Articles

Only A Fathead Would Ban Fat Substitute From My Junk Food

This confession, I realize, is hardly unusual enough to get me on the "Jenny Jones Show." Half of all adults in America and a fifth of our children are overweight, and my case is only marginal. But I probably would have ballooned up like the Michelin Man if it hadn't been for the sugar and fat substitutes that food companies considerately began inventing just as I entered middle age. Diet drinks are approaching a third of the market in some areas. You have to look hard for the sugar behind the little pink and blue packets of sugar substitutes at the latte stands; but who's looking? Now, it turns out that the good people at Procter and Gamble Co. are nearing the end of a long, expensive effort to get Food and Drug Administration approval for "olestra," a product that allows potato chips, tortilla chips and other "savory snacks" to be cooked with all the taste of the crunchy little devils we love today but with none of the fat and few of the calories. Soon enough, if the FDA agrees, olestra also can be used to prepare conscience-free french fries, peanut butter, cookies, cakes and ice cream. But the CSPI's evidence is misleading. For example, it cites a study wherein five of 17 people who used olestra products came down with "diarrhea, gas, bloating (or) nausea." Urp! That sounds bad. But CSPI doesn't mention a far bigger and longer study of 3,357 consumers that found no differences in digestive effects between the olestra snacks and regular, full-fat snacks. It also claims that potato chips made with olestra may block absorption of certain vitamins, but neglects to note that the same is true of regular potato chips, and, for that matter, milk. Read More ›
Photo by Daniel Lincoln
man standing near hole
Photo by Daniel Lincoln via Unsplash

Burying the Engine

When my children are grown, I hope they think of themselves as environmentalists, if that means they are filled with wonder at the sight of a bald eagle and the workings of a wetland. And I hope they think of themselves as humanists, if that means they are equally filled with wonder at the sight of a Van Gogh painting and the workings of the New York Stock Exchange or even an internal combustion engine. Read More ›

Coming Soon: The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia

Zondervan’s landmark Lewis reference volume is scheduled for release on 1 June 1998. The C. S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia offers a wealth of information and insights from about 40 contributors. (For an annotated list of contributors who subscribe to The Lewis Legacy, see p. 13.) Among other features, this book includes a unique 4-column timeline of events in Lewis’s life, Read More ›

C. S. Lewis Notecards

On 8 August 1933 the Lewis brothers visited St. Mark’s, their family church in Belfast, to see the triple window they had commissioned for their parents there. It depicts Saints Luke, James, and Mark. To commemorate the 1899 baptism of C. S. Lewis by his grandfather, Thomas Hamilton, St, Mark’s is now offering beautiful notecards showing the colorful Lewis window. Read More ›

The C. S. Lewis Business: An Investor’s Dream

According to new research, the Dutch holding company that owns the Lewis literary estate (C. S. Lewis Pte Ltd) is named UITGEVERSMAATSCHAPPIJ EKSTER B.V. (The company’s president is Rudolph Sieber of Holland.) The director of C. S. Lewis Pte Ltd is Melvin Adams of Greystones, Ireland; and according to the Singapore Department of Statistics its official address is 2 Handy Read More ›

How C. S. Lewis Defends The Dark Tower

In 1997 a concerned inquirer wrote innocently to a Lewis estate employee, “I’m sure you are aware of the petition being circulated by the Discovery Institute at http.//www.discovery.org/lewis/petition.htm” In the exchange that followed, she received the following claims: “I have never heard of such a petition nor indeed of the URL that you quote.” “Ahh, perhaps you refer to the Read More ›

Kilnswatch: Early History of the Kilns Property

According to an Ordnance Survey Map of 1880, the Kilns property included a large clay pit from which clay was dug for processing in the two brick kilns that stood nearby, flanked by a very small house for the brickworker. There would also have been a roofed, open-sided shed for drying the bricks before firing them. The two cone-shaped brick Read More ›

The Kind of Business that Is Nobody’s Business

Douglas Gresham became Honorary Vice Chairman of the Kilns Restoration Committee of Endorsement in 1989. Steve Schofield soon asked Doug whether — as co-heir to Lewis’s literary estate — he was donating any of his windfall to the cause. Steve published Doug’s answer in the spring 1990 issue of the Canadian C. S. Lewis Journal. “As to whether or not Read More ›

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York shambles sunset
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Review of Huxley: From Devil’s Disciple to Evolution’s High Priest by Adrian Desmond (Addison Wesley)

Darth Vader was a thoroughly bad man, destroying planets, kidnapping princesses, and such. That’s the way it should be-we like our movie villains uncomplicated. Mr. Vader’s only virtue was in begetting Luke Skywalker, and in the finale, after we had hissed for a few hours, that relationship was enough to redeem him. Yet what if the opening scenes of Star Read More ›

Soaring to New Heights of Irritation

A cliché among airline flight attendants describes half their job as “taking people’s garbage and saying thank-you.” And so it seems with American civilization today. Politicians, athletes, entertainers, intellectuals, media, activists, business people: We take their garbage and we say thank-you . . . and often pay for the privilege. That resemblance points toward other similarities. Indeed, perhaps nothing captures Read More ›