"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Consumption Junction 

As everyone knows, I love food. Most people do, and pretty much all animals do too. Since diet is such a critical part of living, organisms have evolved ways to encourage themselves to eat healthily, and sometimes these mechanisms pop up in wired ways. For instance, it seems that morning sickness, that misery of early pregnancy, may have evolved to protect the mother and fetus from dietary risks. The sickness is most often brought on by meats, which are naturally full of toxins and parasites (while these are mostly eliminated by modern food preparation, evolution has had no reason to change the phenotype), encouraging mothers to eat healthy cereals and fruits.

Tangentially related, paleontologists have unearthed a number of new fossils in northern Australia, which represent a group of carnivores not before seen: a killer kangaroo and a demon duck of doom. I want pictures and Pixar movies!!!

Finally, it's possible to live happily and eat well without destroying the planet in the process. A large international survey of happiness (warning: details sketchy, methodology unclear) has ranked the south Pacific nation Vanatu as happiest, with Japan 95th, the UK 108th, and the US 150th. Interesting idea, but the external validity is dubious.

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