salad bar, obesity, chimneys

July 27, 2007
So there's a "Souper Salad" in the building where I work. Unlike where I last worked the salad bar is fixed price and not by weight, so the incentive is to load up the plate, if you're paying six or seven bucks for a salad, you kind of want it to be a meal. They have lots of that pseudo-salad stuff like pasta salad and potato salad and sesame noodles. Overall the effect is like leftovers the day after a potluck; cold stuff that's alright, but nothing that anyone really likes.

Oh, yeesh, I realize I'm on the verge of becoming my own stereotype of how not to blog, "this is what I had for lunch today..."

Science of the Moment
That obesity is contagious meme that has been going around is, no pun intended, food for thought. I remember previous ideas that some obesity could be virus-related, and I'm not sure if this latest study absolutely pins down the cause and effect relationship. (Though it points out that the same effect happens for weight loss, but since that happens less often overall the effect is less pronounced.

Hate to think it could lead to some kind of shunning of heavy people.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the casual image of "obese" is probably closer to the strict definition of "morbidly obese". Meaning more people are technically obese than you might think, but that's because the standard is stricter.

Ingenuity of the Moment
No day passed when the fireplace was unused. As a result, soot accumulated quickly in the chimney. This could be hazardous when firs were the principal source for fuel, for they left behind a thick, tarry, highly flammable coating. Brooms were used to clean short chimneys. For taller ones it was not uncommon to drop a chicken or two down the chimney; their frantic wing-beating did a good job cleaning quickly.
--David Freeman Hawke, "Everyday Life in Early America"