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Primalisms: Exercise, Autism, Plastic, Marilyn Monroe & More

April 21, 2012

(Photo by Anders Ljungberg)

1) The 6 finalists of New York Times essay contest, in response to: “Tell us why it’s ethical to eat meat.”

2) Jogging Your Brain.

There is an easy-to-achieve, scientifically proven way to make yourself smarter. Go for a walk or a swim… scientists in just the past few months have discovered that exercise appears to build a brain that resists physical shrinkage and enhance cognitive flexibility. Exercise, the latest neuroscience suggests, does more to bolster thinking than thinking does. 

3) Eating meat helped early humans reproduce, spread around the globe.

“If early humans had been vegans we might all still be living in caves”

4) Sixth graders: Give us time to eat at school.

In the Minneapolis public schools, we are supposed to have 15 minutes to eat, which would be bad enough. But realistically we get only 10 to 11 minutes (we have been timing it).

5) Paying the Price of a Fat Pet

“About half of all dogs and cats in American homes are overweight or obese”

6) Like bacon? How about 1,050 slices on your burger?

7) New study links autism to high-fructose corn syrup

Essentially, HFCS can interfere with the body’s uptake of certain dietary minerals — namely zinc. And that, when combined with other mineral deficiencies common among Americans, can cause susceptible individuals to develop autism.

8) How to read a research paper.

9)  It Doesn’t Mean You’re Crazy – Talking to Yourself Has Cognitive Benefits, Study Finds

10) Yawning helps cool your brain.

  • When you yawn, the influx of cool air may ventilate your sinuses and facilitate brain cooling
  • Brain temperatures increase when you’re sleep deprived, which may be one reason why exhaustion triggers excessive yawning

11) Marilyn’s bizarre (paleo) eating.

Whacko! An article from the 1952 issue of Pageant that outlines Marilyn’s eating routine…and beyond. It’s intriguingly Paleo, you’ll note: milk, eggs, liver, lamb chops. Remember, up until quite recently a grain-based diet was seen as fattening (i.e. farmers fed their pigs grains to fatten them up). It was roughly the 1950s when cereal companies started changing the dietary messaging.

12) If the food’s in plastic, what’s in the food?

…researchers put five San Francisco families on a three-day diet of food that hadn’t been in contact with plastic. When they compared urine samples before and after the diet, the scientists were stunned to see what a difference a few days could make: The participants’ levels of bisphenol A (BPA), which is used to harden polycarbonate plastic, plunged — by two-thirds, on average — while those of the phthalate DEHP, which imparts flexibility to plastics, dropped by more than half.

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