The Darwin Diet

We’ve had the GI Diet, the Atkins Diet, and a hundred others. But what if Charles Darwin wrote a diet book?

Well, ever since “Man… descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped“, until the discovery of fossil fuels, human populations were limited by competition for resources. What that presumably meant was that, just in order to survive, Man had to eat everything and anything he could lay hands on. So there’s the Darwin diet right there. Eat anything you can lay hands on if you want to live.

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t fit well with a post-industrial society where fossil-fuelled machines do all of our manual labour for us, and the market economy brings us a cornucopia of processed foods designed for profit. Yes, people complain about McDonalds, but it’s exactly the foodstuff you’d expect a free market to produce. Looks nice, tastes nice in an addictive, trashy kind of way, cheap to mass-produce, and who cares what it does to your health. McDonalds don’t, because they don’t have to pay for your healthcare.

The amazing thing isn’t that some people are fat, as the media keep telling us. It’s more remarkable that some people are still thin, while they have the chance to consume everything and do nothing, and the evolutionary mandate for it, too.

“An engine that knows what it’s missing”

So after a couple of weeks of commuting, I finally got my first puncture on the Skyline. I wasn’t looking where I was going, ran over a tiny rock the size of a marble, and got a pinch flat. Even blown up to 100psi, those skinny tyres really are wimpy compared to mountain bike tyres. But I guess that’s the price I pay for getting to work in 20 minutes instead of 40.

Fixing a puncture on a commuter bike is much the same as in a car. You pull over to the side of the road and empty all the stuff out of your “trunk”, a big messenger bag full of junk, in order to access the spare inner tube and tools buried right at the bottom. Then you sit the bike upside down on its handlebars and saddle, unscrew the afflicted wheel and lever the tyre off it. You locate the hole in the inner tube, check the corresponding place on the tyre to make sure the sharp thing isn’t still there, put in a new tube, blah, whatever, done it a million times.

As I was doing this, sitting on a kerb under a tree in the rain, with Asian kids yelling and playing football in the street, I wondered if I hadn’t strayed too far from my roots in mountain biking, by buying into the whole “Quest for freeride” thing. Mountain biking is getting fragmented into more and more different disciplines, driven by bike companies, who want to sell you a different bike for each one. And who could blame them? They need to eat too.

But as some guy on some bike blog once said (I forget which) the cyclist is “An engine that knows what it’s missing”. Riding singletrack on the Frankenstinky feels like shooting squirrels with a cannon. When you hit something it’s spectacular, but I really wish it was lighter and easier to aim… I actually miss my old Inbred 🙁

Then I found something that made me feel a lot better. According to Colleen Smith’s blog, a cyclist can get 300 miles to the gallon… of ice cream! Or 1000mpg if they ate nothing but peanut butter. Even if the ice cream were entirely made from fossil fuels, which Ben & Jerry’s probably is, that’s pretty damn environmentally sound. I need to test this claim some time. Maybe 100 miles and one-third of a gallon of ice cream to start with.

While I was there, I couldn’t help but notice that Colleen Smith is a 6 foot 6 pro beach volleyball player and really hot. Hey Colleen, if you’re reading this, can I get your number? I’m only 6′ 5″ but I could wear platform shoes.

Oh well, back to reality.

Wisdom teeth, who needs them?

My dentist seemed to think I’d be better off without mine! So after almost a year on the waiting list, I finally got all four of them extracted at the Glasgow Dental Hospital. It was a gruesome process that involved drilling holes in my jawbone to get the impacted ones out. However, I wasn’t really caring, since they sedated me with Midazolam first. It is pretty good stuff! It’s supposed to cause amnesia, but I definitely have a vague memory of things getting drilled and yanked. I don’t remember getting injected with the local anaesthetic, though, which is usually the part I hate the most.

What I wasn’t prepared for, though, was just how much it would hurt afterwards! About a week after the operation, the empty sockets started to hurt bad enough to keep me awake all night and generally not be a nice person to be around! Apparently I had so-called dry socket, which actually means “Bits of bare jawbone that need washed every few hours to prevent infection”.

So, if you’re having your impacted wisdom teeth out, here is a shopping list of things you might find useful.

  • Soup. Lots of soup. Bananas, porridge, yoghurt and scrambled eggs are good too. Don’t try drinking stuff through a straw, though!
  • Ibuprofen and paracetamol (seem to be the best painkillers for the job)
  • Corsodyl or a similar antiseptic mouthwash
  • Dental mirror and flashlight (if you have a morbid sense of curiosity)
  • Squeezy bottle or large syringe with a rubber tube attached. If you got the dental mirror and flashlight, you’re going to want this too, for hosing the now-visible lumps of food out of your socket holes, before they go septic…

Anyway, enough of this, ugh! 😛

NHS Direct on wisdom teeth
more from the University of Manitoba