This yarn is pretty damn stiff until you wash it.

This yarn is pretty damn stiff until you wash it.

Consider, for example, this troublesome fact, reported in 2010 by the biostatistician David B Allison and his co-authors at the University of Alabama in Birmingham: over the past 20 years or more, as the American people were getting fatter, so were America’s marmosets. As were laboratory macaques, chimpanzees, vervet monkeys and mice, as well as domestic dogs, domestic cats, and domestic and feral rats from both rural and urban areas. In fact, the researchers examined records on those eight species and found that average weight for every one had increased. The marmosets gained an average of nine per cent per decade. Lab mice gained about 11 per cent per decade. Chimps, for some reason, are doing especially badly: their average body weight had risen 35 per cent per decade. Allison, who had been hearing about an unexplained rise in the average weight of lab animals, was nonetheless surprised by the consistency across so many species. ‘Virtually in every population of animals we looked at, that met our criteria, there was the same upward trend,’ he told me.

It isn’t hard to imagine that people who are eating more themselves are giving more to their spoiled pets, or leaving sweeter, fattier garbage for street cats and rodents. But such results don’t explain why the weight gain is also occurring in species that human beings don’t pamper, such as animals in labs, whose diets are strictly controlled. In fact, lab animals’ lives are so precisely watched and measured that the researchers can rule out accidental human influence: records show those creatures gained weight over decades without any significant change in their diet or activities.–“The Obesity Era” by David Berreby

The Dress and Some Questions

Here’s the dress:

dress 1

In what world is that for a newborn to three month old? Am I wrong? I feel like this is huge! Cute, but huge. Okay, but here are my questions for you parents. Check out the back and imagine dressing a baby in this. Should I sew up the purple part? This would mean that you’d have to put the dress over the baby’s head. Does that seem doable? Or should I put buttons up the whole back? Okay, now let’s talk about being a baby. Am I wrong to think that most buttons are going to be uncomfortable for someone who lies on her back all day. Any recommendations for what kinds of buttons are best for babies?

dress 2