Monday, August 30, 2010

Question Time – Prisoner Updates

Jose in San Diego wrote: Can you please shed a little light on a few people? Did T-Bone get out on schedule? What about a few of the other regulars from back in the day? Any word from Xena, Kat, Max? There were some other interesting inmates like Certified. What happened to Royo Girl? If Sheriff Joe went to England to meet with you, would you meet with him as well? How are your other projects?

T-Bone – I’m trying to get to the bottom of his situation. He was released on parole late last year. According to his prison page, he absconded. It’s showing he had a new release date of Aug 9th, 2010.

Max – I haven't heard from him recently, but I suspect that in the present economic environment he no longer has the high-paying job he mentioned here. He'd certainly come a long way since selling his semen to a prison pervert.

Xena – “Her” last letter was received a year ago, months after "she" attempted to cut "her" man parts off.

Kat and Certified – Have never written since my release.

Frankie – I finally received a letter from him, which will be posted soon.

Wild Man – I recorded some of his stories on my Dictaphone, and will be posting them soon.

Two Tonys – He was moved out of Medical, which I take as a sign of a positive development in his battle with cancer.  

Royo Girl – We are still in touch and she has a new boyfriend.

Weird Al and Iron Man – I hear from them regularly. Theyre both thriving as law-abiding citizens in Tucson.

If Sheriff Joe Arpaio flew to England I would be glad to meet him. Ideally, we’d debate his jail conditions on live TV. I wonder if he’s up for the challenge?

My main project right now is polishing up the prequel to Hard Time. I’m at 110,000 words. I’m trying to inject more humour, and strengthen the prose. With the school term about to start, I’ll be back on the road doing talks again. I’m also looking forward to the Hard Time event at the Royal Festival Hall on October 21st. Four people, including 3 of my blog readers, are flying from America for it, and two from Ireland. Then on October 29th is the Hard Time hometown launch party at my cousin’s pub: The 8 Towers in Widnes, Cheshire. Readers of Jon's Jail Journal are more than welcome to attend both events. Click here for further details of these events.

Thanks for your questions, Jose!

Click here for the previous Question Time

Heh Heh

Enjoy the decline!

Now what if America didn't have corporate taxes?

I know, I know. That's just CRAZY TALK!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

To the 30/40 Something Woman Who Wouldn't Leave Me Alone

I heard you the first time.

It was obvious you didn't pick up on my somewhat less than subtle hint.

And therefore I had to endure your frequent commentary, obviously directed my way, which interrupted my dinner.

So let me explain to you why you are 30/40 something and sitting at a bar by yourself and I am 35 sitting at a bar by myself but why I am infinitely more happy.

I came there because I was hungry. I needed food. And since I am an alpha-male bachelor of the highest order (not to mention an outstanding economist) I have outsourced all of my food preparation to third parties, namely restaurants.

The reason I chose this particular restaurant was not because you were there, nor the score of other desperate 30 something women, but because it served four simple purposes;

1. It was open
2. It had good food
3. It also served Rumpleminze
4. It was nearby

These four simple things AND ONLY these four simple things is what made me show up.

I wanted food.

I wanted a drink.

I didn't want to prepare it.

And I wanted to go home.

However, you were there for different reasons.

And it was plainly obvious.

First off, I wore crappy khaki shorts, sandals, a crappy shirt and a cap. It was obvious I did not come there to meet anybody.

You however, still thinking it's 19-freaking-93 and you're still 21 were dolled up in a silver sequene top and black slick slacks. You were on the hunt, purposely looking to find a guy, whereas I was not looking for a girl.

(Oh, and by the way, please don't act indignant that I presupposed you were looking for a man. I'm not a naive, simple, honest 22 year old kid anymore. The truth with that clothing, you were on the hunt.)

However, much like 20 years ago when young men (who you would not doubt today give an appendage for) gave you unwelcomed advances and you poo pooed them away, your unwelcomed advances I had to endure today were incredibly hypocritical. The reason being is that those "unwelcomed" advances you had to "suffer" 20 years ago were no doubt at a bar where you were dressed the part and enticing such advances and no doubt welcoming them whilst acting appalled they occurred not to mention picking up free drinks all along the way.

Today, I was sitting by myself, warfing down food, in crappy clothes giving no such false signals to beget attention or free drinks. I wanted to be left alone, eat my food, yet you continued to harass me.

Second, I ordered a Rumpleminze.


Because I like Rumpleminze. Strong, ice cold, soothing on the throat. You can enjoy it for a while. Nice patient, enjoyable drink.

You, at the age of 40 something ordered a vodka-freaking-red bull.

Really? Is that what the "kids" are ordering today? Is that what's "hip?" Are you in with the "in crowd?" Perhaps you can find yourself a Vampire/Wolverine Boyfriend or whatever the fad is with the mentally insane teenagers of today.

Third, speaking of kids. How many do you have? Because I see that "single moms" are all the rage. See, I have no kids because instead of thinking of myself the entire time I remembered what it was like to be a kid. And I then came to the incredibly OBVIOUS conclusion that before bringing a kid into this world, maybe I ought to find a reliable, stable, loving wife before I start breeding and bringing innocent souls into this world. That they weren't "toys" or "objects" to have. That they were humans, just like you and me and had feelings, needs, requirements and demands. But I guess I'm just supposed to ignore my natural and visceral disgust for single parenthood in that obviously both parents failed to get it right the first time and I should instead go the politically correct route and cheer on the "nobility" and "courage" of "single parents."

Un-freaking-likely. There's still a victim. It's the children, and unlike when you guys invoke the term "for the children" to advance your own personal aims while cowardly hiding behind the child, I actually mean it in that I actually care about the kid, mine or not. I'm going back to enjoy my Rumpleminze while I avoid divorce if it's all the same with you.

Fourth, physically you got to be kidding me. I run 4-7 miles every other day and lift weights. I watch what I eat and I am in great shape. You look like you watch Oprah 4-7 times a day and occasionally lift your ass from the couch to get more food. I don't care what a bunch of bitter, burnt out 1960's hippie aging feminists said in the drug induced 70's and neither should you. The truth is that no matter what philosophy they lay down and tell you how things "should" be the REALITY is that men like women that are in shape.

I know.

We're evil, sexist, bigoted misogynist poopy-heads.

All of us.

But it ain't going to change and the sooner you learn that, the sooner you ACCEPT that FACT, the sooner you will start to employ strategies and techniques that are actually based in REALITY and have success.

Now, no doubt many of the female readers of this are livid.

No doubt I am evil and a horrible man for daring to lecture this slightly-aged woman about her unwelcomed behavior not to mention point out truths we all know to be true.

But for just once will you girls listen to me? Especially those of you who continue to watch dumbass movies like "Eat Pray Love" thinking somehow it relates to you and will somehow help you. Because if you listen, you will actually get some practical advice that will bring you genuine progress and happiness in your life unlike the tombs of women's magazine articles you've read which has resulted in you ended up where you are today (which is where the annoying woman was this particular night)

You are in your 30's or 40's.

You are not in your 20's.

And whereas men may have been naive and willing to fall over each other just to get a date with you when Clinton was in his first term, that is no longer the case. The game has changed.

Namely it has changed in that the men are no longer playing. They left the field. I don't know how many times I've heard late 30 something female friends of mine say, "You have to play hard to get. You have to get him to chase you."

I ask in return;

"Have you ever looked back to see that NOBODY is chasing?"

This somehow turns out to be some kind of "revolutionary" (not to mention" insulting")thought.




No, how dare you.

What, you thought men were going to chase forever?

You see, men only have a finite, limited amount of energy for chasing. And you girls in your 20's were masters of exhausting it all.

Giving out your phone number, but then never returning the call.

Agreeing to a date and then canceling at the last minute.

The made up drama and land mines you laid around to keep them on their feet and never sure of where they stood.

And good lord, don't even get me started on all the complications involved with having sex.

It all worked GREAT back in the late teens and 20's, but guess what happened?

Inevitably men got smart. Men got wise. And worst of all, men just plain got some self-respect.

It wasn't an immediate flood on account different men woke up at various ages, but you throw in some divorces, the general disrespect and disregard for men and male behavior in society, and guess what?

20 years later men aren't chasing any more. They left in droves. They flooded OUT of the market.

Don't take it personally, it's not that they don't want to chase "you" any more.

They just don't want to chase period.

The "field" or the "market" has become so hostile, so hopelessly lopsided men increasingly went against their largest biological drive (women) and started enjoying life on their own. And think about that. It's become so hostile, so futile and such a waste of resources MEN HAVE LITERALLY STOPPED CHASING WOMEN.

You think I'm joking?

Why is the average age of marriage jumping?

Why are people having less kids?

And might I ask, do you know any perpetual bachelors out there who just enjoy a good Rumpleminze, some video games, or perhaps some fishing instead of trying to even entertain the idea of suffering a first date?

Do you know any 30-4o something men who regularly "go out clubbing" and "partaaaaay?"

Yeah, those ranks are thinning a bit aren't they? It's not that ALL men are quitting, just the good ones in that they have enough smarts, self-respect and sense to.

Worse still, and please don't shoot the messenger, this is just the plain truth-

Men can and usually date younger. So all those nice college boys that tried to pine for your affection back in the 90's you never called back or dared to mock infront of your girlfriends? Yeah, they're not gunning after you any more (if gunning after anybody at all). You need to chase after some Reaganauts who remember Duran Duran. Enjoy the Rogaine!

The overall point can actually be summarized with a classical supply and demand chart of economics. The "supply" women were willing to supply to the market was somewhat limited and Maureen-Dowdishly stingy (thus a supply curve that is far to the left). And in 1993 young Gen X men, quite obliviously were all desperately trying to get any kind of attention and affection they could (thus a demand curve to the far right). This resulted in an insanely high price the men had to "pay" to get a date (denoted by "P1"). This "price" manifested itself in terms of expensive dates, kindness, willing to show up, asking girls out more, general attention towards women, not to mention suffering being stood up, psychotic episodes, drama, soap opera BS and just general abuse they would endure. Over time though the sheer hell a man had to go through dating deterred him from the market (not to mention, a lot of men found lovely, kind caring women and immeidately grabbed them for themselves and left the dating market forever). This shifted the demand curve to the far left over the course of 15 years. What's interesting, given the "EAt PRay Love" and "Why You Rule and Your Boyfriend Sucks" magazines and the "cougar" fad and feminist indoctination and lord knows whatever other faux-fads the media barraged poor young women with, women were led to believe that they would always be in demand. That they owned the market. That they owned the hottest piece of property in 2006 and that there was no housing bubble. Ergo, almost unbeknownst to most 30-40 something women they never picked up on this dramatic drop in demand and held their supply incredibly low not knowing most of the buyers had left the market for substitute goods (look it up if you're interested in economics). This shift in the demand curve resulted in a huge drop in price from P1 to P2.

Now the question is (assuming you would inevitably like to get married or start a family or just plain have a guy in your life) how do you deal with this dire "market."

Well, the sad truth is it may be out of your control.

Notice the only thing that changed is demand. Men (the "buyers") left the market, not the women. Additionally it took about 15 years to drive them away, it's certainly going to take longer to get them back. They're more focused on deriving the most utility from the remaining years of their lives. They're not 25 thinking of starting a family, they're 40 and thinking about an LCD projector and Red Dead Redemption and football season and how to make up the lost income they're never going to receive from social security. Therefore you can hit the clubs all you want, but if no men are there, no men are there.

This means about the only course of action you have is to ask men out.

I remember an old female college friend of mine who had a HUGE crush on this guy. She spent an ENTIRE YEAR fretting and worrying about asking him out and tried every trick in the book to get him to ask her out. Hilariously in true male form, he never picked up the hints which compelled her to ask him out.

Did she?

Never did. She CRIED MULTIPLE TIMES PER WEEK instead of just getting it over with and asking him out. Suffered infinitely more and longer than if she had just bleeping asking the guy out.

Sorry ladies, it's the 4th quarter, you're down by 14 points and you do not have the luxury of waiting for the guy to ask you out.

When myself and my other male colleagues were told women were equal back in the 90's we actually took it to heart. We believed it and incorporated into our thought process that women are equal. And guess what, whether you like it or not, today you ARE equal which means you now have equal responsibility, not least of which in our minds back then was asking us out or making your intentions known.

Today it's not even an academic debate. It's reality. Men aren't looking, they're not asking, they're out of the market. Your only option is to take matters into your own hands and pull the trigger yourself.

Sadly, or perhaps not so sadly, the only other option is to give up like most men. I will readily admit it's not just the women that have made the courting world a nightmare (though I will defend till my death they have disproportionately done so). There are members in the males ranks that are entitled to their fair share of blame. And given this you may realize what a lot of men have already and that is life is too short to waste it on a pursuit that will never materialize. You have 82 years of life expectancy. And while you may not like playing video games or fishing, there are certainly other things you can be doing aside from "clubbing" or "looking for a guy" or just plain wasting your finite energy looking/hoping for one.

You may biologically or naturally be against this. You may say, "but I want to find a man and get married and have kids."

Well again, it's an issue of reality. Reality may be that's never going to happen. So do you want to continue wasting life pursuing something that is not going to happen? Or do you want to enjoy it doing things that are within your control, never worrying about men again?

It sounds sad and depressing at first, but when you realize the reality or at least probability of the situation you can move on and enjoy a really good life without men. Millions of men have done the exact same thing, just without women. And the freedom that comes with it to enjoy your life and do your own thing with no regard or attachment to the idea of courtship is actually quite liberating and genuine happiness can be found in such a life.

Besides which, there was only one small difference between myself and the desperate 30 something woman at the bar that explained why I was happy and she was miserable-

She's still looking.

I gave up long ago.

Who do you think has the happier life?

President Erkle

Good lord.

Look, I'm not for the faux photo ops that Sarkozy and Putin deliberately put on to entice the weaker minded females of the population into voting for them, but could we at least has some freaking dignity in the office of the President?

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Allows Donated Copies of Hard Time Into Jail Library

Along with the signed copy of Hard Time that I mailed to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, I sent an accompanying letter seeking permission to donate some copies to the jail library. Arpaio has agreed to this in the above letter. I will be mailing the copies this week in the hope that the inmates get to read them.

The Phoenix New Times reported this here.

The Middle Ground?

This started out as a comment to my friend Helen from Jimmy Moore's LLVLC discussion board over at my personal blog.  Here's the post: When to Eat .  That post was mostly thinking out loud about strategies for weight maintenance.

I see an Eating Timing/Quantity Spectrum:  ad libitum (eat when hungry, stop when satisfied) - to - strictly structured/controlled.  I postulate that in the middle of this spectrum, which is where many in our modern world "live", is where weight maintenance issues arise due to overeating.

I had another discussion about a different middle ground with Peter of Hyperlipid fame in the comments on this thread:  VLC and Insulin Resistance.   I posited that  "Humans seem to do better at the "moderate end of the extremes" if that makes any sense but not so much in the middle. Our appetite signalling and metabolic controls seem ill equipped to handle any significant carb + fat load simultaneously."

I blogged some thoughts on Fats & Carbs  in a companion post.  Basically I envision an Energy Macronutrient Spectrum ranging from VLC/VHF - to - VHC/VLF, and our body's ineffectual processing of mixed fuels and inefficient signalling resulting in overeating of the CF foods in the middle.

I would like to marry these two "Middle Ground = Danger Will Robinson" theories in this post.

How do these two middle ground theories relate?  Firstly, I'm going to leave protein out of the discussion here except to say that IMO, the vast majority of us cannot sustain a proper ad libitum diet without sufficient protein.   It is probably protein insufficiency rather than fat "deprivation" that precipitates LF diet failure.  But I digress ...

On the macronutrient spectrum -- especially if one stays away from the LC or LF equivalents to CF foods -- at either end of the spectrum we can probably happily exist on ad libitum "lite".  By that I mean there will probably be occasions when we eat for reasons other than genuine hunger, but it is pretty difficult to overeat (calorically speaking) either extreme.  This bears out in studying various cultures.   IMHO, it is the moderate end of these extremes that works best.  Too stringently low fat and health suffers because we need fats ... too stringently low carb is just unsustainable for many people, and I have reservations as to the long term healthfulness of a VLC/ketogenic diet.  There's something about your body thinking it is starving while awash in dietary fat for the long haul that doesn't square fully with me.  Again, I digress...

If one wants to exist somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, they probably have to go to the structured/controlled end of the timing/consumption spectrum.  I believe this is why Zone and similar plans tend to measure up rather poorly in diet comparisons.  Lots of calculating involved -- and I'm not so sure Zone prescription for the mix at each meal is best, rather overall mix for the day may be better.  One must go "extreme" on one spectrum in order to balance the "middle" of the other.

But regardless of the plan, if lifestyle forces some eating when you are not hungry on any sort of regular basis, you will likely have to shift to the "structured" side of the intake spectrum.  This is an especially difficult thing for many low carbers to swallow because LC plans tend to be ad libitum.  Consider if you make the same breakfast every day (as many do), you are moving to the middle ... perhaps without even realizing it.  Eating at any time other than when your body tells you to will require at least mindful compensation at other times.  You're in the middle ground on this spectrum and so the advantages of living on the edge of the carb/fat spectrum diminish.  Now the "naturally thin" seem to have better compensation mechanisms.  If they eat a big lunch, they'll spontaneously compensate by eating a small dinner or none at all.  Most of us don't seem to be able to do that without a degree of mindfulness.   FWIW, I think this is why many successful LC'ers tend to plateau out at higher weights than originally desired.  Ad libitum in a modern world is difficult to be true to.

Trying to "live" in the middle of both spectra, which I contend to be most Western diets complete with convenience/prepared foods and liquid calories, is a recipe for disaster ... and we are seeing the results.  CF foods are bad enough if we try to listen to our appetite/satiety signaling because they are weak on a satiety:calorie ratio.  But throw in that these foods are frequently consumed when we are "told" to eat (never skip breakfast!  never skip a meal!  it's break time!) and often in portions larger than we would self-select, and we're totally mucking it up in the middle.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fellow Prison Blogger Ben Gunn Needs Our Help

Ben is a lifer who has served 30 years. His education funding has been cut, so he's trying to raise some money for his PhD. Click here if you'd like to donate to Ben's worthy cause. Guardian article about this.


As some of you know, I teach a BRILLIANT online course on stock valuation and analysis. I say it's brilliant not to brag, but because it really is brilliant, there's nothing like it in college. It covers not just how to read financial statements and how to calculate ratios, but picks up where colleges fail and TEACHES YOU VALUATION TECHNIQUES. YOU SHOULD TAKE IT.

In any case, I had a student ask a question about dividends, the answer to which I realized would be of benefit to all the Cappy Capites out there, not to mention the everyday Joe's who are having a hard time understanding why their 401k isn't skyrocketing through the roof during these glory days of hope and change.

So I submit to you more of my economic genius;

Yes, everything you stated is correct. To clarify though what drives the value of a stock or what it is you are precisely selling to another buyer on the second market, let me further explain.

What you own when you own a share of stock is the right to the proportional earnings of that corporation. Now, of course not all companies pay out their earnings in the form of a dividend. They will retain ALL of the earnings and reinvest them back into the company.

Now you would say, "well then why should I own the stock if they NEVER pay a dividend."

And you would be correct. If a company NEVER pays a dividend, then that stock has no value. You just gave the company (or secondary market seller) money for a piece of paper that will never give you money in return.

However, companies inevitably DO pay dividends. The reason they retain earnings and not pay dividends is to grow the company so they can earn even MORE money in the future.

Now this is where investing philosophy gets cute. Companies are typically very arrogant about paying dividends. They ALL think they're going to grow into huge multi-billion dollar behemoths and then, MAYBE THEN they'll pay you serfs some pittance of a dividend. Of course what is more likely to happen is they inevitably go belly up. What they SHOULD do is when times are good is pay out some of their earnings as a dividend otherwise the stock IS worthless.

Now what's interesting (and scary) about this, is it shows you a MAJOR flaw in today's conventional retirement system - everybody buys stocks because they "might go up in the future," not because they pay dividends. Well the question is "what drives stock prices up?" And the answer is scary;

Only dividends can drive stock prices up.

The reason why is when you sell a share of stock, yes you may have made a gain, but why did that buyer buy it from you? Well, because today or in the future that stock will pay dividends.

No matter how many times a stock is bought or sold, it only has value because either today or sometime in the future it's going to pay a dividend. So you are essenitally selling the right to future dividends when you sell a stock. Ergo, dividends (or the likelyhood dividends will be paid) is what drives stock prices.

So what this means is you currently have 100 million Americans all throwing their money into 401k's and IRA's and 403b's NOT because all these companies are paying great dividends, but because they magically think "stock prices just go up" for random magical reasons.

This is why you will want to DEFINITELY look at the "dividend yield" of a mutual fund or a stock before you buy it to make sure there is real cash flow associated with the stock and giving that stock something of value.

Separating Fats & Carbs

Just some musings on carbohydrates and fats, but with a scientific basis so put it here.

Personally I believe the obesity epidemic can be blamed primarily on two phenomena:
1.  The abundance of high calorie foods high in fats & carbs (I'll call them CF) in ever larger portions, and
2.  Liquid calories loaded with sugar and/or fat

To prevent obesity my solution is simple:  Keep the fats and carbs separate.  If you're going to eat carbohydrate, eat it with lean protein and/or in whole form so you get sufficient fiber.  Go easy on the fat.  If you're going to eat fat, chances are it is attached to protein, forgo the carbs.  If you simply must eat CF foods, rely on portion control/calorie counting and not on satiety to determine how much you eat.  Keep the total caloric load low, perhaps in the 2-300 cal range, to keep the unnatural assault on your metabolism to a minimum.  

My reasons for this are twofold:

1.  Our paleolithic ancestors, from whom we differ very little genetically, did not have access to foods that were rich in both lipid and carb content simultaneously.  I don't envision Paleo dude saved up his tubers to cook in rendered wild boar fat to plate tuber fries with his boar ribs and a side of some veggie also cooked in boar fat.  It seems far more likely that  Paleo dude ate the tubers if in abundance perhaps even delaying the need for a hunt, or saved those tubers for a rainy day when a kill was available for the eating.   Paleo dude was mostly an opportunistic eater in a scarce world.  Obesity was not a problem nor did Paleo chick worry over a little belly roll.  We are programmed to store energy in its most efficient form (lipid) in amounts that are seemingly unlimited.  There would have been no evolutionary advantage to not being able to store energy, or not wanting to partake in this energy source during times of abundance to save for times of scarcity.    There is no physiological reason to limit lipid intake on any given day.  I see no reason to doubt Eaton's work indicating that Paleos ate a relatively low fat diet.  Further underlining the need for taking it while they could get it -- e.g. overconsumption one day if necessary -- and weak signaling at best.  Bottom line, our metabolisms seem designed to switch between fuels depending which was more available, not deal with being bombarded by mixed fuels.

(2) As outlined in Nutrient Fates After Absorption  dietary intake of protein and carbohydrate share the following in common:
(a) they invoke an insulin response
(b) they are on the order in terms of quantity with the body's storage capacity (nitrogen "pool" and glycogen)
(c) their intake stimulates their metabolism (protein synthesis, oxidation)
(d) their absorbed form is as metabolic substrate (amino acid, glucose)

As such, our hormonal signaling is tightly attuned to intake of these macronutrients to maintain levels in a relatively narrow window.  Dietary fat, OTOH, is
(a) once absorbed, packaged as triglycerides in chylomicrons and transported mostly to the adipose tissue for immediate storage.
(b) as chylos, the absorbed form is not the metabolic substrate for lipids, that being free fatty acids (NEFA/FFA).
(c) in quantity, orders of magnitude less than total stored lipid even in the leanest of humans
(d) can virtually be stored without limit thus eliminating any need to limit intake in one feeding

Circulating NEFA levels are controlled indirectly by release from storage.  Dietary fat does not significantly contribute directly to the levels of this energy source.  My take-away message from the post/article is that our appetite/satiety signals are finely attuned to intakes of carb and protein out of necessity to maintain structure and storage/circulating levels within a relatively narrow range.  Our metabolisms change remarkably within 24-48 hrs of deprivation.  Lipid storage, even on a lean person, can last weeks (or more).  Even gorging on fat is a drop in the bucket of the amount of lipid we store (again, even in the lean), so there's no need to limit this in the short term.  Fat mass regulation seems almost independent of dietary fat when you think about it.


So, whenever I hear the query "Why do we overeat", in many cases it is a passive process.  Our bodies were not made to handle the caloric punch of CF foods, so we tend to eat more calories before the stop signals go up were we consuming just carbs (usually with lots of fiber) or fats (usually with lots of protein).


Over on the personal blog ( When to Eat ), Helen wondered about separating carbs and fats on a daily basis -- e.g. alternating high fat day(s) with high carb day(s).  This was actually the impetus for this post because my reply became too lengthy for the comments feature here to handle.  In any case, here are my thoughts on that:

Let's say during the day I have a fatty breakfast and a carby dinner or a carby breakfast and a fatty dinner.  Either way, if I'm consuming basically maintenance-caloric levels of these foods, my metabolism will do a bit of switching up within its normal mode.  After carbs, lipid oxidation will be down-regulated and the carbs burnt off or converted to glycogen (see that Nutrient Fate link), but as the glucose is "cleared", lipid oxidation ramps up again.  After fats, lipid oxidation remains as it was.  If there's no to minimal carb in the meal, insulin is likely low so NEFA are released from the fat cells to replenish the IMCL being "burnt".  The metabolism is "normal".  

It takes a few days, however, for the body to transition to a "fat burning" (low carb) metabolism.  Our bodies are inefficient during this transition -- spilling ketones, etc.  This can probably be used to our advantage to get a little more out of weight loss, but is it healthy?  I don't have the answer to that and I'll try to put it on my "to do list" to look into.  My educated guess is that so long as you're not overdoing it caloriewise this is probably OK as diacylglycerols and ceramides shouldn't build up.  It takes a while for IMCL to accumulate anyway on an HF diet.  I don't know if it will accumulate if one's "average" diet is HF, even if some days are LF.

From a weight loss perspective, I do feel this switching up was probably responsible for the whooshes I would experience upon returning to LC after carb cheats.  Was this healthy?  Who knows.  I look at it as a trade-off in the end.  Whatever I did to get here, I'm way better off for it now.

I worry more, however, over the transition from a HF day to a HC day.   The switch gets flipped back almost immediately.   I've posted that as little as a single high fat meal can induce IR, and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) the following day.  If one is not efficiently burning lipids in short HF stints, this could potentially turn the HC day into a "diabetic day".  I've played with a glucose meter to see about this for myself.  Perhaps the fact that I don't eat particularly high fat (as a % or on a gram basis) version of LC, I've not had issues with tolerating carbs.   Meters are cheap, and you can get strips relatively inexpensively too.  Rather than guess, or look to studies to see, testing one's own response to this is probably better.    But I do think alternating days like this has a greater potential for creating issues than mixing it up "separately" throughout the day.  If one experiences a degree of IGT, I think a good bout of exercise between the last high fat meal and the first high carb meal might be all that's needed.

Companion post to follow ....

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why Liberal Art Majors Should Be Banned from Politics

As we now come around to finishing off the second year of Obama's and the democrat's rule over the US and the economy that never really recovered looks like it's going to tank again, a prediction I made quite some time ago is coming true;

People who 2 years ago could not be reasoned with, with data, statistics, and facts about the perils and dangers of socialism are slowly being convinced by their;

1. Personal current dire economic condition
2. Hopelessness about their personal future economic condition
3. Lack of financial and employment security

I knew, after arguing with enough leftists and liberals, that there was no changing their mind in that they were married to an ideology and did not have the intellectual fortitude and honesty to entertain facts. And the only thing that would convince them is the reality they wrought upon themselves.

Now while most of my colleagues on the left will continue to beat the worn out drum that this is all still "Bush's fault," I know that some of you are contemplating removing your lips from Barack Obama's buttocks, and will perhaps now listen to rational, realistic, fact-based adult reasoning.

I know I have no hopes of throwing up the terrabytes of economic data and keeping your attention. But perhaps you will entertain a theory I have about liberal art majors and politics.

There is a STRONG correlation, so strong it goes beyond a theory. It's a law. And I even put together a nice little presentation on it. I also am intellectually honest in this presentation and point out fallacies on the right. Perhaps this can be the starting ground by which we set aside all the brainwashing, pot-smoking, flowers and puppies and unicorn talk we received in college and now start to be adults and be intellectually honest in what we observe with our own eyes. I'm not expecting everybody to become Reaganauts, but a simple acknowledgment of the phenomenon I've observed here;

And if we agree upon this, then maybe I could entertain you with some data and statistics?

Forget College

Why go to college when you will;

1. Waste your money on a bubble degree
2. Spend 4-5 years of your youth with no improved prospects of employment
3. Can go to a two year college and learn a practical skill that will generate more income than a 4 year degree?
Arpaio's Gulags, As Experienced by a Limey

Click here for the article by Stephen Lemons in the Phoenix New Times

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Where Not to...

1. move
2. invest
3. Start a family hard
5. start a business

And may I point out that while the democrats here in Minnesota rail against our Governor, Tim Pawlenty, for being a cold hearted evil republican for not increasing taxes, Minnesota is now finally off of this list?

Enjoy the decline!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Destructive Principle

One of my more brilliant observations or creations is what I like to call "The Destructive Principle."

In short it is the theory or law that it is easier to destroy something that already exists than to create something of value that is new.

You say, "well, what's so big about that?"

Well, it delves deep, deep, deep into the leftist crusader mindset and is vital to understand.

Understand ALL human beings have a desire to achieve something. Some people want to go to the moon. Others want to start a family. Some want to start a business. However, it is a question of whether you have the work ethic and tenacity to set goals, study hard, prepare and set out to achieve those goals. But for many people on the left they do not have the work ethic to go forth and produce something of value. Instead, they find it much easier to protest against something thereby avoiding having to produce anything of worth yet still feeling good about themselves as they "crusade" against some perceived evil or ailment of society.

What is key to understand though about The Destructive Principle is that these people, if intellectually dishonest enough, do not care whether what they set out to destroy or crusade against is indeed an ailment or something bad. Matter of fact, some professional protesters and crusaders will go out of their way to besmirch and vilify something that is largely innocent and productive for society simply so they can avoid a real job, yet get to play "make believe super hero crusader."

The video below is again a mere sampling of my economic genius. Please note the worthlessness of the people's degrees I highlight in the video and ask yourself the question;

"Do they care about society or do they just really care about themselves to the point they hold no reservations of making it worse for society so they can play "super crusader make believe adult hero."

Enjoying the Decline

I'm being serious when I say this. I REALLY enjoy watching the decline and chaos. I suggest pouring a martini and lighting up a cigar and watching this like a movie;

When I Am King

I will eliminate any CAFE standards and bring back 8-12 cylinder cars and let the auto companies make whatever cars they want, bringing back a car renaissance similar to the 1950's.

GM however will be forced to abide by this.

Monday, August 23, 2010


He's not only written about it before, I've written about it before.

But it is just too damn simple for the average "brainwashed-to-hate-corporations-yet-demand-jobs-and-high-401k plan balances Americans" to understand and appreciate.

Chicks Shooting AR 15's

For all the Natasha and Sindi fans;

Now they may upgrade to "Hot Chicks in Bikini's Shooting AR 15's while in heels" but that would require contributions to finance the ammo and heels.

Escape from Minneapolis

I have never been so happy I sold my property and no longer pay property taxes in Minneapolis.
Welcome New Readers from the BBC Website

Click here to read about my extreme prison friends and where to find their extraordinary true stories at Jon's Jail Journal.

Click here for an introduction to Jon's Jail Journal.

To read the blogs I wrote while in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jail scroll to the very beginning of the entries posted in 2004.

Click here to read the grotesque yet fascinating "Shit Slinger" series.

Click here to watch an Aryan Brother gang member murdering another inmate at Arpaio's jail.

Click here for the BBC news story by Chris Summers.

Tuesday Aug 24th: Click here to listen to today's BBC interview by Chris Vallance. My interview begins at 6.40 minutes into the podcast.

Hard Time at Amazon UK. Hard Time at the Book Depository.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Effects of consuming a high carbohydrate diet after eight weeks of exposure to a ketogenic diet

Thanks to Leon for finding this :)

Effects of consuming a high carbohydrate diet after eight weeks of exposure to a ketogenic diet

Basically they took two groups of rats and fed them (ad libitum) either a ketogenic diet (KD) or regular chow (CH) for 8 weeks.  Then they switched the diet of the KD group to CH (KD:CH) and continued to feed the rats for an additional 8 weeks.  As this was a rat study, the rats gained weight/grew for the entire 16 week duration of the study.  

The diets:  KD = 5% carb/15% protein/80% fat             CH = 60% carb/23% protein/17% fat

Now I'm not a rat, but I do find these results both interesting and a bit surprising.  Here are the graphics for caloric intake and weight:

caloric intake: 

Surprise #1:  The KD rats consumed pretty consistently fewer calories (although the difference is not noted with an * for statistical significance) for the first 8 weeks and yet gained consistently more weight.  I'm not sure if this difference was stat.sig. either, but it was mentioned in the results:
After 8 weeks of consuming a ketogenic diet, KD rats had increased adiposity and plasma leptin levels, and reduced insulin, as compared to CH controls. 
So much for the insulin-induced fat accumulation theory once again.  And so much for the metabolic advantage -- if anything, this demonstrates an advantage for the high carb diet.  But CS, doesn't this violate calorie balance?  Nope.   I'm sure there's a TEF or RMR change in the KD rats vs. the CH ones that would explain this seemingly nominal discrepancy.  Furthermore, the KD rats had significantly more epididymal fat (one type of visceral fat) than the CH rats.  Is this a good thing for a rat? .....

Surprise #2:  Initially after the switch, the KD rats didn't go on a soaring blood glucose fueled carb binge.  They actually reduced caloric intake significantly in the first week after the switch.  Presumably these animals had a bit of insulin resistance and blood coursing with postprandial glucose during this first week of the abrupt switch.  And yet this didn't send the rats into a carb frenzy.

After that "honeymoon", however, the KD:CH rats increased their caloric intake over the rats who just ate the regular chow diet the whole time.  This increase is consistent but does not become statistically significant until the last three weeks of the study.  Is this an overcompensation for metabolically "starving" for extended periods?

The hormone level results are totally antithetical to the whole insulin/fat accumulation theory.  KD rats had significantly higher leptin and lower insulin levels than the CH rats.  However this would predict lesser adipose accumulation in KD vs. CH right?  Not the case.  The leptin remained elevated for several weeks (4) following the switch for the KD's.  REPEAT:  lower insulin in KD correlated with increased adiposity (visceral at that).

From the discussion:
Whereas KD rats had significantly increased fat pad weights and plasma leptin levels as compared to CH rats, resuming the chow diet prevented a further increase in adiposity and leptin over time. Rats that consumed chow for the entirety of the study increased fat pad weight and leptin to resemble those of KD:CH rats by the end of the study. In addition, plasma insulin levels in KD:CH rats were not different from CH rats one week after returning to the chow diet, although it was significantly increased after 8 weeks of consuming chow after the ketogenic diet.
If I had my druthers:
1.  A third group kept on KD would have been interesting.
2.  Since they started to see this significance towards the end of the study, why not extend it a bit longer?

Personal aside:  Since I adopted my "cheating" method for LC weight loss and maintenance, this result is consistent with my experiences with going off LC.  In the past, I never "gave up" on LC, just strayed from the strict version of it and never got back to it.  I think there was a small honeymoon period whereby everything still fit and I didn't seem to gain so there was no big motivation to jump back gung ho on the wagon.  (I have no idea if the scale said so or not, but I'll go by size and ignore if there was any water fluctuation in there).  However after that brief period I didn't binge but the pounds sure piled back on fast.  The first 100 lb swing occurred in no more than 2 years but could have been mostly accomplished in one!  The second, in roughly the same time frame.  So fast that before I knew it I was back past where I started. I experienced weight losses in the wakes of some of my cheats during my 10 months or so of rapid losses.  I think because for long weekends or a few weeks (vacation) I probably ate less eating higher carb.  But now I'm a smarter cookie.  I know that I cannot continue like that because whatever the cause, I lose my sensitivity to how much I'm eating after a while of consistent carbs.  

The New Low Carb v. Low Fat Study ~ Comments on What Others Are Saying

In response to my previous post, The New Low Carb v. Low Fat Study ~ Much Adieu About Not a Helluvalot!, LynMarie Daye commented as follows:
Have you seen some of the criticisms of this study? I came across a couple of blog articles suggesting that the researchers are biased against low carb diets and manipulated the data to get results more inline with their beliefs. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Another Biased Study? Maybe...
The Diet Wars: The Saga Continues

I decided to comment in a separate post because the comments features here are limited (and no auto-save).

First Tom Naughton's analysis raises many of the same questions that I have over the actual dietary interventions in the study.  Absent food diaries of what the participants were ACTUALLY consuming at the various time points, we have no idea what we're really comparing at each timepoint.  While I, too, don't see where the low fat/calorie restriction group increased their intake, I simply cannot abide that they didn't.  It would also have been instructive to know the caloric intakes of each group and the actual carb intake.  Naughton concludes:  "So in theory, we’re comparing a low-calorie weight-loss diet that lasted for two years with a low-carb diet that reached maintenance level within a year. Strange design for a study in which weight loss was listed as the primary outcome."    I would have to disagree with this conclusion as I believe the actual dietary intake -- particularly in the second year -- probably differed from plan for both groups.  It had to, or the participants in the LFCRD would have continued to lose.   Naughton does say this very same thing later on.   Naughton goes on scrutinize the potential bias of the researchers.  I'll not go into the whole "it's not the calories" nonsense that permeates the low carb community.  I think y'all know where I stand on that by now, but I don't see how this would have influenced the results of this study.  

Which brings me to the statistics that are questioned by both Naughton and Bowden (w/Dr. Richard Feinman contributing in the comments).  I'll admit to having been lazy not delving into their whole analytical methods in my first reading although that legend on the weight loss graph of "predicted" losses really struck me as "off".  I can't for the life of me figure out why they chose the methods they did -- without at least reporting and comparing to the data for just those who stayed in the study AND reported for assessments.  The authors presented some numbers in order to reach a certain statistical significance/power for their outcomes (weight and LDL), and with the dropout rate, they still seem to have the numbers with the remaining participants.  Perhaps if they excluded all but those participants who attended each assessment for the entire study they fell short?  Still, it appears that they not only included those no-shows who remained "in treatment" in their analysis, but also those who dropped out entirely.  I think a case could be made for predicting a value for a missing timepoint for a person who otherwise remains in the study, but to include a prediction for a total drop-out??  

In any case, where data were missing due to attrition, a statistical model was applied to predict what the value would be.  I, too, would rather see the data for those that at least complied enough with the study to show up for five assessments. It will be interesting to see if/when actual data is published what the values are.  It is MORE than suspicious to me that this was not included in the original publication.  But it is premature to presume bias in the statistical model used to skew the predictions.

So, now onto just the commentary by Dr. Jonny Bowden. 

First, since we just discussed the statistics, I would add that if we're going to discount the weight loss outcome on the basis of some bias in the model of biased researchers (who are biased because they believe in caloric balance), then we cannot hang our hats on any of the other predicted outcomes either.  These were every bit as "predicted" as the weight based on a model constructed by the very same (biased??) researchers.  Either their methods are valid, or they are not.  There were 30% more predicted values in the LC group vs. the LF group at the two year mark, where values would have been predicted for 32% of the LF sample and 42% of the LC sample.  

And yet Bowden makes the following statements:
And- hold on to your hats—at all time points throughout the 2 years,including at the finish line, the low-carb group had a significant increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol, approximately 23% increase to be precise.
There’s not a drug on earth that’s been able to do that. ....
... Second, you may have noticed that those improved cardiovascular risk factors showed up for the low-carb group (only!) after six months, but that after that, there was no difference between the groups in those risk factors—both had improvements. (Except of course, for the very important improvement in HDL cholesterol, which was seen only in the low-carb group and was sustained throughout the two years!)
As I've stated before, the percent game for HDL masks the fact that the changes in HDL are not all that impressive.  The mean increase was 7.75 points for folks with starting value in the mid-40's.  Considering that 2/3rds of the participants were women, their endpoint mean HDL hasn't improved into that "protective" range.   Bowden is flat out wrong claiming that improvement in HDL was only seen for the LC'ers.  In fact, the low fat group also saw an increase of 4.64 points -- a little over half the improvement seen in the LC'ers.   The absolute difference being only 3 points -- is there any difference in terms of risk factors for this small a difference?   Furthermore, HDL increased in the LF group during the second year while it declined somewhat in the LC group.  Absent actual dietary intake records to assess compliance with the plans, what conclusion can we really draw from these data?

Bowden makes a mountain out of a mole hill regarding designating weight loss as a primary outcome and the CVD risk factors as secondary outcomes.  So what?  There was a difference in the secondary outcomes, and this HAS been reported in the headlines.  The LC community seems to have jumped hook-line-and-sinker for these relatively modest improvements and claimed vindication for the healthfulness of long term low carbing.  This study offers no such support.

Bowden goes on to state:
“Averages” often conceal real differences—for example within the low-carb group there were some folks who really stuck to the program, and I’m willing to bet that when the raw data are released, you’ll see a number of individuals who not only maintained their weight (or kept losing) but also maintained the significant gains in cardiovascular risk factors that were dramatically seen after six months.
I have made this statement myself many times in response to comments made about a study where personal or anecdotal evidence counters the results of some study or other.  So the fact that LDL went up almost 8 points on average for the first 3 months of induction doesn't mean that MY LDL would go up that much or wouldn't render a massive reduction impossible.  But Bowden seems to imply that these averages only conceal differences for the low carbers.  Surely within the low-fat group there were some folks who really stuck to the program and who not only maintained but lost more after the 6 mo/1yr mark!!   In the end, the means are still our best comparison for the population at large.

Now Bowden skirts clear of coming out and blaming upping the carbs for the reversal of the 6 month improvements in triglycerides, but Naughton fell into that trap a bit as other LC bloggers have.  Essentially there's that almost wistful air of "what if" they had NOT ramped up the carbs.  Unfortunately, unless more information is forthcoming, we do not know how far they ramped up the carbs, but it is important to see that there was no change in the trigs from the 3 month to the 6 month assessment during which time they were presumably "climbing the rungs" on Atkins.   Naughton mentions that most successful low carbers end up somewhere under 100g/day.  I think that is high for the more hardcore wing of the "movement".

Low carb in the various studies comparing weight loss and other factors seems to follow a predictable pattern "on average" -- greater early losses and a greater regain.  Does this mean everyone will follow this?  No.  But neither does it mean that low fat dieters necessarily regain either.

In the end I find myself annoyed at the "if only this or that, but look at the results anyway".  If only we look at those who followed LC stringently.  Yeah, well, if only.  But in the real world --  where doctors and nutritionists are trying to advise strategies beneficial to the greatest proportion of the population -- we can't just say LC works better, you just have to stick to it.   Because CRD's work when they're stuck to all the same.

Bowden starts to sum up with:  "If you had your choice between two diets- both of which produced weight loss, but one of which did it with less hunger and better cardiovascular outcomes, which would you choose?"  


-140% Return on Sales at Americana Community Bank

Normally, it's bad when you lose money.

But when you have sales of roughly $3.8 million and you have a loss of $5.2 MILLION, you are so spectacularly mismanaged that it's more evidence of a criminal organization or scam than any kind of incompetence.

That is of course unless you're Americana Community Bank.

To continue my gloating (and to remind Cappy Cap readers), this was the bank that 3 years ago said while I was being interviewed;

1. "We don't have any problems in our real estate portfolio."


2. Hired my ex boss instead of me for the position.


3. Received a cease and desist order last year.

Here's their financials if you're interested
. Good God and Gravy. What's sad is it really isn't a criminal enterprise or some kind of scam. They just are really that incompetent.
Extract from Hard Time in Sabotage Times

Here's the link to the excerpt:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tatsuya Ishida's Love Fest is Over at Sinfest

Sinfest, which if you haven't read, is arguably the greatest comic ever since Calvin and Hobbes.

It's creator, Tatsuya Ishida, however is a huge Obama fan. This would normally put me at odds with the guy, but if you read his comic from the beginning, you will realize he is simply a misled genius.

What is heartening though is to see a noticeable lack of Obama cartoons wherein Ishida's lips are firmly planted on Obama's buttocks. Seems the glue is coming loose at the young man's (heck, he's a year younger than me) lips and a dose of economic reality is setting in.

The larger point is much like liberal arts-majoring melinnials today who face no employment prospects, I enjoy watching the Obama fanatics slowly get hit upside the head with reality.

Enjoy the decline!

Never Trust a Woman Who Doesn't Like Victor Borge

In my youth I had purchased tickets to see Victor Borge 6 months in advance to make sure I got the best seats in the house.

I have regaled many of you with the story before wherein I could not find a date because most women in my generation at that time were too uncultured to appreciate, let alone even know who he was.

However, it did remind me of an instance long ago in Cappy Cap history where I had courted a young lady who after showing her my Victor Borge DVD was not impressed and did not laugh even once during the entire show.

The relationship ended shortly thereafter.

So a lesson to all the younger Cappy Capites out there, if you want to save yourself some time to determine whether the girl is worth dating, simply start by showing her a Victor Borge DVD. The Great Dane left us at least that much.

Melatonin a "cure" for the middle aged middle?

Came across this while on another one of my trips around the internet looking for something totally unrelated ... funny how that happens sometimes?

Anyway, thought I would "bookmark" it here with a little comment:

Daily Melatonin Administration at Middle Age Suppresses Male Rate Visceral Fat, Plasma Leptin, and Plasma Insulin to Youthful Levels

Yes, it is a rat study, but as the intro states, endogenous melatonin production decreases with age in both humans and rats.  Basically regular melatonin supplementation reversed the increases in  insulin and visceral fat associated with aging.

I don't know about any of you, but this middle aged (well I guess technically not yet, but ...) chick is going to look into this further!

In addition, if you scroll down the page, there's a list of articles that cite this study. I plan to check out a few of these.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Announced He's Reading His Signed Copy of Hard Time‏

He scanned the above page from the actual copy I mailed to him over a week ago. Here's his announcement at his Twitter account: Below my signature is my official cockroach stamp.

Link to Hard Time at Amazon UK

Link to Hard Time at the Book Depository

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Other Vital Economics Statistics

That your mother wouldn't want you to know;

Mass MUST be conserved

Note:  This has been in my draft "hopper" for a while.  I thought I might as well dust it off and post it.  ;-)

I've been thinking for a while about the whole caloric balance arguments and theories of obesity, etc.  I keep coming back to a simpler model of it all to which there really can be no argument.  That is that matter is neither created nor destroyed.  What goes into a vessel must come out of that vessel or the vessel will weigh more.

Intake:  macronutrients, water, oxygen, minerals and other micronutrients -- mostly oral ingestion and inhaling.
Outgoing:  excretory products -- mostly expiration and urine, but feces (containing mostly unabsorbed intake) and perspiration as well.

Metabolism, bioenergetics, whatever ... it all boils down to the rearranging of atoms and molecules for some purpose.  In the end, forget the purpose and just look at the atoms themselves.  We cannot convert an atom of oxygen to an atom of carbon.  If we take in XX carbon atoms in the form of fat, carb or protein, they are either excreted or they stay in some form in our carbon-based lifeforms.  Same for everything else.

As it turns out, it is the macronutrient mass balance that pretty much "rules".  Once we ingest a carbohydrate, fat or protein -- it is broken down into simpler carbs, free fatty acids and amino acids and absorbed.  Anything that passes through undigested/absorbed is a freebie.  Once it gets into "circulation", you own it.  Our bodies are ruthlessly efficient and even recycle things we temporarily excrete!

But once we "own" something, it will add to our net mass/weight unless we get rid of it somehow.  How do we get rid of carbon we don't need/use for structure?  We exhale most of it as CO2, and some more in urea that also serves as an export route for nitrogen through urine.

In any case oxidation/breakdown is the primary route *OUT*.  So here is where mass balance ties in with the caloric balance.  If we don't oxidize intake, we retain it and gain weight.  Plain and simple.  The "little stuff" like H2O and CO2 can get out.  The former is mostly our solvent in which all our bodily chemicals are dissolved, etc.  The latter is the byproduct of oxidation.   But what of bile and concurrent secretions from the liver into the intestine?  The vast majority are recycled (re-absorbed), so this is not a major excretory route.  Ketones?  I'll give you that one, but this has been determined to be a small amount in the non-adapted person, and even more negligible in someone who is keto-adapted.

Hormonally driven theories of fat accumulation fall flat when one considers mass balance.  What goes in must come out or be accounted for.  IF a zero carber consumes 2 pounds of only rendered pork fat one day, those fatty acids MUST go somewhere.  Those carbon atoms, etc. cannot be created nor destroyed.  Therefore, no amount of hormonal response or lack thereof can render the mass balance LAW moot.

But CS, what of futile cycling and uncoupling?

1.  Futile cycles:  We have many of these in our bodies that are seemingly futile -- IOW there does not seem to be a purpose to do work.  But they have a purpose, often to maintain body temperature.  However such cycles consume ATP which was made in ETC, Krebs, glycolysis, beta-oxidation ... IOW "burning" macronutrients.  If a futile cycle uses a certain amount of ATP, this will be reflected in expired CO2 = mass out.

2.  Uncoupling:  This is our body's "pressure relief valve" if we're running a bit too fast for our ultimate needs.  It's like expending energy to drive your car up a hill, but if there are too many cars up there, we release the parking brake on a few and let them roll back down.  How do we account for this?  ATP is used to in the metabolic equivalent of driving up the hill.  This is "wasted" when we release the brake.  But the wasted ATP is accounted for in the manner described in #1.  When we need more cars back on top of the hill, more ATP will be expended to do that, corresponding to more expired CO2.

Bottom line, these two processes are "mass dissipating", but there's nothing magic about it.  They both seemingly "waste" ATP, but I contend this is part and parcel of keeping our engines running smoothly and is largely accounted for in our basal metabolic rate (that, incidentally, is determined by our CO2 expiration rate).

So ... how do we get fat?  We ingest a greater mass of carbon based macromolecules than we excrete on a chronic basis.  If we don't store that excess as triglycerides in adipose tissue as we are supposed to, the lipids will either remain elevated in circulation, or accumulate elsewhere.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More Econ Genius

Crusader Turned Politician Turned Banker

It's a lengthy read, but you will see my "crusaderism" theory explaining it all. Page 4 you finally learn he's (guess what!) a banker at Wells Fargo!

But again, don't listen to me. I'm not a team player.

Adiposopathy v. Obesity ~ I

I just came across the following article, and haven't quite digested the whole thing just yet.  Still, it is interesting so I thought I would share it here.  This post will be about the most curious topic in this paper, but I hope to revisit this in a series of future blog posts (hence the "I" in the title).  

Near as I can tell, the lead author, Harold Bays, is the doctor who coined the term "adiposopathy" or "sick fat".  

Adiposopathy is pathologic adipose tissue dysfunction that may be initiated and/or exacerbated by fat accumulation (adiposity) in genetically susceptible patients [1••].  Adipocytes are metabolically active and adipose tissue is an important endocrine organ (Table 1) [2••]. Abnormalities of adipocyte factors contribute to dysmetabolism (Fig. 1), and adiposopathy [1••,3•] promotes some of the most common metabolic diseases encountered in clinical practice, including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension, and dyslipidemia.

This is a summary paper focusing on the fact that it is dysfunction of the adipose tissue rather than the amount of adipose tissue that is responsible for Metabolic Syndrome.  Thus explaining your "metabolically obese thin people" and "metabolically normal obese people", etc.   The focus, as the title implies, is MetS treatments that target the fat cell dysfunction rather than simply the person's fat mass.  

Sick fat appears to be related to adipocyte hypertrophy -- an enlarged fat cell:
It has been known since the 1970s that adipocyte hypertrophy increases the lipid/protein ratio of the adipocyte (through a relative consistency in protein content coupled with increased fat content) [13], decreases the responsiveness of adipose tissue to insulin [14], and increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as T2DM [15] and dyslipidemia, even if adipocyte hypertrophy is found in only slightly overweight individuals [16]. In fact, adipocyte hypertrophy is more closely linked to metabolic abnormalities, such as insulin resistance, than is an increase in total body fat [17].
An increase in fat cell size represents a failure of adipose tissue to adequately proliferate and differentiate [18] (as found with obesity and T2DM [19]) and, therefore, a failure to inadequately accommodate a further increase in energy influx [20]. Adipocyte hypertrophy may indicate a resistance or inability to store triglycerides beyond some maximal amount [21]. 
(This is consistent with the Critical Visceral Fat Theory I blogged on previously.)

For this post, I want to focus on the discussion of one of the pharmaceutical treatments:  PPAR-gamma agonists.  (Here's a LINK to general information on these drugs --  thiazolidinediones or “glitazones.” -- Actos and Avandia).  I'm not promoting pharmaceutical therapy, and Avandia has seen a lot of negative press of late, but nonetheless I find the mechanism of action of these drugs to be interesting.

These compounds appear to "cure" sick fat by stimulating the proliferation of new, small, young adipocytes and/or promote the death (apoptosis) of dysfunctional hypertrophied large fat cells.  Since SCAT has a greater ability to differentiate, and VAT cells are more metabolically active, this seems to have differential effects on the two types of adipose tissue.  These drugs tend to cause fat mass gain in SCAT, and loss in VAT, but appear to be most effective in the patients who are fatter to begin with and who gain more fat.  Yes, you read that right.  

From an adipose tissue metabolism standpoint, PPARγ agents have been shown to reduce free fatty acids [23••,91], increase adiponectin [92–94], and reduce leptin [93] (although not consistently so [95]), with unconfirmed effects upon resistin [95,96], IL-6 [97], and tumor necrosis factor-α [95,97]. Thus, it appears that many of the favorable effects of PPARγ agents upon glucose metabolism and adipocyte function may be most related to improvements in free fatty acid metabolism

I've seen diabetics list these meds in their treatment regimes and yet be on weight loss regimes.  In some ways this seems counter productive.  One way to try to cure sick fat is to try to reverse the dysfunction by emptying out the cells.  Another, it appears, would be to replace sick adipocytes with healthy ones.  While weight gain may be the last thing a person wants, I know I probably would resist it were I diabetic, it is interesting to consider.  

Breaking News: Warrior Under Threat

I received some news. One of the individuals that attempted to murder me a few years ago is about to be moved to my yard. I have no doubt that he’ll show up on my side of the yard and probably in the same building. As I’ve said before: “Life will test your resolve.” When I heard this news, I felt boiling blood course through my veins. I remember the day they tried to kill me as though it had occurred yesterday. When I recovered, I knew I’d run into this individual once again.
At one side, I have hate and anger, on the other side, logic and reason. I’m trying not to make an emotional decision. This time, he won’t have five others with him. Five barely made it fair back then, but I lived, so I can’t complain.
Now the question on my mind is “Where do we go from here?”

Links to some of Warrior's best prison stories:
Warrior v Big E.
Rapist on the Yard
Bucket of Blood
Central Unit

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.
Standing Up (Part 2 by Warrior)

Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.

I lived in cell 12 on the lower tier. We approached my cell, the first on the run.
“Face the wall, and don’t move,” said the officer who’d tried to give me water.
“Open fox 12,” the other radioed.
The bars to my cell opened with a clanging of metal against metal that roared down the run. The men on the opposite tier stood to attention behind their bars, waiting for the officers to leave to speak to me. On my side, through my peripheral vision I could see hands holding mirrors reflecting images of faces casing the situation.
“Step in. All the way back. Face the wall and slowly back up once the bars close.”
I complied. Once the cell closed I backed up. Usually an officer will reach in between the bars to undo the cuffs. It’s easier on both parties since the handcuff slot was considered a design flaw – it was set too high to raise your arms from behind to be cuffed and uncuffed. Instead of an officer reaching in, I had to back up and try to manoeuvre my arms into the slot. The vigilantism hadn’t ceased.
“Step back, and slide your wrists through the slot,” he said, his voice dripping with spite.
Hunching over as far as I could, I strained to pull my arms high behind me. The lack of water in my body made this task alone difficult to achieve. I felt a glove reach in the slot and seize the middle links between my cuffs. The hand lifted and pulled my arms through the slot. The pressure upon my shoulders made me wince, but at least the officers couldn’t see my expression as my head was leaning forward.
As one officer took my cuff off, the other held my wrist in place. When both cuffs were off, they took much longer than usual to release me. I pulled away and turned to face them. With nonchalance, they walked away satisfied.

I took off my orange jumpsuit, and headed straight for the sink. A film of salt from the sweat had dried upon my body. It was a feeling I’ve never been able to get comfortable with, not even with my daily workouts. I washed up, and filled my cup with water. I sat on my bunk, debating my next course of action.

At this time my neighbor was O.G. Pete. He’d been down 30 plus years, and used to run around with older heads from the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia. He was half white and Mexican, but both races gave him sovereignty status when it came to the racial divisions due to how much time and “work” he’d put in. Work, in prison, means stabbings, riots, robberies, deals…His criminal resume covered all trades, and he was considered a master of them. He was close to 60, and now basically retired. He had a few years left to go home. He had some money stashed away from years of hustling that he’d invested wisely. He used to tell me he couldn’t wait to spoil his grandchildren once he was free. Pete was about my height, 5’10”. Decades of push-ups and pull-ups gave him broad shoulders and a strong handshake. Though he was in his late fifties, he physically resembled a man in his early to mid thirties. His hair was grey, his face age-spotted due to years in the sun. He wore bifocals to see and read. His philosophy was one of entitlement and staff viewed it that way too. He used to always say that he’d been doing time when more than half of the staff and wardens were still crappin’ green in their diapers. It was true too.
“Hey, youngster, that was some foul shit they pulled,” O.G. Pete said.
“Yeah, it was. I’m fuckin’ pissed.”
“I can imagine. He’s just fuckin’ with you ’cause yer young.”

Earlier in the day, the sergeant and I had an argument over a laundry line. The unit had reduced laundry from twice a week to once. So some of us chose to wash certain items in the sink – boxers, socks, T-shirts – and hung them out to dry in our cells.

In a small 5’ by 10’ cell, dirty clothes in summer smell quick. In prison, the smallest issue escalates with staff and inmates. Sometimes two rational people catch each other on a bad day, and a trivial situation becomes the seed for a riot or murder.
Since I’d refused to take down the laundry line, the sergeant threw me out in the holding cage for a few hours. He was a new sergeant. He’d barely received his bars, so was looking to push his weight as opposed to embracing his leadership role.

Click here for Standing Up Part 1