the nice light snack

On Mr. Sun I encountered a link to a story about a German scientist named Michael Werner who claims to have been living off of solar energy and "faith," as well as diluted fruit juices, for the last four years. He's even written a book about his nice light diet called Living Through the Energy of Light. Head of the German Society of Nutrition Dr. Helmut Oberritter believes that "this case needs a lot more investigating if we are to explain it".

Stop your investigations, Herr Oberritter! The science wing of Palinode's Palace has come up with a solution: Herr Doktor Werner is lying. Sunlight will provide the body with vitamins and a smashing nice tan, but it will not nourish you, even if you lie in the sun all day with your mouth outstretched, even if you glue fern fronds and maple leaves to your skin, even if you paint yourself green and scream "I'm a fucking PLANT!" to that invisible patriarch in the sky. On the other hand, if you take the expedient route of pretending to live on sunlight, even taking the deception so far as to write a book about it, in which you are free to make up the last four years of your life, then you can convince or at least divert the attention of people who have better things to think about.

And so the case of the Man Who Lived On Sunlight, Faith and Fruit Juices Mixed With Water is solved, Encyclopedia-Brown style. Rooms in the science wing of Palinode's Palace are available for guided tours Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 to 3 PM.