November 22

Thanksgiving linkfest

31  comments

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I’m kicked back with a hot cup of tea (a mixture of Irish breakfast tea and lapsang souchong, a mixture recommended to me by my long time golfing buddy Jim Hickman) with the Dallas-Jets game on the TV in the background (I’ve got my money on the Jets +14.5 points. It’s half time right now and the Cowboys are ahead 21-3, but I think the Jets will probably get a cheap touchdown near the end to cover for me.) and MD puttering around in the kitchen putting together Thanksgiving dinner. We’re heading over to our son and DIL’s house for the actual dinner, but MD is fixing her part of it here.
I’ve always loved the above painting by Norman Rockwell. It was done during the WWII years when the outcome was not all that certain. The painting titled Freedom from Want is one of a four part series Rockwell did for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. I loved staring at paintings as a kid, trying to figure out how the artist worked his/her magic. I had a little art talent and painted and drew myself, so I was always trying to learn something about technique. The thing that always bugged me about this Rockwell painting was the matriarch’s arms. Look at the painting. This elderly lady is manhandling a platter holding what looks to be about a 16-18 lb turkey like it is a piece of cotton candy. As a kid I tried to hold a platter with with a medicine ball on it to see if I could do it so effortlessly. No way. Either this grandmother has been doing Slow Burn for many years or ol’ Norman messed up a little on this one.
In reading about the painting I discovered that the model for the grandmother was Mrs. Thaddeus Wheaton, the Rockwell family cook, who, I am sure, posed with an empty platter. Rockwell painted what he saw, and what he saw was an elderly woman holding an empty plate, not one struggling with a massive turkey. As I say, this always irritated me because my own artistic tendencies were in the direction of super realism, and I just couldn’t understand how a real artist could make such an obvious mistake. Why I was even thinking about this as a kid instead of the things that normal kids thought about, who knows?
Here is one of my own drawings, so you can see what I mean about my tendencies toward the realistic.
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Watch the YouTube video below to see an ad that used to be on TV back in the days when I was wondering about why Rockwell had screwed up his painting.
[youtube]_tZF7H0p_QE[/youtube]
Imagine if this same ad were to run today. The do gooders at the American Heart Association and other such groups would be out with their sharp knives, braying that the dairy industry was promoting the consumption of saturated fat. Now we have commercials for ‘light’ margarine. Yeesh.
As I reflect on the things I have to be thankful for, the following YouTube and accompanying article highlights on of the things I’m not thankful for: an increase in police hostility. When I was growing up, I was told by my parents, grandparents and my teachers that if I were to have a problem I should try to find a policeman to help me. I don’t know anyone who tells their kids that these days. This video shows why.
[youtube]IMaMYL_shxc[/youtube]
The last couple of interactions I’ve had with the police have been less than friendly. A few months ago I was in Santa Barbara heading downtown with MD in our little red convertible. Downtown Santa Barbara has a lot of curbside parking identified by green curbs and signs that say 75 minute parking. There were a couple of open spots directly in front of the store MD and I were going to, so I pulled into one of the spots. A Santa Barbara cop was outside his car a couple of spots ahead of me. As I turned the car off and started to get out, he came toward us and snarled “Get outa there,” and motioned with his hand for us to take off. As I pulled out and drove past him, I noticed that he was putting up signs that said No Parking, which the police often do when a parade or some other event is scheduled. So, why couldn’t the guy have come up to us and told us in friendly terms what was going on instead of being such a swine? More and more people are complaining about the same thing.
Here is an NPR piece on intermittent fasting containing an interview with Mark Mattson, one of the most prolific researchers on IF.
From the YouTube below you can see the difference in the way obesity is looked at today compared to how it was viewed in the 1940s. At the time, I guess, this sort of thing was looked at as an interesting oddity instead of the life-threatening illness it is. (This unfortunate young man died at the age of 32.) Notice the sizes of the parents and the siblings. One assumes that this farm family fed all the kids the same, yet one turned out to be morbidly obese. Same caloric intake – different outcome. For this guy at least the calories weren’t the same as they were for the rest of his family.
[youtube]FLRPbdVbn4o[/youtube]
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The above photos are from Diet Blog in a piece about how ideal body shapes have changed over the past 100 years.

Today’s ideal body shape seems to be a bizarre combination of male desire and waifish androgyny; thin, no hips, big bust. For most this is only possible with a genetically-blessed bone structure along with surgery – something which America is pursuing with a vengeance. Couple this with the “toned” look, where muscular (but not overly-so) women play lead roles in Hollywood, and champion the fitness industry.How willingly do we subscribe to a cult of perceived beauty that is attainable by so few? Could it be that after all these years, many women are still judged (by themselves and others) on the basis of body shape and little else?
We are a two-body society: one body is an advertising medium, the other body is what you see on the street.

Well, the game just ended, and, unfortunately for me, the Jets failed to come through with any touchdowns, cheap or otherwise. And MD is hounding me to head to the kids’ so I’d better sign off.
I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.


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  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. One of the things I am thankful for is that you and others are blogging about these important nutrition issues.
    Thank you. I appreciate the support.
    Best–
    MRE

  2. On the Norman Rockwell – I always figured she had done it in a ballistic move from the trolley you can’t see behind her, bending her knees, driving from the heels through her hips and core, turning and swooping in one fluid movement to place it unerringly on the table. Grandpa is actually recovering from an “oof” where he was slightly in her path and she grazed him across the middle with the edge of the platter.
    Only a guy would think this is totally an arm move.
    I see your point. Norm caught her at that split second where there was no tension in her arms. Brilliant!
    Cheers–
    MRE

  3. I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and that you met no nasty police officers to darken your day.
    Love your site and blog.
    Thanks for the kind words. I had no police interactions, so it was truly a day to be thankful for. If only my football teams had cooperated…
    Cheers–
    MRE

  4. The woman so effortlessly holding the turkey reminds me of the beer-ladies at the Oktoberfest in Munich. The amount of beer mugs (thick mugs holding 1 liter each) they hold in each hand is amazing: roughly it adds up to 8 Kg on each hand, perhaps a little bit more. And they have to work for hours.
    The young obese man just breaks my heart, the look on his face, a hopelessness smile is disturbing. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to be him.
    Nor can I. But it appears that he was more accepted then than he would be now.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  5. Just occurred to me, did you ever read the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain?”
    The book is a drawing instruction book but it focuses on getting the right “creative” side to be in charge while drawing. A lot of the exercises were fascinating to do and the immediate improvement astonishing, particularly the ones that really challange the dominant left side like trying to copy a portrait upside down.
    The best lesson in that book was how to look at things,: train the brain to see how things really are instead of how you think they should look like (i.e. the distorted shape of the hand in different positions). People also tend to over-emphasize what they think is important like the eyes and the nose and ignore boring areas like the forehead.
    I think this applies to other areas as well, say, sciense and statistics? Maybe more scientists need to let the dominant and logical left side take a rest and let the abstract right side take a look at the big picture, see what’s actually there instead of what “our” logic dictates.
    Now I need to stop the chattering and get back to work.
    Love your blog BTW.
    I own the book you referred to. But I didn’t have it when I did most of my art work. I’ve been an artist of sorts all my life, and I think I just naturally draw on the right side of my brain.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  6. The thing that scares me most when visiting the United States is being arrested for little or no reason. Ok, I was raised in mild military dictatorship (Brazil in the 70/80s) so we learned not only to be aware of the police but how to behave as well.
    Anyway that came as useful when a not so aware Brazilian friend of mine was stopped with me while driving his rental car in Bellevue (WA) at 11 AM for being at 45 mph in a 35 mph zone. While we were slowing down after the police car behind starter flashing his lights, I quickly coached my friend as to keep hands visible at all times, not to make sudden moves, tell the policeman what he was going to do before he did it – I would call it “Police Defense 101”.
    The deputy outside stayed behind the car’s column with his gun at hand the whole time. He was clearly nervous, especially when my friend reached for the glove compartment, even after telling him he was going to do that. Sincerely, I think it was too much ado for the situation: two 35-year old foreign businessmen in a rental car during daylight “speeding” at 45 mph. My friend was verbally dressed down but released without a ticket. Of course, somebody would say that the deputy stood a 1 in one million chance of being shot so “he had to be prepared”, the same sort of argument one say to defend the deputy in the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMaMYL_shxc
    When a tiny protection margin for a police officer (a dangerous occupation like so many others that one chooses voluntarily) trumps the security of the very persons he was supposed to protect, then something is terribly wrong. At least the tail is wagging the dog. At worse it’s already a police state. A “voluntary” police state but one nonetheless. And that incident took place in 2000, before the good folks from the Department of Homeland Security and the “State Protection” mentality and expense that came along took charge, surely for the joy of Bin Laden and his likes.
    When I read about the Founding Fathers or even about US governments as recent as the 1950s and look at what is happening now I feel like crying.
    I feel the same way. It really is a shame.
    Best–
    MRE

  7. Happy Thanksgiving! It’s good to hear that you’re still enjoying the occasional cup of the smoked-tea blend. (My addiction continues unabated — without fail, two cups of the blend before work and one more when I return home in the evening.) I also recommend single malt whisky from Scotland’s little island of Islay for those times when you crave that smoky flavor but also feel the need for something with a little punch. It probably would have been just the thing for you after last night’s game.
    Unfortunately I did not drown my sorrows in a glass of peaty Scotch, but in many glasses of vintage port chased with some great cognac preceded by a couple of glasses of champagne which were followed by a glass or two of red wine. Could you follow the progression? All in all, a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Can’t remember much about the game, though.
    Cheers–
    Mike

  8. Notice how everyone at the table in the Rockwell painting is drinking water?
    I think it’s pure vodka. These are people in the Northeast after all.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  9. And how does one “burst a gland in the neck”?
    I wondered about that. It was probably what the parents told the interviewer. The only thing I can think of is that they may have thought he had a damaged thyroid.

  10. RE: The Norman Rockwell painting – funny, when I opened this, before I read your comments, I’m looking at that thinking, “Now how in the hell is that old lady holding that massive turkey off to the side like that without any perceivable strain or effort?” LOL!
    I’m a student of realism myself and love your drawing – nice work.
    Sorry you didn’t win on the game though! 😉
    Not as sorry as I am.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  11. I agree that the hands and wrists look awkward, but you don’t think a career cook would have the strength to handle a turkey like that?
    Nope. I don’t think Arnold Schwarzenegger would have the strength to handle a turkey like that. Give it a try as I did as a kid, and you’ll see what I mean.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  12. I think the old gal had got some mighty farm wife muscles but she also had a lot of fat -so you can’t see the tension, muscle definition, etc. Her arms look bigger than mine. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t admit that…

  13. Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving, and thanks for the linkfest.
    The thing that caught my eye about the Rockwell, though, was that Grandma made a critical error in not making space on the table for the platter. Rockwell caught the happiest moment of the day, before the disastrous results of that critical error occurred. She had been doing some serious weight training, and was confident that she could pull it off. But alas, just as Grandma realized “I can’t do this!”, her arms gave out and the Butter Basted turkey slammed down on the table. The new Cartier Salt and Pepper shakers were dented beyond repair. The celery was obviously ruined as Aunt Clara’s white dress got slimed by the “Aspic.” At the same time, Aunt Betties Vodka was sent careening into her face. The antique English Ironstone casserole dish was the next victim of the Butter Basted Turkey, sliding down the table with no abandon. The impact of the turkey turned the casserole dish and its contents into dangerous projectiles, consequently breaking Uncle Sal’s nose. Uncle Vic, on the other hand (lower right) escaped unscathed, because, as everyone already knew, he’d had plenty of Vodka on the way over..
    Have you ever seen Rockwell’s April Fools covers? They’re terrific.
    Great story! And I have seen Rockwell’s April Fools covers and like them a lot.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  14. Having made many 20+ pound turkeys over the years, I do believe I have been in this same pose a few times. The only peculiar thing I noticed is the way her left wrist is bent inwards – that looks terribly awkward to me.
    Also agree about the trend for hostile policemen – I hope I’m never in need of their services because generally speaking, I fear/dislike them more than I respect them.
    I have the same impression of the police.
    Best–
    MRE

  15. I understand many people have bad encounters with the police, but I tend to think that they’re colored by the fact that, usually, ANY encounters with the police are under ‘unpleasant’ circumstances. I had one enounter a few years ago where I got a speeding ticket. The officer was professional, polite, and ended by saying “I hope your day gets better.” That struck me as a pretty astute thing to say, ‘pacing’ my bad mood (no one LIKES to get a ticket!).
    Another time, a fire broke out in a building near where I worked, just about the time I was leaving. An officer was diverting traffic, and I helped him move some nearby orange construction barrels to block off the road, then re-joined the crowd of gawkers for about an hour or so, watching the firefighters put out the fire. When I went back to my car in the parking lot to drive home, the same officer was there, directing cars (there weren’t many by that time) and he called out “Excuse me, sir!” and walked over to me, and shook my hand, thanking me for helping him move the barrels earlier. I’d already forgotten about it by that time!
    I don’t doubt that many people have had problem enounters with the police in the past, and maybe the police in St. Louis are generally more polite, and maybe people can chalk it up to my being an average looking (If overweight) white male. But I think comparisons to a ‘police state’ show a lack of perspective to places in the world (And in history) where there’s a REAL problem.
    BTW, I have the book ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’ also, and once I get moved into my new house (Just closed last week!), I hope to jump back into it to improve MY drawing skills! Your picture is OUTSTANDING, and I can only HOPE to draw that well someday!
    I’m glad someone has had positive interactions with the police. Sad to say that I haven’t.
    Thanks for the kind words about the drawing.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  16. Amazing art work Doc –
    A short comment about the un-attainable look –
    Nonsense – I think women should eating around 200 grams protein a day average per week –
    Regardless of body weight – I think everyone should eating this much –
    So I think the recommended protein amounts based on body weight are also non-sense –
    I also think the recommended by some – 8 glasses of water a day is non-sense –
    If you want to lose weight easily on a restricted calorie diet –
    up the water to at least 1 1/2 gallons – for a small women
    And if your a big women – 200 pounds or so –
    Up the water to 2 1/2 to 3 gallons a day –
    The kidneys can handle around 5-6 gallons a day – I don’t recommend this much – but the kidneys can do it –
    I’ve upped my own water intake to 3 gallons per day – eat 100-150 grams protein(tuna and whey) -( some yogurt-cottage cheese) five days a week and two 50 grams carbs days with 350 grams protein – or 200 grams average per week
    On my 100-150 gram protein days – I eat all the raw lettuce – cabbage – cauliflower – potatoes – carrots – squash I want –
    and eat 1 or two teaspoons each of raw and dry – beans /lentils – wheat /barley – brown rice /millet-
    I have eaten as much 600 calories a day of these seeds – raw and dry – with no problems I can see – the only reason I eat only two teaspoonfuls is to control calories
    So five days a week I eat 1200-1600 calories or so – all my plant foods raw
    On all days I eat 1/8 teaspoon of Olive Oil – 1/4 teaspoon of Peanut Butter – 1 tablespoon sugar free Coconut Flakes – 1/8 teaspoon flax seeds -1/4×1/4 inch chunk of cheese and 1/4×1/4 inch chunk of butter – and eat exactly 7 eggs per week – nether more than one at a time with at least 12 hours generally and and some days 6 hours between any one egg – eaten –
    There’s reason eggs should be eaten single and never combined in numbers – a reason science and most everyone else has yet to learn –
    Plus I average 4-5 cans of tuna a day – so there’s some fat there
    For herbs – I have 1/4 teaspoon each of Blessed Thistle – Lemon Balm – Kelp – Valerian Root -Cinnamon – Parsley – Cumin
    Myth Buster – If you really want to lose weight – Up the water to 1 1/2 to 3 gallons a day
    Myth Buster – Dry and Raw seeds are perfectly edible and so is every other non- poisonous plant on the face of the earth –
    Cooking Plants and Seeds is a total waste of time –
    Myth Buster – every adult regardless of sex or body weight needs about 200 grams protein average per day weekly –
    If women ate this way – eating Tuna and Whey mostly for protein – birth defects would largely dis-appear and there Fat Asses would dis-appear too – if they ate reasonable calories also of course
    Today was a 350 gram high protein day for me – I wasn’t hungry and didn’t want anything to eat –
    I had to force my-self to eat 260 grams by afternoon and force my-self again to eat another 100 grams protein before days end – a 1600 calorie day total
    Myth Buster – You can eat 1600 calories a day – with complete satiety – not lose any muscle – but gain muscle – and burn fat – if the plants you eat are eaten raw and you average 200 grams a day protein or so – and cooked animal foods don’t matter one way or the other – here –
    Myth Buster – it’s the fats you eat which is important – I see no reason to eat larger excess amounts of them – Low Carb Or Otherwise
    What’s the point of trying to lose weight if you have too eat 3000 calories a day high fat – to mantain sateity – as some Low Carbers do because they been sucked into some have too eat great amounts of fats because fats are fable – yes – fats are good – no question – the fable is you need large amounts of them and it is a fable
    Eskimo’s needed more fat to force there bodies to produce more heat – at 60 degrees below zero -they probably needed it – to survive
    I don’t know anyone other than an Eskimo who wander’s around all day in 60 degree below zero weather –
    Get Real – with 200 grams protien average a day and 2 1/2 to 3 gallons water a day – and 1600 calories – the weight – the body fat – just sails off – like magic
    With-out the water or protein – both together are needed – youv’e got just another sucky barley able to lose any fat diet –
    No Wonder Women and Most every one else has such a time with losing weight
    Interesting. I’ll post it so that others can try if motivated.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  17. Found this in my internet travels:
    http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/dimtext/kjn/people/heaviest.htm
    Young Mr. Hughes is a little way down the list. Apparently he didn’t eat all that much per “Life” magazine, but it’s still sad to see these people, a lot of whom died young and/or were exploited by people allegedly trying to help them.
    And I’m a Jets fan, so I feel your pain. 🙂
    Thanks for the info on the morbidly obese. Most of them didn’t live very long. I suspect that most of them are/were probably leptin deficient.
    As to the Jets…can you believe that Pennington was selected in the draft way, way ahead of Brady. Someone had his head in his rear.
    Best–
    MRE

  18. The saddest police video I ever saw was one where a young girl (college age to 25 yo) was stopped for DWI. She had her dog with her and the dog, as dogs will do when their masters appear threatened, was barking and growling and trying to get a piece of the police officer. The officer point blank shot the dog. The girl started to cry so hysterically and got down on the ground hugging her dead dog. Having 2 dogs myself, I nearly cried watching it, . It was so intense that it was only shown on the first morning newcast at 5:00 a.m. before they yanked it.
    That is really an infuriating story. I’m glad I didn’t see it. My opinion of the police is bad enough as it is.
    Best–
    MRE

  19. I personally think the girl in the left photo is stunning. I don’t know much about MM (she died a few years before I was born), but her body is gorgeous in that picture. Today’s clothing wouldn’t look good on either one of them, however, sad to say. How anyone could even think that Twiggy (I think that’s who that is?) is attractive is beyond me.
    I can’t comment about the Rockwell painting b/c the right side of my brain is dead, I think. Or perhaps just missing or severely atrophied.
    Do you think that there is some secret to making LC a way of life? It seems no amount of good science can convince me that I don’t want bread or sugar any more…even after 10 + years! It’s a constant struggle, I hate it and it exhausts me (especially with those 3 little kids you read about in my gestational history on the other blog). Any tips?
    Hope you and your family has a great holiday weekend, and thanks for all the great information you give!
    Is there a secret to making LC a way of life? I suppose the secret is commitment. Giving up bread, sugar and all the other foods destructive to health is no different than giving up smoking, cocaine or other addictive activities. It simply requires the gumption to dig in and work at it. I guess that’s the only advice I can give you. If following any kind of diet were easy, no one would be overweight.
    Best–
    MRE

  20. Every time I see this painting I wonder why isn’t anyone helping that poor lady with that turkey. Also, it doesn’t seem like she is even a part of the family. So it ain’t just me, huh.I mainly just wanted to praise your artistic abilities. Wow, Dr. Eades, you’ve got skills. You remind me of Dr. Crogan, an Ob Gyn in Ohio who runs a jazz camp in the summer.
    Maybe I should run a drawing camp in the summer.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  21. Dr Mike
    The grandma handled dishes like that all the time! Remember, things didn’t get packaged then the way they do now, and I’m sure that she handled 25-50 lbs sacks of flour, sugar and other dry goods no problem! She grew up doing that as all women did in her day. Try picking up a 12″ cast iron skillet full of food–that’s good for some 15 lbs.
    I work for a wholesaler and we have 25 lbs boxes of spice blends and 40 lbs cases of liquid marinades and believe me, I pick them up every day. Do I go very far? No, I usually have a cart a foot away where I get to put down the box. A woman of that era would be expected to do more and go farther with her load.
    The only thing that’s not healthy for the back is the way she has to reach out and bend over the table to put down the turkey. the foreshortening of the painting doesn’t really let you see that, but she is going past granpa’s place setting to put the bird down, so she is certainly not near the edge.
    Hey LC–
    As I said before, I don’t think Arnold Schwarzenegger could make it look as effortless as this lady is in the painting. That’s why I think the painting is flawed.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  22. Hi Doc–the police video doesn’t surprise me. Tasers were originally introduced as an alternative to hand-to-hand grappling, with the idea they would be used to subdue combative suspects with less risk of permanent injury to both the police and suspects. These days it’s gotten to the point where officers Tase anyone who is “noncompliant” with their orders or otherwise pisses them off.
    I agree we are becoming a police state. I am a criminal defense attorney and while I have known a number of police officers who were decent, honest people, anyone in this line of work knows that police misconduct, including perjury, is not uncommon, particularly in drug cases. I’m also disturbed by the “us vs. them” mentality on the part of some officers, where all private citizens are viewed as possible opponents, which means an officer must assert authority and control every interaction. This is manifest in the increasingly paramilitary nature of police work, with military-style weapons, uniforms, and tactics used in absurd situations (e.g. heavily armed SWAT teams serving warrants in non-violent drug or theft cases). This is not a good trend in a country where the police are supposed to be civilians, not military personnel.
    On the other hand, the advent of portable video cameras, and the internet, have done much to raise public awareness of police misconduct. Maybe there’s hope.
    I hope there is hope. I agree with you that the situation has devolved into a real us against them mentality (with we the citizens being the them), which is a real shame.
    Best–
    MRE

  23. She had, perhaps, been doing slow burn for 40 years. Then they called it milking all the cows, flinging all the laundry through the wringer washing machine, hauling laundry to the outdoor clothesline, sweeping the floors, feeding the cows, and drawing water from a well–multiple times daily.
    Cheers yourself!
    I’m quite sure she had been working hard for many years, but I still doubt that she had the strength to effortlessly hold a giant platter of turkey without the slightest hint of strain.
    Love–
    M

  24. Yeah, now I get it, the seeming effortlessness of holding up that platter is not realistic.
    You know what we all forget about police officers and others given authority, is that they were raised in the same culture with the same bad attitudes and relative lack of education as the rest of the younger generations. I was very disturbed when the young driver thought he could just get back in his car and flout the officer’s official request. Sure, the officer then handled it with a bad attitude, but I’m at a loss at what else he was supposed to do, let the young driver go just because? The driver turned his back to the officer, ignoring him to get back to his car. The officer either had to prevent the driver from getting into his car physically or by using the taser.
    I tell you, I’m really bothered by the way the young driver thought the rules didn’t apply to him.
    Hmmm. We had different take aways from the video clip. The driver refused to sign the ticket because he wanted to be told what he had done wrong. The cop ordered him out of his car and told the driver he was arresting him. The driver was firm but polite and non-threatening. He simply asked what he was being arrested for. The cop immediately went into SWAT mode in response to someone who was unarmed, polite and non-threatening. Then he hit the kid with the taser. I hope the cop gets fired, and I hope the driver wins his lawsuit. I thought the cop behaved outrageously.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  25. I am truly sorry that you have had bad interactions with police officers. It does happen. Just at there are incompetent doctors and personal trainers who give poor advice and really aren’t cut out for the job but have slipped through the cracks, so there are also police officers who perhaps shouldn’t be given the power that they have. And even the best officer, on a bad day can be curt, impolite or gruff.
    Every day before I go to work I suit up in a bullet proof vest, arm myself with a taser, a baton, a gun, and handcuffs. I have chased car thieves, bank robbers, fought with drunks who outweigh me by 75 pounds, been spit on, cursed at, punched at (no one’s landed one yet !!), verbally abused and scorned. I have a back injury from years of wearing the not-too-ergonomic uniform and sitting in worn out car seats beaten down from years of use, I have waded through bacteria infested flood waters and seen several dozen dead bodies, of all ages. And I have probably taken a few years off each of my parents’ lives with the stress that my job causes them.
    I do this to keep my community – and the people in it, most of whom I don’t even know – safe.
    I love this job. The simple fact is – there are BAD people out there, and a civilized society needs people like police to step in and “keep the peace.” That’s what I do. And there is simply no way that any private citizen can grasp, in a brief e-mail explanation, the nuances of this job, the dangers, and the why’s of every move the cops make. There are times we do the wrong thing. There are also times that we do the right thing, and it doesn’t make sense to anyone but us and we don’t have the luxury of explain why we did that particular thing because sometimes, in this line of work, things move fast. Marketing ourselves is not our priority, and we’re not very good at it.
    I go to work every day and do the best I can, and I give every person I deal with as much courtesy and compassion as time and circumstances allow. Sometimes it’s a lot, sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes people probably think I’m rude, but I can assure you – I am the farthest thing from it.
    I have heard criticisms like yours my entire career, and I rarely bother to respond, since I know I can’t change someone’s mind, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I read your book years ago, (even before Atkins got all the credit for the protein craze), I liked it a lot, and I surmised from your writing that you and your wife are intelligent, innovative and decent people. Please don’t base your opinion of the tens of thousands of law enforcement officers in the US on a few sensationalized videos or a bad personal interaction. Please remember that every day, far more good officers than bad suit up, and head to work to put themselves in harm’s way to keep you and many other strangers safe. When things are dangerous, and everyone else is hunkered down or running away, we run TOWARDS danger. You would not *believe* the training we’ve had recently for school shootings and other active hostage situations … the risks that most police officers will take to save YOUR life would blow your mind.
    Are there bad apples out there ? Yes. We live in an imperfect world and that’s going to happen. I can only speak for myself and ask you to please, open your mind a little and entertain the idea that your attitude might not be based on reality, entirely. I won’t ask you to love all cops, you don’t have to. But I can assure you that I work with some truly incredible, selfless people who you would be very proud to have walking the streets of your city. The videos of them doing a great job, every day, helping people … those don’t make it onto youtube because they’re not that fun to watch. But trust me – that kind of stuff is happening every day, it’s just under the radar.
    Hi Kristin–
    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Believe it or not I pretty much agree with you, but with a couple of reservations.
    Doctors, like the police, have fairly vast powers. When patients come to me for care I often put my hands all over them, probe and prod various body parts that typically aren’t viewed by the public at large, hear their inner most secrets and worries about sexual infidelities, fears of VD, pregnancies and all kinds of things. I can tell these patients that they need procedures that can cause harm, I can give them medicines that have the potential of killing them and I can give them advice that, if wrong and if followed, can wreak havoc with them. Because I have this power, I have a lot of accountability. I can be sued and even jailed if I screw up, my license can be suspended, I can have all kinds of bad things happen to me if I betray a trust or try to take advantage of a patient somehow. I’m certainly not perfect, but I try my hardest to treat my patients the way I would like to be treated.
    Based on my experience, I don’t think police often act the same way. Since I’m not a policeman and have never been one, I don’t know what it’s like from their perspective. But I’ve got to figure that most of the time it’s got to be fairly obvious who is a decent citizen who might have exceeded the speed limit and who is a bad guy running away from a bank with a gun and a bagful of cash. I don’t necessarily think that both of those citizens have to be treated with the same degree of respect. in the video I posted, I’m sure the cop ran the guy’s plate before he even approached his car. The approach he made to the car wasn’t the kind of approach he would have made had the guy been driving a stolen car or had a criminal record. So odds are the guy was just a regular guy who may have gone over the speed limit a little, not a career criminal. So why in God’s name did this guy tase him? Even if the driver gave him a little lip. This isn’t Nazi Germany.
    The police aren’t ever going to be the best buddies of the criminals out there, but they can do a whole lot to make the average citizen like and respect them more. And they can start by treating the average Joes who aren’t criminals but who drive a little over the speed limit or make an illegal turn or commit some other minor infraction not as low lifes in need of tasing but in the way the cops would like to have their mothers or fathers or kids treated were they stopped.
    I welcome your response.
    Best–
    MRE

  26. Mike, I have to agree with those who figured that Grandma had llikely been slinging turkeys (and bags of food, laundry, cast iron skillets and more) for a long time. Take a hard look at those arms, the biceps and forearms. One wrist angle is awkward, but I also agree it was probably a full body hoist from the trolley or sideboard to the table.
    Good Thanksgiving to you; too bad about the Jets. 😉
    Yeah, it was really too bad about the Jets.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  27. Dr Mike, at -7:20 on the video, the driver says “What the heck is wrong with you” AS HE TURNS HIS BACK towards the officer, and takes two steps away from the officer intending to get back into his car. This is just foolishness. We can all see that the cop was rude from the get-go, so the driver should have been much more circumspect in his own behavior, but it’s obvious that neither young man is familiar with the concept of circumspection.
    I agree with that. But I still think the cop behaved outrageously. Of the two, the cop has all the power, therefore it is more incumbent upon him to act reasonably.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  28. I’d give Rockwell the benefit of the doubt. After all, he painted *professionally,* not just as a hobby. Even Rockwell knew his paintings were idealized images, much like Thomas Kinkade now. I’d believe this lady could do it; I’ve hauled 30-pound children in and out of grocery baskets, car seats, beds, doorsteps, and over fences pretty easily. Make the turkey a kid, and I’ve held that pose plenty of times, as I’m sure many mothers have. I’ll admit, though, that I’ve done my back no favors by doing so.

  29. Regarding the comments about attractiveness and body shape, I don’t know if you’ve read the book “Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty: by Nancy Etcoff. It’s well written and well researched on the subject. One of my all time favorite books.
    Thanks for the tip. I just ordered it.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  30. Dr. Eades,
    I can only speak from my own experience with the area in which I am a police officer – I am sure that other areas of the country operate differently – but I can assure you, there ARE checks and balances in place to enrure that a misbehaving officer is summarliy investigated, punished and quite possibly fired and/or criminally prosecuted. I know this must be a hard pill to swallow for those people out there who want to believe that ALL poilce officers are power hungry, corrupt racists, but the fact is … we have rules that we have to obey as well. The bad ones are caught and punished, as much as possible. Do we investigate ourselves ? Well, much of the time, yes. It probably sounds odd. But no more so than a panel of doctors reviewing the alleged mistakes or misconduct of a fellow doctor – who better to understand the situation in its entirety ?? I can assure that if I were to run out into the streets and randomly abuse my powers, the hammer that would fall on me would be heavy and swift. Again, maybe that’s just where I work, and in other places corruption reigns supreme. I feel sorry for the cops who work in those places, though, because I take pride in my job and in knowing that I can trust and respect my co-workers and leaders within my department.
    If you would be kind enough to contact me via e-mail, I can send you a transcript of the very moving graduation speech given last week by one of our recent academy graduates. I think he does an excellent job of capturing the overall feeling of pride and gravitas that a new officer enjoys, and hopefully carries far into their career. He received a standing ovation – the first one that any of us can remember at this academy, so it must have been even more moving when delivered in person.
    Take care,
    Kristin

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