Tips – April 2018

About “Tips”:

While I’m mostly interested in things having to do with:

Computer stuff, especially small single board computers
Making money, usually via trading
Weather and climate (“Global Warming” & “Climate Change”)
Quakes, Volcanoes, and other Earth Sciences
Current economic and political events
(often as those last three have impact on money and climate things…)
And just about any ‘way cool’ interesting science or technology
Oh, and lately, cars ;-)

If something else is interesting to you, put a “tip” here as you like.

If there is a current Hot Topic for active discussion, try one of the Weekly Occasional Open Discussion pages here:

You can also look at the list of “Categories” on the right hand side and get an idea of any other broad area of interest.

This ought not to be seen as a “limit” on what is “interesting”, more as a “focus list” with other things that are interesting being fair game as well.

The History:

Note that “pages” are the things reached from links on the top bar just under the pretty picture. “Postings” are reached from the listing along the right side of any given article (posting).

Since WordPress has decided that comments on Pages, like the Old Tips Pages, won’t show up in recent comments, it kind of breaks the value of it for me. In response, I shifted from a set of “pages” to a set of “postings”. As any given Tips Posting gets full, I’ll add a new one.

I have kept the same general format, with the T page (top bar) still pointing to both the archive of Tips Pages as well as the series of new Postings via a link to the TIPS category.

This is the next posting from prior Tips postings. Same idea, just a new set of space to put pointers to things of interest. The most immediately preceding Tips posting is:

The generic “T” parent page remains up top, where older copies of the various “Tips” pages can be found archived. The Tips category (see list at right) marks Tips postings for easy location.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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104 Responses to Tips – April 2018

  1. John F. Hultquist says:

    @ jim2, regarding TV

    I’ve seen screens in an eye clinic and a tire sales/service place. Airports are — what are they exactly?
    I don’t know what is shown. I either carry something I want to read, or find a magazine to read.
    When I’m the only person there, I find the remote and turn the sound off.
    CNN news has to be slanted from the viewpoint of someone I don’t think much off — so I will find my own news ideas.

  2. philjourdan says:

    @Jim2 – a useless endeavor. They are about the only places still streaming CNN. And long after CNN is just a footnote in history, those TVs will be tuned to it. But then I do not watch them. That is what smart phones are for.

  3. Another Ian says:

    E.M. FYI

    “Mann and Lewandowsky’s polar bear paper enters bizzaroland: Climate change leads to more…neurosurgery for polar bears?”

    For starters

    “Indeed, there was the predictable reaction to the paper. Judith Curry referred to it as “absolutely the stupidest paper I have ever seen published.” ”

  4. R. de Haan says:

    Arctic still Minus 30 degrees Celsius and increased Ice berg presence expected.
    It shows how far the Climate Change Clan has wandered off the track of real world observations.
    I.m.h.o The entire doctrine and all the measures enforced by Government laws and regulations have reached a level of total insanity. Period

  5. R. de Haan says:

  6. R. de Haan says:

    Just watching what’s going on in the world.

  7. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; you might find this article at FoxNews on Federal computer security efforts interesting

    “This is totally unacceptable and absurd,” says Jason Chaffetz, former head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which in 2016 issued a scathing report on the lapses surrounding the earlier OPM security breach. “With one good trip to Best Buy we might be better off,” he added.

    Government computer security is kind of a misnomer…pg

  8. tom0mason says:

    Volcanic eruptions of note today

    A major eruption took place at Mount Sinabung, Indonesia around 09:00 UTC on April 6, 2018 shooting ash up to 15 km (50 000 feet) above sea level. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red. This is the second major eruption of this volcano within 2 months.

    Also on
    Shinmodake in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan, and a part of the Mount Kirishima cluster of volcanoes, has erupted again sending ash 5km into the sky and hurling lava bombs up to 1km away from the summit also. Ash the ash rises it turns into a bit of a volcanic lightning fest.
    Shinmoedake was used as a location in 1967 James Bond film, You Only Live Twice, as the volcano in which the villains’ secret rocket base is located.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, guess that’s one “location shoot” where tourists will not be seeing quite the same thing!

  10. p.g.sharrow says:

    Bill Gates foundation sells Birkshire stock, $679 million worth;
    $202,000 per each average. He now has less then 5% ownership so will not have to divulge further sales…pg

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    Sold into the top. You can see it on the chart. While general market volume drops as you approach the top, BRKB increases.

    The interesting question will be how much BRKA was converted to BRKB in the process (Only BRKA has voting rights, so he could sell a LOT of BRKB while not selling the votes and increasing the voting power of any retained BRKA. Once converted, there’s no going back. BRKB can not be un-split back into BRKA).

  12. p.g.sharrow says:

    Wonder what will become of the wealth locked up in Berkshire after Buffet is no longer in control? At some point there must be a payout to the owners, or does Gates think he can slide it all into his nonprofit and screw the other owners out of their accumulated

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    Buffet has a successor picked and most current investment decisions are made by others. Nothing will change with his passing.

    Gates isn’t intending a management role. He’s bought into the transition team.

    So the Buffet shares will role into the Gates Foundation and likely continue to grow in value. The sometime after Gates dies, the foundation will have new management who will start liquidating the BRKA stocks as they want bigger bonuses or to do interesting things with the money.

    Some time way further on Birkshire will have a change of management style and become just another company… I’d figure about 40 years after Buffet is gone and when the transition to the 3rd degree of separation happens.

    Oh, and when Buffet passes, It is likely “the new guys” will split the BRKA stock to give themselves a new base from which to count their gain.

    There need never be “payout to the owners”. Just like a lump of gold or a fine painting never has a payout. It just needs to be seen as an asset that increases in value.

  14. p.g.sharrow says:

    Somehow I think if the owners are convinced there will never be a liquidation or dividend payout they will begin a sell off. Even gold will be sold off if the owners see it as non-productive. Inflating the price of stock is just like inflating the price of cash instruments.
    Buffet has gotten away with reinvesting all of Berkshire profits and not making any payouts or dividends for his entire tenure. I don’t see this as a permanent thing…pg

  15. E.M.Smith says:


    Don’t think of it as a paycheck, think of it as a CD. Folks buy a CD expecting no payout, but a gain over time, then they sell it when they want the money.

    As long as management is increasing the stored value, some folks are happy to buy more, and when other folks need money, they sell out.

    Permanent? Maybe not, as some buyers DO want an annuity payout. But it can, and does, happen for decades in many companies. For Tech Companies, the arrival of the First Dividend often is a signal that their disruptive tech growth phase is over and they are becoming a staid old non-growth company. For me, that’s often a signal to leave the stock, not buy in.

    For Birkshire, they can change what businesses they are in via buying and selling. They never run out of disruptive future prospects…

    Is it better to have a dividend? Depends on your goal… For long term growth, no. For proof of corporate financials and current income, yes. So the buyers of Birkshire will be from the first group, not the second. That’s all.

  16. interzonkomizar says:

    Greetings from the Big Mango (BKK). Tue 10 Apr 12018 H.E.
    I sent the following message to several public forums and a senator to see if anybody is interested.
    Following notice are all links supporting my thesis. Please print this and hide it, just in case, heh.

    NOAA, NASA, and the IPCC have failed humanity, and we’re all in for a nasty surprise … Abrupt Climate Change. This is a summary and warning i put together:

    The MsM and warmist alarmists are wrong. It is the heighth of hubris and arrogance to think humans, in the space of 150 years, can change thermal cycles that are thousands of years long and have existed for millenia. The thermal mass of the land and oceans is enormous. The temperature of deep, still, parts of the ocean have barely risen one degree in 22,000 years, the last glacial max.

    My reading of the climate tea leaves says we’re already past the interglacial plateau.

    For the last three thousand years, Since 1000 BC, the end of the Minoan Warm Period, the global temperature trend has been -0.5 to -0.7 dgC per 1000 yrs, projecting full glacial of 8 dgC in another 7,000 yrs. Another clue, the obliquity dropped below 23.5 degrees around 1300 AD, the onset of the Wolf Minimum. Now the glacial cold lurking in the deep ocean, held in check by obliquity for 10,000 years, has been set free, ending the Holocene Interglacial. We are in the transition zone, expect Finoscandian ice sheets to start in 2000 yrs.

    However, the solar output has been declining since 1986 and this accelerated in 2009 with solar cycle 24, the lowest in over 100 yrs. Cycle 25 will also be low and the beginning of a Grand Solar Minimum, now named the Eddy Minimum. Expect a Little Ice Age lasting 40 yrs, with some winters extremely cold, some wet cool springs to kill crops, some cold summers, and more frequent and severe storms. The storminess index went from 6.5 to 14 during the LIA. This slide into cold is showing up in German weather station records where the last 30 yrs of winter (DJF) are trending -19 dgC per 1000 yrs, much faster than the slow decline to normal glacials. Zugspitze Mtn. Resort, elev 2000m, january temperature has been trending down 1 dgC per 10 yrs.

    I expect in the next ten years one billion will actually starve due to crop failures, and one billion will be eaten by stronger omnivores.

    With a border wall in place, climate refugees north of Lat 37 N will have trouble getting into Mexico, heh.

    Sandy, Minister of Future

    X X X
    Javier Links

  17. p.g.sharrow says:

    A fire damaged property in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood was recently listed for $800,000
    Real estate sales person was specifically selling the 5,800 square foot lot, not the dilapidated house that sits on it. “Great opportunity to build your dream home! House a couple doors down sold for $1,600,000”

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t charge extra for not having a demolition fee…

    (only 1/2 ;sarc/)

    Yes, it really is that way / that crazy in Silicon Valley… I live in a ~1000 sq. ft. hovel I can barely pay to maintain, but I’m a paper $Millionaire… Go figure… Were it not for Prop. 13 capping property taxes, I’d have to sell my house to pay the taxes to live in it….

    Thus my point before about renting it out vs selling it. IF I retain ownership, I’m about $1200 / month of extra profit from NOT paying that much property tax but being able to charge that in the rent… Also, my kids would inherit the same tax rate so could choose to stay in California. If sold, they could never buy here and afford to live here (or likely even pay the property tax on a proper home).

    It’s become a place where the folks buying are one of:

    1) Made a bundle on huge stock options on some tech company.
    2) Bought a home 30 years ago and have equity to roll forward.
    3) Inherited a home bought more than 30 years ago so have equity.
    4) Foreigners with a lot of capital escaping somewhere with their rake.

    There’s a few other edge cases, but not much. Things like CEOs hired with a “buy me a house” clause and the odd “old money” buyer.

    Figure a $Million home will have about a $10,000 / month payment… if you finance most of it. IF you are showing up without a bundle in hand, you need about a $200,000 / year job just to make the house payments ( as you WILL be in a 50% total tax bracket Fed & State).

    The only question nagging me is:

    Is it a bubble that will burst soon, or is it the leading edge of National inflation trends that will spread out from here later? It all hinges on how long Silicon Valley can continue to be the Golden Boy Capitol of the world raking in global tithes for innovation…

    If the former, sell as soon as practical. If the latter, rent it out for guaranteed increasing income over time. Decisions decisions…

  19. interzonkomizar says:

    Hi Chief. Professor Hall responds to Gail Tverburg on e r o i. Very interesting.

    Sandy, Minister of Future

  20. Chuckles says:

    There really are some remarkably gullible people around. I wonder what the ROI is?

  21. jim2 says:

    I don’t have a problem with the EROI concept, but it’s simply not needed if a free market is operational. If production of an energy source becomes more expensive than the market will bear, then that energy won’t be produced. Simple.

  22. jim2 says:

    The Elite Mob’s hit man Comey has released his book. It’s a hit piece, pure and simple.

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    I wonder how that electrified road does in the snow…. Not like Sweden is cold, or far north, or gets much snow…. but two electrodes UNDER the road surface? Just sounds like it will fill up with dirt, water, snow, small insects, rodents, etc. etc.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    EROEI is a broken tool used to mislead.

    Why do I say that? It is used to say that anything with a negative Energy output relative to input is a failure. Yet that is obviously NOT true. The FORM of the energy matters. A Lot.

    EVERY oil refinery has a negative EROEI. By there thinking nobody would every use an oil refinery. But gasoline is useful while crude oil is not.

    Similarly they go all “Panties in a bunch” over just that moment when a given oil well takes more energy to lift a barrel of oil than is IN that barrel of oil. Again this misses that the FORM of the energy matters. Gasoline is a better fuel than electrons in a wire and batteries have not (quite) gotten good enough to match it. So doing the negative EROEI process of using nuclear power to lift that oil and negative EROEI process of refining it yields a product we find highly useful. (We presently use electricity to power oil well pumps in California and some of the mix comes from Palo Verde nuclear plant so this is not a hypothetical).

    We will be using nuclear (and maybe even some horridly expensive wind and solar) electricity to raise and refine oil to highly useful oil PRODUCTS long after the EROEI is strongly negative; and it will not matter one bit.

    Basically, they forget that what we want are useful PRODUCTS, not a positive EROEI number… All life is a negative EROEI process, but I’m not going to stop living just to balance the energy books… I’ll let plants gather some sunshine (and lose more energy to the environment as heat than they gain as plant mass) and feed some of it to chickens, cows, and pigs (losing over 90% of the energy in it to make ham and eggs) and then enjoy my highly negative EROEI breakfast, thank you very much.

    Speaking of which, my propane stove (that will burn more fuel and “lose” the energy from it, than is in the actual food I’m going to cook…) is calling my name and reminding me I’ve got some processed pig bits and chicken-in-a-shell that needs heating and eating. Do note that the pig meat packing plant, the egg production and processing, the trucking to deliver it, and the refrigerator keeping it all fresh for me are all HIGHLY negative EROEI processes. Guess what: I’m FINE with that… but right now the idea of some ham or sausages and eggs has got my attention so EROEI stupidity will have to wait. I’ve got some fuel to burn ;-)

  25. interzonkomizar says:

    Hi Chief- interesting post by dr. Willi Soon, with 5 or 7 free pdf download of his papers.

    Sandy, Minister of Future

  26. Larry Ledwick says:

    An item on China’s full spectrum war on America to achieve supremacy and dominance in the world.

  27. Sabretoothed says:

    Vegan kills

  28. E.M.Smith says:


    I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say Vegan Kills, but it certainly wounds. I say that having some family members who are vegan and having cooked and eaten a fair amount of it.

    To avoid the injury risks it presents, you MUST be very careful and avoid certain risks / pitfalls. Unfortunately, even folks who are very bright and know this tend to get sloppy about it over time and start the slow drift into “not quite right”.

    There’s a B vitamin issue. Yes, it can be managed, especially now with enhanced vitamins in grain coatings. But B vitamins are important to neurological function and chronic sub-clinical shortages can slowly compromise neurological functions.

    Then there’s the Omega-3 problem. You get LOTS of Omega-6 oils in grains and eat a lot of grains, but from where do you get your Omega-3 oils? (That are absolutely essential to health and brain function). Not going to use Fish Oil supplements nor eat salmon once a week… Largely you are left with Flax meal and oil (that must be kept refrigerated and costs a lot – I’ve bought it…) Turns out most Vegan’s really don’t like eating flax frequently so usually skip it… Over months the stock of Omega-3 in the brain and hormone systems gets used up, and then when some issue does present, it is “obviously” not related to a diet change 6 months or a year before… MUCH easier for Vegetarians to handle this one ( Ovo Lacto) with Omega-3 rich eggs.

    IMHO, those two together, are likely the reason Vegan’s get all “uppity in your grill” more and fiercely defend their life style choice. Often folks with disrupted neurological state find some happiness in the disruption and interpret that “feeling good” and being better… (Were that true, I’d be on the “Quart Of Scotch a Day” diet ;-) One often hears “But I feel better on Vegan” when the question that needs an answer is “Do you function better”.

    Realize Hitler was a vegetarian and some of his “Cranky Character” might, IMHO, have come from that “feel good / function not so much” effect. (The flip side of the observation is that Carnivores often are lethargic and inactive after meals and are, perhaps, too “mellow” on the couch for hours..)

    There are more issues. There’s an entire book “Transition to Vegetarianism” (or something like that) which covers them, and how to compensate for them. Written by an M.D. with an eye to the known biochemistry. I’m not going to reproduce the whole book here. Anyone who cares can look it up. I think this is it (though the cover is different. Mine is the old red cover)

    The bottom line is that it is POSSIBLE to eat Vegan and be happy and healthy; but few practicing Vegans put in the work to consistently get that right. It is vastly easier to meet those needs if eating Ovo / Lacto Vegetarian.

    Note on Terms: Vegan means NO animal products. Often going so far as to not wear leather shoes or eat honey as it came from an animal. Ovo Lacto Vegetarian means “eats plants, eggs, and milk products”. The term “Strict Vegetarian” is a synonym for Vegan. The term “Vegetarian” unadorned is ambiguous. It could be “Strict” or “Ovo Lacto” (or a couple of other variations). This, BTW, is why some folks now insist on the label VEGAN on foods or restaurants, despite not really needing or wanting the full on politically over the top and restrictive vegan bucket – as it is the term that guarantees you are only being offered “plant stuff” since “Vegetarian” can include eggs, milk and more. Somehow the fact I can call a Cheese Omelette a vegetarian meal seems wrong, but that’s the way the terminology runs…

    Note on Bias: I’ve eaten Vegan. Ovo Lacto Vegetarian. Strict Carnivore. And all points in between. It is MUCH easier, for me, to be properly fed and functional on a mixed omnivore diet. Yet I’ve gone weeks at a time on all meat and on Vegetarian. I really don’t care what someone chooses to eat; but I do think they ought to know how to do it well. For me, there’s just too much delicious stuff involving butter and eggs to go full on Vegan. Then the notion that sugar syrup is not “vegetarian” enough since a bee made it is just kind of silly. (My Niece even stocks “Vegan Sugar”… since someone, somewhere on the planet, sometime or other, used gelatin to clarify sugar syrup, she pays extra for sugar syrup that was air dried like 99.9% of all sugar syrup, but certified never to have been in contact with gelatin… I just can’t “go there” philosophically…)

    At the moment, I’m on a “mostly meat low carbs” binge to dump a few pounds and clean out any fat deposits in wrong places. (Yes, it works.) I’ve had some issues that indicate too much sugar / starch / carbs in the mix for a couple of years while doing “damn near nothing” to burn them up. So for a while, I’m purging those effects.

    When that’s done: My general meal plan is “A Protein, A Starch, A Vegetable” . That can be Roast Chicken, Penne Alfredo, Peas; or it can be Roast Beef, Baked Potato, Green beans, or it can be “Chefs Salad” with meats, eggs, greens and crackers on the side. Breakfast things like “sausage and eggs with hash browns” gets close, but needs some preserves on toast to add a plant bit. Adjusting the amount of starch adjusts my weight more than any other variation. So now I’ve set the “starch” to “very low” (carrots and green beans all I want…) but later I’ll raise it.

    On a Vegan diet, the problem I have (aside from just nutrient balance) is that grains and legumes make up the core of it. It is very hard to go on a “low carbs vegan” meal plan. You can do it, but we’re talking LOTS of carrot sticks, green beans, salads, mustard greens, …

  29. Larry Ledwick says:

    I think we should file this under “I told you so” Regarding the Internet of things. This is really funny and a great example of how unexpected attack vectors can bite you big time.

  30. jim2 says:

    LL – It’s hard to believe they are so stupid as to put their building control systems on the internet. OK, so they have to have some staff on-site to handle things, but that seems like a small price to pay.

  31. jim2 says:

    Oh, and building control should be a network separate from the business one, which also should be isolated, IMO.

  32. E.M.Smith says:


    That separate networks issue is a hot button for me.

    All it takes is about $50 of hardware and some simple configuration.

    INTERNET - Telco Router -> your "Internet of Things" router
                        Your internal network router (with DMZ spigot if desired, or DMZ can be a router)

    It really is that simple. You can compromise the IdOT network and the Telco router and you still can’t get the corporate stuff. Add a honey pot and some attack detection (IDS/IPS) gear at the Telco Router level you even get early warning of corporate attacks.

    I once set up a 16 zone system for a company. We had a lot of “partners” who owned part of the company. Many were competitors… Each had some staff on site.

    One Big Router spitting out 16 isolated sub-nets and a nice firewall structure so each one could get to an isolated part of the corporate network, and to the internet, but not to each other or the private side of our corporate network. Think of it as 18 total DMZs. One for each partner, one for the company, and one for internet access.

    Yes, moving things between any two players was a ‘two step’ affair, and it was limited as to push vs pull.

    But it worked fine and nobody had their stuff compromised.

    Don’t know why folks put anything they don’t 100% control on a corporate inside network.

    At many companies, I’ve even had a couple of layers “inside”. So someone pwns a desktop in sales, they can’t get to financials. An Engineer can’t see the marketing data, and marketing /sales can’t see what the Engineers are dreaming about…

    At Apple we had at least 4 layers. The “business” side was run by another department! In Engineering Ops we had the boundary network, DMZ, inside desktops, secret projects and then a few that were tossed up and taken down as needed for special projects. Even had one “secret project” that ran a half dozen years inside the private side of the Engineering network.

    Having a non-segmented single level network is just stupid. No… Idiotic Stupid. I’ve got 4 levels in the house and I’m not even that worried. (Telco, private side, DMZ, Devo / Beowulf) and two of them have WiFi segments with different rules… Not counting the WiFi hotspot and the router used for bright idea testing and the R. Pi that’s a router and…

    Oh Well. As long as folks choose to be stupid there will be money for security consultants … after the loss…

  33. Sabretoothed says:

    Vegan does kill, look at the graphs ;)

    Only bioflavonoids are really needed, like peels of lemons and oranges. The body runs best on 100% fat and meat ;)

    Carb plant food causes scurvy and pellagra in the population on a chronic level which is the root cause of disease. Eg lipoprotein A effect from low vitamin C from oxidative stress of carbs causes vessel disease. High cholestrol people contrarily live the longest as lipoprotein A and homocysteine as better markers

  34. Sabretoothed says:
    Good non vegan eating site from Medical Specialist

  35. E.M.Smith says:


    There’s a huge difference between mortality statistics and “kills”. For “kills” to be true, several friends and family would need to be dead. They are not. Millions of folks live a vegetarian to vegan life style in good health for their whole lives; therefor it does not “kill”.

    It does introduce challenges. Challenges that are often unmet by the practitioners. Unmet challenges that could cause higher mortality statistics. But that is not “kills”, and certainly not “vegan kills”. At most it is “BADLY managed vegan diets present challenges that increase mortality rates in some people after very long adherence to a poor version of vegan practices.”

    Now, there are also incredibly horrible statistical issues to work out before any of the statistics on a “vegan diet” can begin to have meaning. Not the least of which is defining the various classes of diet. Ask “what is a vegan” of vegans and you will get almost as many answers as people. Ask what is Vegetarian and it gets far worse. (Just had this experience at Christmas. One Vegan, one Ovo-Lacto, and one Health Restricted Diet aware of Vegan and Me. 4 people. 4 definitions. 5 after I looked up the formal definitions. 8 if you count both vegan and vegetarian variations.)

    Another is just that LOTS of folks go to a vegetarian or vegan diet because they have health problems. Right out the gate you have a self selected population of folks with health issues; often major. That, alone, makes the mortality statistics useless.

    Oh, do note that the Hindus are generally fairly good about being vegetarian. Poverty drives most of them to a vegan or nearly so diet. Similar groups in Africa. In America the 7th Day Adventists IIRC run about 50 / 50 vegetarian and not. OFTEN used in A/B medical studies as all the other factors (genetics, environment, etc.) are the same. Yet these populations are NOT dropping like flies from their diets…

    So to say “Vegan kills” is gross hyperbole at best, a flat out lie at worst.

    BTW, scurvy is ONLY caused by insufficient Vit. C. Not carb intake. I’ve eaten very high carb diets, even vegetarian, and NOT gotten scurvy. On the other end, sailors would often get it while on high meat diets at sea. This is why British Sailors were called Limeys. They were issued a ration of citrus fruit to prevent Vit C deficiency and scurvy.

    Pellagra is caused by a Niacin shortage. Yes, you can get Niacin from fish, eggs, and meat. You can also get it from peanuts and brown rice. This is another of those things Vegans need to know. White rice can be an issue (unless supplemented). I asked my vegan family members (some long time ago) where they got their Niacin – thinking I had trapped them as we had a bowl of white rice on the serving table). The answer? My daily vitamin pill… OK, advantage them. Trivial and easy fix WITHOUT having Thai Peanut dishes or brown rice…

    So anyone asserting a Vegan diet causes Pellagra is just being clueless about peanuts and brown rice (and the wide availability of vitamin pills in the west).

    Yes, you must know about peanuts and brown rice if on a vegan diet, or just take a vitamin. But that’s a far cry from “Vegan Kills!” breathlessly tossed.

    So please, IF you are going to make assertions about what Vegan and Vegetarian diets do, and don’t do, please LEARN ABOUT THEM FIRST. Start with buying that book “Transition to vegetarian” listed above. It lays it all out. Where there are risks, and what fixes each issue. Quoting random bulk statistics just measures how many Vegans are not aware of how to do it right and are a bit daft, and how much the bulk statistics are influenced by selection bias. They do NOT impugn a Vegan diet done well.

    Now, I personally, after reading that book, and toting up all the “must do” things to make it work realized a few things:

    1) Most Vegans don’t do that and don’t know it. Thus their manifest issues from time to time.

    2) it is quite possible and fairly easy to do it right, IF YOU ARE CAREFUL.

    3) I was never going to do that. I have better things to do that tote up my peanut, brown rice, and flax meal consumption each week and assure I’m on track. (Plus a couple of others like amino acid balance).

    4) I really really like my bacon & eggs, lamb chops, and pork carnitas… AND they make my life and diet much easier to hold in a safe and healthy zone.

    5) I’m going to spend my life as a full on omnivore, but facultative vegan and facultative carnivore as I sometimes have dinner with friends of all sorts.

    6) It is a complete waste of time, breath, and energy to get into the endless turf wars and “does so / does not” of dietary advocacy between those camps. They ALL work. They ALL have issues (as being alive causes issues). Each person is different and must find their own best mix.

    So, for example:

    My Niece is far far healthier on a vegan diet than before. Why is unclear but she is unwilling to experiment to find out. Meat make her sick in a few odd ways (gastrointestinal for one). Her mother who joined her as “support” had a life of migraine headaches end. She has no interest in “going back” to the one a week lay there and want to scream. I can’t eat beef or my joints start to hurt. My “best” diet is a fish / vegetables / rice diet. Adding in birds and some lamb and pork seems to work OK too. Though too much it starts to cause discomforts. BUT, oddly, eating 100% various meats and non-carb vegetables is also fine (the ketogenic diet) as the metabolism shifts to a different regime.

    So am I a candidate for vegetarian of vegan diet? No, but I am also best at either 100% non-carb OR modest meat, medium carbs, & lots of vegetables. A high meat (and by definition high fat) with the same medium carbs and veggies has me pudge up right quick unless I’m doing a lot of physical labor.

    Which brings up the final point:

    The “ideal diet” for me CHANGES with my activity level and my metabolic state. People have several metabolic regimes and what diet is best depends on which one you are in at the time. Trying to pick the one true best diet is a fools errand and it varies with person, season, and activity (among other things). For me, carbs need to modulate with my activity. If active and eating only meat ( I’ve done it…) the amount eaten becomes quite large and I don’t feel as good as I also lose weight. If in-active, I’m best on a very low or zero carbs diet as otherwise the excess goes to weight gain. There is no best diet.

  36. p.g.sharrow says:

    paper on studies that suggest slowing of the Gulf Stream:
    Has the usual AGW meme in it but interesting all the same…pg

  37. p.g.sharrow says:

    “The kingship continued at Bad-tibira (“Fortress of the Smiths”), identified as modern Tell al-Madineh, located in southern Iraq. It was also one of the pre-Flood cities in the Sumerian King List”

    Fortress of the Smiths, any relation? :-) …pg

  38. E.M.Smith says:

    “belonged to Enki – God of Creation, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Magic”…

    Yeah, they’re Family…


    Think about it. From about 4000 BC up to about 1700 A.D., the Smiths were the combined Arms Industry, Tooling Shops, and Industrial Center of every metal using society globally. Of course they would have a Fortress…

    Carpenters depended on tooling made by… Smiths.
    Coopers depended on tooling made by… Smiths.
    Foresters, boat writes, farmers, etc. depended on tooling made by… Smiths.
    Soldiers and Sailors depended on hardware made by… Smiths.
    So much so that a smith was usually included on any ship going to foreign shores where it might need repairs to return.

    Lose the smiths, you lose your entire economy.

    (And yes, I’m bummed that smiths are not important any more… Then again, now our economy depends on computers to work and I’m a computer guy, so maybe things have not changed all that much… “Fortress of Geeks” or “Fortress of Nerds”? Hmmm…. ;-)

    Smith lore:

    What is an alternate name for the skeleton key?

    “The Smith’s Wife”…

    (The smith was also the local locksmith and made both the locks and the keys for things like chastity belts… It was very important for the smith to be honest and trustworthy. They literally could open anything. Guess I come by my lock picking skills and interest in security honestly…)

  39. p.g.sharrow says:

    Computer security guy, just another form of locksmith.
    “A lock is just something to keep an honest man honest”
    If you can’t trust your smith, who can you trust?…pg Lol!

  40. p.g.sharrow says:

    A condemned home sells for $1.23 million in cash due to a high demand in Fremont, California.
    OMG! in Fremont! $230,000 over asking to get a site that might yield a Bay view from a second floor window in a new house that will cost over $2,000 per month in taxes…pg

  41. Sabretoothed says:

    Meat is food, Plants are medicine ;)

  42. jim2 says:

    Check out these luxury vans. Small enough to maneuver most of the back roads but nice amenities.

  43. E.M.Smith says:


    One of the oddities of life in the city is just how many people seem to think plants and animals are happy to be eaten and all of them are made of nothing but nummy nummy goodness.

    The reality is that bear livers can kill you (Vit. D poisoning) as can shell fish about 1/3 of the year (red tide toxins) as can various bites, stings and such. Don’t get me started on Trichinosis from pigs and bears and any predator really or various worms from fish (And many many more). Just like Rhubarb leaves are toxic (but the stems are tasty), potatoes are nummy unless green (solanine toxin) – something the local discount grocer refuses to learn despite being told not to set up a vegetable display in the sunny parking lot with potatoes, and so much more. Leviticus is a good place to start.

    There are all sorts of animal and plant toxins. It’s natures way of saying “F-You for eating me!”. Onions kill dogs by hemolysis of red blood cells (but rabbits and humans figured out how to avoid that). Eat a lot of eucalyptus and you get sick and potentially die, but koalas are good with that. Etc. etc. It’s an evolutionary co-evolution thing.

    There’s a reason we eat sheep and cows, but not mud-hens and toads. (Mud hens are named for their flavor, like mud… while many toads are lethal / toxin in the skins).

    The reality is that it is up to us to find / make species we can eat. Nature is busy trying to turn any prey item into a foul tasting toxic lethal thing. The race condition of evolution…


    Looked at some nice Mercedes based vans. But kinda pricey…

    We’re still trying to decide what to do. Get a house in Florida. Get a LARGE RV and spend most of our time in a Florida RV resort.. Get a small RV just for touring around. Just not sure. I’m leaning toward a B class for taking the East Coast tour and for when we visit Chicago; but then we’d need a “real house” in Florida. OTOH, a big Class A would be expensive and a PITA to tour in. (“Let’s drive around the Washington D.C. Monuments” becomes a BIG PITA in a 40 foot pusher…) Not enough experience base yet.

    We know a double wide “Vacation Cottage” was very nice. About 500 sq. ft. I think. But that’s not mobile. We need to find out if a smaller Class B is “reasonable’ for touring, or too much of a PITA to sleep in / take meals in. (Class C is out as we’re not doing the “climb up” bed cab-over… Spousal climbing days are over…) I’m not keen on towing, so a “5th Wheel” isn’t my favorite approach, plus they tend to have “steps up” to the bedroom.

    Worst case fall-back position will be a large vacation cottage and flying to wherever we want and hit the hotels. I just hate the hassle of airports and hotels.

    Ah the joys of having all your options open as your future plans are entirely in disarray… ;-)

  44. p.g.sharrow says:

    RV experience that I have had would indicate your Idea of a class “B” is about right.About 18 to 20ft of floor space for living works well and is drive-able by most people in most conditions. That would be 1 to 1-1/2 ton size. That cabover bed is a real space saver and you don’t have to make the bed to use the rest of the space. Other wise you will have to use the dinette/bed or couch. The better units have a nice ships ladder.
    My lady and I have lived in a big 10ft pickup camper for 1 year, really cozy, A 19ft trailer for 2 years,cozy, our 600sqft cabin for 16 years, small enough! Also I have traveled the Alcan with a pickup pulled 20ft trailer and California in a “B” size Winnebago motor-home, Now that was plush. Before that I have used a Mini-Wini which was of the 3/4 ton size, too cozy!
    Often you can get really good buys in RVs in the early winter, Used, low mileage, not too old, 4 to 8 years old will have a lot of life left. 10 to 16 years will be falling apart due to wood rot due to condensation between the inter and outer shells. Some of the best constructed ones like the Winnebago have solid walls and no hidden rot problem….pg

  45. p.g.sharrow says:

    forgot to add, you can rent or lease RVs, so lots of opportunities to test run and see what works for you. Just getting to your destination is only half of the problem. You have to park the damn thing , somewhere, and then running around at your destination is also a pain. My parents used to tow a little Mazda behind their RV so they could setup the RV and then run around…pg

  46. p.g.sharrow says:

    Personally my choice would be a heavy 4×4 SUV with towing package pulling a tandem axle 23 foot trailer with an awning…pg

  47. Sabretoothed says:

    I think meat is food, and plants are medicine. Most chronic diseases are coming from the lectins from plants. Carbs are causing the insulin problems.

    Eskimos do not need any vitamin C because they don’t consume plants. Vitamin C and glucose compete for the same uptake receptor

  48. p.g.sharrow says:

    Eskimos eat a lot of flesh and fat from sea mammals. Lots of Vitamin C & E there. The Earth doesn’t produce enough of that kind of food to supply everyone. On the other hand humans are not designed to consume sugar or live on plants alone. Vegans MUST supplement or they will deteriorate and die. Bovines and cereal grains are also somewhat toxic as are potatoes,soybeans and corn.
    The best thing that I can do is eat some of everything and not too much of any one thing and AVOID SUGAR! ooooh but it is addictive….pg

  49. E.M.Smith says:


    Yeah, renting is on the todo list. We’ll likely have a pre-positioned car at a couple of places so that’s not a problem for those spots. It’s the “see the USA” where that one bites…


    Eskimos DO consume Vit C. They specifically share equally in the adrenal glands (IIRC) for the Vit-C content and seal livers (eaten raw so the Vit-C is not destroyed by heat). They have spent a few thousand years working out how to live on an all meat diet. If you only eat cooked meat, the heating process will have destroyed any Vit-C in it and you WILL get scurvy.

    You are free to think what you want, however wrong it may be. Putting up selected photos of people with issues does not make you right. I see 4 vegan family members very often. They ALL look quite healthy. (Healthier than me in some ways). One of them has done Krav Maga for several years and I’d not want to give him “attitude” in a dark ally. They also are bright enough to know the issues and deal with the biochemical complexity – something not in evidence in most people I meet of any dietary preference…

    Yes, IF you do it wrong you will have health issues. I’ve already shown you examples of that. HOWEVER: It is perfectly possible to live a long, healthy, life on plant stuff. MILLIONS of people do so. Seventh Day Adventists for one group.

    FWIW, during the Potato Famine and after it (before it too for that matter) a great many poor Irish lived almost entirely on potatoes. Among them my ancestors. Significant meat eating is a relatively new thing for most of humanity. Think the Romans fed their slaves steak? Personal family history includes the lore of “nothing but potatoes for years” (though subject to the usual Irish Embellishment).

    Looking at the human gut length, it is too long for all meat. There’s a very clear correlation across all sorts of animals. Vegetarian animals have a very long gut length (see the pot belly on Gorillas) to ferment plants. Meat eaters have a very short gut length (less colon cancer from what they ate for one thing) to avoid fermentation products of meat, see the skinny guts of cats. The human gut length in in between those two. We are optimally omnivores. But also falcultative vegetarians and facultative carnivores. But BOTH extremes push your digestion and metabolism into difficult to manage edge cases (“Benign Dietary Ketosis” for strict carnivore. I’ve been in the state a few times – measured with ‘pee sticks’ – and you do lose weight pretty quickly then. It is NOT a pleasant regimen. Tolerable, yes.)

    So please, lose the Jihad against vegetarians. It just makes you look uninformed and an unthinking sort.

    There is a simple truth, that people can, and do, live on diets from both ends and through the middle.

    There is another simple truth, that people can, and do, get sick from extreme diets at both ends of the range (and in the middle) when they don’t know how to manage their nutrient intake.

    We are one of THE most diet flexible animals on the planet, but that doesn’t make us suited to eating any old junk that comes along and being healthy. No, it doesn’t make any difference if that is eating fried pork chops (and no Vit-C intake) or white rice (and no B vitamin intake). Either one will give you a vitamin shortage and you WILL get sick. BUT, an omnivorous diet is far more likely to let you eat stupidly and randomly and still get what you need to survive.

  50. E.M.Smith says:


    I must admit to a certain attraction to a largish Airstream trailer… Low step height for the spouse, low heat load from the shiny finish. Durable. Tow well. Fairly roomy without a lot of set-up fuss. Nice air flow in towing…

  51. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and Sabertoothed:

    Some counter propaganda propaganda:

    So note that Mike Tyson (yes, that Mike Tyson) is on the list. As is:

    “Robert Cheeke is a bodybuilder whose vegan diet helps him maintain his ripped physique. ”


    Bryan Danielson

    Also known as Daniel Bryan and the Red Dragon, this vegan WWE superstar has a litany of credits to his name, including: “former Ring of Honor World champion, two-time Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World champion, a one-time Westside Xtreme Wrestling Heavyweight champion, a one-time FIP Heavyweight Champion and a one-time World Heavyweight Champion in WWE.” He’s also integrated veganism into his villainous wrestling persona to elicit crowd reactions.

    Carl Lews

    Carl Lewis is one of the United States’ most decorated athletes. Standing tall at 6’3″, this former track and field athlete competed from 1979 to 1996, racking up nine Olympic gold medals, one Olympic silver medal, eight World Championship gold medals, one World Championship silver, one World Championship bronze, and three Pan American Games medals (two golds and a bronze). He was also drafted by both the NBA and the NFL, although he opted not to play in either league. All this and he’s a vegan — now that’s what we call impressive.

    Now I do note this is cherry picking. Just like what you did… Eating vegan will NOT make you a WWE Heavyweight Champion nor will it get you Olympic GOLD. Neither will it prevent it…

  52. Sabretoothed says:

    Yeah but how many supps and drugs do vegans need to do that :P

  53. E.M.Smith says:

    Vegans generally avoid drugs far more than anyone else. That you would stoop to that is basically slander.

    Per supplements: The only one that’s really needed is Vit. B12 (but there are ways around that). Most vegans just need / use a basic multi-vitamin like the rest of us.

    To assert otherwise is to either be ‘lying for effect” or ignorant. I’ll let you choose which one fits…

  54. Sabretoothed says:

    Interesting video

  55. Sabretoothed says:

    Name 1 vegan native tribe. Just 1 :P

  56. Sabretoothed says: part 1 of the above video. Interesting in the first video how large populations of animals seem to get B1 deficiencies and nobody knows why. This could happen to human populations?

  57. Sabretoothed says:

    Beaching Whales might have B1 deficiency? Get neuro symptoms and loose navigation or head to shore?

  58. E.M.Smith says:

    Anyone from India knows that being vegetarian is not a new concept. But it seems eating vegan has also been around in India for thousands of years. The Brokpa tribe of Ladakh, for example, has thrived eating vegan for more than 5,000 years –

    So “Brokpa”.

    (You might want to do a trivial web search before tossing challenges… this was top 1/2 page 1)

    Oh, and just to make a point of it:

    There are about 1,000 descendants of the Aryan tribes and they live scattered around Gilgit, Hunza, Kargil and Leh.
    Being nature worshippers, they celebrate the Bononah (nature) festival and are strict vegans, which means they are not only strictly vegetarian but also don’t consume milk or milk products.

    Per Fertility:

    There are lots of dietary issues that can cause infertility. Just too low a body fat level is enough. So if someone is just at too low a gross calories and I feed them a pound of dry beans a day, they would add enough weight to become fertile again. Yet shouting about “Beans restored fertility” would be a bit daft. Similarly, not knowing the ladies nutritional status, she could easily have been missing something that’s plentiful in beef. Yet clearly beef is NOT needed for fertility. Look at India. A Billion people, many vegetarians, and cows sacred. You don’t get a billion people from infertility…

    So please, let go of the slander aimed at vegetarians and vegans. It is insulting to me, my family members who are vegan, their friends, and to the millions and millions of vegetarians and vegans world wide; while not doing a thing to bolster whatever point it is you think you are trying to make.

    Somehow you seem to think that cherry picking someone who isn’t healthy or looks bad negates all those I know who have no issues. I could just as easily trot out pictures of obese people stuffing themselves with pulled pork or folks dying of heart attacks after too much fatty beef. Neither what you are doing, nor my hypothetical response, would prove, or mean, a damn thing.

    There are always people who eat badly and get sick from it. That has zero to do with being a vegetarian or vegan OTHER THAN that it’s a little easier to forget some important nutrient that is common in all meats, but needs a particular plant to provide it. (Like brown rice & peanuts, or flax for Omega-3 oils). Yet meat eaters can (and do) have the same kinds of risks. Already mentioned was Vit – C being destroyed in cooking; so your meat eater needs to eat RAW Ring Seal Liver or RAW adrenal glands or a LOT of RAW red meat. Which, BTW, dramatically raises the risk of a lot of other diseases and parasites… (Liver fluke worms for example – NEVER eat under cooked liver from a Hawaiian or other tropical cow…)

    You are trying to argue that one diet is bad horrible bad and an all meat diet is good nothing but good. BOTH are patently false. A mixed diet is easiest but we ARE omnivores and we CAN eat all meat (with some care and vitamin supplements) or eat all plants (with some care and vitamin supplements). Just different vitamins…

    Now since we CAN eat anywhere on that spectrum, it’s a bit silly to toss rocks at someone for choosing one end, or the other, or like me, the middle. (Though I occasionally go to one end or the other for a while depending on who I’m around then.)

    And yes, by eating badly you can make yourself sick; but that can happen ANYWHERE on the line from Vegan to strict Carnivore and all paces in between.

  59. Maybe the most-well-known tribe who are totally vegan are the Jains in India, who even wear gauze over their mouths so they don’t accidentally eat a fly.

    Our bodies can’t synthesize some stuff we need, such as Vitamin C. It seems chimps can, so we lost it somewhere along the way but since there was enough in the diet anyway it had no effect on survival. There are some chemical we can only get from eating other animals – it seems the Jains get some essential proteins from the bugs that infest their flour.

    Tribes will eat what’s available locally. If it doesn’t contain all they need the tribe will not thrive, and there may have been many such tribes who died out for one reason or another, leaving very little evidence as to the events. We do however know who’s alive now, and so they must be doing something right and must be eating a sufficient diet. Since the biome in the gut can also produce some important products, a diet that starts by not containing the necessary items may work, too.

    Also important is that each person has slightly different genetics, and so it’s not going to be a single diet suits all. Use of antibiotics may also remove some important bacteria or fungus from your gut and change a diet that used to be effectively sufficient to one that is insufficient. It’s complex….

    It seems best to choose as wide a variety of food as possible. Some nutrients/minerals are needed in minute quantities and may be missing from a diet that is limited to a few groups or a single group. If you eat only meat, then you’d better make sure that the animal you’re eating had such a wide dietary choice and wasn’t just fed on bought-in pellets. I recall that trappers in Canada knew that if you only ate squirrel you’d get ill and die. Some meat-only diets can be somewhat dangerous.

  60. cdquarles says:

    Exactly right. The only bad diet is the one that makes you sick. The trick, though, is trying to find that out.

  61. Sabretoothed says:

    High vegan made me very sick and this community is growing. Carbs are vegan. The only good part to eat really is the peel, for the bioflavonoids.

    Try 100% carinvore for 1 week and you will see ;)

  62. Sabretoothed says:

  63. Sabretoothed says:

  64. E.M.Smith says:


    I’ve eaten 100% carnivore for months. (Spouse on weight loss all meat diet, buddy on all meat about the same time, I overlapped both; including ketone pee testing strips to assure we reached the ketolysis stage). Boring as hell and I lost maybe 10 lbs. Friend and I would hit up this asian BBQ place in San Francisco (when on contract at Schwab) and eat a few plates of chicken… God I got tired of chicken… but being a buffet made the diet easy.

    I’ve also eaten vegan for weeks. Vegetarian a bit longer. Easier to do than the all meat all the time, not as boring. Not as extreme a metabolic state (ketosis is very noticeable). Fewer feelings of “can I keep this up” and less of a low energy feeling. Not nearly as much “Ooh Yum!” feeling when chomping into a toferky compared to a real one…

    There is basically no diet I’ve not been on at one time or another due entirely to my tendency to “help” my friends by “joining in” so they don’t feel isolated or tempted.

    THE diet that works best for me, bar none, is a mixed omnivorous diet with modest carbs. Think 1/4 chicken roast, bit of spinach and a dinner salad, and about 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes with butter. What does NOT work for me is loads of pies, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and pancakes with syrup for breakfast. I end up with glycemic oscillations that are not good. (Did that once to test some diet ideas for a friend with hypoglycemia.) The net answer was that I could give myself hypoglycemia with outrageous levels of carbs and little else, then it would take about a month to recover once on a more normal diet. (i.e. mixed proteins, vegetables, modest carbs).

    Oddly, I just watched “The Magic Pill” about 2 nights ago on the Roku. Good flick. Likely mostly right. Only missing bit is that if you are ACTIVE you can consume as much carbs as you burn with zero net effect. So in fact, today’s big issues with high carbs diets are as much the low level of activity as it is the high carbs. I’ve stated before that I modulate my carbs with my activity. That is THE key bit. If you are an inactive lump laying on the couch, no carbs for you. If you are a weight lifter who runs a marathon ever month and trains in between, you can shovel down 4000 Calories of carbs a day and not notice. ( When I was doing karate 3 x a week I was able to eat most any quantity of anything…)

    As for “myths”, I don’t care about any of them. I’m only interested in how things really work… usually from personal experimentation and observation.

  65. Sabretoothed says:

    This is an interesting video

    I think some people must be more or less sensitive to them and the more sensitive are the ones with autoimmune and maybe cancer? But some people seem to be bullet proof.

    But with the carbs, have you looked with a glucose meter, as every time insulin goes high, HGH and IGF 1 drop.


  66. Sabretoothed says:

  67. E.M.Smith says:


    So what’s your point (that has not already been made)? Yes, there are toxins in many plants. They don’t want to be eaten. We’ve established that. Similarly animals do not want to be eaten so have a range of defenses from physical (claws and teeth) to chemical (skunks) to toxins (polar bear liver, fugu) and more.

    None of this is news. None of this is a “tip”. None of it really even matters to 99.999% of us who eat food from grocery stores carefully selected and packaged to avoid all the toxic bits. (Though some occasionally do get through, thus the occasional meat recalls and vegetable recalls – usually for bacterial contamination for both, BTW.)

    We already know you have a jihad on against vegetarians (stupidly, I have added) and are advocating for a “mostly meat little bit of non-carbs” diet (a reasonable if not exactly necessary one) while being oblivious (despite being shown) of the millions of healthy vegetarians and vegans world wide and oblivious to the folks who are active so can eat all the carbs they want. So you are being slow to catch on, that’s been made obvious also.

    So why bother continuing with these anti-plant videos and crap? It is NOT going to change my mind, nor the minds of the millions of happy vegans and vegetarians, nor the minds of the folks eating their french fries and toast.(nor, really, should it).

    We started off in an evolutionary sense as fairly strict vegetarians (see our closest relatives the bonobo and gorilla) and over time started adding little bits of meat to the diet (see chimps). We are, fundamentally, built as an herbivore. But in the process of becoming a more carnivorous species. So we are at this moment mostly omnivores. THE most direct evidence for this is gut length and colon cancer. Vegetarian species have very long gut length (like Gorillas) to better ferment plants; while carnivores have very short gut length. WHY? Because as meat digests a crap load of toxins accumulate in the gut and you get Colon Cancer if your gut is too long for that amount of meat.

    Why do I know this? Well, first off, there’s a load of academic papers that cover it across many species. But for me personally, it is because my Mother, and her Father (my Grandfather) both died of Colon Cancer and my gastroenterologist has informed me I have a very long gut length. So I looked into it in some depth. That is, I’m more herbivorous than the average AND that means if I eat mostly meat, I’m much more likely to DIE from Colon Cancer. Get it now?

    I’ve already had 3 or 4 colonoscopies with a few polyps removed (so at this point I would be dead from Colon Cancer were it not for that…) and I’m supposed to schedule my next followup “soon”.


    So please, lose this stupid assault on plant foods. It’s just incredibly dumb.

  68. philjourdan says:

    So that explains it! I guess I am like you – have a long gut length! My first polyp was when I was 45 (the Gastro Doc commented that it was kind of young to be getting them). Since then I have had 2 others and am now on a 3 year cycle for the roto rooter. I like vegetables, but give me a rare steak or burger and you have a meal!!!

    So Sabretoothed’s post caused you to post a very informative response that educated me. Thanks to the both of you.

  69. E.M.Smith says:


    I think I’m on the 5 year plan. My first colonoscopy was after “blood in the stool” meaning a polyp had gotten far along enough toward cancer to be bleeding… not quite cancerous but headed that way. 3 were removed. The intermittent bleeder and 2 little ones. A year later nothing, and then I think it was 2 more years, nothing, and put on the 5 year plan. Last one I think they found one more polyp in early stages. So I’m a “slow former”.

    At the first round, the Dr. made the comment it was “The first time he ever had to use the entire length of the colonoscope… and I had a long colon…”

    I ought to find the article about gut length in primates… it does a direct comparison of gut length and diet across several primate types. Then contrasted actual carnivores like cats with astoundingly short guts in comparison to humans. We, all of us, are fundamentally built as herbivores that are facultative carnivores for short periods of time or for small steady amounts. When you look at human history, that is also the typical human diet. Only in the last few hundred years have we become wealthy enough to feed a continent of people on so much meat.

    Even the Neanderthals, known for their tendency to hunt animal foods and with lots of “rodeo like” bone injuries (looks like they would walk-down the animal they hop on with a knife or club to finish them); they have shown evidence for some tribes, or some times of year, being vegetarians. (Somehow they got enough stuff from fossil teeth to know the diet…) It was a big deal in some science journal that they found a cave of vegetarian Neanderthals, as prior to that the assertion was they were just hunters for most of their diet.

    This looks like the story, though not the paper:

    They looked at plaques from the teeth of three Neanderthals living in Europe about 50,000 years ago. One individual was from a cave in Spy, Belgium, and the other two were from El Sidrón cave in Spain.

    As they report in a study published in this week’s Nature, the Belgian individual ate mostly meat. “We found evidence of woolly rhino. We found the DNA of wild sheep,” says Dobney.

    The researchers also found evidence of mushrooms, but this was certainly a meat lover. This isn’t that surprising to scientists who study Neanderthal diets. After all, the butchered bones of woolly rhinos, mammoths, horses and reindeer had been found in the Spy cave and other sites, suggesting a meat-heavy diet.

    So steak with mushroom saute has been popular for a long time ;-)

    At least in the cold frozen north near the ice age glacial glaciers. But…

    “Most Neanderthals that had been analyzed [before] were really heavy meat eaters,” says Laura Weyrich, at the Australian Center for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide, Australia, and the lead author on the new study. She says those previous studies had suggested that “Neanderthals were as carnivorous as polar bears.”

    And this is where the new study offered a big surprise. According to the DNA in dental plaques, the Neanderthals in Spain ate no meat at all.

    “We find things like pine nuts, moss, tree barks and even mushrooms as well,” says Weyrich. “It is very indicative of a vegetarian diet, probably the true Paleo diet.” (Not all of the region’s Neanderthals were necessarily vegetarians: The El Sidrón cave also contained grisly evidence of cannibalism.)
    But farther south in Spain, the Neanderthals lived in dense forests. “It’s hard to imagine a big woolly rhino trying to wedge themselves between the trees,” says Weyrich. And so, she says the Neanderthals there feasted on all kinds of plants and mushrooms. “They’re very opportunistic, trying to find anything that’s edible in their environment.”

    For example, Neanderthals living on the coast of Gibraltar “were collecting molluscs and baking them,” he says. “They were butchering at least one seal. There [was] dolphin material at the site. That may have been stranded dolphin that they scavenged.”

    In short, we’re omnivores. Since Neanderthals as a type pre-date moderns and Cro Magnon by about 300,000 years, we’ve been omnivores for a very long time…

    Able to live a healthy life on vegetarian, carnivore, and pescivore diets (at least until our average life span started hitting about 50 and various “diseases of old age” kick in like colon cancer).

    So having the rare steak is FINE. Just start with a dinner salad, put the mushroom saute on top of it, some green beans on the side, and have that baker, but remember the skins are nummy too… Then think about the fruit pie for desert instead of the ice cream… “For the fiber” ;-) Oh, and make it wheat bread for the dinner rolls…

  70. cdquarles says:

    Same here, with the exception that I have not been informed that my intestinal length is higher than average. I have, though, had ulcerative colitis for more than 20 years and complications of autoimmune-like conditions for way more than 50 years. Suffice it to say that I overproduce complement and related factors. The last two colonoscopies have had polyps. That said, I’ve had skin tags (skin polyps) for more than 40 years. I must eat plant fiber. I also need a good balance between animal based food and plant based food. Going to far in either direction is not good for me. I also must mix it up.

  71. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, it isn’t the study on gut length, but it talks about it:

    The basic idea being our gut length is shorter than the Great Apes (so we don’t spend all day eating leaves in trees) but not the short straight tubes of strict carnivores. We tend to a size / style suited for “high quality foods”. They cite 2 other primates who eat similarly (lots of nuts and stuff) and then make some assertions that maybe it was our tendency to cook things that helped us change this way (well, duh…)

    Milton [1987, p. 102] notes:

    When compared to those of most other mammals, the relative proportions of the human gut are unusual (my calculations, using data from Chivers and Hladik [1980], and Hladik [1967]).

    Human gut small compared to apes. Observing that human gut proportions are different from those found in carnivores, herbivores, swine (an omnivore), and even most other primates, including the anthropoid apes, Milton [1987, p. 101] notes that “…the size of the human gut relative to body mass is small in comparison with other anthropoids (R.D. Martin, pers. comm.).” Milton [1987] includes a table (3.2, p. 99) that compares the relative volumes of the different parts of the gut for selected hominid species. The table shows the stomach at 10-24% of total gut volume in humans, while for orangs and chimps it is 17-20%. The small intestine is 56-67% of total gut volume in humans, 23-28% in orangs and chimps. And the colon is 17-23% of total gut volume in humans, while it is 52-54% in orangs and chimps. The percentages quoted in the preceding sentence are unscaled, i.e. are not scaled for inter-specific differences in body size. Despite this, the figures are useful to compare patterns of gut proportions, and the general pattern is clear: humans have “large” intestines, while chimps and orangs have “large” colons.

    Additionally, Milton [1987] discusses two primates whose gut proportions appear to roughly match those of humans:

    Capuchin monkey (Cebus species) which has a high-quality diet of sweet fruits, oily seeds, and (40-50% by feeding time) animal foods–invertebrates (insects) and small vertebrates [Milton 1987, pp. 102-103].

    The savanna baboon (Papio papio) is a selective feeder who searches for high-quality, nutritious foods. [Caution–remark is based on only one measured specimen for gut proportions.]

    Gut characteristics reflect dietary quality. Like humans, Capuchin monkeys and savanna baboons make extensive use of their hands for pre-processing of food items. Milton concludes that the similarity in gut proportions reflects adaptation to high-quality diets [Milton 1987, p. 103]:

    Rather, it appears to represent similar adaptive trends in gut morphology in response to diets made up of unusually high-quality dietary items that are capable of being digested and absorbed primarily in the small intestine.

    The plasticity (or elasticity) of the human gut–that is, how the proportions can change to accommodate temporary fluctuations in diet–is discussed in Milton [1987]. (The topic will be addressed later here.) She predicts that further studies will (continue to) show that the human gut is dominated by the small intestine, with high variability in colon size due to temporary changes in diet.

    Basically, we are omnivores with a taste for the rich life… nuts, seeds, bits of animals… and a fruit topper ;-)

  72. philjourdan says:

    I wonder if the first “bits of animals” (back when our ancestors stood up straight) were bugs in the fruits, seeds and nuts?

    Crickets – the gateway food to MEAT! :-)

  73. Sabretoothed says:

    Fibre kills. Polyps are due to plant problem and I think a deficency in one of the Bs. Its just stuff from the grain industry :P Grains didn’t exist in the ice age. If you are in the forest, are you going to eat the grass seeds or the deer?

    Folic acid added to grains (synthetic toxic accumulation form in MTHFR people) is more likely also to cause polpys.

  74. Sabretoothed says:

    Grains also reduce sex drive, why Kellog’s invented corn flakes as wanted people to stop masturbation :P

  75. jim2 says:

    I like vegetables, but they really need to figure out how to extract the farts before I eat them.

  76. jim2 says:

    B1 doesn’t appear to be some sort of deep secret:

    “People take thiamine for conditions related to low levels of thiamine (thiamine deficiency syndromes), including beriberi and inflammation of the nerves (neuritis) associated with pellagra or pregnancy.

    Thiamine is also used for digestive problems including poor appetite, ulcerative colitis, and ongoing diarrhea.

    Thiamine is also used for AIDS and boosting the immune system, diabetic pain, heart disease, alcoholism, aging, a type of brain damage called cerebellar syndrome, canker sores, vision problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, motion sickness, and improving athletic performance. Other uses include preventing cervical cancer and progression of kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.

    Some people use thiamine for maintaining a positive mental attitude; enhancing learning abilities; increasing energy; fighting stress; and preventing memory loss, including Alzheimer’s disease.”

  77. E.M.Smith says:

    Vitamin B1 is fairly critical to many biological functions, so no real surpise it would treat a lot of issues that would show up if it was in shortage. The good thing is you can get it from just about all classes of foods:

    What Are the Best Sources of Vitamin B1?

    Vitamin B1 is one of the most essential vitamins required by the body. It is a water soluble vitamin and plays a key role in carrying out the metabolic activities of the system. Vitamin B1 helps convert carbohydrates into energy. It improves the nervous system, and prevents numbness and tingling in body parts. A deficiency of vitamin B1 can lead to loss of appetite and weight, constipation, fatigue, and depression.

    I might point out that there would be no need for a vitamin to “help convert carbohydrates in to energy” if we did not have the metabolic pathways to do so having developed to eat carbohydrates during our evolutionary history… We have the pathways because we do eat carbohydrates and have for millions of years…

    There are several food sources of vitamin B1 including:

    Brewer’s yeast: Brewer’s yeast, which contains 4.3 mg of thiamin per ounce, is the best source of vitamin B1.

    Whole grains, cereals, and beans: Wheat germ, brown rice, rice bran, oatmeal, legumes, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and dried soybeans are all rich sources of vitamin B1. Of these, sunflower seeds are the best as they contain 3.3 mg of thiamine per 140 gm of seeds.

    Oh, gee, grains… Legumes. Peanuts… The classical “beans and rice” diet of so much of the world. Then sunflower seeds as “the best”.

    But yes, meat too:

    Meat: Most meat products like poultry, pork, liver, kidney, and fish are excellent sources of vitamin B1.

    Then it’s right back to the seeds and grains and nuts and such:

    Unrefined, unprocessed, fortified food: Enriched flours, fortified breads, cereals, and pasta are all good sources of vitamin B1. Fortified food has added vitamin B1 and can be easily absorbed by the body. Egg yolk is also a vitamin B1 food source.

    Dry fruits: Pistachio nuts, raw peanuts, Brazil nuts, dried pecans, and raisins are vitamin B1 rich food sources. High vitamin B1 content can be obtained from dry fruits if eaten dried and raw. The cooked and roasted dry fruits lose nearly 30 per cent of vitamin B1.

    Green leafy vegetables: Mushroom, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, peas, millet, cabbage, broccoli, avocados, raisins, and plums are some of the vegetables and fruits that are rich sources of vitamin B1.
    Though dairy products and vegetables are not the best sources for vitamin B1, they do provide the vitamin in small proportions. Dairy products help in balancing the diet by providing associated nutrients, which aid vitamin B1 absorption in the body.

    Then they make a blanket claim but fail to note that it is WHITE rice that’s the issue here and that is why when we mill off the B1 containing coat and germ, we put back vitamins as an “enrichment”. Then note the rest is basically a list of sugar shots – i.e. food where the natural vitamin packaging is removed…

    Vitamin B1 deficiency can be seen in people who take carbohydrate rich food over a long time. Carbohydrate rich food like rice, cake, sugar juices, ice-creams, candies, and carbonated drinks, are low in vitamin B1.

    So yeah, just eat sugar, ice cream, candies, soft drinks, cake and white rice, you WILL have dietary problems, including B1 shortage. Eat brown rice and beans, no problem. Adding a bit of fish or lamb curry is better, IMHO, but not necessary…


    You can find all sorts of nutty ideas on the internet…

    The reality is that “residence time” is THE big issue with “crap” causing polyps. You want decreased residence time (faster digestion) along with lower concentration of “the bad stuff”. This is easily achieved with more fiber to “move things along” and absorb the bad stuff removing it from contact with the colon (reduced concentration). This is most easily achieved with eating lots of ‘leaves” (as they are high fiber) along with beans and roots like carrots, turnips, etc.

    Oh, and per “grains reduce sex drive” – ah, no. Just ’cause Kellogg was a nutter doesn’t make it true. Don’t believe me? Um, 1 Billion Chinese and 1 Billion Indians, pretty much eating majority grain diets, that ring a bell? How about 1 Billion Muslims similarly eating lots of grains (Bulgar wheat couscous…) Clearly it ain’t working… Please do try just a tiny bit of critical thinking and ask yourself “Is there a glaring example showing this idea is bogus and idiotic?” before touting it…


    Once you get things moving faster (after a few days of higher fiber higher plant diet) the residency time drops and the tendency to ferment to gassy drops. (It is never zero, even with full carnivore diet. Turns out much of the gas emitted comes from gas swallowed, so you might want to work on your chew and swallow technique ;-) For beans, cook in a couple of changes of water. The “code” of “improves digestibility” really means “reduces farts”… This is done by removing pentose sugars you can not digest but gut bugs can, and make gas in the process. “Beano” has an enzyme that also reduces farts dramatically. The problem, IMHO, is that he “smelly bits” of sulfurous gasses the are not diluted much. So you get one tiny much smellier fart… I’d rather have a half dozen not so noticeable…

  78. Sabretoothed says:

  79. cdquarles says:

    While it is true that not all our food is used to produce energy, All three major forms are convertible. Carbohydrates to protein or fat. Proteins to carbohydrates or fat. Fat, though, does tend to be used mostly for metabolic energy, though they also can be used to supplement gluconeogensis and amino acid synthesis.

  80. E.M.Smith says:


    The things you are posting seem to indicate you think I’m anti-meat. That is NOT the case. I’m not ANTI any real food, nor particularly PRO any food. The simple fact is that as an omnivore species we can eat all kinds of foods Just Fine. There are huge Tribal Wars between various loons over this, that, or the other highly restricted diet, and while there’s a little truth in each, it comes with massive distortions. Repeating the distortions wholesale does not make your case (or any other…).

    Now, just in case you forgot it, or missed it from my prior comments, a bit about me and my family.

    1) Paternal Grandmother was Amish. From Iowa. Now you want to see folks who eat a lot of meat and fat, look at the Amish, or folks from Iowa. Now double them up. We’re talking home made hams, piles of cheese and butter on just about everything. Having ham with eggs, hash browns fried in lard, butter, and cheese on top, would be a nice “light snack”.

    Now it’s also true that getting up at 4 am to milk a bunch of cows, then plowing 40 acres means you burn a LOT of calories, so sometimes they pile the butter, cheese, sour cream, and bacon on top of a few pancakes. When you are churning 5000 calories / day, having 1000 of carbs is not even noticed.

    2) My Father, having grown up with that and seeing his Dad live to 90 -something, never bought into the notion of butter as bad. We avoided most of the Trans Fat garbage thanks to that. I grew up with lard as shortening, bacon as breakfast, ham as dinner, hamburgers as lunch, butter and cheese as good toppings for anything. Followed by ice cream… When Dad died (from cancer from smoking) his circulatory system was just fine… not that it mattered.

    3) About a week ago I made carnitas. This starts with a pork shoulder roast, slow roasted with citrus and garlic, then shredded, then browned in the oven with seasonings. As this particular roast had some thicker fat on it than I wanted in my carnitas: I RENDERED IT TO MAKE HOME MADE LARD FOR USE IN COOKING & BAKING. Some of those Amish skills were passed on down.

    4) For breakfast this morning I had thick sliced apple wood smoked bacon ( 6 pieces) and 2 extra-large “laced eggs”. Laced eggs are cooked ‘sunny side up’ in the bacon grease and you then use the spatula to ‘flip’ hot grease over the top to cook it. They come out with crisp edges (‘lacing’) and with a layer of bacon flavored grease over them (which makes for better flavor). While I usually have this with 2 slices of toast with a thick layer of real butter, I didn’t today as the wife had monopolized the toaster…

    Get the picture? There is ZERO need to proselytize to me about meat, lard, butter, etc. I’m quite happy to eat all of them in large servings.

    Now, none of that reduces the statement that I have family members who are vegan and are quite healthy. Nor does it change that my Mother came from a relatively poor family in England and they didn’t have money for meat most of the time. So she grew up more on tea, oatmeal and scones than on bacon and eggs.

    The point is really fairly trivial:

    People are most remarkable in that they CAN and DO eat all sorts of things, often in extreme proportions, and mostly nothing of significance changes.

    Yes, load up the carbs beyond your daily burn, you will “blimp up” in direct proportion to the excess.

    Yes, eat very very narrowly (EITHER vegan OR cooked meat only) and you WILL get sick if you don’t take some supplemental vitamins and watch your exact fatty acid intakes.

    Somehow you seem to take my pointing that out as advocacy for some particular diet, and feel compelled to proselytize the meat diet, when it is, in fact, exactly the opposite.

    Look, people get sick. They LOVE to attribute that to various diets. For most things, it isn’t. (Exception for vitamin deficiency, omega-3 shortages, and toxic non-foods like Transfats). Mostly it is just eating way too much makes folks fat and clogs up their plumbing, regardless of what it was they ate to excess. Want to increase your life span 50%? Eat 1/2 the normal calories.

    Is there something wrong with the “modern” diet in the USA? Yes. It doesn’t have much actual food in it. For most folks buying processed packaged stuff, they are buying industrial biochemical products… A couple of ingredients will be recognizable as food, then there’s 4 inches of organic chemistry 101 to the end of the label. So they eat hundreds of pounds of extracted biochemicals per year. Sugars. Fatty acids (often chemically altered into plastic fats with names like “inter-esterified” and “hydrogenated”). Starches and chemically modified starches. “Hydrolyzed” proteins. To they extent I have any food bias it is this: Eat food not the effluent from a chemical factory. (So I mostly buy chunks of animals, bags of plants, and some similar canned and frozen. Real butter and cheese. Only a little of prepared convenience foods either canned or frozen.) I don’t see much radical in that.

    How do I know various diets don’t do as much as people think? Well, partly by watching a lot of folks die, on all sorts of diets. Even family living an “organic” (before it had a name) life style on the farm. Partly from joining various family and friends on just about every diet in existence at one time or another. (Started with my sisters when I was about 7 years old… you can go through a lot of diets in 1/2 a century…) My big takeaway was that most of them didn’t do much at all, and those that did were mostly minor in their effects. Ergo: People in general, and this person in particular, are highly flexible on food.

    So please stop using “Tips” for a campaign of advocacy on a given diet. IF you wish to do that, start a conversation on one of the “W.O.O.D.” threads (and see if anyone cares to join in).

    Please catch a clue on this. I don’t run a blog so you can annoy and needle. I’d really rather not resort to a moderation stint, but “I’m willing to go there” if there is no indication you are catching any clue.

  81. E.M.Smith says:


    Did you even read your link? The “Plants cause atherosclerosis” article is actually a refutation of that proposition.

    Every large population study and every medical ward study, that has analyzed the data in terms of a low fat vegan diet (which most do not), has found vegans have the lowest all-cause mortality, the lowest over-all incidence rate of cancer, the lowest incidence of heart disease, the lowest incidence of diabetes and the lowest incidence rates of obesity!

    So thanks for supporting my statement that my vegan family members are quite healthy…

    (Personally, I could never give up bacon… so neither vegan, nor Muslim, nor Jewish conversions in my future ;-)

  82. philjourdan says:

    Laced eggs, eh? That is how I cooked mine growing up, but just called them sunny side up. That is the way I like my eggs, but never order them that way as restaurants never get it right. But when I cook my own, that is how I do it (or with butter if no bacon is available).

  83. Larry Ledwick says:

    A plain language discussion of risk probabilities by N. Talab Nassim.

    Click to access DarwinCollege.pdf

    If I am understanding this correctly I may have found the fatal flaw in global warming models.

    They do ensemble models (where they run dozens/ hundreds of versions of likely parameters).
    If I understand his discussion about how even small risks if taken repeatedly add up, then the climate models (if you run them enough times) you are guaranteed to get an extreme outcome which will totally overwhelm all the middle of the road outcomes. Since they are working with non-linear closely coupled and poorly understood equations they are essentially guaranteeing that enough of their outcomes with go ballistic to bias the “average” to an extreme result.

    To borrow NTN’s analogy they keep riding their motorcycle through a dangerous intersection at 3:00 in the morning with no lights until they are absolutely certain to get creamed by a early morning milk truck.

    The question is – – – is this an intentional strategy to bias the outcomes to extreme results are are they just not aware of how small risks accumulate if taken often enough?

  84. Larry Ledwick says:

    This is a remarkable story and deserves to be shared far and wide.

    View at

    “Good job baby.” He whispered. “Good job.” – – – Indeed.

  85. cdquarles says:

    Part of the computer modeling problem is inherent to finite precision mathematics that digital computers do. It limits them to ‘chunks’ in the map, so to speak. Noticed by Professor Lorentz way back in the day. Good numerical analysis books stress the point when implementing algorithms for use on digital computers. That, by the way, is in addition to other problems related to these ‘studies’ which do *not* apparently do a proper error analysis and propagation. GIGO doesn’t begin to describe this mess. Randomness is akin to a map. It is a limit on a finite being’s ability to acquire knowledge and do both inference and deduction. Another limit on said finite being’s ability is that the observer is embedded within the system being observed. Randomness is not a being that can act. Randomness is a consequence of 1. multiple causes acting on multiple objects yielding varying observable effects and having insufficient knowledge to evaluate effects with thresholds. It looks ’emergent’ when it fundamentally is or may not be emergent, just thresholded.

  86. Sabretoothed says:

  87. Pingback: Tips & Notices May 2018 | Musings from the Chiefio

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