Thursday, March 4, 2010

Notes for March 4th

  • Anytime someone starts up a conversation online about losing weight, someone with a year or two of physics (or who has read some science fiction) spouts off "Calories in = calories out", as if that is useful advice for people who want to lose weight. I'm not disagreeing with whether or not that is true (it is true), but it is hopelessly ignorant as well. I've tried to explain this to people who aren't biologists before and I usually get the response "You can't break the laws of thermodynamics".
Really? That's the response. Again, not very useful.

The problem is that the food you eat affects the rate at which you burn calories. Eating a meal rich in carbs causes your metabolism to differ somewhat than when you eat a meal rich in protein. These differences also affect your desire to eat. And this is why the 'calorie is a calorie is a calorie' argument doesn't hold water.
Anyway, this study made me think of all this.
  • I saw this article in Frontiers, and I can honestly say I have no idea what it is talking about. This thing might take me reading it ten times to fully understand. Is it really brilliant? Or is it totally ridiculous? I can't tell you. I really feel like I'm adding a lot of value to our experience here.
  • Apparently seasonal affective disorder is a big enough problem that it is being treated as a genuine medical condition. I wonder if I should sue my employer for not having a window. I certainly get depressed when I'm in here.
  • Really old primate, yes, but not a human ancestor.
  • The evolution of bird/dinosaur wrists.

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