Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread? : The Salt : NPR

This is a good read. But I really don’t want you cutting the funk off hard foods, either.

This is a good read. But I really don’t want you cutting the funk off hard foods, either.

“No, say food safety experts. Molds can easily penetrate deep into a soft food, like bread. But you can salvage other foods with tougher surfaces, like cabbages, carrots and hard cheeses.”

Source: Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread? : The Salt : NPR

Rate of Major Depression By US County

Why are several state borders clearly visible?

This data set is from Google and Schema.  It’s by county, not by state, yet quite a few states are clearly outlined in sharp relief.  I would love to understand why.  Why are Connecticut and Maine and Wisconsin clearly visible for high occurrence? What makes West Virginia so different from Virginia? Arizona from New Mexico?  Wisconsin from Illinois? California from most of the rest of the country?

What’s going on here?  You can look at the interactive results for a variety of diseases here.  Depression shows state outlines in sharpest contrast.  Why?

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 11.03.03 PM

The data ends in 2003, and maybe that’s part of the issue?

New Study: NFL Concussions Up 73% In 2017 Preseason; 16% in Regular Season

I’m telling you, the damage done by concussions, most notably CTE, will be the end of it. Even with heightened awareness, concussions were higher this preseason (up 73%) and regular season (up 16%).

What’s the League doing to combat this problem?

The highest instance of concussions during the regular season were in Thursday night games.  Players have been increasingly vocal about abolishing these games, noting that playing on shorter rest makes the game less safe.  Those insights are no longer anecdotal.

Not a great time to be getting into the pro football business.


XFL 2020

The XFL, like hindsight, is 2020.

In Vince McMahon will be 74 when the league returns.  He’s not going into retirement on this big a gamble.  I’m quite sure he is selling WWE to New Fox before the year is over.

McMahon clearly sees an opportunity to pick away at the NFL by targeting consumers who, perhaps like himself, are upset about players protesting systemic injustice by taking a knee during the national anthem.  He’s creating a league for die-hard football fans who have sworn-off the NFL.  I’m not sure how many of those people exist, and I’m not sure Alpha Sports knows, either.

The biggest threat to professional football of any kind is what we now know to be true about CTE.  I would perhaps watch the XFL if it could deliver on McMahon’s impossible premise of producing a safer form of the sport.  CTE is real, and youth leagues across the country are rightly drying up as a result.  Unless players are lighter and the rules (and culture) of the game are significantly different, there’s no way to make it safe.  I’m not talking about broken arms or torn muscles; I’m talking about what it’s been shown to do to the brain, and what the NFL has been shown to ignore, deny, and cover up.

Because of its hubris and greed, the NFL has consistently, knowingly put players at risks no one used to know or think about.  Then they lied about those risks, to the public and to the employees whose bodies make the whole thing work.  I’m convinced that the NFL will pay for these decisions in the not-so distant future.   XFL might hasten that process, but unless drastic changes are made, pro football, as a thing, is simply not sustainable.

It’s ironic, and fitting, that today’s Google doodle is in honor of one of the greatest neuroscientists to ever live.


With Cable and Youth Football in Decline, Disney/ESPN Forced to Call an Audible

Christopher Cocca

From, this piece considers the future of ESPN following Olbermann’s  (unavoidable) departure, Bill Simmons’ (inevitable) departure and the streaming experiments the Worldwide Leader is conducting on platforms like Sling.

As someone considering cutting the cord myself, it’s interesting to me that our children’s gray matter, so much fodder for the Disney machine, may not save ESPN after all.  The relationship between young brains and the House of Mouse in question is not the obvious “kill your screens” sentiment.  I’m talking about the fact that if Disney is to keep extracting 25% of its operating profit from the studios in Bristol, young boys have to keep playing football, even while ESPN wrings its journalistic hands over whether or not to tell the truth about CTE.  

With Super Bowl Looming, New Study: Youth Football Participation Down 29% Since 2008

“Football as mass spectacle has never been bigger.”   But youth participation is down 29% since 2008.  – ESPN Outside the Lines.

Christopher Cocca

American football, (that is to say, football), is a fascinating game.  Its history is complex and nuanced.  Like all the major professional sports, it emerged from somewhere in our collective memory, developed through amateur associations of working-class athletic clubs, became an outlet for the ambitions and frustrations of American male adolescence and is now one of the biggest industries in the world.

Even if you prefer baseball or hockey or basketball as products, hobbies, or metaphors, even if you know or care nothing about the game, you’d likely grant that much of its attraction among the faithful is visceral.   My playing experience starts and ends on the playground and in the backyard, with Nerf and, later, synthetic pigskin.  I don’t have a shared locker-room history, I didn’t play the organized game as a child, and I’ve always cared much for more baseball, likely for narrative and immigrant reasons, also visceral.

In the 80s and 90s, we had no way of knowing, as children, what CTE was or that some of our favorite players (Jim McMahon, Junior Seau) would suffer or die from it.  Our parents had no way of knowing that it existed, that playing the full-contact game as young boys even in the best of organized settings could damage our brains and limit our cognitive skills, or that if we played through our teens, that damage could increase our risk of suicide.

But we all know differently now.  I’ve argued before that game’s continued success, especially at the college level (the biggest piece of ESPN’s revenue, and thus a huge piece of Disney’s) requires that our kids keep playing and that the NCAA’s and NFL’s media partners keep mum about the true risks that have evolved alongside bigger bodies and harder hits.

Now, between Super Bowl Media Day and Super Bowl Sunday, ESPN’s Outside the Lines reports on a new study from Boston University claiming that “former NFL players who played tackle football as young children were more likely to have thinking and memory problems as adults.” I’m not a neuroscientist or a youth football booster, but people from both camps weigh in here.

Interestingly, Dr. Robert Stern, lead author of the study, says:

“To allow your child to be subjecting themselves to repetitive head injury at a very early age when they could be doing the sport a different way and minimizing their chances [of brain injury], to me, is just insane,” he said. “It’s wrong. We should not be allowing this to happen.

“Tom Brady didn’t play football until high school. He picked up the game pretty quickly.”

Why didn’t Brady play youth football?  His dad, citing health concerns, forbade the game until Brady’s freshman year.

Being Healthy Sucks Most of the Time, but Here’s a Free Guide to Being Healthy


It’s the middle of January, “Resolution Month” at the gym. In the past, I’ve railed against “resoluters,” with their shiny new workout gear and lack of follow-through. But as I get older, I realize, hey, we’re all human. Maintaining a healthy weight means making the right choices most of the time. Making these choices takes time and often sucks. At the same time, the fitness and nutrition markets are flooded with svengali promises made by the cross fits and diet plans of the world.

The truth is, to get healthier, you don’t need to pay $200 a month for someone to yell at you or for some crazy diet that is impossible to maintain in the long-term. So I created this totally free flow chart to help guide you toward a healthier lifestyle or toward complete and utter ambivalence toward a healthier lifestyle. Happy New Year.



diet flow