Being Fat No Longer #2

The CDC guidelines say that obesity is the #2 cause of death in America, right after smoking. But a new paper in JAMA suggests that this is not really the case, that it would be more appropriate to list it at #7 on the killer list, behind automobile accidents and gun deaths. The old number suggested that 365,000 deaths could be caused by too many pounds, the new figure: 25,814.

Link to the SFGate article:

Obesity Danger May Have Been Overstated

It may simply be that while many Americans are overweight, they are working better to manage their stress, cholesterol, blood pressure and are eating better foods. In such circumstances, being obese may be a great deal less harmful than previously imagined.

Link to the JAMA article:

JAMA — Excess Deaths Associated With Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity, April 20, 2005, Flegal et al. 293 (15): 1861

I’m enheartened. After all, anything which tells me that I’m likely to live a longer and healthier life is a good thing.

Brainwagon Radio: Blackjack, Hold’em and Gambling

Where your host expounds about his largely academic interest in games of chance.


::amazon(“0394703103”, “Beat the Dealer, by Ed Thorp”)::
The classic, pick up a copy and read on the flight to Vegas. You can and should read his Mathematics of Gambling as well, especially since it’s available online for free.
::amazon(“0929712137”, “The Theory of Blackjack by Peter Griffin”)::
Want to understand the mathematics behind card counting? This is the book to have, terrific for those of us with a largely academic interest in blackjack.
::amazon(“0743249992”, “Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich:”)::
The story of how a group of MIT students used team play to win millions from Vegas. I found it to be a pretty interesting look into a world that is probably best viewed from the outside.
::amazon(“1880685000”, “The Theory of Poker by Skylansky”)::
I was hoping for a book as good as Griffin’s is on blackjack. The book is good, but really doesn’t ground you in the mathematics you might think you need. It does teach you how to think about poker (and to some extent gambling), but I would almost take those as gimmes.

Relating FFTW and Split-Radix | Lambda the Ultimate

Two subjects I’m fairly interested in, metaprogramming and the Fast Fourier Transform, are combined in this paper from lambda the ultimate. Basically once they had identified a number of axioms, their system generated two different and well known versions of the code, one of which was identical to the number of FP operations in FFTW, a particularly good FFT implementation I’ve used before.

Basically just good geek stuff.