The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Posts Tagged ‘food’

The “Paleo diet” Gone Modern

Posted by That Other Mike on 12/06/2012

Shit, if the Paleo diet described by Freddie here were easily available, I would eat the hell out of it. Organ meat, frogs and such? Hell yeah, I’m European, that shit doesn’t scare me.

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Current Events

Posted by That Other Mike on 26/10/2008

Last night I made a huge pile of pork enchiladas with chili gravy and ate about half of them for dinner, so I’m feeling relatively well disposed towards the world today, and thus, vaguely in the mood for blogging.

Recent current events of interest include the news that Ridley Scott of Alien fame is due to adapt and direct Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World for the silver screen, which I think is really exciting news; ever since I first read BNW at the age of 13, I’ve been longing for a film adaptation. The material lends itself to the kind of simultaneously small and epic scale that can be produced on the screen in the hands of a talented director.

While Huxley was very much writing in the mould of his time and referring to then-current events, specifically the tendency of totalitarian regimes to dabble or fully engage in eugenicist practices, in my opinion, the message of the book is bigger than that and could be applied to a number of different situations regarding dystopian futures; the great part about writing about current events using symbols or exaggerated consequences is that sooner or later symbols can be seen to mean whatever people want them to mean, and consequences can be exaggerated so large that they become somewhat distinct from what they really should be connected with.

My only concern is the involvement of Leonardo DiCaprio. I don’t think he’s right for the savage, but that’s my own conception of it, I suppose. We’ll see; maybe his performance will be seminal and cinema-altering.

I’ve also discovered another webcomic to obsessively read until I get up to date on it. Damn it, this is becoming a habit; I may need to have to start using Google Reader or something and add all my favourite toons to it so I can get my fix all at once in one handy seizure inducing parade of brighty-coloured drawings.

Anyway, the newest addition to the stable is Least I Could Do, which is mostly about a juvenile 24 year old called Rayne Summers and occasionally also his friends and family. It’s a real gem, not least because of comics like this one:

In other news, Barack Obama has criticised the McCain-Palin campaign for negative practices less than two weeks before the election, calling them “ugly” tactics. Such practices include the robocalls, accusations of being friendly with terrorists and so on; these tactics have all revolved around lies, mistellings and out-of-context criticism, and all of the negative claims have been soundly debunked.

The McCain-Palin campaign fired back a criticism that Obama’s campaign had allegedly already written a draft inaugural speech, and accused him thereby of already “doing a victory lap”.


Uh-huh. Even if the allegation of having a draft inaugural speech were true, what of it? I’d be extremely surprised if McCain didn’t already have something on file somewhere too (I hope he didn’t let Joe write it, though). Isn’t that what politicians do, generally? As far as I knew, it’s common practice to have one speech in place for a win, and another for a loss, so as to cover all the bases. It’s only rarely that they need a “we don’t know yet, and it’s going to court” speech, although we have Florida to thank for the possibility of that.

Seriously, if the level of criticism at this point is between shady electoral practices on one side versus common and insignificant acts on the other, then I think there’s not much more to report in this election. I don’t want to say that this is where McCain jumped the shark, because I think his selection of Palin was that moment; at this point, I think he’s coasting along and flailing desperately at any opportunity to try to claw back some points in the polls.

I don’t want to say that the election is in the bag for Obama, because that’s arrogant and the gods reward hubris with failure, but I would certainly be surprised if he didn’t take it by a large margin on the 4th. Even allowing for the (probably fictional) Bradley Effect, I think he’ll gain the majority of the electoral vote.

Again, though, we’ll see.

Posted in funny, Odds and Sods, Politics, Teh Webz | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Day 17: Nooch!

Posted by That Other Mike on 18/09/2008

Today was veeeery busy at work, plus I overslept a little and ended up in a rush this morning. I didn’t really do myself proud at lunch (becoming a theme) but I did stay vegan, despite an overpowering urge to go and buy cheese and scoff the lot while laughing maniacally. Yay me!

To celebrate this, I decided to make cheesy food for dinner. I didn’t succumb to the cravings because the Force is strong in me but I did want a cheesy taste. Like a nicotine addict with that horrible gum. I swear, giving up smoking was never as hard as giving up dairy.

Read the rest…

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Posted by That Other Mike on 12/09/2008

Earthworms to aid soil clean-up

By Elizabeth Mitchell
Science reporter, BBC News

Worms munching polluted and non-polluted soils showed different colours
Scientists have discovered how metal-munching earthworms can help plants to clean up contaminated soils.

Researchers at Reading University found that subtle changes occurred in metals as worms ingested and excreted soil.

These changes make it easier for plants to take up potentially toxic metals from contaminated land.

Earthworms could be the future “21st Century eco-warriors”, scientists suggested at the British Association Science Festival in Liverpool.

There are many sites across the UK with contaminated soil due to previous industrial activities, including mines, engineering works and lead smelters.

This looks kind of interesting. I’ve often thought and said that we should be looking more to biologically-based solutions to pollution and other problems. Unfortunately, this is something of a silly point with the modern environmental movement, which tends to have not so much a knee jerk reaction but a whole body spasm when you mention “tampering with nature”. The silliness and scare-mongering over genetically-modified crops, for example.

And yet, we could be adding to nature and using the ever ingenious and inventive power of biology to find solutions to existing problems — using it as a booster rocket to spark further invention. We’ve already seen this before in the form of bacteria that eat plastic, while North Carolina State University scientists have pioneered a way to create hydrogen by bacterial action, and Brazil uses ethanol-based fuel in all its vehicles, produced by the fermentation action of yeast. All of this depends upon single-celled organisms; if we engineered them properly, we could eliminate energy dependency. Or we could engineer new forms of algae or kelp to provide food. The point is that these massive changes are within our grasp, if we simply had the will to ignore the fear-mongers and press ahead with this.

It’s time to use these small organisms to make big changes, and time to ignore the ignorant nay-sayers who depend upon fear to push an uninformed agenda.

Posted in Environment, Politics, science | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Day 11: Stuffed Peppers

Posted by That Other Mike on 11/09/2008

Sorry about yesterday’s rather lacklustre post, folks. I was dog tired and couldn’t do much more than list tofu types. I know my wife is liable to worry that it’s related to the diet, but the fact is that I worked like a mofo yesterday and was just honestly tired. I actually feel more energetic on this diet than I have for a long time, although that may be down to the huge carbohydrate intake.

Speaking of which, I started the day rather badly on that account, eating a white bagel. Eeep. Except it was a tomato and Mediterranean herb bagel, which I consider reason enough to break my vow of carbstinence.

Lunch was no better. I don’t even want to tell you. It wasn’t anything spectacularly good for me, I will say.

And so for dinner I decided to do something a little better. I’ll be having a vegetarian classic: peppers stuffed with couscous, with salad on the side.

Read the rest…

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Day Eight

Posted by That Other Mike on 08/09/2008

I’ve said here before that I’m having a hard time with not eating cheese. Milk is also something I miss; while soy milk fulfills part of the desire, there’s nothing quite like a nice big glass of cold skimmed milk.

Coffee is not quite the same without it, but I’m getting used to that, and I’m certainly not about to try using soy milk in it anymore: soy milk is actually what is known technically as an emulsion, or immiscible liquids in a stable blend. Basically, it’s oil, water and small particles. Unfortunately, soy milk is not quite so stable an emulsion as dairy, meaning that unless stirred vigorously every minute or so, it separates into what looks like curds. Not terribly nice, and something of a pain to keep going at. You can get it to not do that by adding it when the liquid has cooled down, but who wants to drink lukewarm coffee? I’ll stick with black and one sugar for now, I think.
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Posted in Odds and Sods, Personal | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Day Seven

Posted by That Other Mike on 07/09/2008

So, it’s the end of the first week of my month as a vegan. Things seem to be going well so far, although there have been some things which have been difficult to do or avoid, I think overall thing’s are OK.

Probably the biggest change I’ve noticed is that I tend to snack a little less. I seem to be less hungry between meals this week, and I think that can be put down to a change in habits: I can’t snack as easily, so I tend to eat more of what I’ve cooked at meal times. The absence of easily edible snacks has left me in the position of eating more at meals, so avoiding snacks in the first place has let me avoid them further, if that makes sense…
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Your Last Meal?

Posted by That Other Mike on 16/02/2008

This came up as a topic of discussion at work yesterday, what with it being the Friday afternoon before half term: if you were going to be executed tomorrow, what would you choose for your last meal?

I picked barbecue brisket with good bread, potato salad, coleslaw, dill pickles and beer.

Posted in Odds and Sods, Personal | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Obesity genetic?

Posted by That Other Mike on 08/02/2008

Via BBC News:

Obesity ‘may be largely genetic’

Becoming overweight as a child is more likely to be the result of your genes than your lifestyle, claims a study.

University College London researchers examined more than 5,000 pairs of identical and non-identical twins.

Their American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that differences in body mass index and waist size were 77% governed by genes.

An anti-obesity group said regardless of genes, a balanced diet and exercise were vital to good health.

    It is wrong to place all the blame for a child’s excessive weight gain on the parents – it is more likely to be due to the child’s genetic susceptibility
    Professor Jane Wardle University College London

Children who are overweight are likely to be overweight or obese in adulthood, raising the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, stroke and diabetes later in life.

However, despite the emergence of some possible genes that contribute to obesity, there is still debate as to the extent to which we are pre-programmed to be overweight by our genetic makeup.

The study, from the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre at UCL, goes some way to answering that question.

However… A genetic propensity towards obesity doesn’t alter the fact that diet and lifestyle do play a part. You may be predisposed towards obesity, but you’re unlikely to become dangerously overweight by eating sensibly and taking moderate exercise, barring other indicators to the contrary, of course.

And before anyone starts, I’m fully aware that BMI is a crock of shite; that obesity is on the verge of becoming a moral panic; that OMG! teh fats! is a cheap and easy way out of doing work for yellow press journalists; and that we should be fully accepting of people’s rights to be regarded as full human beanz without prejudice according to weight, as a matter of personal autonomy if nothing else…

Body fat is like any other human characteristic – it exists within a range which allows for a wide variety of variation. There is no specific ideal weight for height. However – you can be too thin and too fat for your own good health, and while these two extremes are not as common as made out in the red tops, they are on the rise.

We ought to encourage people to be taking good amounts of exercise and be giving good diet advice as a matter of course; children especially, because it is as children that we inculcate the habits of later life, habits which can be hard to break.

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Leek and Potato Soup

Posted by That Other Mike on 24/11/2007

It’s what’s for dinner. I just finished making it.
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