Adventures in buffet optimization

Mathematically speaking, a buffet function could be expressed thus: Buffet f(x) = sigma (dish1(a1 ->n1)) + sigma(dish2(a2->n2) +… + sigma(dish N(aN->nN) (Turns out there is a WordPress LaTeX plugin that’ll make the above equation more readable but I’m skipping it in the interest of early publishing) For the purpose of this blog post, I’d classify …

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The Bengali outlier

What if I told you that I know a Bengali who doesn’t eat fish. In fact he doesn’t eat meat of *any* kind. Furthermore, he convinced his parents that they too should give up fish and meat. And they did. Maybe him being an only child was a factor but still.. Reflect on this: a …

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A vegetarian cracks an egg

I was raised a vegetarian. Avoiding meat was the most natural thing for as long as I can remember in my childhood. During our teen years, eggs made a brief entrance into our lives. In the form of cakes. They would be baked in a special-purpose oven (egg handling done by a domestic help) away …

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The Salmon Experiments

Among marine life, salmon probably lead the most interesting lives. Born in freshwater rivers, they migrate to the ocean where they live most of their adult lives and, when it’s time to spawn, they start the reverse migration process swimming upstream all the way to their natal river, often to the exact riverbed area where …

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Why do vegetarians annoy people who eat meat?

Why do vegetarians annoy people who eat meat? A 2012 psychology research study, it turns out, has the answer. But before I get to the study (bulk of this post anyway), I want to give some background. I wrote this post a few days before Eid 2016, a rather unremarkable piece recounting my witnessing the slaughter …

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Witness to a slaughter

It was my second year at BIT Mesra. My friend was the hostel mess secretary (hostel #7). One of the secretary’s responsibilities was to accompany the hostel mess manager for the weekly groceries+produce shopping. For one of those weekly trips, my friend couldn’t make it so I substituted for him. Pretty uneventful stuff for the first few …

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The butcher did it

A recent conversation with my parents unearthed a nostalgic gem from our years in Bokaro. This is post #2 in my series on understanding meat eaters. My older brother (S) was seven. We had our first cousin (let’s call her “IP”) living with us that year. She was six. I was too young to remember anything. My uncle (and …

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Understanding meat eaters through the lapsed vegetarian lens

[Editor’s note: This is the first in a series on vegetarians, omnivores, food habits, diets adopted by successful athletes (bias towards runners of course), perhaps eventually leading to a psychohistory of food. Several years of Facebook sharing has taught me that *any* article on these topics (lengthy, nuanced or researchy) invariably lead to defensive or …

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Intermittent fasting for health and longevity

On the eve of Karwa Chauth, I thought this would be a topical post. Todd Becker (author of the Getting Stronger blog) has written on this topic at length. My contribution in this post is to summarize the salient points for the ADD generation. The only reason I filed this post under Running is because …

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