Print Story When I'm Walking (Let Me Walk)
By Christopher Robin was Murdered (Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 02:47:50 AM EST) (all tags)
An observation regarding the population demographics of financial district. Comfort levels rise. Scissor taxonomy. Pasta returns. A calumny cast at a medical professional that is not easily matched for its implausibility.

    Just some random notes today, to keep me in the habit of writing.

    Compared to many other Manhattan neighborhoods, it seems to me that the financial district has very few homeless people. I see maybe one or two potentially homeless folks, but I have yet to be panhandled outside the office – something that occurred frequently at my last place of employment near Union Square.
    I don't have any real explanation for why this should be. Perhaps, in the eyes of the panhandling community, financial types are notoriously stingy, so they leave the district alone and focus on happier hunting grounds. Maybe the police and bank rent-a-cops are tougher on the "vagrants" in the financial district than they are elsewhere. Perhaps panhandlers know that the smallest denomination many of these folks carry is a twenty, and they know that no financial worker is going to part with one of those just to be nice.
    Anyway, there's one homeless man I see on a near daily basis. White guy, Hippocratic baldness, the remaining hair is long and reddish-blond. He always has on stained slacks, a heavily stained undershirt, and an olive-drab military jacket. The jacket has no name patch, or insignia or any other patches, on it.
    Normally this guy can be found at the corner of Exchange and Pine, sitting on the sidewalk, resting his back up against the exterior of the Bank of New York. I've never seen him speak to anybody. He doesn't mumble of even move much. Just sits there.
    Tuesday night this guy must have hit some sort of mother-load of salvage. On Wednesday morning, he had a blue easy chair. He was in his customary spot, wearing his customary outfit; but now he was lounging in his new chair, with his feet propped up on a milk-crate ottoman. He was bobbing his head to some music he was listening to on an iPod. I couldn't hear the music, but he seemed to be into it.
    He was there again today. No iPod, but he's still got the chair.

    Last night, walking east on 13th street, I walked past a police station. There were two ground floor offices with their lights on and I glanced in the windows as I walked by. The first office looked somewhat like a rundown school room and it appeared as if some sort of community group was meeting there.
    The second looked like a normal office. It was cluttered and chaotic. Nobody was in it. My attention was attracted to a large poster hanging on the back of the closed office door. You ever see one of those "Peppers of the World" posters? They hang them up in tons of Mexican restaurants. It shows rows of peppers, each examplar pepper standing vertically, with captions under the peppers giving their name and what country the pepper comes from originally. This poster had the same general design, except, instead of peppers, it was numerous kinds of scissors.
    At first I thought it was just an odd poster; some NYPD officer has edgy taste in art. Later, though, it dawned on me that the poster maybe perfectly practical. Perhaps the cops use it to identify all the different types of scissors they may encounter in course of their various duties. Are injuries, both accidental and intentional, caused by scissors so common that cops need a detailed scissor taxonomy?

    May has word from her doctor. Whatever her tummy troubles are, they aren't due to gluten. This means pasta is back on the menu. We ate out last night at Tanti Baci in the Village.
    Prior to the gluten ban, there was a dairy product ban. Taken together, it amounted to near two month ban on Italian food. I don't think the doctor has any clue what's wrong with May, I think the doctor just hates Italians.

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When I'm Walking (Let Me Walk) | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)
Maybe he was in 4-H by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 02:58:39 AM EST
and had made it for the county fair (number 8).

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Had the same problems by extremely tedious HuSer (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 03:24:51 AM EST
It seems that nutritionists can do nothing better these days than telling people to stop eating wheat and milk, as if a couple thousands of years of wheat-eating were not enough for humans to get used to the thing. For a while me and my fiancé had to cook separate meals because of a wheat ban, which then turned out not to solve her problem at all.

I think doctors go through fads like the rest of us, and sadly the current fad is 'gluten is bad'.

heh by tps12 (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 04:52:19 AM EST
"A couple thousands of years" is not exactly an evolutionary timescale; if wheat was hard to digest in 10,000 BCE, it's hard to digest now.

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Despite my unscientific argument by extremely tedious HuSer (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 04:56:07 AM EST
I still think the current anti-gluten fad is mostly bollocks.

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oh, right, me too (nt) by tps12 (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 05:08:11 AM EST

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True by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 04:57:15 AM EST
but don't forget breeding the plant, for which N thousand years is definitely enough time to make changes.

Not that this affects much, since the same argument could apply to lactose intolerance, among others.

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except by tps12 (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 05:07:07 AM EST
Wheat is still of gluten, which really is what makes wheat hard to digest (just eat a couple batches of seitan).

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Right by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 05:30:52 AM EST
This doesn't really address my point...but both of our points are all moot anyway so forget it.

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Evolution Speed by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 05:15:48 AM EST
In May's (turn's out not to be) situation, it wasn't that wheat is hard to digest. It was: you eat enough of it and it kills you. In a system where wheat was common, couldn't such a trait be selected against and removed from a species in just a handful of generations – say 5 or 6 generations?

I'm just guessing, but it seems to me with severe enough pressure, selection could happen fairly quickly.

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And vice-versa. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #10 Sun Apr 10, 2005 at 01:31:39 AM EST
Ireland has the highest levels of coeliac disease in the Western world. Also, it's the one place where wheat has not formed a significant part of the diet of the historically poor.

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When I'm Walking (Let Me Walk) | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)