Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fasting Insulin & Weight Loss

Some folks have been having a bit of a go at me over at Peter/Hyperlipid's blog.  I guess it all started by Peter taking some sort of offense to my post on his Potatoes and weight loss post entitled Insulin Caused Cerebral Stress.  My intent with my post was not to mock Peter.  It was to point out how so inconsistent with observations the carb/insulin hypothesis is, so as to elicit elaborate explanations such as the scenario Peter described to explain a simple phenomenon:  Voight lost weight eating potatoes by estimating his energy needs and eating a controlled amount of predominantly potato-derived calories.   Peter, himself, started that post discussing the time/pages he had spent developing his theory.  I don't question/contest that what he says regarding insulin, sensitivity, etc. may actually be true.  I do believe, however, it is irrelevant.  I say that because I just do not see consistent evidence to support his assertion that:

The ultimate determinant of weight loss is fasting insulin. ~Petro Dobromylskyj
Read more »
Book Signing this Saturday – Liverpool Waterstone’s

Here's the info:

Saturday April 2nd, 2011 - Waterstone's, 12 College Lane, Liverpool, L1 3DL (0151 709 9820) from 1pm until 4pm. Click her for a map.

Students from Maricourt Catholic High and Maghull High in Liverpool have been emailing about the signing. Some of you have asked if it is OK to bring a copy of Hard Time to Waterstone’s to get it signed. Yes, that is fine, but I recommend you bring a purchase receipt, so there are no problems with the security guards. Oh the irony if you were to get arrested at one of my signings!

Today, I spoke to the Year 10 students at Maghull High. A student called Joey said that the Maricourt Catholic High students had raved about my talk to the Maghull High students, so they were all excited. They also knew that Joe (a Maricourt student) was using T-Bone as his profile pic. The talk was so well received that the students stayed an additional thirty minutes to ask questions, forfeiting their break time.

Out of an audience of 240 students at Maricourt, I ended up with over 60 Faceboook friend requests – that’s the most ever after a talk.

Clicking on the flyer makes it bigger:

Click here for future signings.

Click here for the previous book signing blog.

Shaun Attwood

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Learned I Would Never Fly a Veritech Fighter

As a 10 year old boy I loved watching Robotech. Scott Bernard was my hero and I was hoping (with advances in technology) that I too would be able to pilot a Veritech fighter as well as pilot a Cyclone.

Of course the technology for motorcycles that change into armor and fighter planes that turn into mecha did not advance quite as rapidly as I had hoped, but then again, by the time I was about 14 or 15, I realized it was just a natural and typical childhood dream of a normal 10 year old American boy and it would never materialize in my life.

Of course, then, some people never reach this stage of maturity and keep believing that they too can pilot Veritech fighters and single-handedly repel the Invid Invasion. Of course it's isn't really repelling the Invid Invasion as much as it is watching Eat Pray Love, or moving to NYC to relive Sex in the City, or going on some kind of world tour adventure that has no grounding in reality.

Though, I do wonder. Why is it required to get divorced to go on these adventures? Wouldn't you presumably WANT your spouse to come with you?

No, no, I know. I know. I'm just a stupid Ray Romano male. What do I know.

Enjoy the decline.

Talk at Welling School

Just got back from Welling School in Kent. I am still on a natural high after talking from 9am until 3pm to almost 700 students. It was one of the greatest receptions I’ve had so far at a school.

The organisation skills of the contact teacher were quickly evident. Upon arrival, I was assigned an entourage of student helpers from the sixth form, who ensured that I was properly taken care of, and took me on a tour of the school. Some of them went beyond the call of duty during the third talk when a window covering fell down, rendering the audience unable to see my PowerPoint images on the big screen. As the audience moaned, the helpers – two clad in black and white jail outfits – rushed over and raised the window covering back up, holding it there, arms raised, for the next 30 minutes.

The first talk was to sixth formers, so they got the hardest hitting version. During the break, I ended up in the sixth-form common room, fielding a bombardment of questions. It felt good to be surrounded by so many people interested in my story, and I was reminded of how lucky I am to have the opportunity to influence so many young people, that something good has come out of the bad situation I put myself in at Arpaio’s jail.

One of the most moving moments of the day was when the student helpers and contact teacher presented me with a thank you card and a box of chocolates. They wrote:

Thank you for coming in today to share your experiences. We appreciate all your support in making us aware of the consequences. We wish you the best of luck in the other schools you speak to.

I also received this email from the contact teacher:

Just a quick e mail to say THANK YOU so much. Your talk was inspirational, heart warming and educational. You have encouraged pupils in a kind and subtle way to reflect on their own lives and not take life for granted. Most of all, you have made them think! They have stopped in their tracks and hopefully if the issue of drugs ever arises, they will have learnt to think hard and long about the consequences of potential actions.

And numerous emails from the students, like these:

Hello shaun!

I was in the speech you did today to the 6th form, I found your talk really motivational, it really made me think about what it is I want to do and how I want to spend my life. You made the speech so interesting and enjoyable, I’ve rung my nan and great nan in london and told all my family your story - I'm so glad you come to share it with us. I wish you the best thank you so much Kelle

i am a student form welling school; and i just want to say that the speech you did today was BRILLIANT!!!!!!!! it really opened by mind on the reality of prison than what it is proclaim to be
thanks!!!! Rachel

Hey Shaun, your talk today was amazing, really had my attention! Hearing your story was amazing and knowing that you have been through that journey yet managed to be as strong as you are amazes me too! Thank you for coming in! Robyn.

Click here for Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 10)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ballroom Dancing's Shortage of Alpha Males

I have been teaching dance class for what will soon be 14 years. It is hard to recollect every aspect of when I first started teaching, but I could swear I noticed a trend occurring from way back in 1998 to today. Since I wasn't sure and wanted to confirm it, I asked Natasha (who took my class 7 years ago) a simple question;

"Have you noticed how men are just not leading anymore?"

And she said,

"Yes. There's a definite trend."

"So in your short 7 years of dancing, you have noticed it?"


So now that I know I'm not imagining it, permit me to speak of it.

Understand how ballroom or any partner dancing works is that one person MUST lead the other person MUST follow. The dynamics of this is not a "superior" leading an "inferior" person around, it is more akin to electricity. In order to have a current, you need a positive and a negative. Following is just as important as leading otherwise the dance just plain doesn't work. It may be more analogous to driving. Only ONE person can drive the car at any given time. If you have two people driving, the car will invariably crash and if you have no one driving it will crash a lot quicker. This relationship between the lead and follow and thus the man and the woman MUST be instilled before any kind of turns, throws, dips etc, can be taught.

Now traditionally it has been the women who have difficulty in playing their role of the follower and try to lead. And this has nothing to do with feminism or women wanting to take on more of a role in society. It boils down to women simply wanting to "help," but failing to realize that "helping" is antithetical to following. And by "helping" you are by default leading. And once I explain this to the women, they usually get it and start following real well.

It is the men I'm seeing deteriorating in their role of leading.

Be it the fact they plain don't want to be there, they're tired or even their wife won't let them lead, the trend I'm noticing goes beyond that. There is a noticeable decline in men's ability to take command on the dance floor and lead. And I cannot help but wonder if it isn't the sociological and economic environment that has led to it.

I see more and more men, who just plain have that defeated, domesticated look on their faces. I provide all the instruction, explain step by step what has to happen, and above all else explain to them they MUST pull their wife this way, send her out that way, they MUST LEAD. But when the time comes and the music plays, instead of a Steve McQueen like fashion, they look sheepishly at their wife or girlfriend and barely produce a slight tug on the girl's hand, all the while looking at her for constant confirmation and approval they're doing it correctly.

I can break it down, again and again. Repeat and cheer them on to be like John Wayne, and instead of leading, the men "suggest" the women turn a certain way, or ask their permission to turn them a certain way.

The women of course get frustrated (not only because viscerally women like strong men), but because the dance is structurally failing. They don't know where to turn. The lead is so limp and the man so unsure, the women is forced to take over and turn herself.

And then the whole system collapses. Instead of listening to me or the beat of the music, the rookie dancers try to figure it out themselves. The women (who had NOT been trained in leading) start lecturing the men (erroneously most of the time) as to what they're doing wrong. The men, obviously predisposed to listen to their wife or girlfriend over me (who technically is a complete stranger) miss out on my vital commands and instruction as to what is wrong and how to fix it. And when we try again, it doesn't work because it is now a joint effort when the men and women both amorphously lead and follow, mixing their roles. It's not until we have three or four lessons under our belt do the men get comfortable enough with the idea of leading (or the binary nature of the lead/follow and how the two do not intertwine), is there progress. But it didn't take 3-4 lessons in the past.

Further convincing me of my theory or observation is real, is that every once in a while I will have a guy show up with a confident little smirk. The age doesn't matter. I've seen that face in 18 year old kids and 65 year old retirees. One eye brow is always higher than the other. He has a Captain Jack Sparrow like sinful smirk on his face, his girlfriend/wife is always smiling ear to ear and without fail I will catch him pinching his significant other's derriere.

He is the alpha male and I have no problems ever getting them to understand the concept of leading.

Even if they're not on beat, they don't care.




There's the right way, the wrong way, and if they can't do either, they'll do the Max Power's way.

It may be a bit forceful, it may be a bit too fast, it may not be on beat, but there is no ambiguity to the ladies as to what these men want them to do. Additionally, all the women smile when they're dancing with these men. Why?

Not only because it is clear what the guy wants his partner to do during the dance, the dirty little secret is that women like strong men.

Of course, their numbers are dwindling. And in 14 years no less.

Now I could go on about the sissification of America and could postulate theories about economics and how the economy may be depressing men and lord knows whatever other sociological/psychological theories, but has anybody else out there in the ballroom community noticed this? I'm being serious, I'd like to be able to figure out the problem so I can solve it.

"Her Father Could Not Be Reached for Comment"

We don't need no stinking fathers!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Moved to a New Cell (by Lifer Renee)

Renee – Only a teenager, she received a 60-year sentence. Now 15 years in, Renee is writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona, providing a rare and unique insight into a women's prison.

New policy states that inmates with the same crimes and time have to live together.
So, at 5.30am, a crew of sergeants, lieutenants, and support rolled down to the yard, screaming “Lockdown!”
I could see the papers in their hands. My stomach knotted.
An officer stepped by my room. “Thorpe, pack up your stuff, and take it to the table.” He was moving my roommate.
Not knowing who I was going to get kept my stomach in knots. It’s hard to get a compatible roommate.

When I saw Virginia, high-strung, OCD, a non-smoker, coming, I didn’t just say no to myself, I said hell no.
She came in saying, “I can’t handle smoking.”
I replied, “I did not burst forth from your loins, and I’m not sleeping with you. I’ve done 16 years here, and you or no one else is going to run me. Know that! And know this: it will only be temporary.”
“No, no, wait.”
“I’m done talking.”

I saw Hope, who I’d been hoping to get. She asked, “Do you want to live with me? I got Jackie. Can you see what you can do?”
There was a congregation of African Americans around her cell.
“Let’s fill a kite[request] out now and get it to the COII[counsellor]. He is going to be gone all next week.”
We managed to get the kite to the movement officer before the morning meeting, and we talked to the disciplinary officer. Hope was crying. We talked to everyone and became a topic of discussion at the morning meeting.

At 10am, the movement officer notified me at work that I was moving.
“Go pack your stuff and get it done before count.”
I ran to the yard, packed my belongings, a little traumatized. I had lived in that cell for 9 years – the same old cell. I thought, Who gets attached to a cell? Obviously, I had.
I moved, losing my lower bunk. Whoever has the lower bunk pretty much runs the room. Me and my former roommate were alright. I’m not real comfortable where I’m at. I hear everything and it wakes me up. I am alright with my new roommate. It’s just going to take a while to adjust to the location.


I am still adjusting. I live in D pod, right by the yard gate and control box. The good thing is I see everything coming and going. The bad thing is I live right next to the “barber shop” AKA the “card shack,” where the girls hang out, play cards, talk loudly about nothing, and every once in a while someone might get a hair cut.

Click here for Renee’s previous blog

Post comments for Renee below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Why Can't We Just Print Off More Money?"

When I am king, I will make it a requirement that in order to vote you must explain why the government cannot just print off more money. And I'm willing to bet you at least 75% of current politicians in congress couldn't explain this either.

In any case, finally got off my butt and put together this little chart comparing the monetary base against GDP. In other words, how much money is floating around as a percent of the stuff it can buy.

For those of you watching American Idol, or "Glee" or glued to the TV for "March Madness," this is why you are paying $4 a gallon in gas. This is why food prices are going up. This is why gold is so high. And this is why shorting the dollar isn't the worst move you could make.

But to quote Michael Savage,

"No, you don't want to hear that. You want to hear about some guy who hits a ball over a fence."

Rumpleminze as a Disinfectant

Just a short one and then I have to go.

There is an "unnamed girl" in my house.

My house is in part heated by a wood burning stove because I'm eclectic.

Instead of breaking out the chain saw to cut the larger pieces of wood into sizes that will fit into the stove, I use a hand axe to cut some of the pieces I have on hand if I just need a piece or two.

I get myself a blister because of the repetitive motion of the axe on the palm of my hand.

Like all men I bite the dead skin of the blister to pop it (I do apologize for the crassness of that statement).

Like all bachelors, I don't have luxuries such as "neosporin" or "rubbing alcohol" and so I reach for the open bottle of Rumpleminze.

I apply some Rumpleminze to my opened blister and it stings like there's no tomorrow.

Not only do I have to suffer the insane stinging pain, I then get to suffer the lecturing tone of "unnamed girl" who berates me for applying Rumpleminze to my wound.

I then have to worry about the sugar in the Rumpleminze creating a syrupy ooze on my hand which prevents the application of a bandaid (which is also a luxury in Bachelor World, but thankfully Unnamed Girl has one).

Of course, I can't get the bandaid for free.

No, I have to suffer a sermon about the evils of using Rumpleminze as a disinfectant.

So I wash the sugar that is now crystallizing on my hand.

The water dries.

And the bandaid is applied.

And yet,

Just yet,

SOMEHOW the world has not ceased to exist.

The world has continued to rotate.

And I'm pretty sure the sun will rise tomorrow.

Despite me thumbing my nose at the gods with my use of Rumpleminze as a Disinfectant.

Friday, March 25, 2011

You Will Conform and Obey

by reading these links!

Pole Dancing for Jesus. I am speechless. But I am now triply reconfirmed that I did the right thing as an 11 year old PK by leaving religion forever.

No jobs at a job fair. It reiterates my point that you will waste the equivalent of a masters degree worth of time looking for a job and you might as well just play video games. Also long the lines of the Great Maja Rushie who said, "You can't really make any money until you're 40 because no one will let you." Hat tip.

You know how kids spend more time and energy whining and complaining about doing their chores or homework or what have you than it would take to actually do it? The Greenazis spend more time and energy conforming to going green than finding out whether it's actually "good" for the environment. But then again it never was about the environment now was it?

We don't need no stinking fathers! I actually don't know if there is a father in the equation or not...but...ummm.... yeah, I know there isn't a father in the equation.

How Japan manages 200% debt to GDP.(which I always found to be an amazing feat).

and finally;

Again, whether it is the mother you are interested in dating, or the daughter, when they say;

"My mother/daughter is my BFF!"


Corporate Profits Surge!

Yep, they've "surged" back to normal levels.

It was like when I got food poisoning and my weight "surged" back to 142 from 137.

Or if you were really weak after surgery and your bench press "surged" from 80 pounds to 100.

Or you got stuck behind my mom on the interstate as she holds up traffic and you pass and manage to "surge" back to 35 MPH.

Mediocrity is the new excellence!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bacon, Eggs & Battery Acid

Dietary Animal and Plant Protein and Human Bone Health: A Whole Foods Approach

According to a reliable source, I should be very concerned about the following table:
Sulfuric acid is among the most powerful and potentially harmful acids known. Get even a dilute quantity in your eyes and you will suffer serious burns and possibly loss of eyesight. Ingest it and you can sustain fatal injury to the mouth and esophagus. Sulfuric acid's potent tendency to react with other compounds is one of the reasons that it is used in industrial processes like petroleum refining. Sulfuric acid is also a component of the harsh atmosphere of Venus.
Read more »
New Laundry Bag and Sewage Spill (by the Occult Killer)

Dubbed the Occult Killer by the media, Brandon is serving 6 to 12 years in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. His crime: he killed his best friend in a drunk-driving accident. When police investigators discovered Gothic paraphernalia in his bedroom, they claimed Brandon had committed a sacrificial murder for the benefit of Satan.

Typical Tuesday, busiest day of the week with cell cleaning, laundry and store. Had an appointment to get a new laundry bag (my dose of excitement for the week). They came through for me in a week, a new record. They’re usually six weeks late and ’bout three-fiddy short. Just the latest in a string of epic bunglings. First was the new commissary and it being set up to fail, next the departure of certain staff setting them back six months and over 300 exchanges (and chintzy laundry bags helped!), after that Fisher got fired from the kitchen over a major racketeering scandal sending our food quality downhill faster than an avalanche, finally J-Block went under 18 inches of raw sewage causing an outbreak of hepatitis A, and contaminating everything but the east yard thanks to inmates treading it everywhere. Not to be overly dramatic, but they should have brought in a team on that one. It wasn’t until days later that they gave each side of the block a single mop and a bucket of industrial strength cleaner and went cell to cell. Imagine that, 128 cells, thousands of square feet, two mops.

Click here for Brandon's previous blog.

Click here for Brandon's review of Hard Time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Eliminating Worthless Degree Programs

If you'll permit the ole Captain a little bragging rights as he asks the question;

"Was anybody else on top of this worthless degree thing before me?"

I feel for the guy. Reminds me of trying to teach Economics to some of the country's most degenerate children.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Insulin Resistance ~ Taubes v. McGarry ~ Speaking of Banting ...

This post is fast fowarding to the final contribution to the field by JD McGarry.  I'll back track and be posting works in between in coming weeks.  According to this tribute to McGarry, he was quite ill by this point, and indeed he was unable to deliver the lecture, but was present at its delivery.  It is unfortunate that Taubes has misrepresented McGarry's work, because as I read more and more about this man and from this man, he really was a scientist in the vein of bucking conventional wisdom ... something that should have perked Taubes' interest.

Read more »

All of the original blog entries I pencilled from Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Madison Street jail that were smuggled out by my aunt Ann - content not included in Hard Time - are now available as as e-book. My friend Stephanie designed the brilliant cover.

Click here for the Amazon Kindle Edition.

Click here for the ebook at available worldwide to all devices, including PC's. 

Shaun Attwood

Monday, March 21, 2011

Must Hit the Ground Running

As you know, the Captain is fond of motorcycles. He owns one, drives one and it impresses the chicks (no, really, it does. I'm not joking, just buy one and save yourself the time and money going to night clubs, not to mention gas money).

And since I live in Minnesota, Sturgis, South Dakota is only a day's drive away. I've visited the Sturgis Rally twice now. Not on account I wanted to go to Sturgis, but because I love the Black Hill's area of South Dakota and Sturgis just happens to be there. But for whatever the reason I was there, there was something I noticed both times when I was;

there ain't no young people.

Oh sure, there's the occasional 35 year old there. And the 20 something couple there. But the VAST majority of people under 30 at Sturgis are simply there as wait staff and bartenders. They are not participants.

I found this odd on my little venture into Sturgis, my little Cappy Cap brain trying to find a reason for the lack of youth. And the answer quickly came to me as I headed out to Vanocker Canyon. For it was there, in its curvy valley, I was stuck behind Baby Boomer motorcyclist after Baby Boomer motorcyclist making their way through the canyon at 15 miles per hour.

Now keep in mind, your Captain has a dinky Ninja 250. The primary purpose for the purchase was fuel efficiency. So it should NEVER by the laws of physics be able to pass a 950 v-twin Harley. Of course it did because it was some 59 year old banker scared to shift into 3rd gear and actually accelerate above 45 MPH, but that isn't the point. The point is 90% of the people who own Harley's shouldn't be driving them, but they are the only ones that can afford them. And being the only ones that can afford them, they make up the majority of the participants of Sturgis.

It is because of this, Sturgis I predict will pass away with the passing of the Baby Boomer generation. They are the only ones in their prime earning years and are therefore the only ones who can afford Harleys. Or in other words;

Harley Davidson has failed to prepare for the next generation. Good luck finding a Harley that is affordable to the average 27 year old kid.

However, Harley Davidson is not the only company failing to account for a generation that will invariably pass.

Bosch, a division in which I am somewhat familiar with, has a plant where the "old timers" there are about the only ones in the nation who are trained to use the very unique and specific machinery. They have mentioned, on several occasions, how when they retire there will be no replacements available to do their jobs and that Bosch might want to consider hiring apprentices. Of course that went unheeded, and now the old timers know just to keep their mouths shut as it really isn't their problem.

Dayton, Ohio as well faces this problem where recently they had to lower the passing scores for their police entrance exam. The primary reason for this lowering of standards was NOT as the media may report to allow for more minorities to pass. The original impetus was a disproportionate amount of cops retiring. Again, nobody is grooming replacements.

Now I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Companies and institutions are failing to preparing for the passing of the current generation of managers, specialized employees and so on, and are merely waiting till judgement day to find replacements (kind of like social security - not until the 11th hour are we concerned about very real and immediate problems).

Which results in a phenomenon my younger Gen X and Gen Y economists no doubt are running into - the experience paradox.

In other words all jobs require X years of experience, even entry level ones, behooving the question of age old, "Well if nobody is going to give me experience, how do I get any?"

The answer is simple, you won't. But there is of course a consequence for our beloved Corporate America - they have irrational demands that will never be met.

Notice in the olden days they had these things called "training programs" where you could come out of high school, go into this "training program" and the company would "train you" to do the job.

You didn't have to go to college.

You didn't have to have a degree.

You just had to show up, have a good record and boom, off to work you went.

But now, you need to have years of experience, and not just years of experience, you must be able to train yourself. Thus inane requirements in job postings such as;

"Must be able to hit the ground running."


"Steep learning curve."



Your Captain routinely sees jobs requiring SAS experience. When he calls the employer and asks if they would be willing to train him in it (which would take a whole week), he is immediately dismissed as they need somebody NOW. Sure enough 4 weeks later the job is still open, when the Captain (or any applicant) could have been providing them 3 weeks of full service by that time. But again, I don't have an MBA, so what do I know.

Regardless, all of this translates into;

"We're too cheap to train you and frankly have become so cheap that we're now willing to sacrifice quality and profitability. Besides which, our managers don't like being bothered with petty BS questions you may have. Here's a training manual, figure it out yourself and don't bother us."

Of course the real world results are that of Sturgis, the Bosch plant, or the Ohio Police Department. A mad scramble that will come when they realize they haven't groomed or prepared any successors. Worse still, with progressively less and less effort and time dedicated towards training employees, as well as the general deterioration of loyalty Gen X and Gen Y have to employers, how precisely are you going to find those "loyal junior executives" to groom?

Oh, I know, they're out there, they're out there. But not in the number, nor may I say quality of previous generations. Not in part due to anything inherent with Gen X or Y (though I could see somebody making the argument for my generation being lacking in other areas), but because of an utter lack of resources spent on training and preparing them. It will be like the father who ignored his children for years, perhaps was an alcoholic, and not until he sobers up and his children are in their 20's or 30's, does he approach them and say,

"Hey, do you want to go camping?"

"Sorry, dad. I'm busy with work, and uh, who are you again?"

Translate that into the corporate rush to find new blood for managerial ranks in say the next 10-20 years;

"Hey, do you want to get promoted?"

"Sorry, I don't want to pay the taxes nor do I want the responsibility. I've learned to live on unreliable income and keep my expenses down. I have no children, no mortgage and no car payment, and therefore no responsibilities and have become accustomed to this non-rat-race life.

Besides, I don't know SAS."

Clown Day

I have several teachers as friends and I am always amazed with the sheer number of "Clown Days" schools have.

"Clown Days" meaning days where instead of learning, the little kinder are marched off to the gym where they are entertained by clowns. Or during St. Patrick's Day where they have potato rolling contests. Or "Dunk the Teacher Day" where students raise funds by paying to have a chance to throw a ball and dunk a teacher in a dunking tank.

My friends estimate about 3 days a month are dedicated to "clown days." Multiply that by 9 months (which most students can't because they're too busy with "Pizza Days") and you are losing about a full month of education.

Of course management of the schools claims this helps the "morale" of the students and the teachers (as if they were in war or something). And that it betters the student-teacher relationship making teachers more friendly. And of course that's the problem.

Having a "friendly student-teacher relationship" is not what is in the best interest of the children.

Ever notice how you would never want to date/hang out with/marry a parent (or the child) who says "My mom is my best friend." Or "Oh, me and my daughter are BFF's."

It's the same principle. If you really want to be a good parent or teacher, the relationship is simply this;

The adult (be it a parent or teacher) is the authority, the child is the moronic youth that doesn't know anybody and should obey and respect the adult.

This shouldn't end either with the kid turning the age of 18.

Elders, in general, but especially those who are in positions of power over you, should be given some basic respect and courtesy. THis is of course unless they are corrupt (which happens frequently), but in general, if you are the 19 year old college student, you should not be throwing pies in your professor's face.

Of course, real professors and real men and women would never succumb to such a spineless act, but, eh, who needs leaders and ranks? We should just all be friends.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Waterstone's Deansgate Book Signing

It was a lively book signing this weekend in Manchester. I sold 45 copies of Hard Time, helped by Mum, my friend Sue Fox (in the guard outfit below seducing the security guard), and Wild Man. A big thank you to everyone who helped, including the proactive staff who wore prison outfits, handed flyers out, and brought us drinks and snacks. It was also great to meet Claire (top photo) who said she has read every single entry at Jon's Jail Journal.

Click here for the previous Waterstone's signing blog.
Shaun Attwood

Why I Eat Low Carb ~ Response to Reader Email

I received the following email a couple of days ago:

I have spent about half an hour on your blog trying to find some kind of specific entries that explain why you, per your headline, don't buy what most of the low-carb community says about why it works, but you live it anyway.
Do you have a post or two that sort of sums it up?  Because I just got lost and it seemed that in order to understand what you were talking about I would have to commit to starting at the beginning and read everything, including all the links - AND I'd have to have the ability to understand it all, which I do not.
So... could you give me a hand in getting a grounding in how you seem to be pretty hostile to a whole lot of low-carb stuff while living low carb.
Much obliged for your help.

I've come to realize that I don't have such a post or two to point to, so I thank this reader (I'll let him/her ID themselves if they so desire) for bringing this to my attention.
Read more »

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Book Signing this Saturday...

Just got an email from Waterstone’s in Deansgate, Manchester, saying that the record for book sales set at that store by a non-celebrity author is 40-something copies. With the help of the flyer Peter at Waterstone’s has expertly designed for us, we hope to set a new record tomorrow.

Last night, Wild Man called to say that he will be showing up at the book signing at 4pm with his fiancée. Neither of whom are light drinkers – and there is a bar in the bookstore. Add in my extreme clown friend, Piggy Sue, who is dressing as a prison guard, and has threatened to arrest any shoppers who refuse to buy Hard Time, it should be an interesting day - but will Hammy be there? Drinks on Canal Steet afterwards?

Shaun Attwood

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Book Signing this Saturday...

is at Waterstone's, Deansgate, Manchester from 11am until we beat the 69 books sold at the Trafford Centre last week. Click here for further info. Possibly Wild Man, Hammy, and one of my extreme clown friends might also be showing up.

Your Weekend Homework

It's about 10 minutes. Just hit play;

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Maricourt Catholic High School
Had one of the best receptions yet yesterday. About one in every five talks, the students go wild, as was the case at Maricourt High in Liverpool. The lunch time came, and the students yelled, "Keep going. Don't stop," so I carried on. The teachers had to chuck them out in the end. The questions were relentless, and it was one of the most enjoyable schools I've ever visited. The applause and whistling and howling made me feel special, and I was able to get an important message across.

Out of the Facebook friend requests from Maricourt students, one called Joe must have taken a photo of T-Bone during my talk from my Powerpoint display, as he made T-Bone his profile pic on Facebook. I laughed when I first saw it - click here to see it. 

In Liverpool, I also have a book signing coming up at Waterstone's in L1 on Saturday April 2 from 1pm - 4pm - click here for more info.
Shaun Attwood

Insulin Caused Cerebral Stress


No, I haven't uncovered some damning study on this.  I was, however, directed to this post by Petro/Hyperlipid in a discussion on another blog:   Potatoes and weight loss (1)

Peter's post begins with:  "I tried and failed to produce a comprehensive post about weight loss on an all potato diet. It runs to too many pages. This is a brief simplification."  This indicates to me a fair amount of mental energy expended on this topic, hence my post title.
Read more »

Housing Starts TUMBLE! No Wait! SURGE! No Wait!

If you had listened to the mainstream media here



You'd have no clue what's going on.

But if you had listened to the Captain, you would not be suffering the headache you have now.

Charts people. Charts.

You can replace the entire news staff of CNN, NBC, CBS, NPR and ABC with charts because they're unbiased and are just raw data. They don't tell you what to think. They just are.

GCBC Reference Check ~ Part V of ? ~ Insulin Resistance: Taubes v. McGarry

"Over the years, prominent diabetologists and endocrinologists -- from Yalow and Berson in the 1960's through Dennis McGarry in the 1990's -- have speculated on this train of causation from hyperinsulinemia to Type 2 diabetes and obesity.  Anything that increases insulin, induces insulin resistance, and induces the pancreas to compensate by secreting still more insulin, will also lead to an excess accumulation of body fat.    
~Gary Taubes (p. 409 Sony ebook version of GCBC)

Now, before you click below and go on to read what I interpret this excerpt from GCBC to mean, and  some works of McGarry, write down what that statement means to you.

Read more »

Monday, March 14, 2011

Damn Technocrati Claim Token


Technocrati Claim Token


Why Gru Trumps "Mars Needs Moms"

Gru, the villain/hero from "Despicable Me" does not like children. In the movie he adopts three young girls only to use them to help him carry out his diabolical plot to "steal the moon." Invariably and accidentally, he ends up caring about and loving the children and finds out he gained something more important than stealing the moon.

"Mars Needs Moms." Good god, do I even have to bother explaining why this bombed?

Dalrock (or rather, should I say, Dalrock's wife) predicted this would happen (though I should warn you Mr. Dalrock himself makes some "vulgar" observations). Meanwhile Disney's executives are "scratching their heads" about why Mars Needs Moms has bombed.

Hmmm....what does the public want?

Politically correct stories, the theme/morals of which have been beaten into our heads by the media, government and schools that we're all sick of hearing about day in and day out?


Heroic funny stories where



(NO, DON'T SAY IT!!!!)



will come in and save the day?


Anybody remember Hartigan from Sin City and how he protects the poor little girl?

Or John Creasy?

Or are these just too obscure of references and I'm just dreaming about what kind of role men should play in society?

Honest to Pete. And they wonder why men just sit at home and Netflix/Gamefly instead of flock to movies.

Enjoy the decline folks. Enjoy the decline.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Waterstone's Birkenhead Book Signing

It was a sunny but slow Sunday in Birkenhead - or in terms of the vernacular of book sellers there was "low footfall." Mum and I failed to beat the sales record set by a local non-celebrity author of 34 books. We only sold 21, but met some great people, including the really proactive staff, who are now looking into organizing my prison talk as an event in the cafe at the back of the store.

With insufficient shoppers to set her upon, I had no choice but to allow Mum to take breaks, during which she gorged herself on cakes and coffee. The staff actually dragged out a little table for Mum to feast upon. She sat there, next to my much larger table, piling up evidence of her dietary intake, banana peel, empty teacups, crumbs from scones, a partially chewed walnut she'd found disagreeable and spat into a tissue, glowing with the incredulous happiness of an over-worked employee unaccustomed to rest, oblivious to the fact that she won't be allowed even so much as to visit the ladies room, never mind take a break, next Saturday at Manchester, Deansgate, Waterstone's biggest store in the northwest, which even has its own restaurant and bar - I guess this will be the signing Hammy shows up to.

Click here for the previous Waterstone's signing blog.

Shaun Attwood

A Sad SAD Commercial!

I just have to comment on this because this stupid Chunky soup commercial was just on the tube.  "What can you do with plain white rice?  When you pour Chunky Sirloin Burger soup over it, you can do dinner".  Complete with slender woman enjoying a dish that doesn't even look appetizing to me!

Read more »

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Introducing My Library!

I've decided to start yet another blog just for the purposes those "bookmarking" posts I do from time to time.  Links to various journal articles I come across in my travels about the web that I haven't yet gotten around to blog on.  I doubt I'll get to blogging about even 1/10th of the links I'll probably put there, and some of the stuff is not necessarily "up my alley" but may be of interest to some of you.  I don't have comments on in that blog.  If you see something that peaks your interest and would like me to blog on, drop me a line through my profile.  I can't guarantee that I will be able to honor the request, but I'm always open to discussing what interests YOU.

The blog has been "live" for a while, and if Blogger would cooperate (export/import is not working properly), I plan to migrate all such posts from here to there.  

Diet, Cardio, Resistance Training & Insulin

Thanks to Mirrorball for "putting a bug in my ear" regarding the impact of exercise on insulin levels.  The basic thought being that if Taubes' theory that lowering insulin makes you lose weight, then exercise should be very effective, especially if you couple it with carbohydrate restriction.  Because, if you "overeat" protein and fat calories those don't impact body weight right?

So I found this study:

Basically they took three groups of men averaging 40-47 years of age, ~100kg weight, ~32 BMI and did 3 interventions: 

  1. DO = diet only
  2. DA = diet + aerobic exercise
  3. DR = diet + resistance exercise
Read more »
Waterstone's Manchester Trafford Centre Book Signing

Mum and I sold 69 books today, setting a new record at that store for a non-celebrity author. Mum insisted upon incuding two photos of her in this blog for the benefit of Nigel. She looks happiest in the photo of her bashing me over the head with Hard Time.

I couldn't pull Mum out of the store today as she was on sales auto-pilot. I started packing up to leave at 4.15, but Mum kept pitching the book, closing sales left and right like this one:
"We've got a local author signing a book today," Mum said to a man with his wife and two kids. "It's a bit like the Shawshank, but it really happened to him."
"I'm going to look for something at the back of the store first, but I'll read your flyer and come back," said the man, rotating his body away from Mum's grasp.
"We're packing up. About to leave," Mum said, freezing the man in a semi-rotated position. "It's a real page turner."
Mum's words turned the man back towards us. He read the flyer, and said, "Sounds real interesting. I guess I'd better buy it now then."
And that was that.

We are at Birkenhead Waterstone's tomorrow.

Click here for the previous Waterstone's signing blog.

Shaun Attwood

Does exercise make you hungry?

Thanks to MM, I now have the full text of the following study.  I'm going to do a test for sharing this with y'all through Google Docs.  Please let me know if it doesn't work:

Acute compensatory eating following exercise is associated with implicit hedonic wanting for food  (I'm going to intersperse quotations from all over this paper)

The efficacy of exercise to promote weight loss could potentially be undermined by its influence on explicit or implicit processes of liking and wanting for food which in turn alter food preference. The present study was designed to examine hedonic and homeostatic mechanisms involved in the acute effects of exercise on food intake.
Read more »

Friday, March 11, 2011

Exercise & Weight Management

I've been having a little discussion of this over at Taubes' forum based on his comments on the Dr. Oz show.  He basically regurgitated two points that he's never really offered up much scientific proof of:

1.  Exercise just makes you hungry, and
2.  You'll compensate for the increased activity during exercise by lazing around the rest of the day.

On point 1, Taubes loves to use the "have you ever heard the phrase working up an appetite" line.  At least he sounded a little less condescending asking that this time as compared to when he asked Jillian Michaels in his 2007 Larry King appearance.  

In a "I think I gotcha moment", one commenter posted this study as evidence of eating more:  (I only have the abstract for this one):
Read more »

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 10)

I’m sat at Hanover Airport, waiting to board my return flight to London. Just did my first talk to English students at an overseas school called Prince Rupert. It went well. They asked questions for half an hour after the talk had ended.

I’m so exhausted, I’m about ready to fall asleep in the plastic chair at the edge of the café I’ve settled at. I did four one-hour talks in London yesterday, and jumped on a plane to Germany. I got to the Holiday Inn near midnight, and my taxi driver arrived at 6.20am to take me on a one-hour autobahn journey to the venue: a theatre in a military base, where I was greeted by an almost seven-foot guard with a handgun.

Other recent interesting venues include Arundel Castle, a massive restored medieval building dating back to 1067, owned by the Duke of Norfolk. With a bearded man on a £3-million Van Dyke painting watching over and smiling down at me, I told my story to the pupils of The Littlehampton Academy.

I did a talk at a nightclub to a nearly-all-female student audience, followed by the girl band The Ultra Girls, who were mobbed for autographs by hysterical students. Out of the handful of male students, one actually jumped on the stage and danced with the band, performing remarkably well under a barrage of heckles from the girls. I also got to see a dynamic public speaker, Lindsey Agness, take command of the students and coach them on life skills. My day there ended with a frenzy of cockroach hand-stamping, as the girls lined up demanding red and black ones.

I’m back to my hometown school this Monday, Saints Peter and Paul, where last year my mum answered a question impromptu that reduced several teachers and many students to tears.

The next book signings are in Manchester this Saturday, Birkenhead on Sunday, and Manchester the following Saturday. Click here for more info.

Click here for Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 9)

Shaun Attwood

Your "No Freakin Duh" Economic Epiphany of the Day

You mean to tell me that US and Western countries cannot get by where the entire populace majors in philosophy and theater? That inevitably we need to produce something of economic value in order for our stocks to go up? Are you saying that we CAN'T just run trillion dollar deficits year after year duping the Chinese into buying our debt?

I mean, I thought we could all major in "communications," land cushy government jobs, listen to NPR, bitch about how evil corporations are, promise ourselves free food, shelter and health care and somehow stocks would just magically increase by 12.8% a year in perpetuity so we'd all have big fat 401k values to retire on.

Honest to god. I had somebody in my class ask me, "So economics, that sounds really tough."

I said, "No, it's actually quite easy. It's dealing with the politics that is difficult. The economics profession has made it "seem" difficult by requiring you have all this calculus and advanced statistics before you can even apply for grad school. Math you'll never use, and if you did, you'll use it in a finite model that will fail to predict black swan events like housing bubbles, or, ooohhhhh, I don't know, collapsing western economies."

With a blank stare he said, "So...I um should continue in computer networking?"

"Yes, you should continue in computer networking."

Enjoy the decline people.

BEN'S PRISON BLOG: "Prison Blogger Begins Hunger Strike"

BEN'S PRISON BLOG: "Prison Blogger Begins Hunger Strike": "Yes, it's true. Up until now I thought Cardiff were being helpful, but yesterday I visited Ben and he told me what was going on. ..."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Dr. Oz Show: Cholesterol and Gary Taubes

It may surprise many but I actually agree with GT in large part on what he says about cholesterol.  Problem with that part of GCBC was that he wasn't really saying anything new.    My first cholesterol test was back in the days when just total cholesterol was your basic test.  Mine was slightly high - only moderately overweight at 20 or so years of age.  A few years later the LDL/HDL breakdown became more the norm and my HDL was high.  Now we all know the progression with particle numbers, sizes, etc that has developed over the years and with it less concern over some types, more over others.

So there's lots of moaning going on over at GT's blog and around the LC web over Taubes' appearance on the Dr. Oz TV show 3/7/12.   I'm no fan of Dr. Oz.  I don't watch any of that sort of TV on anything other than a passing basis in doc/dental waiting rooms and such   I did watch the YouTube videos of Dr. Oz with GT on Larry King back in 2007 (is there a part III?) and I'm well aware of Oz's relationship with Oprah.   I'm especially not fond of Dr. Oz after reading this post over at Yoni Freedhoff's Weighty Matters blog.

Read more »

Pour Yourself a Martini and Fire Up a Cigar

From the Hawaiian Libertarian;

"Not a courageous moral warrior walking alone the path of righteousness in a world of sin, but rather a butthurt scoundrel trying to grab onto every piece of power he can find while disguising it as being morally superior in order to feel better about himself."

What the Hawaiian Libertarian is highlighting here is what I have called "Crusaderism." I didn't come up with the term or the concept to seem like a faux intellectual. I came up with it because it exists. And not only does it exist, it is the single largest factor causing the general decline of the US and western civilization.

IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND POLITICS AND THE WORLD TODAY (and dare I say) even more clearly than what Rush Limbaugh can convey, watch the series below (THERE ARE TEN PARTS, THE BEST ONES ARE THE LATER ONES, DO NOT LISTEN TO JUST THE FIRST ONE AND STOP AND THEN WONDER WHY YOU HAVEN'T ACHIEVED SUPER AWESOME ECONOMIC GENIUS). But of course first pour yourself a martini and light up a cigar. You don't have to "watch it" you just need to hear it, so turn up the computer speakers and do some spring cleaning or something. You will thank me for it;

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Never Send a Liberal to Do a Conservative's Job


Though I am VERY happy the nice little socialist students in California get to pay higher tuition because of this.

Not to mention all those good socialist voters in California get to pay higher taxes because of this.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Because Divorce is Good for the Chlidren

Dalrock puts together a spot on piece about how to market divorce.

However, it reminds me of the divorce episode in South Park which couldn't have been more succinct;

Insulin, Weight & Fat Accumulation

Yes folks, if you go to any Biochemistry or Endocrinology text, you will find that insulin's action is to put fat into fat cells and suppress its release.  Therefore insulin makes us fat.  Lower insulin, lose weight.  Raise insulin, get fat.  Right?

I've recently posted on two rat studies (here and here) that demonstrate unequivocally that it is not so simple.  I've also previously addressed the study that is the focus of this post in my Insulin Wars series with Todd Becker.  But wanted to further highlight that study here in a separate post.  

Read more »
Sweats and ID’s (Part 2 by Lifer Renee)

Renee – Only a teenager, she received a 60-year sentence. Now 15 years in, Renee is writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona, providing a rare and unique insight into a women's prison.

The week went by. With no work for a month, I was going a little crazy, listening to people gossip and bitch.
“Go and see Officer Chitdez. Now!” a guard said on Thursday, referring to an officer in special prison investigations who I’ve known for 15 years.
I looked at her expressionless, or maybe dumbfounded.
“You know who that is, right?” she said in a lowered voice.
“Yeah, I know who it is.” My mind was racing: why does he want to see me? I got dressed, and walked up front, nervous. I sat outside of the yard office, waiting, for what felt like eternity before he called me.

Showing nothing on his face, Officer Chitdez pulled out the internal investigations IR report. “So tell me about these extra ID’s? You know they are considered escape paraphernalia.”
“Chitdez, man, be nice.”
He just cut his eyes at me. “Where did you get those ID’s from?”
I explained about losing and replacing them working for maintenance. “I did not know what to do with them, and forgot I had them. I couldn’t flush them. It’s my face and name. What if they clogged the toilet, and maintenance were called out? I’d be in trouble. I couldn’t throw them away. What if someone found them? And, come on, man, you’ve known me long enough. I’m not turning anything in to the cops. I just did not want to get into trouble. I didn’t know what to do with them,” I said, feeling frantic by now.
“When you worked maintenance, did you ever go offsite?”
“No. Come on, Chitdez, you’ve known me for 15 years – if I was going to escape I surely would have tried it when I was younger.”
“Has it been that long?” I could see him doing the math in his head. “So do you go offsite working for Televerde?”
“Who was your maintenance officer?”
“Mr. Irvine.”
He tapped something into his computer. “So if you ever get an extra ID, what are you going to do?”
“Bring it to you.”
“OK, you can go. Try and stay out of trouble.”
I was relieved, but as I walked out of the yard office I told myself that I can not possibly take anymore.

Click here for Part 1

Post comments for Renee below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood

Ketogenic Diet increases Fat Mass and Fat:Total Body Mass Ratio

Ketogenic diet-fed rats have increased fat mass and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase activity

This study looked at body weight, fat mass, blood lipid and glucose levels and PEPCK (rate limiting enzyme in glyceroneogenesis pathway for G3P production for esterification of fatty acids - fat deposition) activity in the liver and fat cells.  Two ad libitum diets were compared, a control standard chow and a ketogenic zero carb chow.  This study was in normal, young (30 days old at start) Wistar rats and lasted 6 weeks.

The diet compositions are shown below:
Read more »

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Free Fatty Acid Levels and Body Fat Mass

Relationship Between Body Fat Mass and Free Fatty Acid Kinetics in Men and Women  
{Hat tip MM, thanks!}
Alterations in free fatty acid (FFA) metabolism are involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease (1,2). Excessive plasma FFA availability impairs the ability of insulin to suppress hepatic glucose production and to increase skeletal muscle glucose disposal (1,3). Plasma FFAs are also the primary source of fatty acids for hepatic very low-density lipoprotein–triglyceride (TG) production (4,5,6,7), and plasma very low-density lipoprotein–TG concentration is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease (8,9). In addition, the accumulation of intracellular fatty acid metabolites stimulates the production of inflammatory proteins (10), which can also contribute to insulin resistance and atherosclerosis (1). Therefore, understanding the factors that affect FFA metabolism has important physiological and clinical implications.
Read more »

Saturday, March 5, 2011

San Fran, Madison and the Snarkolepsy Shuffle

Snarks attended a rally in SF and took some photos of the "solidarity" protest they had for their brothers in arms in Madison.

The pictures pretty much tell you all you need to know.

Friday, March 4, 2011

USA jail survivor Shaun Attwood comes to Preston (by Jonathan Gilbert of The Courant newspaper in Preston) 

Jonathan has put together one of the best articles so far. He obviously invested serious time and effort to research my story. He not only wrote about it, but also made audio clips, including my mum's first internet audio (available about half way down the article), two photo albums and a time line. I was extra surprised to see he quoted Sue O and Gab after reading through all of the Amazon reviews. A big "Good lookin' out, dawg!" to Jonathan.

Click here for the article

Elevated NEFA Impairs Insulin Secretion in Non-Diabetics Genetically Predisposed to Develop Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by defects in both insulin secretion and insulin action (1). Subtle defects in β-cell function and insulin resistance precede the development of hyperglycemia in individuals at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

From the Manchester rave scene to the USA's toughest jail (by Jonathan Gilbert of The Courant newspaper in Preston) 

The reporter at the previous book signing matched up snippets from the audio interview he did with photos from my life to make this video:

Shaun Attwood

A Happy Ending for Antioch College

A short but happy piece.

But what is even better is the first three comments so do click and read below. It will give you your daily laugh.

Another Hormone Involved in Lipid Mobilization? Atrial Natriuretic Peptide

This article is a bit heady, and I won't go into a detailed analysis but will try instead to present some relevant excerpts to the gist of this post.   That being, adipocyte metabolism, the continual cycling of fats in and out of adipose tissue, the continual cycle of esterification and hydrolysis, is mediated by more than just insulin.

According to the save date on my computer, I found this one a year ago.  Ever heard of atrial natriuretic peptide?  Me neither.  

According to Wikipedia, ANP is:
.... a powerful vasodilator, and a protein (polypeptidehormone secreted by heart muscle cells.[1][2] It is involved in the homeostatic control of body watersodiumpotassium and fat (adipose tissue). It is released by muscle cells in the upper chambers (atria) of the heart (atrial myocytes), in response to high blood pressure. ANP acts to reduce the water, sodium and adipose loads on the circulatory system, thereby reducing blood pressure.[1]
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