February 21st, 2024

Noteworthy: As if we don’t have enough to worry about with addictions

By Bruce Penton on February 7, 2024.

The craving for food may not be just because you think you’re hungry. It could be a simple, but strong addiction to processed food products. Some food, designed by scientists to give us a sugar or salt ‘hit,’ can have an effect on the brain within one second of hitting our mouths. That’s 10 times faster than nicotine hitting a smoker’s central nervous system.

Processing of food by adding salt or sugar helps to make it last longer and look more appetizing in the grocery store, but it has contributed to our society’s obesity problem and its subsequent negative effects on our health.

Said journalist Michael Moss in a recent Globe and Mail story: “Big Food has made a science of hooking us on the ‘bliss point’ of sugar, the ‘flavour burst’ of salt and the ‘mouthfeel’ of fat, to use industry parlance.”

All this mumbo jumbo about food is making me hungry.

– Another instalment of how to live a long life, from Axios: Chill out. Toxic stress is the enemy of longevity. Stress triggers a release of hormones that take energy away from our cells’ longevity-promoting activities, says biologist Martin Picard of Columbia University. If there’s a way to ease or avoid stress, do it.

– Frivolous information that you might not have known if it weren’t for a tour of The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, which I recently had the pleasure of doing: The King of the Wild Frontier, Davy Crockett, didn’t like the name ‘Davy’ and preferred ‘David.’ Somehow, the song sounds silly with ‘David’ replacing ‘Davy.’

– Medicine Hat’s Chris Schlenker picked up a few votes in the ‘Best Referee’ category when The Athletic asked NHL players a number of questions. Schlenker tied for sixth in the category, with 1.52 per cent of votes cast by 132 respondents, which translates to two votes. Wes McAuley topped the category with 53 per cent (70 votes). On the flip side, McAuley ranked third in the ‘Worst Referee’ category, while Schlenker’s name didn’t appear.

– The same survey of NHL players asked them to rate team jerseys and it’s interesting to note that the top six were the NHL’s original six teams – Chicago, Detroit, NY Rangers, Toronto, Montreal and Boston, in that order. The top non-original-six jersey was deemed to be Seattle Kraken while voted dead last was that of the Anaheim Ducks.

– Politicians voicing support for their party’s proposals don’t carry much validity when you consider that they’d probably get booted out of caucus if they spoke up in opposition. Naturally, all of Danielle Smith’s MLAs said they support the recent transgender policy announcement and all of Rachel Notley’s New Democratic Party MLAs said the opposite, as did Justin Trudeau’s MPs. Pierre Poilievre’s MPs all thought the Alberta government’s proposal was bang on. Wouldn’t it be great to know what every politician really thought? The transgender policy is such a contentious issue that – human nature being what it is – opinions can’t possibly fall precisely along party lines.

– Former News reporter Jeremy Appel has written a book on former premier Jason Kenney. Now living in Edmonton, Appel has been doing the media rounds since the release of ‘Kennyism – Jason Kenney’s Pursuit of Power ‘- and last week it was the No. 1 non-fiction book in sales at Edmonton bookstores.

Haven’t read the book (yet), but I will assume the contents won’t be overly complimentary toward Kenney and that the former premier and Appel will not be getting together for drinks to toast the book’s release. David Climenhaga, who wrote the foreword for the book, says “Kenneyism: Jason Kenney’s Pursuit of Power is a strong second draft of history – synthesizing the first reports with solid analysis and entertaining writing to create an account that puts Jason Kenney in his proper place in Alberta history.”

– If you plan to watch this Sunday’s Super Bowl, you won’t miss much of the action. Peter King’s column on NBC.com says there will be 165 cameras covering the action, including 20 embedded in end-zone pylons, just so nothing of importance gets missed. Thank goodness!

Bruce Penton is a retired News editor who may be reached at brucepenton2003@yahoo.ca

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