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Move Over, Fried and Hamburgers

Posted 29 March 2004, 7.13 pm by Lilith

Last Friday, my boss asked me to research and pull up the recent news about the metabolic influences of HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup which contains far more fructose than any fruit) and its role in obesity rise on the net--well, mainly to pull up articles for him because someone mentioned them to him, and he is responsible for keeping up to date with all the food innovations--and discoveries that are too negative to be called that.

The scary thing is, the company I work for, the same company that bakes the 2nd amount of bread in USA by # of loaves per year, uses thousands of tons of HFCS, as does nearly any manufactured food company in USA. Almost any formula I have access to and have ever seen in my time working her has it. It's simple, really--HFCS is far sweeter than sugar, and it takes less of it to sweeten cereals, candy, soda, breads, buns, and nearly anything else you can think of. It is also cheap.

I knew that it was not exactly a good thing to eat because it promoted formation of adipose cells (that's fat cells for you) since the biochemistry classes in university years ago--we had a professor who specialized in metabolic biochemistry, so he also told us about trans-fatty acids long before that was ever in the media. Anyway, the trans fatty acids were exposed a couple of years ago, and now the fructose is coming out of its clandestine hiding place in the food we eat.

And unless you are like me and try to avoid most processed foods including sliced breads except those handmade in bakeries, you all eat it too (not sure about Europe, but definitely so in USA and Canada). I foresee a battle royale about this between the FDA and health authorities and the Corn industry like the one that happened over the trans-fatty acids with Soy industry just a few years ago. Observing just how much hassle and expense it is for the food company to switch to low/no-trans shortenings, I can see why they are unwilling to do so unless and until forced by laws and/or consumers who stop buying their products. However, USA is not known for the health-conscious consumer, so the latter is not likely to happen.

Here is some of the information that got recently released in the media:

Move over greasy cheeseburgers and fries. Researchers now say the widespread use of the liquid corn sweetener, fructose, in soft drinks, baked goods and juice drinks might be a big factor in the swift rise in obesity in the United States.

"The increased use of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in obesity," George A. Bray, an obesity scientist at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and other authors of the fructose study said in an article to be published in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"There is a distinct likelihood that the increased consumption of HFCS in beverages may be linked to the increase in obesity," the researchers say. The study points out that HFCS is used to sweeten all nondietary U.S. soft drinks and most fruit drinks and that consumption of the corn-syrup sweetener rose more than 1000 percent from 1970 to 1990.
…
Researchers reviewed consumption records from the Agriculture Department from 1967 to 2000, then combined those data with previous research and their own analyses. As a result, they calculated that Americans 2 years old and older consume an average of 132 calories per day through HFCS. Even worse, they conclude that the top 20 percent of consumers of caloric sweeteners in this country ingest an average of 318 calories per day from HFCS. For some, it's as much as 700 calories per day, Barry M. Popkin, another author of the study, said in a interview: "We've been on soft drinks and fruit drinks in this country," He noted that the average American has increased daily caloric intake by more than 200 calories in the past 15 to 18 years, and he estimates that at least one-third to one-half of that excess has come from soft-drink and juice-drink consumption.

Meanwhile, obesity among Americans adults rose from 23 percent in the early 1990s to 30 percent today, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Other data show that two-thirds of Americans are overweight.

OK, so we have research being done and it begins to show that HFCS may be a serious contributor to the rise of obesity. You have to note that the Corn Industry is a rather large and rich one, and will suppress or try to minimize the impact of this discovery as it cuts into their profits—same as the Soy Industry did with the discovery of the harm being done by trans-fatty acids in partially hydrogenated soybean oil—another food that is in nearly every bit of processed food made in this country. And here goes already:Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association Inc., called the study "baseless," saying the piece's scientific facts make assumptions about high-fructose corn syrup's role in obesity.

"No single food or sweetener causes obesity," said Ms. Erickson with the Washington trade group for makers of corn starches, oils and sweeteners.

No, of course they don’t, Mr. Erickson. Some are just far cheaper and contribute far more than others—both, to obesity of population and your pockets.
_________________________
More information about this may be found here, here, and here.

Fuck you, spam.

Posted 28 March 2004, 12.35 am by Unforgiven

Ever sign up for something that required an email address, even though it's really none of their damn business?

Ever need to give someone an email address, but it's a one time use, and you don't really want to give them your real one?

You're not alone. From the page itself:

Welcome to Mailinator(tm) - Its no signup, instant email. Here is how it works: You are on the web, at a party, or talking to your favorite insurance salesman. Whereever you are, someone (or some webpage) asks for your email. You know if you give it, you'll be on their spam list. On the other hand, you do want at least one message from that person. The answer is to give them a mailinator address. You don't need to sign-up. You just make it up on the spot. Pick jonesy@mailinator.com or bipster@mailinator.com - pick anything you want (up to 15 characters before the @ sign).

Later, come to this site and check that account. Its that easy. Mailinator accounts are created when mail arrives for them. No signup, no personal information, and when you're done - you can walk away - an instant solution to one way spammers get your address. The emails will automatically be deleted for you after a few hours.

Go on. See for yourself.

Dr Daedalus Unravels

Posted 26 March 2004, 7.27 pm by Mr_Fred_Smith

The Stage: November 7, 1889

By "Stage-Hack"

An unfortunate and unsatisfactory evening was experienced by the groundlings at the Alhambra on Thursday evening, when the hyperbolically well-publicised stage magician "Dr Daedalus" experienced stage-fright in mid-performance and fled the theatre. This is hardly what one expects from a man who, as his own agent informs us, "has performed escape artistry throughout the entirety of the Western Hemisphere, and illusion throught the East", and has "beaten Mr Mephisto hands down in State after State". Mr Mephisto was not available to comment on this bold asseveration, but one wonders what his response might have been to the sight of Dr Daedalus, sweating profusely, screaming insensibly, leaping from the side of the stage and knocking over several bewildered minstrels in the alacrity of his escape.

His unexpected disappearance, in fact, was probably the highlight of his display: for the most part, the audience was subjected to a spiritless, unimaginative son et lumiere of technical explosions, blindingly feckless chiaroscuro and tiresomely predictable handcuff escapes, not to mention a tedious series of theatrical vignettes which, while evincing dramaturgical ingenuity and actorly perfection, were completely bereft of either context or sense in the genre of stage prestidigitation from which they presented themselves.

The little patter of perfunctory applause and uneasy coughing which met this part of the act was then completely silenced by Dr Daedalus' complete failure to master the fundamentals of not only theatre oratory, but everyday syntax. Not content with mangling his promotional refrain into something vaguely akin to "I am Dr Dinadless!", which sent splutters of laughter through the rank and file of my fellow-sufferers in the public booths, the stage magician's voice began wavering and quavering, provoking shouts of "Speak up, Yankee!" from the impatient groundlings. The hapless Dr Daedalus then fluffed two card tricks in succession and lamed a particularly unfortunate rock dove, before making his final escape in a paroxysm of terror. We may never see his like again, just as we may never see our six pennies: the Management refused to refund the entrance fee. Even the historical Daedalus could never have accomplished such a spectacular deception.

Contemplating Fruit

Posted 26 March 2004, 8.40 am by Lilith

A banana is laying on my desk, on a piece of paper towel, away from workspace clutter of papers and utensils, and out of reach of the elbow-room I use for writing.

I have brought it from the store at lunch break today—I went in to get something else, but as I walked closer to the check-out, there it was, a stand with banana bunches scattered about it in a messy still-life: from almost obnoxiously smooth green ones, to the deep buttery-banana yellow, warm and delicately spotted brown in places, just shouting “ripe” at me. Something alive and breathing in an ocean of plastic packaging and glittery boxes and bright logos on packaged foods. Not in the produce section, where there is safety in numbers, but boldly out in the walkway, challenging the rustle and flash of paper and plastic with their barely-uneven shapes and colors.

Before I even thought about it, I had walked over to the stand, and picked up a large, obnoxiously yellow bunch, breaking off two for myself. I turned then, and walked right over to checkout. I wasn’t thinking about the bananas when I got to work and heated up my lunch and ate it—I put one in the fridge, and the other one ended up on my desk, on a piece of paper towel.

I pick it up and feel the smooth skin. The color is so bright, it’s almost too bright to be a natural color—but at the same time, no one would mistake it for something that came off a fluorescent marker. There are small scratches and tiny angled bruises on the skin where it was touched by hands and stressed during transport, but it is still very clean, very perfect for something as delicate as a banana. There is a spot of gorgeous living banana-leaf green near the tip of the fruit where the flower was, and a paler touch of it on the stalk. I trace the spots with the tip of my finger and rest it back down on paper towel.

Then pick it up again in a few minutes and smell it. The scent is not the rich banana smell of the artificially-flavored desserts, but a faint scent of fresh banana mixed with the green hint and a musty hint on the peel, and a green herbal scent on the broken-off end where it connected to the bunch. I feel the broken-off end with my finger. Right by the tear, there is a patch of skin that is almost waxy, shiny and not matte as the rest of the fruit and even the stalk. I have no idea why it’s there. I trace the lines that run along the corners of the pentagon of the banana section—the long, curving lines where the planes of banana peel meet at a blunt angle, but a recognizable angle still. The long, smooth curves section off parts of the skin—the convex ones traced with minute yellow-translucent lengthwise stripes on yellow-opaque skin, and the concave ones are bright and perfect yellow, without bruises and spotting, having been protected by the curve of the fruit’s shape, with angles and planes that are more defined and more solid, somehow.

I put the banana down and try to do some work, but pick it up again to look at it and rub my thumb along the lines in the skin. The skin is very un-fruit-like: not bumpy like citrus or smooth and shiny like apple, or fuzzy like a peach or apricot. It is almost flesh-like, which is a bit disturbing in a way. The fruit fascinates me—how often have you held a banana in your hands and examined it closely instead of peeling and eating it right away? I revel in the small details of it, like the slight bruise at the base of the stalk where it connects to the fruit, but only on one side. The stalk itself is also pentagonal in section, and the bruise is only along one of the longer sides of the pentagon.

Curious. I lay the fruit back down on the paper towel, to eat after I am done with the batch of analyses I am working on now. I imagine how it’ll taste.

The strangest thing of all is that I don’t even like bananas.

A dix(ten)

Posted 22 March 2004, 9.48 pm by cauchy3

A dix (ten)

Un dix etoile est en deux. Ce sont de la personnalite, de la justesse, de la amour pour notre nation, le bien-etre, et la purete. C’est pour le moc. Ce sont de la prostitutions, de le risqué, de le boisson, de le esprit pour dissolute ou la penchant pour les drogues.
One refines our egos like tears in our apertures. We are all apes with wild eyes so that we have to use eyes folded for any simulations to our natures. Complete morals for human are like to saw large iron logs into sawdust by hands.
Monthly salaries make our monthly calendars. So moneys are very intimate parts in our histories. Egos are devoted to ambrosia on heavens and persimmon on trees with full efforts.
We do not like over time works but we all like over time pay. As a matter of facts I had cheated in my past times.
One never wishes to retire after he was marked out to some maps. Why have to be the members for some crowns or some one who stuck out in the pictures among many peoples?
Why some of you has plan out a very pretty funeral in procession to your men or yourself. Unless that you are scared then you had to refined your egos like tears in your apertures.
All your kindness are some kinds of reflections from your minds but they are always attack by your egos. Buddha is knocked by logs and monks are flogged by birches to force their submissions to all purities.
Purities are without egos for foods, prostitutions, bids, sips, dissolute –minds and drugs taking.
Personalities are based on common acceptations like Queens heads are craved on silver which may be more profitable than on woods. Virtues may resulted by the cause of tears that will wash our brains by some superstitious matters.
Otherwise we have reflections from our brains due to our behaviors of the outside worlds. The loves to our nations are caused by our etiquettes or by our shapes in commons.
Some welfare is com out with the weakness of many shysters. I have a dream. My dream is to be aroused, to be congested and then relaxed. However one can not been becharmed without health or wealth. Some one cost a common peoples salaries of a month for a bottle of aperitif.
The enchantments are how to touch woods to become gold. Human fantasy is on fornication, adulation, or incest. We win our fames with our misconducts to deceive the public.
We abused the copy rights of school books and X-rated c.d. we cheated our superiors and treat our subordinates quite bad on some times
We can only refine our egos like tears in our apertures. Even Solomon had to dance with the evils. To resist many of our temptations, we need to live in seclusions. We should be alone for many gasps.
No attachments to bad persons may mean no attachments for us to be alone.
Government affairs sometimes are set up by our leaders with the administration and orders of one decree member as when the king or queen could resort to special powers.
Sometimes some special laws are conducted by the traditions of the worlds or other big countries. The disciplines to a man without privacy and self volitions to choose for the fairness of environments or friends are evil seeds that are wind-born.
As a kind of true heart which had been disciplined to get through for the right corners for the others and then myself I am fail. But I seldom thought to carry out a court suit because of self-freedoms and good privacies.
Solitudes of all saints to refuse temptations from all peoples more often than some leaders or leaderships besides fears are sober wine-drinkers. Solons some times are full of Solomon dancers with our evils.
Personalities, rightness, loves for the nations, welfare of our public and purities are pentagrams of lives. Whores taking, swigs, dissolute-minds, gamble and swallow the orange-smokes are another pentagrams in our egos.
The above two ambivalent themes for lives are as fires open on the frozen ices. We peoples acquire complete evil leaderships.
Five right themes to shape or to confine our images or behaviors but the other five left themes to satisfy the egos on both sides. Some times by these two mains themes even our enemies will serve us.
With true servitudes for our high rank principals shown outwards and the pleasures that we may give them under our inner ballerina, few peoples refuse to dance.
With ballet dancer who come from heaven we pay our bails with bills. We are some dirty but pity dancers. Actually not every peoples put righteousness above family loyalty.
Now declare your loves and kindness in every ball to every part that are around the worlds. To me the only ill omens are the broken down of my health or the stricken by poverties, or crack up with my minds
Remember that two five pentagrams when overlap in the right places then the symbols of lives have total sharp edges in high ranks. This is Cauchy3 s ten (dix) commandments


by cheung shun sang =cauchy3=laplace181

Any one of us could have done this...

Posted 20 March 2004, 6.56 pm by The_Roach

... but Marty Beckerman did.

I've been having computer problems. The damn thing just locks up for no reason I can possibly comprehend. I've replaced the power supply, mucked about with device conflicts, reformatted and reinstalled Win2k and spent a considerable amount of time fearing that it could be a motherboard or CPU problem. Right now, I'm just hoping it's my primary hard drive taking a permanent shit.

This morning, following a nearly seven hour long marathon of The Testimony of Jacob Hollow with some friends, I started up a surface scan of the 20 GB drive hoping that I would find some sort of anomaly that would reinforce this supposition and relieve some of my fears. Three hours later, I haven't found anything wrong with the hard disk. I found something else instead.

Marty Beckerman is twenty years old, a college student originally from Anchorage, Alaska, and the unofficial spokesman for Generation Y. I don't know right now whether I want to kill him or buy his under aged ass a beer.

He's recently published his second book entitled Generation S.L.U.T.. In an attempt to expose and explain the "hook-up" culture that seemingly dominates the youth of today, Beckerman focuses his finely honed research skills and cocksure attitude towards a culture where learning your partner's name is secondary to the instant gratification of sex.

It's chock full of statistics covering everything from the number of hours the average child watches television every week (twenty eight) to the amount of revenue generated by the sales of thong underwear to girls aged thirteen to seventeen ($152 million in 2002), man-on-the-street style quotes ("Usually the reason I let guys fuck me is because I'm tired of sucking their dicks") and portions of journalistic articles from major publications both online and in print. These really only function as buffers intended to separate the main body of work, a collection of six essays/articles and a fictional narrative in six parts. The style works well, giving the reader an opportunity to cleanse their palate before leaping out of the fiction and into the journalism.

Generation S.L.U.T. is supposed to be shocking, that much is obvious. Teenagers dragging each other into closets for quick oral sex, a high school football player cheering that he fucked a college chick to his buddies (who all watched) as he walks away and leaves her unconscious and unaware on a bathroom floor. Yeah, there's little room for doubt. The question I have is, how smart is Marty Beckerman? I know it is intended to startle, but it just doesn't. I'm part of this generation and I've seen it all around me. This is nothing new but simply what is now an accepted... yeah, now you're getting it. While our parents may gasp in horror because of what we're doing, I gasp in horror because it's no big deal.

This is the beauty of Beckerman's book. So long as you aren't the nineteen year old guy who says "if she's too drunk to say 'no'... Well, she's basically saying yes," this book should slap you in the face. If you know that guy, doubly so as the writing makes you realize how far gone we've really become in a slow and subtle fashion.

It's not without it's flaws, of course. Beckerman takes time out to use his soapbox for a rather irrelevant commentary on the Iraq war, pointing out that (statistically speaking) these same foolish kids support it, and it undermines the rest of the work. Even so, his journalistic pieces make for excellent reading as he recounts a botched necking session with a blind date or the experience of hiring a prostitute to be a prom date. The narrative is fairly tight too, even if it moves the characters into seemingly unrealistic frontiers. It's alright, Marty. We know better.

Highly recommended.

Changes

Posted 19 March 2004, 4.08 pm by Lilith

Things in my life are about to change. My life is about to change. Hey, it’s changing already, just because I realized a change in direction is needed. Sounds simple, huh?

“Only change is constant” is a much-used cliché, but yes, this change is important, more so than the myriad of other daily changes that make up our life even if we do not do a thing to effect change. This is a change I have caused. It is big and very different and special because it came about not only due to a set of circumstances coming together, as most routine changes tend to be, but because of will applied to inert mass of daily routine. My will. And it made me think about how few changes I have really truly brought into effect myself in the 27 years of my life.

I am not going to argue that metaphysically, every choice I make every second of the day brings about change of one type or another and I am the cause of all those changes around me. I agree with that. The distinction I am trying to make—even though I am not even sure it really exists qualitatively and not just quantitatively—is between those daily choices and changes we make without thinking twice about them, and the big changes that we effect due to wanting to make some sort of a momentous change in our lives or ourselves.

There is a saying that I have known for years, and it goes like this: “There are those who make things happen, there are those who watch things happen, and then there are those who wake up in the morning and ask what has happened.” Upon a lot of observation of myself and those around me, it dawned on me (really not an original conclusion at all), that most people fall into the third category. Metaphysically they affect an average amount of change in the world just by living in it, but those changes are really the ripples in the river caused by a floating log, that knows not where it floats or why or even that it does.

I also realized that while I wanted to be in the first category and even imagined I was, I was really in the second. I watched, I realized what was happening, but I didn’t make anything happen. The demands of my parents, the society and the general pressure of the “water” around my log twirled it around and into the acceptable and good social niches—good grades, university, job, good boyfriend… And I realized that none of it had been my decision. These were things I did because you just did them if you were born into my family/social class/environment. They were not my choices at all. I was about to apply for graduate school in USA and get on with the program, and that wasn’t my choice either. It wasn’t what I wanted, it was just the accepted continuation of the laid-out plan.

That was when I first raised my head and looked at my life without the goggles of what everyone knew I was going to do, and asked myself what is it that I want—and the answer was that I really don’t want to be in USA, that I really don’t want to apply to graduate school there (why would I do that if I don’t want to be there?), that I don’t want to get on with the program, and that I want to go somewhere to chase love, a place where I wanted to live, a possibility of being truly happy with myself because I am where I want to be and doing what I want to do—by my own choice, and yes—further education—but not when and where I don’t want to be!

For any of you who ever moved across an ocean or just to another continent, you know what I am talking about. For those of you who have not, just try to imagine the amount of force that needs to be applied to routine life in order to move it that way. It has been two years since I realized that I need to make changes, and these years have been spent in slowly pushing that inertia of routine into a new pathway, one leading to a plane with suitcases instead of a research library somewhere in the American Midwest.

The point is—I have finally arrived at the runway for takeoff, the last steep slope before the trampoline jump into something that is all of my own making as far as the road of life is concerned. There may be dragons, out there—I have no idea, but there usually are—and still I do not care—I would rather have those unknown dragons and deal with them, than rot and stagnate in the morass I was sinking into, before realizing that I was, and choosing to make this change and jump the cataract..

It is true that no one else can make you happy if you are not happy with yourself. However, it is also true that you can make yourself happy if you only figure out what it is you want, and go after it. For me, the hardest part of all this was realizing that I wasn’t doing what I wanted to, and taking off the blind-goggles to see what I really wanted. From there, the path to being one of those who make things happen was only a short step.

Life is a great thing, I think, if you choose to live it instead of floating down like that log in the river, without ever knowing where you are headed, which way, or why.

A insular (poem)

Posted 17 March 2004, 11.29 pm by cauchy3

A insular
Airs of freedom kiss my chins

Green island lack of chauvinism

Life here has free margins

We have journeys to wonderland and wonder women is our aunts

Firefly also has its name to shine

Green hill nod my head

Clean waters raise my feet with all beauties in life

Monkeys play in little auspicious snow for real.

Passions have true heart for unit price

Babies are molded by their mother for love

Cooking smoke drives away sorrows of people that are nice

Children have beautiful toes that won all of mercies of goddess all over

Its fortress need heroes to strong its hold

Happy and free are belong to even the eclipse of the bright moon

Celestial with some little bugs that balance true evils like earth poles

Brave people dress in yellow hoods

Neighbor store dreadful heads for jackets

We swear not to waste a shot

Justices from our dome need some actions

Our right hearts excite our bloods to hot

Moneys should make in peaceful purpose when they are heaped

Literary of people are in crucifixions

Words from candles flames result to burn in our earths

Leaden mountains suppress our freedom with fix

Lantern has glimmers that should not be flatten

Every nice people lit flames in candles on silver stands

Flatters and servant s manner please go off and scat

Rosaries are broken in the sounds of tantara

If you slit my throats then I could have no breath

Armours are only shields of nice peoples

Heavy stormy wind s eyes are not source of realm

Chrysanthemums will continue to burgeon in our April

Temperaments and resentments are dress of shrouds

Apparat live in well off life with gentries

My wishes are wraths and nemesis to go around

Poor people hum the drools for foods treats

by cheung shun sang=cauchy3=laplace181

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They were done for an exhibition a couple of years ago . They asked for something to so with the summer. They are mixed media and oil paint on metal advertising boards - for ice cream.


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Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

Yo ! Does this work ?

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