Archive for the ‘rants’ Category

Diet Drink Sweet Tooth

March 5th, 2012 No comments

The Globe has just published another article on artificial sweeteners.

I find it dismaying how many people would defend an inanimate substance, such as white/brown sugar, chocolate or artificial sweeteners, when none of those are necessary for our health. Similarly, I find it dismaying when I see my diabetic friend guzzling diet pop. Why not water?

Sure, sweets taste good, and eating sweets make us feel good when we’re eating them. Afterward? Maybe not. But every now and then … sure. I’m not going to get pissy about a decent lemon tart every now and then.

But the real nastiness is in sugary drinks, which have become the drink of choice for post-breakfast drinks for many, no? I used to drink them all the time: fruit juice, pop (soda) and iced tea. Water was something I only had when there was no other option, or if I was really hot. It seems strange now — my normal drink, my regular ingested fluid was basically sugar water. It wasn’t a treat, it was a staple.

So. Diet drinks are for those people who want sugary drinks as a staple, but don’t want the sugar. Now if they drank water regularly as a staple, would they drink diet drinks as a treat?┬áNow that would be a cure for the diet-drink sweet tooth …

… because really, diet drinks taste like crap once you really taste them. And after that, what’s left?

Categories: a little clarity, nutrition, rants Tags:

11 dislikes? How can you not like Yo-Yo Ma playing a tango?

May 30th, 2011 No comments

Apparently, this video of Yo-Yo Ma playing Libertango has received 11 dislikes on YouTube.

I really like this piece, truth to say. But is it, or tango for that matter, for everyone? Of course not, but that brings up a point: there’s a difference between not liking something, and giving it a “dislike” on YouTube, isn’t there? Is there a difference between feeling a dislike and expressing it?

I hear a piece like this, and certainly can’t fault it for content, intention or execution, since it expresses heart, love of life as well as mastery of craft to me. Now if tango weren’t my cup of tea, would I publicly express a dislike for this video? Nope. I can’t help but feel that those who would express a dislike for this are expressing a dislike of care, precision and mastery instead. As for those who have different tastes in music, they would just avoid expressing an opinion … if the choices were “like” or “dislike”, of course.

So what’s the point? Well, I like to think that people can see the value in craft and honest artistic expression even if they don’t share the taste of the artist.

But who doesn’t love tango music?

Categories: interdisciplinary, rants, repetition Tags:

Life by proxy?

May 23rd, 2011 No comments

Did any of us stop to consider that when we watch television, we’re actually watching other people live their lives?

Not only are average folks airing their dirty laundry on reality TV, but athletes are playing their games, actors are playing their parts (and working!), cinematographers are shooting, directors are directing, editors are editing and marketing people are trying to keep their jobs by selling us stuff. Even if we’re not watching someone living their life directly, we are watching the result of their living, as seen in the aforementioned editing, directing and so on.

Sure, some programs can change the way we see the world, but most leave us none the wiser, but a little bit older. I don’t know about you, but that thought keeps me off the couch most of the time.

Wait — here’s an opposing view. If you liked Csikszentmihalyi’s idea of Flow, you might see why I think the opposing view is mostly ridiculous. Here is my take on the respective assertions of the article: 1) The writer is advocating useless downtime that isn’t actually refreshing. 2) Sure. Have the TV on while doing needlepoint. I guess we really don’t like doing either, then? 3) Okay, TV isn’t all trash. 4) I’d rather laugh in good company, not at a TV set. Now if it bonds the family, it has a value, but there are better ways to bond, and if a family can’t laugh away from the tube, something’s not right. 5) Sure, as long as part of that inspiration includes getting off the couch and doing whatever it was we were inspired to do.

Meh. Time to go for a walk.