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Posts Tagged ‘diet

“When I feel like exercising, I just lie down until the feeling goes away”*…

 

exercise

 

The oldest film included on the National Film Registry of the US Library of Congress features a pale boy calmly swinging a pair of wooden clubs, apparently as part of an exercise routine. Approximately twelve seconds long, Newark Athlete was directed by the Scottish inventor and early associate of Thomas Edison, William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson, in collaboration with cinematographer William Heise at Edison’s laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey, sometime in the late spring of 1891.

Though the wooden clubs brandished by the Newark athlete in this jumpy fragment are now a thing of the past, evidence of their influence can still be seen…

Though largely forgotten today, exercise by club swinging was all the rage in the 19th century.  Daniel Elkind explores the rise of the phenomenon in the U.S., and how such efforts to keep trim and build muscle were inextricably entwined with the history of colonialism, immigration, and capitalist culture: “Eastern Sports and Western Bodies– the ‘Indian Club’ in the United States.”

* Paul Terry (founder of the Terrytoons animation studio)

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As we revise our routines, we might send healthy birthday greetings to William Cumming Rose; he was born on this date in 1887.  After a grounding in the sciences at Davidson College, Rose became a biochemist and nutritionist whose work focused on understanding amino acids.  His research determined the necessity for essential amino acids (amino acids that the body cannot itself synthesize) in diet and the minimum daily requirements of all amino acids for optimal growth.  In the course of his work, he identified the amino acid acid threonine.

wrose source

 

“Three matches one by one in the night”*…

 

Japanese match book covers…  Many more at Agence Eureka.

(via Tyler Hellard‘s always-enriching Pop Loser)

* “Trois Allumettes,” Jacques Prevert

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As we close the cover before striking, we might recall that it was on this date in 1890 that the Meiji Constitution went into effect in Japan, and the first Diet convened.  Modeled on both the Prussian and the British models, the Meiji Constitution provided for a form of mixed constitutional and absolute monarchy that lasted until 1947.   In practice, the Emperor was head of state, but the Prime Minister was the actual head of government.

“Meiji Constitution Promulgation,” by Toyohara Chikanobu

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Written by LW

November 29, 2016 at 1:01 am

“My attitude is never to be satisfied, never enough, never”*…

 

Duke Ellington eating dinner with his wife, Bea Ellington, and a friend (source: Library of Congress)

 

While Duke Ellington is rightly revered as the extraordinary musician and composer that he was, he was known among his friends almost as prominently for his appetites.  As frequent sideman Tricky Sam Nanton said, “he’s a genius, all right, but Jesus, how he eats!”

Ellington was happy to share his gourmand enthusiasms.  In a 1944 interview (recounted in Lapham’s Quarterly) he reminisces…

There’s a place in Chicago, the Southway Hotel, that’s got the best cinnamon rolls and the best filet mignon in the world. Then there’s Ivy Anderson’s chicken shack in Los Angeles, where they have hot biscuits with honey and very fine chicken-liver omelets. In New Orleans there’s gumbo filé. I like it so well that I always take a pail of it out with me when I leave. In New York I send over to the Turf Restaurant at Forty-ninth and Broadway a couple of times a week to get their broiled lamb chops. I guess I’m a little freakish with lamb chops. I prefer to eat them in the dressing room, where I have plenty of room and can really let myself go. In Washington, at Harrison’s, they have deviled crab and Virginia ham. They’re terrific things. On the Île-de-France, when we went to Europe, they had the best crêpes Suzette in the world, and it took a dozen at a time to satisfy me. The Café Royal, in the Hague, has the best hors d’oeuvres in the world—eighty-five different kinds, and it takes a long time to eat some of each. There’s a place in Paris that has the best octopus soup. And oh, my, the smorgasbord in Sweden! At Old Orchard Beach, Maine, I got the reputation of eating more hot dogs than any man in America. A Mrs. Wagner there makes a toasted bun that’s the best of its kind in America. She has a toasted bun, then a slice of onion, then a hamburger, then a tomato, then melted cheese, then another hamburger, then a slice of onion, more cheese, more tomato, and then the other side of the bun. Her hot dogs have two dogs to a bun. I ate thirty-two one night…

More gustatory goodness in “Duke Ellington’s Diet“; and for a bonus treat, read this 1944 New Yorker profile of Ellington.

* Duke Ellington

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As we Take the A Train, we might recall that it was on this date in 1937 that the first animated-cartoon electric sign display in the U.S. was lit by its designer, Douglas Leigh, on the front of a building on Broadway in Times Square.  It used 2,000 bulbs, and its four-minute show included a cavorting horse a ball tossing cats.  Leigh, who went on to design such famous billboards as the Eight O’Clock Coffee sign (with a coffee pot that was, literally, steaming) and the Camel Cigarette sign (that blew smoke rings), became know as “The Man Who Lit Up New York.”  While his signs are now gone, his lighting of the Empire State Building (Leigh was also a pioneer in the illumination of city skylines and buildings) survives; and his large illuminated snowflake is still hung at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street every holiday season.

Douglas Leigh and his Times Square

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Written by LW

April 28, 2015 at 1:01 am

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food”*…

 

 click here for interactive version

Daily diets very considerably around the world; so, then, do their caloric contents.  This interactive graphic from National Geographic breaks it down in a way that makes comparison– country to country, and any country to the world as a whole– easy and clear.

It’s fascinating to observe that the average for the world has risen nearly 30% in the last 50 years, to a level that’s roughly commensurate with the recommended calorie intake for an adult man; as users will see, averages for the U.S. and other developed countries are well above that…  Expert opinion on the rise in obesity in the U.S. (and many other nations) is conflicted; still, it’s interesting to note the correlation.

* W.C. Fields

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As we pass on the side of bacon, we might pause to note that, while there’s no clarity as to its origin, there’s wide agreement that today is National Bagel and Lox Day, a celebration of the quintessential Jewish-American “sandwich” once found only in New York delis, but now universally popular.  Bagels originated in Poland in the early 17th century. Jewish families often ate bagels on Saturday evenings at the conclusion of the Sabbath, perhaps because the they could be baked very quickly. Lox is an entirely American invention. It became a popular sandwich filling in the mid 1800s when the transcontinental railroad began shipping barrels of brined salmon to the East Coast.

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Surely coincidentally, today is also National Toothache Day.  Some believe the celebration can be traced to the founding of the Hersey Corporation on February 9, 1894.  But others (including your correspondent) reckon that it is related to St. Apollonia, the Patroness of Toothaches, whose feast day is today.

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Written by LW

February 9, 2015 at 7:29 am

“Count your blessings, but count your calories too”*…

 

We’re skating into that time year…  the onslaught of celebratory meals and Holiday parties that promise to test our waistbands.  But help– or at least a nagging caution– is at hand.  The app Calorific uses simple, pastel images to reveal how much of virtually any food adds up to 200 calories.

From God’s condiment…

…to rabbit food…

More at “What 200 Calories of Every Food Looks Like.”

* Erma Bombeck

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As we go down for the count, we might send well-digested birthday greetings to William Beaumont; he was born on this date in 1785.  An American army surgeon, Beaumont was the first person to observe and study human digestion as it occurs in the stomach.  As a young medic stationed on Mackinac Island in Michigan, Beaumont was asked to treat a shotgun wound “more than the size of the palm of a man’s hand” (as Beaumont wrote).  The patient, Alexis St. Martin, survived, but was left with a permanent opening into his stomach from the outside.  Over the next few years, Dr. Beaumont used this crude fistula to sample gastric secretions.  He identified hydrochloric acid as the principal agent in gastric juice and recognized its digestive and bacteriostatic functions.  Many of his conclusions about the regulation of secretion and motility remain valid to this day.

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Written by LW

November 21, 2014 at 1:01 am

Trouble just south of the Arctic Circle…

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Reuters reports:

The soaring popularity of a fat-rich fad diet has depleted stocks of butter in Norway creating a looming Christmas culinary crisis.  Norwegians have eaten up the country’s entire stockpile of butter, partly as the result of a “low-carb” diet sweeping the Nordic nation which emphasizes a higher intake of fats.

“Sales all of a sudden just soared, 20 percent in October then 30 percent in November,” said Lars Galtung, the head of communications at TINE, the country’s biggest farmer-owned cooperative.

A wet summer which reduced the quality of animal feed and cut milk output by 25 million litres had already limited supplies and the shortage has led some pundits to suggest the world’s eighth-largest oil exporter offer some of its plentiful fuel supply in exchange for butter…

Ironically, just across the narrow channel that separates the two countries, Denmark– the region’s dairy powerhouse– is positively swimming in butter.  But as Norway demurred on the EU, painfully high import duties keep Danish butter out of reach…  at least for now:  Butter is now selling on Norway’s top auction website, with a 250-gram piece starting at around $13 (8.28 pounds), roughly four times its normal price.  And as Galtung notes, “Norwegians are not afraid of natural fats, they love their butter and cream.”

Don’t we all…

 

As we spread it thin, we might spare a thought for a man who would have been horrified by the Norwegian’s flight from carbs to calories– physician and health-food pioneer John Harvey Kellogg, who died on this date in 1943, aged 91.  For 62 years before his death, Kellogg operated a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan that was run along holistic lines:  a vegetarian, he advocated low calorie diets and developed peanut butter, granola, and toasted cereals; he warned that smoking caused lung cancer decades before this link was studied; and he was an early advocate of exercise.  For all that, he is surely best remembered, for having developed corn flakes (with his brother Will, who went on to sweeten and commercialize them).

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Written by LW

December 14, 2011 at 1:01 am

Living large…

“People who use big forks eat less compared with diners who use small forks…”  All three courses of the explanation are at LiveScience.

As we super-size our cutlery, we might recall that it was on this date in 1969 that over 700 million television viewers worldwide watched Neil Armstrong step onto the surface of the moon.  “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

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