Archive for Health
There is a fine Indian restaurant located on the street parallel to the one on which we live. Five-star hotels in the area often use them to cater the occasional Indian wedding. By Thailand standards, it’s on the expensive side.
A couple of years back, my wife noticed they’d begun to offer a weekend brunch for around $17. Inflation has since raised that price to $26. This brunch isn’t so much a buffet as an all-you-can-order feast. You select any dish on the brunch menu, and the waiters deliver it to you: appetizers, salads, tandoori platters, mains, desserts. The first time we went, I got a little carried away and ordered eight dishes up front. When all eight were delivered at once, occupying every available square inch of the small table, my wife became overwhelmed and barely spooned in a morsel.
Too much, too soon.
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Five years ago, one of the first Doug’s Republic articles I ever wrote asked the question of whether baldness was honestly that beautiful. The startling conclusions that article drew played a huge role in proper self esteem determination for a new generation of the insecure. Men now knew with close to near certainty that baldness makes them a helluva lot worse off.
At an abnormally young age, I had already observed that certain men lost their hair. When you’re 8 years old, you don’t accurately discern the differences in age between a 25 year old and 40 year old. Adults fell into two categories. They were old like your parents or old like your grandparents.
It was normal in my family circles to see bald men in both those age groups. As I got a bit older, say 11 or 12, I got better at distinguishing the niceties of aging. An older cousin, Jeffrey, ten years my senior, had already gone significantly bald. Today, he has just marginally less hair than he did when he was 21. I remember having a discussion with him about the loss of his hair. He wasn’t very sympathetic on the subject, probably because he’d already had the equivalent of the s—t kicked out his scalp at a supremely young age. He said baldness ran through the maternal grandfather’s side. As we both shared the same maternal grandfather and that grandfather had balded completely by his early 20’s, Jeffrey told me that this was my destined path as well. “Enjoy your hair while you got it,” he laughed.
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Just last weekend I caught up with an old friend over a good value but just slightly above average Indian dinner buffet. He picked the restaurant.
I’ve known Artur now for over seven years. I met him my first full day in Hua Hin back in 2007. I had gone to this Thai beachside resort to learn how to kite surf. I swung by the local kite shop to sign up for lessons the day after arrival, and Artur was there, nursing a jellyfish sting.
I wouldn’t say we became instant friends, and I don’t recall the moment we began hanging out together regularly. He was renting a room near the beach in a large condominium complex for about $250/month, which was a better location and price than my place closer to town. It took a week before I was able to snag an available condo. Soon, we started having dinners together.
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In our disposable world of high technology getting ever cheaper year by year, we feel a lot smarter than our forebears ever did. We have access to greater tools and more information in less time. I was just reading a June 1969 issue of LIFE magazine and an entrepreneur was talking about creating terminals that would allow you to ask any question and get the answer back on your screen, all ready to go by 1975. It took a lot longer than 1975 to get there, but now that we’ve arrived, all of can gloat at the 1969ers or 1975ers for how primitive and uneducated they were.
Scientists can back that belief up to some degree, with what is known as the Flynn effect. It has been observed that scores on IQ tests throughout the world have been going up continuously over time. Ulric Neisser, author of The Rising Curve: Long-Term gains in IQ and Related Measures, says that relative to the average IQ levels of today (100), the average IQ level of the United States in 1932 was only 80.
Cultural factors aren’t the reason. The IQ improvements are noted with infants and preschoolers at equal rates to older students and adults who’ve already had plenty of time to become acculturated. Perhaps nutrition and a change in cranial vault size lead to the improvements, yielding the IQ boost at the very youngest ages which is then maintained throughout the person’s lifetime. More stimulating environments and better schooling help, too. Even terrible schools of today would’ve had to benefit from more advanced learning materials and techniques compared with terrible schools of the past.
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