The Great Malnutrition Scare vs the Obesity Epidemic

This is Wilbur Olin Atwater. He was a pioneer in human nutrition, back in the day. He was also one of the major causes of the Great Malnutrition Scare of 1907-21.

You see, Atwater was one of the first people to try to figure out how much of what nutrients people need to function. And like many who are among the first to quantify something… he got a lot of stuff wrong. The amount of protein he decided the average person needs is today known to lead to kidney failure, just as a f”rinstance.

And between his miscalculations, misinterpretation of both his data and poorly gathered information, racially skewed height and weight charts, along with a great big ol’ dollop of cultural aesthetic preferences and prejudice over evidence, the Great Malnutrition Scare of 1907 – 21 began.

Continue Reading…

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The Too Claus for Comfort Edition

Helloooo my beauties!

It’s time once again to play Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness. You all know how this works. I post a picture that’s lying awake nights longing desperately for a funny caption or seven. You provide said captions via the comments function. Next week I declare a winner and we all break into a merry chorus of  the Yes, We Have No Bananas Blues.

This week’s image comes from the depths of the Where’s Salvador Dali When You Need Him File, and it looks a little like this:

Ready… set… snark!

One Holiday Season Over, a New One Begins

Before we get going, I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts last weekend. WordPress kept shutting me out, and I don’t know why. But it’s forgiven me now and I can post again.

Thanksgiving is over. All that’s left over are, well, a few leftovers. And, if we’re lucky, some good memories. Mr. Twistie and I wound up having a different holiday than we’d expected. The friend we were planning to visit came down with a nasty bronchial sludge she didn’t care to share, so we stayed home and made a few adjustments. We watched old movies, I made a delicious dinner, we ate until we were happily sated, he played a little guitar, and we finished our day playing with Jake the cat.

All in all, it was a good day. The memories are, indeed, happy.

The day after Thanksgiving I have a ritual. When I get up, I have coffee and pumpkin pie for breakfast… and then I don’t go shopping. When I worked retail I quickly learned that Black Friday and Christmas Eve are typically the angriest shopping days of the year and so I avoid buying anything more emotionally charged than a bottle of milk on those two days. Okay, we did break down and get Jake some crunchies, but we went to a grocery store that wasn’t in a mall.

Today I will most likely do my traditional change of holiday seasons activity:

I’ll watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. It never fails to get me into the right mood for the next few weeks.

How about all of you? How do you make the transition from Thanksgiving to the Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/Kwanzaa/et al season? Do you have a tradition at all? I’d love to hear what you do.

At First I Was Like This…

But then I was like this:

On behalf of Twistie, The Manolo and a murderous Ann Sheridan, I’d like to wish all my American compatriots a happy and strife-free Thanksgiving!

Whisky Tango Foxtrot: Quinceañera edition

Oh man, do I love quinceañeras. They are all-singing, all-dancing explosions of almost invariably bad taste and I can’t get enough. Sure there are Sweet Sixteen parties and the prom, but those are small party potatoes compared to the pure unadulterated garishness that can only be achieved when an entire extended family gets together to realize the most lurid tulle-filled fantasies harbored deep in the rhinestone and zebra print corners of a 15 year-old girl’s mind.

I have always been a big proponent of youthful excess. I wore tasteful, elegant evening gowns to all my teenage soirees and now I regret it. Why? Because now that’s all I can wear, at least without suffering some unwanted social repercussions.

It is with fondness –and full admission I might wear this for my quince-themed birthday party next year– that I present to you the latest object for Whisky Tango Foxtrot.

You all remember the rules, right? Give me a situation, the kookier the better, where this would be an appropriate outfit. To make things a bit more challenging, this time we’ll rule out references to quinceañeras, Cyndi Lauper and Gay Pride Parades.

Hit me with your best shot! Fire away-ay-ay.

Big Girls in Europe: Barcelona Fashion

Greetings from Barthelona, home of incredible pork products, the second best football team in Spain and a whole lot of cool-looking melty buildings.

Modernista Architecture: further proof that peyote is a hell of a drug

It is not, however, home to many big girls. Do they not exist? Are they simply not allowed out of doors? I’m not sure.

I’d like to report on the elegance of Spanish gorditas, but the handful I’ve seen so far seem to suffer the same fate as many of their American sisters: cheap clothes, especially the ubiquitous cheap graphic top with tackazoid metallic screen prints. Sigh.

I suspect it’s a question of supply. Their access to stylish plus-size clothing must be even more limited than in the US.

Sure there’s Marina Rinaldi, but I popped into their store on the Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona’s equivalent to Rodeo Drive, and although the clothes were beautifully made, they do err on the side of elegantly mumsy with disheartening frequency.

That being said, I have noticed a certain out-and-about uniform here in the heart of Catalunya.

Scarves. Always.
From the sweet young things trundling to language class to the stopped-counting-after-Franco doyennes walking their blue-rinsed terriers along the Carrer d’Aragó, long but tidy woven scarves abound. The older women tend to wear them neatly knotted in a cravat while the younger set goes for a more casual double wrap drape around the neck.

Fit is Everything
In the US there seems to be two fits: painted on or falling off. Most of us do our best to navigate the middle ground, but ours is often a tale of woe, with a top clinging like a needy ex one day only to be stretched out beyond recognition after the first wash. Although skinny jeans are still the pants of choice, they’re merely close-fitted, not denim deathgrips. Tops can be loose or skim without clinging and sleeves end where sleeves ought to end, not a foot south of the wrist.

Modesty
I’ve got to say, this one threw me a little. Even outside their fashion institute, the cuts and colors were surprisingly conservative, much more along the lines of DC than New York or, God Forbid, LA.

Cleavage was virtually non-existent even on warm days and when it made an appearance, it was incidental, not integral to the look. As for speculum length minis, I’ve only seen two: both worn by drunk British girls. Which isn’t to say there weren’t short skirts, but they were paired with matching opaque tights –usually black for both– and loose fitting tops.

Neutrals
Another surprise, and I suspect a seasonal one. Barcelona embraces a very Donna Karan color palette with grays from heather to charcoal, soft browns from fawn to dark chocolate, muted pinks and blues and every possible permutation of beige. It might not sound exciting, but it looks fantastic. Bolder colors –if hunter green and rust are bold– come from the omnipresent scarves. The makeup is muted too, and women, especially women of a certain age, looked the world better for it.

What to wear in Barcelona to fit in with the locals:

  • A loose but not sloppy thin sweater or knit top over a slimmer knit or button down shirt in complimentary neutrals. Lightweight moto-cut twill jacket if it’s chilly at night.
  • Long woven scarf in an interesting color or pattern
  • Dark slim-cut denim or twill pants either paired with boots or ballet flats. Precariously high heels look out of place for day, though I’ve seen a pair or two at night.
  • Hair is either long and slightly unkempt or chic bordering on New Wave and accessories are about what you’d see in the states with big bags abounding, although there’s little to no 80’s or 90’s hipster irony, thanks be to God.

No country for old swimming men

Oh Gang, I feel like I’m doing you wrong. I’ve been a little slack on the posting since I’ve been in DC and this week Hot Latin Boy and I are heading to Europe, for which we have done exactly no planning. Since we’ll be in Barcelona and Rome, our conversation went a little like this:

Hey, we’re going to Spain and Italy. We speak Spanish, right?

Right.

Does one of us speak Italian?

I can say “No, the old men are not swimming.” Considering there will probably be a lot of old men around not swimming, that will definitely come in handy.

Great. Looks like we’re set.

Fantastico.

And that’s about it. Since we’re doing a combination of pleasure traveling, business meetings and scouting locations for our next humble abode once we decide to leave Mexico, we try to stick to living like locals do, even on a very short trip. It’s never served me wrong, and I don’t come home with all those same boring photos of standing in front of whatever historic landmark every other tourist feels obliged to take.

So what’s your favorite travel tip or quirk? I’m going to be thin on the ground this week, but I’ll try to post a bit more regularly and of course I’m moderating comments and answering queries here and at Manolo’s Shoeblog.

Page 2 of 344«12345»102030...Last »