Monday, February 11, 2008

Art Predicting Life

I had to laugh at one of the headlines in the news today, "Artificial Sweeteners Could Make You Gain Weight". I had to laugh. A study by scientists at Purdue University on laboratory rats showed that those eating food sweetened with artificial sweeteners ate more calories than their counterparts whose food was sweetened with normal sugar (read the story).

Now when I think about some the great writers that were very adept in predicting the future in their stories and essays, a couple of my favorite authors come to mind - Aurthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein. But, when I read the headline above it reminded me of some lines from one of my favorite movies, Woody Allen's 1973 classic, Sleeper. If you have not, well, that's your loss. Anyway, the basic premise of the movie is that Woody Allen's character, Miles Monroe, was frozen in liquid nitrogen in 1973 after a ulcer operation goes bad and he is revived in 2173 to find a very absurd society.

Now you might not think of Woody Allen as one of the great prognasticators of our time, but when I read today's headline, it was the 2173 diet that got me thinking. Here's a piece of the dialogue from the movie.

Dr. Melik: (listing items Miles had requested for breakfast) "... wheat germ, organic honey, and... Tiger's Milk."
Dr. Aragon: "Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties."
Dr. Melik: "You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?"
Dr. Aragon: "Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true."
Dr. Melik: "Incredible!"

dialogue source Wikipedia

So going on the theory that things - good or bad - tend to come in threes, first Dr. Atkins dies and now, sweeteners are fattening. So what comes next? Perhaps they will find that in clinical studies with primates, a vegetarian diet, especially one made up of broccoli and cauliflower, causes clogging of the arteries. Or, maybe they will find that adding large amounts of butter to the diets of elephants, causes a significant reversal in memory loss. Incredible!

So I'll have six eggs, sunny side up, with rye toast, bacon, hash browns and a side of pancakes. And, for desert I'll have creme brulee and piece - no make it two pieces - of baklava. Pass the syrup and butter, will ya?

My Zimbio

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