Tagged: food

Gratitude, in the style of a 4-year old

Yes, Thanksgiving was last week. But in my house, we didn’t do the big turkey dinner… instead we did three days of renovations and reorganization in our house. My father-in-law moved out on the Friday, and by Monday afternoon, we’d ripped out carpets in two rooms (and by carpets, I mean three layers of carpet and two layers of ANCIENT lino), moved our entire bedroom upstairs, and we both had functional offices again. We’re still putting the last few items in their new homes, but our house is so much more awesome now. Plus we finally get to live alone. Just my husband and me. And the odd spider.

Things are good… the first month of being 30 wasn’t as awesome as I would have hoped. Living situation stress, school stress, personal stress… But my PhD is finally getting off the ground, Big N and I get to finally set up our own household (and have way more space than we deserve), I’ve been getting needed sleep and exercise, and  things are generally looking up. In fact, today in my kitchen, I did my own little daily affirmation, in the style of the oh-so-adorable Jessica.

No, there is no video of my version. But here is a list of things I love today.

I love my husband.

I love my sister.

I love my  mom.

I love my friends.

I love my house.

I love my office.

I love my neighbourhood.

I love my dance community.

I love my community centre (yay for pools and random conversations in steam rooms LOL).

I love my backyard.

I love my cozy sweaters.

I love my music collection.

I love my books.

I love breakfast (proof below).

I can make tasty food.

I can get my simulations to run properly.

I can keep my house clean.

I would (like Jessica) love my haircut, except that I haven’t had one in 8 months. But I have one tomorrow! YES. Then hopefully I can add “I love my fabulous haircut” to the list. 🙂

Speaking of breakfast, check out the happy face that appeared in my (slightly overcooked) egg this morning? 😀

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Genetically modified fish or lack of statistical sense: which is scarier?

So I’m a statistician. It is my profession, and it is also the framework in which I view the world (which is why it is my profession). And so I read blogs about statistics. I was reading the very awesome Numbers Rule Your World, and lo and behold, Kaiser is talking about an article that appeared in the Washington Post a week ago. The subject? The recent FDA ruling that genetically  modified salmon is not “materially different” from natural (ie. genetically unsullied) salmon. WTF does THAT mean? Their GENES are different, no?

FDA scientists are putting forth that according to their standards (that are not documented anywhere I can see), GM and non-GM salmon are indistinguishable.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/18/AR2010091803520.html?hpid=topnews

The statistical side to this question is whether or not it is possible to prove that two things are identical. We often show that things are not significantly different, but that is quite a different thing than stating that they are exactly the same.

In the case of freaky fish, it is quite reasonable to assume that in certain metrics, GM and non-GM salmon are indistinguishable (they might have the same colour or fat content or density). However, we can only make these conclusions about quantities we’re actually measuring. As of yet, we have no idea what possible long-term effects eating GM fish (or other GM food) is. Because we haven’t measured them.

Statistical quandries aside, I’ll be watching with great interest to see what the future holds for both genetically modified foods, and for food labelling in general. GM foods kinda give me the creeps. Perhaps they are totally inocuous and could help solve some of our food supply issues. Maybe they’ll crawl up in our cells and start messing with our DNA. I don’t know… and I’m not sure anybody else knows what the long-term effects will be.

So into the box goes the article, along with a lot of questions about what we’ll be eating when I read it again in 30 years!