We all have things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
The above photo, taken by a news helicopter last night, and the accompanying news story about the worst holiday traffic jam in SoCal history made me realize that I have three more things to be thankful for than I was even aware of:
1. I’m not stuck in a car on “the 405,” breathing exhaust fumes and trapped forever in angry, soul-deadening gridlock.
2. I don’t have to drive to some faraway location this Thanksgiving. In fact, I may not need to drive at all.
3. I don’t live in southern California. Sorry, all you people out in LA and thereabouts: I just don’t see how you can stand the traffic. What passes for a traffic jam in Columbus would be viewed as a pretty good day on Golden State freeways.
It’s always rewarding when you learn that something you consume routinely and really enjoy turns out to have alleged health benefits.
So, being a long-time turophile (i.e., a cheese lover) I was pleased to learn that eating cheese apparently helps you to live longer. Tests on mice indicate that aged, runny, smelly cheeses — like blue cheese — contain a substance called spermidine that produces improved cardiac function. Then, when scientists studied a group of 800 Italians to see whether noshing on cheese seemed to have health benefits for humans, they found that the Italians who ate more cheese had lower blood pressure, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and a significantly lower risk of heart failure.
Of course, we could debate whether a group of 800 Italians is a sufficiently large control group, or whether you can effectively screen out the influence of other life activities to determine that cheese consumption is the specific cause of the better heart health results — but since I like the results of the study and it supports my cheese-eating habits, we’ll just say that laboratory mice and 800 Italians can’t be wrong.