Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Healthy foods article

Source: Yahoo Health

8 Ultimate Flat-Belly Summer Foods
By David Zinczenko, with Matt Goulding
Posted Fri, May 23, 2008, 12:11 pm PDT

...To combat the nutritional chaos and the extra poundage that comes with the rising mercury, we’ve chosen the eight best foods to eat every day. Beyond being packed full of disease-fighting, life-extending nutrients, these foods will also help keep your belly full, because they’re loaded with fiber and protein, the sultans of satiety.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Your bacteria and you

Source: NY Times

Bacteria Thrive in Inner Elbow; No Harm Done
Published: May 23, 2008
Even after you have washed the skin clean, there are still one million bacteria in every square centimeter of skin in the crook of your elbow. But they are not bad bacteria.

Awesome article. Who knew? Bacteria tribes in all of us? Our own cells are out-numbered 10 to 1 by friendlies living inside of us and out?

Here's a quote:

...These are not bad bacteria. They are what biologists call commensals, creatures that eat at the same table with people to everyone’s mutual benefit. Though they were not invited to enjoy board and lodging in the skin of your inner elbow, they are giving something of value in return. They are helping to moisturize the skin by processing the raw fats it produces, says Julia A. Segre of the National Human Genome Research Institute....

And one more because I think it's rather important:

...Much the same set of bacteria recolonize the gut after a course of antibiotics, he said, suggesting that the makeup of the colony is important and that the body has ways of reconstituting it as before.

The article says that biologists think we should be best described as "superorganisms" to properly include all the bacteria. So hey, in a way, we're all super beings with bacterial colonies adapting to our lifestyles along with us. Sort of your extra crew, one might say.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What they do, not what they say

Source: NY Times

What the F.B.I. Agents Saw
Published: May 22, 2008
In light of a report by the Justice Department, the Democrats in charge of Congress should press for full disclosure of President Bush’s inhuman policy on prisoners.

Republicans touted "rule of law" until they decided that the laws didn't matter, when it suited them.

Here's a quote from the article:

...These were not random acts. It is clear from the inspector general’s report that this was organized behavior by both civilian and military interrogators following the specific orders of top officials. The report shows what happens when an American president, his secretary of defense, his Justice Department and other top officials corrupt American law to rationalize and authorize the abuse, humiliation and torture of prisoners:...

But Democrats haven't managed to enforce this country's laws either, now have they?

The American system is increasingly under trial because our political leaders are humiliating us along with those prisoners, and saying to the world that what we believe is just talk and not substance.

It is as if our political leaders threw out the United States Constitution a long time ago, but just kept saying otherwise.

We have a leadership of liars, who will say they are "conservative" or "liberal" or "democratic" or whatever it takes to maintain power--and then do whatever the hell they want, and this nation be damned.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Repo stories, boats taken back

Source: NY Times

Economic Tide Is Rising for Repo Man
Published: May 20, 2008
The recreational boating industry has faltered amid the housing slump, leading to a boom in repossessions.

Here's a quote from the article:

...Finally he remembered: “I’ve taken this boat before.” Owners of repossessed boats have a few weeks to redeem them, and this fellow had availed himself of the opportunity. Now, a few years later, he was in trouble again. Mr. Henderson shrugged. “I took it before, I’ll take it again. After I take it a few more times, he’ll be eligible for a Christmas card. One guy, I took his boat four times.”

And one more telling quote:

Some people lose their house or their boat to abrupt setbacks: illness, job loss, divorce. Mr. Dahmen, who works as a technology manager for a car manufacturer, belongs to a second, probably larger group: he simply spent beyond his means. He is one of the millions of reasons the consumer-powered American economy did so well for most of this decade, and one of the reasons its prospects look so bleak now.

The article has an almost literary quality. It reads more like a well-told tale than a news article.

Science explaining wisdom?

Source: NY Times

Health / Research
Older Brain Really May Be a Wiser Brain
Published: May 20, 2008
New research suggests that memory lapses that occur with age might be a sign of a widening focus of attention.

That blurb doesn't do the article justice as it says so much more to explain how older can mean wiser in that people with more experience are able to notice more of what's actually going on. Here's a quote from the article:

“A broad attention span may enable older adults to ultimately know more about a situation and the indirect message of what’s going on than their younger peers,” Dr. Hasher said. “We believe that this characteristic may play a significant role in why we think of older people as wiser.”

The article mentioned that younger people tend to just speed past oddities, as if they weren't there, while older people, able to process more efficiently, can even pay attention to the things that should not be there, as well what should, and then understand better overall, what is actually going on.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ant army taking out computers in Texas

Source: Computerworld

NASA moves to save computers from swarming ants

Attack of the (computer) killer ants - pests taking out machines along Texas gulf coast
By Sharon Gaudin

May 15, 2008 (Computerworld) A flood of voracious ants is heading straight for Houston, taking out computers, radios and even vehicles in their path.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Learning penalty in nature

Source: NY Times

Lots of Animals Learn, but Smarter Isn’t Better
Published: May 6, 2008
New research indicates that growing smarter has dangerous side effects that make its evolution even more puzzling.

Really surprising research to me, though reading the article it makes sense that learning has its costs.

Here's a quote from the article:

Dr. Kawecki and like-minded scientists are trying to figure out why animals learn and why some have evolved to be better at learning than others. One reason for the difference, their research finds, is that being smart can be bad for an animal’s health.

And one more:

Dr. Kawecki says it is worth investigating whether humans also pay hidden costs for extreme learning. “We could speculate that some diseases are a byproduct of intelligence,” he said.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Stealthier advertising

I was pondering once again the issue of advertising with YouTube, which is for some reason one of my favorite subjects it seems, when I realized something while looking at a website that had YouTube with AdSense which was that you could see who the advertiser was immediately.

It was right there in the form of this little ad. Plain to see.

But, what if for some ad campaigns--not saying all--advertisers could have a stealthier approach where instead you just saw something that said "Advertiser Supported" where you had to click to see who the advertiser was?

Sound dumb? Well, curiosity is a known thing, you know? And premium, or at least different, content on such pages might draw people to click to see who was advertising which would give them a full video commercial, and links back to the advertiser's sites of interest as they choose to look at it!

Free idea. Maybe I should quit giving away ideas for free, but I have them all the time. What else would I do with them? Sit on them? It's not like anyone's buying my ideas, you know?