(You normally shouldn't see this. Dang.) Cafe Scientifique Orlando is a gathering of scientifically-inclined people in Central Florida, who meet at a cafe, coffee house, pub, or nonacademic location to discuss events and ideas in the world of science. We enjoy beer and wine, and we use plain language to talk about extraordinary ideas.
More than any other time in our evolutionary history, much of the world’s population is living in environments of food abundance in which it is impossible to perceive or impute the caloric density of the foods we eat. Visual food cues are everywhere in obesogenic environments and these catalyze reflexive cognitive, physiological and behavioral responses leading to a desire to eat and food intake. Over the last 2 decades, there has been an increasing norm for larger portion sizes which are not detected by visceral feedback and size alone is a poor measure of the caloric density of foods. Many modernizing trends distance people from food production, preservation, packaging and preparation so that traditional cues involving these activities by which energy density, or some proxy, might be inferred are no longer experienced. Furthermore, food technology and marketing have led to a wide range of deceptions regarding the caloric density of food by reducing fiber and water content and adding excessive amounts of fat and sugar. We cannot trust either vision or taste to detect caloric content. For example, diet beverages use non-caloric sweeteners and fat-free pastries may have nearly the same mouth-feel and caloric content as the standard preparation. Increasing the visibility of calories is one approach to potentially decreasing food intake and curbing the obesity pandemic. One suggestion is to use the universal traffic color code with red for high, yellow for medium and green for low caloric densities. Examples of this approach in the UK and Australia will be discussed and a new symbol “Cal” will be introduced.
Leslie Sue Lieberman, Ph.D., is a biomedical anthropologist and the founding Director of the Women’s Research Center, Emerita Professor of Anthropology (June 2011) and Courtesy Professor of Medical Education at the University of Central Florida. She currently holds a position as a European Union Visiting Scholar. She is a founding member of the Orlando Cafe Scientifique. Most of her research is centered on obesity and diabetes among US minority populations. She is the former President of the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition and the Biological Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association, both the UCF and UF Chapters of Sigma Xi, the Florida Academy of Sciences and of the National Association of Academies of Science/AAAS. Her research and scientific activities have been supported by NIH, NSF, HRSA, NIMH and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Diabetes Research and Education Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Florida Humanities Council, and private industry. She has co-authored or edited 11 books and published over 75 journal articles and book chapters and more than 200 other works: reports, reviews, and editorials.
Our next scheduled topic is…
Kardeshev classified civilizations in terms of energy: a Type-I civilization is one that uses all the energy of a single planet, a Type-II uses all the energy of a single solar system, and a Type-III uses all the energy of a single galaxy. These energy levels represent barriers in the sense that we cannot grow a civilization beyond those levels unless we make radical changes in the very nature of the civilization. For example, at the limit of a Type-I civilization, we suddenly discover that we must bring the rest of the solar system into our economic sphere. Unfortunately, the distances between the space resources and the Earth are vast, the transportation costs are high, the environment is harsh for human bodies, and the technologies that are needed to accomplish this have not been developed for any prior economic purpose. Compared to expanding across the globe, even across the oceans, it is much more difficult to expand across interplanetary space. Thus, the Kardeshev classification represents natural barriers that we will hit, waypoints in civilization that require unusual sacrifices, new investments, and extraordinary political will. Business-as-usual driven by the familiar forces of economics will not work — by definition — when we reach one of these barriers. This puts humanity’s global challenges into the correct historic perspective as well as suggesting how they must be addressed. We are presently concerned about global warming, peak oil, resource depletion in general, overpopulation, resource wars, and so on. Rather than thinking of these as separate problems, we should recognize them as elements of the first Kardeshev barrier. If we want to address any of these global challenges effectively, we need to recognize them for what they are and address the basic problem behind them. We need to bring the solar system into Earth’s economic sphere. This talk will discuss the challenges and provide a strategy for getting over the first barrier affordably within our generation. This strategy incorporates the OASIS concept developed by this year’s International Space University plus the Affordable Rapid Bootstrapping concept for lunar and asteroid industry, developed by the speaker.
Philip T. Metzger, Ph.D. works at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as the lead research physicist and founder of the Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations (GMRO) Lab, part of the Surface Systems Swamp Works.
Phil has worked in the space program since 1985. He was a part of the Space Shuttle launch team and later with the International Space Station Program testing and assembling spaceflight hardware. For the past 10 years, he has performed research and technology development for solar system exploration (Moon, Mars, asteroids, etc.).
He earned a B.S.E.(electrical engineering) from Auburn University in 1985, a M.S. in physics from the University of Central Florida in 2000, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Central Florida in 2005. His doctoral work focused on the theoretical statistical mechanics of granular materials with applications to the mechanics of lunar and planetary soils.
|Skulls of Our Ancestors||14 May, 2013 - 18:00||downtown library|
|After the Maya Apocalypse||1 May, 2013 - 19:00||Taste|
|Nanotechnology Is Already Here||3 April, 2013 - 19:00||Taste|
|New National Wildlife Refuge||6 March, 2013 - 19:00||Taste|
|Teamwork||6 February, 2013 - 19:00||Taste|
|Asteroids, Water, and Life on Earth||9 January, 2013 - 19:00||Taste|
|Poor and Homeless in Florida||5 December, 2012 - 19:00||Taste|
|Seeing cancer before it's too late||7 November, 2012 - 19:00||Taste|
|Marine Ecosystems In Peril||3 October, 2012 - 19:00||Taste|
|A Theory of Everything||5 September, 2012 - 19:00||Taste|
|Digital Ethnography||1 August, 2012 - 19:00||Taste|
|Mastodons in Daytona||6 June, 2012 - 19:00||Taste|