Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ruminations Friday. Well, Almost.

I'm off early tomorrow for Mardi Gras and won't be back online till next Thursday, so I'm having "Ruminations Friday" a little early this week. The best and worst from my bookmarks....

* Forget the tax rebate checks the feds are promising us. The British government has the right idea. Reward people for losing weight by paying them. "Money for Weight" was one of a number of ideas put forth, along with such boring and sensible things as locating fast-food restaurants farther from schools. But the school idea is aimed at kids; the money is aimed at overweight adults. Let's see, at $1 per pound, I could make....

* Ever wonder how cows feel about low carb? Just ask Runaway Steer, a big beefy guy who escaped from a slaughterhouse in Cincinnati. I was having fun thinking about this, imagining Big Beef on the rampage through urban Ohio, when I read that this is a repeat incident--a steer named Little Red escaped in the Cincinnati area last year. Now I'm wondering what it is with Ohio and cows...

* As if hauling my own big butt around isn't enough, now I can "exercise" throughout the day by wearing myPower Diet Shoes. These are athletic shoes with weights in the insole, so you lug around a few extra pounds as you shop for groceries or, as the photo on the website shows, as you jog through the sand on an isolated beach. And don't we all do that?

* Leave it to the spoilsport Aussies to tell us that, after all, chocolate isn't good for us. Now that they're slipping dark chocolate into everything under the sun, this study from the University of Western Australia says that consuming cocoa can lead to bone weakening in women due to the oxalate in the cocoa that leeches calcium. I say, just put extra calcium in the chocolate and bring it on.

* Finally, someone has come up with a way to punish Chinese industry for selling us all those unsafe pet foods and kids' toys. According to this Reuters story, Dunkin Donuts is moving into the Chinese market by opening its first store in Shanghai. Yep, that'll show 'em--send them our trans fats and sugar.

* Some aroma researchers have isolated a handful of smells that they claim stimulate male sexual response. I tried to imagine how these results were tested and verified, but decided it was really better that I didn't know. So, ladies, light your lavender candles and bake some pumpkin pie. Here are the aromas and the percentage of "increased penile blood flow" (and how many times do you get to type that into a food blog?):

Odor or odor combination....Average increase in penile blood flow

Lavender and pumpkin pie...40% average increase
Doughnut & black licorice...31.5%
Pumpkin pie & doughnut....20%
Lavender & doughnut...18%
Black licorice and cola...13%
Black licorice...13%
Doughnut & cola...12.5%
Lily of the valley...11%
Buttered popcorn...9%


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