Wednesday Coffee, potpourri and other nonsense
Good morning, Wednesday! Here we are, once more, meeting over a cup of hot coffee! One of my favourite things, regardless of the time of day. Sometimes – when I have difficulty sleeping – I get up and make myself a cup. After about 15 minutes I have no problems with falling back asleep…thankyou coffee!
Coffee, cancer and your liver
Some good news for us coffee drinkers! Primary liver cancer is the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide, and because of its poor prognosis the second leading cause of cancer death. I am certain that you know someone among your acquaintances who died of this terrible disease. I do.
Anyway, researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh examined data from 26 previous studies involving more than 2.25 million people and found some very significant correlations between liver cancer and drinking coffee:
- Compared with people who drank no coffee, those who drank one cup a day had a 20% lower risk of developing liver cancer
- Those who consumed two cups a day had a 35% reduced risk
- Those who drank 5 cups or more had a 50% reduced risk
The conclusion seems clear enough to me!
The research also found no significant difference between ordinary coffee or decaf.
Love, sex and caffeine
Here is an amusing story, apparently quite true, about our favourite topics. I found this article just last week. Sing the praises of coffee shops!
“I was at home writing a book of relationship advice. It didn’t take long before I started feeling isolated. I needed more inspiring surroundings.
I remembered the atmosphere of the old Café Prag in Montreal. This is where Leonard Cohen is said to have written Suzanne while drinking espresso…” Read more here.
(More about Cafe Prag at this Leonard Cohen website)
Sandu Controversy: FIDE takes easy way out
Not sure how many of you remember the Sandu Controversy. It dates back to 2015 when Mihaela Sandu was having the tournament of her life at the European Women’s Championship in Georgia. A number of fellow participants, lead by Natalia Zhukova, thought that computer cheating might be involved and they made a big media stink about it, including signing letters and accusing Sandu of outright cheating. ChessBase, Chess.com, Chess24 and so on voraciously feeded on this spectacle and gave prominent ‘National Inquirer’-like coverage to the whole scandal during the tournament.
Eventually the psychological pressure piled on Sandu and destroyed her tournament. She reached a point where she was no longer able to prepare for her games, so occupied on trying to save her reputation. Sandu only needed a draw in the last round to qualify for the World Championship, but was burned out and had nothing left to fight with.
Immediately after the tournament Sandu asked FIDE to take action against the group who signed the letters. Over the following year she broke down completely and even lost 100 rating points. Adding insult to injury, Sandu then failed to qualify for the Olympic Team.
Her reputation had been bashed, not to say destroyed, and she was entirely innocent. Sandu had acquired the classic profile of a ‘victim’ , accused of a crime that had she had not committed.
Just recently (April 24) the FIDE Ethics Commission ruled that the group of females lead by Zhukova had acted unsportsmanlike and in contravention to FIDE’s rules of fair play. Zhukova was given a (suspended) 3-month ban, and other co-signers were given lesser sentences. FIDE described Zhukova’s behaviour as reckless and unjustified.
Many, however, including Sandu herself, believe that FIDE’s ‘punishment’ is little more than a joke….effectively deflecting the real issues and trying to sweep the whole scandal under the carpet.
To be continued tomorrow!