Saturday Linkages: Yet More Potty Talk

Potty training fruit snack from Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

As promised . . .
Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons: Potty Training Fruit Snack & Other Potty Treats! …

Can diapers really control Salmonella in lap chickens? …

Food Issues
Cylindrical, quivering, gelatinous, tinned 12-course meal – Boing Boing …

What if gluten-phobes are eliminating the wrong thing? The Grain of Truth …

Tokyo’s “unmanned stores” – honor-system sheds where farmers to sell their surplus produce: …

How to Win Friends and Influence the Environment: Put on a Garden Tour by Susan Harris » good read …

Bike Rantings
We still don’t really know how bicycles work …

L.A.’s Real Growth Is in Car-Free and Car-Lite Families

Can you say “miscellaneous?”
BBC News – Carry on camping – can a week under canvas reset our body clocks?

The Dystopic Earths of Heinlein’s Juveniles …

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  1. Patsy Cline fought her way into the house, jumping over my foot as I tried to block her. She ran all over the house with me behind her, trying to gently guide her. Not once did she poop, but I know she could still be leaving pathogens behind. She wants to be a house chicken, I fear, since she tried to force her way in when someone else came in. She is like a cat with her moves to go where she wants. I always wash my hands and change my shirt when I have to carry a chicken. However, I am never sure I take all the proper precautions. If I just pet a hen head, I don’t wash my hands until I come in.

    • The last batch of chickens we had, for some reason, always wanted to force their way into the house. I love chicken poop in the compost but not in the house!

  2. As to upright bicycles, Michael Brooks’ specialty is quantum physics not bicycling. Boing-Boing has also linked to this idea that no one knows how a bicyclist stays upright. Comments on their post debunk this idea. Anyone who has seen a track stand knows that staying upright has nothing to do with gyroscopes. The mechanics are covered in ‘Bicycling Science’ by Frank Rowland Whitt (1982). When a bicycle’s front wheel is turned to the left, the bike falls to the right. Turned to the right and the bicycle falls left. Staying upright requires moving the wheel back and forth to control the falls. This is why someone doing a track stand may suddenly flip the direction of the front wheel.

    • Thanks for the info–didn’t read the comments but what you’re saying about track stands makes sense. Some people want to be able to improve on what is already a perfect machine–perhaps that’s the bias at work here.

    • Bicycles are beautiful, and their unchanging design may indicate perfection, but I guess that the biases in this case are elsewhere. There is an anti-science bias here that is also present in the idea that scientists consider bumblebees to be an aerodynamic impossibilty. People, including science writers, want scientists to fail. It is common to want mysteries that are beyond science. People reject the coldness of science for the warmth of religion. Another bias is ego. Brooks is paid to write scientific columns and so, like every worker, assumes that he is good at his job. Brooks does not design bicycles, has never done a track stand, has never written equations of motion for a bicycle, and, yet, confidently transitions from ‘I don’t know …’ to ‘We don’t know …’ . His audience, biased to believe in the authority of a columnist, follows his lead. It is commonly stated that we are in an era of information overload. But there has long been more information than an individual could absorb. More sets of encyclopedias were sold than were read. We may be in an era of bullshit overload. The antidote is to start each day with the RDA of skepticism and try to keep aware of biases.

  3. I find the whole gluten debate interesting. I don’t find myself reacting badly to any food ingredient, so I do tend to dismiss it. But I do my utmost to seek out whole wheat products. My mom read something in the ’70s about the evils of white bread, and so switched to whole wheat way back then. I always think of how Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family survived many months during a particularly hard winter solely on bread made from wheat kernels they ground themselves in a coffee mill, surely some indication that whole wheat products are beneficial.

    My sister, always looking for a way to improve her health, read a book on the evils of gluten. One theory put forth by the author was that gluten consumption contributes to mental illness, particularly in the Irish – my family is of Irish origin. However the theory was that the problem arose in the Irish when they made the switch from potatoes to wheat based products. I find this a little difficult to accept, as potatoes are a New World species, therefore they do not go back that far in the Irish diet. However, my sister is convinced and has zealously embraced the gluten-free diet. Me, I can’t give up my pizza for anything!!

  4. The Classic Organic Farm about 20 minutes north of Santa Barbara, CA in Gaviota,Ca, uses the unmanned store “honor system” to sell their goods and produce. For those of you who travel north on 101, I highly recommend stopping there. Also check out their FB page.

  5. For most of us, do we really need to know all the science behind most products, especially something as simple as a bicycle? I like science, but was not required to learn anything before I attempted to ride a bike. “Keep peddling and don’t fall over.”

    I am not going to eat it or take it apart, and there are not many hazards connected with a bike that has not been mounted, unless you count the time I fell trying to get onto my bike after 30 years of riding successfully! That, in my opinion, was more about my muscle memory failure than the science. Maybe I should have prayed. (warmth of religion?)

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