Reversing the Good-To-Be-Fat Paradigm

Tanya Steel: It is very interesting the way that particularly in Western cultures being fat was seen as being healthy and rich.  And in fact in China we’re still having that issue.  The single children . . .  The singletons are being raised, and they’re being kind of stuffed with food all the time by their well-intentioned grandmothers and mothers.  And yet in this country we are seeing the exact opposite, where girls are starving themselves to death and there’s kind of competitive starving going on.  And that is just so horrific to me as a mom.  I do think that there’s gonna be a . . .  I think and I pray there’s gonna be a shift in thinking; that one thing I do stress to my children and in my (49:06) cookbook is that it’s very important to be healthy and strong.  You’re not striving to be thin.  You’re not striving to lose weight.  You are striving to be as health and strong as you can . . . can be.  So I’m hoping that people like Gabrielle Reese, who is this professional volleyball player, embodies kind of the healthy, strong womanhood who is beautiful and sexy, and yet is not particularly skinny.  She’s just . . . she’s strong.  I’m hoping that that’s gonna really come back, and that women in particular and teenage girls will see that that’s really important, and that it’s . . .  We don’t want to look like skeletons.  Chanel . . .  Coco Chanel kind of led us down this path of looking, you know . . . tanning ourselves and being as thin as you possible could in the ‘20s and ‘30s.  And I think we’ve kind of really gone off on the deep end, and it’s a disaster for a percentage of the female population.  That said, we have this other trend in America where a third of us are obese, and an alarming trend with children where 25 million children in this country are either overweight or obese.  So there’s a strange dichotomy going on in this country, and it’s very hard to tell people or help people learn how to eat healthfully.  I think people talk a good game, but they don’t actually eat that way.  So it’s really crucial that they learn moderation.  For me that’s by far the most important philosophy that anyone can follow, is the philosophy of moderation.  Enjoy your greens, have a piece of cake when you want it, but don’t just eat processed food and kind of high fat stuff all the time.  So it’s always kind of trying to balance.

Recorded on: 1/27/08

Steel hopes that girls will look to healthier role models.

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The competition between forces from protons and neutrons inside a neutron star create super-dense shapes that look like long cylinders or flat planes, referred to as "spaghetti" and "lasagna," respectively. That's also where we get the overall name of nuclear pasta.

Caplan & Horowitz/arXiv

Diagrams illustrating the different types of so-called nuclear pasta.

The researchers' computer simulations needed 2 million hours of processor time before completion, which would be, according to a press release from McGill University, "the equivalent of 250 years on a laptop with a single good GPU." Fortunately, the researchers had access to a supercomputer, although it still took a couple of years. The scientists' simulations consisted of stretching and deforming the nuclear pasta to see how it behaved and what it would take to break it.

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Another possibility worth studying is that, due to its instability, nuclear pasta might generate gravitational waves. It may be possible to observe them at some point here on Earth by utilizing very sensitive equipment.

The team of scientists also included A. S. Schneider from California Institute of Technology and C. J. Horowitz from Indiana University.

Check out the study "The elasticity of nuclear pasta," published in Physical Review Letters.