See, it’s catching

Fat people aren’t jolly, they’re contagious:

If your friends and family get fat, chances are you will too, researchers report in a startling new study that suggests obesity is “socially contagious” and can spread easily from person to person. The large, federally funded study found that to be true even if your loved ones lived far away. Social ties seemed to play a surprisingly strong role, even more than genes are known to do.

“We were stunned to find that friends who are hundreds of miles away have just as much impact on a person’s weight status as friends who are right next door,” said co-author James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego.

The study found a person’s chances of becoming obese went up 57 percent if a friend did, 40 percent if a sibling did and 37 percent if a spouse did. In the closest friendships, the risk almost tripled.

Clearly the only reasonable answer is to ban fat people from all public places. If the dangers of secondhand smoke justifies kicking all the smokers outside, can we really afford to let virulent fatties from spreading their contagion to the general populace?

Fear and Global Warming in Las Vegas

Temperatures have risen 9/10ths of one percent in Las Vegas since the 1960s! However, they have fallen 1.8 percent since the 1940s, 2.7 percent at their nadir.

Always check the numbers….

Rand’al Potter and the Deathly Bores

I haven’t finished the ultimate Harry Potter novel yet, so I can’t write a full review. However, I’m not sure I will manage to slog my way through it, as thus far, it’s even worse than the previous book in the series, which hitherto marked the low point. Sure, it the trek through Mordor got a bit tedious, but here, even the action is a yawn. Point-yell-miss… point-yell-stun! Red shirt dies, oh the horror!

Harry is becoming more and more like Rand’al Thor of the execrable Wheel of Time series; apparently fantasy authors believe that constantly agonizing over every sliver suffered by an individual dedicated to the cause is the height of character development. Rowlings’s plotting is even less competent than usual and if the Death Eaters weren’t the unmitigated bastard, occultic love children of the National Socialists and Chang Hsien-chung, I’d be rooting for Lord Voldemort.

There’s no reason for Christians to be upset about Harry Potter. There’s no more magic in the “magic” than there is a literal god in the deus ex machina. I finally had to put the book down in disgust when Hermione wracked her brain to think of what spell could possible free a woman from her chains, then pointed her wand and shouted “release”. I mean, given that schooling in magic is the background for the book series, it’s remarkable that the magic system is so utterly retarded.

Perhaps it gets better in the second half. I’m not sure I will last it out long enough to find out. It’s a very bad sign for a book when you find yourself unconsciously picking up a formulaic libro giallo in preference to finishing what you’ve started. Needless to say, I’m not feeling terribly inclined to revisit my prediction that it will not be long before Harry Potter will no longer be regarded in the same league as Narnia, The Dark is Rising, A Wrinkle in Time and Watership Down, assuming that it is now.