This Site Has Moved

I moved the blog some time ago to Please join in the discussion over there!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I've Moved

Check out the new blog at See you there!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm Back

I'm back from Niagara and making some final changes to the blog. It may be down for a bit. I hope to have it back up today, but if not, stay with me. I'm converting to WordPress.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

25 of the World's Most Interesting Animals

I'm off to Niagara Falls for the weekend, so enjoy looking at these cute little devils for a few days. See you on Sunday. Same bat time, same bat channel, same bad jokes.

100 Foods to Improve Your Productivity

Here is a list of 100 Foods to Improve Productivity. All kinds of favorite foods make the list. Here are a few to whet your whistle:

Salmon: Not just a fish dish delicacy, a single serving of salmon is also full of healthy benefits. Low in calories but high in important omega 3 fatty acids and protein, salmon will keep your appetite at bay while you concentrate on your busy day. Salmon is known for keeping high-blood pressure in check – a benefit for the demanding currency trading lifestyle. Salmon also lowers your chances of sunburn, dry eyes, stroke, prostate cancer, and even minimizes feelings of hostility in young adults. Without the distractions of moody adolescents, you'll be able to get twice as much done!

Spinach: Make like Popeye and inhale that spinach. Full of practically every nutrient you could think of, spinach is the easiest way to take in all your vitamins at once. In addition to fighting cancer and building strong bones and muscles, spinach reduces stress and help keeps your brain young and focused.

Cauliflower: Like most other vegetables included on this list, cauliflower has an immense amount of Vitamin C and impressive detoxifying capabilities. Just don't pour on the ranch dressing, or you'll also be getting a lot of fat and calories. Visit for new twists on the vegetable.

Onions: Adding onions to any dish will add taste while lowering your blood sugar. Onions are also good for the overall health of your stomach, settling that queasy tummy during a hangover.

Ok, so you'll really notice one thing reading through the list: most of the foods that made the list are exquisitely healthful and you probably don't need to be told that they're good for you. Lots of fruits, vegetables, and delicious protein. Of course there are a few foods on the list that make me say "Huh?," such as pound cake (#55), tofu (#73..."a healthier alternative to meat"? Who're they kidding?), and vanilla soy milk (#78). And there are a few tweeners that I won't get myself all twisted over, but these shouldn't be a part of daily intake: orange juice (#36), brown rice (#52), bran cereal (#49), and whole wheat pasta (#79) to name a few. Of course, no self-respecting health list would be complete without a few grains huh?

All in all though, this is a solid list of foods to include in your daily eating regimen.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Is Juice Good For You?

There's an interesting discussion about fruit juice over at Wired Berries that I've been participating in. Stop in and check it out.

I stand by my contention that fruit juice should not constitute a regular part of a healthful diet. The sugar content is too high and, being a liquid, it is quickly turned into glucose for delivery in the blood. As we all know, high glucose equals high insulin and since insulin is a storage hormone, the body won't release fat while insulin is jacked up. You'll notice in the comments that I also point out that orange and apple juice are, ounce for ounce, higher in calories than a soda. Fruit is very healthful to include in a diet, but I'm not sure fruit juice would qualify. The sugar content is sky high, regardless of how natural it is, and likely causes a commensurate rise in insulin. Natural doesn't always equal healthful. Sure, you get some vitamins and minerals in juice, but those can also be found in the whole fruit. Of course, if you are going to literally DIE of thirst and you have a choice of only juice or Coke, go with the juice.

Anyone have any thoughts on the issue? Am I on base or off in left field?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Life is Fragile

I had a post nearly finished for today, but I'm going to let it wait until tomorrow. I don't much feel like writing right now. On my way home from work, traffic slowed and then about a 1/4 mile up from me, I noticed a silver SUV upside-down in the median of I-64 and then a guy headed west-bound that had stopped and was running back to the SUV. At that point, I was too far away to leave my car in the middle of traffic, so I picked up my phone and called 911. When I got up to the accident, I pulled off to the shoulder and got out. A girl (probably my age) had been taken out of the vehicle by the first guy on the scene and there were I guess 5 of us guys with the SUV and 2 women with the girl on the ground. There was a guy still in the car, obviously not wearing a seatbelt, as he was laying on his head/neck/shoulders with his legs bringing his stomach to his face. He seemed to be moving or twitching and some of the guys were talking to him to let him know help was on the way and to stay with us. Nobody could move him due to his positioning and weight, not that we should have anyway given the injuries he may have had.

I have to give a hand to EMS. In under 5 minutes there were 2 fire engines, a Fire Dept SUV, and an ambulance on the scene, in rush hour traffic. They quickly took control of the situation, securing the SUV so it wouldn't slide down the median onto the girl on the ground. I was thinking "Why didn't I think to tell them to send more than 1 ambulance?" but given that I hadn't arrived at the scene yet, there is no way I could've known how many were involved. They managed to get the guy out of the SUV and it was obvious he had been unable to breathe in the position he was in. His head, neck, and chest were bluish-purple from oxygen deprivation. As they were working on resuscitating him, I decided I was doing nothing there but gawking and since I wasn't a witness to the accident, I bowed out.

In the end, I didn't do anything at the scene, but I feel good knowing that I stopped and was available to help out if needed. The other people there before me had taken care of everything that could be taken care of before EMS arrived. I was quite shaken up during the drive home. The first guy on the scene was very shaken up and crying. I told him that he had done well, although I'm sure he will be wrangling with himself over other things he could've done. I came home and the accident was on the news. The guy that was in the truck died. It's the first time I've ever been so closely involved with a death. Sure, I didn't have anything to do with the accident, but I was likely there when he died.

I am furious at all the people that didn't stop. There was an SUV upside-down and only one guy on the scene. There was a 1/4 mile of traffic between me and the SUV and by the time I got there, only the semi driver, 3 or 4 other people, and the two ladies that were also involved in the accident had stopped. I watched people in the west-bound lanes go around the vehicle rather than stopping. To those people I ask: Is your life that busy that you can't stop to help your fellow man? Do you really have such important things to do? What happened to all of those cars between me and the accident? I guess everyone just thought "Yippee! Open highway!"

Part of me wonders if we should have moved him so that he wasn't laying in such a precarious position. Would it have helped? Might he have lived? There's no way of knowing and it sucks. I feel sorry for the lady that hit the SUV. It was an accident and she has to live the rest of her life knowing that a slip in her attention caused the death of another and caused untold amounts of physical and mental pain to the girl involved.

The only point I can make with this post is that life is fragile. This whole thing makes me think of an article I posted awhile back: Don't Die With Your Music Still In You. You never know what's going to happen, or when. Today it was Carl. Tomorrow it could be me or you. Make sure you're getting everything you want out of life. I hope that the moment before he died, this fellow was able to think, "At least I did the things I wanted to do with my life to this point." Too many of us go through life on auto-pilot and regret it later. If you have to make changes in your life, make them, but make sure you're happy.

I apologize for rambling, but I'm still stunned. And please, please, please fasten your seatbelt. It could just save your life.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Guinness is Good For You

Photo courtesy of Flickr

From the "fun file" comes this delightful tidbit: Guinness is Good For You. We already knew that Guinness was a delicious addition to a meal. And now we discover that it can help reduce heart attack-causing clotting activity in the blood. Note that Guinness, and probably other stouts and porters, but not lagers (drinkers of funky American macrobrews take note) provides this life-saving and important duty to the human race. This is great news for those of us that like good beer.

Here's to your heart!

Follow-up to "The Drugging of Our Children"

Yesterday, we had a bit of discussion on my post about The Drugging of Our Children. As luck would have it, Ross Enamait posted this article about the dangers of food additives to kids and their connection to hyperactivity and other disruptive behaviors in this post at his blog. I really can't top what he had to say, so I'm going to paste my favorite part here for all to enjoy...hop over to Ross' blog to read the rest.

It is not the child's job to read up on the dangers of food additives. We as parents must assume this responsibility. Being a parent is a responsibility and privilege. Part of this privilege means taking care of our children. Children don't buy food. We buy the food that they eat.

If you care about your children, you will make educated decisions regarding nutritional habits. Just because your child wants something doesn't mean that they will always get it.

Top notch post by Ross.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Cochrane Report on Low-Carb Diets

Check out Dr. Eades post from yesterday on the Cochrane Report on low-carb diets.

A few months ago the Cochrane Collaboration released a study showing that subjects on low-carb diets lost more weight and improved their cardiovascular risk profiles to a greater extent than did subjects following any other kind of diet. Did you read about this study in your local paper or see it on the evening news? I didn’t think so. I didn’t either.

Hop on over to his site to read the rest.

The Drugging of our Children

(Photo courtesy of WikiMedia) Here is a long, interesting, and infuriating video by Gary Null titled The Drugging of Our Children. It explores the prevalence of Ritalin for the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Michael Moore is interviewed in the film, and while I'm not a huge fan of his, he is pretty well spot-on with his words in this film.

There are interviews with several young people that have been on drugs for ADHD and/or depression, all with interesting stories of the effects Ritalin and the SSRIs had on them and their demeanor. One lady's story entails her refusal to put her child on Ritalin as the school demanded she do for him to stay in school. Child Protective Services removed her son from the home and put him on the drugs. She later "kidnapped" him and left for Canada, but the FBI pursued her there and had her son put back into an institution. She had a choice of political asylum in Canada or fighting to keep her son. She chose to be imprisoned to fight for her son. To this day, her son has still not been returned to her. Granted, she shouldn't have taken her son from a government facility.

Obviously this is only one side of the story and is intended to create a certain reaction, but the video is quite interesting. I can't speak on Ritalin or SSRIs as I'm not a doctor nor well-versed in the workings of those drugs. I will say though that I doubt either ADHD or depression is underdiagnosed. I highly doubt that MORE kids need to be on these drugs, especially when it's quite possible that a change in diet, sleep, or exercise patterns could rid a child of ADHD. A kid fed the typical morning breakfast of sugary cereal or waffles or Pop-Tarts is unlikely to be able to pay attention very well in class.

It almost seems like the schools are trying to medicate the "kid" right out of the child. Three times as many boys are diagnosed with ADHD compared to girls. Perhaps the learning environment is not set up for the way that boys learn. Boys and girls are not the same and something tells me that there isn't something inherently wrong with boys that makes them more susceptible to this disease, especially since it's reported in the video that there is no actual difference in brain activity of an ADHD vs non-ADHD brain. Maybe the boys are bored so they act up. And in a system where teachers and counselors are making diagnoses based on subjective determinations, rather than objective tests, the bias towards boys seems to confirm that there is something else going on.

We live in a fast-paced culture now. In most households, both parents work to be "successful". Poor nutrition is prevalent in our society. This study reports that 51% of families eat fast food one to two times a week and 7% eat it three to four times a week. Family dinner time doesn't exist anymore and with the growth of over-sugared, under-exercised, and overweight kids, it's easy to see that the delicate balance of hormones in a kid's brain could go a bit haywire. That doesn't mean the proper recourse is a drug. It is the easy way, but not the proper way when switching to a diet based on natural foods and spending some time exercising or playing as a family would do wonders for the child. Once you start medicating, you then have to medicate the side effects, of which many report hallucinations and violent tendencies. And then there are the ties to murder and suicide.

This story reminded me about this article Most People Are Depressed for a Very Good Reason. There are probably some cases where antidepressants are the right course of action. There are probably many more where the right course of action is for the person taking them to make changes to their life.