Daily Archives: July 30, 2018

A study on obesity says that if you’re conceived in winter, you’re less likely to be fat. On his final broadcast of “Only A Game,” Bill Littlefield replays a beautiful essay. And the bear who wandered into a hot tub and drank a margarita

It’s Monday, it’s August, and I know what you’re thinking: It’s so hot out, my spouse and I should try to conceive a child.

OK, OK, maybe that’s not exactly what you’re thinking. But maybe some of you are thinking that. If you are, hey, more power to you. But just know, it’s entirely possible that if you DO decide to try and make a new human in the summertime, it’s more likely they’ll be overweight as an adult than if you just wait till December to have sex.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, I have science on my side to prove this. Well, to at least argue this. Check out this story on a new study from the Institute of Food Nutrition and Health at the ETH Zurich University in Switzerland.

Check this out, from a Newsweek story on the study: Their work hones in on brown adipose tissue, or brown fat, as opposed to white fat. The latter collects around the belly, and is used to store energy. In contrast, brown fat is used to keep us warm and gathers around the neck, torso, and in white fat reserves. Existing scientific evidence suggests brown fat burns a relatively large amount of energy when it is activated. It is believed the presence of it in the body could make it easier to lose weight, in the right conditions. It is also linked to a lower risk of becoming overweight or developing metabolic disorders, the authors noted.

“The study identifies for the first time a link between environmental temperature and offspring metabolism which is transmitted through the sperm,” Dr. Christian Wolfrum, lead author of the study, said.

I find this fascinating. The idea that the climate, and the temperature of the people involved in conception, could make a difference whether your offspring is heavy or skinny blows my mind.

Both my kids were conceived in winter, so I guess that means they can eat whatever they want? Of course not.

Still, science is kind of amazing sometimes.

**Next up, I’ve written many times in this space about my love for the NPR radio program Only a Game, and its wonderful host, Bill Littlefield. After 25 years of bringing listeners stories about little known and famous athletes alike, filled with humor, heart and insight, Littlefield is retiring.

On Saturday his show replayed some of his best pieces over the years, and this one in particular moved me greatly when it aired in 2015, and did again listening to it this weekend. (Listen to it at this link below).


It’s about Bill, his Dad, and two trips to Cooperstown taken a few decades apart, and what they meant. Just really beautiful stuff.

***And finally today, because we all need a good bear story every now and again, I bring you this enterprising little fellow out in California. Seems the bear in the video above decided to drink a margarita while at Mark Hough’s house in early July, and then help himself to the hot tub in the backyard.

Look, it’s not easy being a bear, OK? People are scary, the woods can be dangerous, and there’s always some joker calling you “Fozzie” or something.

Sometimes you just need to chill out, have a drink, and relax.