Twessenger merges Twitter with your Messenger status

>> Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Twessenger: Twitter add-in for Windows Live Messenger -
Cool.  Too bad I usually use Meebo for my chat clients.  (Meebo needs to get around to sync'ing up everyone's multiple IM status bars...ugh!)


Tech: Twitter Convergence

>> Thursday, January 24, 2008

Just showing off a sweet convergence of programs I’ve got running… First off, I use Twitter. I only have a couple of followers/followees (and of the followees only one posts with any regularity) so I haven’t really even explored the social micro-blogging aspect of the tool. Might be interesting to delve into; I’ve read about a lot of other uses Twitter has in this respect, such as creating a corporate identity, say MRMPLS, and having all its employees follow it for quick announcements wherever they may be. Could be useful. Even if you don’t have a text-messaging plan, as I do not, Twitter can be very useful. In fact, it’s easier to use if you add the Twitter bot to your IM list.

If I can veer a little off-subject for a moment, I’d also like to mention here. I may have talked about it before, but it’s ultra-convenient in that it has nearly all the features of all the regular IM clients, but it’s online and does not need to be installed. Thus, the preferences and friends lists that you have on it (such as the Twitter bot) carry with you from computer to computer – you have your regular access anywhere you are.

I’ve found Twitter is most useful as a gateway, feeding data into other programs. On Facebook I’ve installed TwitterSync which polls my Twitter status and applies any newly-posted change to my Facebook status. This is nice because I can post once and announce twice, so to speak. (I thought for one week that TwitterSync was causing some problems with my status, but now I’ve realized it was the alpha version of 8hands – another cool toy but not ready for prime time just yet)

I’m into health-related issues in a big way, and thus I have stumbled onto This lets you track what you eat (and, optionally, the calories you consume) by direct-messaging through Twitter. I’ve used other diet-recording software/sites such as, but this is SO much easier because with Twitter you’re always logged in. An online calorie lookup service (,, etc.) is convenient if you do use this.

You can also tweet your appointments to your calendar if you use (RTM) – complete with a time for the appointment – by simply sending something like, “dental appointment @ may 5th 8:00PM” If you’ve set RTM up properly, this will the propagate to your Google calendar. I’ve even gone so far as to purchase a copy of Rainlendar which mixes my Outlook and multiple Google calendars together for one convenient desktop display.


Health: Avoid Soft Drinks

Another entry in the should-be-self-obvious category, Soft drinks contain phosphoric acid which changes the body's calcium-phosphorus ratio, upsetting its deductable chemical balance. A body in balance heals. A body unbalanced deteriorates.  Sugar-free soft drinks are not acceptable substitutes for a variety of reasons. Besides the fatc that they contain chemical-based sugar replacements that should be considered poisonous, the phosphorus in them retains this same unbalancing properties, and the body may be tricked into producing extra insulin which will lead to a drop in the blood sugar levels.

A glass of mineral water flavored with lemon, lime, or a tablespoon of orange or apple juice makes a great soft drink replacement.


Health: Girl Scout Cookies are Deadly

>> Wednesday, January 23, 2008

ABC Smart Cookie - Cookie - Nutrition Facts

Look at the ingredient lists here: SUGAR is listed within the top two of each cookie, usually. They all have wheat flour, but it's "enriched" wheat flour. When you read that, know that it's flour that's been killed and then had synthetic vitamins and minerals added back in.

Then, of course, there's the trans fats. Even though it lists "0g trans fat" on the labels, shortening or partially hydrogenated oils are usually within the top three ingredients. THOSE ARE TRANS FATS. Don't believe their lies.

Throw in some artificial flavor, a lot more sugar of varying sorts including the always-evil high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and more sugar for the heck of it, you've got a little, delicious, and deadly treat.

How many boxes do you eat each year?


Health: Artificial Sweeteners

>> Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Aspartame, or NutraSweet and Equal, is about 200 times sweeter than sugar and is in numerous diet soft drinks,  It is made of phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol (wood alcohol), which enters the blood when ingested.  High levels of phenylalanine and tyrosine (both amino acids) are created by aspartame in humans.  These can affect the brain by negatively influencing the creation of neurotransmitters and the operation of bodily functions controlled by the central nervous system.

Aspartame also inhibits the release of glucose into the bloodstream and induces the release of seratonin (an inhibitory transmitter) within the brain. This may affect both sleep and hunger, thus dieters may be only adding to their problems by drinking sodas with aspartame.

Methanol (poison!) is added during the manufacturing of aspartame. One liter of a diet cola contains about 555 milligrams of aspartame and of this, 56 mg are methanol.

The FDA has numerous reports of seizures linked to aspartame ingestion.  Common reported side effects include dizziness, visual impairment, disorientation, ear buzzing, tunnel vision, loss of equilibium, severe muscle aches, numbness, inflammation of the pancreas, episodes of high blood pressure, and eye hemorrhages.

Every chemical you ingest has to be filtered by your liver. Over time, such "workouts" eventually exhaust the immune and endocrine systems.

Saccharin is still sold today despite pending investigation about the controversy that it is probably carcinogenic. It is found in Sweet 'N Low, Sprinkle Twin, and Sugar Twin.

- Lick the Sugar Habit


Health: Pottenger's Cats

>> Monday, January 21, 2008

Francis Pottenger studied cats over several generations. He fed one group a primitive diet of raw foods; a second, the same foods only cooked; a third group he fed the cooked-food diet plus condensed milk, which contains sugar. The first group lived the longest and gave birth to healthy cats over several generations. The second group did not live as long as the first and gave birth to two generations of cats, each of which was less healthy than the former generation. Thus, cooking apparently altered the available nutrients in their food.

Adding sugar to this diet made the nutrients even less available, as shown by the deterioration over three generations of the third group of cats. Their second and third generations had many abnormalities, including hair that was not as shiny and thick as the first generation. When kept on the cooked, sweetened diet, the third generation was not able to reproduce. Interestingly, when these third-generation cats wew switched to an all raw-food diet, they became healthy enough to reproduce and give birth to kittens who were healthier than those of the third generation.

This demonstrates that the potential expression in the genetic blueprint is inhibited by lifestyle. Like these cats, each of us inherits an endocrine pattern from our parents and we pass this pattern on to our children.

- Lick the Sugar Habit, page 106


Health: the pulse test

>> Thursday, January 17, 2008

While not all foods to which you are allergic will alter your heartrate, if you ingest a food and your pulse rate increases or decreases at least ten beats per minute over the resting rate, chances are you are not metabolizing that food correctly. You have developed an allergic sensitivity to it.

- Lick the Sugar Habit


Health: How Sugars cause Allergies

I have to quote this directly from "Lick the Sugar Habit"

Evry food we eat needs to be digested and metabolized by a variety of enzymes before it can be used by our cells. Enzymes will (not) work without the proper functioning minerals to help them out. If the usable minerals in the body decrease, such as in the presence of sugar, it is difficult for the body to digest anything in the small intestine because of the lack (or decrease) of functioning enzymes. Therefore, wheb you eat sugar, any food that is in the stomach at the time will become the food to which you can become allergic. This continued inability to digest a particular food eventually results in an allergy to that undigested, decomposing food.


Health: The sour facts about sugar

>> Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Taken from "Lick the Sugar Habit"

Our bodies only need two teaspoons of blood sugar at any time. If we at no refined sugar at all, we would still get more than enough sugar in our diets. Every extra teaspoon of refined sugar you eat works to throw your body out of balance and compromise its health.

When a person eats sugar continuously, their body becomes unable to manufacture glucose from complex carbohydrates, proteins, and facts.

The minerals needed for the body to digest sugar have been stripped by the manufacturing process, so the digestion of it in turn strips those minerals from YOUR body.

Manufacturers are NOT required to list glucose as an ingredient when used in processing.

Even if you get your RDA of vitamins and minerals, if you eat sugar, it will change your body chemistry making you unable to use those nutrients. The nutrients may even become toxic to your body!


Health: Sugar used in processing

Did you know that sugar is used in a vast majority of the processed
foods you buy today? It's rather conspiratory if you imagine that food
processors might be related in any way to pharmaceuticals or genetic
engineers. It's bad enough just think about the capitalistic approach
that processors take in order to sell their products.

Many meat packers feed sugar to animals prior to slaughter to improve
the flavor and color of the meat.

Sugar is often added to restaurant hamburgers to reduce shrinkage.

Sugar is found in such unlikely items such as boullion cubes and dry
roasted nuts.

Almost half of the calories in commercial ketchup somes from sugar.

Over 90% of the calories in a can of cranberry sauce come from sugar.

The average person eats over TEN POUNDS of sugar each month.


Health: Why people BELIEVE coconut oil is bad for you

>> Tuesday, January 15, 2008

(Summarized from

...the domestic oil industry viewed with alarm the competing interest of the imported oils. In 1986, ... the American Soybean Association (ASA) launched a series of attacks that became known as the "tropical grease campaign." ... The face-off was not between tropical and temperate-climate oils, but rather between domestic and imported ones. ...

This effort was abetted by a self-styled consumer crusader, Phil Sokolof, who waged his own campaign against these oils. He established and funded the National Heart Savers Association, and paid for full-page advertisements in nationally distributed newspapers, with the dramatic headline "The Poisoning of America!" He charged that tropical oils destroy life or impair health. The combined campaigns of Sokolof and ASA convinced many consumers that tropical oils were unhealthy, and consumers should be warned on product labels.

...The ASA viewed potential legislation on labeling as its "biggest weapon" against foreign-oil producers. ... [It is interesting to note that] U.S. Trade Representative Clayton Yeuter admitted that "the main objective of the proposed tropical labeling legislation was to protect the domestic oil industry." [Also,] The Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils charged: "The health angle is a smoke screen for a trade issue. …Specific labeling of foods in regard to their content of the so-called tropical oils is clearly discriminatory and without scientific basis."

...The campaign succeeded in having major food processors reformulate their products with domestically produced oils. According to food writer Jane Heimlich, the anti-tropical-oil campaign resulted in a switch to "true artery-clogging horrors - partially hydrogenated oils." The reformulation created problems. Palm and coconut oils resist oxidation and are highly stable. They do not require hydrogenation, and are trans-free. However, many of the domestic oils are predominantly polyunsaturated, which makes them quite unstable, and subject to oxidation. To make them more stable, they need to be hydrogenated. ...

Food processors switched reluctantly [because] Palm and coconut oils [are advantageous in] food processing. Palm oil can be separated readily.... Manufacturers can make bakery shortening from [palm], [resulting in a] food product [that] has no trans fats. ...Palm and coconut oils are highly suitable for frying because of their high oxidative stability.

... [These oils] do not require hydrogenation. Unlike many other vegetable oils, extraction can be done without the use of harsh chemical solvents. These oils have low foaming tendencies when heated, so they do not require the use of anti-foaming agents. Because these oils have high smoke points, they resist polymerization and oxidation. These features benefit food processors, but do they harm consumers? The aggressive campaign against these oils was intended to make consumers fearful of unhealthy qualities in the oils, and to pressure food processors to eliminate them.

However, the scientific evidence demonstrates that palm and coconut oils are healthful.


Health: A short history of sugars

Up until the 70's America got most of its sugar from sugar beets or sugar cane. Remember the commercial? "C&H - pure cane sugar, C&H - from Hawaii, C&H - pure cane sugar, that's the one."

Okay maybe I'm dating myself with thbat commercial quote and proving the effectiveness of an advertising jingle, but that much is true, and these types of sugar (beet, cane) are SUCROSE.

Sometime in the 70's sugar made from corn became popular because it was cheaper to produce. Now wed started getting corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, dextrine, and high fructose corn syrup as part of the American daily diet

- Based on "Lick the Sugar Habit" by Nancy Appleton, PhD


Politics: To my reps; real money!

>> Monday, January 14, 2008

DownSizeDC asked for me to message the reps about Ron Paul's Honest Money act, which I totally agree with.  I WANT a constitutional money system based on gold and silver.  Consider this:  The founding fathers had the same ability to create their own "federal reserve" system as they did in 1913 yet they CHOSE to wisely base the nation's money on gold and silver.  They were absolutely wiser than we shown ourselves to be, today; let us follow their example.


Politics: Power of Charisma

>> Thursday, January 10, 2008

Charisma.  It is the essence of what is popular.  With charisma is delivered such phrases such as "the audacity of hope" or "the urgency of now."  Charisma propels one man to fame even if the words that make up this charisma mean ultimately nothing.  He may speak of change without changing.  He might speak of leadership, yet mean control.  All the while those who listen to him hear nothing but his charismatic presentation.  He is like all the rest, but he dazzles them with style.

Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it
And the reaction will be passionate
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?
Razzle dazzle 'em and they'll never catch wise!

(paraphrasing Razzle Dazzle, from Chicago)


Sandwich Application Error

A friend of mine started making a sandwich before lunch yesterday and apparently got called into a meeting or something, so his empty sandwich sat on the table unattended for quite a while. I figured some kind of FAIL message was appropriate... [full-size image]


Politics: SWAT Team Necessary Because Man Is a "Self-Proclaimed Constitutionalist"

>> Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Reason Magazine - SWAT Team Necessary Because Man Is a "Self-Proclaimed Constitutionalist"


Should I pose a comparison between presidents and the common people? It's rather chilling that after Clinton I read about children experimenting with oral sex because the President had done it - so what's the big deal? Now after seven years of Bush, we have SWAT teams being called in for minor medical examinations.

Okay, so I jest a little, but it is still cold in here. This all makes me recall some Orwellian future predictions that Heinlein wrote in his book, Friday, that the ultimate sign of the end of a society is that the people lose common courtesy for one another.

I haven't researched to find if that has any actual historical backing, but it certainly would make sense, as trust is implicit in a society that is friendly toward one another. In good, healthy societies you understand the people around you, you like them, and you want to do things to help them. I won't go all preacher on you and take ten paragraphs now to explain that that is how proper Christianity is supposed to be, but there it is anyway: People love one another in a proper society.

* National police during a normal parade. In the USA an armor tank during a parade would be unusual, but in most countries it's normal. - tinou bao


Health: I hate soda

>> Thursday, January 03, 2008

While looking through my sent emails on an entirely unrelated subject, I came across this email I'd sent to my work newsletter but it was edited out.  So, rather than waste a good rant, here it is.  (Yes, I realize this might be noticed by everyone at work ;)


We've (probably) heard it before, but seriously. 

No, take it seriously.  I mean, this affects us directly - we could have a fridge full of tea.  Unsweetened, rooibos tea, which comes in many flavors, is delicious and good for you!  However, we have 90% soda, 6% carbonated water, and 4% juice (half of which contains high fructose corn syrup.  And don't get me started on that.) But if you're looking for a diet drink that's sweet, just put a tiny pinch of Stevia extract to the tea. Even a half-teaspoon of honey isn't going to kill you as much as aspartame or saccharin will. 

And since I'm on the tea rant, we should just Spice Up the Office with something from TeaVana.  That particular starter package is a little unnecessary since we already have a hot water tap and don't need the Zojirushi boiler (I have one at home - it's sweet).  We could just send someone to the MOA to pick up ten different packages of rooibos teas and we're set.  Or order them online.  Anyway.

a quote:

Diet Soda Isn't Any Better
For those of you with a diet soda in your hands, the news isn't any better, in fact it's worse! ... One liter of an aspartame-sweetened beverage can produce about fifty-six milligrams of methanol[y'know... antifreeze, solvent... -me]

And when it comes to saccharin, ...the last thirty years have demonstrated the carcinogenic effects of saccharin ... in some instances at doses as low as the equivalent of one to two bottles of diet pop daily.

With diet soda, you've gone from high calories to poisonous levels of methanal and an increased chance of developing cancer. Not a very good trade.


Health: Coconut Oil and Traineo

>> Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I saw an article on Traineo, "Best Foods to Eat", that says "For cooking use exclusively cold pressed olive oil"

This is a NO-NO! While cold-pressed olive oil is one of the best choices of oil, it should NOT be used in cooking because of its low burn point. Anyone who studies oils even a little bit will learn this.

Coconut oil isn't even listed on the chart anywhere, which surprised me. While it is a saturated fat, most people assume it is unhealthy. However, because it is a "medium chain triglyceride" (which as I understand means its easily digested), it's actually THE BEST oil you could use, period. It also has a HIGH burn point, so it's not going to turn carcinogenic on you.

In daily use, I've swapped out BUTTER for coconut oil, and it's great - although I'm not sure what I'll do once summer comes around, as you can't leave coconut oil out on the counter in the warm temperatures. I also use it topically as it seems really great for dry skin. However, I'll have to play around for a bit to find something that will stop it from being SO liquid. As it is now, I just use the tiniest bit that way.

And finally, although it's not OIL per se, I find that young coconuts are simply DIVINE foods. The coconut milk (looks more like water) is especially good for use in smoothies; on the days that I don't use almond milk, that's what I use.

Coconut has a lot of calories, but you're not going to want to eat a LOT all at once, because it's like honey: Sweet, delicious even, but too much is really TOO MUCH.


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