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It all started so well…
Leave it to the Dutch to help demonstrate the health benefits of chocolate.
[Yay, leaped my chocolate-lover heart with joy. Finally, we have a *scientific* study telling us what we would love to hear and not those stupid high-blood pressure, obesity pseudo-science nonsense.]
A study of older men in The Netherlands, known for its luscious chocolate, indicated those who ate the equivalent of one-third of a chocolate bar every day had lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of death.
[” a reduced risk of death” is all I payed attention to the first time I read the news, I mean who cares about the rest?]
The researchers say, however, it’s too early to conclude it was chocolate that led to better health.
[What? and there was doubt??]
The men who ate more cocoa products could have shared other qualities that made them healthier.
[Nawwww. You mean, for example, they were high fibre/low-fat dieters, 60 yr old athletes who can run twice as fast as yours truly?]
Experts also point out that eating too much chocolate can make you fat _ a risk for both heart disease and high blood pressure.
[And there is where reality came crashing in. Aw, and it started so well.]
But then I read the article a second time and what do I notice??? the study refers to:
“those who ate the equivalent of one-third of a chocolate bar every day”
Who in this entire world eats one-third of a chocolate bar every day?? Was the study based on those people who had stomach reduction surgery?
So I kid, but isn’t junk science wonderful? A study that presents a conclusion based on unscientific experiment design (no control of multiple variables that affect the resulting conclusion) and consequently, absolute lack of logic, and they got money for it!!! And it gets published in the WashPo, that is, MSM gives big media space to it!! OK, so you might rightly think, and since when that means minimal journalistic standards?
But now to what really matters, I don’t understand why Europeans think Belgian chocolate is the best. Total inept partisan overrating, in my grand chocolate connoisseur opinion. For those with lesser chocolate expertise, please be informed that there is not one nationality that rules in the kingdom of cholocate-making. Fortunately for us chocolate lovers, there are multiple wonderful options for great chocolate from different corners of the world, including within Europe.
brings up all these interesting topics in his blog and then doesn’t allow for comments.
Maybe the comment threads would just be flame-wars of opposing view-points, but then I haven’t seen too many problems like that in blogs lately. Mostly, I think groups have learned not to feed troll behavior and most people are not into just spitting out profanity and vulgarity for comments.
I prefer blogs that allow people to interact, otherwise, they become like reading “old-time” news. Mainstream news blogs usually are crap though, but that’s because the net is too wide usually. There are exceptions though, even in MSM. The Guardian, which opens up comments in some sections, is an example that even MSM can offer some threads which are interesting to read, even if just to see what are different people’s attitudes and “readings” of particular issues. I haven’t read too many threads, mainly because I don’t share their politics, but the comment threads don’t degenerate overall.
Argh. At least I’m better. I was getting worried when I saw that I was sleeping 10, 11, 12 hours every night last week and still waking up so tired. A cold that only developed regular cold symptons a week later.
And today was unexpectedly really cold, just to make me freeze when I had to go out.
I hate the extreme division of the week. I hate having to work a lot during five days and then having to do all this concentrated leisure stuff jumbled together for two days, on and on. It feels like a prison schedule to me. Open the cells, do this. Close the cells, work. I prefer to work 6 to 7 days a week, that is, almost every day, and mix in various leisure activities all through the week. Obviously if you are into travelling every weekend, then that doesn’t work. But since I can’t get to travel hardly ever, snif… a mixed week works best.
I was going to copy here my favorite comments in this thread, but they just turned out to be so many, for so many reasons, it will take too much work. Great thread to read.
The nominated tune “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from “Hustle & Flow” with music and lyric by Jordan Houston (“Juicy Jay”), Cedric Coleman (“Freysier Boy”) and Paul Beauregard (“Deejay Paul”) has, by my count, 10 repeated words which would not pass network clearances. They are “fuck,” “shit” and “niggaz.”
Producer Gil Cates says when he informed the trio that those words would have to be changed, they immediately told him they’d alter ’em. Meanwhile, Cates said “bitch” and “ho’s” are ok since they’re already heard on network shows.
What??!! Oh no! It seems the guy took down the entire comment thread. And I was going to go select all the great comments… not fair 🙂
At the outset it should be observed that Epictetus (great stoic philosopher) holds out no false and alluring hopes to those who seek his instruction. There is no royal road to philosophy. The disciple must come prepared to “scorn delights, and live laborious days.” He must be willing to be laughed at and mocked. Like an athlete, he must go into training. He should count the cost ere ever he enter the lists. For Epictetus wishes no half-hearted disciples. “You must watch, you must labor; overcome certain desires; quit your familiar friends, submit to be despised by your servant, to be held in derision by them that meet you , to take the lower place in all things, in office, in positions of authority, in courts of law. Weigh these things fully, and then, if you will, lay to your hand.”
(by the way, related to Slavery in Rome entry – look at what wikipedia says:
Epictetus was eventually freed and lived a relatively hard life in ill health in Rome. It is known that he became crippled, owing to cruel treatment by his master, Epaphroditus, according to most reports.)
Therefore Epictetus commends to us the habit of Socrates who, upon being asked what was his native place, was wont to claim, not Athens or Corinth, but the universe.
I was making my way to a section of a bookstore the other day, and by chance I ended up in wrong section, but which yielded some interesting reading these past few days, because I had bumped into none other than a shelf of books on Roman history. I hate people who glorify Roman or Greek societies, talking about them as if they were some wonderful, “advanced,” civilized societies, and not the complicated, unjust, and violent places they really were. Simply because a society musters to have a few grand orators, poets, playwrights and what have you, it does not mean it is any less violent and dysfunctional on many other levels. So I was all too happy to find a book on slavery in Roman society, which really talks about how cruel and horrible Roman society was in this respect (Slavery and Society at Rome – K. Bradley).
I have never read much about Rome and have forgotten most of what I saw of it in school, which currently results in a nebulous understanding of Roman society. So a lot of it to me is simply new discoveries (or rediscovering stuff I had long forgotten). First really shocking discovery to me was the just how huge the slave population was. A modern estimate puts the servile population in order of 2 to 3 million people!! This represents 33-40 per cent of the total population at the time period of the end of the first century BC. That’s huge! I have a hazy memory of having heard about this in school, but I’m not sure.
Second discovery, not shocking but still interesting to note, was that Roman philosophy has very similar conceptions to slavery in the New World ( specially with slaves from Africa ) and how they thought of the slaves, as these sub-human creatures. And if they are sub-human, they are not entitled to any rights, they are immoral, they are all these despicable things that justify their mistreatment. And apparently all the famous philosophers (as per Western academic canons) are really a aggregate of disgusting “nazis” in their views of slaves and slavery. I say apparently because this was not a detailed subject in the book, there were just a few comments here and there. (I am sure other people must have already examined this question.) Another parallel is how Romans put into place all kinds of laws and practices to keep slaves from organizing or revolting en masse. And the book also talks a lot about how slaves were subjected to all kinds of capricious acts of violence by their masters, just like African-American slaves were.
Another amusing discovery, was this fellow, Musonius Rufus, who favored equal opportunity in education for both boys and girls, and saw no barrier to women studying philosophy as did men; and rather unconventionally he regarded marriage as a truly companionate relationship. Hey, have we actually found an ethical Roman, a real nice guy? Well, spoken way too fast, as the book explains further along, although he was one of the very few voices (of which there is a record, anyways) to question and criticize the sexual abuse female slaves experienced, he did so for very problematic reasons (and within a very Roman blame-the-victim framework.) Musonius criticized the slavery sexual abuse only as an infidelity question (he was concerned with the privileged Roman wife), he was not addressing the fundamental violence that is inherent in abuse (nor did he have concern for the effects on the victim), nor was he condemning the slavery institution that enforced this very violence. And for that, we can flush Musonius down the toilet. But as I mention below, I wonder if anyone actually criticized sexual abuse for its violence done to the enslaved, if anyone actually mustered to think outside the constraints of the Roman ideological system that everyone was conditioned to from birth? I certainly think so, because even in the worst of worlds, the human spirit fights exactly in that respect, it yearns for and seeks a justice of thought. But often these people have to fight it alone, because they find no echo in the blind idiots that swarm around them.
I always think it’s interesting how much “history” erases so many dissenting voices. How many other people thought like Musonius regarding equality of the sexes, even if they were a minority? What else did they think? There are a lot of non-famous people whom I know that have some really key attitudes and values and they will never be recorded. And a lot of repellent people, who have the power to be recorded, are going down as the “voices of our times.” So much for the sham that history is in that respect.
The other thing which I find amusing is how many of these philosophers went into exile or had to flee one place or another because of their teachings. I mean, this was really common, most of them had to flee for their lives and do it in a jiffy. Then they start all these politicking maneuvers to get some favor from some powerful people so that they can either return or go somewhere else. A touchy kind of society 😉 Open your mouth a little too freely and on the next boat you go! 🙂
Going back to Musonius, he does remind me though of a lot of First World feminists I’ve met or read, that view “women’s rights” from their ultra-privileged perspective, and usually can care less about racism or violence problems that are perpetrated by women, for example, since it’s not something they are victimized by. There is no mention about Musonius criticizing homos and bisexual men abusing male slaves either. Which doesn’t mean he didn’t, just that it’s not mentioned.
And the other interesting point, not that it is news, was how Christianity brought very little change for good to the Roman slavery system even as the centuries went on. Eventually…
There was a noticeable change in the course of slavery as the empire aged. The spread of the Christian church played a role, as many leading Christians were opposed to the institution. Though the church and its priests owned slaves as well, the church was at times vocal against the institution and that certainly was a factor on the psyche of the people. More importantly, however, the high cost to purchase slaves, the crumbling economic conditions, and the devalued currency, made employment of the masses a better alternative to maintaining large properties of slaves. The gradual shift from Imperial rule to feudalism and the role of the serf or peasant in middle age Europe eventually did away with the practice in name. However, the role of the serf offered little benefit over Roman slavery, as people forcibly worked for the lords or kings with little opportunity for personal advancement.
As the saying so insightfully reveals, Things must change so that…
An interesting, but self-congratulatory and highly self-serving account is at the Catholica Encyclopedia, with an example that I find just ghastly:
St. Paul recommends slaves to seek in all things to please their masters, not to contradict them, to do them no wrong, to honour them, to be loyal to them, so as to make the teaching of God Our Saviour shine forth before the eyes of all, and to prevent that name and teaching from being blasphemed (cf. 1 Timothy 6:1; Titus 2:9, 10).
[in other words, total submission to all that is wrong and which upholds a horrible system, which is also my take on what St. Paul was all about – simply disgusting and completely immoral – no wonder so many equally corrupt Church men promoted him throughout the centuries]. There is also a parallel here to what society used to tell all children regarding their parents, even those children being profoundly abused.
One real change though, is mentioned here:
Absolute religious equality, as proclaimed by Christianity, was therefore a novelty. The Church made no account of the social condition of the faithful. Bond and free received the same sacraments. Clerics of servile origin were numerous (St. Jerome, Ep. lxxxii). The very Chair of St. Peter was occupied by men who had been slaves — Pius in the second century, Callistus in the third. So complete — one might almost say, so levelling — was this Christian equality that St. Paul (1 Timothy 6:2), and, later, St. Ignatius (Polyc., iv), are obliged to admonish the slave and the handmaid not to contemn their masters, “believers like them and sharing in the same benefits”. In giving them a place in religious society, the Church restored to slaves the family and marriage. In Roman, law, neither legitimate marriage, nor regular paternity, nor even impediment to the most unnatural unions had existed for the slave (Digest, XXXVIII, viii, i, (sect) 2; X, 10, (sect) 5). The Apostolic Constitutions impose upon the master the duty of making his slave contract “a legitimate marriage” (III, iv; VIII, xxxii). St. John Chrysostom declares that slaves have the marital power over their wives and the paternal over their children (“In Ep. ad Ephes.”, Hom. xxii, 2). He says that “he who has immoral relations with the wife of a slave is as culpable as he who has the like relations with the wife of the prince: both are adulterers, for it is not the condition of the parties that makes the crime” (“In I Thess.”, Hom. v, 2; “In II Thess.”, Hom. iii, 2).
Restroom’s gay review stirs the pot in Malden
By Matthew Keough/ Malden Observer
A gay Web site’s praise of bawdy bathroom behavior in Malden City Hall has sparked a tempest over the toilet.
The mayor is ordering the first-floor men’s room to remain open while city councilors want it locked up or a security plan put in place.
“The public needs these kinds of facilities and I don’t see the need of closing it,” said Malden Mayor Richard Howard, adding others are “overreacting” to the gay site.
An anonymous letter sent to the City Council alerted them to a five-star ranking on the Gay Universe site for male-on-male sexual encounters in the stalls.
The men’s room in Malden City Hall is the only municipal building listed, according to the site. It’s a desirable destination some politicians are determined to blot out.
“God forbid someone’s kids are in there when this is going on,” said Councilor John Furlong.
City Council President Michael T. Sheehan, in a letter faxed to the Herald, called on the mayor to present a “security plan” to protect those who need to use the bathroom if he intends to keep it open.
Frank Conway of the Government Center Commission, which oversees the bathrooms, said there have been arrests for trespassing and damage.
“I just hope we don’t have to hire a detail officer to stay down there,” he added.
And if guys out there don’t know this, please be aware that female locker rooms are not longer safe for heterosexual women thanks to the garbage of lesbiuns and bisexuals out there. Not regarding physical attack or aggression, usually, but regarding sexual harassment type behavior (looks, stares, body language, etc).
How long before we can clean up society of this trash of people?
Although some insurers do not cover it, the number of people undergoing the procedures, which cost $25,000 to $40,000, has increased rapidly, jumping from about 16,000 operations in 1992 to an estimated 170,000 in 2005.
The increase is amazing. In other 10 years, will it reach a million people???
Modern society and its discontents.
With one-third of Americans obese, public health experts have become increasingly concerned about the long-term impact on the nation’s health. Despite numerous efforts to get Americans to eat better and exercise more, many people find it impossible to lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off, especially those who are extremely overweight.
And the whole world seems to be going in this direction. It’s sad.
Interesting to observe, though, that even with obesity rates skyrocketing as they are, and such a huge number of people being obese, they have not been able to change one iota the current drastic and inflexible thin model of beauty. Which is a complete contrast to how homosexuality is being driven down everyone’s throat in society, reshaping very distorted, dysfunctional (even violent) standards of behavior, thoughts, and attitudes as normal and good. It is clear, this “reshaping” is not something new, it is just old, dysfunctional sexism with a new face. (I need to copy here some of my recent comments at Ace’s to clarify). By the way, Ace and his commenters are going through one of their ugly, shallow periods right now, so I haven’t read much. And don’t feel like doing work right now (that is, searching for the threads I commented on that have to do with this).
Paul Marcinkus – dead [I have an impression that this guy just stank completely, criminally – if it is true, so sad that he got away with it]