"A little portion of literacy is set to be served up alongside the cheeseburgers and fries at McDonald's after the fast food chain committed to giving away 15 million books with its Happy Meals over the next two years [...] McDonald's has now committed to a new, long-term campaign backed by the National Literacy Trust." —The cheap plastic toys in Happy Meals have been the targets of bans in San Francisco. McDonald's stores in Britain are getting ahead by replacing the toys with cheap books.
"Forget dieting; just cut down a little on the fat in what you eat and you'll lose weight. The confirmation that you can lose weight without eating less comes from a review of studies involving nearly 75,000 people – none of whom were trying to lose weight. The pounds fell off when they changed to a diet containing less fat." —Apparently, if most of what you can eat is food that is no fun, you will decrease the sad number of pounds you are shuffling along with. I imagine this would also work if you cut down a little on the alcohol, but I will allow Science to [...]
Chris Christie Will Do Literally Anything, Including Be Nice To Barack Obama, To Get Bruce Springsteen's Approval
Chris Christie's sudden respect for Barack Obama has enraged conservatives and the Romney campaign, but it makes sense when you remember that Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen more than anything, and a disaster just hit New Jersey, and Springsteen will obviously do a benefit. But Springsteen, who is such a Famous Democrat that he actually campaigns with Obama, refuses to have anything to do with Christie. What might change Bruce's feelings for the Republican governor of New Jersey? What might make The Boss finally give a little love back to his biggest (!) fan, Chris Christie?
This should do it:
Springsteen To Perform At Sandy Benefit [...]
The debating season may be presidential, but if the spectacle of supersized pandering served with an unlimited salad bar of platitudes, slogans, and empty promises strikes you as strangely unfulfilling, there is always academia, where, sometimes, the politics are as equally vicious because the stakes are equally as high. Such was the case in San Antonio recently, at the Obesity Society's 30th annual meeting, the premier scientific conference in the US on what is, arguably, the nation's most pressing health problem. As the prologue to a four-day Finnegan's Wake of technical discussion (did you know that NMDA receptor NR2B subunits in the parabrachial nucleus mediate compensatory feeding?), the society's presidential [...]
Can you even get your head around the idea that we once lived in a world where women were encouraged to GAIN WEIGHT and show off fuller figures? It's crazy! I can't believe it, and neither can Matt Lauer, who calls it "a world upside-down." And how! So bizarre!
"Research by the Institute of Economic Affairs argues that a tax on fatty food could actually increase the burden on the health system and unfairly penalise the poor. It believes there are flaws in the current government anti-obesity policies which make them not only unfair but potentially costly. It claims that the obese cost the economy more when they are alive but because they die earlier they avoid expensive round the clock care later in life." Also doing their part: smokers.
Here is a scientific explanation for the reason that, even though you have gorged yourself on turkey and stuffing and potatoes and cheese and a bunch of bread and whatever else you've crammed down your gullet, you're still all, "Yeah, I could have some pie."
So we're all agreed that the polite thing to do for the next couple of weeks is not mention the extra pounds we've put on over the last few days, right? RIGHT?
"U.S. food companies are reaching children by embedding their products in simple and enticing games for touch-screen phones and tablets. The new medium is far cheaper than Saturday morning TV commercials and could prove as effective."
"Every extra hour of television that a toddler watches weekly takes a toll on their waist size and athletic ability by the time they turn ten, claim scientists. Waistlines of ten-year-olds who had watched 18 hours a week at the age of four were 7.6mm bigger than those of children who had watched the average amount of 14.8 hours, the study found. The distance children could jump was also reduced by a third of a centimetre for each extra hour of TV they had watched per week at the age of two."
"Slater’s 50/50, a Southern California burger chain, has launched a 100-percent-bacon burger (a ground bacon patty topped with a slice of thick-cut bacon, bacon-cheddar cheese, a sunny-side-up egg and, yes, 'bacon island dressing')."
"More than one in every 10 Americans feels drowsy during the day, and the leading causes appear to be fatness and sadness."
"The largest ever study into the state of the world's health has revealed that, for the first time, the number of years of healthy living lost as a result of people eating too much outweigh the number lost by people eating too little."
America engaged in a few moments of phony communal nostalgia for the Hostess Twinkie today, as the news got around that the Texas-based snack manufacturer would shut down operations and sell its assets following bankruptcy and a long battle between the brand's current private equity owners, creditors and the union representing 18,500 bakery and factory workers. The biggest losers, as always, are the employees. With a Kochian sneer, Hostess CEO Gregory F. Rayburn announced that "Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders."
Oh, the Twinkie! How will America recover, etc. First, [...]
"I'm flying Southwest and I oftentimes take the middle seat. I don't think Christie is taking the middle seat. So I'm doing my part for austerity." —California's Jerry Brown fires back at portly New Jersey pol Chris Christie, who recently referred to the Golden State governor as an "old retread." As delightful as it is to see politicians spar, I am struck by the notion of how horrible it would feel to board a plane and realize you'd be sitting next to either one of these gentlemen. I guess if I had to choose I'd pick Brown, but only because of the certainty that I'd be asleep within ten [...]
If you are for some reason so inclined, here is how to make a Big Mac in your own kitchen. Although I have to think that no matter how closely you follow the instructions, you're never going to attain that particular flavor that is associated with the existential despair of actually being in a McDonald's and ordering a Big Mac. You know the taste. It's a mixture of resignation and umami. [Via]