Tony Dalmyn

Corn is not a Vegetable

Reuters Science News has a new story today reporting that the genome of maize has been sequenced, which reminds me that corn is a grain. It is a starchy carbohydrate. Like rice and wheat it could be cultivated to produce an abundant harvest that would feed villages and cities. It was a miracle food. It …

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In Defence of Food

In Defence of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto has received favourable reviews in the LA Times and the Sunday Times (of London), and is a bestseller at this point in time. Michael Pollan is an experienced journalist and writer. He reviews a fair amount of history and science in a short book. He tries to talk …

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Yummy

The National Post has been publishing a series of articles titled “Beyond Belief”. A piece by Charles Lewis or Charlie Lewis (not the Charles Lewis of 60 Minutes and the Center for Public Integrity) titled “The Trouble with Mary”, featured at AL Daily, discussed the psychology and semantics of “belief” and “faith”. Lewis found a …

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Old Age

My parents are getting old, and old age is not pretty. My mother has had Alzheimer disease or another form of progressive denile dementia for about 5 or 6 years, although it took some time for her physician to learn all the symptoms – my mother thought that it was in her interest to minimize …

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Catching Up – Templeton and Positive Psychology

Having mentioned Templeton, the mutual fund manager turned patron of the spiritual arts, in passing in my entry Ruse on Evolution, and Seligman’s Positive Psychology movement in my entry Psychology in Recovery and Be Happy, I was interested in “John Templeton’s Universe” in the The Nation. Barbara Ehrenreich looks at the weirdness that happens when …

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Wonder Books

From The American Scholar, a review of the style of popular and literary fiction based on healing journeys: Brooklyn Books of Wonder, by Melvin Jules Bukiet. It’s a savage assessment of my least favourite literature, sentimental fiction. It has a good explanation of why this stuff sellsit works: narcissistic empathy. Read it, weep and perceive …

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Light Exercise

Link to an excerpt from Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease, a new book by Gary Taubes, published in New York Magazine, The Scientist and the Stairmaster. Taubes says that the idea that light exercise is a way to lose weight has been oversold. He agrees that …

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