Bits & Pieces 2013-01-17

Links and things that I’ve run across recently.

Photo © 2010 Sara Everett CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Dropping like a Feather

This morning, my bathroom scale read 184.0. That’s about a pound less than it did last week. Slightly disappointing, as my food journal (which I just began this week) seems to indicate that just cheating even a little causes me to put on the pounds. I get just a whiff of that birthday cake, and my body responds by adding a pound of fat. Ugh.

But 184 pounds is also a confirmed 4 pounds less than 2 weeks ago— So on average, 2 pounds per week. And that’s encouraging. At this rate, I’ll weigh 176 (which is almost “normal”) by Valentine’s Day (knock on wood), and hopefully looking a lot more sexay.

As I write this, I’m just starting to get hungry for a morning snack, but that’s because I didn’t eat a full breakfast. All I had this morning was a 2oz hunk of colby-jack and a couple tablespoons of half-and-half (in my coffee), only 148 calories. Usually, I down 500-800 calories of artery-clogging fatty meat and cheese in the morning, and it keeps me satisfied until 3 or 4 PM (including a brisk morning walk). Today, I’ll probably grab some nuts from the grocery store so I don’t have to listen to my stomach growl. Unfortunately, there’s not much else available for cheap and on the go (that I feel like eating right now) that has few carbs, lots of fat, and no trans-fat.

So far this week (since I’ve been keeping track), I’ve averaged 1830 calories per day, and I have not gone hungry. Absolutely amazing, but typical for my experiences over the past month.

No Money for Me! (This is a recording…)

My fellow blogger, cohort, and online friend Jim “Suldog” Sullivan, who has worked for over 20 years recording telephone auto-attendant messages (as well as other voice work), recently lost his job in an unexpected and unceremonious layoff (which has nothing to do with the economy, BTW). Anyhow, you can guess what happened when he called the Department of Unemployment Assistance to file his unemployment insurance claim.

Yeah, that’s irony.

When Home Is in the Street

Danielle Strickland has spent the better of part of her life reaching out to youth living on the streets in Latin America. Reintegrating street children into society requires deep and consistent love and compassion, both to help them escape poverty and to allow them to let go of feelings that they are unloved and unwanted.

Such is the message of “When Home Is in the Street,” a new, 35-minute documentary by the Fetzer Institute, the International Center for the Study and Research on Children (CIESPI) at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, and CODENI (a children’s rights collective in Guadalajara), in which Danielle Strickland serves as director.

“I went into it thinking we were going to enlighten the world and we, instead, were enlightened,” she says about the film. “Sometimes I think I’ve become numb. I’ve seen so much that I don’t let my emotions take hold when I see a 10-year-old drugged up by a pedophile. But when you’re with someone who sees it for the first time, it’s powerful.”

Produced by award-winning Brazilian filmmaker Thereza Jessouroun, “When Home Is in the Street” chronicles the hope-wrenching stories of youth who grew up on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Guadalajara, Mexico. The young people share how they came to live on the streets and how love and forgiveness are helping them break free from a life of drugs, prostitution, and crime.

“Brazil has many challenges in its education system,” said Irene Rizzini, director of CIESPI. “One of the greatest concerns is providing education to vulnerable children and youth. Street children are most often outside any education system. A second challenge is to convince the general public that street children deserve and are capable of a decent future because they are part of our human family.”

Watch the extended trailer:

The film debuts in the US:

Both screenings are free and open to the public. (source and source)

Today’s Quote

That the official embrace of low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets coincided not with a national decline in weight and heart disease but with epidemics of both obesity and diabetes (both of which increase heart disease risk) should make any reasonable person question the underlying assumptions of the advice. But that’s not how people tend to think when confronted with evidence that one of their long-held beliefs is wrong. It’s not how we typically deal with cognitive dissonance.

(Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat)