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Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023
Good morning!

Is bigger better? Those who reside in Texas continually remind us how they believe that to be true, but most of the rest of us recognize that bigger is, quite often, simply not healthy. Here are a few cases in point.

The body weight of humans. Washington Post writer Christopher Ingraham noted in 2015 that the average American woman weighs 166.2 pounds. That’s almost exactly as much as the average American man weighed in the early 1960s. Over the same time period, men also gained nearly 30 pounds, from 166.3 in the 1960s to 195.5 today.

The square footage of American houses. According to the 2022 American Home Size Index, the average size of a new single-family home rose from 909 square feet in 1949 to 2,480 square feet in 2021. This happened despite the fact that the average number of occupants in each home decreased. In 1950, 15.7% of U.S. homes were determined to be overcrowded. By 2000, that number had dropped to 5.7%. The COVID-19 pandemic also apparently pushed Americans to purchase even larger homes due to concerns over social distancing and remote work.

The weight of chickens. Yes, chickens. Many of you have likely seen the infographic showing the average size of chickens through the years. In 1957, a 56-day-old commercially raised broiler chicken weighed 905 grams. In 1978, that increased to 1,808 grams. By 2005, the average chicken was 4,202 grams.

The size of sodas. Try going into a convenience store and buying a 12-ounce can of pop. Finding soda of any kind is challenging enough as you have to sift through the assortment of energy drinks first, but if you do find a Diet Coke, it won’t be in a can. Today, a consumer seemingly has to purchase 240 ounces in a Styrofoam cup with a plastic straw or nothing at all.

And, of course, debt. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit on Aug. 8. The report shows a record total household debt of $17.06 trillion, which includes mortgage balances of $12.01 trillion; student loan balances of $1.57 trillion; credit card balances of $1.03 trillion; and newly originated auto loans of $179 billion. Sigh.

The real question is, where is all this heading? The size of the American automobile was once quite large, then shrunk during the energy crisis, then grew again. Maybe humans, houses, chickens, sodas and debt will cycle as well. Then again, maybe those Texans are on to something we don’t understand in Iowa. As a Texan friend once told me, “I’m not saying Texas is better than your state… but Texas is better than your state.”

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®

CITYVIEW announced its 2023 Best Of Des Moines® readers' choices Jan. 31. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best local margarita

1. Coa Cantina

2. El Guapo’s Tequila + Tacos

3. Mi Mexico


Read More

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

We start the 7-day with nice August conditions and end the 7-day with a lot of heat that looks to last until at least the middle of next week.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Carrie at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
800 56th St.
West Des Moines, IA 50266
One of the most remarkable remodeled homes you'll ever see! Over 3,600 square feet of finished space in this fabulous 4 bedroom, 3.5 Bath 2 story on mature setting in WDM. Beautiful  hardwood flooring runs throughout the entry, living room, dining room and kitchen. The kitchen is absolutely stunning and one of the prettiest you'll ever see.
See More Homes For Sale
What better place to celebrate one's first birthday than at Cascade Falls in Ankeny? Her parents say Josie, who turned 1 on Aug. 11, loves the pool and goes to the Ankeny pool weekly, but they wanted to make it special for her birthday and Cascade Falls really hit the mark! She had a blast in the kid’s pool, with the fountains, playing with all the other kids, floating in the lazy river, and watching her dad go off the diving board. Photo submitted by Paige Robertson

Argentina's two-year drought in its bread basket regions has finally converted farmers to GMO seeds. But only about half of them, unlike the US where 95% capitulated. GlobalUs reports that GMO seeds produce 10% to 20% bigger yields in Argentina.

Lahaina was, in my opinion, the best seafood restaurant city in America for its size. I have to hope the great natural harbor means it will come back.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are $1.49 on Tuesdays at Kwik Star.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Des Moines tops Forbes' list of 10 best cities for young professionals

DES MOINES, Iowa — Move over, Oklahoma City. A recent study done by Forbes lists Des Moines as the top place to live for young professionals. Forbes analyzed 10 metrics across the 100 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States, focusing on four key categories: employment and pay, housing affordability, lifestyle and cost of living. ... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: 6-foot long boa constrictor found in Iowa Target shopping cart

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – People at an Iowa Target were in for a surprise after a 6-foot long snake was found in a shopping cart Saturday. Animal control was sent to Target on Sunnybrook Drive in Sioux City around 11:30 a.m. after a Columbian red boa was found in a shopping cart, the Sioux City Police Department told Nexstar’s KCAU. ... READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Accused of betting against Cyclones, Isaiah Lee leaves Iowa State football program

AMES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa State defensive lineman accused of wagering on his team’s games, including one where he bet against the Cyclones, has left the program, the school confirmed Monday. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


Kline shares a bountiful gift

Harvest benefits charitable groups

By Rich Wicks

A well-known Bible verse says, “Remember that whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully with also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). That theme seems to relate to the garden of Scott Kline of Bondurant.

This is the second summer that Kline has grown vegetables in Bondurant to give to charitable recipients in the area, and the harvest is expected to be bountiful. He has previously given vegetables to Lutheran Church of Hope, which he attends, for those in need, but this year he is expanding.

“I’m planning to give to some of the food pantries and homeless shelters this year,” he says. “Last year I planted 65 tomato plants; this year I planted 80. And last year I picked a little over 1,000 tomatoes. We canned 131 quarts of spaghetti sauce.”

Read more in the July issue of Bondurant Living magazine 

Birthdays and notables!

These celebrities were born on this date: Jennifer Lawrence, Ben Affleck, Debra Messing, Joe Jonas, Anthony Anderson, Emily Kinney, Jimmy Webb, Peter Hermann, Oscar Peterson, Tom Johnston, Željko Ivanek, David Zayas

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
How do you know when a chemist has fallen asleep? THEY QUIT REACTING! - Gail Tomlinson, Carolyn Rogers, Rex Post

Today's riddle

Why should you never go to a cheap eye surgeon?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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