Fuck that shit! PABST BLUE RIBBON!!

29 05 2010

Dennis Hopper, R.I.P.

That’s What She Said!

26 05 2010


  • My vagina hurts!
  • Math is so hard!
  • I can’t. I’m on my period.
  • Not tonight. I have to be up early.
  • I have a headache.
  • I’m late.
  • Ewwwww!
  • I’ve never done this before!
  • He’s just a friend.
  • Can you do me a favor?
  • Will you buy me a drink?
  • I’m pregnant.
  • I hate liars!
  • Ooooh, I like your shoes!
  • My boyfriend is such an asshole!
  • Is that your car?
  • Just kidding, I’m not really pregnant.
  • Is she prettier than me?
  • I’m so wasted!
  • My place is such a mess!
  • I dunno, it just happened.
  • Let’s just be friends.

Everything You Know is Wrong, Part I

19 05 2010

Salt isn’t bad for you

I just found something to add to my reading list. It’s an article called The (Political) Science of Salt (pdf) that Gary Taubes wrote in 1999 for Science. It’s not available for free on their site, but it is available at the National Association of Science Writers site because it won their 1999 Science in Society Journalism Award for a magazine article. The bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence that reducing your salt intake will reduce your blood pressure if you’re not hypertensive. If you are, it might have a very small effect. The article is long, but good. I’ve known for a while that dietary recommendations to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol intake are based on garbage science, which made me wonder about salt. I never managed to find anything on it until I heard an interview with Taubes where he mentioned that it was the salt issue which first got him into dietary science.

Emphasis mine:

Through the early 1980s, the scientific discord over salt reduction was buried beneath the public attention given to the benefits of avoiding salt. […]

Not until after these campaigns were well under way, however, did researchers set out to do studies that might be powerful enough to resolve the underlying controversy. The first was the Scottish Heart Health Study, launched in 1984 by epidemiologist Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe and colleagues at the Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee, Scotland. The researchers used questionnaires, physical exams, and 24-hour urine samples to establish the risk factors for cardiovascular disease in 7300 Scottish men. This was an order of magnitude larger than any intrapopulation study ever done with 24-hour urine samples. The BMJ published the results in 1988: Potassium, which is in fruits and vegetables, seemed to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure. Sodium had no effect.

With this result, the Scottish study vanished from the debate. Advocates of salt reduction argued that the negative result was no surprise because the study, despite its size, was still not large enough to overcome the measurement problems that beset all other intrapopulation studies. When the NHBPEP recommended universal salt reduction in its landmark 1993 report, it cited 327 different journal articles in support of its recommendations. The Scottish study was not among them. (In 1998, Tunstall-Pedoe and his collaborators published a 10-year follow-up: Sodium intake now showed no relationship to either coronary heart disease or death.)


Of all these studies, the one that may finally change the tenor of the salt debate was not actually about salt. Called DASH, for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, it was published in April 1997 in The New England Journal of Medicine. DASH suggested that although diet can strongly influence blood pressure, salt may not be a player. In DASH, individuals were fed a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. In 3 weeks, the diet reduced blood pressure by 5.5/3.0 mmHg in subjects with mild hypertension and 11.4/5.5 mmHg in hypertensives — a benefit surpassing what could be achieved by medication. Yet salt content was kept constant in the DASH diets, which meant salt had nothing to do with the blood pressure reductions.

That reduction is far greater than even the most wildly optimistic projections for extreme salt reduction (from 10g/day to 4g/day). I was first introduced to Taubes via this 72 minute video.

Is There a Cure for Masculinity?

3 05 2010

Someone posted an ad for a book that is not yet available as a comment to my Feminism post. It asks a lot of questions the book purportedly answers. It’s called Is There a Cure for Masculinity by Adam Jukes. Going by what I can find on this author, he believes that all men hate women and we do so because we experience some traumatic separation experience with our mothers. I don’t know about all that, and I would like to know what he has to say about evolutionary psychology.

• Why is it so hard to get close to a man?

Is it and for who? When you allow someone to get close you make yourself vulnerable. Men do not like to be vulnerable and women are not attracted to vulnerability. In my experience, letting people get close is almost never worth it.

• Why don’t men express emotions except big ones like anger and frustration?

Why do chicks cry so much? Again, it’s about vulnerability and appearing weak. It’s not really a conscious thing. I don’t not cry on purpose. Also, I think there are many things for which we have no emotional reaction. For example, women react to the news of a pregnancy with emotion, while men consider the logistics of the situation.

• Why is most perversion male; why is most pornography produced by men for men? Why is risk taking male and drinking, drug taking, gambling and infidelity are predominantly the preserve of men?

The answer for most of this is that men have a lot more testosterone. I don’t know what exactly perversion is or why it’s the male’s domain? Women have rape fantasies. Men, not so much. You might call that perversion. Pornography is produced by men because men are motivated by profit, for men because they are turned on by visuals. I see no reason to believe that men are less faithful than women. In fact, the opposite seems more likely. Women are just a lot better at getting away with their cheating. We know that women drink and do drugs. I don’t know if it’s more or less than men, but many of the worst drunks I know are women.

• Why is most criminal behavior perpetrated by men? Why is the vast majority of domestic abuse and violence perpetrated by men?

First, I think men are more likely to have very low intelligence than women, and low intelligence correlates with risk-taking and criminal behavior. Also, it seems to be in our genes to take risks. As parents go, fathers are relatively expendable. Men who are the victims of domestic violence are less likely to report anything to legal authorities, and police are less likely to take them seriously. They are more likely to take matters into their own hands and become the perpetrators (at least in the eye of the law), and they are much less likely to stay in an abusive relationship. Women are far more likely to seek out and stick with abusive mates.

• Why are men so concerned with the size of their penis and its symbolic substitutes – big, powerful cars, status, big houses, big money, and big muscles?

These are all symbols of status, and status is what attracts women and earns the respect of all. Most men are not overly concerned with such things unless they are unsatisfied with their status and their success with women.

• Why can’t men tolerate vulnerability?

We can’t? I really don’t know what he means by that.

• Why do men lie, don’t listen, don’t do housework, parenting?

I hate when women ask why men lie. Men lie to get what they want and avoid what they don’t want. Women do that as well, but they also lie to themselves and each other to regulate their emotions.

I wonder how he answers these questions.