Posts Tagged by my $0.02
|January 25, 2011||Posted by Lauren under Health News|
Rhode Island may be the smallest sized state in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our fair share of accomplishments. Not only does our little state have the longest name (The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations), but it was the first place in the US where polo was played, is home to the world’s largest bug, has the oldest village in New England (Pawtuxet Village), hosted the first open gulf tournament, and apparently never ratified the 18th Amendment…which, in case you’re wondering, was prohibition (I guess we Rhode Islanders love our booze a little too much).
Now it seems we have one more “accomplishment” to add to our name: Rhode Island has become the first state in all of New England to offer a convenience store drive-thru. Yep, you heard right. Cumberland Farms, your favorite gas station and convenience store, has decided to start offering drive-thrus to make our lives easier. The first one is being tested down in Kingston, Rhode Island, and the chain plans to add more by the summer.
Don’t they look so happy?
So the next time you need to pick up a drink and a roll of toilet paper on the way home, you shouldn’t worry — you can order them both right at the window, along with any of the store’s other 3,000 products!
“We’re not just in the convenience store business, we’re in the business of providing for the on-the-go customer,” said Ari Haseotes, president of the Framingham company.
That’s right — thanks to people like Ari Haseotes, us on-the-go Americans never have to get out of the car again! And it’s a good thing too, because time is money, and the less time you waste doing mundane tasks like walking around a store, the more money in your pocket. Right?
I just have to ask — how lazy can we get?? Seriously. Last I checked, convenience stores are pretty small. And I’m guessing they only take about 10 to 15 minutes to walk around, tops….and that’s if you walk really, really slow. Most times, you can glance around, identify the right aisle, grab what you need and get out of there in less than 5 minutes. Do we really need the extra few seconds that not having to leave our car will give us?
And even more importantly — do we really need another reason to sit? It seems to me like Americans are sitting pretty well. We sit in our cars to drive to work, we sit at our desk, we sit on the way home (with quick stops, of course, at McDonald’s drive-thru for dinner and Cumbys for a few household items…all the while still sitting) and then we sit on the couch. All. Night. Long. At the rate we’re going, we’ll never have to stand again!
As lovely as that may sound (standing is hard work, I know), our never-ending quest to make things more convenient isn’t exactly doing our health any good. We all know the stats: rates of obesity have increased dramatically over the last 20 years, roughly 30% of the population is obese (source), and this generation of children is the first that may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents (source). Not only is America’s weight problem threatening our lives, but it’s expensive too! Direct medical costs from obesity are in the billions of dollars.
So why, then, do we continue to shape the environment in ways that make it easier and easier for us to be unhealthy? And why are we letting our need for fast solutions and a company’s need for greater profits dictate the type of environment we live in? At some point, America needs a wake-up call. Because this Cumberland Farms idea isn’t just a drive-thru, and it’s not just a new and novel concept to make our lives easier. It represents another step in the wrong direction. A step away from encouraging people to get up and get moving. To walk for transportation, to slow down and enjoy life a little. And it represents a sad trend — where the fastest solution will always be the most profitable.
I’m sorry if you think the ability to order a few snacks and some toothpaste through a window without leaving your warm car on a cold winter day is pretty cool. I honestly find the whole thing a bit ridiculous. And it makes me wonder — where this will ever stop?
I’ve said my piece, now let’s hear yours! Is this drive-thru the epitome of our laziness? Or do you totally disagree, and think it’s the greatest thing since, well the invention of drive-thrus!
|January 16, 2011||Posted by Lauren under Marathon Training, Running|
I know you’re all very busy driving speedily to wherever you need to go, but seriously — I have a bone to pick with you. It’s about winter time, and your driving, and learning to share the road.
You see, I’m annoyed by all this snow too. Yeah, it was fun to have a snow day this week, but now it’s all frozen and dirty and there’s nowhere to run. The sidewalks have disappeared under over a foot of this frozen crap, and the shoulders are non-existent. Which means I either run laps around my neighborhood and slog my way through slippery slush, or I brave the traffic and run along the edge of the busier roads.
I suppose you probably expect that I just resign myself to running in place in a temperature controlled gym for hours on end. But as much as I can appreciate the treadmill, have you ever tried running on it for 2+ hours?? Honestly — it’s torture.
So you see dear driver, I’m kind of stuck here. I’m training for a marathon, which means I’ve committed to spending hours during my weekends to just run. I realize this may sound crazy, but I assure you I’m doing it for fun. What’s not fun however, is having to spend those hours battling you. I know you think I’m in your way, but I’m trying the best I can. I run as close to the invisible shoulder as humanly possible. I pay attention to you, because I realize that in our constant games of chicken, I always come out as the loser — jumping into a snowbank and watching you whiz by while up to my ankles in snow. Not only that, but I make sure to run in broad daylight so you can see me. Plus I’m running on Sunday (and could you please please explain to me where in the world you’re going in such a hurry on a Sunday?)
I know it must be annoying to have a moving barrier in your way. You’re in a hurry and you can’t really afford the extra split second it takes to get around me. I also realize that you’re having a hard time understanding what the heck I’m doing out there in the freezing cold chugging along with a big pack strapped to my back. But I have to tell you that glaring at me like I’m a public nuisance, or staring like I’m crazy isn’t helping the situation any. Because your wheel ultimately goes where your eyes go. Which means that while you’re giving me the stink eye, your car is moving closer and closer to my body.
I suppose I should probably thank you. Those extra boosts of adrenaline I’d get every time I’d feel the wind from your car breeze by definitely powered me through some speedy miles. But I can only handle this for so long. And ultimately, with my feet sopping wet from jumping into puddles, I end up resigning myself to the treadmill. Because I hate the feeling of being on high alert during an entire run, and would actually like to make it through in one piece.
Today, you won. But the winter is long, and I’m sure there will be more snow on the way. So I just have one simple request: could you please (with a cherry on top) move over just a tad?? I know you rule the road, but would it kill you to make a teeny bit of room for people who prefer to use their feet (or bike wheels) to get around? I know it’s a city and there’s a whole lot of you driving around, but I’d like to think there’s enough space for all of us.
Thanks in advance,
A Crazy Winter Runner
PS. Since we’re already talking about it…I know you might think that when you’re making a right-hand turn, you only need to glance to your left to make sure no other cars are coming along, but I’m here to tell you that you still have to look both ways. I can’t even count how many times I’ve almost gotten hit by you when you don’t actually look the direction that you’re going before turning directly into me.
|November 12, 2010||Posted by Lauren under Health News, Nutrition|
I’m sure by now you’ve all heard the story about the nutrition professor who ate only junk food for 10 weeks and managed to lose 27 pounds in the process. Referred to as the “twinkie diet” or the “convenience store diet,” Mark Haub ate less than 1,800 calories worth of hostess snacks per day (which amounted to about 1 twinkie every 3 hours), rounding out his diet with doritos, oreos, and, for good measure, a can of green beans or three to four celery stalks. At the end of the month, not only did he lose weight, but he also lowered his bad cholesterol (LDL) and upped the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
Sounds like the experiment was a huge success, right? Here is living proof that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It doesn’t matter what you eat. As long as you restrict your caloric intake and maintain a regular exercise regimen, you can eat whatever the heck you want and still lose weight. Great news for junk food enthusiasts everywhere!
Not so much. The problem with this situation is not the fact that he lost weight and improved his cholesterol by eating crap. The guy supposedly ate around 2,600 calories a day before starting the experiment (FDA recommends 2,000 for the average adult). Which means that he cut his calorie intake by at least 800 calories a day for 10 weeks. On top of that, he reports maintaining a regular exercise regimen, so was burning off a good chunk of those calories everyday. Basic math and science says that when calories in are less than calories out, weight loss will result. No big mystery there.
No, the problem with this situation is the message that it sends. Not only is Haub a professor of nutrition, but he conducted an experiment that basically perpetuates the warped thinking of our culture. Thinking that equates weight with health and glorifies extreme diets as a means to a weight loss end. In a society obsessed with quick fixes and easy solutions, what could be a better way to lose weight than eating sugar to your heart’s content?
Frankly the entire thing makes me sad. Regardless of Haub’s original intentions for this experiment, the reality is that the media is having a field day with it. Special interest groups are using this as fuel to their fires of opposition against public health officials (those evil people) who want to tax soda, ban junk food in schools, and do whatever they can to “control” the foods that people eat. Because really, why do all that when we have living proof that you can eat whatever you want in moderation? When even Twinkies, the epitome of all junk food, can help a person lose weight?
Ever since the results of this little experiment have been announced, I’ve seen things popping up all over the media that focus only on the fact that a man has lost weight by eating twinkies alone. Articles and tv personalities that bash public health efforts to regulate food in schools and help encourage more access to healthy food options.
Rush Limbaugh has been pretty vocal about his diet advice — and feelings about Michelle Obama
Articles such as this one in the Boston Herald that proclaim: Obesity Not by Twinkies Alone.
**It should be noted that this article was written by someone from the Center for Consumer Freedom, a coalition supported by restaurants & food companies.**
The article states:
“But in their extremes, they both prove the same point: Taking responsibility by watching what you eat and exercising is the best way to keep your weight down.
But responsibility is anathema to the cadre of public health busybodies, like the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has convinced legislators that food, not lack of self control or exercise, is responsible for obesity.”
”But no matter what food they’re in, calories are just energy. Weight gain or loss is due to an imbalance between calories in and calories out. And more and more evidence is pointing to increasingly sedentary lifestyles as a big, fat reason our waistlines have expanded.”
And finally concludes:
“The next time anti-food activists propose we limit or ban foods for the public good, we should remind them that there are no good or bad foods, but there are fat-headed notions of how to fight obesity.”
The obesity epidemic in America is no joke. More than 1/3 of US adults and 17% of children are obese (source). Obviously we need to find ways to help Americans lose weight in a safe and effective manner in order to improve the health and wellbeing of our nation. But to suggest that simply losing the pounds in whatever way possible automatically makes a person healthier is ludicrous. Weight is not the only indicator of health — obesity is a health risk because of all the conditions that are associated with it. Filling your body with sugar and processed chemicals may help you lose the pounds, but will it really result in good health over the long term?
Eating well is about more than just weight loss. When you eat well, you are fueling your body; giving it energy to enjoy all the many great things in life. An extreme diet may help you quickly lose weight, but what about other indicators of health? Diabetes and cancer, cavities and vitamin deficiencies. Or even the unknown long-term effects of loading your body entirely with chemicals for months? (To see a cool photography project that deconstructs the Twinkie into all its 37+ individual ingredients, click here).
Furthermore, there are many Americans that live in food deserts — places that don’t have affordable fresh whole foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc. Like Haub, they could live on the twinkie diet, and maybe even lose weight doing it. But unlike Haub, they don’t have the option to just drop the diet after a few months when they get sick of all the junk. The reality is that these individuals face a lifetime of poor access to nutritional foods. What sort of effect will this have on them over the course of many decades? And don’t we, as a nation — as fellow people — have a responsibility to do everything that we can to ensure that everyone has an equal chance to buy fresh foods for themselves and their families?
I think so. Personally, I’m thankful for Michelle Obama and other efforts to help improve access to healthy foods for all people. Because it’s my hope that one day I will live in a nation where every person has a fair chance to eat healthy foods and live an active life.
|October 12, 2010||Posted by Lauren under Misc|
After what has seemed like an eternity, I am finally back in the world of computers, electronic communication, blogging…and Macbooks. I have to say, that last one feels especially good.
But while I was gone, apparently the blogworld was turned upside-down and rocked with controversy over a certain article that appeared in a popular fashion magazine. I’m not going to link to the article because I’m sure most people have read it by now and honestly, I don’t actually want to drive any more traffic to their site. Suffice it to say that the piece was slanted, mean-spirited, and completely unproductive in the way that it was written. But, believe it or not, I don’t want to talk about that. Instead, I want to talk about The Aftermath, and the conversations that I wish I were seeing more of around the healthy living blogworld, now that emotions have died down and people are able to think more clearly.
This past week, I have been talking with Alex about our personal reactions to the Marie Claire article. Quite frankly, if you look beyond the hurt feelings and character attacks, the article does have a layer of truth. Not only that, but it brings up some pretty important points on blogger responsibility and the potential consequences of our words. So while there have been many posts and reactions to the article written already (some, I would argue, are much more productive than others), we’ve both decided to share our own thoughts on the issue. Not because we want to sound like a broken record, but rather to serve as a call to action to bloggers out there — no matter what your niche — to take a step back, reflect, and think about how this is an opportunity for growth. Alex has done a great job getting the conversation started with her post this morning. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to stop reading my blog (seriously!) and go over to I Eat Asphalt to read Part 1; then continue the conversation back here.
Experience = Expert?
The internet is a wonderful, crazy thing. Anyone can get behind a computer, start up a blog and share their experiences with the world. Reading and writing blogs can allow us to learn from the experiences of people just like us, form relationships, start great discussions, and get inspired. But blogging can have a dark side too. Because literally anyone can pass themselves off as an expert, regardless of their credentials. Whether a person writes with authority, appears to have a lot of experience with a certain issue, or is simply in a position of admiration due to the popularity of their site, their words can easily become seen as the truth. Unfortunately, whether intentional or not, this “truth” can sometimes be different from what experts recommend.
Now this is where the issue becomes tricky. Just because someone is a licensed, credentialed expert, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re always right. We all know that experts sometimes get it wrong, and even the best and brightest scientists don’t always agree. But does that mean they shouldn’t at least be consulted? That just because we have first-hand experience in something, we know just as much (if not more) than individuals who spend their lives researching in a particular field? Articles in peer-reviewed journals (like JAMA) and sites maintained by recognized experts such as CDC, ADA, and ASCM, undergo rigorous review before being published. These sites contain a lot of FREE health information…information where fact has been clearly separated from fiction, so the reader doesn’t have to sort it out for himself.
Now, I know the counter-argument to this. People don’t go to blogs for expert advice. People go to find out what works for real people; people just like them. And I would agree with that…to an extent. When you are successful with something — whether it be weight loss, running, or maintaining a well-balanced, healthy life — you become an expert in a reader’s eyes, particularly one with less experience than you. You know first-hand what it’s like to lose 100 pounds, run a marathon, or eat healthy on a budget. That experience is valuable, and people can certainly learn from it. That is one one of the great things about having a blog — it can be a wonderful way of sharing experiences and lessons learned with others. However, the danger comes when a person who has experience, but not the recognized expertise, passes off health-related information and advice as fact. I think we need to all be more careful about this. Even if you don’t mean for a reader to take your words as gospel, I strongly believe that there needs to be a better awareness that this can happen. And just saying “this is what worked for me” may not be enough. Comparing what you recommend with what the experts say (whether you agree or not), finding a recognized source to cite, or simply not posting information that is outside your area of expertise are all ways to avoid these issues from happening.
When Good Intentions Lead to Some Not-so-good Results
I’m not trying to imply that bloggers are maliciously sitting behind their computers, scheming up posts as a way to lead their minions readers astray. Obviously there are some pretty awful websites out there, but I believe that most individuals who blog within this niche are doing so with pure intentions, because they want to influence and inspire other individuals. But unfortunately, sometimes even the purest intentions can have negative consequences.
For example — I live in the tiny, proud state of Rhode Island. In our little state, all the hospitals operate under one system. Recently the RI hospital system adopted a smoke-free campus policy, which means that all hospitals in the state are completely, 100% smoke-free. No designated smoking rooms or little smoking huts outside. If you are on hospital property, you are not allowed to smoke. Period. It goes without saying that I think this is a wonderful policy. Hospitals should be leaders when it comes to health care, and not allowing patients and employees to smoke on campus sends a strong message about the dangers of smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke.
“So where is she going with this??” you ask. Well, I happen to live near one of these hospitals. In fact, it’s situated right, smack in the middle of my neighborhood. And everyday when I walk my pup, I see employees and patients outside smoking. Because if they cross the street, they are no longer on hospital property…and therefore allowed to smoke. But crossing the street also puts them right in front of someone’s house, where they often stand, smoke their cigarette, and throw the butt in the nearest yard. Not only are they exposing anyone who happens to be outside on that property to second-hand smoke, but they are also littering.
Does this mean that I think the policy should be abolished? That it’s doing more harm than good? Absolutely not. I realize that the overall benefit of not allowing smoking on/near a hospital greatly outweighs the little bit of harm that might have come as a result. But, I also believe that this doesn’t mean the hospital should look the other way, believing their duty to be done. Regardless of whether the hospital has already done something to discourage employees from smoking in/near people’s yards, it clearly could use some improvement. No, I don’t think the hospital can actually control individual behavior, and they certainly can’t force people to do something. But, when a policy that the hospital has created ends up creating another problem, I believe it is the hospital’s responsibility to look at that problem and work at improving it.
I think the same applies to the blogging world. Even if you didn’t mean for your words and actions to be interpreted in a certain way, it doesn’t mean you should feel completely removed from all responsibility when/if they are. I know we can’t control our readers, and everyone needs to be responsible for their own actions to a certain extent. But does individual responsibility mean that we can’t keep looking for ways to grow and improve? That we can’t apply just a little bit of self-reflection and admit that maybe we had a little part to play in the problem? I would argue that it does not. We can always work to improve ourselves — to be better people, better examples, better bloggers.
It is worth noting that I say all this with my own blog in mind. If the Marie Claire controversy has taught me anything, it’s as Alex said: blogger beware. I would hate for something that I wrote on this little blog of mine to be mis-interpreted, or to lead someone down a destructive path. But I’m human, and I’m sure I’ve made mistakes. Even though I have a graduate degree in public health, and many years of experience in competing in races and leading teams, there may have been times where I’ve given advice that I have no business writing. Or posted something because it’s second-nature to me without taking a step-back and realizing that just because it’s something I’ve always done, doesn’t mean it’s something actually recommended for most people. Personally, I am using this as an opportunity to reflect and make my blog better. Maybe it’s easy for me to say, since I wasn’t personally attacked in the article. But you tell me what you think is more productive — simply going on the defensive and focusing on how the blogging community was wrongly portrayed, or accepting responsibility that for all the good that comes from the blogging community, there is a potential for harm, and opening up an honest dialogue about what we can do to make sure that doesn’t happen.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about these posts in general, and about what responsible blogging actually looks like. I know both Alex and I have focused more on what we believe bloggers shouldn’t do, but what about the flip-side of the issue? Do you think there are (or should be) specific guidelines bloggers should abide by when they post? And how do we really make that divide between expert, and just experienced?
|September 10, 2010||Posted by Lauren under Nutrition|
Did you know? This week was Vegetarian Awareness Week! To be honest, I don’t really know what that means (was I supposed to give my non-vegetarian friends a speech about how great giving up meat can be?? Plaster signs on my cube? Or wear my No Meat Athlete shirt to work?), but I figure it’s as good a time as any to address all you meat-eaters out there. Because if it hasn’t happened already, there may come a time when you have to dine with/cook for/talk to your first vegetarian. And I know how overwhelming that can be. So to ease your fears and discomfort, here’s some basic words of wisdom to survive that first encounter*.
But first things first – we’ve gotta talk terminology. Most people who say they’re a vegetarian are what we call a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. These are people who don’t eat meat, but will eat eggs and dairy. Similarly, you may run across a lacto-vegetarian (someone who doesn’t eat meat or eggs but eats dairy) or an ovo-vegetarian (no meat or dairy, but does eat eggs).
Confused yet? Believe me, so are we! We don’t really like being put into all these boxes either. But we’re all human. And humans like to wrap things up into neat little boxes with a pretty little bow on top as a way to make sense of the world. So boxes is what we get.
Anyway, here are a few more terms for you:
- A Vegan does not eat any animal products – no meat, no cheese, dairy, or eggs. Vegans also avoid foods that have been made with animal-derived products (like the gelatin in jello and marshmallows), or foods that are made with any sort of animal product, even though they may not actually contain animal products in the end (some wines, beers, sugar, etc).
- A Pescatarian does not eat any type of meat except for fish.
- A Flexitarian doesn’t eat meat most of the time. This is also called semi-vegetarian, and basically means that the person considers himself mostly vegetarian, but still wants to be able to enjoy that delicious piece of chicken/Thanksgiving turkey/steak once in awhile.
So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are the answers to all your most burning questions – before you even ask them!
1.) No, vegetarians do not eat chicken. I don’t care how white or supposedly healthy it is, meat is meat is meat. Same goes for fish. If confused, please refer to definitions above.
2.) Making a dish that contains meat and then picking all the meat out before you serve it does not make it vegetarian. Just because I can’t see the meat, doesn’t mean it’s no longer there. This is also true for soups. Making a vegetable soup with chicken or beef stock means that the soup isn’t vegetarian, even if it doesn’t actually have chunks of meat in it.
3.) Vegetarians don’t get all picky about Numbers 1 and 2 above just to make your life more difficult. Honest. Besides the fact that we just don’t want to eat meat (for whatever reason) is the fact that eating it can actually make us sick. After awhile, your body stops being able to digest meat – and so when a vegetarian unknowingly eats some, it’s not such a pretty picture.
4.) Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice, not a religion. I follow the Gospel of Jesus, not the gospel of vegetables, thank you very much. I promise that we don’t all want to preach to you, judge you, or convert you to our abstaining ways. Believe it or not, my friends and boyfriend are still happily eating meat – and I’m fine with that. As a matter of fact, we co-exist quite peacefully. Now, if at some point during our relationship you approach me and tell me that you’re thinking of eating less meat, I’m not going to lie — I’ll be thrilled. In fact, at that point I’ll be so excited that I may or may not start talking really fast about all the benefits of going meat-free and all the fun, delicious things you can make. But you’ll have to forgive me for that.
5.) Because of #4, you don’t have to feel guilty when you eat meat in front of us. Go ahead, eat your steak. I promise I’m not shooting silent daggers at you as you chew. Most of us are just so happy we’ve found a delicious vegetarian option on the menu that we can’t stop thinking about it long enough to even focus on what you’re eating over there.
6.) You also don’t have to apologize for eating meat in front of us, or hide it from us because you think the very sight of it will make us sick. While I don’t particularly enjoy the look/smell of raw meat, I’m going to be honest with you – that bacon you’re eating actually smells pretty darn delicious. In fact, I may just lean over and breathe it in a few times if you don’t mind. But no, I don’t want to try it! I just want to experience the smell. Just like I inhale really deeply when I pass by a BBQ. Or if you found a really pretty flower or a delicious smelling candle. It’s not like meat becomes this repulsive thing the instant you decide to give it up. It’s just that after awhile, it stops being classified in your mind as something edible. Think of it as like a candle. You don’t want to eat it, you just want to appreciate it for its smell.
7.) Believe it or not, vegetarians tend to have pretty hearty appetites. We didn’t decide to give up eating good food, just meat. So that plate with lettuce and carrots that you’re calling a salad isn’t going to fill us up. Sorry, but we need substance in our meals too. Similarly, just because a dish is made from a bunch of vegetables that have been stewed together, it doesn’t mean we have to like it. Do you like every single dish that’s put in front of you just because it contains meat?
8.) Vegetarianism does not equal activism. Although some vegetarians (and vegans) use their food choices as a platform for activism, not all of us do. Giving up meat and being political don’t necessarily go hand in hand. So just like we’re not going to preach to you, we’re also not going to start picketing on your front lawn equipped with “Save the cows!” signs.
9.) I know you’re trying to make us a meal we can enjoy, but sometimes we actually feel more guilty if you go out of your way. I realize it can be overwhelming to cook vegetarian dinners. I get nervous when non-vegetarians are coming over and I need to make something everyone can enjoy. And I really do appreciate the effort. But if you’re coordinating a huge meal and I’m the only vegetarian guest, please do not make me a special dish, or fret that I don’t have anything to eat. To be honest, we’re sort of used to being flexible in these situations. And I know I said above that a bed of lettuce doesn’t make a meal, but if I have to make it work, I will. Just make sure you serve some bread and dessert with dinner and I’ll be a happy camper.
10.) All that being said, we sometimes may seem like walking contradictions. Food choices don’t always make sense. We may say we eat dairy, but then tell you we don’t drink milk. Or be totally okay with picking around meat in a dish. And you better believe that if there’s a campfire and you’re making s’mores, I’m going to want in, gelatin and all.
But aren’t we all walking contradictions in some way? I mean, we’re only human after all. And we’re doing the best we can.
*The fine print: I probably shouldn’t have to say this, but I will…just in case. This post is meant to be tongue-in-cheek and not to offend any of you carnivores out there. Obviously I know meat eater does not equal idiot. But I also didn’t just make these things up. Just sayin…