Food Open Thread: Chocolate Is Magic! (Maple Syrup Might Be, Too)

Happy dietary news, for once. The Washington Post reports on “The magical thing eating chocolate does to your brain”:

In the mid 1970s, psychologist Merrill Elias began tracking the cognitive abilities of more than a thousand people in the state of New York. The goal was fairly specific: to observe the relationship between people’s blood pressure and brain performance. And for decades he did just that, eventually expanding the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (MSLS) to observe other cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, obesity, and smoking…

“We found that people who eat chocolate at least once a week tend to perform better cognitively,” said Elias. “It’s significant—it touches a number of cognitive domains.”

The findings, chronicled in a new study published last month, come largely thanks to the interest of Georgina Crichton, a nutrition researcher at the University of South Australia, who led the analysis. Others had previously shown that eating chocolate correlated with various positive health outcomes, but few had explored the treat’s effect on the brain and behavior, and even fewer had observed the effect of habitual chocolate consumption. This, Crichton knew, was a unique opportunity…

In the first of two analyses, Crichton, along with Elias and Ala’a Alkerwi, an epidemiologist at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, compared the mean scores on various cognitive tests of participants who reported eating chocolate less than once a week and those who reported eating it at least once a week. They found “significant positive associations” between chocolate intake and cognitive performance, associations which held even after adjusting for various variables that might have skewed the results, including age, education, cardiovascular risk factors, and dietary habits.

In scientific terms, eating chocolate was significantly associated with superior “visual-spatial memory and [organization], working memory, scanning and tracking, abstract reasoning, and the mini-mental state examination.”…

And Canadians are thrilled to announce another ‘miracle food’, per the Global News:

In preliminary laboratory-based Alzheimer’s disease studies…extracts of maple syrup from Canada showed neuroprotective effects, similar to resveratrol, a compound found in red wine,” Dr. Navindra Seeram said…

Seeram, along with Toronto’s Dr. Donald Weaver, were among about two dozen scientists who presented findings on natural products and how they could fight neurodegenerative diseases at an annual American Chemical Society meeting this week.

In Weaver’s research, he found that an extract in maple syrup could stop the clumping of proteins in brain cells, specifically tau peptides. A buildup of tau proteins has been tied to brain disease in athletes in the past few years.

In other studies presented at the symposium, doctors found that an extract in pure maple syrup stopped the tangling of other proteins in the brains of rats. The same compound also helped with protecting the brain….

Of course, further studies, yadda yadda yadda. When the red wine drinkers raise your glasses, I shall return your toast with a generous chunk of dark chocolate-dipped maple candy!

94 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I will adjust fire accordingly and do this week’s recipes tomorrow night. You have less than 24 hours to prepare yourselves…

    That is all.

  2. 2
    James E Powell says:

    Pancakes are brain food!

  3. 3
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    That’s NOW, AL. Tomorrow chocolate will be the thing that’s killing us.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @James E Powell: Tomorrow night’s recipe just became dark chocolate chip pancakes with maple syrup.

  5. 5
    Wag says:

    My wife’s chocolate chip waffles with maple syrup are just the ticket. I’ll add some blueberries for good measure.

    And good strong black coffee.

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Maple syrup may taste sweet, and certainly seems wholesome in a Currier & Ives sort of way, but it’s a cut-throat business.

  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    I love chocolate 🍫
    Sigh.

  8. 8
    LAO says:

    So the dark chocolate, maple sugar candied bacon bark I just made is healthy? Wow. I like science.

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: I don’t know if you saw it, but that hand written law suit filed by the Kalamazoo mass shooter/murderer turned out to be a hoax. It was mailed from Philadelphia.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Anya says:

    Lately, I’ve been watching few minutes of CNN every night and I’ve noticed something very strange. CNN books guest commentators from conspiracy sites like Breitbart and NewsMax opposite ‘liberal’ pudits like Bob Beckel. I find it strange that popular liberal bloggers never show up on these shows but they have regular guests from rightwing conspiracy sites.

  12. 12
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: watched any DD yet?

  13. 13
    jl says:

    I’ve always believed in maple syrup. They laughed at me but now I am vindicated.

  14. 14
    Jane2 says:

    Red wine *and* chocolate here…I can’t stand my own fab health and brilliance.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: thanks. That makes more sense. He’s crazy but not bat shit crazy. Good to know.

  17. 17
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Anya: That puts the mythical center somewhere around Pat Buchanan, which I believe is the point.

  18. 18
    Miss Bianca says:

    *Reacting to food news in best Beavis voice*

    Magic wine and chocolate. Well…DUH…

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anya: Its a combination of a pre-defensive crouch and the fact that the reporters, editors, and most importantly the producers and executives aren’t really liberal or moderate.

    True story: I know one of the CNN producers, he was (don’t know if he still is) Blitzer’s producer. I was sitting twenty feet from him when he told the group of people that came to hear him talk that he was standing there, just off camera, when VP Gore told Wolf that “he had invented the Internet”. I took my iPhone out, brought up the actual clip on youtube, and asked him in the Q&A if he wanted to correct his statement because I had the video cued up and I would be happy to play it for the entire room. He immediately went to the next question.

    This is the same channel that allowed Frances Townsend sush Admiral Inman the former National Security Advisor and then proceed to just talk over him and cut him off back in 2004. He was too much a gentleman to say anything or cut her off to finish making his point.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: No, I have not played any Dungeons or Dragons since I was 11 and I have not watched any either since the Saturday morning cartoon went off the air.

  21. 21
    Mike in NC says:

    When I was a kid we used to get these godawful maple syrup candies in NH and Maine, made in Canada. I think the same thing goes in the New Orleans area with pralines. Sugar overdose.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Whoever sent it in did a very good job of faking bat shit crazy.

  23. 23
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: make me spell it out. Daredevil. I miss Wilson Fiske. ☹️

  24. 24
    Anya says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: You’re right. I think Beckel is even more conservative than some of the actual conservatives. I waited for him to say a single thing that sounds like a liberal view point and I am still waiting.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: I have not. I haven’t seen Season 1 yet either.

  26. 26
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    I’m volunteering for further research on the mental health benefits of chocolate, coffee, and/or chocolate espresso beans.

  27. 27
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: oh, ok. I find myself surprised.

  28. 28
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Jane2: Drinking red wine is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes according to the last food science bullshit.

  29. 29
    Joel says:

    similar to resveratrol

    so in other words, no effects.

  30. 30
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Anya: Recognizing that is small progress. Back in the day Beckel was a “flaming liberal” on CNN’s Crossfire. It kind of smarts a little to realize that TPTB were just normalizing conservatism.

  31. 31
    Jane2 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I avoided that publication, and went with the one with the “study” that said I’d lose weight and live longer. Who can argue with science?

  32. 32
    Anya says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What a dishonest asshole.

    Do you think we have a role in this? Maybe liberals not making a noise and writing million books about how the media is owned and operated for conservatives and by conservatives is the reason this continues? Why aren’t we making a stink over this blatant bias?

  33. 33
    benw says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: great! We’ll start by having you drink a gallon of coffee and eat 10 lbs of chocolate every hour, gradually increasing the dosage. Then we document when and how you go nuts. Also, for some reason, we need to shave your head. Do you mind serious electrical shocks? Sign and date the waiver on the bottom page. Do you have any allergies we need to know about?

  34. 34
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Jane2: Every glass of red wine is like an hour in the gym.

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: I’m not really into Marvel. And I don’t have Netflix. Since the only one of the Marvel characters coming to/at Netflix is Daredevil that I’d be interested in seeing, I don’t find it worth it to pay for the service.

    I watch the movies, but the only ones that I’m really into are the Captain America franchise and the Avengers one. Thor’s been okay, but it was never a character I followed. The Iron Man movies have been so-so. Robert Downey Jr has been excellent, but I was never an Iron Man fan. I’ve enjoyed them for what they are, and that they’ve been able to actually credibly adapt the comic books, but I’m not really invested in the characters. If they’re able to actually work out an agreement to spin off a Mark Ruffalo Hulk series I’ll be interested. I’ll go see the next wave with Dr. Strange and Black Panther and eventually Marvel’s Captain Marvel, but I’ve never read those comics other than an issue here or there.

    The DC movies have their own issues. I didn’t think they did too bad a job with Man of Steel, but I’m not really a Zach Snyder fan. I’m hoping the forthcoming one is enjoyable and then he gets replaced as they move onto other writers and directors for the Justice League and various other DC movies. I’m looking forward to the Wonder Woman movie – it would be nice to finally see them do justice to that character in movie format.

    I’ve read far more of the DC comics since I was a kid than the Marvel. There was just something about Silver Age DC that appealed to me much more than the Marvel Comics of the 70s and 80s. As I’ve mentioned before the only Marvel Comics I regularly read where the X-Men and some of the spin off mutant titles, the Hulk, and She-Hulk.

  36. 36
    Andy says:

    This is all you need to know about the Trump….https://youtu.be/1w7OgIMMRc4

  37. 37
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @benw:

    We’ll start by having you drink a gallon of coffee and eat 10 lbs of chocolate every hour, gradually increasing the dosage.

    But that’s my baseline coffee consumption already.

    Then we document when and how you go nuts.

    Do you control for the fact that I work with lawyers?

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anya: I’m not really sure what can be done. There are lots of voices making this point, but the news media are the ones doing the official reporting, so if they ignore it then it really doesn’t exist. And they really don’t want any voices, no matter how accurate, that contradict what they’re selling.

    I used to know, as in the guy used to be, the retired Green Beret who was CNN’s National Security Advisor and Analyst. The advising part was on what to report, how to approach it, etc. Several times he tried to get them to put me on the air, to the point where I’d get emails from him stating: don’t go anywhere a producer will call shortly and arrange when they want you on and how they’re going to get you to the studio. I’ve never gotten one of those calls and its 12 years later. And I’ve done plenty of media: NPR, PRI-The World, Florida Public Radio, Philadelphia Public Radio, several major news papers, public television newscasts, etc. My takeaway was CNN didn’t want to risk someone screwing up the narrative and story they were developing and telling by bringing someone on that wouldn’t necessarily be on their script.

  39. 39
    seaboogie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:Nope – Greek yogurt parfaits, layered with blood orange slices* (if they are still in season), maple syrup and dark chocolate shavings. Health food all the way around!

    *Substitute any seasonal fruit or berry that works….

  40. 40
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: fair enough. I’ve already established my affinity for Daredevil and I love Netflix in general because I’m not a big tv watcher, so now I get to watch all the shows everyone raved about.

    Growing up my dad was a big DC comic fan and I remember him reading us Superman comics as a kid. (He still does it with his grandchildren). But I’m not really a comic book fan, in general.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: The clips I’ve seen of DD have been excellent. I’m hoping, eventually, they’ll migrate someplace where I can see them. I watch a lot of stuff on Amazon Prime while I’m on the cardio machines at the gym. If I have to watch the cable news channels I start screaming at the TVs, which scares the other people in the gym.

  42. 42
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Anya: The bigger issue is how we transcend party labels to what is actually liberal and what is conservative. It’s no secret that America’s conservative and liberal labels are what most of the first world just calls conservative. Beckel would likely bristle at being called a conservative. He would prolly recount some life stories about fighting for this liberal right or that liberal right. And he would probably be correct. But our economic politics in America is completely defined by whatever conservatives believe and that needs to change.

    ETA: I read your follow-on comments and we’re on the same page.

  43. 43
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    I have been busy watching Bixby be ruled by a 6.4 lb six month old terrier/dachshund mix. We actually had to put her in a time out because she was chasing Bixby down the hall over and over. He LOVED it, we were just over her sharp little bark while she did it.

    My house is going to seem sooo boring to him when we get back.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Did you get my email?

  45. 45
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: funny story. I’m on a treadmill watching season 2 of House of Cards on my iPad when a shocking event occurs ( I won’t say but I assume everyone knows what I’m talking about). I go flying off the treadmill. People come running over to see if I’m ok and ask what happened. I tell them, everyone starts laughing cause they know the scene. Needless to say, I no longer watch HOC at the gym.

    Nothing was hurt but my pride.

    ETA: DD is really good

  46. 46
    benw says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: It’s important to establish a baseline.

    Do you control for the fact that I work with lawyers?

    Sure. We’ll force-feed coffee and chocolate to people who don’t work with lawyers as a control sample. Any difference between when you and the control sample loses their minds will be a systematic error. We also plan on force-feeding and administering electrical shocks to the lawyers, but that’s just for fun.

  47. 47
    satby says:

    Real maple syrup is the bomb, since I like a strong maple flavor I use the B grade. It’s cheaper too.

    In the not healthy department, I took the girls to an Irish pub yesterday where they enjoyed shepherds pie, Irish music, and Irish dancers. But we’re a bit stunned by all the crowds dressed in green.

  48. 48
    PurpleGirl says:

    Re: Chocolate: It’s one of the main food groups. I thought everyone knew that.

    When kittens are nursing and whapping each other to get to one favorite nipple, cam watchers say they are looking for the nipple with the chocolate milk. Even other species know that chocolate milk is important.

  49. 49
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    We also plan on force-feeding and administering electrical shocks to the lawyers, but that’s just for fun.

    Cool. But they only get that white “chocolate,” not the real stuff, right?

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: the week after I got back from Iraq I’m at the gym on Sunday. They’ve got some gasbag on going on and on about what was happening in Central Iraq – a place he’d not been and what he’d been saying was incorrect. I started yelling at him on the TV without realizing it and scared a senior citizen (I live in the foyer to G-d’s Waiting Room) off the treadmill. Its funny now. At the time I was worried I might get charged with assault and battery. And since I had just come home, and I’d been deployed with a tank brigade, every other word was probably “fuck”.

  51. 51
    Anya says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Depressing but you’re probably right.

    Thanks, Adam for the thoughtful response.

  52. 52

    When the red wine drinkers raise your glasses, I shall return your toast with a generous chunk of dark chocolate-dipped maple candy!

    Well now that’s a plan. Just gotta find a way to carry those around everywhere..:

    (Speaking of which, 500 hours and counting :)

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @satby: Did they have to split an Irish Dancer or where they small enough for each of them to have their own?

  54. 54
    seaboogie says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Sorry – didn’t really mean “Nope” in my alt choco-maple syrup recipe, coming down from a day long anxiety attack. Better choice would have been “And another idea is…”

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anya: Everyone thinks the era of Murrow and Cronkite are the norm for media, but they were really an aberration. Once the Fairness Doctrine was done away with, we went back to the historic norm: a corporate owned and controlled media that functioned to promote the best interests of the corporations that owned and controlled it. Until you can break this, and even more that we have six companies that own almost all of our news media, we’re stuck with what we’re stuck with. I have a good friend who is a mass comm and journalism professor. At least twice a year I do guest seminars for her graduate seminar by Facetime. I always emphasize this point.

  56. 56
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Just checked my email. Can’t wait to see what you post. Tomorrow is smoked brisket here. I may have to take photos and post when I’m back to food posting.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @seaboogie: didn’t bother me at all. Sorry to read you’ve been stressed. I’m not actually sure what I’m going to do recipe wise.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    benw says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: For sure. We don’t waste the good stuff.

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TaMara (BHF): I can’t wait to see what I post either…

  61. 61
    LAO says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: hey, now, I’ll submit to the electric shock treatments but I draw the line at white chocolate.

  62. 62
    mclaren says:

    The red wine studies turned to be junk science, so it doesn’t take a mastermind to predict that this chocolate study will get debunked as well.

    http://www.livescience.com/455.....espan.html

    As a vicious dead-ender who fell into careless habits of accuracy, then slid little by little into common sense and logic and finally disappeared into a hopeless morass of evidence and observable facts, there’s no hope for me.

  63. 63
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think it’s bigger than that, and smaller too. The people getting these jobs in our media industrial complex aren’t up-from-nothing nobodies. They are the pampered offspring of our elite class, sorta like They Live, but not aliens. They are mostly immune from the realities faced by 80% of America.

    On the smaller side, we won’t hold our supposed advocates accountable. Where was the grassroots pushback on TPP? We didn’t want to hurt one of our own so we stood down.

  64. 64
    NotMax says:

    Maple bacon flavored chips are pretty sucky.

    Have a recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts with a maple syrup glaze that are out of this world.

  65. 65

    @mclaren: ehh, there’s still some good stuff in there. Of course, the same can be said of grape juice. Ah, whatever, oxidation doesn’t cause aging anyway.

  66. 66
    satby says:

    @Adam L Silverman: There were two, one for each. I think the girls thought they were a little bland.

  67. 67
    Mike J says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Once the Fairness Doctrine was done away with, we went back to the historic norm: a corporate owned and controlled media that functioned to promote the best interests of the corporations that owned and controlled it.

    I went to j-school while the fairness doctrine was still in force, and it went away while I was a board op. Some people still acted as if it were in force for several years before they learned the new way of doing things. The new way was always that liberals control the media, therefore we should be as far right as we can be to counter that.

  68. 68
    Anya says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Aside from Hulk, Marvel heroes annoy me. They are bunch of Mary-Sues. They’re so noble and good. Personally, I like DC heroes. I discovered comics when I was 10-years old. My great uncle is huge collector and he was partial to DC comics.

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @satby: Given its Irish food they were probably boiled.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: Thanks for the info. It is always nice to know that one’s inferences are correct.

  71. 71
    mclaren says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Everyone thinks the era of Murrow and Cronkite are the norm for media, but they were really an aberration. Once the Fairness Doctrine was done away with, we went back to the historic norm: a corporate owned and controlled media that functioned to promote the best interests of the corporations that owned and controlled it.

    Here Adam parrots one of the most pernicious canards of modern liberalism: “It’s always been this way.”

    Utterly and provably false.

    Case in point: the liberal claim that “police violence has always been this bad.” No, quite the contrary — recent studies show that police violence spiked exponentially in 1995. And why did police violence spike in 1995? Because of the vile myth of the superpredator promulgated by academics Diulio and Fox.

    http://www.eji.org/node/893

    Another case in point: When we look backward, we see not corporate media, but newspapers owned and controlled by individual millionaires. So the Hearst Syndicate had one set of priorities (starting foreign wars to expand America’s empire, promoting white supremacy, etc.), while McClure’s Magazine which employed muckraker Ida Tarbell had a radically different agenda of busting the giant trusts of the era and taking down John D. Rockefeller, at that time the richest man in America.

    Conflating McClure’s with the Hearst papers is just wrong. And claiming that the normal mode of operation for newspapers and magazines in the early 20th and throughout the 19th century was to support corporate power completely flies in the face of the facts. Some magazines and papers in the 19th and 20th century did, others were intensely socialist or Fabian periodicals that pushed a socialist agenda and fought the corporations.

    Moreover, right up until the mid 20th century, each city in America typically had at least two or three competing newspapers. So the present era of giant corporate media monopolies that have gobbled up all the papers in every city so that now even two different newspapers in a given U.S. city are typically owned by the same media conglomerate is something entirely new. This has only emerged in the last 40 years. Before that, America had a rich thriving ecosystem with hundreds of competing newspapers — some owned by corporations, but most owned by individual millionaires with their own eccentric political or social agendas.

    Maybe Silverman is thinking of the late 18th and early 19th century in America, when basically anyone with some cash could set up a printing press and start spewing out broadsheets full of crazy libels. The lies and smears got so outrageous and so bizarre by 1798 that John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts outlawing ‘seditious libel.’ If memory serves, broadsheets were accusing Adams of fathering illegitimate children and having a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” Meanwhile, Adams’ campaign operatives accused Thomas Jefferson of being “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.” Karl Rove would’ve gotten the vapors and Lee Atwater would’ve fainted.

    But the era of broadsheets wasn’t corporate. Until the mid-19th century, newspapers in America were mostly run by individuals, not large corporations. Corporate conglomerates only came into vogue in the late 19th century.

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anya: I’m really not hip to the lingo, so I’ll take your word about them being Mary-Sue’s. Whatever the reason I just didn’t find the stories or the characters compelling.

  73. 73
    satby says:

    I keep wishing I could get my son to read these comic book threads. He’s a huge collector and used to do YouTube reviews for a store in Chicago, Alternate Reality. He can follow all these convoluted histories, and then he could explain them to me.

  74. 74
    Mike J says:

    Blog favorite Ta-Nehisi Coates has to be happy:

    Marvel Comics’ “Black Panther” #1 has already cracked the 300,000 mark in sales the publisher announced today at C2E2’s retailer breakfast.

    Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s Kristallnacht hasn’t sold any yet.

  75. 75
    Anya says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I think we’re very meek. Maybe it’s because we’re oriented towards hearing all sides of the story, but somehow we never take the fight to them. Also, the supposed liberal millionaires are not interested in media. Why don’t we have a liberal media mogul? Why isn’t George Soros buying failed newspapers? I am not even sure if Soros is as liberal as the right claims but I keep hearing he funds liberal groups.

  76. 76
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Late Night Open Thread is up! I’m going to rub doggie bellies and rack out.

    Everyone have a lovely night.

  77. 77
    Andy says:

    @Aleta: These guys don’t get it….too much Harvard, Brown, and Stanford!

  78. 78
    Anya says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Technically, I should say they’re Marty-Stu, as in perfect to the point of being annoying. I think that’s why they’re not compelling.

  79. 79
    mclaren says:

    @Anya:

    Aside from Hulk, Marvel heroes annoy me. They are [a] bunch of Mary-Sues. They’re so noble and good. Personally, I like DC heroes. I discovered comics when I was 10-years old. My great uncle is huge collector and he was partial to DC comics.

    With respect, utterly untrue.

    Spiderman is a money-grubbing little punk. At one point he tries to join the Fantastic Four but demands money. Mr. Fantastic tells him to bug off.

    Tony Stark in the comics is a complete douche. He’s worse than Trump. Stark goes out of his way to piss off and mess over the other Marvel superheroes by inventing various technologies that nullify their powers. Plus, Stark is a chronic drunk. That’s a major point in some of the better Iron Man comics. The guy is a total debased alkie, he really hits bottom and does some crazy stuff in some of the comics. Just check out the Iron Man story “Demon in a Bottle” that’s all about Star’s massive alcoholism. Disney nixed that one fast, you won’t find a hint of any of this in the scrubbed-clean Disney version of Iron Man.

    Thor comes off as a swaggering punk. He’s great when battling other even bigger egomaniacs like Galactus, but Thor is utterly insufferable when he’s dealing with fellow Asgardians. The guy is a face begging to be bitch-slapped in most of the Thor comics, so a lot of the plots involve Thor getting his ass massively kicked — the better to give readers a vicarious thrill. Mjolnir saves his ass but Thor himself is typically unendurable.

    Professor Xavier is pretty noble and good, but in the comics Wolverine is a total scumbag and a lot of the rest of the X-Men are pretty rowdy and unscrupulous. That scene in the movie “X Men: First Class” when a young Professor Xavier approaches Hugh Jackman and Jackman tells him “Fvck off” before Xavier can even open his mouth is actually pretty accurate. That’s close to the comic book Wolverine. Not a nice guy. And much raunchier with the ladies in the original comics than in the movies.

    So it strikes me that you’ve got it backwards. Except for Batman, the DC comic heroes are the goody-two-shoes types. Most of the Marvel superheroes have got serious personal baggage and big issues in their past. People like the Black Widow and the Silver Surfer are outright murderers — in the case of the Surfer, he aided and abetted Galactus in genocidally destroying entire planets before he pissed off Galactus and got exiled to earth.

    The Disney movies have massively whitewashed the Marvel superheroes for PG-13 public consumption.

    I will grant you that the DC heroes generally have better villains than the Marvel lineup. Guys like Galactus and Apocalypse don’t hold a candle to the Joker.

  80. 80
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Anya: I think it’s because our side basically engages in People Magazine politics.

  81. 81
    Andy says:

    @mclaren: OMG! We are doomed! Doomed, I say!

  82. 82
    Andy says:

    @Aleta: Any chance we could change the world?

  83. 83
    Andy says:

    @Aleta: Any chance we could change the world?
    I have a degree in B/S in the field of crop management:Combine Operator.

  84. 84
    Anya says:

    @mclaren: I should’ve said Marvel movies. I haven’t read that many Marvel comics. I mainly know them through the Disneyfied version.

  85. 85
    Anya says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: We’re also too focused on tearing our own. We’re too quick to show why liberal ideas are not practical istead of, to borrow a cliché, moving the Overton window.

  86. 86
    kuvasz says:

    Woody Allen’s Sleeper predicted the importance of chocolate to one’s health, including red meat and smoking.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFJopF6WJNw&list=RDdFJopF6WJNw#t=8

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kuvasz:

    Somebody in a previous thread pointed out that the major risk factor for heart attacks seems to be living in an English-speaking country, specifically the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. Everyone else has “worse” diets in some way and yet their countries have lower heart attack rates.

    From what I’ve heard, the current consensus is that chocolate is good in moderation, lean red meat is good but cured red meat is bad, and smoking will fucking kill you. I have unfortunately had two demonstrations of that in my immediate family in the past five years and am extremely grateful that I never picked up the habit.

  88. 88
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Anya: I don’t put any stock in the overton window theory. Economically, we are living in conservative’s windowless tenement house.

    And I don’t think we are tearing our own down. We’re imagining that when we elect whomever our favorite candidate is at the moment, we’ve done our part and now we can just watch the show and cheer. Do you think corps and billionaires and vested interests in the status quo watch the show with us? Nope, after an election they kick it into high gear to lobby for and get what they want.

    Us little people say, “Our guy has this!”

    Because they recognize that politics is a means to an end, and we think it’s the end.

  89. 89
    Anne Laurie says:

    @LAO:

    So the dark chocolate, maple sugar candied bacon bark I just made is healthy?

    Just to be sure, maybe you ought to send me a batch!

  90. 90
    Aleta says:

    @Andy: Any chance we could change the world?

    We don’t have to get used to anything.

  91. 91
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    Yeah, ultra salty.

    And fried foods don’t play well with my insides anymore.

    Even so, these taste quite good, in moderation, and aren’t overly salted, should you happen upon them

  92. 92
    Aleta says:

    @NotMax: Can you be more exact?
    Roasted brussel sprouts are big here (and the dog tries for the steamed ones).
    The only issue lately with the roasted ones is they end up too oily sometimes.

  93. 93
    Marcia says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: But by then, it will be settled science that bacon and eggs make you less likely to be a food fascist.

  94. 94
    PghMike4 says:

    This is a vacuous result — who *doesn’t* eat chocolate at least once a week?! I’d guess only people too cognitively challenged to find a store that sells chocolate. So, of course, people who eat chocolate at least once a week appear brighter.

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