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Wildwood News Notes 3.22.2006

By Rick Racela

Put a hold on that can of diet soda pop and bring me a frosted mug of beer. After all, I’m a health and nutrition nut.
If you’re like me, you’ve been befuddled and bewildered by all the diet studies flooding the media of late.
One of the most recent tells us that we should drink fewer sugar-sweetened drinks.
The study actually advocates drinking more water. But these days, drinking water quality is usually so questionable that most folks feel safer drinking something else.
Reported in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” the study was initiated because some experts believe that federal dietary guidelines have tended to gloss over the fact that 20 percent of the calories in your typical American daily diet comes from liquids.
Much of that total comes from higher calorie sugar-sweetened soft drinks.
The news that jumped out at me was the part that said I can drink 24 ounces of beer a day if I’m willing to forego soda.
That translates to my being able to up my daily swilling of more beer, up to three times as much suds as soda.
Being a finagler, and as willing to fool with study data as any scientist in order to prove a pet theory, I figure I can cheat a little and drink double that amount in light beer and still be in compliance with the guideline’s instructions to guzzle 20-50 ounces of water per day.
Never mind whether that sounds logical, this is science after all.
This particular study was conducted by a panel of six scientists working through the University of North Carolina.
Now scientists tend to behave much like the rats they use in their experiments and tend to react in bizarre ways when placed in close quarters.
One must always take their results with a grain of salt, or in this case a healthy gulp of Heineken.
If you can put six scientists in one laboratory and get them to agree on anything, that’s pretty good evidence that the study’s on the right track.
But the results didn’t wash down too smoothly in some circles.
Guess who found fault with those results? The American Beverage Association, the trade group that represents companies that manufacture non-alcoholic beverages in the US.
They have a vested interest, you say? Maybe so, but as with too many studies of this kind, you have to look at who paid for it to determine if there may be any bias.
And who helped pay for the study? Lipton, the tea people, and they plan to publicize one study conclusion that drinking tea or coffee is preferable to drinking soda or carbonated fruit drinks.
All pretty confusing for a guy like me, looking for an excuse to sneak an extra beer after a hard day’s work.
Some people will go to any length to rationalize popping a cold one, even resorting to using science to defy the laws of physics and the like.
Of course, even a determined elbow bender has to be impressed by the ingenuity of the guy in Norway who worked a plumbing switcheroo worthy of the Three Stooges.
 The result was that beer flowed through the pipes to his kitchen faucet on the sixth floor, while his water supply was diverted to the taps at the bar located on the ground floor of the building where he lived.
I could cut to the chase in this entire process, end the controversy, and really reduce my daily liquids intake by limiting it to three or four ounces. How would I confound the experts?
By restricting my drinking to shots of 184 proof whiskey, a dozen barrels of which have been specially produced by the Bruichladdich distillery in Scotland.
There’s a flaw in that plan, however.
According to a long standing tradition, a mere two spoonfuls of this wondrous elixir is more than enough to not only satisfy any and all minimum daily requirements, but it may cause you to stop breathing.
Now that is some diet. Maybe I can mix the stuff with a can of diet Coke.
***
Margaret Mace School is having a spring picture day on Tuesday, March 28.
In other Margaret Mace news, the seventh grade class is taking a boating safety course this week.
There will be early dismissal for all grades on Monday, March 27 at precisely 12:56 p.m.
Steve Serwatka returned to Margaret Mace last week to amaze and inform students in Carol Sell’s science class about the wonders of nature.
Steve brought along a few interesting critters to show the class and students enjoyed a close-up visit with a number of creatures they’re not likely to encounter on the beach or boardwalk.
***
Time to ogle and make a few dreams come true.
The third annual Wildwood Boat Show and Expo takes place this weekend at the convention center on the boardwalk at Burk Avenue.
More than 100 new boats from major national manufacturers will be on display.
There will also be an outdoor sale of used boats.
Tickets cost $6 for adults, $4 for children 12-18, with anyone under 12 admitted free.Call the convention center at 729-9000 for information on this and upcoming events.
***
Story time for preschool age youngsters continues tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at the Wildwood Crest library, 6301 Ocean Ave.
Call 522-0564 for more information.
***
Soup and Study is scheduled for tonight from 5:30-7:30 at 1st United Methodist Church, 6701 Atlantic Ave.
Call 729-4265 for more information.
***
Wildwood Zoning Board meets Monday at 7 p.m. and Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the second floor of City Hall, 4400 New Jersey Ave.
North Wildwood Board of Education holds its regular monthly meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. in room 306 at Margaret Mace School, 1201 Atlantic Ave.
Joint Construction Office of the Wildwoods meets on Friday at 8:30 a.m. at its office, 4004 Pacific Ave.
***
Bowl for Kids Sake, an annual fundraiser event for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, takes place on Sunday at 3J’s Wildwood Bowl, Schellenger and New Jersey avenues.
For information, call 653-8250.
***
Greater Wildwood Pastoral Association holds its weekly Lenten service today at noon at 1st Baptist Church, 230 E. Maple Ave.
Following service, there will be a bay lunch. Dessert and beverage will be provided.
Call 522-2981 for more information.
***
Wildwood Police Explorers are setting up a coin drop on Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on the corners of Rio Grande and New Jersey avenues. Donations will help fund club activities.
***
There’s going to be a benefit beef and beer on Saturday night at Michael’s Bar to benefit John Peters who needs liver and kidney transplants.
Tickets cost $25 at the door, $20 in advance.
Call 602-5140 for additional information.
***
The annual Ocean Drive Marathon takes place on Sunday. There will also be a ten-mile run from Cape May to the North Wildwood boardwalk.
Pre-register for the race on Saturday at the club’s Health and Fitness Expo taking place at the convention center, starting at 10 a.m.
Call 523-0880 for more information.

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