google blogger on Saturday, April 30, 2011
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wetting agent (surfactant like sodium laureth sulfate in shampoo, binds water and oil, lowers surface tension of water)
coloring agent (likely synthetic indigo, derived from coal tar, developed 1897 and destroyed India's slave based indigo farming)
xanthan gum (sticky glue like fermented sugar)
organic solvent (turpentine, acetone)
google blogger on Friday, April 29, 2011
Between 1900 and 1950, only about 10% of Americans were nonwhite. Today 33% are nonwhite, and the United States is about 15% blue-eyed.
In the '70s and '80s the fashion models who exemplified the All-American look were typically Scandinavian. The look advertisers want today favors honey-colored skin, brown hair, and green or brown eyes. The most successful models are coming from Brazil.
But even as blue eyes give way to brown, lighter eyes will maintain a certain allure. When people see something pleasurable, their eyes dilate, which is considered attractive. Since dilated pupils are easier to see on lighter eyes, they have a natural appeal.
google blogger on Thursday, April 28, 2011
Top 1% ---- $388,806 ---- 39.89 %
Top 5% ---- $153,542 ---- 60.14
Top 10% ---- $108,904 ---- 70.79
Top 50% ---- $31,987 ---- 97.01
Bottom 50% ---- 2.99
In 2005 the bottom 40% of Americans by income had an effective negative tax rate: their households received more money through the income tax system than they paid.
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google blogger on Tuesday, April 26, 2011
google blogger on Monday, April 25, 2011
Soon, people tire of storing their fish and tire of hauling fish around the island to use as money. One man builds a strong stone building and starts a bank. He offers to store fish in his building and give out "fish certificates" in exchange. The certificates are easier to carry and people trade them as if they were fish. When someone needs to eat, they go to the bank and turn in the paper certificate and receive a fish in exchange. The banker cheats a little. He prints up a few certificates for himself from time to time and spends them, hoping no one notices. He calls this "quantitative easing," and says that it is necessary to keep the value of the fish certificates stable. Most islanders are not convinced.
The banker soon begins accepting other items to store in his vault. He estimates their value compared to fish, takes the cheese, wine or bag of spices, and issues fish certificates in exchange for the new forms of wealth. He also makes loans against homes. If a man wants to spend some of the value of his hut, he goes to the banker. The banker says "give me your house, and I will give you fish certificates in return. If you wish to live in the house as well, you can pay me a fee (interest) to live there." The islanders agree and begin to finance myriad other forms of wealth, like bigger huts, boats, complex fishing net factories, and so forth.
Soon, some of the biggest men on the island, who have been busy using their spare time to manufacture spears, swords and other weapons and armor, decide that they need more fish so that they can spend more time preparing to defend the island. They insist that defending the island is something everyone must help them do, and the island agrees to pay the men 20% of fish they harvest from the sea, so that they may focus on defending the island. Some people refuse to pay, and the men take it from them at spear-point.
Mr. Kendrick continues to invent better nets. He accumulates wealth, but loans it to other islanders so that they can spend more time looking for spices, or harvesting salt, or breeding better animals. They pay him a fee for this (interest), and he keeps all of the loan agreements in a vault at the bank. Bored with his life, all he does all day is ride his horses around the island, tying each to a different stable pen each night.
In this situation, what happens when the large men with spears decide that all of Mr. Kendrick's loan agreements (which pay interest), are sitting idle in the bank, and that it would be best for the island if they held up the bank, took the paperwork, and kept the interest payments for themselves? Who would be hurt, and who would benefit?
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The second way the world becomes a richer, more enjoyable place to live is through voluntary trade. When I become very good at making wine, and you become very good at making cheese, we are both better off when we trade with each other. Without the trade, the expert winemaker is stuck with mediocre cheese, and the expert cheese maker is stuck with average wine. This is the fault of the miser; his refusal to interact with the world is not a good thing for anyone but himself (he values being the way he is).
Scrooge is not helping the world by removing himself from it (but he is not harming it either). Imagine I build a house from the trees on my land, make wine from grapes, develop new cheeses by milking my own cows and harvest spices and store all of it in the house that I built with my own hands. I dig a mine and pull gold and silver from the ground beneath my feet. I store them in my basement as well. I spend time painting beautiful works of art. I create sculptures and write fantastically entertaining novels. All of these are stored in my home, and are never traded or shared with the world.
I would be a wealthy man, enjoying the fruits of my own labor. Eventually, when I die, the world will see what I have made, auction off my wealth, and the world will be a better place because of the things that I have made. The question is, would the world have been a better place if I had chosen to leave my land from time to time, trading the things I had made for the things others had made? Is it really best to sequester one's self from the world? Is the world not a better place when two men engage in voluntary exchange?
Misers are good for the world because they create wealth, but idealizing a man who is unwilling to trade with others is just plain silly. Should we not idealize the men who create massive amounts of wealth, and engage in actively trading that wealth with others?
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Lighting moves in "steps," and after each step x-rays are released. No one knows why or how -- lighting is too cold to create x-rays. How can we possibly not understand this? We have so much technology and we don't know how friggin' lightning works?
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There are two ways in which US dollars enter the economy. The first is via bank-lending, in which new dollars are created to finance new bank loans. When a bank makes a loan for a house it creates new dollars "out of thin air," and exchanges them for the ownership of houses and cars. The new dollars are "IOUs" for the houses and cars that are the basis of its loans. It is these forms of wealth that back the US dollar, and most new currency is created in this way. Dollars can always be returned to the issuing bank to take ownership of the "real" wealth that generated the its loans. The dollars are therefore financial assets entitling the owner to take possession of physical wealth at fixed exchange-rates. In this way dollars are no different than gold certificates entitling the bearer to a certain amount of physical gold at a fixed rate.
The other way in which new dollars are created and enter circulation is via "quantitative easing." The Federal Reserve creates new dollars "out of thin air," and exchanges them for real-world assets, but makes no agreements (as banks do) to return the assets to the owners of the new dollars if they return the currency to the Fed. This is analogous to the old banks issuing silver certificate dollars, secretly printing "fake" notes, and spending them. The certificates (and Fed notes) still have real value, because they can be returned to the bank to take ownership of precious metals or homes, but because there are "fake" certificates in circulation, the value of all existing certificates falls when fake notes begin to circulate. If all new dollars were created in this way, they would be worthless, imaginary, and would in no way be considered wealth or a financial asset.
This fundamental confusion about the assets that back US dollars is common, and makes even people who have the correct ideas regarding taxation and government spending (like Landsburg), to come to some bizarre conclusions about exactly what is happening when government taxes people who are not spending their money. Instead of making the obvious conclusion that it is the rich man who is penalized when the government takes dollars from him, Landsburg is forced to offer a complex solution because he does not believe that US dollars are a form of wealth.
google blogger on Sunday, April 24, 2011
With about 20% of the population under 14 years old in these countries, the average person drinks about two bottles of the hard stuff per month. Life expectancy for these countries is on par with other developed nations.
google blogger on Friday, April 22, 2011
This is interesting because I grew up drinking demineralized water. We paid for it to be demineralized in a reverse osmosis filter at the supermarket. Most of the people I know drink purified (demineralized) water every day.
According to over 80 studies completed around the world, low mineral water increases health risks for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, respiratory diseases or other health problems. It seems that our bodies need dissolved minerals in fluid and cannot effectively use minerals found in food only.
Simply stated, when we ingest demineralized water, our body is forced to re-mineralize it (using stored minerals in bone) before the water can be passed into the bloodstream. When we are done with the water we have no way to demineralized it, and the minerals are lost in the urine. Mineralized water comes into the body already mineralized and leaves the body without robbing us of essential minerals.
Low mineral water is "aggressive" and corrodes pipes, pans, and anything it contacts, attempting to re-mineralize. It is so aggressive that desalination plants are forced to add some minerals to the water after purification -- just to protect their pipes. Low mineral water absorbs metal that it contacts, which we in turn ingest.
Additionally, studies carried out in Texas show that in counties where water mineral content is low, crime and suicide rates rise. The more minerals (and pollutants) in the tap water, the lower the crime and suicide rates. This effect may be related to the amount of trace lithium in the water.
The world health organization has formulated drinking water standards for the third world in order to reduce negative health effects seen in persons using low mineral water. Their standards are as follows:
Total dissolved solids (TDS): Min 100ppm, ideal is 200-400ppm
PH (Acidity): As close to 7 (Neutral) as possible
Calcium: Min 20ppm, ideal is 40-80ppm
Magnesium: Min 10ppm, ideal is 20-30ppm
I've taken a look at a lot of mineral content and total dissolved solids (TDS) statistics for bottled waters and have found two that make the cut according to the WHO. Naya and Evian. All others fall short in some area. FIJI water almost passed, but has only 17ppm calcium. (200ppm TDS and 13ppm magnesium)
Naya appears to be mostly unavailable anywhere in the united states, so our only choice left is Evian, one of the most expensive on the shelf.
Recently I purchased two devices which measure the TDS and acidity (PH) of fluids. They are intended largely for aquarium use but work very well for my purposes. Below are my test results:
Distilled water: 0.40ppm TDS, 6.8 PH
FIJI water: 167, 7.65 (bottle claims 209, 7.5)
Evian: 280, 7.18 (bottle claims 309, 7.2)
Deja Blue: 8, 6.2
Fairfield Tap water: 612, 8.75 -- Tastes like ass.
Hy-Vee spring water: 64, 8.3 -- Tastes like ass too.
New Brita filter, FF tap water: 515, 5.3 -- Britta takes a little TDS out and lowers the PH. Lower PH tends to make crappy water taste better - lemon in your tap water serves similar function. Gives it an acidic bite and makes it taste more "crisp."
Expired Brita filter, FF tap: 510, 7.2
"Washed" Brita filter, FF tap: 573, 6.5 -- One website claimed that buying new filters was a consumerist scam and all you need is to wash the filter upside down for 5 mins instead. Pure BS.
Aquafina: 1.2, 7.34
Dasani: 29, 5.75
Essentia: 49, 7.85 (claims to be 9.4 PH)
Pellegrino: 660, 6.7 (claims 960ppm TDS) -- Interesting that Pellegrino is carbonated but retains a neutral PH. Tooth enamel dissolves at 5.2-5.5 PH, so this stuff won't degrade teeth.
Philips Vodka: 0.20, 7.2
Brita filtered Philips vodka: 27, 5.4 (added TDS and increased acidity)
Bushmills Whiskey: 14, 4.2
Tanqueray Gin: 8, 6.4
Sav Blanc white wine: 690, 3.42
Syrah red wine: 1150, 4.00
Corona Light: 450, 3.9
Bud Heavy: 530, 4.22
Diet Coke: 325, 3.4
Sugar free Red Bull: 120, 3.5
google blogger on Thursday, April 21, 2011
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in March subjected 82 healthy subjects to painful electric shocks, offering them pain relief in the form of a pill which was described as being similar to codeine, but with a faster onset, in a lengthy and authoritative leaflet. In fact it was just a placebo, a pill with no medicine, a sugar pill, like a homeopathy pill. The pain relief was significantly stronger when subjects were told the tablet cost $2.50 than when they were told it cost 10c.
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Airborne says its pills "boost the immune system with seven herbal extracts and a proprietary blend of vitamins, electrolytes, amino acids and antioxidants."
Airborne Health, a Bonita Springs, Fla.-based herbal supplements firm, has agreed to pay $23.3 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought against the company for falsely claiming its vitamins prevented colds.
Have you purchsased Airborne? You can ask for refunds by writing to Airborne Class Action Settlement Administrator at PO Box 1897, Faribault, MN 55021-7152 or visit www.AirborneHealthSettlement.com
google blogger on Tuesday, April 19, 2011
google blogger on Sunday, April 17, 2011
Cyanide is another of the thousands of natural phytochemicals found in nature and make up 99.9% of the “pesticides” that we eat in our food every day. Plants make these natural pesticides to protect themselves from predators. Our bodies have evolved with their own natural defenses against a tremendous variety of chemicals.
“Among the twenty-four leading food plants in the world, sixteen are cyanogenic,” explained professors C. Leigh Broadhurst, Ph.D., and James A. Duke, Ph.D., in Herb Companion. To enjoy some plants with especially high natural levels of cyanide, prehistoric man also learned to “process” the foods by grinding, rinsing and cooking to make them safer, and sweeter. “Cyanogenic glycosides have a chemical structure that contains one carbon with a cyanide group linked to a sugar (‘glyco’ means sugar),” they said. During digestion, the cyanide group is released and forms hydrocyanic acid which is toxic, but like everything “the dose makes the poison.”
PS Organic veggies contain more cyanide (and other poisons) when artificial pesticides are not present to help the plants fight off insects.
google blogger on Saturday, April 16, 2011
You wrote "Sexy Sadie" about the Maharishi?
"That's about the Maharishi, yes. I copped out and I wouldn't write "Maharishi what have you done, you made a fool of everyone," but now it can be told, Fab Listeners."
When did you realize he was making a fool of you?
"I don't know, I just sort of saw him."
While in India?
"Yes, there was a big hullabaloo about him trying to rape Mia Farrow and trying to get off with Mia Farrow and a few other women and things like that. And we went down to him after we stayed up all night discussing "was it true or not true?" When George started thinking it might be true, I thought, well, it must be true, because if George is doubting him, there must be something in it.
So we went to see Maharishi; the whole gang of us the next day charged down to his hut, his bungalow, his very rich-looking bungalow in the mountains. I was the spokesman, as usual, when the dirty work came, I had to be the leader - wherever the scene was, when it came to the nitty-gritty, I had to do the speaking. And I said, "We're leaving." He asked why and all that shit, and I said, "Well, if you're so cosmic, you'll know why," because he was always intimating, and there were all these right-hand men intimating, that he did miracles. And I said, "You know why." And he said, "I don't know why, you must tell me," and I just kept saying, "You ought to know." He gave me a look like, "I'll kill you, you bastard," and he gave me such a look. And I knew then, when he looked at me, you know, because I had called his bluff, because I said if you know all, you know. Cosmic consciousness, that's what we're all here for. I was a bit rough on him."
google blogger on Friday, April 15, 2011
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google blogger on Thursday, April 14, 2011
Global Internet audience (age 15 and older from home and work computers) has surpassed 1 billion visitors in December 2008.
google blogger on Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Anatomic gastrointestinal abnormalities such as enteric fistulas or intestinal perforation can sequester sufficient quantities of ingested elemental mercury to allow significant oxidation and subsequent absorption.
google blogger on Tuesday, April 12, 2011
For coronary heart disease, there are now over 1,000 personal risk factors including not eating enough garlic, being bald, having an intelligent wife, having an unloving wife, drinking too much milk, drinking too little milk, coffee, chlorinated water, and so on.
“Risk factors” are mostly based on correlation and are often contradictory, but it doesn't matter; they change the way we view food and the world we live in, encouraging us to believe we are in constant danger -- that virtually anything can hurt us.
"Lest anyone be skeptical about these hazards, the public health police guarantee the validity of their findings by means of evoking the authority of “expert committees”. These committees, carefully selected to exclude anyone who might have “doubts”, gather round a table, ostensibly examine the entrails of the scientific evidence and then, by a show of hands, assert the certainty of the threat."
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The 98,000 square-foot Walmart Super Center is slated to break ground this coming Spring with a grand opening expected by Thanksgiving 2011. The Walmart expansion was approved by the City of Fairfield in 2007, four years after the City of Fairfield’s 2012 Strategic Plan was published and just one year before the City’s 2020 Go Green Go Kosher Plan was approved.
google blogger on Monday, April 11, 2011
cottage cheese 0.97
cheddar cheese 1.02
beef steak 1.80
chicken and turkey 1.80
bran cereal 1.40
wholewheat bread 0.18
baby cereal 0.35
google blogger on Sunday, April 10, 2011
Nausea, persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches and lethargy. In severe poisonings, symptoms include a red skin rash, exfoliative rash, unconsciousness, respiratory depression, and renal failure.
Apparently there is very low or no regulation regarding food preparation in Asia. Chemicals banned by the FDA for human consumption are still commonly used in Asia, including Borax, Formaldehyde, rhodamine, methanil, and melamine.
The 2008 Chinese milk scandal involved melamine tainted milk sickened 300,000 people and hospitalized 860 babies.
The 2007 Vietnam food scare involved formaldehyde in tofu, noodles, salted fish, banned pesticides in veggies and toxic soy sauce. Soy sauce is manufactured by hydrolyzing soy protein, and the cheaper methods involve a carcinogenic by product (3-MCPD). Vietnamese soy sauce contained 18,000 times the legal limit in 2007.
The 2005 Indonesia food scare involved 60% of noodle shops serving formaldehyde preserved noodles. Sodium benzoate, cyclamate (banned in US), and borax are exceeding legal levels.
All of this leads me to wonder why so many think that MSG is to blame. It seems more likely that some imported foods contain dangerous levels of known poisons, carcinogens, preservatives, adulterants, and illegal dyes -- and that these poisons are responsible for the problems related to Chinese restaurant syndrome.
"Some countries, such as Thailand, are trying to improve domestic food safety. In bustling Bangkok, where pots bubble and woks sizzle at makeshift kitchens pitched on sidewalks, markets are issued test kits that can detect up to 22 contaminants.
China has faced outrage among its own citizens in recent years. Whiskey laced with methanol, a toxic wood alcohol, was blamed for killing at least 11 people in southern Guangzhou. Local media in Shanghai uncovered the sale of phony tofu made from gypsum, paint and starch.
At least a dozen Chinese babies died and more than 200 were sickened with symptoms associated with malnutrition after drinking infant formula made of sugar and starch with few nutrients. In another case, lard for human consumption was made with hog slop, sewage, pesticides and recycled industrial oil.
Some Vietnamese have been so shaken by news of tainted Chinese foods, they are changing their eating habits. They are avoiding Chinese-made products and paying more — up to $2 a bowl — for pho at an air-conditioned chain restaurant with signs promising no formaldehyde or borax."
google blogger on Saturday, April 9, 2011
Currently artificial soy producers in the US are negotiating with traditional producers in Japan to determine appropriate labeling for natural and artificial soy sauce.
I find this situation hilarious because "liquid amino" products like Braggs are simply cheaply produced soy sauce, involving chemical processing of vegetable proteins. Recently the FDA decided that they could not label their product "MSG free" anymore because their product contains so much MSG.
I grew up with the stuff. Most of my friends had Braggs in their home because they thought it was more natural, or more healthy, or maybe they just thought that the labeling indicated that the producers performed a shamanistic rain dance around the vat of veggies and hugged a tree several times before bottling.
Both products are safe, but this shit cracks me up.
google blogger on Friday, April 8, 2011
28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 small handful cilantro leaves, rough chop.
1/2 medium onion, diced
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
Pour out a little bit of the juice from the can and put the rest of the tomatoes in food processor.
Dice onion by hand (important step needed to oxidize the onion)
Mince garlic by hand.
Dice jalapeno by hand.
Add all ingredients to food processor, including half a lime and some salt, blend to desired consistency and salt to taste. Adjust heat with more peppers if needed, some are hotter than others. Let stand for 1 hour.
The most important part of making salsa is oxidizing the onion, peppers, and garlic. Simply tossing everything in a food processor will leave the salsa flavorless.