the value of X

you are what you eat, and as much of it – Magazine – We’ve Got to Stop Eating Like This

The broader point is that human diets are eminently changeable; they change all the time, and there is nothing inexorable about the national drift toward bloat. There is also nothing immutable about the swill that people buy in supermarkets and restaurants. A generation ago it was almost impossible to get a good cup of coffee in America. Yuppies fixed that. Beer too.

What will it take to transform our diet on a national scale? The problem is huge and depressingly simple: The U.S. food industry provides about 3,900 calories per person per day (the figure is for 2000, the latest available). Allowing for waste and losses in cooking, the USDA estimates that the average American consumes roughly 2,750 calories per day — a full Big Mac beyond its recommendation of 2,200 calories for most children, teenage girls, active women, and sedentary men. Of course, diet and exercise are matters of individual choice, but cultural circumstances — car travel, post-industrial jobs, passive entertainment–push us collectively toward eating more calories than we burn. So do the roughly $4.5 billion a year the food industry spends on advertising and the $50 million a year it spends lobbying in Washington, D.C.

I have been convinced for a while that the key to weight loss is portion control: I hear too many people say the reason they like some diet or other is because it allows them to eat large portions without guilt. So where someone might eat a large plate of pasta, they now eat a small mountain of protein, instead of a more sensible amount, or even two eaten at intervals.

I was drawn to this story by the idea of the quality of the food and how the kids palates changed to. I’m skeptical of the idea that kids only like junk foods. The fact is kids like anything that tastes good, and it’s hard to beat junk foods on that score.

[ . . . . ] the market’s logic suggests that if food companies are to grow, so must we. In a way it’s a mirror image of the problem of overfishing: Each restaurant and food company has an incentive to get more stuff onto our plates; an individual company, like an individual fisherman, has no interest in cutting back for the benefit of a species. Only in this case the species that suffers isn’t swordfish. It’s us.

Puts it in perspective, doesn’t it?

the value of X

abandon all hope, ye who enter here

The Dante’s Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell – The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Level Score
Purgatory (Repenting Believers) Very Low
Level 1 – Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers) High
Level 2 (Lustful) Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous) High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious) Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy) Low
Level 6 – The City of Dis (Heretics) Very High
Level 7 (Violent) Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers) Moderate
Level 9 – Cocytus (Treacherous) Low

Take the Dante Inferno Hell Test

Thanks to Josh for this one.


lazy man’s file backup

Put this script on your crontab:

/sbin/mount_smbfs //username@server/share /Volumes/share 
cd ${HOME}/Documents/ 
find . -mtime -1 -a \! -type d -exec cp -rp {} /Volumes/server/username/Documents/ \;

It mounts a server share that you know gets backed up, finds all your files that got touched today, and copies them to your directory on the share.

Set it and forget it.

obscure pursuits

command line smbfs mounts

I got this working and thought it worth putting down here for my own memory, and perhaps to help someone else.

It’s possible to mount Windows (a/k/a CIFS or samba) shares on the command line. You need to create a .nsmbrc file (not unlike a .netrc file), and populate it like the one below. This is handy if you want to copy files to a file server that gets backed up regularly, but doesn’t require you to be logged in to or have it mounted.

To hash the passwords, use smbutil:

bash-2.05a$ smbutil crypt password

Then replace the uppercased bits with stuff that really exists, and replace the password hashes with the ones you made.

bash-2.05a$ more .nsmbrc

And then just mount your filesystems as needed: no need to use su, even.

bash-2.05a$ df -k
Filesystem              1K-blocks     Used    Avail Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/disk0s9             78143056 12793924 65093128    16%    /
devfs                          95       95        0   100%    /dev
fdesc                           1        1        0   100%    /dev
                       512      512        0   100%    /.vol
automount -fstab [404]          0        0        0   100%    /Network/Servers
automount -static [404]         0        0        0   100%    /automount

Now you don’t see /Volumes/www . . . . .

bash-2.05a$ mount_smbfs //pdb2@mars/www /Volumes/www/
kextload: extension /System/Library/Extensions/smbfs.kext is already loaded
Filesystem              1K-blocks     Used    Avail Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/disk0s9             78143056 12793924 65093128    16%    /
devfs                          95       95        0   100%    /dev
fdesc                           1        1        0   100%    /dev
                       512      512        0   100%    /.vol
automount -fstab [404]          0        0        0   100%    /Network/Servers
automount -static [404]         0        0        0   100%    /automount
//PDB2@MARS/WWW          26627736  1736436 24891300     6%    /Volumes/www

Now you do . . .