Brain Teaser, #7.

What occurs once in every minute, twice in every moment, yet never in a thousand years?


Fable II.

I'm not a gamer by any means, but this commercial seems very well done (i.e. creepy), esp considering the holiday about to happen. If anyone knows what we used to call those four-corner things, please speak up.


Discuss, Poll #41, Hallow's Eve.

Just seeing what the typical t.c reader does for Halloween. I could be way off - I feel that guys don't really get jazzed about dressing up, but girls do. Let's see if I'm right.

Of course, if you have a sublime costume idea you're willing to share, let's hear it. If it's almost free to create/make, even better. And no "Slutty _____" ideas... those are too easy.

Results, Poll #40, eBay.

So, here's how it shakes down for eBaying from the t.c readership:

> 0 people (0) chose 'i've gone to the site a few times to look' - boy, no one just looks anymore... how about virtual window shopping? see next response...
> 5 people (38%) chose 'i bought something once' - not a bad buying only response. seems like most people are comfortable buying at eBay.
> 1person (7%) chose 'i buy stuff all the time there' - might be time to look in your closet, attic, garage and grab some stuff to sell, it's pretty easy. i have some tips if you feel like it.
> 7 people (53%) chose 'i've done it all - bought, sold, paypaled, rated' - this is a large majority and i was not expecting this many to people to be so eBay savvy.
> 0 people (0) chose 'ebay? i don't like large bodies of water' - seems like a resounding response and conclusion that all t.c readers are pretty web-savvy and know what's up in the www.

13 voters this week... I wonder where my few others went?
New poll up now.


FedEx logo.

Did you ever see the arrow in the FedEx logo?
Children below reading age see it almost immediately.

It also used to be a different logo altogether.


Road Trip.

Thought it was high time I go out to Omaha. Yeah, the one in Nebraska. You know, the state next to Iowa... really, it is.

You bring a bunch of junk food too, right? Yeah, the Junior Mints melted into one Senior Mint on the way there - boo.

The long long drive ended wonderfully with quite a few of these "Moscow Mules". A mix of ginger beer (think strong ginger ale), mixed with vodka, a twist of lime, and served in a "chilling" copper cauldron (think Chester Copperpot).

Nothing beats a night of "mules" like a morning of stainless steel sliding action. These were, IMO, the most popular tourist attraction in the city of Omaha... and for good reason. There's nothing quite like a fast slide. And many of the people in the know knew to bring some waxed paper to place under their heinies. I'm not sure how, but it made the slide faster. If anyone can explain why, I'd love to hear it.

On your way back home, don't forget to stop at the last cheap gas place before IL. As noted, this is the World's Biggest Truck Stop and while I won't deny it... it wasn't the best place from the weekend. I could have used more groceries (I had to go to another place to get traveling food (see first pic)) and there wasn't nearly enough useless crap (i.e. souvenirs).

If you make your way out to "The Big O" anytime soon, let me know, I have some tips and maybe a place to rest your head.


Discuss, Poll #40, eBay.

For those that don't know, I've been an eBayer for some time. I've sold lots of things on this "marketplace", for myself and others. As I began thinking about some new listings, I wondered how many of us had used it. Let's find out, shall we?

Of course, if you have a quick eBay story/score to tell, please share.
And by all means, if you're thinking of selling something, email me first.

Results, Poll #39, Movies.

For someone that used to have a weekly movie matinee night with a good friend (when we both lived and worked in the city) - I wondered if the poor economy would send people to the theaters more or less often. Of course, for some of you "more often" would be more than once a decade...

> 1 person (10%) chose 'today' -
i'll admit this was me. we all know why, i think.
> 2 people (20%) chose 'in the last 7 days' - not bad, you must like escaping reality on a regular basis? i'll see you at the Glen for Wednesday's matinee (don't pay normal prices). they do have "mommy matinees" too.
> 3 people (30%) chose 'maybe a month or so' - my guess is that this is probably the American average... but more people chose the next one. Again though, that could be more of an effect of my lack of proper responses.
> 4 people (40%) chose 'i know for sure this year, i think' - wow, someone must really like their couch and really hate people... or maybe the hate is only for high prices and being on the cusp of pop culture?
> Nobody just Netflixs (kind of a surprise)

10 lousy votes this week?! Poop. Must be the economy affecting online surfing. Ahhh, no matter - New poll up now, give it a whirl... it always pays BIG.


Discuss, Poll #39, Movies.

Just saw Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. I think everyone should go see it and then start an emo band. What have you seen lately? Was it any good? Was it worth $10?

Results, Poll #38, Picking.

A bit under the weather this week. Apologies for my delay in posting the new poll and new results. Here's the no-nonsense version:

> 6 people (46%) chose 'yes, as kids' - i think it's high time you get back out there, for old time's sake!!! and for christ's sake!!!
> 4 people (30%) chose 'yeah, lots as kids and now with my kids' (or on your own or with someone elses kids... that you kidnapped) - it's still fun after all these years, isn't it. plus, you know not to eat 5 apples in the car on the way back home, and can teach your children the same... but often let them "explore" this fact on their own.
> 3 people (23%) chose 'one or twice, but not much' - awww, this fall weather is the perfect time to get back out there. i also have it good authority that 'honey crisp' apples are just starting to be picked now too. they're like the crack of apple varieties.
> 0 people (0%) chose 'not really, i go to the store' - nuts, i wasted my final and traditionally most smarmy response for nothing this time. well, at least people have picked something before.

New poll up, go vote!!!



Thought some of you pro [web] surfers would like to check out an interesting search engine, called Navigaya. After typing in your topic, it shows you the results from multiple search engines, each in their own little screen... kinda cool. There's other things on the home page I haven't even got into yet. I think it might be my go-to search page. I know, that's huge news.


The China Study, Part V, Osteoporosis.

This post doesn't mean I don't like Wisconsin, I promise.

"[Quote] Americans consume more cow's milk and its products per person than most populations in the world. So Americans should have wonderfully strong bones, right? Unfortunately not. A recent study showed that American women aged fifty and older have one of the highest rates of hip fracture in the world. The only countries with higher rates are in Europe and the South Pacific (Australia and New Zealand) where they consume even more milk than the United States. What's going on?

An excess rate of hip fractures is often used as a reliable indicator of osteoporosis, a bone disease that especially affects women after menopause. It is often claimed to be due to an inadequate intake of calcium. Therefore, health policy people often recommend higher calcium consumption. Dairy products are particularly rich in calcium, so the dairy industry eagerly supports efforts to boost calcium consumption. These efforts have something to do with why you were told to drink your milk for strong bones - the politics of which are discussed in Part IV.

Something is amiss, though, because those countries that use the most cow's milk and its products also have the highest fracture rates and the worst bone health. One possible explanation is found in a report showing an impressively strong association between animal protein intake and bone fracture rate for women in different countries. Authored in 1992 by researchers at Yale University School if Medicine, the report summarized data on protein intake and fracture rates taken from thirty-four separate surveys in sixteen countries that were published in twenty-nine peer-reviewed research publications. All of the subjects in these surveys were women fifty years and older. It found that a very impressive 70% of the fracture rate was attributable to the consumption of animal protein.

These researchers explained that animal protein, unlike plant protein, increases the acid load in the body. An increased acid load means that our blood and tissues become more acidic. The body does not like this acidic environment and begins to fight it. In order to neutralize the acid, the body uses calcium, which acts as a very effective base. This calcium, however, must come from somewhere. It ends up being pulled from the bones, and the calcium loss weakens them, putting them at greater risk for fracture."[End quote]

I'd bet most of our moms encouraged/made us drink milk as kids, especially for strong bones. I see my neices suck it down like a walk in the park.


Learn to fall in love with Fall more, with some recent pics from Vermont. It's known as the Green Mountain State, but I think it could also be called Cheeseland NE or Mapleville, USA. If you like the fall foliage, this might be the best place in the US to see them (of the places I've been to).

[and yes, i know the pics suck lately. could be the camera phones i always use or the fact that many are taken in moving cars. i'm looking into a real digital camera though]


Brain Teaser, #6.

One segment of the game show Let's Make a Deal had three doors, behind one of which was a car and behind each of the other two was a goat. The contestant would win whatever was behind the door he/she chose. The contestant chose one of the three doors, but before it was opened, the host opened up a different door that had a goat behind it. To have the greatest chance of winning the car, should the contestant open the door that was his/her original choice, or open the remaining door?


Embrace Fall.

Put on some fleece, grab some cash, a friend, and a camera... and head out to the Chicago Botanic Gardens (see link in favorites). But don't wait too long as I suspect they won't look this nice for too much longer now. At least it will get you back outside for a little bit more this year.

And please note: the gardens are not actually in the city of Chicago, but only about 45 minutes from the IL-WI border, in the 'burbs. (Lord knows why)


Discuss, Poll #38, Picking.

No, not picking your nose. I'm talking about picking produce mostly... like picking your own apples, strawberries, raspberries, etc. Didn't you used to do this as a kid with your family? No? How about getting your family's pumpkin or Christmas tree? Nothing. Well, just fill out the poll then.

If you have some good stories, let's hear 'em. And to entice you to leave a comment, I have some good ones that I'll share if I get a few to start it off.

Results, Poll #37, Winter Blues.

I'm feeling some winter blues already, so no plethora of commentary this week, here's the results:

> 0 people (0%) chose "drink early and drink often".
> 1 people (8%) chose "eat early and eat often".
> 1 people (8%) chose "exercise early and exercise often".
> 2 people (16%) chose "all of the above".
> 4 people (33%) chose "they don't really bother me" - i don't like you.
> 4 people (33%) chose "i wish i had a good method" - c'mon people! the person that suggested tanning up to twice a week, who I call 'Miss Melanoma Head', isn't that much help.

Pretty dull, right? Only 12 voters too... even more depressing. New poll up now, if you care.


One of my favorite topics...

[getting it started]
In case you didn't watch NBC on Sunday night, the Chicago Bears played the Philadelphia Eagles. Now, don't get me wrong, I've had fun in Philly, they have some great bike shops... but their fans are known the world over for being some of the most caustic in the league. One year, in their own stadium, they threw snowballs at Santa Claus. This game had the most fan fights I'd ever seen at a NFL game. You can also now call or text a special Bears Task Force and report rowdy fans during the game - kinda cool.
This guy will be the rest of the pics. He was two rows in front of us the whole game. I know you want to get a better look at his face paint, don't you?

[the other side]
I think he was older than my dad, had his own custom jersey (last name 'Knell') and brought his son along for the fun (or some young guy that wore another custom jersey with the same last name). He wasn't a mean drunk or anything and was actually pretty friendly to the row right in front of us. Their interactions gave me the best chance for a good head-on shot.


Oh, the Bears won this one in a nail-biter... once again on the strength to their defense with almost no help from their offense. Go, Orton. It was a great game/evening and I was glad I got lucky enough to go.

The China Study, Part IV, Breast Cancer.

Does anyone reading this NOT know someone who has dealt with breast cancer? Sure, this is an odd topic for a male to pick, but there's a lot of women in my life I'd like to keep around for a good long time. Don't you have some too?

"[Quote] There are at least four important breast cancer risk factors that are affected by nutrition, as shown in Chart 8.1. Many of these relationships were confirmed in the China Study after being well established in other research."[End quote]

Obviously, you can't see the chart, but I can write down the risk factors, they are:
1. early age of menarche (look it up)
2. late age of menopause
3. high levels of female hormones in blood
4. high blood cholesterol

"[Quote] With the exception of blood cholesterol, these risk factors are variations on the same theme: exposure to excess amounts of female hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, leads to an increased risk of breast cancer. Women who consume a diet rich in animal-based foods, with a reduced amount of whole, plant-based food, reach puberty earlier and menopause later, thus extending their reproductive lives. They also have higher levels of female hormones throughout their lifespan, as shown in chart 8.2.

According to our China Study data, lifetime exposure to estrogen is at least 2.5-3.0 times higher among Western women when compared with rural Chinese women. This is a huge difference for such a critically important hormone. To use the words of one of the leading breast cancer research groups in the world, "there is overwhelming evidence that estrogen levels are a critical determinant of breast cancer risk." Estrogen directly participates in the cancer process. It also tends to indicate the presence of other female hormones that play a role in breast cancer risk. Increased levels of estrogen and related hormones are a result of the consumption of typical Western diets, high in fats and animal protein and low in dietary fiber.

The difference in estrogen levels between rural Chinese women and Western women is all the more remarkable because a previous report found that a mere 17% decrease in estrogen levels could account for a huge difference in breast cancer rates when comparing different countries. Imagine, then, what 26-63% lower blood estrogen levels and eight to nine fewer reproductive years of blood estrogen exposure could mean, as we found in the China Study.

This idea that breast cancer is centered on estrogen exposure is profound because diet plays a major role in establishing estrogen exposure. This suggests that the risk of breast cancer is preventable if we eat foods that will keep estrogen levels under control. The sad truth is that most women simply are not aware of this evidence. If this information were properly reported by responsible and credible public health agencies, I suspect that many more young women might be taking very real, very effective steps to avoid this awful disease."[End quote]

If you want more on this topic from the book, and there's plenty more, please grab it from somewhere. Much of the book hits home after reading the whole thing, not just bits here and there. I'm just trying to get people interested.


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