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[ With kind regards to The Right Honourable Joseph Addison, c. 1709 ]
Look around you and see if you can spot any wild animals ( excluding the marine mammals – which need blubber for heat-insulation ) which are obese.
I think you will find it a great rarity. However, farmers have known for centuries how to force animals and birds – which are by nature quite trim in the wild – to get very fat, very quickly. They weigh more, and meat is generally sold by weight. Fatter animal : fatter profit.
In case you are not a farmer yourself, here’s how to do it. You feed them lots of carbohydrates ( normally in the form of grains ) . Nowadays, if you are completely scruple-free, you may increase the speed of fattening even further with the addition of various chemical ‘growth promoters’. ( consult your legal advisor first though ).
Now, honestly, what is the great mystery regarding the current ‘human obesity epidemic’ ? If you don’t like your colleagues calling you ‘ Cornfed ’ then may I suggest that you stop eating corn ( and, of course, the abhorrently obese farmed animals which are fed on it ).
Throughout history, how many times has someone wondered ’ What are dreams for ’ ? – as you do. Well, here is my answer.
Our brains are very impressive random-access memory storage systems are they not ? It is true that many of us have substantially less than perfect memories – but, nevertheless, most people do remember truly astonishing amounts of information – both useful, and useless. I’ll warrant for example, that you can remember substantial portions of popular songs which were in vogue when you were growing up – however long ago that may be – and however asinine those songs were. Am I wrong ?
Now, bearing in mind that the brain’s memory storage facilities are not infinite, it will become apparent that over time, the individual memories will necessarily become ‘fragmented’ ( as any owner of a hard-disc drive will – or at least should – know ).
To maintain efficiency, and in order to compact and consolidate the data on any random access storage device, it is periodically necessary to ‘de-fragment’ the ‘files’ from time to time. This is not biology – it is mathematics.
Our dreams are simply the artifacts ( welcome or unwelcome, useful or useless ) caused as our brain ‘de-frags’ itself as we sleep.
I think you may be somewhat confused over the usually accepted meaning of the word ‘ falsifiable ‘ in scientific parlance. It is employed as a logical tool to drive a wedge between things which stand a chance of being scientifically proven – and things which do not.
Thus, if I were to claim ; “ I believe that all inhabitants of planet Thargyla have five eyes “ you would be able to shoot my hypothesis down in flames ; simply by pointing out that, since no-one has visited planet Thargyla, and almost certainly won’t be doing so in the near future, it would, therefore, be impossible for anyone to ‘prove’ that I am wrong.
In other words, my conjecture is not ‘falsifiable’ – and thus it is not worth listening to me.
Your own take on the meaning of the word – which if I may paraphrase, goes along the lines of ‘There are lies, damn lies, statistics, and scientific research papers’ is not the usual modus-operandi of the word – though, regrettably, I can very well see how the confusion may have arisen.
Would I recommend studying Geology as a smart career-move ? Well, I’m not at all sure. The majority of geologists who are lucky enough to end up in the top-strata of well-remunerated posts – are working for the oil industry. So, if you are interested in boring perhaps it might be the right move.
Yes, of course I’m always happy to advise on the subtle intricacies of wine/food combining. I confess though that the challenge which you have set me stretches my knowledge of oenology to its very limits. My first guess was that a Portuguese Touriga Nacional Dão might fit the bill, but the flavors shift more to the leathery side – candied orange and caramel with wild berry overtones on the forefront. So on reflection, I plumped for a Gozitan Syrah Ulysses 2005 – timbres of salted almonds and fresh vanilla pods, yet, dare I say, bordering on the volcanic – I simply cannot imagine a better wine to complement a deep-fried MarsBar™.
I am as much surprised by, as I am admirable of, your impertinence, in asking, ‘How old are you ?’. I honestly do not think though that the majority my readers would be in the least interested in such a trivial detail. Though perhaps I can give you a clue, by telling you that my first draft of a possible title for my contributions to this venerable publication was ‘ The Ancient Geek Column ‘ . . .
[ Eiron, why didn’t you mention that ? Might use it. Thanks. Ed. ]
Don’t be so pessimistic, fried food can be wonderfully nutritious and supremely tasty if correctly prepared.
The ‘secret’ of frying can be summed up in one word.
You should always ensure that any foodstuffs which you intend to prepare by frying are resoundly ‘surprised’ – that is to say by a very hot oil into which they are quickly, and fully, submersed. This has the effect of instantly forming a crispy outer layer which, counter-intuitively perhaps, is almost impervious to the oil.
The foodstuff will thus self-cook quite marvelously inside this ‘skin’, and the flavours and nutrients will not leak out as they do with that reprehensible process which is as much the enemy of nutrition as it is of gustative delight – viz. boiling.
( please note that I am quite in favour of steaming though )
[ Eiron : hmmmmm . . . have you by any chance recently been reading Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s ‘The Physiology of Taste’ (1825) ? Ed. ]
No, I’m sorry to tell you that you have been badly misinformed. I’m not sure where this commonly-heard myth originated – but it’s unadulterated piffle. Egg-boxes are almost completely ineffectual for sound insulation purposes.
If you would like to insulate yourself from noise – then think about seriously heavy, double-layer concrete walls, nicely sealed at the joints and with an air-gap between them.
I know ( from experience ) there’s a good chance that I won’t even begin to convince you of your egg-boxes’ inappropriatenesses – but ask yourself the following question.
If you were designing a container for eggs, would you make it out of concrete ?
Yes, I think that there’s every chance that the keyboard of an average ATM ( i.e. hole-in-the-wall machine ) will be positively swarming with bacteria.
They are poked and prodded the whole day long by all and sundry, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that they are likely to be – on a microscopic level at least – quite repulsively filthy.