Friday, 23 February 2007

The Most Effective Anti-Terrorism Law EVER

So long as terrorists can't buy domain names, that's OK then: Terrorism can no longer spread. Threat controlled!

Eric Goldman of the Technology & Marketing Law Blog quotes a proposed bill's objective to make it a criminal offence in the US to knowingly sell an internet domain name to a terrorist group and asks, "Are they serious?"

Oh yes, as we all know, terrorists are such fine upstanding members of society (notice a slight hint of sarcasm there?) and will turn up to purchase saying,

"Hello, I'm a terrorist from XYZ organization - you may have seen us in the homeland security list (like it's the yellow pages) - and I'd like to buy a domain name, please."

Yeah, it's not like they would keep schtum and use a fake name, is it? :)

So, I think we can say that there's an absolute zero possibility of anyone knowingly committing this offence, making this proposed legislation utterly pointless - I mean, beyond the fact that denying terrorists domain names is hardly going to cripple their operations anyway. Aren't you just deliriously happy to know that this kind of idiocy is what you pay your tax dollars for?

The Most Effective Anti-Terrorism Law EVER

Friday, 16 February 2007

The Color Wheel Of Fruits And Vegetables

image The majority of people know that eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is very important. Also, by eating fruits and vegetables of a variety of different colors, one can get the best all-around health benefits.

Each different color fruit and vegetables contains unique health components that are essential to our health. Fruits and vegetables are very important to our health because they are whole foods, created by nature,  that are rich in a large amount of nutrients. The processed foods that we so commonly eat, can never compare to the health benefits provided by strawberries or broccoli, which have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes  built right in.

The phrase “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables is a simple way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible, so that you can maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are a small clue as to what vitamins and nutrients are included. By getting a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables, you are guaranteed a diverse amount of essential vitamins and minerals.

When eating red fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, berries, peppers, and radishes, you take in nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin, to name a few. These nutrients reduce the  risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases. Carrots, Yams, Squash, Papayas, and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer,  lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones.

White fruits and vegetables, including mushrooms, white tea, flaxseed, and pumpkin, contain nutrients such as beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans that provide powerful immune boosting activity. These nutrients also activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers. Wheat grass, barley grass, oat  grass, kale, spinach, cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, mustard greens, and collard greens are all examples of green vegetables that contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, pomegranates, grapes, elderberries, eggplant, and prunes contain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic  acid, and quercetin. Similar to the previous nutrients, these nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral  absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as an anticarcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells.

These nutrients that are found in the above-listed fruits and vegetables can have a significant impact on our health. Quercetin, which is found in apples, onions and other citrus fruits, not only prevents LDL cholesterol oxidation, but also helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.

Ellagic acid, which is mainly found in raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts, has been proven in many clinical studies to act as an antioxidant and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract. This nutrient also has been proven to have an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, because it decreases their ATP  production. The best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene, is converted into vitamin A upon entering the liver. Although being known for its positive effects on eyesight, it has also been proven to decrease cholesterol levels in the liver. Clinical studies have proven that lycopene, mainly found in tomatoes, may decrease the risk of prostate cancer, as well as protect against heart disease. Lutein, which is found in  blueberries and members of the squash family, is important for healthy eyes. However, it does support your heart too, helping to prevent against coronary artery disease.

Along with the above stated nutrients, there are even more nutrients found in fruits and vegetables that provide a great deal of support to our body. Almost everyone has heard of vitamin C, which keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. This nutrient is scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits, but commonly associated with oranges and other citrus fruits. Potassium, which is the nutrient most Americans are deficient in, does great things for our hearts, and lowers blood pressure. Another good food component many people don’t get enough of if fiber, found in fruits, vegetables,  and whole grains. Flavonoids, which include anthocyanins, flavones, isoflavones, proantocyanidins, quercetin and more, are found almost everywhere. They are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and  vegetables and help to stop the growth of tumor cells and potent antioxidants. They also can reduce inflammation. Beta-glucan, found in mushrooms, stabilizes and balances the body’s immune system by  supporting white blood cells.

EGCG is found in tea and has been shown to reduce the risk of colon and  breast cancer. It boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation, which defends our body  against sickness and disease.

Lastly, bioflavonoids, which are found in citrus fruits, are considered a companion to vitamin C because they extend the value of it in the body. These nutrients have the capabilities to lower cholesterol levels and  support joint collagen in arthritis cases.

The number one excuse for not eating the required five servings of fruits and vegetables each day is they are too expensive.

However, as compared to the amount of money spent on prepackaged, processed, and fast foods, most fruits and vegetables (with the exception of those that are not in season) are not all that expensive. Because frozen fruits and vegetables retain the majority of their nutritional value, they can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. Someone who is not able to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day can also drink fruit and vegetable drinks in their place. Although this shouldn’t become a habit, fruit and vegetable drink mixes can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling. The need for fruits and vegetables in our diet is growing rapidly with the type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol, hypertension that result from the “Typical American Diet” of fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains. Great fruit drink Mixes and vegetable mixes can be found at your local  health food store or internet health food store.

About The Author: Visit VitaNet Health Foods at VitaNet sells high quality vitamins and herbs at discount prices and name brands like Source Naturals and Natures Plus.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Warning over ePassport microchips

Looks like the British authorities have this one well planned out then:

"Public Accounts Committee chairman Edward Leigh said the fact they [the microchips in Britain's new ePassports] had a two-year warranty, when passports were kept for 10 years, was "most worrying".

They don''t say? :-)

Warning over ePassport microchips

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Don't be afraid of the humble potato

Papas AndinasA fascinating fact I found on Kickstart Today, points out:

"Dieters are all scared of eating potatoes, but pound for pond they have almost the same calories as apples. You would need to eat 11 pounds of potatoes to put on one pound of weight. The problem is not so much the potato itself, but the oils, butters and fats that they tend to be cooked in or served with!"

My own "philosophy" on potatoes is this: I need something in my meals that fills me up, something relatively healthy and that contains vitamins, fiber, etc. Compared to other "filler foods", like pasta, pastries and, to a certain extent, rice, the spud seems to do a better job of providing all those needs.

So, rather than being afraid of them, I tend to give potatoes a bit of positive discrimination.

The simple potato baked in it's jacket - dead simple to prepare and quick if you cook it in the microwave. (To get that "authentic" crispy skin, give it the 10-15 minutes in a regular oven afterwards.) Combined with fillings or sauces made from cottage cheese or low fat yoghurts, you need not worry about the calories.

PS: The potatoes pictured above are "Papas Andinas" (Andean Potatoes) grown in the Canary Islands, which are as close as you'll get to the original potato introduced to England by either Raleigh or Drake.

Monday, 5 February 2007

Caution: Mystery Meat in Garden

Pork chop remains thrown onto our garden

What kind of being, because it sure isn't human, throws a pork chop bone - a little underdone, if you ask me - fresh from today's lunch, into someone else's garden? Bearing in mind that I live in the middle of nowhere and that nobody is going to drive half a mile to throw away a bone, then it has to have come from one of our group of only three houses here. One neighbour, who only comes on alternate weekends - including this - barbecues, just yards from where this was found. Do you think we have a winner?

My dog found this as we were going out to go for a walk: Ms Supersniffer went straight into the overgrown weeds where it had been thrown and had got it in a trice. Fortunately, a very sharp "Drop it!" command ensured that she did.

Besides being pork, which dogs shouldn't have and, apart from the fact that it's dirty and gross and would also have attracted all the other wild dogs, cats, rats and goodness knows what to our house if it hadn't been found, one has to be cautious of other non-kosher ingredients, because there are always accounts of people putting down poisoned meat to kill other people's animals here.

There honestly doesn't have to be a reason.

And the other neighbour (both neighbours are brothers) had been out spraying chemicals this morning. It would be just far too coincidental. Whilst I am not saying it was and I'm not about to have it analysed, I'm just saying it would not be unheard of, so I'm not about to take chances. It's also just bloody lucky that the cats have not been out for quite some time and are unlikely to do so, so they couldn't have found it first, when I wasn't around to act in time.

Why have the poor cats all been imprisoned again? Apart from bad weather and a list of other reasons, after losing Khan to kidney failure in November, his brother, Balu started pissing blood last weekend. Sister, Kitty just didn't seem her normal self, then Betty started throwing up. So, last Monday, I took the whole family to the vet, plus Mico and the dog.

At this point I was fraught and not just from the constant "choral singing" on the long journey either.

One must not have favorites when one has a "numerous family", but the fact is that I found Balu, abandoned, when he was only 4 1/2 inches long, brought him up on the bottle and, unlike his siblings, constantly carried him around inside my clothing when he was "the baby who would not be put down." I don't need to have actually experienced labour ...

Brilliant vet mind you. Balu lay in my arms without being held down, while she shoved a catheter up his you-know-what to make sure there was no blockage and to "extract the urine", so to speak. He only flinched slightly, once.

Kitty walked out of the carrier, allowed herself to be prodded and poked, without complaint and, walked back in again.

Mico was also entirely unperturbed by the experience.

Holly is a damn traitor. She kissed the vet! Otherwise, she was a total menace, because she barked and lunged at all the other doggies in the surgery. Partly because she has no clue what a dog is and partly, because, obviously, she was protecting her "children", the cats.

And Betty did her usual two circuits of the surgery like a whirling dervish, before hiding in a cubby hole in the desk, from where I had to extract her - hissing, spitting and scratching - from between the computer cables.

Oh well, at least she didn't climb a wall this time. 

Then the nice lady vet, called Ana, hugged and talked to her. Actually, I think she may have hypnotized her, because Betty was the model of good behavior after that. By the end of the day though, I was wishing I could hop on the vet's table too, probably to be put out of my misery.

The upshot is that Balu had a very nasty urinary infection, but the results of the analysis did not indicate any other, more serious, problems. Phew!

Betty had wind (gas). However, during the rattling off of the long shopping list of animals, their histories and various symptoms, the vet did query if there was any possibility that they might have been coming into contact with poisons.

Funny she should ask ...

The council is also undertaking a large "desratizaciĆ³n" campaign here at the moment. They'd been round door-to-door and held meetings about it just before Christmas, but they said that they were putting the rat poison into boxes and tubes to avoid risks to domestic animals. My instinct was to believe that about as much as "the check is in the mail" too. Locals, of course, never bother to tell me when they spray with weed killers and such. That is how I came to spend one Christmas Day in that same veterinary hospital with Betty, seven years ago and the next three days and nights nursing a cold cat that didn't move, jabbing her with Vitamin K. And if all that fails, they just throw mystery meat!

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Being British is ...

image Unashamedly stolen, sad and very true:

"Being British is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer, then travelling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV."

And the most British thing of all?

Suspicion of anything foreign.

Air pollution link to heart risk

Never mind the climate change and global warming, we'll all be dead from cardiovascular disease before the pollution finally takes over the planet.

Honestly, it does make you wonder why we should give up our bad habits, eat organic food and submit to other boring life-extending strategies, when pollution continues to rage rampant with our governments' blessings.

Air pollution link to heart risk


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