Dyson Vacuum Cleaner - COVETED! ... but boy does it suck…

So I went out and bought a Dyson DC14 Vacuum cleaner today. Bagless. Cyclone driven. High tech. I’ve coveted them for several years now (if it’s actually possible to covet a vacuum cleaner), and we needed a new one… soooo…

I brought it home. Assembled it. Turned it on.

Nasty loud CLACKING noise. Allegedly this is the ratchet on the brushes to stop them from getting damaged. Play with the setting again. Keeps doing it.

Open up the bottom – nothing obviously wrong. Search online…

Apparently this is a problem with the clutch mechanism. Very common. Happens within 3 or 4 months to a LOT of people with this model.

And, because technology hates me, it happened to me day 1 minute 1.

It goes back tomorrow (well, I might call tech support first). I’ll swap it for something a little cheaper.

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The Obesity Virus?! ... and a cure?

According to a number of studies (and news stories floating around the internet), at least 30% of obesity cases could be caused by adenoviruses.

Obesity

What's an Adenovirus?

It's one of a set of viruses that can cause cold-like symptoms. These include the influenzas (the flu), the rhinoviruses, and adenoviruses.

Symptoms include:

  • common cold
  • conjunctivitis (an infection in the eye)
  • croup
  • bronchitis
  • pneumonia
  • dry eyes
  • ... and apparently, obesity.

_39999578_sneeze

OK, so why does it cause obesity?

Apparently it causes fat tissue stem cells to become full-blown fat cells, and encourages them to accumulate fat.

That's in addition to giving you a runny nose.

What's the Evidence?

Mostly this is from chickens, marmosets and mice, where there's direct experimental evidence that it increases fatty tissue build-up. In humans, when markers for specific adenovirus types (there are 51 adenoviridae known to infect humans; 5 of which appear to cause the effect), 30% of obese people have antibodies to the viruses. And a few people who aren't obese have them too, but it's not clear why they don't develop symptoms. It's probably genetic.

The recent paper in the research journal Obesity (A Human Adenovirus Enhances Preadipocyte Differentiation - Sharada D. Vangipuram, Jonathan Sheele, Richard L. Atkinson, Thomas C. Holland and Nikhil V. Dhurandhar), shows explicitly that if you take Adenovirus type 36, and give it something to grow in, it'll create fatty tissue as fast as it can. And the cells express a gene from the virus itself, so it may be acting as a retrovirus.

If you use Adenovirus type 2, the same isn't seen. No effects whatsoever.

So What's the Cure?

Well... step 1 - get rid of the virus. Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer. Use a goddamn handkerchief people - I find it amazing the number of people who will happily cough and sneeze all over their coworkers and the room. The virus can live for a few days outside of the body in aerosol, and tests with dye show that if you don't use a hanky, you're going to get that stuff EVERYWHERE in short order. And that's how it replicates. (It's also how entire offices get sick for months at a time in this day and age).

Show some common decency - use a handkerchief!

handkerchief_Irish
Just in case you'd forgotten what these things look like... see above.

As for step 2 - what do you do to help get rid of the virus?

Here's my recommendation. Note: I'm not a doctor. I just read a lot. Take this advice at YOUR OWN risk.

Well, a start might be to take Omega-3 fatty acids. They've been shown to reduce the ability for viral capsids to cross the cytosome by modifying the structure of the lipid raft. (You should do this anyway, if you fancy your chances at living past 50 - it'll help with heart disease - but don't take too much, as studies are showing that they can slightly depress your immune response by down-regulating inflammation).

Another trick - Green Tea. Down that stuff in huge quantities. Even better, take EGCg - a green tea extract - one paper shows that adenovirus infection is inhibited by this substance. (Link to paper here).

green-tea-weight-loss
By the way, adding milk or cream massively decreases the beneficial effects of green tea...

Of course, the old standbys - lemon juice, ginger, cayenne pepper, honey and garlic can't hurt either. And if you make a nice drink of hot water, lemon juice, ginger, honey and a splash of cayenne, it'll clear your sinuses pretty nicely too and make you feel better.

Now... Here's the fun part. I did a little research which led to a paper on AMPK expression in fat cell apoptosis & metabolism. The research is actually aimed at coming up with a drug that works for fat loss.

The great thing about this research, is that they've got a nutritional approach that they're trying to replicate in a drug.

Which means, dear reader, that you might actually get somewhere yourself if you just go the nutritional route.

A Nutritional Approach to Fat Loss

The paper I'm talking about is here: Genistein, EGCG, and capsaicin inhibit adipocyte differentiation process via activating AMP-activated protein kinase - HWANG Jin-Taek ; PARK In-Ja ; SHIN Jang-In ; YUN KYOUNG LEE ; SEONG KYU LEE ; HAING WOON BAIK ; HA Joohun ; OCK JIN PARK.

So what does this mean?

Well, they did some research and found out that Genistein (a derivative of soybeans), EGCG (a green-tea extract), and Capsaicin (something found in hot chillis and cayenne pepper) will encourage fat cells not only to not be formed in the first place, but also to encourage them to release their fat stores and kill themselves.

Cayenne Peppers
Mmmm... I once ate one of these as a dare. I hate you at times, Mr. Beynon ;-)

This is good news for anyone trying to lose weight - one problem with weight gain is, once you have the fat, your body has created new fat cells to store it. (And this is also how the adenoviridae are doing their magic obesity trick - they're creating new fat cells - your body just goes ahead and fills them up). Because you've still got those (empty) fat cells even after losing weight, one ice-cream too many, and you're stashing away all that fat in those hungry adipocytes which are ready and waiting - like a squirrel stashing away nuts for winter.

So while these guys are theoretically working on a drug to do this faster, better and stronger, you can add the following substances to your diet and get some of the effect.

You can find Genistine (note: it's a phytoestrogen, so it may have adverse side effects in men) in your local supplement store. Or, if you want to avoid extracts, eat more soy beans. That edamame? It's good for you.

You can find EGCg in green tea - so drink more of it, or buy the extract.

Capsaicin? Eat more hot & spicy foods. Or alternatively, you can get Cayenne extract in the supplement section too. You'll find it in the "Ayurvedic" section, where it's used in Indian medicine. Note: I do not know if the so-called "cool cayenne" variety has the same effects.

A couple more things worth adding? Omega-3 fatty acids (you should be taking these anyway), and Niacin - in Nicotinic acid form. Niacin helps with fat metabolism and cholesterol regulation, which if you're going down this path, you're going to want to do.

Dosages? I'm sorry, but you're going to have to figure that out by yourself. Please don't take too much, maybe just stick to the recommendation on the bottle.

REMINDER: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. YOU DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK.

So I'm going to give this a shot. Tomorrow, I take a baseline weight, and start doing this once a day. I'll report back with the results.

Oh yeah... and the Niacin story I promised? It's coming. I've got 4 or 5 queued up ready to roll just as soon as I finish my research. Consider this a bit of a teaser.

(more...)
#Health, #cure, #theory
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Goodbye Eartha... You were fantastic

 That's
from SeaTurtle's photostream on Flickr.com

Eartha Kitt died on Christmas Day, 2008.

I've seen Earth Kitt perform twice, both times at Jazz Alley in Seattle, in 2006 and 2007. My friends Bach, Aydin, Anna, Pepe and my fiancee Darci have all seen her perform on stage.

Aydin and I both agreed a long time ago... She could have had us in a heartbeat. All of our friends who saw her felt the same way.

No, seriously. We both had the hots for this 79 year old (and at the next performance, 80 year old) woman. She was that sexy. She was the consummate embodiment of hot blooded womanliness.

She was an amazing singer, an amazing person with an amazingly varied life. Well traveled, incredibly well educated, intelligent, fiery, funny and with a sense of class missing from most of today's life.

Today, I'm incredibly glad that I got the chance to see her in person. I'd never have known her incredible charm or magnetism if I hadn't.

Which just goes to show - see live performances. They're worth their weight in gold. You may never have the chance again. (I'm just glad that at least once in my life I've seen David Bowie perform in person - another person so charming, wonderful and down to earth, that he's someone I'd love to just sit down with for an hour or two and talk with in front of a roaring fire over drinks).

Eartha, I'll miss you. I'm sure you're out there, somewhere, drinking a martini and singing your lungs out.

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Coming Soon... New Theories

One of these theories is an out-there what-if? And I don't have anything to back it up right now. But I'm going to try to piece together a mechanism that explains eczema and peanut allergies as a fungal battle going on inside your body. I can't find much research to back up this position, but I'll explain my logic.

 

Here's the bigger one. I've rediscovered some old studies from the 1950s that give a way to massively reduce nicotine and other withdrawal symptoms. I came across this through a happy accident mainly; I was looking for a way to reverse the side-effects of smoking on skin healing while I was still waiting for a good way to quit that didn't involve taking mind-altering drugs, as I appear to be particularly sensitive to them. That, and I've heard enough worrying things about Chantix, and I've got issues with Wellbutrin (I get visual side effects).

070516104053[1]So a happy accident, and it's cheap, easy to get a hold of, has minimal side effects (or rather, minimizable side-effects.. they're actually not all that bad), and rumor has it, it will help with the weight-gain issues of stopping smoking as well.

And! as an extra bonus benefit, if you're an alcoholic? Apparently, according to the studies, it works for that too. Suffer from anxiety or a broken heart? It'll help. Crave sweets/starchy foods all the time? Yep, it should help with that. High HDL cholesterol? Check. Serotonin deficient? Hell yes.

What's more, it's probably already in your cupboard. All you need to do is up the dose. Carefully. And preferably under medical supervision (hey, I'm not a doctor. I don't claim to be one. Anything you do with this advice is your own look-out; tread carefully).

Sounds magical, no? Well, I'll lead into my next article (coming in a couple of days - I'm still experimenting on dosing patterns) by telling you what this magical substance is.

It's plain old Vitamin B3, a.k.a. Niacin. And from my own personal experience, it's already working 100x better than the Nicotine Patch that I used to quit smoking last time.

Who'da thought it?

(more...)
#Health, #smoking cessation, #allergies
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HSV1 And Alzheimers: The Link is now Proven

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081207134109.htm

The team discovered that the HSV1 DNA is located very specifically in amyloid plaques: 90% of plaques in Alzheimer's disease sufferers' brains contain HSV1 DNA, and most of the viral DNA is located within amyloid plaques. The team had previously shown that HSV1 infection of nerve-type cells induces deposition of the main component, beta amyloid, of amyloid plaques. Together, these findings strongly implicate HSV1 as a major factor in the formation of amyloid deposits and plaques, abnormalities thought by many in the field to be major contributors to Alzheimer's disease. 

Why does medicine move so slowly in these areas? I've been saying this for a year and a half now - based in part on this team's earlier research. :)

Glad to see we're making headway though!

Next step: We need to officially tie herpes viruses to all of the other diseases that they cause. My list is here: http://www.accidentalscientist.com/2008/01/public-enemy-1-herpes-viruses-as.html

Meanwhile, if you are at risk for Alzheimer's, do the following:

  • Ask your doctor to prescribe valcyclovir as an off-label treatment. If necessary, lie and say that you have genital herpes and need it for suppression.
  • Avoid foods rich in L-Arginine, especially chocolate and peanuts. L-Arginine rich foods encourage the virus to replicate.
  • Supplement your diet with at least 5mg L-Lysine daily - the virus mistakes this for L-Arginine, and produces inert viral particles as a result.
  • Take Omega-3 fatty acids. I've found the Eskimo brand to be the most effective - the krill version doesn't seem to work as well, and is more expensive. Omega 3 fatty acids change the structure of the cell membrane, making it harder for viruses to enter and exit the cytosome through the lipid raft.
  • Take Resveratrol supplements. Studies in rats have shown that Resveratrol interferes with the replication of the virus, and may destroy it.
  • Take Curcumin supplements (or eat lots of foods containing Turmeric). Curcuminoids also interfere with replication of the virus.
  • Make sure you're taking a good B-complex vitamin, particularly one with the non-cyanocobalmin form of B12. B12 in particular attacks the virus as it replicates.

The most effective of these is, of course, valcyclovir. The others just slow the virus down.

(more...)
#alzheimer's, #herpes, #cure, #theory
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