Sunday, February 29, 2004

The Silent Killer in Organic Foods

While looking for something else entirely I came across an interesting web site that analyses false and misleading public relations campaigns. Here is a story about false claims that organically grown foods are somehow more dangerous than foods grown in the intensive chemical oriented "conventional" farms: Trashing organic foods - Disinfopedia

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

The Passion

With all the hoopla about the Mel Gibson movie I thought I'd throw in a different spin on the whole thing by referring y'all to the book The Jesus Mysteries. A book that presents compelling evidence of a different take on the Jesus story.

Personally I found the book refreshing and the final conclusion logical. For me the book changes the focus of the Christ story onto the philosophy contained in it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Great Movie

I just saw the movie Secondhand Lions with Michael Cain, Robert Duval and Haley Joel Osment. What a great movie, great story, great acting, great directing.

It's about a kid whose mom is an expert at lying and in picking real lousy guys to go out with. One summer she leaves him with his two old uncles who are rumored to be filthy rich from being bank robbers in the 20's and 30's. They aren't exactly overjoyed at having a wussy kid around the place. Their main sport is shooting at salesmen who stop by trying to get them to spend some of their millions on that latest and greatest ... whatever.

Over the course of the movie the uncles have an effect on the kid and the kid has an effect on the uncles and that's all I'm tellin' ya. To find out more see it for yourself.

Monday, February 23, 2004

New Year's Resolution #1

Well, I did it. I got my BMI down to 23 from 25 by losing 15lbs. According to this BMI calculator that is my ideal BMI.

So, how did I do it? I ate a diet of donuts and twinkies - just kidding. I didn't so much change what I was eating but how I was eating it. Instead of eating a large breakfast, lunch and dinner, I had a smaller breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a smaller lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, a smaller dinner and a late-night snack. This is similar to the South-Beach Diet. I also ate no carbs for the first week and a half.

I don't eat wheat, corn or potatoes and I stick to the Blood Type Diet recommendations. I also inadvertently started combining my foods better. This wasn't really a conscious choice at first, it just tasted better to not have carbohydrates with proteins. So for breakfast, lunch and dinner I have meat and vegetables (often salad) and for evening snack (supper) I have manna bread or oats or something like that. This seems to work really well. I actually prefer the meat and veg during the day and the carbs at night, and from the fact I've lost 15lbs, it is clearly working.

I hope this is helpful to anyone attempting to lose weight.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Lies and Obfuscation - California Prop 56

I heard another ad on the radio for the Proposition from Hell - Prop 56. The ad sounded so wonderful. The Prop is the solution to all budget grid-lock in Sacramento, it's a positive panacea, a balm for all budget woes. I'm surprised they didn't have sweet Tinkabel fairy music playing to give the ad that magical feel.

Yes Prop 56 is so good that those nasty politicians won't get paid if they don't pass a budget on time. And the wondrous, fabulous Prop 56 gives them the means to do it - unlimited ability to INCREASE TAXES. Of course they don't mention that in the ad because nobody would vote for this piece of crap if they knew the truth - Prop 56 gives a virtual carte blanch to the overspending idiots in Sacramento to tax us to death.

So guess how I'm voting on Prop 56?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Big Brother Takes Another Step Into Your Life

Whittling away individual rights is a slow process. You have to take tiny little steps one after another and you have to hide your true intentions behind the facade of "saving lives" or "protecting people from <your favorite bad thing here>" New Mexico has just taken such a step: - House votes for ignition interlocks on every vehicle.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

What Not To Say In A Job Interview

My friend interviewed someone for a job yesterday. The guy told my friend that he'd been fired from his previous job because he did such a good job of setting everything up and making it stable that they didn't need him anymore.

For some strange reason my friend was not impressed (imagine that) and is not going to hire this paragon of perfection.

So even if you are the greatest thing since sliced bread, it's probably best not to trumpet it during a job interview.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Monday, February 16, 2004

Here's a great gadget that helps your wrists, hands and arms

Sitting at a computer, typing every day for years has been wearing away at my hands and wrists. I finally decided to do something about it and one of the things I'm using is the Dynaflex Powerball. This thing is really cool. You spin the inner ball and then move your hand back and forth in an arc and the gyroscope inside starts to spin like crazy and the ball suddenly feels heavier and as if it's trying to get out of your hand. It's amazing how much effort it takes to keep in going. But it's a lot of fun - just don't over do it.


Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The French Government is at it again

Not content with creating an anti-religious law a couple of years ago that would allow them to disband any religion they disliked (See Human Rights Watch - France for full details) the French Government has now banned kids from wearing anything religious in school. So for example a Jew can't wear a yarmulka, a Christian can't wear a cross, a Muslim girl can't wear a headscarf and a Sikh's can't wear a turban.

I can understand when a state doesn't allow religious symbols in government buildings so they don't look as if they are supporting any particular religion, but to deny individuals the right to simply wear something is ridiculous. The idiots think the ban will somehow "help to keep classes from dividing into 'militant religious communities'." Personally I think it's going to have completely the opposite effect.

As they demonstrated in their extremely bloody Revolution in the 1790s the members of the French Government seems to have the idea that if someone doesn't agree with them then they'll simply use force to get their way. What they have failed to notice is that it doesn't work and France has been going downhill as a nation ever since. It got so bad last century that they had to be bailed out of their mess by Britain and America, twice.

France is a country with a great potential and if the Government would simply get it's nose out of people's lives and especially out of their religion I think things would be going a lot better in that country.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Uh Oh - Technology - The Pentagon's Weather Nightmare

Perfect Gift for your Valentine

I just came across the absolute best Valentine's gift: Personalized love songs for your Valentine.

It's hard to explain this simply but the CD is personalized. Example, your valentine is called "Jane." So you order the CD for "Jane" and the first song has a line in it "Jane, be my valentine," the second song has the line "Oh, Jane. I know how lucky I am," and the singer is a guy. But if your sweetie is called "Dave" then when you order the CD for "Dave" you hear "Dave, be my valentine," and "Oh Dave. I know how lucky I am," and the singer is a girl.

Both vocalists have great voices.

Anyway, I got the CD for my valentine - but don't tell my wife (just kidding)!

Friday, February 06, 2004

Fire and Brimstone will Rain down from the Sky - aka: Stormwatch Los Angeles

Southern California has some of the mildest weather in the world. You actually become a weather wimp after a few years living here. I remember the first year I was here, it was winter and I was standing in line at the post office when a girl rushed in wearing a sweat shirt, sweat pants and running shoes. She had her arms wrapped around herself and was lamenting about how cold it was. I mean, she sounded like there was a blizzard outside and she'd narrowly escaped frostbite. In fact the temperature was in the 50s (that's Fahrenheit) and I (newly arrived from England) was feeling warm, so I thought a few uncharitable and condescending thoughts to myself and gave my attention back to buying some stamps. A couple of years later, again in the winter, I caught myself lamenting about how cold it was when in fact the temperature was in the 50s - what a wimp.

The reason I bring this up is that I heard a commercial on the radio for the "Doppler 7000", which is a weather radar system. The announcer in the commercial sounded so serious and they had some sound bites of various news anchors saying things like "it's really raining", "there's rain in the San Fernando valley" and "rain is threatening the Southland." You'd think we were in south-eastern Florida and a hurricane was about to rip the city to pieces.

The only time we get real rain in Southern California is during El NiƱo. Then we really get some weather. But the rest of the time the weather is such a non-event. For example a couple of days ago we had some rain. It rained from about 5pm till 5am and then it stopped and it hasn't rained since. But the amount of attention it got on the local media was amazing. A month or so ago there was a "Storm Watch" and the weather forecasters were going into foaming fits about "Fire and Brimstone will rain down from the sky and the seas will roil with boiling blood." Well not quite that bad, but almost. Anyway the day of the "Great Storm" came and nothing (I mean absolutely NOTHING!) happened. No rain, no wind, no storm. It was sunny and quite warm for January.

So now perhaps you will understand why I laughed and laughed at the commercial for the Doppler 7000.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Vote Absolutely No Flippin' Way On Proposition 56

I just heard an ad on the radio for Proposition 56. The ad tried to portray the opposition to Prop 56 as large "hated" corporations (big oil, big tobacco, big etc.). Then came the list of organizations backing Prop 56. Now, before I tell you who they were let me give you some data on the Proposition and then you can try to guess.

Prop 56 essentially gives the California Legislature the ability to raise taxes at will. Currently they require a 2/3rd majority to increase taxes. Prop 56 would reduce this to 55%. The current legislature are the bozos who gave us the huge deficit that ended up with the recall of the Governor (what a pity it didn't include recalling the legislature). Anyway, bottom line is the irresponsible people who got us into this mess will be given a carte blanche to raise taxes and then overspend those so they'll have to raise taxes to cover that and then overspend and raise taxes some more ... etc., etc.

Now can you guess who is supporting Prop 56? Let me give you a clue. Who gets paid out of public funds (i.e., taxes)? How about public employee unions? That's right the California Teachers Association, California State Council of Service Employees, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, etc., etc. (news article) are supporting this Prop.

I wish I could pay for the election of politicians who then vote me a pay increase.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Psychiatric Drugs Cause Suicide and Homicide

It's a great comfort to know that the FDA is looking after us. After all it was only 13 years ago that victims of SSRI drugs (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, etc.) gave harrowing testimony to the FDA about murders, suicides and other horrendous side-effects caused by these drugs. At that time the FDA Advisory Committee ignored the stories and pronounced SSRI drugs to be "safe and effective". I'm sure the fact that 90% of authors of clinical practice guidelines receive research funding from, or acted as consultants to, a drug company (according to the Journal of American Medical Association, Feb 2002) had nothing to do with their decision. I'm sure the fact that most of the members of the committee at that time made their living from grants from drug companies had no effect on their integrity.

Now it seems the evidence has become too great and even the all-mighty, all-knowing, all-powerful FDA Advisory Committee is having second thoughts about allowing all these murders and suicides to happen among children. It's still okay for adults on these drugs to commit murder and suicide but when kids do it then even the FDA Advisory Committee draws the line.

FDA Advisory Committee - SSRIs and Suicide

In Britain SSRIs are now banned for anyone under the age of 18. I guess the theory is that when the clock ticks past midnight and it's the first second of your 18th birthday then some magical change comes over you and you become immune to the adverse effects of the SSRIs.

If you like horror stories then ...
SSRI Experiences
SSRI Adverse Reactions, Serotonin Syndrome and more

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Keeping Abreast of the News

I'm so relieved that nothing important is going on in the world. I mean, what happened with Janet Jackson's breast is so unimportant and it's getting so much attention and so many news stories that nothing truly important can be going on can it?

For example the fact that we just discovered that the head of Pakistan's nuclear program sold Pakistan's bomb design to North Korea, Iran and Libya is obviously really unimportant because it got hardly any attention or reporting.

I sometimes despair for mankind.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Great Internet Radio Station

Progged Radio is definitely my favorite Internet Radio Station. They have turned me on to tons of excellent bands.

Go forth and listen: Progged Radio