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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sound and Sense

Three new avenues of research suggest that sound leads to sense and sense to sound. Maybe only an acoustics engineer could fathom the full meaning of this statement, but it stands to reason that sound leads to meaning and meaning itself may produce audio impulses that lead the brain to greater coherence. Dr. Joseph Knoll, a Hungarian doctor who discovered deprenyl, believed that greater coherence in thought patterns could be achieved by man in the coming decades through the use of several discoveries that he himself and his colleagues have made. His new book, The Brain and Its Self (2005), is a must read for those interested in anti-aging therapy and cognition improvement.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How to Boost Your Mood

Mood swings are less severe in the South of the United States and mood is brighter the closer people live to the equator, according to epidemiological studies. This is one reason why florida vacations may be just what the doctor ordered. The psychiatrist, that is! Yes, you can improve your mood by going into a sunny environment, and all it takes to do that is a move to the South. The vitamin D produced by the sun is one reason scientists believe mood improves in the South. Sunlight itself is another reason.

Thoreau Was Right After All

Thoreau lived on Walden Pond in a wood cabin that he constructed himself. Few, however, have the nerve to dare what Thoreau dared. Few could do what he did. How many of your friends and neighbors could build a cabin? Today metal buildings are the norm, and the values and ideals that Henry David Thoreau wrote about are all but lost. The construction industry has helped up live in tenements and apartment buildings that, like an ant colony, ensure a homogenization that is all but inhuman.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pterostilbene

New research indicates that blueberries contain a substance, along with celery, that can fight colon cancer. The chemical, pterostilbene, is being researched for its cancer fighting properties in conjunction with resveratrol.1 The latest edition of Life Extension Magazine has an interesting article on the topic, and a new article will be forthcoming in the February 2010 issue, if I'm not mistaken. The chemical can be taken in its natural form by eating blueberries and celery, but a powder capsule is also available for a higher potency and a more effective cancer fighting regimen. References
  1. The “Other” Resveratrol A Novel Method to Simulate the Genetic Effects of Caloric Restriction. Tiesha D. Johnson, RN, BSN. Life Extension Magazine. http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2009/ss2009_The-Other-Resveratrol_01.htm. (Accessed 11-28-09.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Very Near Future of Computing

Except for the Orson Welles films, I have not seen many science fiction movies based on classics. The reason I have considered the future of netbooks so promising is precisely because they allow a user to travel to a distant location from wherever they are, whether that be a beach, a plane, or a classroom. The future of technology is here, as they say. I, for one, and glad (if that's the right word) that I am here to see it, too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Off to the Shores of Havana - Again!

Every holiday season. Yes, that's right. Every holiday season, without fail. I'm talking about how often I frown upon discount cigars and turn instead to a trip to Cuba. As often as I can I venture into the Cuban waters and paddle my kayak to the shores of Havana. There I look for a light in a cafe known as Smirkin's Cove. They wait for me at the table. Two of them. They are in black and they are suffused with an aroma of sawdust and old wood and, of course, the smoke of burning tobacco. That is where I get my holiday gear and then I import it back to Florida and the Miami traffickers that I know so well.

Friday, November 20, 2009

William S. Burroughs and Health

It is not irrelevant to consider your birth order when looking at your health. Indeed, people like William S. Burroughs, who was the second of two sons, generally take more risks with their life, according to birth order researchers like Frank Sulloway. The novelist's health, of course, was not optimal since he devoted nearly fifty years of his life to consuming heroin and other pernicious substances that gave him a quick thrill but that wasted his physical and emotional stamina. Many love his writing, but they generally fail to realize that he would probably have given us even more profound books than Naked Lunch had he been more abstemious and perhaps more attentive to his own physical well being. He certainly would have lived longer and written more, and that would have been a blessing to all who like his rapidfire style of blitzkreig prose. He lived in New York, which is another way of saying he was a neighbor to us all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

William S. Burroughs and the Modern Car

Parrots are my favorite bird. I think I know why. They are the only bird that can keep you company when you get an auto insurance quote. In fact, no other bird can sing a song or help you deal with the paperwork that can ordinarily stymie even the greatest thinkers of our time. William S. Burroughs was of like mind. He once remarked that all the autos he had driven in had made him sick. Not that he was one to seek vibrant health, but he didn't want to clog his lungs with carbon monoxide, and who can blame him. He had bigger and more serious worries.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Man Who Avoided Insurance

Dr. Wilhelm Reich moved to Rangeley, Maine, in 1952 and set up a laboratory on the hill overlooking Dodge Pond. There he avoided all life insurance quotes and the other ephemera of modern society and focused, instead, on his life's work, namely, studying the atom and the constituents of cosmic orgone energy. When his research was complete he would go down to Main Street and get a haircut, then publish his findings in books like Character Analysis and Listen, Little Man! Wish I could have met him.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Most Important Dietary Supplement

No matter what you think of his politics, you know that George W. Bush had a group of highly qualified doctors taking care of his health while he was in office. But did you know that the only supplement they recommended he take was . . . fish oil. Studies in the 1970s revealed that the Eskimos had very low levels of heart disease, yet they ate large quantities of salmon and whale. Scientists discovered that the protective factor in their diet was DHA and EPA fish oil, also known as omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are largely deficient in the American diet, and so supplementation is just about the only way to get enough. Omega-3 fatty acids balance the excess omega-6 acids most of us consume too much of. Fish oil has been linked with lower incidence of heart disease, steadier heart rhythm, and even reduced depression and a boost in mood. If I had to advise someone to take one supplement, I would agree with the President’s doctors. “If you take nothing else,” I would advise, “take fish oil daily. Aim to consume 1 to 5 grams each day.”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Wilhelm Reich Museum

Last summer our friends went to Kansas and enjoyed their trip so much they told us that we should visit the state as well. Instead we visited myrtle beach vacation rentals. Next summer we will go to Kansas. The entire idea of a vacation pleases us and encourages us to try both Kansas and the Florida trip that we already tried. Next spring we may also go to Rangeley, Maine, where Wilhelm Reich had his home and where a museum now stands.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Japanese Seaweed

Normally I do everything I can to avoid harmful chemicals or ingredients. Companies claim they have what are called the best diet pills but these are typically ineffective. However, I must admit that I have been impressed by the research on Japanese seaweed. It has a chemical in it that speeds up metabolism. Perhaps this could be used for a diet pill. In fact there are some who have made it into one.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nitric Oxide and Health

Nobel Prize winner Dr. Louis Ignarro, who received the prize for his work with nitric oxide, discusses the importance of nitric oxide for cardiac and other health. He is, not surprisingly, extremely lucid and clear in his speaking style. And he has an ability to make his work clear for a layman.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The J.D. Salinger Diet

I do not believe in phentermine or other appetite suppressors. Maybe they work for some, but I feel the risks outweigh any advantages. The drug is an amphetamine-like jolt to your system and the side effects are numerous and dangerous. A better way to weight loss might be through a vegan diet, through the Atkins diet, through the alternate-day diet (which involves caloric restriction), or through the Salinger diet (named after J.D. Salinger because it involves eating little dairy and restricting the intake of junk foods).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Watch Your Way to Athletic Success

Novice swimmers like to learn what they can from practice and from getting in the pool. But professionals know a secret. They know that they can use an LCD TV to learn more than their competitors. Coaches and Olympic athletes agree: training that is both physical and mental is better than training that is purely physical. The mind must be part of the athlete's complete training course. And watching your performance on video is the latest in this competitive world.