“There was a time, you know, I got so used to the police turning up. You know, with Borat, I think they came about 45 times. Sometimes it was the police, then the FBI were following us for a while. They had so many complaints that there was a Middle Eastern man … driving through America in an ice cream van, that the FBI assigned a team to us. And so we had the FBI and then we had the Secret Service. But there were so many of these instances, and with Bruno as well, that for a while it would take about six months afterwards for me not to totally freak out whenever I saw a policeman”—Sacha Baron Cohen on his run-ins with the law while making his movies.
“There are some questions in life, the very speaking of which are their own undoing. Am I fired? Is this a date? Are you breaking up with me? Yes. No. Yes.”— David Rakoff in this weekend’s episode of This American Life,The Invisible Made Visible
“We used to think that breast milk was just a food and that it was filled with fats and proteins and vitamins and that formula companies were successfully able to mimic this. But we now know that there are substances in breast milk that exist almost at the same levels that are not digestible by infants. So what are they doing there? It turns out, they’re digestible by beneficial bacteria. So over millions of years, the mother has been creating a substance that will recruit useful bacteria into her infant’s gut and this sets her infant up for life. So as much as breast milk is a food, we also now understand that it’s also a medicine.”—Florence Williams on the benefits of breast milk
“One-third of American girls start developing breasts by their 9th birthday. And this is earlier than even 15 or 20 years ago.”—On today’s Fresh Air, science writer Florence Williams explains why breasts are getting bigger and arriving earlier, why tumors seem to gravitate towards the breast and how toxins from the environment may be affecting hormones and breast development.
“Trace amounts of pesticides, dioxin and a jet fuel ingredient – as well as high-to-average levels of flame retardants.”—
When science journalist Florence Williams was nursing her second child, she read a research study about toxins found in human breast milk. She decided to test her own breast milk and shipped a sample to a lab in Germany.
“I had read a beautiful story in The New York Times about the couple who were getting married, and that Mayor Bloomberg was going to preside over their wedding at Gracie Mansion. And my friend called me and said, ‘They’d love to have you come and sing.’ And I was floored. I was so honored. And I cried like a baby at that ceremony. And I brought my daughter. And it was a very moving moment and a very teachable moment having my daughter there. And as far as she was concerned, it was just another wedding. She doesn’t really see the issue, which is great. So that’s how it came about. It was a beautiful day.”—Audra McDonald on performing at the first legal gay wedding in New York City. [full interview here]
“There’s this funny paradox is that nearly every diet works and nearly no diet works at the same time. A diet may be effective in the short term because you’re cutting your calories. So you can do that with cabbage soup, molasses, chicken tenders. If you cut your calories back, you’re going to lose weight. But the diets can be very unsafe. And they also tend to not work in the long term, because people can’t stay on them very well.”—Psychologist Kelly Brownell on dieting.
“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is now, by far, the largest funder of work in this country on childhood obesity. They’re spending $100 million a year on the problem. The food industry spends that amount every year by Jan. 4, just marketing junk food – just to children.”—Psychologist Kelly Brownell on how food companies market junk food to kids.
What was the best thing that happened to you this week?
It’s Friday, Internet. You know what that means: What was the best thing that happened to you this week?
I’ll start: This week was really tough. I had to write several obits and had a lot on my plate. So I took yesterday off as a personal day. Got a haircut, went shopping, volunteered, ate some donuts, worked out. It was awesome and relaxing and exactly what I needed. You?