Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Erika's New and Hot, Week 6, Voyage Review, and 2nd half quotes

My review is here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/014043268X/ref=cm_cr_dp_2_1/103-6525976-1702211?ie=UTF8&customer-reviews.sort%5Fby=-SubmissionDate&n=283155

My favorite quotes from the rest of the book are these:

p. 408: A small, snow-white tern "Little imagination is required to fancy that so light and delicate a body must be tenanted by some wandering fairy spirit."

p. 442: "Where on the face of the earth can we find a spot, on which close investigation will not discover signs of that endless cycle of change, to which this earth has been, is, and will be subjected?"

p. 444: "The form of the orange-tree, the cocoa-nut, the palm, the mango, the tree-fern, the banana, will remain clear and separate; but the thousand beauties which unite these into one perfect scene must fade away; yet they will leave, like a tale heard in childhood, a picture full of indistinct, but most beautiful figures."

My "new and hot" is on the New York Times' "Genes Take Charge, and Diets Fall by the Wayside" (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/08/health/08fat.html?ref=science). It talks about how everyone has a nature weight range. The scientist, Dr. Hirsch, wanted to see what happened to fat cells when people lost weight. He found out that the fat cells shrunk to normal size, but more interestingly, based on other measurements he took, he determined that these people were acting as if they were starved. As soon as they were let out of the experiment, almost all the patients regained their hard-lost weight. When he forced thin people to gain weight, they also lost it very quickly when the experiment terminated. The obese patients’ metabolism slowed down when they were fed less food, so they had to eat hardly anything to lose weight, and the thin patients’ metabolism increased by 50%, so they had to eat immense amounts of food to gain weight. When both ate until they were full, their weights returned to what they had been before. This natural weight strongly corresponded with their biological parents' weights, whether or not they had been raised in the same household. To me, it was a startling example of the variety in human beings. Such variety would surely be useful- in colder conditions or during famines, the people with more fat cells would survive better. With warmer temperatures and poor resources, thinner people who needed fewer calories to feel full would do better. Perhaps even Darwin would be surprised at how much is controlled by inheritance, and how much variety is present within our own species.


chickenpox said...

Wow! Maybe weight is more linked to genetics than we actually think. However, why is there an epidemic of obesity now?

chickenpox said...

That was me... Josh