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([personal profile] magid Sep. 17th, 2017 10:29 am)
This week I finished two books, John Allen Paulos' A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper and James Hamblin's If Our Bodies Could Talk.

Paulos' book was printed over two decades ago, so some of the examples given felt dated. Overall, however, despite the potential paradigm shift of the availability of the news on the Internet, not just paper, it felt rather timely. People still do not think critically about the news they read, from whatever sources. Paulos looks at all sorts of ways the news can be inaccurate, through all the sections of a traditional newspaper, but even more importantly in some ways, how it can be completely true, yet leave wrong impressions. One example was about voting procedures, and the various schemes that could be used for making sure an election ends up reflecting the will of the people; I was not surprised to see a variety of different possibilities mentioned, with the strengths and weaknesses of each. That and other essays pointed out some of the problems with how our government is set up. I was also interested to see the references to Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, having read The Undoing Project back in January (this year has included a much higher percentage than my usual for nonfiction).

Hamblin's book is also set up as a set of connected short essays grouped by theme, this time based on human body systems (not the usual ones, but perceiving, eating, drinking, relating, and enduring). I learned some biology, and how there are today many things still to learn (that we may be in the process of learning, even), and there are awful ways in which the body can go wrong that I hadn't known of before. What I particularly appreciated was how the author pointed out that many health issues are not solvable in a hospital, but are about social and economic disparity (which reminded me of a book I read two weeks ago, White Trash, a history of class in the US, which reviewed all the ways in which the playing field is not, in fact, equal, even now) that need to be addressed. He also pointed out how in many ways, the US healthcare system is not actually about health, but about delivery of billable stuff, which is not needed when *actually* healthy. Prevention is what people might want, but the companies don't have nearly as much to bill then.... It was a bit depressing, realizing that, again, there are huge, complicated systems embedded in how our society works that are so extremely flawed. The one thing I really was not pleased with was how there was passing reference to 'just' losing weight, as if that were a trivial thing. If it were, there would not be so much failure at that all around.
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([personal profile] magid Sep. 14th, 2017 06:22 pm)
  • a pound of carrots
  • a pound of yellow onions (= 1 large)
  • two delicata squash (plus an extra for late bonus)
  • two pounds of green bell peppers (plus an extra for late bonus)
  • four Hungarian wax (hot) peppers
  • two pounds of field tomatoes
  • half a pound of salad mix
  • a bunch of curly green kale
  • a bok choy (one of the all light green kinds)
  • six ounces of shiitake mushrooms

First thoughts: another batch of white bean and kale soup with carrots (need to get some white beans, maybe some potatoes). roasted peppers and tomatoes, perhaps to put in a lasagna. delicata squash baked with maple and cranberries. some kind of green salad, of course.
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([personal profile] magid Sep. 8th, 2017 12:38 pm)
  • a bunch of lacinato kale
  • a head of lettuce (I chose red leaf)
  • two pounds of white onions
  • a pound and a quarter of rainbow carrots (I chose purple and orange ones; I like the intensity of color)
  • a pound and a half pounds of mixed beets (plus some extras for being later in the pickup; I chose red over yellow or Chioggia)
  • a smallish head of cabbage (plus another for later pickup)
  • two pounds = three green peppers (plus another for later pickup)
  • two pounds of field tomatoes
  • six ounces of oyster mushrooms
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