Thursday, October 30, 2014

There's Something Fishy in today's Post!

Hey there! Thanks for clicking by today. Great to see you! You've got that "I'm ready for my coffee" look about you so wander over by the coffeepot and pour yourself a mugful. While you're there, load a mega-treat onto your plate and bring everything over here to the VIP table, why don't'cha? Say, do you take a fish oil supplement to get your Omega-3, et al? Well listen to what my pal, Dr Al has to say about that.

Dear Bob,
There’s a sad truth that one of the things I recommend you use to help you thrive in our toxic, polluted world has been contaminated and compromised.
And when my patients come to my clinic, it puts me in an awkward position.
On the one hand, I want them to benefit from these foods and nutrients, but I don’t want them to be exposed to the potential poisons.
I’m talking about fish oil.
Why do I feel so uncomfortable about this?
Well, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are critical to your overall health. Study after study confirms omega-3s are essential for your heart and brain, and help maintain normal blood pressure, eyesight, memory and mood.
Unfortunately, you can’t just pick up a bottle of standard fish oil on the shelf of your drugstore. It can be dangerous for your health.
My research into the fish oil problem shows most fish oils you buy from your local grocery store or health-food store come from European waters, which are highly industrialized... and highly polluted.
Even the “farm-raised” fish are polluted. And there’s often no way to tell from looking at the bottle where the fish come from – or whether they’ve been properly decontaminated.
In a report to the European Union, the Scientific Committee on Food said fish from fish farms and the region’s seas are regularly contaminated by mercury, dioxins and similar toxins.
Even The New York Times said, “Fish oils of European origin have dioxin levels up to 8 times as high as similar products from nonindustrial regions.”
It’s a problem here in the United States, too.
In a recent lawsuit filed in California, two environmentalists along with the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation sued a number of well-known fish oil manufacturers and retail outlets.
The activists claim these companies violated California’s Proposition 65, which requires that consumers be warned about chemical exposures. Check out what a CBS News story revealed:
“Their initial testing found that levels of PCBs in supplements in popular fish oil products varied wildly, from about 12 nanograms per recommended dose in the best performer to more than 850 nanograms in the worst performer – a factor of 70.” 
In other words, some fish oils have levels of heavy metals that are up to 70 times higher than other brands... with no way of knowing just by looking at the bottle.
Some of the companies targeted in the lawsuit include names you’d probably recognize. These are the companies that tell you their fish oil is the “finest” or “professional grade.” But these words have no precise or defined meaning. There’s no industry standard. These “feel good” words are used to make their products sound reputable.
But I do things differently to help you take that worry out of your life. So instead of throwing your hands up and surrendering, here’s what you can do to protect yourself.
A good alternative to the pollution in fish oil is krill oil. It comes from the pure waters of the Antarctic, the cleanest place on earth.
In my own practice, I’ve helped many of my patients improve their overall health simply by boosting their omega-3s with krill oil.

Krill makes it easier to get your omega-3s by eliminating the fishy-smelling oils and delivering the omega-3s in a much more penetrating phospholipid form. Besides being pure and clean, krill reaches places fish oil can’t.
For instance, fish oil can’t enter the mitochondria (the tiny energy-makers in your cells).
Yet krill can.
This allows krill oil’s omega-3s to help boost your energy. Loss of energy makes doing the things you love, and getting up in the morning, tougher, while putting your health under great strain. This is particularly important in your brain and heart since they have the most mitochondria, and need the most energy.
Now, here is the thing about krill oil… it’s very powerful, and works very well. What that means is that the word is starting to get out about the value of krill oil to your health.
The important thing to remember here is that once the word really starts to spread, fly-by-night companies will be looking to get in on the “action.” That means there will be a lot of cheap “krill” products out there.
So, if krill oil interests you, remember that there are a lot of mass-manufacturers out there that cut corners. Look for pure krill oil farmed from the crystal clear and frozen waters of the Austral-Antarctic Circumpolar Ocean – possibly the purest place on earth. And, get at least 600 mg of DHA and 400 mg of EPA from your krill oil supplement.
To Your Good Health,
Dr. Sears' Signature image
Al Sears, MD
Okay...fish oil out...krill oil in. Got it! In fact, we were planning to pick up some fish oil today. Guess we'll close in for the krill!
See ya, eh!
Bob

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Watercolour Landscapes by Thai Artist Direk Kingnok

Hi ya! How's it going today. Pull up a mug and enjoy a Thai Cafe Buran (traditional, sweet, dark coffee, strained through a contraption that looks more like a sock than anything). Never mind...it adds to the flavour. Accompany it with a banana muffin, why don't'cha? 

A few weeks ago, I bought a copy of Watercolor Artist - one of my longtime favourite mags. At first, I didn't even realize that the cover (shown below) was a painting of Bangkok. I just loved the colours, style and hustle and bustle of the scene. It was only when I got to the article on Direk Kingnok that I realized the subject was Chinatown in Bangkok. Anyway...read on while you sip your cafe buran and munch on your muffin.

Direk Kingnok is moved to paint by the beauty that surrounds him, and he finds it everywhere. Fresh off a trip to Turkey for the International Watercolor Society’s International Watercolor Biennial, the Khon Kaen, Thailand, artist is flooded with inspiration. 

Yet, while he could choose to paint any exotic or extravagant view from his recent travels, the scenes he finds most intriguing for his watercolor paintings are the places and people he encounters every day—Bangkok at sunset, fishermen in Vietnam, rush hour traffic, a street market bursting at the seams. “Common people in common places,” he says, are the fuel to his creative passion.

In the October 2014 issue of Watercolor Magazine, Direk shares the secrets to bringing busy street scenes to life in luminous, flowing watercolors. He truly captures the essence of Thailand in his paintings. The cover is a delightful capturing of the bustle of Bangkok - people, buses, cars, street vendors, street banners and signs. Marvellous!

Want to see more of his amazing watercolours? Go to http://images.google.com and search for "direk kingnok artist"

See ya, eh!

Bob

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Work Station Toilet - and a London Divorce!

Whoa! Slow that descent from cyberspace down a little, dang it! You're rattling the coffee mugs again. Hey...good to see you. Grab one of those mugs and fill it with some choice arabica. With your other hand, wrestle one of those mega muffins onto your plate. Aside...why doesn't someone come up with a combo coffee and side plate so you can handle both with one hand, keeping the other hand free? Beats me! Now...listen to this...

Pauline Chai and her estranged husband, Khoo Kay Peng (a Laura Ashley executive), are battling in a London courtroom in a very expensive divorce, with the current issue to determine whether the English judge has jurisdiction instead of courts in the couple's native Malaysia. 

In the course of bringing the British judge up to date, Chai casually described how she has supported her husband's relentless nature -- by revealing that he would do copious amounts of work (for four hours at a time) at home while sitting on the toilet. Khoo "got backache there," she said, "so I got the idea of (a) padded toilet seat" for him. [Daily Telegraph (London), 10-2-2014] 

The pair, who both come from Malaysia and married more than 40 years ago, are currently fighting over where a final trial should be held.

Khoo, who is based in Malaysia, says a judge in Malaysia should make decisions. Chai says they moved their "home" to Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, before separating in 2013, and wants decisions made in an English court.

Mr Justice Bodey is expected to make rulings on jurisdiction after hearing legal argument and evidence from both sides.

Judges have heard that the pair, who have five children, have already run up legal bills of more than £2 million.


Earlier this year one judge described the amounts spent on preliminary legal ''skirmishes'' as ''eye-watering''.

Mr Justice Holman said Khoo owned a ''chunk'' of Laura Ashley and had properties in England and Malaysia worth more than £50 million.

He said that, on any ''feasible'' view, Chai would get tens of millions of pounds for the part she had played in their 42-year ''matrimonial partnership''.

I do some of my best thinking on the toilet. Doesn't everybody?

See ya, eh!

Bob

"I come here to sit and think while others just come here to..."

Monday, October 27, 2014

Thai Miss Universe 1965 Winner Still Looks Shockingly Young at 67

Sawatdee, krup! How's it going today then? Sabai dee, mai krup? Glad you're doing well. Grab a coffee and a virtual treat and I'll tell you how well Apsara Hongsakula is doing. 

Almost half a century after Thai beauty queen Apsara Hongsakula was crowned Miss Universe, she is back in the news for her astonishingly youthful looks. The 67-year-old doesn’t appear a day over 35, and her recent photographs have been causing quite stir on the internet!

Born in 1947, Apsara was only 18 when she won the most coveted beauty pageant title in the world. However she chose to step out of the limelight soon after and most people had forgotten about her. 

But when a recent photograph of her surfaced online last week, people were amazed at how little she had aged since she was last seen in 1965. 

I have to say she looks amazing, don't you think? What's a mere half century...almost? 

See ya, eh!

Bob

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Every Day This Nice Old Man Is Visited by a Wild Hummingbird

Hi there! Thanks for spiraling down out of cyberspace today. I appreciate your visit every time you can make it. Coffee's always fresh and I try to keep a delectable assortment of virtual treats on hand. Got a bird story for you today...

Every day, 83-year-old Joao Silvestrini has the most unusual visitor – a hummingbird! It flies in and out of the kitchen window of his Brazil home several times a day, stopping for a chirpy chat and a drink of sugar water.

The story of the unusual friendship between man and bird has become popular on Facebook, after Joao filmed the bird and posted the video online, last month. The footage shows the tiny bird flying around Joao’s head and waiting patiently until he offers it the daily dose of sugar sweetened water.

Joao is a bachelor and a retired ornithologist; he wakes up at 5.30 every morning to open the kitchen window and wait for his little friend. Before long, the bird arrives in search of water and continues the routine several times during the day.

 “When he wants water, he is flying around me, he will not let me use the computer,” Joao laughed.

Hummingbirds? Humbug! All I every get flying around my computer are fruit flies. I can tell by the lace cuffs! Truth is I often have a hoard of ripe bananas waiting for me to turn them into something like my every-popular banana tea biscuits. Did I tell you about them? I probably did but in case I didn't, they're real easy to make. Here's my recipe:

Bob's Banana Tea Biscuits
2 Cups flour
4 Tbs baking powder
1 Tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or marg (room temp.)
3/4 Cup milk
1 ripe mashed banana

Pre-heat oven to 400F (My oven is hot so I reduce it to 375)
Mash the banana in a large bowl. 
Add flour, baking powder and salt.
Cut in butter/marg (if it's soft, I just use a wooden spoon)
Add milk and add more flour if needed. The banana makes the dough moist. When it comes away from the sides and is not too sticky, it is ready to use.
Roll it onto a floured surface.
Knead it 8-10 times.
Roll it out to about 1/2 inch thick and use a cookie cutter or top of a glass to cut rounds.
Place them on either a greased cookie sheet or a sheet of parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy!

See ya, eh!

Bob

PS: I usually double the recipe and roll them 1 inch thick so I get nice high biscuits! Nong will often take one to work!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Porsche-Owning Rich Teen Sells Scarves on Side of the Road for Gas Money

Ni Hao!. You're looking good today. What have you been up to? Got time for a quick coffee and a virtual muffin or Chinese doughnut? Of course you do. Speaking of Chinese doughnuts...read this:

A young tuhao (Chinese nouveau riche) from Shaoxing city, China, is making the news for his uncharacteristic behavior. A few nights ago, he was spotted getting out of his swanky new Porsche, only to set up a makeshift roadside stall on the pavement to sell scarves to passers-by. He was accompanied by a lady friend, who assisted him with sales.

Onlookers were so bewildered by this that they couldn’t help asking him what on earth he was doing. That’s when he explained: “I sell scarves here just to earn money to buy gas for my car.” 

He told reporters that while his parents had gifted him an expensive car, he didn’t think it was right to ask for gas money as well. The girl added that they were also interested in gaining experience in entrepreneurship and business, along with making some pocket money.

Gee...maybe his parents will see his post (or mine) and take pity on the poor kid. Of course, there is always an alternative... GET A JOB...though he'd likely say he is running his own business as a sidewalk entrepreneur (There he goes, coining new phrases again!)

See ya, eh!

Bob

Friday, October 24, 2014

Scientists Say Smelling Farts Prevents Cancer

Hi there! How's it going? Sidle up to the coffeepot; grab hold of the handle and pour yourself a delicious mug of arabica juice. Nothing like a caffo day to keep the old brain active, I say. You can handle a virtual treat or two, as well, I expect so go ahead. Be a devil. Now, I have to tell you that what you are about to read is not a hoax. Are you ready for it...?

Scientists out of the University of Exeter in the U.K. believe that smelling farts actually prevents cancer, among other diseases.

"Although hydrogen sulfide gas"—produced when bacteria breaks down food—"is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases," Dr. Mark Wood said in a university release.

Although the stinky gas can be noxious in large doses, scientists believe that a whiff here and there has the power to reduce risks of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, arthritis, and dementia by preserving mitochondria.

Researchers are even coming up with their own compound to emulate the smell's health benefits.

"We have exploited this natural process by making a compound, called AP39, which slowly delivers very small amounts of this gas specifically to the mitochondria," Professor Matt Whiteman, of the University of Exeter Medical School said. "Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive."

So instead of getting upset the next time you catch a whiff... be thankful.

(Sources: Time.com, University of Exeter, Western Daily Press. The study was published in the journal Medicinal Chemistry Communications.)



Cabbage and pickled egg muffins tomorrow! 
The sheets shall rise again!

I should point out that there are some naysayers who dispute the above and claim the study does not actually link smelling flatulence with all the medical benefits listed. I did not delve into it but in part here is what it says, "However, the findings don't go anywhere as far as claiming smelling farts prevents cancer. The university's press release was slightly misleading by titling itself "Rotten Egg Gas Holds Key to Healthcare Therapies," and the study isn't exactly explained clearly." 

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! There's a party pooper (good choice of words, Bob!) in every crowd!

See ya, eh!

Bob

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Woman Tries to Sell Imaginary Friend on eBay

Thanks for clicking by! You look ready for a nice heartwarming mug of coffee and a virtual treat. Well, you have come to the right place. After yesterday's apparently terrorist-motivated tragedy in Ottawa, we need to get back to reality - even if reality has a slightly different feel to it today. 

Prime Minister Harper said "We, as, as Canadians, will not be intimidated." 

A newscaster said, and I paraphrase a little... "Get out there and enjoy today - keep to the values that make Canadians strong and fun-loving folks." So, go out; buy a Two Four (Translation for non-Canucks: a case of 24 pints of beer) and a pizza...with an order of poutine on the side. Keep on wearing your shorts and t-shirts until the snow flies!

This blog is about people and things you may not see on the six o'clock news...sometimes a little odd perhaps, interesting, educating and entertaining. That's my blog's reality so with that in mind, read on...

On the advice of her shrink, 22-year-old Londoner Georgia Horrocks is trying to declutter her mind by selling her imaginary friend on eBay!

“I have recently come to the decision that it is time to sell my imaginary friend Bernard who was created during a time of emotional instability,” Georgia wrote in the eBay listing.

“My psychiatrist recommended that I say goodbye to Bernard, and although I would like some financial compensation, it is more important that he finds a good home.” She added that he has an ‘active’ and ‘mischievous personality’.

Maybe Bernard would be a good addition to the staff here at CWB. What do you think? My mind is generally quite cluttered with ideas, book plots, artistic intentions and multitudinous blank canvases, so one more thought-provoker wouldn't be out of place. In fact, he may provide a second opinion on things. "Say Bernard, what do you think of this idea?"

Sorry, Georgia, I can't offer any compensation but...now hold on a minute. I keep getting emails from Britain telling me that I have won a lottery over there.  Tell you what, Georgia, send me your email address. The next lottery email, I receive, I'll forward to you and appoint you as my official agent. You keep half and I'll trust you to send me the other half. No...phone me and I'll come over there and collect. We can have coffee, too, and an English cream scone. How's that for an offer?  Tell Bernard to pack his imaginary long underwear...here in Canada, winter is coming.

See ya, eh!

Bob

.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

5 Ways Pumpkin Boosts Immune Health



May the Great Pumpkin shine on all your endeavours today! Yes, indeed! Glad you could slide by and join me in a big mug of coffee (we couldn’t afford a hot tub!). Grab a virtual muffin or doughnut, too (don’t get it wet!). Well, it’s fall and that means pumpkins. Lots of good things about these bright, unassuming, gourds...

Pumpkins are more than just beautiful and versatile. They may just help you strengthen your immune system just in time for cold season. Maybe that’s why they’re such a popular food in fall and winter!

Pumpkin flavours are everywhere in the fall, and there is more than one reason that this seasonal gourd is so popular. Pumpkin (and other winter squash) are packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients that help support immune health. Below are five macro- and micro-nutrients in pumpkin that help keep you healthy all year long.

The nutritional information below is for a cup of pumpkin puree, but other winter squash like butternut, acorn, and kabocha squash also contain healthy doses of vitamin A, soluble fiber, folate, manganese, and riboflavin. So if you’re feeling a little bit burnt out on pumpkin, don’t worry! You can get similar anti-inflammatory benefits from whatever winter squash strikes your fancy.

Don't care for pumpkin? Don't worry! Your favourite winter squash also contains some or all of the immune-boosting nutrients below.


1. Eat your vitamin A
A cup of pumpkin puree contains almost eight times you daily requirement for vitamin A. You probably associate vitamin A with good eyesight, but a 2010 study found that vitamin A — along with vitamin D — plays a big part in supporting your body’s immune system. So take that slice of pumpkin pie outside to soak up some vitamin D along with all of that vitamin A to avoid cold and flu.

2. Get your soluble fiber here!
That same cup of pumpkin has over 25 percent of your daily fiber needs. What does fiber have to do with immune health? Quite a bit, it turns out! There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Pumpkin is rich in insoluble fiber, which another 2010 study found stimulates your body’s immune system and helps fight infection.

3. Say hello to folate.
Folate — aka folic acid — is a B vitamin that may be critical to a healthy immune system, and a cup of pumpkin puree has almost a third of your daily folate requirement. Preliminary research shows that a folate deficiency may be linked to a weaker immune system, so pass the pumpkin spice latte, please!

4. A little manganese goes a long way.
Pumpkin has 18 percent of your RDA for manganese. Manganese helps your body build cells called superoxide dimutase, which fight free radicals and help your body maintain normal cell growth. It’s important not to get too much manganese, though, because it can cause neurological problems.

5. Cook up some riboflavin.
A serving of pumpkin puree has eight percent of your daily riboflavin requirement. Riboflavin — aka vitamin B2 — help your body fight off bacterial infections. Combine that pumpkin with other riboflavin-rich foods like spinach and almonds to give your diet a little riboflavin boost.

Pumpkin nutritional information via Nutrition Facts database.
Source: Care2.com

Thais use pumpkins all the time – as a veggie cut into bite-sized cubes in a Thai curry.  We had some at Anna’s party this week and even got to bring some home. Aroy! (Delicious). 

They also make a dessert which is real easy to make. Find a small pumpkin, cut off the top and scoop out the guck. Fill the cavity with custard and steam it till the pumpkin softens. Let it cool. The custard will gel. Cut it into slices and serve. Aroy!

See ya, eh!

Bob

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Get Your Ice Cold Lemonade Here!

G'day to you! How're you faring today? Ready to take on the world? The galaxy? The universe? Geesh... what have you been putting in your bran flakes and where can I get some? Help yourself to a mug of coffee and a virtual treat, why don't'cha? Now here's a kid who's taking on the world in his own way...

In August, the Tampa Bay Times reported a dispute in Dunedin, Florida, between 12-year-old lemonade-stand operator T.J. Guerrero and the adult neighbor (Doug Wilkey) trying to close him down as an unlicensed entrepreneur, despite T.J.'s business plan for assisting his favourite animal shelter. 

A local radio station heard about the complaint, and encouraged people to support the business. Of course, T.J. was quickly inundated with donations, media praise and more lemonade sales.


Even the town's mayor even stopped by the stand.

The neighbour, Wilkey, is under investigation by the city after a tipster revealed that Wilkey himself might be operating a home-based financial services business not properly licensed.

Goes to show you what a little publicity can do for a struggling business, huh. Especially if the local media think there's a human interest story to be told.

See ya, eh!

Bob


Monday, October 20, 2014

Got your 'Air' Umbrella yet?

Well, there you are. Great to see you today. Everything okay? C'mon in here out of the rain...or snow.,..or sunshine... whatever. Coffee's fresh and the virtual treats are vying for your attention so dig in! Speaking of rain, there's something new on the market. Read on...

A team of engineers in China is currently involved in developing something called the ‘Air Umbrella’ – a revolutionary new device that uses blasts of air to shield people from the rain. The high-tech umbrella, shaped like a plastic microphone, is capable of producing horizontal gusts of air that repel raindrops, creating a dry, one meter wide circle around the user’s head.

There is a small catch, of course – the device works only for a short while. In true Cinderella style, the ‘magic’ wears off at the stroke of the 30th minute – the umbrella stops producing air and you’ll be drenched in no time at all. So you’d probably want to use it only if you’re confident you can get out of the rain in 30 minutes or less.

Hmmm...interesting, eh? It would be great if the inventors could come up with a large one to replace, say, a tent or outdoor display booth. They'd obviously need a much larger battery or a plug-in, right? Maybe one affixed to the top of your car that emits warm air to keep off overnight snow and ice...wouldn't that be something?  Let me know what you think!

See ya, eh!

Bob

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Doing the Hindu Squats

Well hi there! Wonderful to see you today. I'm thankful that you dropped in... out of cyberspace, that is. Landed smack in the middle of my red VIP carpet, too. Amazing! Reach out and pour yourself a mugga and wrap your mitt around a virtual treat, too. Say...I haven't posted anything from my pal, Dr Al in a while. But here's one I just received from him about the benefits of doing the Hindu Squats...

Dear Bob,

You probably know someone who’s fallen and broken a hip. But what you may not know is that it’s not just the elderly who fall, or break their hips.

You can be very youthful and still be at high risk.

    The risk of hip fracture doubles every five years after you turn fifty.

    Nine out of ten hip fractures happen to people over sixty.

    Over 25% of those people will develop complications and die within a year.

However, no matter what your age or level of fitness, you can take one simple step right now to keep this from happening to you.

It involves improving the signals to your muscles, which start to slow down as you get older. This makes it harder to keep your balance, and for your muscles to respond when you need them – to keep you from falling, for example.

Researchers at the University of Delaware looked at how muscles respond when the brain’s neurons send out electrical signals for the muscles to move.

They found that in the elderly, not only do muscles respond more slowly, but neurons actually fire less frequently. At first glance this seems to confirm the conventional wisdom that slowing down physically is an inevitable consequence of aging but there’s more…

The researchers discovered that strength training significantly improves both neuron and muscle response.

In other words, you can “turn back the clock” on this particular feature of aging to help keep your mobility as you age and avoid the risk of breaking a bone in a fall.

Strength training builds up the so-called “fast-twitch” muscles. This is the kind that gave our ancestors the sudden, explosive power they needed to capture prey or escape from danger.

These same muscles – and the neurons that activate them – are responsible not only for power, but for coordination, balance, and sudden response.

If you’re going up stairs, going for a walk, or bicycling, you’re much less likely to fall if you have more fast-twitch muscle power. The Delaware study showed that this is true no matter how old you are.

Other studies show that leg strength is the number one predictor of how active, healthy and mobile you’ll stay as you get older.

So here’s something you can do starting right now to boost the power in your legs and hips. It’s my favorite leg workout, and the one I do every day, no matter what else I add to it. They’re called Hindu squats.


    Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.

    Extend your arms out in front of you, parallel to the ground with your hands open and palms facing down.

    Inhale briskly and pull your hands straight back towards you as if you’re rowing.

    As you pull back, turn the wrists up and make a fist.

    At the end of the inhalation, your elbows should be behind you with both hands in a fist, palm side up.

    From this position, exhale, bend your knees and squat.

    Let your arms fall to your sides and touch the ground with the tips of your fingers.

    Continue exhaling and let your arms swing up as you stand back up to the starting position.

Repeat at the pace of one repetition every four seconds. Once you are comfortable with the form, you can increase your speed to one squat per second. Repeat until you feel winded. Rest, recover and do two more sets.

It’s important to keep in mind that increasing your strength – not doing “aerobics” or other endurance exercise – is what makes the difference to reduce the risk of fractures.

With more strength, you’ll do a lot more for yourself than avoid injury. You’ll also boost your immune system, elevate your mood, increase your stamina, burn more fat, and even prevent chronic aches (like back pain).

One final note: If you think you’re too old to get these benefits, think again. Researchers at Tufts University’s Human Nutritional Research Center studied the effects of strength training on a group between the ages of 63 and 98. Most needed hearing aids or wheelchairs.

After just ten weeks, even the most elderly saw an increase in muscle strength, stamina, and stability. Many were able to walk unaided by the end of the study.

The fact is falling doesn’t have to be a part of aging. You get to decide that you’re not going to take it lying down.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

I sort of do a modified squat but it's tough to bend the old knees too much. I stand in front of the kitchen sink and wrap my hands around the edge of the sink and counter, using that to help my balance and allowing me to bend as much as I can (it increases the more you do it). Works well for me. If I did the real Hindu Squats, I fear I'd get an urge to go out for curry and start speaking with a heavy East Indian accent!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Spacesuit technology in high-end dress shirts so men sweat less

Hi ya! How's it going? Got time for a deliciously perky mug of coffee and a virtual muffin? Sure, why not, eh! Here's something that will appeal to guys...and women who have to live with them, date them, etc...

The founders of Ministry of Supply (MoS) have created a high-end dress shirt from the same materials that NASA uses in US spacesuits to regulate body temperature.

One of the startup’s early employees learned about phase-change materials (PCMs) while studying spacesuit design for travel to Mars at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The founders were familiar with the use of PCMs—materials that absorb and release heat depending on the temperature—in sportswear but saw an opportunity with work and dress apparel.

They reached out to Outlast Technologies, which holds the patent on the PCM technology developed for NASA, and became one of about 100 clothing brands to license it (others include Jockey and Timberland.) NASA has a long history of technology transfers—such as memory foam used in pillows—through its spinoff division.

In particular, the MoS founders wanted to used PCMs to solve the problem of how dress shirts tend to show it when men sweat.

Using thermal imaging to determine where heat is generated in the body, MoS designed shirts that incorporate PCMs, wick away moisture, and control for odors. “It’s sort of like Under Armour for dress shirts,” says Sucharita Mulpuru, a retail analyst with Forrester Research.“There’s not a lot of innovation in a mature category like dress shirts.”


The orange areas in the thermal image below indicate where the body generates the most heat. That’s where MoS’s Atmos shirts have the most ventilation:

After a successful Kickstarter crowdsourcing campaign in 2012 and press coverage of the $98 Apollo shirt, MoS last fall recruited Jarlath Mellett, the former lead designer at Brooks Brothers and Theory. The company has raised close to $4 million and now has several menswear products—dress shirts, t-shirts, and pants—and is testing new ones to bring to market.

MoS says it takes a scientific approach, testing various color and design options on customers to determine demand, and adjusting based on feedback. Last year it decided to sell 43 pairs of aviator chinos and sold 42 of them, which led the company to order the product in bulk. “We are different from the rest of the fashion industry because we are not about releasing new products every season,” CEO Gihan Amarasiriwardena said in a NASA article.


Last year the Boston-based company had 20,000 customers, 75% of whom are in the US. It’s on track to see that number grow again in 2014. While it had intended to manufacture its products in the US, MoS moved its supply chain primarily to factories in Taiwan, Vietnam, and China “because they produce high-tech clothing better,” says MoS co-founder Aman Advani. The company is starting to do some development and production in New York City.


Remember the old saying that...Horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glow?  Whoever made that up never lived in Thailand where it is 32-34 C most days and goes up to 40C in the summer!

See ya, eh!

Bob


Friday, October 17, 2014

Meet Bodhi, the Adorable Pooch Who Works as a Menswear Model

Life going to the dogs, you say? Wish it were so! Hey...how's it going today. You didn't step in any.... on the way in today, did you? Good! Glad you could make it unsoiled, as it were. Help yourself to a mug of roasted and brewed arabica and a virtual muffin, why don't'cha? Here's a cute story for you and it just shows that once in a while ingenuity pays off. There's hope yet!

Bodhi the dog has no time for silly pastimes like chasing squirrels or playing fetch – he’s quite serious about his high flying career as a top New York menswear model. 

The four-year-old Shiba Inu is well known in fashion circles as ‘Menswear Dog’ – he has landed paid modelling contracts with top brands such as Coach, Todd Snyder and Salvatore Ferragamo. He’s also a social media sensation with over 140,000 followers on Instagram.

Bodhi’s owners – Yena Kim, 27, and Dave Fung, 29 – came up with the idea as a joke; they dressed up their adorable Shiba Inu in a few fancy suits and hats. 

When they posted photographs on their Facebook page, the response they received was overwhelmingly positive. So they started their own Tumblr page featuring Bodhi dressed according to popular fashion trends.

We don't have a dog...or a cat...or a ferret...or a bird. Maybe we could borrow one. I have a cousin who has chickens. Maybe that would...nah!

See ya, eh!

Bob