Posts filed under “Science & Nature”



From Dr. Boli’s Scientific Journal.

“Peer-Reviewed for Your Protection.”

Although Dr. Boli himself contributed much in the early stages of the work (a private trans-Atlantic cable having been laid for the telegraphic correspondence involved), it was really Charles Darwin who earned the title of father of the theory of Natural Selection. Nevertheless, Dr. Boli has continued the work more actively than his friend Darwin, being deceased, has been able to do; and furthermore, whereas many other researchers have been content to examine Evolution from a merely historical perspective, Dr. Boli has concentrated his attention on practical applications.

It has long been the dream of every self-described “nutritionist” to discover the perfect human diet: the regimen that will lead to optimum health and longevity. This can only be achieved by discovering the foods that human beings were adapted to eat.

A brief explanation will suffice. Natural selection, that marvelously efficient mechanism of creation, ensures that every creature is perfectly adapted for consuming the food that best sustains it. Thus, for example, hummingbirds have long bills perfectly adapted to probing the nectar-bearing spurs of sweet flowers; anteaters have snouts and tongues perfectly adapted to rooting out ants; herring gulls have beaks perfectly adapted to snatching bags of potato chips from unwary beachgoers; and so on. Each creature is necessarily endowed not only with the equipment for consuming its perfect food, but also with the instinct to seek that food.

Nature creates nothing in vain; everything has a purpose. It is clear, then, that the human sense of taste must have its purpose, and that that purpose must be to identify for us which foods we ought to eat and which things are not in fact food. This is the astonishingly simple solution to the problem that has baffled nutritionists for generations. Pure reason shines its light where countless ridiculously contrived studies and metastudies have only deepened the darkness.

To eat a perfect diet, we must eat exclusively food that tastes good.

As an illustration, observe the following two lists:

Things that taste good:

Fresh blueberries
Yunnan tea
Stilton cheese
Stayman apples
Rhone wine
Home-grown tomatoes
Whole-grain bread

Things that don’t taste good:

Sewing machines
Plastic bags
Light bulbs
Aluminum siding

Now observe that we could, without altering the lists at all, change the headings above the lists to “Things That Are Healthy to Eat” and “Things That Are Not Healthy to Eat.” The correspondence is perfect. Things that taste good are things that are healthy to eat. It follows, of course, that the things that taste best are the healthiest to eat.

The Darwin Diet, which Dr. Boli has named for his fondly remembered friend, consists, therefore, in making use of the adaptations by which Natural Selection has ensured the survival of our species. To follow the Darwin Diet, one must restrict one’s food intake to things that taste good, ruthlessly rejecting everything that does not taste good. By this entirely natural method the body may be brought to the peak of health.

Much more work remains to be done. The principle has been established, but Dr. Boli will not rest until he has been able to compile a list of the things that, according to this revolutionary discovery, are healthiest for the body. He has an Ethiopian restaurant on his research schedule this evening, and an Italian bakery tomorrow morning, and he will be keeping careful notes.


From the Wikipedia article on “Elf”:

From a scientific viewpoint, elves are not considered objectively real.[2]

2. Hall (2007), pp. 8–9, 168–69.

One likes to imagine this very careful wording and accompanying citation as the result of a three-month edit war which finally sent a Wikipedian looking for a reliable up-to-date reference that explicitly stated that elves are not real and explained exactly what was meant by “not real.”


The Boli Institute for Advanced Studies is now offering a Doctorate in Homeopathic Medicine. Instead of teaching the doctrines of homeopathy, which by homeopathic principles should have a negative effect, the Boli Institute’s course of instruction proceeds by exposing the student to small doses of medical misinformation, which will naturally have the effect of filling the mind with homeopathic wisdom. Other similar courses occasionally slip and let in a stray fact, which may set the student back months if not years. Dr. Boli, however, is uniquely qualified to dispense misinformation, and the Boli Institute course is therefore earnestly recommended as the only course in Homeopathic Medicine guaranteed free of accuracy in all course materials.


A prominent researcher has called on fellow homeopaths to provide higher-quality anecdotes in their published studies.

Dr. Theobald Fungle, director of the Institute for Bespoke Research at Duck Hollow University, identifies low-quality anecdotes as the chief barrier to the progress of homeopathy in the medical establishment.

“All the evidence for homeopathy is anecdotal,” Dr. Fungle told homeopaths and science journalists in a conference call hosted by the Institute. “Many of those anecdotes, however, are of the lowest quality. They lack the most basic markers of a quality anecdote: good characters, a compelling situation, and a snappy and memorable resolution. Some are even missing the most rudimentary form of punch line.”

If homeopathy is to be introduced at the highest levels of medical practice, Dr. Fungle insists, these deficiencies in the evidence will have to be addressed.

“Money for research into complementary and alternative medicine is now readily available,” he told participants in the call. “Every homeopathic research project ought to be able to find room in its budget for hiring a good gag writer to ‘punch up’ the anecdotes, if I may be forgiven for using a technical term, thus making them suitable for publication in the most prestigious journals.”

Dr. Fungle then asked conference participants whether anyone could recall the one about the six Mongolians and Henry Kissinger, because he was a little fuzzy on the details, but he remembered it was a wowser.


Samuel Hahnemann Memorial, Washington, photographed by “Daderot.”

Only four days remain until the beginning of World Homeopathy Awareness Week. How will you celebrate? What will you do?

Dr. Boli has already begun his preparations by subjecting himself to a string of infinitesimal annoyances. According to the principles of homeopathy, this should, if repeated often and at a high enough dilution, produce joy bordering on euphoria.

Do not neglect to watch this space beginning April 10, when the celebration begins in earnest. It is not too much to say that the joy will be of a very high potency, in the homeopathic sense of the term.


Dear Dr. Boli: What is the secret of your longevity? I’m asking for a friend. —Sincerely, Elizabeth R., Buckingham Palace, Westminster.

Dear Madam:  Dr. Boli refuses to die until he is given a positive guarantee that no one will attempt to memorialize him with a decal on the back window of an SUV. At present no one has offered a guarantee he considers sufficiently positive.


Dear Dr. Boli: The Food Festival supermarket in my neighborhood has started carrying Irish butter in the dairy department. But it’s much more expensive than butter from Pennsylvania dairies. So what is the difference between Irish butter and the local butters? —Sincerely, A Famous Chef Who Prefers to Remain Anonymous.

Dear Sir or Madam: Irish butter comes from Ireland. Is it Dr. Boli’s imagination, or are these questions getting easier?


Vectors of disease and serious choking hazards.

Many consumers are unaware of the best practices in food safety, with the result that consumers all over the country are dropping like mayflies. Be aware of these important food safety facts to prevent sudden agonizing demise in your family.

Food wants to kill you. This is the first principle of food safety. To prevent food from having its way, make sure you eat only foods produced under carefully controlled conditions.

Raw meat is the most dangerous of all foods and should be handled only by fully qualified professionals, as it can carry not only diseases but also serious choking hazards in the form of “bones.” It is a useful principle to remember that raw meat is always more dangerous than the animal it came from. Yet most consumers seem to be unaware that cooked meat comes directly from raw meat. The only safe way to eat meat is to obtain meat that has been carefully prepared and neutralized under laboratory-like conditions, as is done, for example, in the packaged processed snack-food industry. Packaged processed snack meats come in many convenient forms, most of them vaguely cylindrical, all of them carefully neutralized with improving chemistry “for thine especial safety,” in the words of the immortal Bard.

Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, are technically meat at one remove. Standards for cheese are appallingly low, and it is a known fact in the industry that some cheese is sold in such an advanced state of decay that it is literally mottled with fungus. To be safe, insist on cheese that has been carefully stripped of its harmful properties, such as, for example, that found in many “cheez”-flavored packaged processed snack foods.

Fish is simply meat that lives under water. The safest way to consume fish is in the form of small crackers baked in sanitary factories and coated with safe and delicious cheez-flavored topping.

Fruit is a kind of meat produced by plants to seduce the unwary into spreading their filthy seeds. Fresh fruit is a known vector of many diseases and may contain inedible components, such as stems, cores, etc., which are technically the bones of the fruit and present similar choking hazards. Fruit is best consumed in the form of flavored processed snack foods, as the “froot” flavor can be safely produced in a laboratory without any contact with the dangerous meat of wild fruit.

Vegetables are nothing more than the meat of plants, with all the dangers of disease and choking that come with raw meat. The most reputable food scientists advise avoiding vegetables altogether.

This handy guide to food safety is brought to you by the North American Association of Delicious Packaged Processed Snack-Food Manufacturers (NAADPPSFM), promoting Food Safety Through Plastic Packaging.