Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cleaning Out the Bookmarks

It's time for my periodic purge of the stuff cluttering up my inbox and bookmarks--you know, kind of All the News That Wasn't Quite Fit to Print. In no particular order...

• It's Harry Potter month! I love the HP books, even if JK Rowling doesn't need any more money. Today's the release of the fifth movie, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"--not my favorite of the books, but I'm still anxious to see it. And on the 21st comes the release of the seventh and final book. How much do I love Harry? Well, my big souvenir when I went to London a couple of years ago was a boxed set of the original Brit version of the first four books, which weighed a ton and I had to schlep them all the way from Picadilly to my little Kensington hotel, then through Heathrow and JFK and all the way back to New Orleans. Anyhow, if you're a fan of the books, you know the kids are--what a surprise--always eating sweets of such notoriety as Bertie Bott's Every-Flavored jellybeans and Cockroach Clusters. So in honor of Harry, here's a set of recipes for your Potter party. Not a low-carb option among them. Oh well.

• Speaking of Harry Potter, there was an an interesting article recently out of Worcester about how overweight children are portrayed in literature. Think about it. If you read the Potter books, you know the horrendous cousin Dudley Dursley, who's such a little porker that one of the first acts of magic in book 1 was to fit him with a pig's tail. Is it any wonder kids grow up to objectify and ridicule fat people? (And, no, let's not start that discussion again!)

• Now here's some shaky science. A group of Edinburgh researchers have concluded that--gasp--sugar is not only not bad for you, it's downright helpful in losing weight. (Excuse me while I finish choking.) Yes, sugar was deemed to help dieters feel more satisfied on their diets and stay on them longer. Oh, and that's only when combined with 60 minutes of brisk exercise per day. Oh, never mind. That one's just too stupid to take on.

• A group of pointy-headed scientists at Yale have spent the better part of a week discussing whether or not people really do have food addictions. It's actually pretty interesting in terms of how people with severe food dysfunction describe their eating in the same terms used by drug or alcohol addicts. Yet it also differs from "traditional" addictions in that it does not accelerate in the same way. Now, I know that when I've been eating low carb for a while and I eat some sugary thing, it sets off an out-of-control craving and it takes a lot of self-control to resist diving headfirst into a vat of Ho-Hos. Would that make me a Ho-Ho 'Ho? But I digress.

• Last, but not least, this interesting piece about high-carb (also read: low-fat) diets increasing the risk of people developing cardiac disease--particularly overweight people...who are the most likely to be on high-carb, low-fat diets. Particularly true of carbs coming from processed foods. I swear, I think all these processed foods are killing us but who has freakin' time to cook? I leave the house at around 7:30 a.m. and get home about 6 p.m. Yeah, I know, plan ahead. Cook on weekends for the whole week. Guess the real truth is, I don't enjoy cooking. I'd rather read Harry Potter books and eat cockroach clusters.

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