Monday, December 31, 2007

Hangover Remedies

...and how did I know you'd be looking for these?

Thanks to

Apples eaten on an empty stomach the day after drinking is an effective remedy.

Bananas One of the quickest ways to cure a hangover is to make a banana milkshake sweetened with honey. The banana helps calm the stomach, and with the honey, builds up the depleted blood sugar levels. The milk soothes the stomach and rehydrates your system. Bananas are also rich in the important electrolytes, magnesium and potassium, which are severely depleted during heavy drinking.

B-vitamins Take the vitamins before you go to bed and let them work their magic while you sleep. If you forget, take them immediately upon arising. B-Vitamins are important in aiding the carbohydrate (alcohol) metabolizing process and in dilating blood vessels. B-vitamins will help restore your energy level. You will need to take a high-potency B-complex supplement for this remedy to work (50-75 mg of B-complex twice a day, hopefully once before bed after indulging).

Chicken soup Grandma's old stand-by, chicken soup, seems to work as well for hangover problems as it does for colds.

Feverfew Use feverfew, an herb, in place of aspirin. Aspirin is very hard on the stomach, while feverfew is not.

Ginger Take 500 mg of ginger capsules every few hours, or make a ginger tea. This will help soothe your stomach.

Honey Take 2-6 teaspoonfuls of honey every twenty minutes upon awaking, depending on the severity of the hangover. Continue with the honey until you start to feel better, then take four teaspoonsful with your first meal. The potassium in the honey helps counteract the effects of the alcohol and will decrease the cravings for it. Alcoholic drinks are acidic in reaction and satisfy your natural desire for an acid, the same as coffee and tea do. If you have an alcohol problem, check your body chemistry and make appropriate changes in diet and supplementation. In addition, honey contains fructose, a type of sugar that helps your body metabolize alcohol more quickly.

Kudzu extract(or kuzu) Studies have shown that its isoflavones, diadzin and puerarin, can help relieve hangovers quickly!

Lemon Add the juice of one lemon to a cup of black coffee and drink it unsweetened and without milk.

Lime As soon as you wake up on the "morning after" add two teaspoons of fresh lime juice and a teaspoon of sugar to 8 ounces of water. Drink it slowly. This concoction will help stabilize your blood sugar, which will be low after imbibing.

Peppermint The herb peppermint, either in tea form or chewing the leaves, will relax the intestines. Peppermint is a carminative, which is a substance that removes accumulated gas from the stomach and intestines. Make a tea by pouring one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb; cover; steep for fifteen minutes; strain. Drink 1-2 cups as soon as you can.

Persimmon Eat a raw persimmon for a headache.

Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) extract has been found to relieve hangover nausea and dry mouth according to researchers at Tulane University and the University of California, San Francisco. Prickly pear is known to reduce inflammation, and hangover symptoms are due to an increase in inflammation. Researchers found that C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, was 40% higher in the group that took a placebo. The extract was taken five hours before alcohol consumption.

Raw cabbage Eat raw cabbage to dissipate a headache.

Sauerkraut juice Drink sauerkraut juice with some tomato juice if you don't like it straight. These drinks replace lost nutrients.

Scalp stimulation Pull your hair in clumps so that your full scalp is stimulated. This remedy brings blood to the scalp and relieves the headache.

Silymarin, better known as milk thistle, protects liver cells from alcohol by preventing toxins from entering them and helps to remove existing toxins. Take two 70 mg capsules with a meal or before or while drinking.

Thyme Make a tea by lightly crushing five fresh or dried leaves; place in a cup and fill with water cooled to just below boiling; cover and leave to infuse for five minutes; remove leaves and drink.

Tomato juice In addition to being a prevention remedy, tomato juice contains fructose, a type of sugar that helps your body metabolize alcohol more quickly. This is probably why the morning-after Bloody Mary seems to work.

Vitamin C stimulates the liver to break down the alcohol. Take 2-10 gm per day in divided doses. Start at 1,000 mg an hour and built up to bowel tolerance. An excess of vitamin C can cause diarrhea, and since you probably have stomach distress already too much C may cause a problem.

Nux vomica will help relieve gas, bloating and a sour stomach. Take the 6c potency in 4 drops or pellets every hour.

Google Earth UFO? Greenland Phenomenon Video

This video of imagery taken from Google Earth invites you to answer: What is that thing? The image has sparked talk of UFO's and secret government laboratories. It seems to be some kind of volcanic vent to my untrained eyes. It's odd that it's located smack dab in the middle of Greenland, it's almost 50 miles long and has a straight edge.

A lot of noise was made about the "black rectangle" located to one side, but that looks to me like a "data dropout", a glitch in the imagery, rather than an actual object.

The vent, if that's what it is, looks extremely interesting though. I hope it gets a lot more attention.

Come to think of it, the "vent" could be a data glitch or insertion too. You would think something that cool looking might have made the news once or twice over the past few months. Hmmmmm....

Update: After downloading Google Earth and looking at the scene myself, I've determined that it's an imaging error. The striations on the surface of the orange section match up with the striations in the snow and look nothing like any kind of magma formation, just snow and ice that for some reason is tinted orange in a portion of the picture. Oh well, I'm sure the facts wont get in the way of the conspiracy lovers out there.

Further update 10/10/08 - Here's a site with the actual close up imagery. You can clearly see this is imaging error and not Dr. Evil's secret lair.

thanks to

Auld Lang Syne Lyrics

Just because I knew you'd be looking for them:
Notes - Auld Lang Syne is scottish for "old long since"
If you need the complete translation: Here 'Tiz

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Robert Burns

Friday, December 28, 2007

Autism Cure? New Findings By MIT

Having a son with autism, I'm a bit of a skeptic when it comes to claims of cures and findings of cause. I never bought into the "vaccines cause autism" movement because I've yet to find a single legitimate study that shows any connection and have found several that show zero connection.

However, this report from MIT looks promising.

We made up our minds very early on to accept my son as is, and teach him as much as he's capable of learning without focussing on "fixing" him. He's a very happy, healthy 18 year old and while he learns slowly, he continues to learn and progress.

Of course, if something comes about that can actually improve his quality of life, I'll be all over it. It does look like the folks at MIT are on to something. Clinical human trials may begin soon. The biggest challenge going forward for us may be teaching my boy how to deal with the world that the rest of us perceive. He seems very happy with the one he's got. Well, we've all got to grow up some time I suppose. Even though he's 18, his attitude and outlook are more like that of a 3 year old. It would be a mixed bag if he were to gain cognizance and intelligence while losing the bliss of childlike ignorance. But, it's a challenge I'd certainly like to take on.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Assassination and the Future of Pakistan

Who benefits from Benazir Bhutto's assassination? That all depends on Musharif's reaction. Ideally, this should prompt a full court press against the Taliban and its sypathizers in North Western Pakistan. Musharif should declare all out war against the extremists and further, should give the US Special Forces the authority to track and attack Al Quaida and Taliban forces wherever they find them.

I can't believe Musharif would be fool enough to have been involved in the assassination. More unrest and violence is certainly not in his own best interest. He could be fool enough however, to react in a defensive manner, thus enhancing the position of those who were responsible. Martial law, delayed elections, a lame investigation could all do much more harm in the coming months to the prospects for democracy and stability in the area.

This could be a major turning point for the whole region. It could spark a pointed shift away from extremism and toward further cooperation with the west in the war on terror. It could also bring chaos and civil war. The direction may well be determined by the response of one man. Musharif has to realize that the continued rule of Parvez Musharif is not the primary concern here. He should immediately communicate and coordinate with his political rivals who share the common interest of expanding free speech, freedom of association and the democratic process. The enemies of the people of Pakistan are the enemies of democracy and freedom. A general crackdown is not what's called for. A new resolve to doggedly pursue those responsible is.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Aptera - Future Car you can order today

It looks like something you'd find at area 51, or one of those "concept cars" that you'd never actually see on the road, but this 300mpg vehicle is set to go commercial next fall. The company is already taking pre-orders.

From Aptera's website:

"Five years ago, Aptera's founder Steve Fambro endeavored to design and build a passenger vehicle that was safe, comfortable, and more fuel-efficient than anything ever produced. This aspiration, combined with his background in engineering, led him to an intensive study of aerodynamics, and composite aircraft construction. He hypothesized that a low-drag, aerodynamic body shape could be achieved without sacrificing comfort, drivability or safety.

What emerged, after much designing, conceptualizing, and constructing, was a prototype two-seat, three-wheeled vehicle. This first operating prototype achieved a stunning 230 miles per gallon, Building on this success, Steve expanded his Aptera team and created the Aptera Typ-1, which has been re-designed, re-engineered, and refined into a production ready vehicle. We are excited to announce that the Aptera Typ-1 is now available for reservations."

Five years from concept to 300mpg and ready to produce. That's impressive, and at $30,000, it's competitive. This one's a two seater, with a baby seat behind the two front seats and claims to have room for "15 bags of groceries" in the trunk. Mind you that's California groceries. How much space does 15 bags of bean sprouts and tofu take up? No matter, it's still astounding given that the major auto makers have been telling us 35mpg by 2012 was "iffy" and 50mpg (fleet average) was out of the question. Nice job Mr. Fambro.

Here's the promo vid:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Zero Point Energy - An Explanation?

Okay, this one's for all the geeks out there (I'm a part-time geek myself),

It's been commonly accepted, in fact, as law, that one cannot get more energy out of a reaction than has been put into it. In other words it is not possible to break a water molecule (hydrogen and oxygen) apart and then burn the hydrogen (re-combining it with oxygen) and extract more energy than it took to break apart the water molecule.

However, there are many who claim to have done just that. John Kanzius' recent discovery that one can burn seawater by exposing it to certain radio frequencies may be the latest demonstration, although official results are still pending. Assuming at least one of these cases is verified (granted a big assumption), the law has been broken. Or has it?

Some believe that these systems are taking advantage of "zero point energy" that is, the lowest state of energy a system can have. The energy of "empty space". One theory is that "empty space" isn't really empty at all, but that the particles that comprise it are of a nature we don't yet understand. Thus they've been dubbed "virtual particles". These particles resonate at a wavelength too low to be of any consequence unless particles come within about 10 nanometers of each other. At this point the "virtual particle pressure" between the two particles becomes significant enough to impact the system.

Another possibly related theory used to explain other observations is quantum physics is that nuetral particles in very close proximity, become polarized for a time.

The two ideas might blend well in explaining where all this excess energy might be coming from. As for the polarization, electrons travel in a probablity field rather than at a specific point along an orbit at any given time. Perhaps in very close proximity, the probable location of an electron at any given time is more refined, meaning it's more likely to be on one side of the nucleus than on the other. This would cause one side of the molecule to be positively charged with respect to a very close object during part of the orbit of the electron(s). When particles are forced even closer together or pushed farther apart, the rythm of the polarization becomes out of the ordinary. The system could become unbalanced. Molecules could break down.

Perhaps the catalysts and radio frequencies used in these experiments and inventions are forcing molecular particles into close enough proximity that the zero point energy makes the molecules unstable and easier to break apart.

This begs the question: If we extract zero point energy in one part of a system, shouldn't the zero point field simultaneously extract energy from somewhere else? As far as we know, the law is still in effect. What might the consequences be of extracting zero point energy in very large scales? Could we cause some kind of zero point turbulence? Zero point waves? Would matter disintegrate if exposed to a sudden drop in zero point pressure? Or could it have just the opposite effect? Would we be "burning space" thus forcing virtual particles to condense into matter, or forcing particles closer together by shrinking the zero point field? In this hypothetical universe, there can be no truly empty space. Therefore if you remove virtual particles, you reduce the volume of space, unless/until they are replaced.

Here's an even cooler possibility: What if you could travel at ridiculously fast speeds through space by using a zero point engine? In the process of extracting zero point energy from the space in front of you, you actually reduce the volume of space in front of you. You'd be both traversing and eliminating space at the same time. More bang for your buck. Of course you'd want to replace the zero point energy
behind you. I'll leave that to the engineers.

It seems to me that all the confusion in quantum physics stems from the assumption that if we can't detect it, it's not there. As I've said before it's analogous to trying to explain the motion of clouds while being totally ignorant of the existance of air. You'd have to give the clouds properties and forces that may work out mathematically and may well predict their behavior, but which still would not be an accurate depiction of what's going on.

Virtual particals "blinking in and out of existance" sounds very mystical. However, precipitating and evaporating sounds more familiar and may be more accurate.

Whether you call it a zero point field, virtual particals or aether, once you accept the premise of entities existing on a much smaller scale than previously imagined, it all comes down to pressure dynamics. Stuff under higher pressure moving toward lower pressue.

Hot Chicks Causing Global Warming

The lefties in England have come up with another culprit for global warming. The fact that women are attracted to guys in big, bad, fast cars. Of course, guys will would dance barefoot on shards of glass if they thought it would impress the babes. Now, these guys aren't really concerned about what the ugly women want. Therefore, hot chicks cause global warming.

In the opinion of the British activists it's the culture of the planet that must change. This is a common theme in left-wing problem solving. It usually involves changing the nature of human beings. Human beings are the cause of all the world's problems. Capitalism, of course would look at things a little differently. Maybe create big, bad, fast cars that don't emit CO2. But the left would rather dispense with the fast cars and the desire for them.

If you are a left-wing tree-hugger, pay heed. This is the kind of attitude that will backfire on you. I know I'm not alone when I say that if we have to drive little, slow cars and disappoint hot chicks around the world to save the planet...screw the planet!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mike Huckabee Christmas Ad, What Really Matters

Mike Huckabee recently started running this ad wishing people a Merry Christmas.
Will it offend non-Christians? The pundits seem to think so.

As a non-Christian I found it to be a very refreshing bit of individual expression of personal conviction. I celebrate the holidays because it's a nice time for a holiday. I don't care what your religion is or how you celebrate. Have a good time. Don't hurt anyone and don't break anything.

My only concern with "religious zealots" in politics is that they may take steps to stifle free speech, freedom or association or freedom of and from religion. I don't get the "zealot" vibe from Huckabee. He seems like a decent human being who happens not to be ashamed or afraid of his religion. I would be much more concerned about this guy if he pretended he wasn't very religious, when I know that he is.

This is not an endorsement of his candidacy. I don't know who I'm going to vote for yet, but in the case of this commercial, I've got to give him kudos.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Guitar Hero III for Wii - 8 year old master video

If you haven't made up your mind on a Christmas present yet, put this one on your list. This game is fun. Although my wife isn't thrilled with it because for the first time in video game history, we got a game that I picked up way faster than she did.

The technology is promising in a number of ways. I can envision actual instruments being created based on the way this thing works. Simple, easy to play, easy to read music. Like the game, Pente, even though the fundamental operation is simple, the user can make it much more complex with practice and imagination.

The video game's popularity could make music and instruments in general, much more user friendly.

Watch this 8 year old Guitar Hero Prodigy on Guitar Hero 2

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kitty Wigs

All right, this has got to be the dumbest product I've come across all year.
Only $50!

I'll give you $100 if you can get my cat to wear one for more than 60 seconds without completely flipping out. She must have sedated this guy.

Now if you could come up with a "kitty broom" or "kitty scrub brush" and teach them to use it, that's a product I could get behind.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Crack Cocaine Ruling - Nice Call

The Supreme Court today ruled that the sentances of over 20,000 people convicted of crack cocaine related offenses should be reviewed because they are substantially harsher than those convicted of similar offenses involving powdered cocaine.

The issue is whether prosecuters should focus on behavior or chemistry. Prosecutors argue that crack cocaine tends to lead to much more violent criime than powdered cocaine. So prosecute the violent crime!

If someone breaks into my house and robs me at gunpoint, I don't particularly care whether they're using crack or powder or are completely sober. I also don't care if they've targeted me due to my race, color, religion, politics or shoe size. Armed robbery is armed robbery.

If the primary reason for all the money we throw down the black hole of drug law enforcement is due to the other criminal activity it inspires, let's make stiffer penalties for the other criminal activity and eliminate the middle man.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Vaporizer Gun - The Solution for Aging Stoners?

As the children of the sixties grew older, many gave up their passion for Mary Jane. There were a number of reasons: responsibility, the kids, the budget... Some die hards stuck with it however and have developed a new technology that may bring back some of yesterday's stoners... The vaporizer.

A vaporizer is an alternative to smoking. It can be used with herbs, marijuana, even tabacco. It works by rapidly heating the substance without exposing it to flame. The result is that you get the chemical inhalation without all that smoke. It's also allegedly more efficient in that a very small amount is needed at at time, and there's less waste.

This could be ideal for the baby boomer set. Greatly reduced smoke means it's harder for the kiddos to detect (funny how the tables have turned). If it's more economical, it could be easier on the budget. Now if you can only keep from grabbing for the bowl on worknights....and there's that pesky legalization issue.

Seattle Slew? Jones Soda Seattle Flavors, Taste Test Vid

Well, I guess it's par for the course for the city that gave us the grunge look. Now they've introduced grunge drinks. Can grunge food be far behind? "Be a rebel. Eat crap!

Watch a Jones Soda employee's own "Taste Test Video"

SEATTLE (AP) -- Ever wonder what the Seahawks' locker room tastes like after a big game?

Apparently, Jones Soda Co. thinks Seattle NFL fans want to know. The company started taking online pre-orders Thursday for a five-pack of sodas with flavors it says reflect the hard work of professional football players.

Clare Bowles, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based company, said the four literally named flavors -- Dirt, Sports Cream, Perspiration and Natural Field Turf -- are "pretty lifelike."

"Perspiration Soda is kind of salty tasting," she said, with a slightly higher sodium content than the average soda, with a smooth, "stinky football sock" finish.

A sip of Sports Cream Soda conjures up the experience of rubbing ointment into an aching muscle, while Natural Field Turf Soda is like "playing tackle football, and you get tackled really hard, you're down on the ground and you get a little bit of the grass in your teeth," Bowles said.

The only sweet soda of the bunch, Sweet Victory, has a berry flavor.

Each bottle features the photo of a Seattle Seahawks player. Limited quantities of the five-pack will be sold in select stores starting Oct. 1.

In May, Jones Soda (Charts) announced it won a five-year contract to sell nonalcoholic beverages at the Seahawks' home stadium, Qwest Field, beating out The Coca-Cola Co (Charts, Fortune 500).

Michael Vick Sentence Points Out The Real Dangers of Smoking Dope

Michael Vick received 23 months in prison for his participation in the now infamous dog fighting ring. Why the heck would a multi-millionaire, pro football player in the prime of his game, with endorsement deals everywhere, get involved in something so grotesque and stupid? I'm gonna go with, because he's a stoner. This is a guy who couldn't put down the weed long enough to pass drug tests that he knew were coming.

When I was in the service, our First Sergeant would always give us two weeks advance notice of a drug test. His feeling was, he wasn't really interested in nabbing the guy who smokes ocassionally. It's the guys who can't give it up for a couple of weeks, knowing their going to get busted that have the real problem. Vick obviously has a real problem.

You hear all kinds of overblown claims about the dangers of marijuana. These are mostly amusing and do very little to deter use by anyone who knows it's b.s. But the Vick case illustrates a couple of very real dangerous effects of chronic dope smoking. One is the tendency to hang around with idiots, especially if you're the one that always has the dope. People who get stoned every day, lose their sense of good judgment. Everything seems like a great idea, no matter how stupid. If you're smoking right along with them, you get stupid too. This compounds the problem in that you have a bunch of knuckleheads coming up with stupid ideas, and now they sound pretty good to you.

So remember kids, everything in moderation. Otherwise you might end up throwing away a lifetime membership in the "more money than God" club to impress a group of hanger's on with a combined IQ that's less than your shoe size.

Monday, December 3, 2007

When Can We Pull The Troops Out...Of Korea?

50 years after the truce, we still have 30,000 troops on the border between north and south Korea. What the hell? The plan for Iraq is to train and equip the local police and military so we can turn security over to them. If it's good for Iraq, why not for Korea? Is it possible that after a half century we couldn't train and equip 30,000 Korean soldiers to a level of competency sufficient for them to take over the job. If you're Korean you should be insulted.
Some say the idea is to demonstrate that an attack on South Korea is an attack on America. Couldn't we make the same exact point with 3,000 troops?

We have enough naval capability and intelligence on North Korea to shut that whole operation down in one evening, after dinner, and be done in time to catch Leno. The Korean border deployment has to be the biggest pork barrel project in American history. Time to shut it down.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Yo' Savior

The recent story of an English teacher's arrest in Sudan for allowing her 7 year old school children to name a teddy bear "Mohhammed" points out a serious sensitivity problem....among Muslims.

While watching a Sudanese man on the news calling for this woman's death, I was reminded of how many fights used to start in schools and workplaces across the country. Somebody would say something about somebody else's mother, and it was on! This situation was diffused with a classic case of steering into the skid: The Yo' Momma Joke. Instead of refraining from saying anything bad about anyone's mother, people stayed up late thinking of new and more outrageous insults they could throw at each other in the name of Yo Momma. It turned into a game, an anti-hypersensitivity game.

Now we need to do the same thing and apply it to religion. I propose: The "Yo' Savior Joke". You don't have to single out anyone's savior by name. Keep it generic. Make it funny. Here are a few to help you get started:

"Your savior's so dumb he thinks an infidel is someone who can't play violin."

"Your savior's so fat, he ate the whale that ate Jonah."

"Your savior's so dumb he brought a shovel to the "holey war"

"Your savior's so fat, they had to use two crosses."

"Your savior's so lame, he brought Disco back from the dead."

"Your savior's so lame, he turns water into Zima."

"Your savior's so lame, instead of parting the Red Sea, he gave it a perm."

"Your savior's so dumb he thinks reincarnation is using evaporated milk twice."

"Your savior's so dumb he thinks a tithe is something one wears with a thuite."

you can even go after non-religious icons (can't leave the atheists out):

"Your savior's so dumb he thought hemlock meant the cup had reinforced stitching."

Spread the word. Remember, offending people is the whole point, so don't pull your punches. Just keep it generic and make it funny. Together we can save the world from the scourge of hyper-sensitivity.