Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Walkabout Wednesday: saturated fat is good for you, tailgating?, and CANADA WINS!

Saturated fat is good for you, tailgating?, and CANADA WINS!

My Health

Jason Fung has a nice post summarizing some experimental studies and meta-analyses that highlight how saturated fat protects against heart disease. I noticed that the studies from Japan were publicly funded. The others were behind paywalls. 

BUT, you should eat your fruit. Bears prefer berries over salmon. All that sugar helps them gain fat! 

Your Education

Vivek Wadha (WaPo) and Robert Reich write about the value of a college education, both pointing out that college graduates earn more than non-grads and the difference is growing faster than tuition. Reich has a more nuanced point, however. The reason college graduates earn more is because non-grads are earning less than they used to, not because college graduate earn more than they used to. Ouch. Neither of them point out that where you go to college matters much, much, less than what you study. Wadha also has some interesting statistics about student debt
... in 2007–08, the median debt nation wide of graduating seniors at non-profit colleges and universities was roughly $10,000, and 36 percent graduated with no debt at all. At one of the most expensive universities in the country, Stanford, students graduated with less than $5,000 average debt, and 77 percent of the Class of 2013 graduated debt-free. Of the 23 percent who graduated with some debt, the median amount of debt was $13,000.
which seem very low. If true, then why so much fuss? I had 3 times that amount when I finished my BSc. Maybe the key phrase is "... non-profit colleges and universities ...".

One of the things that is most annoying to me about my current place of employment is that it's a dry campus. This is a nice article about drinking at the University of Georgia, where things seem to go the other extreme. It's not just students:
Tailgates are reunions, rituals, traditions. They are also daylong drinking parties, ...
Tailgating before football games is one of the stranger phenomena I've encountered here in the USA. I'd really like to see a careful analysis with a range of educational and health endpoints for campuses like ours and UG that take very different approaches to drinking on campus. I'm not sure our dry campus means our students drink less. And if not, then ...?

Our Environment

And it's CANADA for the win! Oops. In deforestation. Hmm, not something to be the global leader in.

Apparently there are 35,000 deer in East Hampton, NY, and residents have had enough. They tried culling
Only 192 deer were killed by sharpshooters in the cull, barely denting the 35,000-strong deer herd.
Fail. So
A not-for-profit called White Buffalo will tranquilize the deer with dart guns, and transport them to veterinarians where their ovaries will be removed.
Sure, that could work ... except it costs $1000 per deer, and they're wildly happy about raising $110,000 ... wait ... that's about 110 deer. But they'll feel better because they did something, and it was humane. Too bad the rate of auto-deer collisions and garden damage won't go down one bit. 

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