Monday, July 1, 2019

Learning about Russia this summer

We ended up traveling for most of the two weeks that was allotted to learning about Russia this summer and so spent less time learning about it than I would have liked. We did watch a couple of movies about Russia and have a Russia-themed party with some friends where we ate Russian food (including the cheapest caviar I could find). While driving on our family trip, we listened to Russian music and watched a favorite movie, Чёрная Молния (Black Lightning) (, which was in Russian with English subtitles; it's a fun "superhero" movie starring a flying Volga car ( from the Soviet era.

Also, we listened to Sergey Lazarev's ( music a lot. He sang "Scream," the song below, in this year's Eurovision Song Contest:

Nutritionally, I found the lecithin content of sunflower seeds and buckwheat, both eaten at a higher level in Russia than in the USA, to be very interesting. Lecithin is often included in weight loss supplements, and Russia is one of the countries where obesity used to be low (but, wow, has that changed quickly-- However, the usually-claimed mechanisms for how lecithin might help reduce extra weight do not appear to convince generally, and there are no good studies to support the use of lecithin for weight loss. I think I might have deduced a new mechanism by which lecithin could help keep obesity under control and how to increase that effect so that it is easier to observe in a controlled trial, but I want to test it myself before investing more time and research effort into writing up a formal hypothesis. My powdered lecithin delivery arrived yesterday, so the testing has begun.