Jul 03 2009

Lots O’ Links

Lots of people have the day off today, so I’ll be lazy and catch up on some links I’ve been saving up to share.  First a few fun Catholic ones.  I got a chuckle out of this one, found by St. Louis Catholic:

If this is a Catholic Church, then where is the CRUCIFIX!

"If this is a Catholic Church, then where is the CRUCIFIX!"

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My cell phone just makes and receives phone calls, and that’s the way I like it.  No pictures or video, no downloadable ring tones, no texting plan, no games—just phone calls, and as few of those as possible.  But I have to admit this is kind of cool:  (H/T Fallible Blogma)

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The next one looks both fun and inspirational.  Every year, over 10,000 people make a 72-mile, three-day pilgrimage, from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to the cathedral at Chartres.  I don’t know what the terrain is like there, but it doesn’t look much different from ours here.  Maybe we should do that.  If you take back roads, Jacksonville is about 70 miles from Quincy, and I’m pretty sure there’s a Catholic church there, so we could walk from there to St. Rose.  Pilgrimages seem European somehow, or foreign at least; but so do processions and we’ve done those, so who knows.  Anyway, watch it; it’s pretty cool.  Thanks to PBS for showing it.

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On to some health-related links.  One argument the low-fat crowd makes is that we haven’t done it yet.  They claim we’re still eating way too much fat and meat, and that’s why heart disease and diabetes and all the other illnesses of modern society keep increasing.  If we’d just do as they tell us, they say, we’d all lose weight and be healthier.

That’s bunk.  Any cookbook from before 1975 will show it’s bunk.  I’ve got a cookbook on grilling from 1965, and the meat cuts in the pictures have thick fat around the edges and lots of marbling.  The recipes in it commonly say to put a pat of butter on each cut when it comes off the grill—real butter, of course, not margarine.

But that isn’t really proof.  Maybe people were ignoring the cookbooks and eating lots of pasta and vegetables and fruit compared to today, right?  Well, no.  Here’s a post with some nice graphs that show that we have followed the low-fat advice since the 1970s.  We’ve cut back on red meat, dairy, and eggs, and increased our consumption of poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, grains, and starches.  Of course, when the fat went away so did much of the flavor, so we replaced it with extra sugar, but that was supposed to be okay.  Sugar was no longer harmful, at least not in comparison to fat.

The truth is, we haven’t been ignoring their wonderful advice at all.  We followed all the advice from the days of George McGovern’s vegetarian-sponsored legislation in 1977, up to the USDA’s food pyramid, and it’s made us fatter and ramped up diabetes, heart disease, and all the other illnesses of civilization.  It’s time we recognize that their recommendations came from radical vegetarians, grain processors, and pharmaceutical companies, and tell them all to stuff it.

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Here’s another video by Gary Taubes., talking about what really makes us fat and unhealthy.  It’s similar to the video I posted the other day, but it’s longer (about an hour and a half), so he’s able to go into more detail on some things.  He deserves a medal for going into hospitals and universities and telling people truths that most won’t even be willing to consider.

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Here’s one from GraphJam that, unfortunately, comes too close to describing my work process:

Photo by GraphJam.com

Photo by GraphJam.com

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Here’s a video that does a good job of describing what’s going on with government spending and debt.  As I’ve said before, Bush was very bad about borrowing and spending, and this shows that.  Obama just happens to be much, much worse.

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And here’s one guy’s suggestion for what we ought to do about it—go on a consumption strike.  It’s not realistic, of course; if people had that much self-control, we wouldn’t be in the situation in the first place, and the third party candidates would have gotten more than a couple percent of the vote in the last election.  But it’s a nice thought.  The way things are going, we may be doing what he says involuntarily before long anyway.

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As for the state of the economy, I don’t know for sure that we’re headed into a major depression.  No one can really know.  But here’s an interesting comparison between today’s economic situation and that in 1929-1930, when the Great Depression was just getting started.  It charts a lot of different indicators and different countries, so it’s not just focused on one factor in the US that might be balanced by other factors or the global economy.  There sure are a lot of similarities in those graphs…

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Well, that cleared a lot of the extra tabs out of my browser, so I’ll stop there.  We’re headed out to dress chickens tomorrow, so I’ll probably be reporting on that next time.

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