"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, May 02, 2019

“The World’s a Mess. But Oysters, They Hold it Down.”

Freakonomics Radio Live: “The World’s a Mess. But Oysters, They Hold it Down.” - Freakonomics Freakonomics

"We were looking up the famed aphrodisiac properties of the oyster, and apparently, Casanova, the 18th-century sort of roué, ate 50 oysters every morning for breakfast, like a full-level Gaston-type oyster-eating bonanza to increase his stamina. Miss Piggy, on the other hand, was not a big fan. She said it was like eating something slimy served in an ashtray. So. We’ve got some differing viewpoints on the noble oyster...

ASCHWANDEN: So at the 2002 Boston Marathon, there was a 28-year-old runner — this is quite tragic actually — who collapsed over the finish and later died. And it just so happened that at this very race there was a group of researchers from Harvard Medical School who were there taking physiological measurements from some of the runners. And they found that 13 percent of the runners that day were suffering from the same condition...

GUARNASCHELLI: They over-hydrated...

ASCHWANDEN: So it’s quite tragic really. So this runner that I was telling you about at Boston was actually a charity runner, had been raising money for a cause, trained very hard, and was getting all these messages, “You have to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.” You have to drink so much. And in fact what happened was she drank so much that her blood became too diluted. The technical term for this hyponatremia. It’s also called water intoxication. But basically what you’re doing is you drink so much water that your blood becomes too dilute. And what’s really interesting is a lot of the symptoms mimic dehydration. So this very thing that they’re thinking, “Oh, I need to drink more so I don’t become dehydrated.”

In fact they get these symptoms like dizziness, confusion, nausea, fatigue, all these things that mimic dehydration. And in fact there have been many documented cases where people at marathons and other sporting events are actually made worse because they collapse at the finish line and they give them an I.V., which is exactly the wrong thing. They’re actually making it worse ,and you can go into a coma, and what actually kills the person is brain swelling...

Our bodies are really sophisticated machines. When you need more water you become thirsty. And it sort of drives you to drink. And when you drink beyond thirst you’re sort of going beyond that and screwing up all these mechanisms that your body has to keep everything in check and in balance... I have been unable to find a documented case where an athlete died of dehydration like on the sports field or in a marathon, whereas multiple people have died of hyponatremia. But most of these people are not elite athletes, and most of the clinical cases where someone is ending up in the hospital, are not elite runners...

GRABER: Soda taxes do reduce diabetes and heart disease. Now, they don’t reduce overall obesity now, but they do slow the growth of obesity in the future...

WU: We as Americans have hypercognition of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Norwegians must experience winter blues by that standard but they don’t get depressed...

BRISKI: I have a question for you: which food or beverage item essentially paid for all of the wars that Britain fought during the 1700’s?... Beer... 1600’s, prior to the Glorious Revolution, Britain actually imported a lot of very cheap wine by the barrel from France. 1688, Glorious Revolution happened. British parliament allied with the Protestant William of Orange from Netherlands. And they were at war with France, Catholic. They also became a constitutional monarchy so parliament had the power to tax.

The first thing they did was put a tariff on French wine. The important thing about this tariff was that it was a volume tariff, rather than a value tariff. So that means every barrel of wine that comes in is taxed the same amount if it’s high end or low end. So it shifted demand so that the aristocracy could still afford their high end clarets from the Bordeaux region but there was no more by-the-barrel cheap wine for the masses."
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