Cover Up, Michelle!

” Let’s face it: The only bracing symbol of American strength right now is the image of Michelle Obama’s sculpted biceps. Her husband urges bold action, but it is Michelle who looks as though she could easily wind up and punch out Rush Limbaugh, Bernie Madoff and all the corporate creeps who ripped off America.

In the taxi, when I asked David Brooks about her amazing arms, he indicated it was time for her to cover up. “She’s made her point,” he said. “Now she should put away Thunder and Lightning.”

That is Maureen Dowd in the New York Times.

Having spent considerable time in Conrad’s post, its aftermath with cleavages, rum, whisky, women with legs sticking out of automobile boots and so on and so forth, this article comes as a breath of fresh air.

Now, if Conrad could take this wonderful observation and develop it into another whine, would it not be something else again?

I for one, would be disappointed if Michelle takes Maureen’s advise, and I suspect, so would President Obama.

What do you think?

Rambo Musharaff

Just last night, I said that I had had enough of Pakistan and terrorism and this morning I had to change my mind.

Not on anything morbid mind you, but an exquisite caricaturisation of an impossible event.

This editorial in one of our most respected newspapers is the inspiration for the caricaturisation.

Just imagine the likes of Arnold Swarchenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Vin Diesel, and General Musaharaff himself playing the heroes in a film showing the shoot out in Lahore.

I could not stop laughing for a few minutes after I read the item. Good Lord, Musharaff, wake up dear man. Those guys just casually walked away or got on motorcycles parked in convenient places, and got clean away, after killing Pakistani policemen. It does not take an Einstein to conclude the very obvious, does it? These are monsters created by you and your more illustrious predecessor, Gen Zia ul Haque. Their tentacles reach deep within your establishment. For once, be honest dear General (Retd).

Large Portions Of Food – Impeccable Logic.

This post owes its creation to two inspiring blog posts.

The first one was by Carly in Conrad’s blog. The discussion that took place after her piece appeared was astounding for its variety and depth and eventual lead to other topics as well.

The next was by Jean about exercising the way music conductors do. In response to her post, I had commented that the only exercise that I favoured was exercising my elbow, with tongue firmly in cheek. Not to be outdone, Jean’s response was a classic for its brevity and punch.

For those who have not read the two posts, I strongly recommend them to savour the wonders of dieting and exercising and fitness. The posts and comments are simply too good to miss.

The purpose of this post is to get away from the morbid stuff that I have recently been writing about. I think that it is time that I paid attention to more earth shaking matters than Pakistan, terrorism and the state of our economy. I have therefore decided that I shall write about my problem with my weight. Some of my blog friends post regularly about the progress that they are making and I feel horrid not being able to keep pace with say, some one like Mike.

Four months ago, I weighed a nice round 100 Kgs. I should, if I can believe all the pundits weigh no more than 85 Kgs. In the last four months I have been able to knock off just 5 Kgs, mostly by dieting. I can not indulge in vigorous exercise as I am blessed with two replaced hip joints and am restricted to certain types of exercises only which are not great calorie burners.

For inspiration to do something, anything at all about the weighty problem that I was faced with, I invested in a wonderful book by Michael Pollan called ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’

It took some reading, but one particular passage stuck with me for some reason. I share that with you here.

“That distinction [of inventing supersizing] belongs to a man named David Wallerstein. Until his death in 1993, Wallerstein served on the board of directors at McDonald’s, but in the fifties and sixties he worked for a chain of movie theaters in Texas, where he labored to expand sales of soda and popcorn–the high-markup items that theaters depend on for their profitability.

As the story is told in John Love’s official history of McDonald’s, Wallerstein tried everything he could think of to goose up sales–two-for-one deals, matinee specials–but found he simply could not induce customers to buy more than one soda and one bag of popcorn. He thought he knew why: Going for seconds makes people feel piggish.

“Wallerstein discovered that people would spring for more popcorn and soda–a lot more–as long as it came in a single gigantic serving. Thus was born the two-quart bucket of popcorn, the sixty-four-ounce Big Gulp, and, in time, the Big Mac and the jumbo fries, though Ray Kroc himself took some convincing. In 1968, Wallerstein went to work for McDonald’s, but try as he might, he couldn’t convince Kroc, the company’s founder, of supersizing’s magic powers.
” ‘If people want more fries,’ Kroc told him, ‘they can buy two bags.’ Wallerstein patiently explained thatMcDonald’s customers did want more but were reluctant to buy a second bag. ‘They don’t want to look like gluttons.’ “Kroc remained skeptical, so Wallerstein went looking for proof. He began staking out McDonald’s outlets in and around Chicago, observing how people ate. He saw customers noisily draining their sodas, and digging infinitesimal bits of salt and burnt spud out of their little bags of French fries. After Wallerstein presented his findings, Kroc relented and approved supersized portions, and the dramatic spike in sales confirmed the marketer’s hunch. Deep cultural taboos against gluttony–one of the seven deadly sins, after all–had been holding us back.

Wallerstein’s dubious achievement was to devise the dietary equivalent of a papal dispensation: supersize it! He had discovered the secret to expanding the (supposedly) fixed human stomach.
“One might think that people would stop eating and drinking these gargantuan portions as soon as they felt full, but it turns out hunger doesn’t work that way. Researchers have found that people (and animals) presented with large portions will eat up to 30 percent more than they would otherwise. Human appetite, it turns out, is surprisingly elastic, which makes excellent evolutionary sense: It behooved our hunter-gatherer ancestors to feast whenever the opportunity presented itself, allowing them to build up reserves of fat against future famine. Obesity researchers call this trait the ‘thrifty gene.’ And while the gene represents a useful adaptation in an environment of food scarcity and unpredictability, it’s a disaster in an environment of fast-food abundance, when the opportunity to feastpresents itself 24/7.

Our bodies are storing reserves of fat against a famine that never comes.” (Page 105-106)

Now, I know why I always go for supersized helpings of everything. I am not doing it. My body is doing it to store fat against a famine. So, I might as well stop dieting and exercising and allow my body to have its way.

Anyone out there, who is willing to join me in this great way to handle the famine that may never come?

The Lahore Attack

“Increasingly, Zardari resembles a man with a begging bowl in one hand, and a gun in the other pointed at his own head. The reality is that for decades, we have sacrificed the bulk of our resources to support a vast defence apparatus we could ill afford. The extremist menace that threatens to destroy us was largely a creation of our own military establishment. And now that we need the army to defend us, we find it is not up to the task.”

The above paragraph is from an article in the Dawn, a respected newspaper published from Karachi in Pakistan. The writer, Irfan Husain is a man of courage and integrity and whose honest reporting may well land him into trouble with a number of elements within Pakistan.

Sri Lanka’s cricketers agreed to replace the Indian cricket team. The latter’s tour of Pakistan, arranged prior to the Mumbai carnage as one of the confidence building measures between India and Pakistan, was canceled for very obvious reasons. The Pakistani cricket establishment invited Sri Lanka instead and the great sporting nation that they are, they agreed to the tour albeit after some initial hiccups.

Pakistan however is a destination that many other cricketing countries have decided not to visit for the very present danger there. The hapless Sri Lankans have just found out what it costs to play in Pakistan. Details of exactly what happened have not been made available, but it has been established that the bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked by gunmen and seven players and a coach have been wounded.

Quite what it means to the South Asian countries is best left unsaid by me. Sri Lankans have enough to handle on their own turf with a decisive stage having been reached by their armed forces against the dreaded LTTE. What it means to Pakistan is best stated by this article.

If Pakistan’s establishment plays true to their flip flop, first they will blame India for this mishap, after that, they will blame the LTTE, and eventually, they will accept that it was homegrown terrorists who were responsible and that they will be brought to book. After that, nothing more will be heard of the incident till the next attack takes place.

Quite how the Obama administration will make use of their ally and front line partner in the USA’s fight against terror is becoming murkier by the day. May be now, the Zardari government will hand over Lahore also to the Taliban to implement Sharia law as their own machinery does not seem to be functional.

Madeline Albright suggested that Pakistan is now the International Migraine. Perhaps now she will call it the International joke.