Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots


  1. Carrington Dixon says:

    Re the Verne illustrations. From what I’ve seen of other books from that era, they seem about par for the course. But are we sure these are the original illustrations? They are from an English translation published in the US. The original, French, first edition may have had other illustrations. (Or none at all for all I know.)

  2. jim f says:

    I felt the same way after reading the story on DePaul…I went to the law school…you would think someone would have reminded them of the first amendment…

  3. Brian Tkatch says:

    The cholesterol/heart disease is still going on, but yeah, the evidence is growing. This makes the question two fold. What raises cholesterol and does it, or any part of it, matter?

    And then there’s dairy too. This is much too confusing. I’m planning on dropping my restriction from dairy (and eggs) to see how it affects my numbers over 4-6 months. It the absence of hard data, i’ll just have to test it myself.

    1. This is pretty much what I did, and discussed it in my metadiet picobook series from 2013:

      (I think you’ve seen this. I’m posting it here for onlookers.)

      You do have to test it yourself. That’s the gist of the whole series above: You are the experiment. Follow the scientific method and you will learn a lot about yourself. I learned that sugar puts weight on my gut (and raises my triglycerides) but salt intake has no effect on my blood pressure at all. I tried a cruder experiment a few years earlier that nailed down the carbs thing for all time, at least as far as I personally was concerned:

      I haven’t given up all carbs, and even have some occasional sugar, especially at Christmas and Halloween. My weight remains within a pound or two of 150, with the most-often-seen number of 151. I could probably get down to 140 again if I ate only protein and fat, but there are issues with protein overloading on an old liver, and the middle path may well be best.

      The takeaway is that you won’t know until you try, because there is no one on Earth who has precisely your genetics and your metabolism. I’ve gotten to a place where I’m happy and my numbers are good. So definitely go for it, and let us known how you do!

      1. Brian Tkatch says:


        I do have a diet that i stick to, and it works for me, and i feel great. Needless to say, it revolves around carbohydrates as opposed to fat and protein, which make me feel sick.

        The cholesterol thing is so baffling, given the conflicting information on what affects it, and than if that even matters. That just drives me crazy. And even checking my cholesterol is expensive (well, i can get it cheaply, for $35 at Meijers) but the home or personal machine tests seem to be unreliable. But who cares if it doesn’t matter anyway?

        I feel great after having given up meat. I no longer desire it, and i think i’m better off without it. (I still have chicken broth, foods cooked with meat, and will eat the occasional meat item to make a host happy or to have something to eat with a friend, but that happens at most 2 or 3 times a year.) And, when i gave up saturated fat, as i said before, my LDL went from ~127 to ~79. It fluctuates now, but i tie that more to exercise than anything else. That’s what the dairy thing ought to help test, kind of.

  4. TRX says:

    > slander

    It’s not slander if it’s true.

    > lighting

    My decision to run low-voltage wiring to all my light fixtures doesn’t look quite so silly now. Though we still don’t have LED lights without retina-ripping glare.

    I know my color vision is defective, but LED lights are like someone stabbing an icepick into my eyeballs.

    1. We don’t buy LEDs over 2700K, and I wonder if there are lower ones you could try. I won’t be able to mess with my workshop much until later in the summer, and I intend to report my findings here.

  5. TRX says:

    > travel

    “For a multi-national company with 21,000 travelers, those two extra booking days can yield $1 million in savings.”

    Um. I’m having a hard time imagining a company with 21,000 employees whose skillsets are so rare that so many have to travel in person to some other location.

    Delegation, training, and proper use of communications tools ought to be able to whittle those expenses right on down…

    “Yes, our executives travel so much we finally fitted out a 767 as a flying meeting room…”


    1. This is a problem with big corporations: The high-level decision makers don’t want to put themselves out. A lot of travel simply isn’t necessary, but many people like travel (I think it makes them feel important, or possibly less bored) and will travel for travel’s sake, or the prestige that comes of saying, “I had to fly to Stuttgart for a meeting with our research group,” which may or may not have been necessary, but is certainly a form of status signaling.

  6. Ed says:

    Re:Sunspots. A numbered sunspot is not the same as the sunspot number.

    I believe the current practice is to observe with the best equipment possible, used alongside the original equipment for consistency and calibration, and then use calculations to generate some equivalent number.

    There was a recent paper by Svaalgard et al, in 2015, discussing this.

    1. Yes. I’m familiar with that paper, which is available as a PowerPoint show from Leif’s research page. It’s definitely worth looking at, and won’t take much time to go through:

      Antique Telescopes and Sunspots:

      His research page:

      My gripe here is assigning an ID to something so small that it barely registers as a pixel on an image that fills a 21″ diagonal 4:3 display. I think I understand the reasons, but not nearly enough is said in the popular press about how different historical sunspot counts are today than at the dawn of optical astronomy.

      Onlookers: I powerfully recommend that PPT show if you’re interested at all in the quality and origins of our sunspot data, and thanks to Ed for reminding me of it, which will go in the next Odd Lots.

  7. Rich Rostrom says:

    “You get none of my money.”

    Didn’t you already make this resolution after reading of the $160M tax-funded basketball arena?

    “And I will slander you mercilessly until the end of my days.”

    It’s not slander if it’s true. I think the word you want is “excoriate”.

    1. So much for blogging while angry. (I try not to blog when I’m angry. I try to do useful things like sledgehammering dead hard drives when I’m angry.) But I was angry.

      Yes, they will never get a nickel out of me. Yes, I made that promise before, and will (probably) make it again, if they continue to be such a bunch of hopeless loons. And no, slander isn’t slander if it’s true. But I’m far from sure that most of them over there would even know what “excoriate” means without looking it up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *