Sunday, December 31, 2006

Advise for a Hangover

Here is a helpful article taken from Happy New Year to all my friends. Be safe, and party on!! :-)


Hangover Helpers
By Robert PreidtHealthDay ReporterHealthDay Reporterposted: 30 December 200602:22 pm ET

(HealthDay News) -- Don't look to Khursheed Navder for sympathy if you drink too much on New Year's Eve and wake up with a wicked hangover.
Navder, a registered dietitian and associate professor in the nutrition and food science program at Hunter College in New York City, is willing to offer you some advice on how to deal with the party-fueled problem, however.
But first, it may help to understand the science behind that throbbing, queasy, mouth-full-of-cotton malaise. According to Dr. Christine Lay, a neurologist at The Headache Institute at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City and co-author of an upcoming article on hangovers in the journal Headache, the culprits are:

Dilation of blood vessels. This may contribute to the throbbing headache.

Low blood sugar. Alcohol can interfere with the liver's ability to produce glucose, which leaves you feeling weak and tired, clouds your thinking and makes you moody.

Poor sleep. While alcohol is sedating and promotes sleep initially, the sleep is often of poor quality with frequent awakenings due to factors such as decreased rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

The accumulation of toxins. The main byproduct of metabolized alcohol, acetaldehyde, is a toxin that can make your heart race and lead to headache, sweatiness, flushed skin, nausea and vomiting.

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Alcohol promotes urination by inhibiting the release of the brain hormone that normally protects against dehydration. When dehydration is accompanied by sweating, vomiting or diarrhea, there is additional fluid and mineral loss leading to electrolyte imbalances The result? Excessive thirst, lethargy, dizziness and light-headedness.

So, if you do consume too much alcohol, drinking plenty of water is essential because dehydration is perhaps the most common cause of hangover symptoms.

"Those pounding headaches and everything else are related to the shriveling of the cells because they lose so much water," Navder said. "Before sleeping, force yourself to drink water. If you throw up, very good, because you're going to get some of the alcohol out that way."

If you forget to drink water before going to bed, then do it first thing in the morning. The sooner you replenish your fluid loss, the quicker you'll bounce back, Navder said.
If you don't feel like drinking water, then sports drinks are a good option because they replace essential salts and minerals that were flushed out of your body during frequent urination. Non-acidic fruit juices are another good choice because the sugar in them helps prevent hypoglycemia and feeling weak and lightheaded.
Also, avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Caffeine does not speed up the body's metabolism of alcohol. All it does is irritate the stomach lining and prevent you from falling asleep, which is one of the best ways to escape a hangover, she said.
Navder's next bit of advice involves a bit of tough-love: exercise. While being active is the last thing you may want to do when you have a pounding head, it increases blood flow to the brain and the rest of the body and induces sweating, which helps the body purge alcohol, she said.
Other tips, courtesy of Navder and the U.S. National Institutes of Health:
Try to eat because food will reduce the irritation to your stomach lining. Soups are good for replacing salt and potassium depleted by alcohol, and fruits and vegetables can help replenish lost nutrients.
You can take pain relief medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium to reduce your headache and muscle aches as long as your stomach isn't upset and you have no history of ulcers or bleeding problems. Antacids can help ease nausea and gastritis.
Drink a glass of water in between drinks containing alcohol. This will help you drink less alcohol, and will also decrease the dehydration associated with drinking alcohol.
Navder also has some hangover-prevention advice. Drinking lighter-colored alcohol and higher brands of alcohol may reduce the severity of a hangover. That's because lighter-colored drinks, such as vodka, gin and white wine, have fewer congeners -- a toxic byproduct of fermentation and aging -- than darker-colored drinks such as whisky, brandy and red wine.
And more expensive alcohol generally contains fewer congeners because it goes through a more rigorous distillation process that filters out more congeners.
She also suggests that you eat while you drink, because food in your stomach slows the absorption of alcohol. But don't munch on salty snacks because they'll just make you thirsty and likely to drink more.
Or, Navder said, you could just avoid booze altogether. "With a hangover, I think prevention is definitely better than the cure," she said.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Holy Sh*t, They Hung Him!

Saddam Hussein, Middle Eastern gadfly and Bush family boogy man, is dead. He was hanged earlier today, and responses are very mixed. The British condemn the death penalty, but say justice was served. Kuwait and Iran are rejoicing, while Libya has initiated an official period of mourning. Afghanistan merely objected to the timing of the execution, which came just before the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha, one of the most important holidays for Muslims. As for Your's Truly, I am now very afraid for our troops over there. I had no love for Saddam, but I had hoped that those in power would realize that having him in prison was far more demoralizing to his followers than making him a martyr. Now I'm afraid that the violence in Iraq will be vastly escalated.

I really hope I'm wrong on this.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Smile, Architeuthis, You're on Japanese Camera!

The Japanese research team that took the first ever live photos of a giant squid raised the bar again by catching one. It was a small (only about 24 feet long) female that they caught using a smaller squid as bait. They followed a pod of sperm whales, theorizing that since sperm whales eat giant squid, they might lead the scientists to the elusive mollusks. Here is where you can see the video. Unfortunately the squid did not survive.

Now I'm off to get some calamari.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

This'll Warm Your Cockles

This was lovingly swiped from PIKARESQUE, and she's right, this is destined to be a holiday classic. Oh, probably not a good one to play while the kiddies are watching.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Somewhat More Honest Personality Test

Freak- INFJ
26% Extraversion, 66% Intuition, 40% Thinking, 53% Judging
Well, well, well. How did someone like you end up with the least common personality type of them all? In a group of 100 Americans, only 0.5 others would be just like you. You really are one of a kind... In fact, I do believe that that's one of the definitions for the word "FREAK."
Freak's not such a bad word to describe you actually.
You are deep, complex, secretive and extremely difficult to understand. If that doesn't scream "Freak!" I don't know what does. No-one actually knows the REAL you, do they?
You probably have deep interests in creative expression as well as issues of spirituality and human development.
You've probably even been called a "psychic" before, because of your uncanny knack to understand and "read" people without quite knowing how you do it. Don't fret. You're not actually psychic. That would make you special and you'll never accomplish that.
You're also quite possible the most emotional of them all, so don't take this all too hard. Nevertheless you most definitely have the strangest personality type and that's not necessarily a good thing.
Well, I don't suppose I can argue too much with that. :-)
The Brutally Honest Personality Test

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Semi-Live from the deck of the Demeter

Bleah! So Mrs. Marius and the COTA* have been ill for a couple of weeks now. They have both mostly recovered, and I was actually marvelling at how I had come through the plague season unscathed...until yesternight. Some sneaky little rhino virus, showing a remarkable amount of consideration for a microscopic protein packet, waited until my pre-holiday labors were mostly done at work and then struck like a falling turd in the night. Fortunately I had already requested Monday off, so I'll get two uninterrupted days to convalesce and, hopefully, recover.

On to something really cool. Last night I attended a dance performance at HCC. It was a marvelous, brilliant show, the only downside of which was my sadness at not being involved. I got to see some of my friends whom I have been greatly missing, and had a great time. The crud mentioned above was already working its nasty magic on my, but that did not dampen my spirits as I left. Then the universe favored me with yet another gift. I was driving East on I-4 when I saw a bright orange light coming from behind the clouds and ascending. I was puzzled for just a moment before I realized that Discovery had just launched. Whenever there is a shuttle launch I try to see it, but since I had forgotten that they were going to attempt liftoff last night it was a wonderful surprise. And as I was on the raised portion of the freeway and headed straight for the launch site, I got a beautifully unobstructed view of the spectacle. I may be in the 'retire the shuttle' camp, but I still get shivers whenever one of those aging beauties muscles her way into the sky.

And on that note, I'm going to do my best to become one with the couch, the TV, and the Playstation.

Oh, that reminds me. I have been taking no small amount of pleasure in watching a fascinating phenomenon. Craig's List, if you haven't heard of it, is a website where people can post classified ads selling everything from matchbooks to real estate. I check it out from time to time since it's usually much cheaper than eBay, and more local. We have made a couple of great Craig's List purchases, including our dining room table and couch, and it's also fun to see just what people think will sell. Right after the PS3 came out, and people camped out to get one, there was a plethora of ads on Craig's List for PS3's asking upwards of $1200. Now, two weeks later, there are no fewer listings, but the prices have all miraculously come down to the $600-800 range. Could it be that the annual 'must have at any price' idiocy that started with Beanie Babies and that fraking Tickle Me Elmo has finally died? Let's hope.

OK, couch-spud time. Love you all.

Marius the Infirm

*Child Of The Apocalypse

Saturday, December 09, 2006

You will will be!

As if there aren't enough things to worry about, here's an obscure danger that I never would have imagined.

1 Death, 19 Injuries Blamed on Magnets
By Mike StobbeAssociated Pressposted: 08 December 200610:20 am ET

ATLANTA (AP) — At least one U.S. child has died and 19 others have needed surgery since 2003 after swallowing magnets used in toys, the government reported Thursday.

Most of those cases were believed to involve tiny but strong “rare earth'' magnets that can link together in children's digestive tracts, squeezing and even perforating the intestines, the researchers said.

The magnets, made from neodymium iron boron or other compounds, have become common in the U.S. toy market in the past five years because they have become cheaper to produce, said Jonathan Midgett, the study's lead author and an engineering psychologist with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

They are used in building sets, action figures and dolls.

“Most people who have never had them in their hands are shocked at how strong these tiny things are,'' Midgett said.

Kenny Sweet, a 20-month-old boy from Redmond, Wash., died in two days after he began complaining of stomach aches and vomiting. An autopsy found nine small magnets stacked together. They had caused a twisting of the bowel and a blood infection.

The magnets had come off a building set belonging to Kenny's 10-year-old brother, according to his family's lawyers. Mega Brands Inc. recalled 3.8 million Magnetix building sets, added warning labels and agreed to pay $13.5 million to settle lawsuits.

Last month, Mattel Inc. recalled more than 4 million Polly Pocket play sets, dolls with small magnets in their hands, feet, clothing and other accessories.

Last month, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group for the first time included the magnets on its annual holiday warning about dangerous toys.

Midgett said federal and industry officials hope to have a warning label ready within six months for toys containing magnets.

I guess it's time for Lincoln Logs to make a comeback.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Blue Mars?

The Mars Global Surveyor is already earning its keep. It recently sent home images that seem to indicate that liquid water has flowed on the surface of the frigid world within the last few years. While it is impossible to tell from orbit what exactly caused the lighter splotch, it strongly suggests that liquid water burst forth from the gully and flowed down the slope leaving the pictured deposit. Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego said, "The shapes of these deposits are what you would expect to see if the material were carried by flowing water".
We have known for quite some time that there was still plenty of water on Mars, but it was assumed that most of it was locked up in permafrost, ephemeral vapors, or at the polar ice caps, but this is the strongest evidence yet for underground liquid water deposits. And where there is liquid water there is as strong possibility for life. Of course, no one is expecting to find a thriving underground civilization, but even the presence of microbes or primitive plant life would finally prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are not alone in the universe. It seems to me that while a Moon base, as NASA plans to establish by 2024, would be cool, a manned mission to Mars might just be a bit more important now. And if, indeed, there are large quantities of liquid water close to the surface, it just became a lot more feasible, since liquid water can be converted into both oxygen and hydrogen, two primary components for human survival...and rocket fuel. Go here for the full story.
Ares rules!

Mea Culpa

Apparantly my last post about how to deal with comics that are too small to read sounded brusque and 'smart ass' like. Pray forgive me. That was not the intention. I was merely trying to explain how to make them big enough to read. The tone was meant to be light and amusing, and not at all condescending. Rest assured that the brain cells involved in writing that post have had a stern talking to, and have promised me that nothing of the sort will happen again.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Operational Information

Greetings, True Believers,
Whenever I post a comic, and it is too small to read, click on it. It will magically grow to a wonderously legible size. (I know there is a penile joke in there somewhere, but I'll let you fill it in yourselves.)

Good night, and may The Flying Spaghetti Monster bless.