Monday, 9 April 2018

Getting the facts right!

I begin to get the impression that our government ministers either do not read or listen to the reports their various advisers give them or they are poorly advised. Or maybe they just choose to take no notice of what their advisers and information seekers tell them.

First we had Boris Johnson stating that he had been given evidence that the Skripal poison must have come from Russia, which was later shown not necessarily to be so. Then yesterday Amber Rudd assured us that the rise in violent crime had nothing to do with reduced police numbers on our streets, while leaked documents today insist that the opposite is the case. Total mayhem!

Maybe they just misread headlines of reports. It’s easy to do.

I saw a headline today that read:

Toronto police hint for woman accused of stealing £12,400 stone.

This was accompanied by a picture of Yoko Ono, giving for all the world the impression that she was the woman sought.

Goodness! I thought, is she reduced to stealing stuff?

I thought she had plenty of money.

It turns out that she owns the stone. It is one of a pile of stones, all nicely smoothed by years in a river, that are part of an art installation. Each stone is inscribed with a message, such as “Love is all you need!” and visitors were encouraged to pick one up, look at the inscription and place the stone on a cairn. The thief simply put one in her pocket!

But how is one stone worth so much money? And will the thief be able to sell it? Does she even want to do so? Or is she an avid Yoko fan who just wants to keep the stone?

Now for some foody, and incidentally ecological, stuff.
Clever people have been developing containers made from seaweed for us to carry our drinking water around with us and then eat the container after use. No good if you prefer to drink water after eating rather than before but a lot better than dropping a plastic bottle along the route of your morning run! Someone else has been working on an edible straw that can last for 40 minutes in a mojito before it begins to dissolve. Clever stuff, but personally I am not into drinking alcohol through a straw. There are also edible plates. Three cheers for ecological thinking!

And here is an item about one man’s way of eating. He is an “ultra runner”,which I suppose is someone who runs ridiculous distances rather than just marathons. Taken from the weekend’s newspaper:

 “Ultra runner Scott Jurek: how I eat! He spent 46 days running more than 2,000 miles through the Appalachian mountains – what got him through it?
  • Breakfast - At home, it’s a smoothie: fruit, greens, nuts, nut butter or flax oil and protein powder. Then, before my morning workout, some oatmeal and wholegrain toast with more nut butter. On a normal day I do 3,000-4,000 calories. When I was doing the Appalachian Trail, though, that went up to 6,000-8,000 cals and I still lost 8.6kg over the 46 days. Breakfast there was at 5am: a banana, a Cliff bar, and, my daily comfort, a coconut-milk cappuccino. 
  • Lunch - I do all the cooking, and lunch is usually leftovers from the night before. On the trail, my wife Jenny and I were living in a van and, twice a day, she’d bring me a sandwich, or something warm – fries, hashbrowns, whatever she could find in the local diners or supermarkets that was vegan. 
  • Snacks - On an ultramarathon, I snack twice an hour on sports gels and energy bars. At home it’s lighter: fresh fruit, popcorn, a second smoothie if I’m doing an afternoon workout. And lots of water, although I go by thirst as opposed to measuring it out. 
  • Dinner - On the trail, I’d long for homely dinners with a beer and some friends – Thai curries, slow-cooked soups, stews …” 
 Okay! I want to know a few things. How does he fund the running? Does he not have an ordinary job? Does he ever eat normal food? Does he enjoy his food? How healthy, or not, is it to survive on smoothies and energy bars?

This kind of thing blows my mind!

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