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Comment: Re:Science... Yah! (Score 1) 958

by DoctorBonzo (#48982981) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

"The stuff does actually leave your body as CO2, water and other waste products of metabolism of the said 1 kg. It does appear as a 'missing mass' on your weight scale."

Yes, this exactly. But unless everyone actually tacitly understands this, which I doubt, The mass transfer part of metabolism seems to be missing from nutrition discussions. Anorexics and bulimics seem to get it, but the popular media miss the boat. Perhaps it's too much to expect otherwise, but I blame the emphasis on "calories" for the misdirection.

Comment: Re:Science... Yah! (Score 1) 958

by DoctorBonzo (#48978563) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness
OK, I'm impressed with your contextualization, and, cannibalistic implications aside, I'll accept your numerical values. But the crux of the biscuit is this:

" when metabolized in the body ... release ... energy "

I don't believe this to be part of the common understanding. Rather, and usually in the context of weight control, the belief appears to be that expending the 32 megajoules will cause your kilogram of flesh to magically disappear.

All this calorie stuff seems to stem from the metabolic research of Wilber Atwater in the late 19th century. My understanding is that he performed pretty accurate measurements confirming conservation of energy for human nutrition. Conservation of mass seems to have fallen by the wayside somewhere in the 20th century to the point where the (food) calorie is now some sort of bastard unit of massergy.

Comment: Re:Science... Yah! (Score 3, Insightful) 958

by DoctorBonzo (#48967989) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness
"7700 is the kCal in a kg body weight, if you're curious."

... and this is the reason that "nutrition" should be considered absolute horseshit by anyone with a serious scientific understanding.

Calories are energy and kilograms are mass. Conflating them in a non-relativistic way is just plain wrong. That they happen to be somewhat monotonically related when talking about food and body weight is misleading at best. I don't know if it stems from "nutritionists" ignorance of physics and actual science or is just an attempt dumb things down enough for the unwashed masses, but it makes the case that "nutrition" is no more than voodoo and superstition.

No wonder the public doesn't understand science.

Comment: Re:Expensive and irrelevant - don't think so (Score 4, Informative) 213

by DoctorBonzo (#47573635) Attached to: Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM
I've been a member of both ACM & IEEE for several decades. As a dinosaur, I much prefer print versions of all their varied pubs to any of the lame digital editions. I come from the academic world, but have been out of it for a long time and still find ACM relevant, especially after their revamp of Communications a couple of years ago. Practitioners? The Kode Vicious column is nearly the worth the price of subscription. I've never been interested in the Digital Library at extra cost, but it's probably worth it to some.

IEEE? Their Computer Society is marginally OK, but only for the Hal Berghel articles, as far as I'm concerned. IEEE Spectrum has become an exercise in suckitude, the bastard child of Wired's graphic design and Popular Science's "in depth" examination of current topics. Tired of this and their pimping life insurance, I've lapsed on IEEE membership and may do so for the Computer Society too in the near future.

Comment: Re:CrAssphage? (Score 1) 100

by DoctorBonzo (#47548783) Attached to: Newly Discovered Virus Widespread in Human Gut
If I remember correctly, there is a fruit fly gene discovered in Japan that was named fushi tarazu, abbreviated ShiTz.

A temperature sensitive variant was subsequently named HotShiTz.

Just goes to show that biologists can be as sophomoric as us geeky guys 'n gals.

Someday, maybe, they'll get past 3-letter names for genes & proteins...

Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and then give it back to them.