Oops, should have read that.


WILT will be on a temporary vacation.


Hope to be learning something each day again soon.

Gee, and I had a Seinfeld chain of 24.

  • – Alex in locum tenens


What I Learnt On 24th January in other years

24th January 2011 How to Do Things FasterHow to Do Things Faster
View (2 comments) or Add Comment

imageSeen today on Good Fellas food truck

Be careful who you call your friends. I’d rather have four quarters than 100 pennies – Al Capone

Alphonse Gabriel “Scarface” Capone (1899-1947) had very good reason to be sure that he had very good friends.

Al Capone is the best known gangster of the American prohibition era. He was the boss of the Chicago Outfit. Due to his cosy relationship with the mayor and the police he was able to run all the rackets in town for a seven year period.

Despite the violence of his gang, he became a poplar folk hero in Chicago. He saw himself as a Robin Hood figure, and would be cheered when he attended football games.
Capone was confirmed as Public Enemy Number 1 after the St Valentines Massacre of 1929. Capone’s Italian gang gunned down seven members of Bugs Moran’s Irish gang in broad daylight.

Elliot Ness and his team of “Untochables” lead the FBI’s pursuit of Capone.

Capone had so many ‘quarters’ and so few ‘pennies’ that no one would inform on him. He was never prosecuted for bootlegging, violence, or murder. But, famously, he was convicted of tax evasion in 1931. He spent eight years in jail, some of this time in Alcatraz. He must not have been a good boy, as while in jail he developed dementia from tertiary syphilis, and died in 1947.

I wonder how many of his quarters or even his pennies were by his side at the end?

Add a comment

Four flyers seen on various lampposts in Alstonweb today 🙂





What I Learnt On 21st January in other years

Add a comment

neuwagen_nervosaNeuwagen Nervosa – The (not entirely) irrational fear that your brand new car will be damaged.

It has been 340,000 kms since the last case in our family.

However, today one of us has come down with an acute attack of Neuwagen Nervosa.

Symptoms include

  • parking at least 1km from the shops, where the lot is most empty
  • parking only next to other new cars. Old or damaged cars must have irresponsible owners who fling their doors open willy nilly.
  • hesitating before giving the keys to a most trustworthy husband, and then giving the same list of warnings that a son might receive (“Don’t text, don’t drive too fast, don’t…”)
  • choosing a  petrol station based on the width of the driveway
  • visiting the hitherto unexplored aisle at the supermarket where car cleaning products are sold
  • determining that no one aged either under 50 or over 60 will be allowed to drive the new vehicle
  • repeatedly checking the weather radar for possible hail storms

German scientists have speculated that Neuwagen Nervosa may be a side effect of the ‘new car smell’ (‘Kraftfahrzeugsinnenausstattungsneugeruchsgenuss‘ )

Luckily, Neuwagen Nervosa is a self limiting condition. It resolves soon after the first dent or scratch.

Then we can relax and get back to owning the car that no-one else is game to park next to.



What I Learnt On 20th January in other years

View or Add Comment
collage of still life of different food and drinks

Photo :

What diet is best for your health?
Low carb or high carb? Low fat or high fat? Low glycemic? Mediterranean? DASH? Palaeolithic? Vegan?

Dr. David Katz is from Yale University’s Prevention Research Centre.

Dr Katz knows the answer – and he is cranky.

In an article published in the Annual Review of Public Health , he and college Stephanie Mellor looked at all the international evidence to decide “Can We Say What Diet Is Best for Health?”

It is an important question.

Diet is established among the most important influences on health in modern societies. Injudicious diet figures among the leading causes of premature death and chronic disease. Optimal eating is associated with increased life expectancy, dramatic reduction in lifetime risk of all chronic disease,and amelioration of gene expression.

This means that by eating well we can improve the negative factors we have inherited from our parents, including our risk of some cancers. Our fate is not written in our genes.
And why is Dr Katz cranky?

“I really at times feel like crying, when I think about that we’re paying for ignorance with human lives,” he told the Atlantic.

The evidence is clear. “A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention”.

Yet that message is obscured by competing claims of one specific diet over another. These claims are exaggerated and are not supported by evidence, particularly when they are attached to commercial interests. They distract fromthe real effort needed to improve public health. Who can blame people for being confused about what they should eat?

Efforts to improve public health through diet are forestalled not for want of knowledge about the optimal feeding of Homo sapiens but for distractions associated with exaggerated claims, and our failure to convert what we reliably know into what we routinely do. Knowledge in this case is not, as of yet, power; would that it were so.

“I think Bertrand Russell nailed it,” Katz told the Atlantic, “when he said that the whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so sure, and wise people always have doubts.”

Really, everyone knows which foods are healthy and which aren’t. If you focus on real food, close to nature, nutrients tend to take care of themselves. Focusing on a single nutrient or limiting food groups is damaging.

Diet is crucial to better health outcomes. The science says that the best diet is ‘real food’ as delivered to us by nature.

Eat real food, mostly plants, and not too much (*)

It is common sense. The problem may be that is hard to make a quid out of promoting this.

What I Learnt On 19th January in other years

19th January 2011 The Spirit House RestaurantThe Spirit House Restaurant
Add a comment