Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, May 09, 2021

Tonight for dinner, I had a steak sandwich. It was decent, but nothing to write home about.

Perhaps next time I indulge in some prime-cut cow, I should head to Argentina, where the grassland makes for an enchanting grade of beef:

All you need to know about the quality of pasture in the pampas is that cows went feral in Argentina. You can still see them grazing pretty much anywhere there is a horizontal patch of grass, all now firmly back in the hand of man, but still with a happy grassy glint in their eye. This most docile, placid, and passive of large herbivores stepped off the boat, took one nibble at the pampas and made a run for it. It knew that it wanted to spend the rest of its life eating the pampas grass, without outside interference. And the settlers, once they caught some of the early escapees, began to feel the same way about the beef.

Eating steaks in Argentina feels like joining a cult. You find yourself leaning on friends to come visit, and writing YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND in all caps more often than feels comfortable. Argentine beef really is extraordinary. Almost all of this has to do with how the cows are raised. There are no factory feedlots in Argentina; the animals still eat pampas grass their whole lives, in open pasture, and not the chicken droppings and feathers mixed with corn that pass for animal feed in the United States. Since this is the way of life a cow was designed for, it is not necessary to pump the animal full of antibiotics. The meat is leaner, healthier and more flavorful than that of corn-fed cattle. It has fewer calories, contains less cholesterol, and tastes less mushy and waterlogged than American meat. And the cows spend their lives out grazing in the field, not locked into some small pen. You can taste the joy.

My wallet’s a bit light, so I won’t be buying a plane ticket to Buenos Aires anytime soon. But there are a few Argentinian restaurants in town, so maybe I’ll see how reasonable a facsimile I can find Stateside.

(Via Tom McMahon)

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/09/2021 11:10:43 PM
Category: Food | Permalink | Feedback (4)

If your only experience with coma patients is from their portrayal in movies, you’re getting fed a brain-dead scenario. That’s the conclusion of Drs. Eelco and Coen Wijdicks, who find Hollywood enactments of the comatose condition to contain an alarming lack of real-world grounding:

Dr. Wijdicks also found that many lay viewers were unable to identify inaccuracy in the depiction of coma - despite 39% admitting that those depictions might influence their decisions about a coma in real life.

He said: “Inaccuracy concerns me because the public sees an unrealistic portrayal of a neurologic disease that could lead to improbable expectations from a family of a patient in a coma; for example, that it will be just a matter of time till the patient awakens and everything will be fine and dandy.”

Actually, based on Tennessee Senator Bill Frist’s ham-handed video diagnosis of Terry Schiavo last summer, I’d say the celluloid glamorization manages to seduce even those who should know better.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/09/2021 10:56:13 PM
Category: Politics, Movies, Science | Permalink | Feedback

So now that the iPod is video-enabled, I wonder: Shouldn’t its firmware come with a built-in iTunes-like Visualizer? One more move toward emulating/porting iTunes to the device altogether.

Or maybe Apple would opt for making different flavors of Visualizer available for purchase on the iTunes Music Store. It’s no more frivolous a buy than any other music/video file from ITMS, or for that matter, any of the skins and other accessories that people scarf up. (Remember where you first read this idea, Steve Jobs; I’ll expect my cut of the profits.)

Then again, while a Visualizer would make the iPod a cool hypno-inducer, it would be one more thing to eat up the precious battery charge on the thing. Visuals would be nice, but I’d rather direct all the juice toward the primary function, i.e. playing sound files. Still, I could see it being handy for mobile DJing, when you could plant your iPod into an aud-vid console and channel the video effects onto a club’s bigscreen.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/09/2021 10:18:40 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback (1)