Saturday, November 12, 2016

In Other News

When intelligence agents where trying to weed out any potential Fifth Columnists during World War II from the thousands of Japanese herded into internment camps, they often asked," Whom do you want to win the war, America or Japan?" One man said, "It's like your father and mother are fighting. You don't care who wins, you just want them to stop." While I write this without knowing the outcome of the election, and the analogy is an imperfect one at best, the end result is the same. For while I may care who wins, I just want it to be over.

With our long national nightmare of an election behind us (though for roughly half the population the next four years will be a nightmare of another sort), many share my feeling. We have been battered and bruised by the seemingly endless campaign. Even if you consider yourself a political junkie, it's been a like a record stuck in a groove that repeats endlessly. After all, I don't care how much you liked Barbara Alston, Dee Dee Kenniebrew, Patsy Wright and Dolores Brooks, but if all you heard for 18 months was "Da do ron ron ron, da do ron ron," you would have grown to hate The Crystals.

On top of that, it's been like a black hole for other stories. The world didn't stop turning, and items of interest good and bad have been happening. But they didn't stand a chance of seeing the light of day if the headline didn't contain the phrase "Email" or "Hot Mic." Thank goodness there wasn't an alien invasion; no one would have paid any attention. It recalls comedian Robert Klein's observation that when he was a kid the air raid sirens were tested at 12PM. He noted that someone at the Kremlin should figure it out: "Ivan! Why don't we attack at noon? They think it's lunch!"

As such, there were lots of items that never saw the light of day. Herein a selection.

The American Chemical Society reported that you can die from a sugar overdose if you eat 13.5 grams of sugar for every pound of your body weight in one sitting. Since the average American man weighs 195.5 pounds, that means that 251 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, 155 fun size Snickers, or 102 fun size packages of M&Ms is a death sentence. Women are generally smaller, so they have an even lower tolerance of death by Milky Way.

When fans of Girl Scout cookies place their orders next year, they may have to wait weeks to get them, but only until morning to eat them. General Mills announced plans for limited-edition Girl Scout cookie cereal. It will come in two flavors, Thin Mints and Caramel Crunch. And don't even ask how much sugar they have in them.

According to a new study from Yale University, chubbier dads live longer than other men. Even more interesting, they are more attractive to women. First, the health angle: seems that when you lose a little muscle mass and gain a little fat, it actually helps your body shift some of its resources toward your immune system instead of your physique. As for the other angle, researchers say that a dad with some chubbiness is implying he's focused on kids above his appearance, making him a more desirable mate. (See last two paragraphs for method to achieve this as well as cautions.)

Finally, researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia found that people liked their meal more when they had a mismatched appetizer. Their theory is that when you eat foods that are similar, you compare them to each other. Better to start with something different, then each stands on its own. Researchers had people eat pasta with garlic and oil after an appetizer. Half of them started with minestrone soup, and half of them started with a Thai soup. The second group enjoyed each course more, while the first compared one to the other. Seems that if you have foods that don't belong together, it's easier to mentally keep them separate, and you're evaluating each on their own merits.

Now that this democratic equivalent of a demolition derby is over, maybe some other important items of this type will rise into our vision. So let's kick back, have some spring rolls followed by a taco, and get back to normal.


Marc Wollin of Bedford doesn't care if he ever hears the word "poll" again. His column appears regularly in The Record-Review, The Scarsdale Inquirer and online at, as well as via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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