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HIAWATHÄS LIPID HUGH SINCLAIR* Americans seem to follow their Puritan ancestors in thinking it proper to follow pleasure by pain; hence the after-dinner speech. When attending the Sixth Annual Symposium on Lipids in San Francisco February, 1958, invited by Dr. Larry Kinsell and my travel made possible by Mr. Alex Poniatoffofthe Ampex Corporation, I was told on arrival for the symposium banquet that I would have to reply for the guests. Fortunately I had fortified myself with several martinis for the trek downtown from that neo-colonial edifice, the Hotel Claremont, to Sprenger's Fish Restaurant ; on arrivalI sought inspiration in innumerable manhattans—taken, ofcourse, because they were good for me since the day's immobility of listening to papers on atheroma and serum cholesterol had no doubt silted up my vessels, and alcohol is one of the few effective solvents. From it "Hiawatha's Lipid" crystallized out. Though intelligible only to others present at the day's session and banquet , it is given wider publicity than any after-dinner speech should have merely because those at the banquet who were too somnolent to hear it asked to see it so that they might know whether it was as bad as they supposed . There is no glossary, and perhaps explanation is needed that (a) a "quokka" is a marsupial (that is, it carries its nipples in a bag) which has a ruminant's digestion like a cow (which doesn't); (b) "UFA" stands for "Unesterified Fatty Acids" in those parts of the United States that do not callthem "NEFA" or "Non-Esterified Fatty Acids" (these symbols also stand for "Unsaturated Fatty Acids" and "Non-EssentialFatty Acids," but the initiated always know what they are talking about). * Magdalen College, Oxford, England. Printed by kind permission of California Corporation for Biochemical Research. 72 Hugh Sinclair · Hiawatha's Lipid Perspectives in Biology and Medicine · Autumn i960 From his briefcase Hiawatha Took his paper for the meeting, Typed in triple-spacing and in Triplicate on foolscap paper; Glanced upon the crowd before him, Critical and very hostile, Like the lions in the arena Waiting for a Christian victim, As the surgeons in some theater Wait impatiently the patient; Saw them with their notebooks waiting, Saw the tape recorder ready Gleaming in its chromium plating By the Ampex Corporation And preserving all the nonsense Spoken by the previous speakers, As the snow upon the prairies Uselessly records the footprints, So preserving all the nonsense Spoken by the previous speakers. Introduction Hiawatha, taking courage, Started on the Introduction, Giving first a briefdescription Ofthe Proto-Keysian period When all fats in equal measure Raised cholesterol in serum: Butter, sardines, walrus liver, Margarine, or safflower seed oil, Or arachidonic acid, Or the body fat ofquokkas, Or adrenals ofthe muskrat, Or the milk offemale reindeer— As these fats in equal measure Raise cholesterol in serum, As the rain in San Francisco Fills the ditches in the roadways (So at least thought Hiawatha) So these fats in equal measure Raise cholesterol in serum. Then the Meso-Keysian period When it's known from work ofothers Quantitative variations Do occur when different lipids Are included in our diets, Plentifully in our diets: Butter, sardines, walrus liver, Margarine, or safflower seed oil, Or arachidonic acid, Or the body fat ofquokkas, Or adrenals of the muskrat, Or the milk offemale reindeer— Do not in an equal measure Raise cholesterol in serum; As the smoke is wind-swept upward Randomly with Brownian movement Wandering above the wigwam, So these fats in different measure Raise cholesterol in serum. Then the Neo-Keysian period When arithmetic will tell us By an intricate equation What cholesterol in serum We will have when we have eaten (And don't vomit having eaten) Butter, sardines, walrus liver, Margarine, or safflower seed oil, Or arachidonic acid, Or the body fat ofquokkas, Or adrenals ofthe muskrat, Or the milk offemale reindeer; Count the double bonds and add by Electronic automation On a digital computer From the Ampex Corporation. There's no need to estimate it— All cholesterol in serum Follows now the Keys equation; As the caribou in summer Migrate by accustomed pathways 73 And predictably are herded, Dietetic...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 72-76
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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