Tag Archives | Consumption
Today is the winter solstice; the solar nadir in the northern hemisphere. This temporal event in Spaceship Earth’s rotations finds the sun take its lowest path through our sky and the daytime hours are fewest; the axis of light flips; a planetary New Year. This is an event that many wise people have encouraged us to recognise as the origin of our ‘modern’ festive experience. The word solstice derives from the Latin ‘Sol’ meaning Sun and ‘sistere’ which means to stand still, because this is exactly what it appears to do. Our sun, having clambered ever lower over the horizon since midsummer, seems to be disappearing, perhaps eternally, an experience which was no doubt a source of unquestionable anxiety to early peoples. When the sun was henceforth ‘reborn’ from the horizon, into a fresh cycle of light, there was much rapture and hedonistic release. It is not hard to recognise a common origin of the many religious rebirth mythologies in this event.… Read the rest
No other country is better known for their array of vending machines as Japan. Over 2.5 million machines sell beverages and even more offer cooked meals, produce and live crabs, to name a few. The newest vending machine not only gives you a refreshing drink, but can suggest one for you as well. From Reuters:
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A new Japanese canned drink vending machine uses facial recognition technology to “recommend” drinks based on the customer’s age and gender — and sales have tripled over those from regular vending machines as a result.
The machines, developed by JR East Water Business Co, a subsidiary of railway firm JR East Co, use large touch-panel screens with sensors that allow the machine to determine the characteristics of an approaching customer.
“Recommended” labels will then appear on specific drink products. Suggested products may also change depending on the temperature and time of day.
“If the customer is a man, the machine is likely to recommend a canned coffee drink, since men tend to prefer these.
San Francisco has enacted a law prohibiting restaurants from giving toys away with high-fat and sugary meals, including the American staple: the Happy Meal. This was done in hopes that children won’t opt for unhealthy food just because they receive a toy as well. The New York Daily News reports:
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The McDonald’s Happy Meal went the way of Prop. 19 in San Francisco Tuesday when the city’s board of supervisors voted to forbid restaurants from offering toys with meals that contain too much fat and sugar.
Restaurants would also need to provide fruits and vegetables with meals that come with free toys. The city said the measure was an effort to combat childhood obesity.
“We’re part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice,” Supervisor Eric Mar told the Los Angeles Times. “From San Francisco to New York City, the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country is making our kids sick, particularly kids from low income neighborhoods, at an alarming rate.”
The rule, scheduled to take effect in December, says that restaurants may include a toy with a meal it contains fewer than 600 calories – food and drink combined — and if less than 35% of the calories come from fat, The Times reported.
While science still hasn’t decided whether or not alcoholism is genetic, they have found a gene that may answer why some people have a higher tolerance. From BBC News:
Experts say they have found a “tipsy” gene that explains why some people feel alcohol’s effects quicker than others.
The US researchers believe 10% to 20% of people have a version of the gene that may offer some protection against alcoholism.
That is because people who react strongly to alcohol are less likely to become addicted, studies show.
The University of North Carolina said the study aims to help fight addiction, not pave the way for a cheap night out.
Ultimately, people could be given CYP2E1-like drugs to make them more sensitive to alcohol – not to get them drunk more quickly, but to put them off drinking to inebriation, the Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research journal reported.
Continues at BBC News …