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Category: science

12/17/09 05:24 - 18ºF - ID#50586

Beers & Beer-Bellies aren't associated.

Seriously? Someone actually did a study on this and got published in a fairly good journal? I so need to get on this slipping sleigh.


[box]BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The term 'beer belly' expresses the common belief that beer consumption is a major determinant of waist circumference (WC). We studied the gender-specific associations between beer consumption and WC (partially in relation to body weight and hip circumference (HC) change).

PARTICIPANTS/METHODS: Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Potsdam study (7876 men, 12 749 women), cross-sectional associations were investigated applying general linear models. Prospective analyses of baseline beer consumption and an 8.5-year WC change were assessed using multivariate general linear models and polytomous logistic regression. To test the site-specific effect of beer consumption on WC, an adjustment for concurrent changes in body weight and HC was carried out. In addition, the relationship between change in beer consumption and change in WC was studied.

RESULTS: A positive association in men and no association in women were seen between beer consumption and WC at baseline. Men consuming 1000 ml/d beer were at 17% higher risk for WC gain compared with very light consumers. Significantly lower odds for WC gain (odds ratio=0.88; 95% confidence interval 0.81, 0.96) were found in beer-abstaining women than in very-light-drinking women. The adjustment for concurrent body weight and HC change diminished effect estimates notably, explaining most of the association between beer and change in WC. Decreasing beer consumption was related to higher relative odds for WC loss, although not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Beer consumption leads to WC gain, which is closely related to concurrent overall weight gain. This study does not support the common belief of a site-specific effect of beer on the abdomen, the beer belly.

I have no idea what they set out to achieve. I hunted the paper down and read through their justification for the study and I see this weak unreferenced statement in the introduction:

Abdominal obesity is one of the most potent cardiovascular risk factors, making it of interest to understand whether beer consumption increases the risk of this site-specific fat patterning.

First, abdominal obesity was never really "the most potent risk factor" of cardiovascular disease as they claim. Second, there are a million other "potent risk factors" for cardiovascular disease and abdominal obesity figures rather low on that list. Third, there are strong hormonal, genetic and gender-related determinants of who accumulates fat near their bellies and who doesn't. Ignoring this fact completely in the justification section is rather dodgy.

Most importantly, doesn't every one pretty much know that Beer is just empty calories and that consumption without exercise will lead to weight gain? Was it so essential to wade in, and analyze a huge dataset to death just to show that it does lead to weight gain and is not really specifically associated with Beer Bellies?

What is the message they are trying to convey to the public anyway - that it is okay to drink Beer because you will only gain weight, and not grow a Belly? A truly "what-the-hell-do-epidemiologists-do-when-they-are-out-drinking-beer" study. Maybe I should start drinking beer now and coming up with random publication ideas. Or maybe I should just get that soymilk carton I have been craving and start drinking with abandon. The effect will be eerily similar to drinking beer.
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Permalink: Beers_amp_Beer_Bellies_aren_t_associated_.html
Words: 552
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: fact

12/16/09 06:13 - 22ºF - ID#50577

Rochester's bus fares are $1 because...

they scrapped the transfer charges of $0.30 and charge $1 for every ride regardless of however many transfers you might be taking.

Honestly, I would prefer that scheme. I never have that ridiculous quarter AND a five-cent coin or three ten-cents coins anyway and end up paying $1 or $0.50 for transfers. Also, I rarely transfer within city limits or while going to the nearest malls/airport.

I am just a little annoyed that the fares are $1.75 here because of poor management of public transport while our neighbouring city has better sense and judgement.

Oh, and on another note, I derailed someone's lunch plans to go downtown and see if I could catch the Matrix bloke, but all I saw was a white tent. That's it. I couldn't see even the cameras! Unfair. Were they shooting inside or what?

There seemed to be most barricading near the M&T gold-domed bank building.
I am speculating that Henry's crime might well be that he ripped the 24 carat gold leafing off of the dome in broad daylight and chilly winds and didn't wave at Buffalo denizens while scaling the dome.

  • Yeah, that was off the Intehn3ts.
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Permalink: Rochester_s_bus_fares_are_1_because_.html
Words: 195
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: eating in

12/14/09 12:50 - 34ºF - ID#50550

It was so good that...

some people declared they could eat it at various intervals ranging from every second (of their lives? in hell? who knows?!) to every other day (in jail? on mars? in a geriatric ward?), and yet some others admitted to tossing 2/3rd of whatever they took discreetly into trash, and the rest were poisoned.

The point is, this recipe is not without its risks. With such variation in human reaction (and there were quite a variety of us at the potluck - from 7-ft palm trees to politically incorrect short pygmies to a graduate horticultural-establishment-management student from Cornell [who knew?!] - and of course the one normal person who threw 2/3rd in the trash, btw), there is a slim chance that you may meet some grotesque fate if you tried it.

Ah, disclaimer out of the way, time for the recipe. Really its just 5 steps.

1. Chop vegetables (Just pick something from across the colour spectrum and you will have a good mix. If you don't have a good knife, the acorn squash can turn into a hand-stuck-in-snowblower-like disaster.)


2. Toss in peanut oil, coarse ground cumin, salt and coconut shreds. Put into oven at around 150 - 175 degrees C (For you non-metric weirdos : - ) Wait for the onions to turn very very slightly caramelized at the tips. Don't let the veggies burn - keep a watch. Roast the garlic cloves whole. (What? You couldn't spot garlic in that picture? Look again!)

3. Chop a bunch of fresh coriander (Sorry, (e:Paul)!), smash the roasted garlic into it. Mix in garam masala (Dry-roasted and ground: 5 (coriander seeds): 2 (black peppercorns): 2 (cumin): 2-3 cloves: Dried red chillies to taste: 2 (unroasted cardamom): 1 (dried mango powder/amchur) Mix in chopped green onions, and cooked garbanzo beans (Canned garbanzo is just gooey - you need to go the dried-beans-soak-6hrs-and-cook way. I heard that some canned garbanzo packs come with an additional risk of botulin sometimes - so its up to you).

4. Mix it all in with the roasted vegetables and give it another go in the oven - same temperature, till onions are a bit more caramelized, maybe 10-15 more minutes (Or you could skip the roasting-again bit, because its really murdering the veggies a bit more at this point).

5. Sprinkle with a mixture of toasted nuts (peanuts and cashewnuts) and crispy potato shreds with red chillie powder and salt). Serve.

666. Step back and watch the ill-effects on your unsuspecting victims.

PS: Heh, yes, the garlic cloves were not really visible in that picture. I figured you deserved at least a nice headache for reading the recipe, especially considering the wealth of emotions the people at the party ended up with. You are welcome.

PPS: No, I am SO not sorry.
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Permalink: It_was_so_good_that_.html
Words: 467
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: science

12/11/09 04:08 - 20ºF - ID#50540

That whooshing sound from the piano!

I listen to a lot of classical piano, and I have always been bothered by that whooshing sound between keystrokes that I can always hear (but some of my friends and my brother can never hear!)

In a distracted moment today, I learned that it is the sound of the open strings vibrating against the soundboard of an acoustic piano. So, THAT'S where it comes from!


In some recordings, they specifically place the recording equipment close to the soundboard because it gives the richest sound output - however the drawback is the whooshing sound... which apparently, not many people can hear.

The frequency of this "whooshing" is very low - hovering around 20-25 Hz. Some human ears can't pick up sounds in this frequency and auditory scientists speculate that the range of frequency hearing is genetically determined.

Fascinating, huh?!

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Permalink: That_whooshing_sound_from_the_piano_.html
Words: 141
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: science

12/09/09 07:05 - 38ºF - ID#50517

SoyMilk Vs Fat-Free Milk: Nutrition Data

I keep thinking about getting another delicious carton of Soymilk ((e:tinypliny,50430)) but it is really just a very impractical and unwise obsession. The comparative nutrition charts show just why soymilk is not the rational choice.

Sunrich Soymilk 1 Serving.
It has added sugar (cane juice), vanilla flavour and carrageenan (a plant-based gum). I have never added these to my regular milk - why would I want to drink them now? Especially sugar?

Upstate Farms Fat-Free Milk 1 Serving.
Fat-free milk wins hands down in terms of higher quality of nutrients, clear-cut essential ingredients and no added sugar.

Take that, lizard brain.

PS: AAAAAAAargh. I still want it. This is getting so ridiculous! Anyone want to talk me out of this madness?!
PPS: Worse, I now want to get Biscoff Speculoos to dunk in them! Nice going. :/
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Permalink: SoyMilk_Vs_Fat_Free_Milk_Nutrition_Data.html
Words: 139
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: art

12/09/09 04:17 - 43ºF - ID#50514

The Pink Glove Dance

The Pink Glove dance was choreographed in St. Vincent Medical Centre, Portland, Oregon for the Medline glove division as a fundraiser for cancer awareness.

I love the sheer energy of everyone in the dance.

As a bonus for promoting their pink gloves, when this video gathers one million hits, apparently the glove company will be making a contribution to the St. Vincent hospital, as well as offering free mammograms for the community around the hospital.

Its good to hear about companies finding creative ways of using social media for donating to healthcare. A month back it was the #beatcancer experiment on Twitter - for every tweet, 1c was donated to 3 cancer research/care institutions. It didn't amount to much in the end (~$6K) but it was a nice gesture and good way to get people involved.
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Permalink: The_Pink_Glove_Dance.html
Words: 138
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/20/12 02:21

Category: grocery

12/06/09 06:58 - 33ºF - ID#50484

Question for e:JBeatty: Pandan

(e:JBeatty), have you seen Pandan at any store in Buffalo city?

From this

I really want to make Pandan-flavoured milk but I don't know where to find it... Any ideas?

PS: Pandan smells like a rustic wonderful variant of natural vanilla. Vanilla essence just doesn't reach the subtlety that is Pandan.
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Permalink: Question_for_e_JBeatty_Pandan.html
Words: 61
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: grocery

12/06/09 04:05 - 34ºF - ID#50480

Wegmans on Prospect Avenue?

Really? Is there a Wegmans on Prospect Avenue as Google Maps seems to think?


Why have I never seen it? This is the parking lot at the back of the Tops Building. Maybe Weggies has a storage unit there? Does anyone know?

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Permalink: Wegmans_on_Prospect_Avenue_.html
Words: 44
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: art

12/03/09 04:44 - 45ºF - ID#50449

Dances of the world... served on ice.

Transicelated by Meryl Davis and Charlie White...

Eastern European Waltz

Bollywood Medley
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Gulzar
Ismail Darbar, Nusrat Badr

Western European Waltz

East European Opera
Alexander Borodin

Western European Opera
Camille Saint-Saens, Ferdinand Lemaire

Andrew Lloyd Webber
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Permalink: Dances_of_the_world_served_on_ice_.html
Words: 58
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: art

12/02/09 07:21 - 45ºF - ID#50441

Back in Baroque.

In love with the costumes, the dances and the music! :)

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Permalink: Back_in_Baroque_.html
Words: 26
Location: Buffalo, NY



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