Monday, February 1, 2021

Food for Thought: I Like Masculine Meals

I never doubted I preferred hamburgers to salads, but a new study by Scandinavian researchers has affirmed my culinary choices.

As reported in, the study found, “People with similar-length fingers were more likely to choose steak and burgers while those with longer index finger chose ‘feminine’ food,” like salad. The article provides an illustration of how to determine your food predilections and some of the science behind the calculation (

For those not familiar with, it is a British-based news site with a U.S. component, reputable enough to break many important political stories but tabloid enough to publish nonsensical quackery and gossip. In case you haven’t linked to the actual story of this study by Norwegian researchers, here’s an important fact to keep in mind.

The study involved “216 Chinese people, half of whom were women and half men, all with an average age of 27 years.” From that fact you may discern my skepticism with the validity of the findings. That being said, the article is a welcome diversion from the daily assault on our senses of COVID-19, Trump and Biden news.

Normally, I don’t read the comments section, but I fortuitously did. Here are a handful of them: 

“What a bunch of rubbish” (rubbish being a frequent comment)

“There are little green men on Mars….the moon is made of fromage & the pigs will fly south in winter….who writes this stuff????”

“When I see any government official my middle finger inexplicably extends. Then I want a burger and fries.”

“I have one hand like one picture and one like the other picture which is probably why I eat a balanced diet.”

“I’ve see some stupid ‘studies’ before (mostly on DM). But this one takes the cake. Or is it salad?”

“My stomach determines my next meal thank you very much.”

And my personal favorite: “My fingers always lead me to chocolate.”

Under the Wire: Gilda and I got in under the wire. For our COVID vaccines at the Fort Washington Avenue Armory, that is.

Just days after we received our first inoculation injection under the auspices of New York Presbyterian Hospital, the opportunity for non New York City residents to do so was curtailed. Appropriately so.

Though we are still permitted to receive our second shot at the armory on Lincoln’s birthday, the protocol going forward is that only NYC residents qualify for vaccinations there and that 60% should come from the surrounding neighborhood of mostly Caribbean, Latinx and Black residents.

Any fair minded person sitting in the infield of the armory would have recognized the need for such regulations. Gilda and I observed no one of color relieved to have begun the COVID immunity process. It seemed incongruous to us, especially since the pandemic had higher rates in such communities. 

Perhaps the time of our early afternoon visit was an anomaly. But conversations with a half dozen of our Westchester friends who similarly trekked down to the armory over a few days revealed a similar paucity of people of color.

Upon reflection it should not have surprised anyone. The online application process is cumbersome. It requires knowledge of how to use a computer and, equally important, access to a computer for many hours and infinite patience. Moreover, many residents of the neighborhood have jobs that do not afford the luxury of taking off for several hours around a time assigned by the vaccination web site. 

Aside from making distribution of the shots more equitable, vaccinating the most vulnerable segments of the population will help reduce the spread of the pandemic. 

As long as we’re on the subject of COVID, there have been incidents of airline passengers refusing to wear masks in flight. A recent United Air Lines trip from Tel Aviv to New York is an example (

One easy solution would be to permanently ban anyone from future flights if they don’t wear a mask. They should be placed on a FAA no flight list. Extreme? Yes, but necessary.

Out of the Past: Gilda and I spent part of Sunday reliving the past. Not our past. Rather, we experienced for an hour what it might have been like for empty nesters doing chores—in our cases, sewing—without the distraction of radio or television (yes, I do almost all my mending needs. My mother trained me). Earlier, we walked for 45 minutes, only our conversation and the wind occasionally breaking the silence.

It was quite nice. Mind you, I am not advocating for pre electronics age living. But a respite from checking emails, listening to NPR podcasts or watching Netflix or sports is a welcome change.

The House Just Shuttered: Snow from the upper roof just cascaded down onto the roof above the kitchen. 

At least this time we realized what the rumbling sound meant. Forty years ago in our first house, Gilda and I were startled by what sounded like a garage door opening. 

It was past 11 pm. Our first thoughts were that someone was trying to break into our home. I quickly put on pants and a jacket and grabbed a bat from my softball equipment bag. I ran outside to confront anyone who had dared invade our home. 

While I was doing my best impression of a protective homesteader, Gilda called the police who advised against anyone going outside lest the squad car sent to our room mistake me for the suspected intruder. Gilda quickly called down to me to get back inside, but by then I had figured out what made the noise. Snow had tumbled down from our slate roof. 

Just got back inside at 4:30 pm from my second snow blowing session of the day. Six inches each time. The forecast calls for snow through Tuesday morning. I am not a happy camper.