Friday, December 30, 2011

Marc Andressen, Predictions for 2012

Interesting read. I've never heard the concept of software eating up companies before, but upon reflection, it does make sense. Marc is the founder of Netscape.

BTW, the picture? Totally unrelated, but it's cool.

Monday, December 26, 2011

If I Could Recommend Two Books

If I could recommend two books to read, it would be The China Study by T Colin Campbell and The Pleasure Trap by Doug Lisle and Alan Goldhamer.

These two books though aren't just to be read. They are to be masticated. To be read over and over again. There is so much wisdom in these books, it can't be comprehended in a casual read. And while reading, the truths that are shared are so mind-boggling, that thought must be rendered in what is shared. For while what they say is true, that it's backed up with scientific studies, and that it all makes complete intuitive sense, it's something we've never heard before. And what it could do to our lives if we put their recommendations to service, would change our lives in the most profound ways.

So I beg you, if you were to read only two books this following year, let it be The China Study and The Pleasure Trap.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Arabic Schools Teach To Chop Off Hands

The Arabic school textbooks which show children how to chop off hands and feet under Sharia law
Last updated at 10:26 AM on 23rd December 2011
Comments (114)

Barbaric textbooks handed out in Saudi Arabian schools teach children how to cut off a thief's hands and feet under Sharia law, it has emerged.
The shocking books, paid for and printed by the Saudi government, also tell teenagers that Jews need to be exterminated and homosexuals should be 'put to death'.

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For more

Another Invention From Saudi Arabia

‘Fantastic Voyage’ through the digestive track
December 19, 2011 by Editor

Illustration of an endoscopic capsule, propelled by magnetic swimming tails (1). The capsule payload is a micro-camera (5) and tool for biopsy (4). The power source is non-magnetic batteries (2). There is also electronics for command and control and communication (7), an antenna (3) for the RF transceiver, and housing (8). (Credit: Gábor Kósa et al.)

In a scene out of the movie Fantastic Voyage, Dr. Gabor Kosa of Tel Aviv University has developed a wireless “capsule endoscope” that can be remotely steered through the digestive tract to detect problem like hidden tumors or wounds, or allow for treatments such as biopsies or local drug delivery.

However, rather than miniaturized people (the technology is not quite there yet), the device is remotely controlled by the magnetic field of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and electronic signals.

To help the capsules “swim” (fish-like), flexible plastic “tails” about 20 mm long and 5 mm wide are vibrated by the magnetic field via copper coils, achieving a speed of several millimeters per second.

Electronics and microsensors embedded in the capsule allow the capsule’s operator to guide the movement of the device.

Ref.: Gábor Kósa, Péter Jakab, Gábor Székely and Nobuhiko Hata, MRI driven magnetic microswimmers, Biomedical Microdevices, 28 October 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Carbs Are Bad

BULLSHIT! And I hate the word "Carbs" too. It's been awhile now, but the in-thing is to say "I don't eat carbs". Most of us living in US think carbohydrates are bad for our health.

When some use the word "Carbs" I wonder if they even know it's short for the word carbohydrate?

Carbohydrates supplies the body with the energy it needs. Your thought, "Jesus, this guy don't know shit" to your muscles contracting is done because of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the body's main source of fuel. Carbohydrates consists of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. It is carbon that makes life possible for all creatures.

Take the lowly potato. It is filled with vitamins and minerals, low in sodium and only 1% fat. Now, take that potato, process it by dropping it in oil and now a 1% fat vegetable becomes 50% fat. Not only is it a bad kind of fat, but it's 50 times what it was before it was processed. I'd like to do that with my money--process $10K into $500K in 10 minutes.

But then, what happens? The french fries get eaten and weight is gained. The potato is relegated as being unhealthy while a product that is 100% fat, no vitamins or minerals, and it's deemed a health food.

Carbohydrates can be split up into two simple categories, unrefined and refined. 75% to 90% of the carbohydrates consumed are refined. Refined, yes--it's bad. Unrefined, let it make up the majority of your diet.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nanny State, Sad State of Affairs

The National Transportation Safety Board wants a complete ban on cellphone use while driving, even on hands-free calls. Some will protest this as yet another government encroachment on freedom, but we should think twice before rocking the boat here.
After all, have you considered how lucky we are that the government lets us drive cars at all?
Imagine if cars hadn’t been around for a century, but instead were just invented today. Is there any way they’d be approved for individual use? It’s an era of bans on incandescent bulbs; if you suggested putting millions of internal-combustion engines out there, you’d get looks like you were Hitler proposing the Final Solution.

Angry Birds: Out-computing Apollo.

Even aside from pollution, the government wouldn’t allow the risks to safety.
“So you’re proposing that people speed around in tons of metal? You must mean only really smart, well-trained people?”
“No. Everyone. Even stupid people.”
“Won’t millions be killed?”
“Oh, no. Not that many. Just a little more than 40,000 a year.”
“And injuries?”
“Oh . . . millions.”

There’s no way that would get approved today.
Driving is basically a grandfathered freedom from back when people cared less about pollution and danger and valued progress and liberty over safety.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Low Density Thoughts

One of the things I'd like to say is how we have in our power to do even better than these long lived peoples in the previous post. The great benefit about caloric density is instead of looking to cut calories, or eat less food, one may look at eating the same or actually even more food, but food that has a lower caloric density. Here's an exaggerated example, but I believe celery has 20 calories per pound, oil has 4200. What would be more filling, eating (drinking) one pound of oil or eating 210 pounds of celery? This is the magic of eating foods low in caloric density.

Often I've been eating my low dense foods feeling sorry for myself while smelling the smoke coming from the exhaust of burger joints. I've been a meat eater my whole life and to make this transition has been arduous. But it has been worth it. I would say it's one of the most wonderful things I have ever done in my life. And I'm very thankful to people like Nathan Pritiken, Dr McDougall, Jeff Novick, Dr Esselstyn, Dr Campbell and Dr Furhman.

But with this knowledge and discipline to eat foods that are high in nutrition, in our rich country the possibilities become dizzying.

Imagine, as you see in a previous post, a chart how obesity is on this terrible march upward. Imagine if the trend turns around. And if it does turn around, it will turn around for good. For we'll have the knowledge and that cannot be taken away from us.

Now I can rest in the knowledge that I'm doing what is best for my health. Yesterday I was admonished by a friend that I'm getting too thin. Before I go farther, let me say that I am thin by today's American standards, but if one were to look at a BMI chart, I'm smack dab in the middle of what is considered normal weight. I'm 6 feet tall and I weigh 158 pounds. Again I say, to many that is too thin, but what is considered normal in US is deceptively skewed.

So as my friend is telling me how I'm not healthy, he himself is obese. And as we know, being obese one has a greater predilection to heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and myriad other health problems. But I do as I always do, I keep my mouth shut.

During Thanksgiving Dinner with all present, I'm told by doctor how he feels sorry for me that I'm not eating meat. It was meant in jest, but still it was said.

The obesity trend cannot keep going up. When something is wrong, the truth will eventually have to prevail. No matter how much disinformation is peddled, the truth will have to come out. Little by little people are realizing that a meat/dairy centered diet is deleterious to one's health. It takes courage to change, but eventually we'll get sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Things will change. I look forward to the day when I go to a Mexican restaurant and it will be normal to get a bean burrito with whole beans. Last night we went to a Vietnamese restaurant in Little Saigon and after my company ordered I asked if they had anything vegetarian. The waiter said "no". They brought me a broth with noodles and later a small dish with peas and carrots. A 6 to 8 page menu, and not one item on it that contained vegetables. Times will change.

Caloric Density Revisited

I've mentioned Caloric Density in previous posts. I want to return to this subject because I believe in the near future, it will be a hot topic concerning health. Below I copy and pasted the full article from this web page.

Also in the article the author mentions the Vilcabambas. I looked it up and found this interesting article written in 1974.

If you'll notice, one of the glaring items is that the longest lived peoples get most of their calories from grains, or another way of saying, a starch based diet. Dr John McDougall is currently working on a book and it will be about the starch based diet.

Here's the full article on Caloric Density:

Whether one wants to lose weight, gain weight, or just be healthy, the concept of caloric density is an important one to understand.

The caloric density of a food is the numbers of calories that are contained in 1 gram of that food. For instance, brown rice has a caloric density of 1.2, which means that brown rice has 1.2 calories per gram.

That's a relatively low caloric-density food. Most fruits and vegetables are. For instance, an apple has a caloric density of 0.59—it has only 0.59 calories per gram. A carrot is 0.44. A banana is 0.6. A potato is 0.76.

By contrast, a rib roast has a caloric-density of 3.31. A chicken thigh is 2.12. A pork chop is 2.28. Processed meats such as liverworst (3.32) or salami (4.20) are even higher. Bacon is 5.56.

It's a little oversimplified, but largely true: in general, foods from the plant kingdom tend to have low caloric densities and foods from the animal kingdom tend to have high caloric densities.

So what? Why is that important?

Let's take an example: Suppose we want to lose weight but we're eating mostly high caloric-density foods. What this means is that it doesn't take much of such foods to give us a lot of calories. Conversely, if we try to cut down on the calories, we won't feel full. We'll feel hungry. And eventually, that will cause us to leave the diet and binge, gaining back whatever weight we've lost.

If we want to lose weight, the smart thing to do is to eat mostly foods of low caloric density, like fruits and vegetables and grains, not just as a temporary diet but as a lifetime diet.

These foods also just happen to be, in countless epidemiological studies, the healthiest foods—and also the foods eaten by the four healthiest peoples in the world (the Hunzas, Vilcabambans, etc.).

But I should mention a very interesting phenomenon whereby foods of low caloric-density (CD) get transformed into high caloric-density foods: In general, it's when foods get ground up or refined.

For instance, potatoes, as mentioned before, have a caloric density of 0.76. But when ground up into potato flour and made into potato pancakes, the CD goes up to 6.51. Wheat bread (where the grain has been ground) has a CD of 2.61.

And, too, fats often get added into foods made of ground-up grains. Thus crackers have a caloric density of 4.46. Corn muffins have a CD of 4.14. And so on.

In fact, corn provides a very good illustration of this phenomenon. Corn as corn kernels or corn-on-the-cob, whether fresh or steamed, has a caloric density of only 0.92. You can eat a lot of fresh corn without gaining weight (as well as adding to your health).

But corn bread has a CD of 4.27, a taco shell has a CD of 4.55, and corn chips have a CD of 5.46. See the difference? You don't have to eat much of those before you've started packing in the calories.

In general, grains (and foods in general) are best eaten in the whole state. Besides the issue of caloric density, there are other issues, such as rancidity. As soon as a grain is ground, for instance, its germ is exposed to the air and it begins to go rancid. (Or the germ and bran are refined out, as in white flour, in which case the food loses nutrients and becomes an "empty-calorie" food.)

On the whole, then, we'll be healthier and trimmer if we eat our grains (and foods) in their whole form, such as when we cook brown rice or millet (or eat a baked potato instead of french fries or chips). This is only a subset of the more general principle that foods are healthiest in their unrefined state, that is, when they're closest to the way nature made them.

—jim sloman, for 2/18/02


Obesity Trends US--CDC

This is a chart depicting obesity in US starting in 1985 and culminating in 2010.

You can take your time on the site by clicking "Previous, Next, Play or Stop" as you peruse the chart. It'd be nice to say it's all BS, but it's frighteningly true what has happened to our health in such a very short period of time.

when no sense makes lots of sense

Below is an article by Eric from Classical Values. I'll bet you didn't hear about this:

I hate it when important details news in events go unreported, especially when it seems that they are being deliberately unreported. Last night when I read about a gunman at Sunset and Vine shooting people at random, I figured he was either a nut or a Jihadist (which is a distinction, even though there is considerable overlap in the categories). Shootings like this don’t make sense, so naturally we want to make sense out of them. Whether it makes sense to want to make sense out of random shootings is a topic beyond the scope of this post, probably involving complex issues of human psychology, and even the survival instinct.

But either way, fool that I may be, I Just. Wanted. To. Understand

For the rest:

Eat This, It's Healthy!

My friend likes to drink Bud Lite with lime. He sincerely believes because it has lime it's a health food. His average intake used to be 5-6 beers per day. Now he's on to an even healthier drink--red wine. Red wine has resveratrol, an agent believed to prolong life. And of course red wine is good for the heart, it has antioxidants.

Last night coming home from dinner out, we stopped to get a berry pie. It's healthy, its got berries in it. I'm not going to look into what the ingredients are and its quantity, but rest assured that the pie comes with lots of saturated fat, salt, white flour and processed sugars. The berries are the side show.

Salad at the Soup Plantation. The salad itself is less than 50 calories. After the dressing is applied the salad is over 500 calories and the majority of its calories is fat.

Ever notice how when we're given something it's offered with the pretense that it's healthy? Most foods, if they were to be eaten in their original state would indeed be healthy and that would be the end of it. But we're too sophisticated to eat foods simply. We'll add our sauces and turn it into a food that is deleterious to our health.

French fries. If I take a potato, cut it up and eat it, it causes raised eyebrows. But if I take that potato, cut it up into sticks, drop in oil and then serve it, it's considered normal. A food that starts at 1% fat and low in calories is turned into a food that is 50% fat and high in calories. Potatoes are the most consumed vegetable in the US. And a baked potato is healthy too. But after the sour cream, butter and bacon bits are mixed in, the potato becomes a nutritional nightmare.

Look at some of the foods that are presented to you. Though they are often presented and sound like healthy foods, take a second to think what actually is in it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Early Retirement Extreme Is Retiring

Jacob, who owns and writes the blog Early Retirement Extreme has just written his last post.

Early Retirement Extreme has been my favorite blog on the internet. I used to highlight his blog on my own blog.

Well Jacob is on to another stage in his life and I wish him the best. Bless you Jacob and thank you for sharing your ideas with the world.

Steve Jobs, Great Tip

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Friend Went On A Diet

A friend went on a diet. Nothing knew. Most go on a diet on a weekly basis. In fact in America going on a diet is our #1 preoccupation.

She was all revved up for this diet. Here it is Monday and she's going to start the new week right. But she ended up eating fried onion rings and a shake, so maybe tomorrow she'll try again. She posted about it on Facebook and received the obligatory funny comments after her confession.

Dieting, or thinking about dieting has become such a part of our thought process, that we expect to fail and have to rah-rah ourselves into trying again. It's a never ending process. We actually don't expect to be successful. Dieting is something we talk about, lament our failures, and go on and try again. Repeating and beating ourselves up, over and over again.

How can we ever be successful by suppressing our natural instinct to eat to satiety? Maybe one can be successful for a day, a week, a month, and some even longer. But eventually we give in, and binge.

This is a crazy thought, but what if we actually never had to worry about diet the rest of our lives? Is that even possible? Do animals in the wild worry about their missed appointment with Jenny Craig?

Here's our problem, and it's very simple: We eat foods high in caloric density and low in nutrient density. If we could just shift that around, eat foods low in caloric density and high in nutrient density, we'd never have to worry or even give a thought about diet. Ever again. Just to be freed from that alone is a Godsend, forget about the benefits of no diabetes, heart disease, digestion problems and auto immune diseases.

Dieting, via the suppression of appetite, is not going to be successful. We are only setting ourselves up for failure. We need to eat to satiety, but eat foods our bodies were designed to eat. And of course what are they? Vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Whole foods. No animals, dairy or processed foods.

Is it difficult? Yes, at the beginning. It's hard for someone to quit smoking, drugs or alcohol too. They feel like shit at the beginning and so will anyone that eats a healthy diet. We're caught in a Pleasure Trap and we don't even know it. How can we escape the trap when we don't even realize we're in it?