Giant Heysteks takes on Trouser Tim

Not enough time to do this justice, but I have to share it as being both an hilarious and perhaps salient comment on Tim Noakes’ cookbook and associated money-printing machine – it’s Magnus Heystek’s potentially inflammatory Moneyweb piece, delicately titled:

Is Tim Noakes running a Ponzi scheme?

There’s a brief history of local Ponzi schemes, followed by this absolute gem of a paragraph:

Collective delusions are typified as the spontaneous, rapid spread of false or exaggerated beliefs within a population at large, temporarily affecting a particular region, culture or country.
With money people want to become rich overnight, with religion people want a guarantee of heaven and with diets people want to lose weight effortlessly and without sacrificing too much.
The world is full of examples of Ponzi schemes, religious fanaticism as well.

We are now, once again, witness to another example of collective delusion: the Banting diet popularized, once again, by Dr Tim Noakes and his fellow LCHF-priests.

Oh, go on Magnus – tell us what you really think.

Many of us in SA believe that Tim is getting too big for his boots – and that his trousers are getting too big for him.


As a scientist, the manner in which he relies so heavily on anecdotal “evidence” and cherry-picks suitable papers to support his ever-so-popular book sickens me. As do his trousers.

Magnus is bang on with his analysis and questions.

Sugar, Sugar…

[De de der dum dum dum]
Ah, Honey Honey
You are my Candy Girl DEATH SENTENCE!
And you got me wanting you.

So sang The Archies back in 1969, and here’s the proof:

I’m not sure just how socially acceptable it is to call anyone “Sugar” nowadays. You’d probably be pounced on by all sorts of PC types for all sorts of things. But they may have a point. While “Sugar” used to be entirely reasonable to use as a term of endearment or a even as a compliment, suggesting femininity and sweetness, these days, SUGAR IS EVIL.

I know this because Rogue “Scientist” Timothy Noakes says so:

“Once you tip over the precipice, you’re gone,” exercise science professor Noakes told Men’s Health magazine.
“You are going to die of diabetes. And if you want that, keep eating sugars and carbohydrates, and get fat. That’s where you are going.”

And if you don’t want that, surprisingly, you can buy his book.
Even allowing for the hyperbole and pisspoor journalism which characterises popular health magazines, “You are going to die of diabetes” is a pretty bold statement. Even for a scientist who famously and bravely admitted, “I’ve made a mistake” on carbohydrates.

Actually Tim, your academic record suggests that you repeatedly “made mistakes” from 1976 until 2012; “mistakes” which were peer-reviewed and published. But now you’ve seen the light and we should believe everything you say, because… you… say so. Who’s to say that in 35 years (assuming we’re not all dead from diabetes or heart disease or cancer or alien invasion), you have another book to sell and suddenly realise that you’ve “made a mistake”?
And before you go telling me about all the positive scientific evidence for LCHF, I’d just like to say that there’s a wealth of other scientific papers out there telling us quite the opposite, many of them with Tim’s name at the top.
I’m not saying that he can’t change his mind – of course he can change his mind – I’m just saying that I’m not sure I would trust anyone who had been repeatedly incorrect for 35 years before changing his mind.

Anyway, all this preamble is really just so I can pop this here:


…which I thought was super amusing and is clear evidence that – given the huge number of slang terms and nicknames for illicit drugs – you can demonise any household food product. Why, only the other day, I was tempted by some… [lowers voice, looks around furtively] …”cheese”.

It turns out that that was actually cheese though.
Which should at least make Tim happy.

Serve To Win – SEEMS LEGIT

I’m crying. I’m not sure it’s laughter, despair or possibly a gluten allergy since I did drive past a bakery on the way to work this morning.

More poo, because here’s a crappy piece about what (given the excerpt that I’ve just read) seems to be a crappy book.

It’s about eating and tennis. Here are the paragraphs that sit particularly uncomfortably with my rational brain:

Novak Djokovic was in Croatia in the summer of 2010 for a Davis Cup tie and was having a consultation with Dr Igor Cetojevic, a nutritionist and fellow Serb.

Cetojevic told Djokovic to stretch out his right arm while placing his left hand on his stomach. The doctor then pushed down on Djokovic’s right arm and told him to resist the pressure. The strength Djokovic would feel in holding firm, the doctor said, was exactly what he should experience.

Next Cetojevic gave Djokovic a slice of bread. He told the bemused player not to eat it but to hold it against his stomach with his left hand while he again pushed down on his outstretched right arm. To Djokovic’s astonishment, the arm felt appreciably weaker.

It was what Cetojevic had expected. His crude test had been to discover whether Djokovic was sensitive to gluten, a protein found in wheat and other bread grains.

I’ve just popped down to my local bookstore and I held a copy of “Serve To Win” up against my stomach and immediately felt nauseous.

It was what I expected.

My crude test had been to discover whether I was sensitive to complete bullshit.

H/T Jacques

Things you should read

AGAIN… not much time tonight (cue groans of happiness from the 6000 miles… reader collective).

But, rather than a quota photo, some reading material for you, since there’s not ever so much here:

Firstly, this, from the Independent, via my Dad:

Meet the Geordie who led Benfica to three league titles

When the great Eusebio flies to Sheffield to attend a statue dedication, and describes the subject as “still in my heart”, it is quite a tribute.

But so it was for Jimmy Hagan, the legendary former Sheffield United player who managed Benfica to three consecutive Portuguese titles in the early 1970s. He was only manager there for three seasons, but demonstrably left a strong and personal mark on one of Europe’s great clubs. He can be considered among England’s finest managerial exports.

It was not for Hagan’s managerial achievements, though – important as they were – that the statue was dedicated. Hagan, who was born in Washington, County Durham, on the outskirts of Newcastle, is broadly thought to be Sheffield United’s greatest ever player, having played there for 20 years, from 1938 to 1958.

Eusebio, who is to Benfica what Hagan is to Sheffield United, was speaking at the dedication of a statue of Hagan at Bramall Lane 11 years ago, near what would have been Hagan’s 83rd birthday. He died in 1998.

And then, continuing the sporting theme (sort of), this from Jacques Rousseau on Tim Noakes dietary advice flip and the lack of scientific evidence behind it:

Tim Noakes on carbohydrates – fad or fact?

It, therefore, seems premature – even unjustified – to speak of this diet in such unequivocally positive terms, not to mention introducing the language of moral panics in the form of our hypothetical “addiction” to carbohydrates. As Ben Goldacre has pointed out, anecdotes are not data, and the bulk of the data available right now suggest that the main problem is simply that we eat too darn much.

Seriously, they are both worth several minutes of your time. If I hadn’t read them, I’d be able to blog properly today.

Tomorrow, I’ll try to tell you about the tortoise in Nigeria.

But tomorrow is another day.