<< Blog2 | Blog Page List | Blog4 >>

Four Day Work Week - 16 Reasons It's a Good Idea

The Four Day Work Week: Sixteen Reasons Why This Might Be an Idea Whose Time Has Come - This article from theoildrum.com makes the argument that a four day work week would have at least 16 benefits to each of us and our economy. Written by Kyle Saunders (associate professor of political science at Colorado State University) the article gives some detail and statistics for each reason, so do read the original article, but the points below give the gist.

Read more


Zero Population Growth or Bust! - Albert A. Bartlett Ph.D. Video

Arithmetic, Population, and Energy - by Albert A. Bartlett - Fascinating yet simple illustration of why continued growth (of the population, of oil consumption, etc.) cannot go on forever. Intuitively, that much is obvious. Not so obvious is how near impossible it is for us (as a society) to recognize when we've gone too far, when our resources have been consumed to the point that it's too late to do anything about it.

The reason it's hard to recognize that point has everything to do with the simple yet profound implications of how compounding growth rates behave. Compounding growth rates are our friend when receiving interest. Compounding growth rates are our enemy when it comes to consumption and population growth.

This third video of the series carries a devastating message. The core problem of our unsustainable economy is the rate of population growth and the rate of resource consumption. When we think about China and India and their impact on global consumption in the coming years, it's essential to remember that what brought us to this point was U.S. consumption.

Read more


Why Organic Milk Lasts Longer than Regular Milk

Why Organic Milk Lasts Longer than Regular Milk - The difference lies NOT in the source of the milk but in how it's processed.

LTLT Pasteurization - The pasteurization process commonly used with regular milk is called "low temperature, long time" (LTLT) pasteurization, which heats the milk to 145 degree F for at least 30 minutes. The temperatures used in LTLT pasteurization do NOT kill all the bacteria in the milk, but do kill enough to keep it safe for a week or so.

UHT Pasteurization - The pasteurization process commonly used with organic milk is called ultrahigh-temperature pasteurization (UHT) and heats the milk to 280 degrees F for 2-4 seconds. UHT pasteurization kills all bacteria in the milk.

Why not use UHT for Regular Milk? Besides killing all bacteria, UHT pasteurization destroys some of milk's vitamins (a small amount) and alters some proteins in the milk so that it cannot be used for making cheese.

Read more


Surface Protein TRPA1 Increases Pain After Surgery / Anesthesia

Surface Protein TRPA1 Increases Pain After Surgery Anesthesia - Studies in mice suggest that certain commonly used anesthetics activate the TRPA1 surface protein on nerve cells. When activated, the TRPA1 protein increases or intensifies feelings of pain after waking up from surgery. Anesthesiologists may try to use medications that don't activate TRPA1.

Read more


Cornell Note-taking Method

Notetaking Systems - Study Skills Library - Cal Poly

The Cornell Note-taking Method

The Cornell method involves organizing your note-taking page into two regions, left and right. After writing the notes in the main, right-hand space, use the left-hand space to label each idea and detail with a key word or "cue." When studying, use the cues to recall the material.

Read more


Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Near Elementary Schools

Cops wanting to fulfill their traffic ticket quota can easily do so by staking out any elementary school during morning drop-off or afternoon pick-up.

Parents dropping off or picking up their kids from school are absolutely the WORST and MOST DANGEROUS drivers on the road -- even when compared to drunk drivers. Here's a list of routine violations...

Read more


Baby Turtle Eating Strawberry - Great Picture!

Baby Turtle Eating Strawberry - Gwen Turner-Juarez took this photo of a baby turtle eating a strawberry. I couldn't resist sharing.

Read more


8 Bad Words

8 Bad Words - Found this video by Trevor Crook kinda informative and funny--not George Carlin funny by any means, however...

Read more


"Are My Testicles Black?"

Received from a relative...this had me cracking up for quite a while...enjoy!

A male patient is lying in bed in the hospital, wearing an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose, still heavily sedated from a difficult four hour, surgical procedure. A young student nurse appears to give him a partial sponge bath.

"Nurse", he mumbles, from behind the mask. "Are my testicles black?"

Embarrassed, the young nurse replies "I don't know, Sir. I'm only here to wash your upper body and feet."

He struggles to ask again, "Nurse, are my testicles black?"

Concerned that he may elevate his vitals from worry about his testicles, she overcomes her embarrassment and sheepishly pulls back the covers.

She raises his gown, holds his penis in one hand and his testicles in the other, lifting and moving them around.

Then, she takes a close look and says, "There's nothing wrong with them, Sir!!"

The man pulls off his oxygen mask, smiles at her and says very slowly,

"Thank you very much. That was wonderful. But listen very, very closely......

Read more


My Bird Watching List


Photo by Len BluminCalifornia Quail - THIS is the bird that got me hooked on birding. Spotted one in a tree on 17-mile drive near Monterey, California after puzzling over the queer call I was hearing. Gorgeous bird. Quite distinctive and easy to identify. Not much of a flier--very rapid wing beat. 6/30/2008. Spotted another in Sunol Regional Wilderness (Maguire area) perched on a post, just like this picture. 7/6/2008.

Read more


How to Avoid Jet Lag - A New Rule-of-Tum

Avoid jet lag - According to a Harvard animal study, the sleep-wake cycle can be reset by fasting for 12-16 hours. So to avoid jet lag, the researchers offered this rule-of-tum...

  1. Figure out when breakfast is served in the new timezone
  2. Don't eat for 12-16 hours before that time

Avoid eating for 12-16 hours - The Harvard study suggests that delayed eating helps reset the sleep-wake cycle, which could help reduce jet lag or adjusting to working a swing shift.


Read more


Evaporative (Swamp) Coolers - Research

Evaporative or swamp coolers are an energy efficient alternative for cooling air during a summertime heatwave. They work on a simple principle: when water evaporates, it takes a little bit energy (heat) away with it. This creates a cooling effect like the one we experience when our sweat evaporates.

Evaporative or swamp coolers use this cooling effect to create and distribute cool air in a room or home. However, as those on the U.S. East Coast know only too well, evaporative cooling doesn't happen when the air is already saturated with water vapor--a condition we call high humidity. And high humidity doesn't just occur outside; a home, room, or even the inside of a car (during an amorous escapade) can become highly humid. Because of this, rooms cooled by evaporative coolers need to be well ventilated. Without ventilation, evaporative coolers will turn your home or room into a humid sauna. Below are more tips and info...

Read more


Wade Davis TED Talk - Worldwide Web of Belief & Ritual - Video

Wade Davis TED Talk - Riveting talk by anthropologist Wade Davis about the "worldwide web of belief and ritual." Davis is such passionate advocate for all cultures, maintaining that no culture is a "failed attempt at modern life." Instead, each is a unique, creative expression that strives to answer life's questions of why? and how? If anything, Davis considers these ancient and ongoing cultures (Mayan, Inuit, etc.) as much richer and complex than the culture(s) of our modern industrial age. After hearing Davis' talk, he certainly has good reason to feel that way.

Read more


Get Rid of Ants - Without Pesticides or Poison

Get Rid of Ants - Superb article on Associated Content describes How to Get Rid of Ants Without Using a Pesticide. Below is a summary.

Read more


How Long to Boil Water - So It's Safe to Drink

How Long to Boil Water So It's Safe to Drink - It's a critical issue when hiking in the wilderness or traveling in some foreign lands. Filters and purifiers can work well, HOWEVER:

The ONLY 100% reliable method for killing waterborne pathogens is boiling.

According to the Wilderness Medical Society...

  • water temperatures above 160° F (70° C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and
  • water temperatures above 185° F (85° C) kill all pathogens within a few minutes.

So by the time water temperature goes from 160° F (70° C) to the boiling point (212° F or 100° C), all pathogens have been killed, even at high altitude.

Read more


Why Men Have Better Friends

Friendship between Women

A woman didn't come home one night. The next morning she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend's house. The man called his wife's 10 best friends. None of them knew anything about it.

Friendship between Men

A man didn't come home one night. The next morning he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend's house. The woman called her husband's 10 best friends, eight of which confirmed that he had slept over, and two said that he was still there.

Source - Why Men Have Better Friends

Read more


Trekking / Hiking Poles - Pros and Cons

Pros - Advantages of Trekking Poles

  • Reduce impact on knee joints and leg muscles - Arm and shoulder muscles take some of the load off the leg muscles and joints. 1
  • Increase hill climbing power - Legs and arms can contribute to the climb.
  • Reduced swelling in hands - Hands-above-heart position and arm motion used with poles prevents blood from pooling in the hands.
  • Aid balance - When balance is thrown off due to terrain or middle ear problems.
  • Regular breathing and increased stamina - Because using poles creates a consistent, steady walking rhythm.
  • Useful for testing areas for snakes, stability, etc.

Read more


GoLite Jam 2 Ultra-Lite Backpack - Review

GoLite Jam 2 Ultra-Lite Backpack - Fantastic! Never go back to the bulky, heavy packs. This pack rocks, though you have to be into the ultra-lite approach to make it work as a true hiking pack. But I also use it for day hikes--at 22 oz., it's lighter than my other dayhike packs.

I caught the ultra-lite bug while reading Ray Jardine's Beyond Backpacking, which is infused with the ultra-lite philosophy Jardine preaches. Indeed, hiking the "Ray Way" has become something of a religion among ultra-lite purists. I just think the guy makes sense. Why lug 50 pounds of redundant gear on a hike and make yourself miserable? When done right, traveling lighter is safer and more enjoyable. Amen.

Read more


Merrell Moab Ventilator - Lightweight Hiking Boots

I LOVE THESE BOOTS! - Lightweight, comfortable, durable. These Merrell Moab Ventilator lightweight hiking boots are great! I'm using them to hike around a local steep trail with lots of gravel and rocks. I feel very stable and, since they are so lightweight, my legs and feet don't feel so tired as compared to other, heavier boots. I'm very happy with my purchase, and would recommend them to friends and family.

I've tried waterproof (Gortex) boots. But the problem with waterproof boots is that they are hot to wear, and if they do get wet (from water entering over the boot's cuff), then it takes forever for them to dry out (a guy did a test, and the boots took 4 days to dry). In moderate conditions, these Merrell Ventilator boots should dry out overnight (again, a guy did a test).

Read more


Low-Carb Diet Plan - Gary Taubes

Low-Carb Diet Plan - Found this list in Gary Taubes' book Good Calories, Bad Calories to be about right. He culled it from Herman Taller and and Robert Atkins. More-or-less how I am eating. I'm basically avoiding any processed foods and oils, though I do eat Leo Galland's Omega Blast Granola in the morning. In fact, I really love many of the recipes from Leo Galland's Fat Resistance Diet.

Read more


Why Fat People Always Feel Hungry

Why Fat People Always Feel Hungry - I've been reading a lot about diets and obesity, and I've finally come to some conclusions which have been corroborated in Gary Taubes' paradigm-shattering book, Good Calories, Bad Calories.

The body regulates fat metabolism very precisely in ALL people--fat, lean, and in-between.

In a few sentences - Digestion of carbs and sugars leads to insulin secretion. Insulin secretion tells your body to store fat in fat cells. Insulin secretion also prevents your body from releasing fat from fat cells. You cannot lose weight (burn fat) with insulin in your bloodstream.

In other words - Insulin prevents your fat cells from releasing fat. So if you reduce your blood insulin levels (through low-carb eating), you enable your body to burn fat. But if you keep insulin levels high (through high-carb eating), you absolutely CANNOT burn fat.

The model 1 below explains why people get fat and why fat people constantly feel hungry.

Read more


Dog Diary vs. Cat Diary

The Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Read more


Fisherman Meets Harvard MBA - Who Finds More Meaning in Life?

Found this parable in various places. Nice story.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Mexican.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

Read more


Five Rules for Mastering Leptin

Five Rules for Mastering Leptin - I found this a ready summary of Byron and Mary Richards' book Mastering Leptin. The book itself contains an enormous amount of detail, as the authors present their findings from a thorough research review on the recently discovered appetite controlling hormone leptin.

Read more


Ben Stein Gets Expelled - Commentary


Ben Stein
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Ben Stein hosts a documentary called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. I have not seen the film yet, and at first I was quite critical about the film's position, as I saw it, of supporting creationism. But as I read more, I realize that while I don't agree with Stein's position on creationism, I do agree that those who support the hypothesis should not be persecuted--IF indeed they are exploring a hypothesis of intelligent design scientifically and not simply foisting or promulgating religious beliefs.* But if people, scientific or not, want to explore the idea that there is an intelligence behind the creation of the universe, more power to them. It's an hypothesis worth exploring scientifically. However, it is not dogma that should be accepted without evidence...or taught in our schools. As dogma, such a belief is personal and/or religious. As a hypothesis, it's worth exploring.

Regarding the film's production, I've heard accounts that some of the scientists who criticize creationism (Dawkins, etc.) were mislead by producers as to the film's intent and how their participation would be used. If true, that's really offends me and greatly reduces my interest in seeing the film.

Read more


Fat Resistance Diet - by Leo Galland - Review

Fat Resistance Diet by Leo Galland - After working with the Rosedale Diet - High Fat, Moderate Protein, Minimal Carb Eating Plan, I found that I loved Rosedale's ideas but felt something was missing. Then I bumped into the Fat Resistance Diet by Leo Galland, M.D. Fat Resistance Diet focuses on recovering leptin sensitivity by avoiding systemic inflammation in the body. Leptin is a key hormone in the body that controls appetite, among other things. Like insulin, many people are insensitive to leptin levels in their blood due to chronic inflammation. The Fat Resistance diet is designed by Galland to reduce that inflammation and recover leptin (and insulin) sensitivity.

The book is well written and quite profound in its analysis of the diet's own principles and those of other, competing diets. The meals and recipes included in the book are excellent, and the diet as a whole seems much more sustainable than Atkins, South Beach, Rosedale, etc. The focus is on whole foods as a way to obtain good proteins, good fats, AND good carbs, as well as many micro- and phyto-nutrients. The more I read Galland, the more he made sense and further he refined what I had read before. Control systemic inflammation and you control leptin, insulin, and health.

Read more


Cholesterol Myth - Evidence Refuting Cholesterol Causes Heart Disease

Cholesterol Myth / Heart Disease Myth - I've become suspicious of the current model that high blood cholesterol (particularly LDL) is directly related to coronary heart disease risk (CHD). Operating from this belief, doctors prescribe drugs which reduce blood LDL levels thinking this effect also reduces the heart disease risk (CHD). Specifically, I'm referring to the widespread acceptance of statin drugs (Crestor, Zocor, Lipitor, etc.).

Statins clearly reduce LDL, but they carry with them other effects that may be more relevant to reducing CHD risk than reducing LDL levels. It's like trying to stop aging by stopping hair from turning gray. Gray hair is a symptom of aging, but not necessarily part of the cause. Similarly, LDL may be a symptom of CHD risk, but NOT likely a cause.

However, as I make clear below, I don't think high LDL is necessarily a symptom of high CHD risk.

Work in progress. I hope to have study citations to support each assertion listed below in what I hope will be a more comprehensive model of coronary heart disease (CHD).

Read more


Stroke of Insight - Jill Bolte Taylor at TED - Video & Transcript

Stroke of Insight - Jill Bolte Taylor - One of the most profound presentations I have ever experienced....WATCH THIS!

Read more


Pastor Jeremiah Wright - In Context


Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright

Pastor Jeremiah Wright - In Context - With all the controversy about Pastor Jeremiah Wright's words, I wanted to get a bit closer to the context. I concluded that the news hysteria is misguided. In context, the sound-bites make perfect sense and don't justify the inflammatory response generated by the out-of-context sound-bites repeated ad-nauseum by our shameful media.

When we adopt the opinions of the media, accepting as proof a sound-bite, we risk being mislead. We risk public opinion being corralled by a minority with an agenda. Again, we've been fooled.


Read more


"A More Perfect Union" - Barack Obama Speech - Video & Transcript

Barack Obama - A More Perfect Union
Obama delivers a brilliant, no-BS speech on race in the America.

Transcript below...

Read more


That Inner Warmth - Self Portrait by Leanne Lim-Walker

That Inner Warmth - I absolutely love this Leanne Lim-Walker self-portrait, which was featured on a Popular photography magazine cover. Something about the composition, light, and beautiful face keeps pulling me back to this image.

Read more


Marc LeRoy Roach - Obituary

My cousin Marc Roach was a kind, gentle, and adventurous man--the kind of person who, after you met him, you'd say, "Damn, I want to get to know that guy better!" Sadly, none of us will have that opportunity. Below is the obituary written by his father LeRoy--with kibitzing/editing from his brother Mike.

Read more


Tips For Handling Telemarketers

Received via email. I've edited the original. Some good tips.

Tips for Handling Telemarketers - Three Little Words That Work!!

  1. Answer phone.
  2. If no one is there, press the # key 7 or 8 times rapidly.* Otherwise...
  3. Say: "Hold on, please..."
  4. Put down your phone (instead of hanging-up) and walk away. This makes your call time-consuming and costs the telemarketer.
  5. When you hear phone company's 'beep-beep-beep, hang up phone.

Read more


US Adults Shifting Religions

U.S. Adults Shifting Religions - Catholics are leaving the church in record numbers (with recent scandals, no surprise). But an "influx of Catholic immigrants" balances out the losses. Nondenominational Protestants are up, and the number of adults unaffiliated with an organized religion are way up. Buddhist, Muslims, and Pentecostals are the only growing populations, with Pentecostals leading that race.

Read more


Get the Most From Your Statin

Get the Most from Your Statin - Everyday Health reports that when and how you take your statin can influence its effectiveness and absorption.

  • Mevacor - Take with food. This almost doubles the amount of medication absorbed into bloodstream.
  • Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor, Lescol - Take with your evening meal. These statins block a one of the liver's key cholesterol-making enzymes, and that enzyme is most active at night.
  • Crestor, Lipitor - Take at any time, as these statins stay in the body and bloodstream long enough that you can take them any time.
  • Pravachol - If on other medications, try Pravachol, which is less likely to interact with other medications than other statins.

Read more


South Beach Heart Health Revolution - by Agatston - Notes

Calcium score - Also called Agatston score, measures the amount of calcified plaque inside the coronary arteries. Higher the calcium score, the higher the chance of heart attack. Excellent predictor of future heart attack risk.

Computed tomography (CT) or electron beam tomography (EBT) - used for imaging heart. Scans provide a calcium score?

Atherosclerosis - When artery walls gradually filled with plaque (cholesterol, inflammatory cells, scar tissue). Different kinds of plaque. Heart attack caused when soft cholesterol rich plaque bursts, resulting in blood clot. Blood clot blocks blood flow to heart. News to me. I thought plaque, not a blood clot, that caused artery blockage and heart attack. But this clot model makes sense, given sudden nature of heart attack. A slowly developing plaque blockage should give the heart time to grow collateral vessels.

Better model of heart attack - Heart attack not caused by plaque blockage in the tube of the vessel (old school). The culprit is plaque depositing in the inner lining of vessel walls, like pimple filled with cholesterol. When pimples bursts, an injury site is created. To heal the injury, a clot will form. If the clot is big enough, it blocks the artery, causing heart attack.

Read more


Where Does the Money Go? - Moyers Interview with Bittle & Johnson

Where Does the Money Go? - In their book Where Does the Money Go - Your Guided Tour to the Federal Budget Crisis, Scott Bittle & Jean Johnson explain in understandable terms where the U.S. government spends YOUR tax dollars.

In an interview with Bill Moyers, Bittle and Jean reveal that the U.S. Government has spent more money than it received in taxes for 31 of the last 35 years. Meaning, that in good times and bad, the U.S. Government is spending more than it brings in. No company, no household, no government can spend more than it receives without consequences. Companies and households go bankrupt (or get a government bail out). The government simply borrows and prints more money, which eventually leads to a financial crisis (inflation, currency collapse, etc.)

Some think the spending problem would be solved if we left IRAQ. Not so....

Read more


Closed Caption Missing on HD Channels - Solution Found!

Caption Missing on HD Channels - After installing Comcast cable box, we lost the closed captioning for HD TV channels.

The HD problem - Caption controls exist on two separate menus:

  1. one for the TV
  2. one for the cable box

To display captions for HD channels, you need to enable captioning through the cable box's caption menu. The TV's caption menu will NOT enable captions for HD TV channels.

The hard part is figuring out how to access the cable box's caption menu. Here's how we accessed the cable box's caption menu and restored the captioning for ALL channels, HD and non-HD.

Read more


Avoid Hospitals on Weekends!

Avoid Hospitals on Weekends!

In the past decade, studies have found that patients treated at hospitals on weekends have inferior outcomes when compared with those receiving care on weekdays. In some cases, researchers have found, that can also mean a higher death rate.
~ If Possible, Avoid Hospitals on Weekends


Read more


Support Our Troops ≠ Support the War

Support Our Troops - I see it on bumper stickers, though less often than a few years ago. And I've heard many people assert that if you don't support the Iraq war, you don't support our troops...though, again, less often than a few years ago. I guess we are finally separating the ideas of supporting a policy of war and supporting our troops. We realize we can support our troops and not support a war.

It's like supporting students but not supporting the school.

Sometimes the best way to show your support is to pull the students (or soldiers) out.

Read more


Cave Bookcase - Design by Sakura Adachi

Cave Bookcase by Sakura Adachi - I love this idea and image. It does look like a cave in a bookcase--not that it looks that comfortable, but it's a visually jarring image because the smooth curves interrupt the straight vertical and horizontal lines. Sakura Adachi has designed a winner cave bookcase...expensive...but a winner.

Read more


<< Blog2 | Blog Page List | Blog4 >>