A water sommelier and turkeys the size of humans

November 28, 2014

It was a late Thanksgiving again this year, which means we’re already in the thick of the holiday season. This weekend’s Data Dive features a convivial theme, with reasons to be thankful as well as food facts and fictions.

Earlier this week Facebook released an detailed analysis of things people recently gave thanks for on the social networking site. The results were interesting. Some of the pleas were predictable—the Bible Belt gave thanks for “God’s forgiveness,” “salvation” (twice), “God’s love,” “mercy” (twice), and “God’s word”—while others were head-scratchers: residents of Illinois were most thankful for “mother and father in law.”

Elsewhere, The New York Times posted “Five Economic Trends to Be Thankful For,” a list that included falling gas and home prices and increases in job growth and people voluntarily quitting their jobs.

Thanksgiving may be over, but crackpot theories are always in season. Information is Beautiful has a nifty interactive designed to help you debunk (or embrace) “snake oil superfoods.” Scores of theories persist about the curative qualities of all types of foods; this interactive lets one sort by level evidence of medicinal qualities and segregates foods as “worth taking” and “worth investigating.”

In a similar vein, the New York Observer has a feature about Dr. Nigma Talib, who claims to be able to describe one’s diet just by looking at a person’s face. Dr. Talib explains: “Dairy face is quite bloated with dark circles, wine face is dehydrated, so lines are more pronounced, and gluten face is actually belly bloat, which also shows up as puffiness in the face.” For a few hundred dollars, you too can have your diet examined from the outside in.

Drinking water is healthy and good for the complexion, but America’s only water sommelier takes the concept to the next level. Quartz talked to Martin Riese about the 44-page water menu he oversees at Ray’s & Stark Bar, a restaurant at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Finally, using historical data and questionable methodology, The Economist boldly predicts that within 150 years turkeys will be the size of humans, and 6000 years from now, they will be the size of the Earth itself. As they point out, it’s wise to eat them now, before they become our red-wattled overlords.

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