Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday's Fact: Scratch and Sniff

How do scratch-and-sniff stickers work?
Scratch-and-sniff stickers are one of those novelty technologies that sound like such a good idea... But they never really caught on except in children's books and the occasional perfume strip in a magazine. Why shouldn't nasal information be just as important audio and visual information? Perhaps because no one has figured out how to encode language in smells.

Nonetheless, if you have kids, you probably have a scratch-and-sniff book around the house. And even if the book is 20 years old, it still works! The reason the stickers last so long is because of the microencapsulation technology used to create them. The basic idea behind scratch-and-sniff is to take the aroma-generating chemical and encapsulate it in gelatin or plastic spheres that are incredibly small -- on the order of a few microns in diameter. When you scratch the sticker, you rupture some of these spheres and release the smell. The smell is essentially held in millions of tiny bottles, and you break a few of the bottles every time you scratch the sticker. The tiny bottles preserve the fragrance for years.

It turns out that the microencapsulation technology used in scratch-and-sniff was first developed to create carbonless copy paper. The top sheet of paper is coated with microcapsules containing a colorless ink. When you write on the paper, it breaks the capsules and releases the ink. The ink mixes with a developer chemical on the next sheet of paper to create a dark color.
"How do scratch-and-sniff stickers work?." 01 April 2000. <> 29 January 2009.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Say What You Will....

From the mind of Michael Ramirez, Editorial Cartoonist for Investor's Business Daily.

A pig is a pig whether you take it into town, or to the trough...

I guess the reason it didn't work last year was that there wasn't enough money in it. Yeah, that's it.

What's the old rambling about repeating something over and over again, hoping for different results?

Oh yeah, now I remember.....insanity.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday's Worst - #19



Chocolate Moo'd Power Smoothie

30 fl oz

900 calories

10 g fat

183 g carbs

(166 g sugars)

This is a smoothie???? Well, Jamba Juice thinks so. Ready for a pop quiz? Here we go. What has more sugar: One (1) Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo'd Power Smoothie or Two (2) pints of Ben and Jerry's Butter Pecan ice cream?

Ready to finish off that Michelin midsection? How about that third and fourth chin you've been dreaming about. Look no further. 75% of this chain's power smoothies are in excess of 100 grams of sugar. Their fruit smoothies are the only items with no added sugar. Do yourself another favor and order the small while you're at it.

Next week: Just how bad can bad be at your local grocer's freezer? I'll tell you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

What A Relief...It's Just A Virus!

And here I thought diet and exercise were the most effective. Looks like just keeping my hands clean, using Clorox wipes, and Lysol spray were all I had to do...sheesh

Here's your link.


Obesity can be "caught" as easily as a common cold from other people's coughs, sneezes and dirty hands, scientists are set to declare today. The condition has been linked to a highly-infectious virus which causes sniffles and sore throats. Professor Nikhil Dhurandhar said the virus, known as AD-36, infects the lungs then whisks around the body, forcing fat cells to multiply and also causing sore throats.
"When this virus goes to fat tissue it replicates, making more copies of itself and in the process increases the number of new fat cells, which may explain why the fat tissue expands and why people get fat when they are infected with this virus," Dhurandhar said. In one test, a third of obese people had the rare and highly contagious virus compared to just 11 percent of thinner people. Weight gain can last three months until the body has built up resistance to the bug. New research supports earlier theories from studies on weight gain; evidence in tests on mice and chickens shows the bug could cause overweight people to gain weight. "People could be fat for reasons other than viral infections, so it’s pointless for fat people to try to
avoid infection," said Dhurandhar. The study also reveals research claiming dieters always feel hungry because humans have a "natural body weight" and they will always suffer hunger pangs.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Look, He's Domesticated!

And almost housebroken...

One thing I really love to do is cook...

First comes the veggie pasta recipe I just found, courtesy of the

Use a vegetable peeler to cut the vegetables into slivers, similar to the fettucinni.

Then cook both until they are al dente, drain the pasta and combine with the vegetables.

Once combined, stir in a mixture of parsley, basil and grated lemon peel.

For the Queen I chose fresh salmon with a bourbon glaze...

And for me?

Why, meat of course!

I'll admit, the Queen keeps us alive, but I get to add a spark every now and then!

Disclaimer: Those that are knowledgeable know good and well that the Queen's father cooks $40 quality steaks at his castle while my father is the hands down King of Salmon, especially at Thanksgiving!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday's Fact: Drinking Ice Water to Burn calories

For anyone trying to lose weight, this question is an exciting one! If you simply want to know if your body burns calories warming up the water, the answer is yes. But if you want to know if drinking a lot of ice water can help you lose weight, or keep weight off, this "yes" needs to be qualified with some calculations.

Ice water won't replace a healthy diet, but it will burn a few extra Calories.First of all, calories are case-sensitive. There are calories and then there are Calories. Calories with a big "c" are the ones used to describe the amount of energy contained in foods. A calorie with a little "c" is defined as the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.

What most people think of as a Calorie is actually a kilo-calorie: It takes one Calorie to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius. So when you drink a 140-Calorie can of cola, you are ingesting 140,000 calories. There is no cause for alarm, because the conversion applies across the board. When you burn 100 Calories jogging a mile, you are burning 100,000 calories.

So, considering that the definition of a calorie is based on raising the temperature of water, it is safe to say that your body burns calories when it has to raise the temperature of ice water to your body temperature. And unless your urine is coming out ice cold, your body must be raising the temperature of the water. So calories are being burned.

Let's figure out exactly what you're burning when you drink a 16-ounce (0.5 liter) glass of ice water:

  • The temperature of ice water can be estimated at zero degrees Celsius.
  • Body temperature can be estimated at 37 degrees Celsius.
  • It takes 1 calorie to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.
  • There are 473.18 grams in 16 fluid ounces of water.

So in the case of a 16-ounce glass of ice water, your body must raise the temperature of 473.18 grams of water from zero to 37 degrees C. In doing so, your body burns 17,508 calories. But that's calories with a little "c." Your body only burns 17.5 Calories, and in the grand scheme of a 2,000-Calorie diet, that 17.5 isn't very significant.

But let's say you adhere to the "eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day" nutritional recommendation. In 64 ounces of water, there are 1,892.72 grams. So to warm up all that water in the course of a day, your body burns 70,030 calories, or 70 Calories. And over time, that 70 Calories a day adds up. So, while you definitely shouldn't depend on ice water consumption to replace exercise or a healthy diet, drinking cold water instead of warm water does, in fact, burn some extra Calories!

sourced from How Stuff Works

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Keep You're Head on a Swivel

Keep both eyes and ears out for news involving Cass Sunstein. I usually don't jump on the conspiracy theory train, but this guy's background and his recent appointment to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in Obama's administration make him pretty dangerous if he chooses to implement his animal-rights ideals.

Here's the article.

Kudos to Todd for getting on this quickly.

Light the proverbial match and start spreading the fire.

Wednesday's Worst - #20

So here we go. Every Wednesday will feature a new worst in the realm of eating out, whether it be fast food or sit down. We all know it's out there, but did you really know what's in it???



Did anyone say KFC or Popeye's?? Maybe Church's? El Pollo Loco??? You're all wrong!

830 calories
55g fat
(4.5g trans fat)
48 g carbs
This is none other than the Golden Arches' Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips w/ creamy Ranch sauce. The only thing premium about this is the caloric assault on your body. At that rate, you can eat 20 McNuggets and receive the same wallop on your diet. That's just the meal, folks. Want large fries and Coke with that? Sure you do. Why don't we go ahead and bump that to 1700+ calories shall we? A semi-reasonable solution? Get the six-piece with BBQ sauce and you've just slashed 530 calories. Hooray! That means you actually have a spot in the day to eat again! I say semi-reasonable because if you were really wary you wascally wabbit (sorry, I was channeling Elmer Fudd and Barbara Walters at the same time) wouldn't eat there.

So, now you get the idea of what I'm going to be putting up on this thread. Is your favorite dish going to be on the list?

Next week: Is it a Smoothie or is it diabetes in a cup??

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Bush

Never before in this modern era has a President been challenged as much as you have. I want to thank you for keeping us safe for the past eight years. I have come close to feeling as safe as I did on 9/10/01...not because I've forgotten, but because through the strength of your actions and courage, you have kept me safe, often at the expense of your own reputation.

Thank you for keeping my wife, my family, my friends and neighbors safe under your watch. Please relax and enjoy the private life. If anyone deserves it, it's you and Laura.

President Roosevelt said it best...
It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat -
Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

President Obama


You have forever left your mark in history as our next President. Furthermore, you have also accomplished what no other man in any modern country has done; won the Presidency as a man of color.

I will admit I didn't vote for you and, if given the chance, would not vote for you again. I have too much pride and respect for what makes this country great. The personal freedoms we enjoy are second to none. But, with that freedom comes responsibility. Not from the government, but from the individual. I fear both of these qualities will be greatly diminished under your leadership. You were quoted recently saying "Only Government can get us out of this", when giving a press conference regarding our economy. I don't know if you'll change this country or not, but I'm afraid we're in for four years that will yield no noticeable improvements.

Your job's a tough one. However, you knew exactly what you were getting into. You knew you were being handed a turd and polishing cloth. You ran anyway. No excuses going forward.

You are my President for the next 1400+ days. When you do well, I'll recognize it. "Good for him. He got this one", I'll tell people. When you are wrong, I will voice my disagreement. However, I will not resort to the antics displayed by the left for nearly the last decade. I will not hold you responsible for every problem that exists in the world and I will not stomp my feet and hold my breath, demanding your resignation and impeachment every time you do something I don't like.

You've been handed the keys to the greatest nation in the world, maybe in history.
Don't drive it like a rental.

Obama the next Reagan??

Bet you will never find this in any major media outlet:


New Poll: Reagan, FDR Lead Presidential Role Models
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

When American voters were asked which past President of the United States they believe Barack Obama should model his new presidency after, they did not pick Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy, or even George Washington as their top choice. They picked Ronald Reagan.

According to a nationwide survey conducted by Clarus Research Group this past week, Reagan was the top choice among all voters with 26 percent, followed by Franklin Roosevelt with 18%, Kennedy with 17% and Lincoln with 13%.

"Reagan was the overwhelming favorite among Republican voters," said Dr. Ron Faucheux, President of Clarus.

"He received 59 percent as the President GOP voters want Obama to emulate. Nobody else came close."

"Democrats scattered their choices more," Faucheux noted. "FDR was their top pick at 27 percent and was closely followed by Kennedy, with 26 percent. Lincoln, a Republican, ranked third among Democrats."

Other findings:

  • Independents favored Reagan, followed by FDR, Lincoln and Kennedy.
  • Younger voters (under 30) selected JFK as their favorite. Reagan and Lincoln followed.
  • Older voters (over 65) put Roosevelt first. Reagan was second.
  • White voters picked Reagan as their top choice with FDR in second place.
  • African American voters favored Kennedy by a wide margin. Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, came in second.
  • Home regions of past Presidents can still have political impact. Reagan, from California, did the best in the West (30 percent) and the worst in the Northeast (22 percent). FDR, a New Yorker, scored highest in the Northeast (26 percent) and lowest in the Midwest (15 percent).
  • Reagan dominated small town and rural America, winning 31 percent.
  • Among urban voters, FDR led with 23 percent.
  • Reagan was also favored among suburbanites, capturing 28 percent.
  • Reagan won high-income voters (over $100,000 a year) with 33 percent
    followed by FDR with 21 percent. JFK and Reagan, at 21 percent, tied among voters with incomes under $50,000 a year.
  • Education was a factor in some cases. FDR received 14 percent among
    voters without a college degree but 25 percent among those with graduate degrees. Kennedy won 27 percent of voters with high school educations and 14 percent among college graduates.

Presidents among the Founding Fathers

  • George Washington and Thomas Jefferson received 4 and 3 percent, respectively.
  • Cold War Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower also received 4 and 3 percent among all voters.
  • Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive Republican, captured 4 percent.
  • The Hero of the Battle of New Orleans, Democrat Andrew Jackson, received 1 percent.

Inauguration Day

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government - not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter, and they're on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They're individuals and families whose taxes support the government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet, but deep. Their values sustain our national life.

"They" are you.

I wonder if we'll ever hear a speech like this again...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday's Fact: Whale Falls

I've emerged from my cave.

It was refreshing to drop this for a while and enjoy something other than staring at my blog updates page like the fat kid staring at the microwave , waiting for that beep so he can score his next plate of pizza bagels.

I'm going to start posting random (mostly useless) facts each Friday. If anything, it will help you become masters in Trivial Pursuit...

Today's Fact: Whale Fall (sourced from Wikipedia)

Whale fall is the term used for a whale carcass that has fallen to the ocean floor. When a whale dies in shallow water, its carcass is typically devoured by scavengers over a relatively short period of time - within several months. However, in deeper water (depths of 2000m or greater), fewer scavenger species exist, and the carcass can provide sustenance for a complex localized ecosystem over periods of decades, or possibly centuries.

Some of the organisms that have been observed at whale falls are squat lobsters, Osedax (bone-eating worms), crabs, sea cucumbers, octopuses, clams, and even deep-sea sleeper sharks. Whale falls are often inhabited by large colonies of tubeworms. Over 30 previously unknown species have been discovered at whale falls.

Given that whale deaths occur at locations that are largely random, carcasses are believed to exist at many locations on the seabed, like oases in the nutrient-poor abyssal plain, with average spacings estimated at 25 km.

Marine biologists sometimes transport dead whales that have washed up on coastlines, towing them offshore to create a whale fall at a known location that can then be studied over a long period of time.

Stay tuned, next Wednesday will start a lengthy segment on eating out, and why you shouldn't.

Stay warm! It's 13 on the mercury this morning...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Freakin' Hate Storm Troopers

You know, the Death Star would be a little more tolerable if there were some brighter Storm Troopers running around. Seriously people, if you walk into a room and hear the tell-tale sound of stepping in water, WOULDN'T YOU THINK TO TELL SOMEONE THAT SOMETHING'S WRONG?????

Heck no, not here. We's got busy Storm Trooper work to do. Forget that it smells like somebody's thriving chicken farm/paper mill operation with a side business making liver treats in the dehydrator (nothin' but love GBD!).

0900 hours - I stroll down the main corridor at the D.S. Keep in mind that I've reported to my post 3 hours prior to this moment of reflection and there have been two dozen or so Storm Troopers milling about in that time. The aforementioned "ambrosia" fills my nostrils and warns of the meltdown that awaits me behind the door with the little man on it. Oh little man. If you could only speak I would not have witnessed the cataclysmic cauldron brewing behind your emotionless facade. I made the call to Mission Control and ordered the Level 5 HazMat special with a side of hurry-the-%^&$-up.

1300 hours - Not one single Storm Trooper has approached to even suggest that something is different today. Not one. ~sigh~

1320 hours - Level 5 HazMat team arrives and secures a containment perimeter around the biohazard. One hour later all biohazard has been removed. One mop was martyred in the process.

I honestly think the Storm Troopers would wither and die if there weren't any Trooperettes to maintain order at homebase. Fortunately for me, the Queen is quite adept at reminding me of the shortcomings of my previous living arrangements and the fallacy in thinking that my interpretation of "status quo" was how things actually were supposed to be. For that, I am grateful...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Stealing Away

There's something exciting about heading off for an adventure in the pre-dawn hours, especially on a day normally reserved for laboring at the Death Star.

Previously, I alluded to a future rambling simply titled "Close In, Far Out". Pardon the cliche, the future is now.

I'm hoping to keep a series going that details my hikes to show what is close enough to fit into a day trip.

Congratulations to the Poole's Pooches (poolie and ykngld) for correctly guessing the location of our adventure. However, I'm highly disappointed that you have not visited this location yet and you are hearby signed up for the next trip. Nevertheless, keep an eye on your mailbox. There's a $10,000 third party, out of state check heading your way! You'll notice that it's considerably more than the prize amount. All you need to do is deposit the check and send back the difference to cover promotional and advertising costs...

I love being the first out on the trail which is why we left before dawn to get up there as soon as the gates opened. Cloudland Canyon is about a 1.5-2 hr drive from home base (30 mins from ATL proper). There is one main trail that loops the east and west rim of the canyon. I think it's 4-6 miles. The majority of the hike is level ground, but there are also some sections with large rocks to traverse and the descent/ascent through the gorge can be steep.

The views are totally worth the effort...

The recent rain made for better waterfalls this time!

Had Riley not been with me I would have gone down to the falls for some better pictures. However, the path to the gorge floor is mostly man-made and there are several staircases with metal expansion steps. We've learned that it's a no-go for the hounds. They don't even try it and we'd rather not watch a toe go through one of the gaps in the steps.

When you abscond with an A-team hound you'd better bring your A game because this is the only view you're going to have through the entire trip.

Riley, you're welcome on my hikes anytime!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!