Brief asides


POSTED: Thursday, November 12, 2009


High-carb meals leave afterglow

A new study of 106 dieters found that those on high-carb meals—pasta, bread and rice—were less angry, depressed and confused after one year than those who ate fewer carbs and more meat and dairy products. That aside, both diets contained equal amounts of kilocaloric energy and were shown to be equally effective in reducing weight. More research is needed to explain the mood differences, scientists said. Here's one theory: Maybe it's not so much the pasta as the red wine that flows alongside it. Happy, happy.



Hawaii handicapped in 'Race to the Top'

Education officials across the nation are dissecting U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's every public utterance, seeking an edge in the $4.35 billion grant competition known as “;Race to the Top.”; It's the most money the federal government has ever doled out to overhaul public schools; the final rules for the contest are to be released this week. Duncan was plain about what not to do: Cut class time. He chastised Hawaii leaders for shortening the school year, but officials remain hopeful that the state still will get some money.



Giving credit where credit is due

China's aggressive measures to stem the spread of swine flu seem to have worked, although the tactics infuriated many people at the time—especially the foreign visitors who were quarantined by the planeload at the slightest sniffle. The authoritarian state was rare in taking such harsh measures. But the populous country avoided a summer crush of cases, has recorded relatively few H1N1 deaths and was able to begin administering vaccine in September, ahead of the renewed fall outbreak. China deserves praise for being far more open about H1N1 than it was about the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, several years ago.