Bank Holiday Monday was, as is traditional, a bit slow for news, except for the story of John McCain majestically giving TFF two fingers from his deathbed. TFF responded with his usual blend of charm and humility. Then we had the obligatory Notting Hill Carnival shots of scantily clad women. And rain, of course. That still left a lot of column inches to be filled.
Here’s a good one even the quality papers ran with. ‘Forehead wrinkles linked to heart attacks.’ Hmmm. I’d go for cholesterol testing and blood pressure monitoring here, but the ‘study’ authors say that assessment of whether you’re more wrinkly than you should be at your age, then you may be up for the chest pains.
The problem here is that ‘more wrinkly than you should be’ is all a bit subjective, isn’t it? Maybe you get more wrinkles because you’re one of life’s natural worriers, and these worries are etched into your face*.
Still on the cardiovascular front, ‘Too much or too little sleep ‘can be a stroke risk.’ That could be described as hedging your bets a bit. How much is optimal? Six to eight hours, apparently. That’s quite a wide range. I think Dr Epameinondas Fountas (crazy name, crazy guy) might not be exactly convinced himself here.
Some more splendid idiocy from Derrick Bennett, of Oxford University. ‘Using wood for cooking a heart attack risk.’ You, like me, may have done a second take on the headline, there. Anyway, he thinks that people who cook on wood or charcoal should ‘switch to electricity or gas as soon as possible.’ This might be a bit tricky if you’re a Kalahari bushman, for example. Or one of the umpteen million rural Chinese. Or you home is one of the further flung bits of India, or South America, or Oz, or… Need I go on? I can remember when there were bits of the UK with no gas and no electricity**.
Come Tuesday, the i kept its silly hat on. According to them a ‘new’ technique allows me to experience the pain of childbirth. Since this story first raised its head as long ago as 2015, it’s hardly new is it?. Any road up, for a mere 25 smackers you as a bloke can have a dose of TENS to simulate the pain of giving birth.
I doubt this. Pain is notoriously subjective, so you’d need to calibrate things against the stimulation women who’ve done the real thing. They might go through all that pain again with a baby to show for it, but just to act as guinea pigs? I don’t think so.
Also men don’t have the equipment to make this authentic. Cultural appropriation, anybody?
*Surprisingly, people routinely guess me to be younger than I am (once by an astonishing inaccurate 20 years) and I can fret at an Olympic level.
**Or sanitation, for that matter.