Left-Handedness (Recipe: Honey Roasted Vegetable and Smoked Gouda Baked Penne)

Okay.  Today’s post is about a completely random study I read that I found SUPER interesting.  I’m hoping you will find it interesting, too.

Are you left-handed?  I’m not, but my dad is.  This study is all about left-handedness.  Here is a summary of the article I read.

Basically, in 1991, Halpern and Coren published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that left-handed people die at much younger ages than right-handed people.  Their data was based on 987 deaths in Southern California (a random sample), and the researchers had asked family members whether the deceased was right or left-handed.  They found that the left-handers in their sample died at an average age of 66 compared to 75 for right-handers!

Get this:  If true, left handedness would be on the same order of deadliness as a lifetime of smoking!

The researchers argued that these results were due mostly to unnatural deaths such as industrial and driving accidents caused by left-handers living in a right-handed world.  However, there is a more plausible statistical explanation.  The statistical issue:  at any given moment in time, a random sample of deaths is not necessarily a random sample of people.  You might be asking, “What in the world are you talking about??”  Well, hear the rest of this article out.

Over the course of the 20th century, left-handers have increased as a fraction of the population.  In the earlier decades of the 20th century, children were strongly discouraged from exhibiting left-handedness. As a result, many “natural” lefties learned right-handed behavior and identified as right-handed adults. Over time, however, the cultural suppression of left-handedness declined and the proportion of adults exhibiting left-handedness increased.

Now suppose you take a random sample of people who died in 1990. In this sample, some people will have died old and some young. Among those those who died old, however, fewer people will be identified as left-handed because the old grew up in a time when left-handedness was suppressed. As a result, the old deaths in your sample will tend to be have more right-handed people and the young deaths will tend to have more left-handed people causing you to incorrectly conclude that left-handed people die younger.  Interesting, right??

To make this even more clear consider the following thought experiment (given by Chris McManus). Imagine you take a sample of people who died recently and asked their surviving family members, Did the deceased ever read the Harry Potter novels? One would clearly find in such a sample that those who died tragically young (at age 12 let’s say) would have been much more likely to have read Harry Potter than those who died in their 90s. However, we can not conclude that Harry Potter kills.

So, that is my random contribution to your learning for today!

Quote of the Day:

“i just can’t stop thinking about the fact that we only get one chance to use our lives up in the best way possible. maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you are doing just that; and if you aren’t, maybe it’s time to start.” -Jessica from todaywasmeaningful

O.M.G.  I made THE. BEST. PASTA. DINNER.  I am not exaggerating when I say that of all the pasta dishes I have posted on this blog, I think is BY FAR my favorite.  No joke.  I am a little obsessed.  You MUST try it.  And you can substitute in any vegetables you want.  (But my combination is pretty darn good if I do say so myself!)

Honey Roasted Vegetable and Smoked Gouda Baked Penne1 Honey Roasted Vegetable and Smoked Gouda Baked Penne2

Honey Roasted Vegetable and Smoked Gouda Baked Penne

Ingredients

- 1 acorn squash, chopped
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 pound brussel sprouts, stems removed and sliced
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 pound penne, cooked
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 8 ounces smoked gouda cheese, freshly grated
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions

- Preheat the oven to 425*.

- Place the chopped squash, sweet potato, broccoli, onion, brussels sprouts, mushrooms and garlic cloves on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle the veggies with the olive oil and honey and give them a thorough toss.

- Roast the veggies for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing them once halfway through.

- Cook the penne while the veggies are roasting.

- Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Add the penne and half of the veggies, then spoon half of the diced tomatoes over top. Add half of the grated cheese, then layer again with the remaining penne, veggies, diced tomatoes and cheese. Finish the top off with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs.

- Bake the pasta for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly on top. Serve with extra cheese for grating on top.

This stays great in the fridge for 4 to 5 days – it’s an awesome make ahead meal.

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

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