Friday, May 05, 2006

Regulating French Fries?

So it appears there are health nuts, freaks, nanny state suck-ups--I mean advocates--who want to ban french fries and trans fat from grown adults. Should we even be having this conversation?

Update: Instead of just regulating french fries, maybe the government should also force all of those who are overweight to read Berkeley psychologist, Seth Roberts' new book, The Shangri-La Diet and follow it. I read the book this morning and apparently, all you do is eat one or two tablespoons of Extra Light Olive Oil and some sugar water daily to control the body's set point and lose weight. {Note: I am not saying that Roberts' plan does not work--it might be great, probably is--I liked the book very much--but I use it as an example of a current popular diet that if successful, could be the next step in government regulation}.

If the government can regulate trans fat, can they also regulate weight loss for the overweight? If so, how do I get a piece of the action? Can I write a diet solution and force others to follow my plan and buy my products and books? If so, where do I sign up? Because, of course, my needs and desire to see only slim productive citizens should take precedence over free choice and personal responsibility--or so, some misguided health nuts think.

The bottom line is, once we start on the slippery slope of regulating what people can consume based on how good it is for them, there is no telling how far we can go in deciding that free will, in and of itself, is bad for people.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Podcast on Alternative Fuels and Blog Advertising

Popular Mechanics editor Jim Meigs joins us again for a discussion of a recent PM article on alternative fuels. He talks about the pros and cons of ethanol, methanol, hydrogen and biodiesel fuels. Will our reliance on Middle East oil soon be obsolete?

We also hear from Henry Copeland of,who tells us about his recent demographic survey on blog readers. I found out some interesting tidbits about the kinds of people who read blogs and why. He also discusses the future of blog advertising as well as the future of advertising on podcasts. If you run a blog, read blogs or want to advertise on blogs, take a listen.

You can listen to the podcast here (no iPod necessary) or subscribe via iTunes. You can find previous podcasts here and there's a low-fi version for dialup available here.

As always, leave any comments and suggestions below.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Men Living Longer: Women Hardest Hit

The New York Times has an article today entitled, "The Bell Tolls for the Future Merry Widow"(Hat tip: In this pathetic excuse for an article, the theme appears to be that because men are living longer, this might put a cramp in women's lifestyles. For example:

By necessity, women have gotten used to a life lived for long periods without men. They have had the advantage in life expectancy since the late 19th century, when overall longevity started to climb. More than men, women have developed strong friendships to support them in their frailest hours. They have forced doctors to pay attention to their health concerns. They no longer have to cater to men. Travel companies now cater to their interests.

And then the article points out these pearls of wisdom from sell-out, I mean psychologist, John Gray:

"Women don't need men as much as men need women," said John Gray, the therapist and author of, most famously, "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus."
"Men have this expectation that women should take care of them," Dr. Gray said. "And she has her own expectations, that she should be there for him."

Particularly after retirement, she is not used to having him around quite so much. "It's different taking care of him for dinner, as opposed to him being home all the time, and expecting her to make every meal," Dr. Gray said.

(Men who divorce also remarry faster; within three years, compared with nine for women.) They're looking for love, Dr. Gray said, but they're also looking for lunch.

Then there are the disputes over sex. Dr. Gray said a woman's sex drive increases as she ages, while a man's declines. But then, is Viagra upsetting that balance, putting men in retirement homes permanently on the prowl?

John Gray needs women more than women need him -- who else would buy his stuff? Yeah, John, that will help you sell the remainder of whatever sell-out crap for women you are peddling this month.

Finally, this advice from another "expert" really puts the icing on the cake:

And a shorter widowhood means women will be better off financially, largely because, as Heidi Hartmann, a labor economist and the president of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, said, "Money attaches to the men."

There is a lot of poverty among older single women, so if men live longer, that's good economically, for women and men," Ms. Hartmann said. "Men are generally happier when they're married. The women may not be happier, but at least they've got more money.

Hell, if I was married to a woman like the author of the Times article, Kate Zernike, I would probably die early too. However, with fewer young men marrying, maybe women like her coming up won't have to worry about a husband. I hope that with increased longevity and Viagra, men will find that living single in their later years will beat out a black--I mean, merry widow--who wants nothing more than a free lunch herself.

There's a famous parody of a Times headline -- "World Ends: Women and Minorities Hardest Hit." But this is beyond parody: "Men Living Longer: Women Hardest Hit" (Hat Tip: