolphins off the western coast of Ireland. (Do you think maybe the dolphins off the coast of Ireland are drunk? Maybe it’s just slurred speech?)

22. Women who enjoyed strong childhood relationships with their fathers prefer to have a male partner who physically resembles him. (I love my daughter. I didn’t want this for her. I am very sad.)

26. Ape-men ancestors began walking on two legs 6 million years ago because it used far less energy than clambering on all fours. (Yeah, whatever. I’m a creationist. You people crawled around on all fours. I was made in God’s image – walking from Day One.)

29. Onions contain a sulfur-based antioxidant that binds with harmful toxins in the brain and flushes them out of the body, helping to prevent memory loss. (That’s a good story. Eat onions. Got it.)

31. Sex among African bat bugs is a violent affair. During copulation, males of the species pierce the abdomens of their mates with their genitals and ejaculate directly into their blood. (I can’t comment on this. I am vomiting.)

33. Small children stress out about starting kindergarten up to six months before school starts, suggesting youngsters may take cues from their anxious parents. (So the story goes, my biological fount was all freaked out about me going. I ran gleefully to the school. So much for the theory.)

38. Overweight women who face employment weight bias could be victims of sex discrimination. Women are 16 times more likely than men to report weight discrimination in the workplace. (Oh. My. God. Shut up. Just shut the fuck up.)

45. The therapeutic, relaxing effect on the arteries provided by drinking a few cups of ordinary black tea is wiped out if milk is added to the drink. (Kinda explains why the Brits are so cranky.)

49. The parasitic jewel wasp uses a venom injected directly into a cockroach's brain to inhibit its victim's free will and its motivation to walk. Unble to fight back, the "zombie" cockroach can be pulled into the wasp's underground lair, where an egg is laid in its abdomen. The larva later hatches and eats the still living but incapacitated cockroach from the inside out. (Wasn’t this in Silence of the Lambs or one of the sequels?)

I am so tired from the drive … night.

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