Jim Schuh: A bunch of stuff
By Jim Schuh
In California, local politicians apparently don’t have much to do.
The Rasmussen Report recently sent out this information: A mayor in southern California is moving to ban neckties from the city’s dress code, saying they impede blood flow to the brain.
I suspect the mayor was wearing a necktie when he came up with his proposal, and it hindered blood flow to his brain.
When I first spotted this report, my thought was, “Doesn’t the mayor have better things to do, like finding a way to reduce property taxes or fix the streets? The second thing was that such idiotic ideas seem to happen a lot in California, and maybe Oregon and Vermont too, with more than their share of weird people living there.
Anyway, the mayor’s proposal isn’t likely to get anywhere. Rasmussen reports that Americans aren’t ready to ditch their neckties and almost no one thinks it’s the government’s place to dictate fashion.
Just eleven percent favor a ban on neckties. They’re likely the ones who have just a few of them and every one has gravy stains on it.
Mr. Mayor, we’re still able to decide what to wear and we don’t need your help, thank you. Get back to your office and play solitaire on your computer or better yet, do something constructive for your city.
I found something else to note. The American Consumers Newsletter published a report that says nearly half (45%) of teens are online with social media almost constantly, half that number admit that social media are “mostly negative, and among them the largest share says social media allows bullying and rumors to spread.” Just one percent rate it positive.
The survey of 13 to 17-year olds found that 95 percent have a smartphone or access to one, 45 percent are online almost constantly, 97 percent of teenage boys and 83 percent of teenage girls play video games, 85 percent use YouTube and 88 percent have a computer at home.
I suspect none of this comes as a surprise.
Do you believe in “sayings?” Business Insider tackled some of the maxims we heard and followed as youngsters. For example, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Well, apples contain vitamin C and fiber, but if you get a virus or bacteria invade your system, an apple doesn’t help. The publication suggests getting a flu shot, even if you eat apples.
Let’s look at a few more – “Coffee stunts your growth.” I heard that a lot growing up. But there’s no research to back that up. The fellow who founded Post cereals advertised that coffee was “nerve poison” and should never be served to children. Turns out he was trying to sell Postum as an alternative to coffee.
How about this – “Wait an hour after eating before you go swimming, so you won’t get cramps and drown.” We always followed that rule as kids, but it turns out there’s no evidence to support it. While cramps do happen while swimming, what’s in your stomach doesn’t cause them.
We used to joke that if you wanted to cause parents trouble, give their kids sugary treats before their bedtime because that would cause hyperactivity and they wouldn’t go to sleep. But it turns out there’s no valid scientific study to back the claim. Here’s what Business Insider says: “The idea that refined sugar causes ADHD or makes symptoms worse is popular, but more research discounts this theory than supports it.”
We’ve all heard the claim that natural sugars, like those in honey or fruits, are better for you than refined sugar. Apparently, the body can’t tell the difference. The real issue here is that sweet treats contain lots of sugar, and therefore, calories – that’s what you should be watching.
Is brown sugar better for you than plain white sugar? Brown sugar is mostly white sugar with molasses, and your body can’t distinguish one from the other. It’s sugar.
Someone has had too much to drink and develops a hangover. Remember the advice to try “a little hair of the dog that bit you?” It turns out that’s nonsense. Drinking a Bloody Mary the next morning doesn’t cure a hangover, it just prolongs it. Coffee doesn’t work, either. It’s a diuretic that rids your body of liquid and makes it more likely to prolong the hangover.
We always ate our carrots to make sure we had “good eyesight,” especially at night. While vitamin A in carrots is good for eye health, it won’t give you super eyesight.
My mother taught us that we need to drink eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy. (She never did, by the way.) Researchers haven’t found any relationship between drinking lots of water and several diseases in otherwise healthy people. Water has no calories, and a good rule is that when you’re thirsty, drink some water.
There are many other food myths, so be careful about what you believe. Chocolate doesn’t give you acne, and it doesn’t take seven years for a stick of gum to digest if you swallow it. It just moves through your system like anything else.
Does it get any better than this?
Not long ago, a member of the Pope’s Swiss Guards was about to marry his fiancé in a small Vatican church when a wedding crasher entered the sacristy and told the priest about to perform the wedding that he’d like to officiate. The interloper – Pope Francis himself. Nobody in the wedding party knew he was coming.
The pope’s appearance surprised everyone, and some wondered if the man was really the pope.
The Brazilian priest who stood aside told the media, “I saw him as a true parish priest who takes care for (sic) his own sheep in the parish.”