June 2013 LSAT, LR2, Q5, Blythe Danner, spiders, and calcium

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

Mike Krolak edited my first two books, and the title “Cheating the LSAT” was all his. We met at UC Davis in the late 1990s. Since then, we've been drunk together at a dozen baseball stadiums in half a dozen states. He's one of the few people in the world who has beaten me at both Mario Kart and Mario Golf. One of my greatest achievements is introducing him to Nikki Black. We grew the mustaches, at left, for our buddy Craig's wedding.

Guest blogger: Mike Krolak

OK, so this doctor is saying "Hey, if you don't get enough calcium, you're way more likely to get osteoporosis, and dairy has a lot of calcium, so, uh, eat some dairy." I'm with the doc so far. (You could also ask your doctor about Prolia, according to Blythe Danner, aka the hottest 70-year-old on the planet, because apparently that does something with your bones too. I'm too busy gazing into her beautiful eyes to really pay attention to get the details in those commercials.)

But hold up a second: In countries where dairy is rare and fruits and vegetables are the main source of calcium (poor bastards), people get way less osteoporosis than the folks who get most of their calcium from dairy and are also way less happy because, well, cheese. (Emphasis and psychiatric determination mine.)

So this one is a Strengthen question, because we're asked, Which answer, if true, would make this physiologist less of a dolt?

Well, let's think about some possibilities. The first thing that leaps to mind is that there must be some fundamental difference in the calcium you get from dairy and the calcium you get from fruits and veggies. Like in Medicine Man, starring Sean Connery, where he and Lorraine Bracco are brilliant doctors trying to figure out why this one sample of their medicine is CURING FUCKING CANCER in this Amazonian tribe, but whenever they replicate it ingredient-for-ingredient, they can't get the same results. Well, spoiler alert -- it turns out that the sugar they used in that one sample came from a sugar container infested with spiders. So it's the spiders that make the difference! THE SPIDERS CURE CANCER! Which is pretty much my worst nightmare, because I fucking hate spiders.

The point being, maybe it's not just the calcium. Maybe it's some other shit in fruits and veggies in addition to the calcium, because maybe the other stuff helps you absorb the calcium better or something? I don't know, I'm no Sean Connery. But that would indeed connect those dots, because then you could eat a ton of dairy, ingest a ton of calcium, and still get like no benefit, and henceforth be at risk of calling up Gwyneth Paltrow's mom for some Prolia. So let's see if that's one of the answers.

A. This one doesn't do much for us. You'd think the people eating fruits and veggies would be pretty healthy, so if they're losing calcium, that doesn't explain anything. That might mean everyone should get osteoporosis at the same rate, which we know isn't the case.

B. If you eat large quantities of fruit and also eat dairy, that might explain it. That would mean the fruits and veggies discussion is a red herring of sorts. But the guy also said that those folks eating fruits and veggies for calcium live where dairy is rare. So this ain't the pepper, because it's contradicted by info in the setup.

C. My guess is that this one is true, that more people have a calcium deficiency than have osteoporosis. But so what? This doesn't explain the discrepancy at all.

D. If you have a calcium deficiency, you are also likely to have other mineral deficiencies. Totally makes sense! Also: doesn't fucking matter! There's not even a mention of osteoporosis in here. Definitely doesn't clear anything up. It's just making me think about how I should probably eat some spinach right now instead of ice cream, and eff that noise. We're running out of choices, but let's move on”¦

E. Unnhh! That's almost exactly what we were looking for! It introduces new factors (fats) that affect calcium absorption, and therefore that would screw up the calcium benefit of dairy, which would explain why dairy doesn't get the job done despite a lot of calcium. THE FATS ARE THE SPIDERS! AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

So yeah, I feel pretty good about picking E here. Despite the spiders.

About Mike: I edited Nathan's first two LSAT books, and I used to be his roommate in SF, so I've absorbed a whole lot of LSAT info from that guy. I went to school to be an environmental scientist but soon realized I kinda sucked at it and liked making dick jokes, so I became a writer. I currently do silly internet things with television at ABC. Hope you liked the picture of me and Nathan with gross mustaches. You're welcome.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends! --nathan

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project