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March 03, 2003

From the vault

Ole Eichorn happened to have a snapshot of the site saved-so the files that my webhosters transfer wiped clear are now being rereleased, in a photo-copied form, below. Those of you who read and raged the first time around-ignore, others, enjoy....

Fat AND dumb?

Obese men eat up their IQ points:

Being overweight is not only bad for men's hearts - it also makes them less intelligent. A study of the intelligence of the obese has found that being seriously overweight reduces intelligence in males, possibly through its effect on blood circulation in the brain ...

By studying the records of more than 1400 men and women, Professor Merrill Elias and colleagues at the University of Boston found that men classified as clinically obese appear to have significantly reduced mental agility. Curiously, fat women did not suffer the same fate.

When given cognitive function tests involving logic, verbal fluency and recall, obese men achieved scores as much as 23 per cent below those of non-obese men, even after taking into account factors such as educational level, occupation and blood pressure.

Posted by jason at 01:26 PM

The brown lion

Sen has a post on the message board stating that Sri Lanka has the chance to become the first First World brown economy. He is right, the statistics are good, Kerala good in fact. But like Kerala, the high life expectancy and literacy haven't translated into economic dynamism. The current excuse is the civil war. Fine.

On the issue of Mauritius being an example of brown success-the Franco-Mauritians who form a tiny minority still dominate the cash crop economy based on sugar from what I know. The Indo-Mauritians have leveraged their domination of the government (the Muslims, Hindus and Tamils are often separated in the stats-along with the "General Population," which means Kreol speaking Catholics of black, and mixed white-black origin) into a stable position in society, but unlike Singapore, they are not at the top of the heap (in Singapore, the Chinese are the wealthiest, right above the Indians, while the Malays form the underclass). I do find it amusing listening to BBC WORLD REPORT when they give Mauritius as an example of an "African success." Granted, there is a large Afro-Mauritian population, but culturally Mauritius is part of the Indian Ocean International....

P.S. Sri Lankans I know tell me that there is no physical difference between Tamils and Sinhalese-so the Aryan-Dravidian chasm is almost certainly one of linguistic preference. And the "Baurs" of Bengal are the last remaining brown Buddhists of the northeast-they are Bengali speakers, not highlanders from the Hill Tracts of Burmese origins (they are a very small minority, and concentrated around Chittagong, the last remnants of the Pala cultural complex). Additionally, there are the recent converts post-Ambedkar in Maharashtra amongst the Dalits-black-brown Buddhists.

Posted by razib at 01:25 PM

"Fat" Chicks: Will the Madness Never End?
I'm sure that no one who frequents Gene Expression has read any tabloids lately, but I'd like to inform you about an outrageous article that "The Globe" recently published (sorry, it's not online). In an article about "bigger sized" women in Hollywood, they began with Beyonce Knowles. Apparently a size 8 is now considered "full figured". I hereby request that David stand up for his bootylicious mulatto sisters and forcefeed the author of this article with chitlins and Mississippi mud pies until he/she balloons to a porcine size 12.

Posted by duende at 08:47 AM

Just the 10 of us

Argentina is a really pathetic country-not because it is so destitute, those situations are a dime a dozen (remember, I was born in Bangladesh), but because in 1900 it was wealthier and healthier than most of Europe. Remember, even the British immigrated to Argentina! Now here comes this story about the nation's dive toward African-style chaos. But notice something about many of the "parents" interviewed who can't feed their families....

"The country is in bad shape, and we, the poor, are even worse off," said Carlos Roberto Rivera, a 29-year-old father of eight children, ages 2 to 12. "There is no work now, and that means we don't eat sometimes. For breakfast, the children often will have only maté," a traditional herbal drink high in caffeine that many Argentines consume in place of tea or coffee.


Mr. Rivera's older sister, Fátima, a mother of nine who is married to another bricklayer and lives in Los Vázquez, said that when a peso was roughly equivalent to an American dollar, she used to be able to feed her family for 10 pesos a day. Today 10 pesos is only worth a little over $3. "Now," she said, "you can't get anything with that money."


Questioned by Ms. Rivero, Ermelinda Salto Argelia acknowledged that she and her husband, José Ramón Bay, the parents of four children [oh, someone decided to use birth control], "often go without food so that the kids can eat." Her husband is a street vendor, selling items like pencils and dental floss. Many days he comes home empty-handed.

I'm not saying that these people shouldn't have children and that their financial situation isn't dire-but cutting down on the mouths to feed would help, wouldn't it? Reminds me of the interview in Gaza of a cab-driver complaining that tips & fare just didn't go that far in supporting his 12 kids!. Puleez....

Posted by razib at sometime in the recent past....

Posted by razib at 12:38 AM