### eating away at me

everything eventually morphs into the way the world is
-gene kahn, founder of cascadian farm

a couple weeks ago i found myself struggling to stay asleep. on multiple nights i awoke at 2:30, and fought to get back to sleep. the problem? i was worried about making the right food decisions for our family.

i've always tried to make conscious food choices, preparing plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and having a few meals a week that don't involve meat. after reading barbara kingsolver's latest book, animal vegetable miracle, i started thinking a lot more about what is in what we eat. then i dove right into michael pollan's book, an omnivore's dilemma. i also started doing some research on green living, especially in regards to common household products that are harmful to us and mother earth. can you see where i'm going with all this?

after the fourth night of wacky sleep, or non-sleep, john saw the need for an intervention:"you know, you've really gotta take a break from all this - you're making yourself crazy"

me:"i know, i'm all torn up about the fact that the meat industry is INSANE, produce is saturated with chemicals, and everything around us is probably giving us cancer... not to mention that EVERYTHING we eat is, or was, corn! i know it's all about finding a balance, and doing the best we can given circumstances... not to mention, we can't afford to shop only at granola-crusty-organic-free-range-earth-mother-nourishment store"

john: "what you need to realize is that it's all part of the game. think about it like The Wire. there's always some cop who wants to make a difference, or a politician who really believes in change. but in the end, there's only The Game, same as it ever was. you think you're saving the world by buying locally and eating organic. but to afford that kind of food, and fight the game, you need to be deep into the game, and therefore a part of the problem. who can afford local/organic? rich people. who causes the problem? rich people."

the wire
is arguably the best show on tv. if you haven't seen it, rent it now! i've known john long enough to know he has a tendency to oversimplify things (he admits, "that's how i roll"). but the analogy really did get me thinking. substitute food for drugs, corporations for kingpins, and it really just comes back to the money.

so, i put the books down, and went back to costco for some basic groceries and have been supplementing with produce from the farmer's market. i also got some good ole fashioned fiction from the library. let's just say, i have slept like a baby for over a week now.

mama mia said…
that slaw looks pretty healthy! :)
martha said…
OHMYGOSH! I do this same thing I have to be careful about what information I am getting, because it affects me!!! I am responsible once I know this truth and then I feel the need to get everyone else up on the scoop and no one really wants to hear it so I drive myself crazy!
Anonymous said…
the mid-westerners are infiltrating my brain and taste buds. i was telling someone about my trip to visit and i realized i systematically turned down thai food 3 times. WTF?! the only thing worse than mid-westerner food? mid-westerner food served to you as part of a meal at a conference in a convention center. bleh, blah, bluh. i am going to dream about sausage-asparagus-goat cheese fritatta, fresh pineapple, sweet potato fries, that super smooth hummus with carrots and snow peas and pita chips and those crispy green bean things that were the texture of fun-yuns but somehow good for you. can't wait to come back and see you!

### On the Height of J.J. Barea

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea standing between two very tall people (from: Picassa user photoasisphoto).

Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks, who beat the Miami Heat tonight in game six to win the NBA championship.

Okay, with that out of the way, just how tall is the busy-footed Maverick point guard J.J. Barea? He's listed as 6-foot on NBA.com, but no one, not even the sports casters, believes that he can possibly be that tall. He looks like a super-fast Hobbit out there. But could that just be relative scaling, with him standing next to a bunch of extremely tall people? People on Yahoo! Answers think so---I know because I've been Google searching "J.J. Barea Height" for the past 15 minutes.

So I decided to find a photo and settle the issue once and for all.

I then used the basketball as my metric. Wikipedia states that an NBA basketball is 29.5 inches in circumfe…

### The Force is strong with this one...

Last night we were reviewing multiplication tables with Owen. The family fired off doublets of numbers and Owen confidently multiplied away. In the middle of the review Owen stopped and said, "I noticed something. 2 times 2 is 4. If you subtract 1 it's 3. That's equal to taking 2 and adding 1, and then taking 2 and subtracting 1, and multiplying. So 1 times 3 is 2 times 2 minus 1."

I have to admit, that I didn't quite get it at first. I asked him to repeat with another number and he did with six: "6 times 6 is 36. 36 minus 1 is 35. That's the same as 6-1 times 6+1, which is 35."

Ummmmm....wait. Huh? Lemme see...oh. OH! WOW! Owen figured out

x^2 - 1 = (x - 1) (x +1)

So $6 \times 8 = 7 \times 7 - 1 = (7-1) (7+1) = 48$. That's actually pretty handy!

You can see it in the image above. Look at the elements perpendicular to the diagonal. There's 48 bracketing 49, 35 bracketing 36, etc... After a bit more thought we…

### The Long Con

Hiding in Plain Sight

ESPN has a series of sports documentaries called 30 For 30. One of my favorites is called Broke which is about how professional athletes often make tens of millions of dollars in their careers yet retire with nothing. One of the major "leaks" turns out to be con artists, who lure athletes into elaborate real estate schemes or business ventures. This naturally raises the question: In a tightly-knit social structure that is a sports team, how can con artists operate so effectively and extensively? The answer is quite simple: very few people taken in by con artists ever tell anyone what happened. Thus, con artists can operate out in the open with little fear of consequences because they are shielded by the collective silence of their victims.
I can empathize with this. I've lost money in two different con schemes. One was when I was in college, and I received a phone call that I had won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas. All I needed to do was p…