The most important part here is that we are in full control of how we release glucose to our blood and our brains. Certain foods release glucose quickly, whilst others do so more slowly, yet sustainably. For your brain researcher Leigh Gibson found this to be optimal:
“The brain works best with about 25 grams of glucose circulating in the blood stream — about the amount found in a banana.”
And this is the tricky part: the way you can get those 25 grams of glucose into your blood stream is pretty easy. You can eat a donut. Or you can eat a small bowl of oats. There is virtually no difference in the very short term for your brain activity.
Over the stretch of a normal 8 hour day however, the differences are spectacular. After eating the donut, we will release glucose into our blood very quickly. We will have about 20 minutes of alertness. Then our glucose level will drop rapidly, leaving you unfocused and easy to distract. It’s like putting the foot down on the gas pedal until you’ve used all your fuel.
The oats on the other hand will release their sugar as glucose much slower. This means we will have a steady glucose level, better focus and attention levels. Another important factor are your Leptin levels. Leptin will signal to your brain how full you are. If you are now guessing that a donut won’t signal your brain to be full for a long time, whilst oats will, well, you are right:
Democracy at work:
Mayor Stubbs has been at the helm of the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska for 15 years – an impressive feat for any elected official, but even more so considering Stubbs is a cat.
The part-manx is popular among residents, who voted him into office in a write-in election a decade and a half ago when he was a kitten, after rejecting the human candidates on the ballot.
“Lo and behold, Stubbs the cat won the write-in that year,” one resident told NBC affiliate WBBH. “And he’s been our mayor ever since.”
Not just an indictment of Romney, but of all people who disregard the poor
The thing about not having much money is you have to take much more responsibility for your life. You can’t pay people to watch your kids or clean your house or fix your meals. You can’t necessarily afford a car or a washing machine or a home in a good school district. That’s what money buys you: goods and services that make your life easier.
That’s what money has bought Romney, too. He’s a guy who sold his dad’s stock to pay for college, who built an elevator to ensure easier access to his multiple cars and who was able to support his wife’s decision to be a stay-at-home mom. That’s great! That’s the dream.
The problem is that he doesn’t seem to realize how difficult it is to focus on college when you’re also working full time, how much planning it takes to reliably commute to work without a car, or the agonizing choices faced by families in which both parents work and a child falls ill. The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it.
There is a lecture about belief that Teller has given exactly four times. He has never allowed the lecture to be recorded in any way. Unless you were in the audience, it has never happened. It is called the Red Ball, after a trick he added relatively recently to Penn & Teller’s Las Vegas show. Before Teller performs the trick, Penn announces to the hushed theater: “The next trick is done with a piece of thread.” Teller then takes the stage, on which there is a simple bench, with a red ball and a wooden hoop in his hands. He bounces the ball. He gives it to a member of the audience to bounce. And then he drops the ball before he somehow makes it roll around the stage and back and forth along the bench, as though on command. Sometimes the ball is stuck to one of his fingers or to the small of his back; sometimes it is several feet out of his reach. He even has it jump through the hoop. All of which makes it impossible for him to be performing the Red Ball with a piece of thread. Penn must be lying. There must be something more to the trick.
In his lectures, Teller explained that the trick did not originate with him. It is based on techniques developed by a largely forgotten man named David P. Abbott, a loan shark who lived in Omaha and did magic in front of invitation-only audiences in his specially built parlor. Houdini, Kellar, Ching Ling Foo, Thurston — all the great magicians of the era made the pilgrimage to Omaha and left baffled. One of Abbott’s tricks involved a golden ball that floated in the air around him. But rather than use a thread suspended from the ceiling, Abbott revealed posthumously in his Book of Mysteries, he ran the thread horizontally from his ear to the wall. By manipulating that thread with his careful hands, he could make that golden ball seem as though it were defying reality. Best of all, he could pass a hoop over it — what magicians call a prover — and eliminate a piece of thread from his audience’s range of possibility, because a horizontal thread had never entered their imagination. They were looking only for the vertical.
This is a president who has yet to realize the lofty expectations that propelled him from obscurity to the Oval Office, whose idealism or naïveté or hubris has been tempered by four years in the fires. Long after the messiah jokes vanished, the oh-so-mortal Barack Hussein Obama is left to make the case that while progress is slow, he is taking America to a better place — and that he will be a better president over the next four years.
Perhaps the biggest influence on our feelings about lines, though, has to do with our perception of fairness. When it comes to lines, the universally acknowledged standard is first come first served: any deviation is, to most, a mark of iniquity and can lead to violent queue rage. Last month a man was stabbed at a Maryland post office by a fellow customer who mistakenly thought he’d cut in line. Professor Larson calls these unwelcome intrusions “slips” and “skips.”
The demand for fairness extends beyond mere self-interest. Like any social system, lines are governed by an implicit set of norms that transcend the individual. A study of fans in line for U2 tickets found that people are just as upset by slips and skips that occur behind them, and thus don’t lengthen their wait, as they are by those in front of them.
Surveys show that many people will wait twice as long for fast food, provided the establishment uses a first-come-first-served, single-queue ordering system as opposed to a multi-queue setup. Anyone who’s ever had to choose a line at a grocery store knows how unfair multiple queues can seem; invariably, you wind up kicking yourself for not choosing the line next to you moving twice as fast.
But there’s a curious cognitive asymmetry at work here. While losing to the line at our left drives us to despair, winning the race against the one to our right does little to lift our spirits. Indeed, in a system of multiple queues, customers almost always fixate on the line they’re losing to and rarely the one they’re beating.
It’s easy to mock places like the Cheesecake Factory—restaurants that have brought chain production to complicated sit-down meals. But the “casual dining sector,” as it is known, plays a central role in the ecosystem of eating, providing three-course, fork-and-knife restaurant meals that most people across the country couldn’t previously find or afford. The ideas start out in élite, upscale restaurants in major cities. You could think of them as research restaurants, akin to research hospitals. Some of their enthusiasms—miso salmon, Chianti-braised short ribs, flourless chocolate espresso cake—spread to other high-end restaurants. Then the casual-dining chains reëngineer them for affordable delivery to millions. Does health care need something like this?
Only official sponsors who have paid a certain amount of money are permitted to use Olympic Games trademarks in their advertising.
Under laws specifically passed for the London Games, the brand army has rights to enter shops and business premises and bring courts actions and fines up to £20,000.
Words such as “Olympic”, “gold”, “silver”, “bronze”, “sponsors”, “summer” and “London” have been banned from business advertisements so as not to give the impression they are connected to the Olympics. Even pubs can’t have signs displaying brands of beer that are not official sponsors.
Most people don’t associate jet bridges and moving walkways with swine flu. What really bothers us are airplanes: cramped, crowded aluminum tubes where a sneeze from across the aisle is enough to set off warning bells in our heads. In cultural mythology, airplanes are where superbugs are born and entire cabinfuls of passengers infected in a single trip — offloading hundreds of new carrier agents at journey’s end into vulnerable environments.
It turns out, though, that the likelihood of actually catching something on a plane is kind of low. You’d basically have to be sitting on top of someone to become infected by their germs. According to Aaron Carroll, co-author of Don’t Cross Your Eyes… They’ll Get Stuck That Way!, airplane manufacturers have more or less gotten air circulation onboard their products down to a science. Between drawing in clean, fresh air from outside the cabin and passing old air through high-quality filters designed to catch 99.999 percent of germs, the air inside a cabin is replaced some 20 times an hour — far more often than in office buildings or in houses, which exchange air every 12 and 5 times an hour, respectively.
Add to that the fact that each row of an aircraft’s air supply is recycled vertically rather than moving forward or backward through the cabin — meaning airborne germs that survive the filters come back to the same row rather than spreading to other passengers — and what you get is a system that’s pretty hard to beat.
As people approach midlife, the days of youthful exploration, when life felt like one big blind date, are fading. Schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends.
No matter how many friends you make, a sense of fatalism can creep in: the period for making B.F.F.’s, the way you did in your teens or early 20s, is pretty much over. It’s time to resign yourself to situational friends: K.O.F.’s (kind of friends) — for now.