As part of the economic austerity measures put in place by the Alien Hive Mind that runs the planet, the cookingwithphasers.com domain has now expired, replaced by phasers.celsius1414.com. Never read the essays? Now’s your chance!
Perhaps the only characteristic common to absolutely every geek is an indignant denial that every geek shares anything in common with every other geek. There is no such thing, the idea goes, as a Typical Geek. Witnessing one of the many geek flame wars — Mac vs. Windows, Linux vs. Windows, vi vs. emacs, distro vs. distro — might just bear this out.
It’s safe to say, however, that there are particular movies that virtually every geek has seen, if not dissected minutely a la the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. It is also safe to say that every geek in existence has, at one point or another in his or her life, eaten food. Without getting too far into the existential “What Is A Geek?” questions, let us reflect on this seemingly strange paring.
This week a meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in the American Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high blood pressure. In May European researchers publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the less sodium that study subjects excreted in their urine—an excellent measure of prior consumption—the greater their risk was of dying from heart disease. These findings call into question the common wisdom that excess salt is bad for you, but the evidence linking salt to heart disease has always been tenuous.
Apparently what I took for fact has been invalidated — the idea that you need to combine certain “complementary” vegetables to get a “complete” protein. The classic example being beans and rice.
Now that I think about it, my belief originated the same place it did for a lot of people: in the seminal 1971 book Diet for a Small Planet, which I perused during a brief stint of vegetarianism back in the day. The protein combining concept has since been discredited. Science wins again! ;)
Even if you’re not planning out a vegetarian diet, but instead substituting for meat as much as possible, it’s useful information to have.