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Showing posts from 2014

Study: Sweeteners cause diabetes through changes in gut flora

I previously wrote about my experiences with glucose intolerance:
My brush with diabetes: Zero-calorie sweeteners and insulin resistance Insulin, diabetes, exercise, and frequent urination
A study has now found:

Diabetes: The Sweetener Paradox
[T]he scientists adjusted the drinking water of the animals by adding the maximum recommended daily consumption dose of saccharin, aspartame or Sucralose. The control animals drank sugar water or unsweetened water. After eleven weeks, the researchers repeated the glucose tolerance test – with a clear result: during the experimental time period, all sweetener-drinking mice developed glucose intolerance, whereas none of the control mice did.

[...]

[T]he researchers administered high dosage of the broad-spectrum antibiotics ciprofloxacin and metronidazole, which act on Gram-negative bacteria, to both the leaner and obese animal subjects. During the antibiotic treatment, the animals continue to drink sweetener-containing water. Already after four we…

Vitamin D-3 test results

I previously posted how:
Vitamin D-3 is a hormone most of the developed world is probably lacking, and howa deficiency in Vitamin D-3 may have put me into a deep depression, which seems to have improved greatly since I started supplementing a more substantial dose of Vitamin D-3.As of December 19, 2014, I have been targeting a Vitamin D-3 intake, in pill form, of 7,000 IU per day, for over two months. My other sources of Vitamin D-3 ought to be negligible (little or no exposure to sun). My D25OH test results have been as follows:

Sample DateResultAverage Daily ChangeOctober 8, 201427.15 ng/mL/November 12, 201449.71 ng/mL+0.64 ng/mL/dayDecember 12, 201458.71 ng/mL+0.30 ng/mL/day
I have three hypotheses for why the average daily change has dropped off towards the third test:
Body adjusts. Perhaps the body makes use of more Vitamin D-3 when more is available in long-term storage. This would be excellent news - it would mean a person can continue to take a consistent amount without worrying …

On moral relativism

An overly rational person, such as myself, can spend decades wondering about a basic question, such as:

"What is bad, and what is good? Can we even tell the difference?"

It turns out this is not so hard.

Love is good. That which comes from love is good. Caring is good, so is compassion.

The opposites of love could be considered: hatred; fear; indifference; not caring. Those are bad.

There we go. That wasn't so difficult.

Too bad it took me a few decades.


I posted the above some place on Reddit, and was surprised by the immediate vitriol I received. I can sometimes get deeply upset about people, but in this particular case, it was so mind-boggling I couldn't even stay angry. People were literally upset with me because I said "love is good". Of all the things that I could say - that's what they were upset about. :)

Another person observed this:

"A lot of people here are stuck in a backlash from the moral absolutism of church, etc... In that frame of mi…

Vitamin D-3 and depression

Jana didn't enjoy life on a Caribbean island. But what I loved about it was the sun. I could go out in mid-day, stand in the heat for ten minutes, and soak it all in. It felt so good. I felt recharged. It put me in a good mood, and I enjoyed the afterglow the rest of the day.

I'm an indoor person. Perhaps you are, too. When we moved to Costa Rica, my exposure to sun dropped to nearly zero. San Jose is often rainy or cloudy; it's a busy city, where it's not as pleasant to go out; and my sleep schedule rotates, so I'm often asleep during the day.

I knew all this. I knew I wasn't getting enough sun, so I got vitamin D pills. I took one a day, 400 IU, the then FDA-recommended dietary allowance. I didn't know that this wasn't nearly enough. I even asked a doctor if I'm taking an appropriate amount. He dismissed the question. He had no knowledge of vitamin D-3, or its importance.

A year into our life in Costa Rica, I felt a palpable sense of ennui. I obje…

Reading list for afterlife studies

I've had things happen to me that I couldn't otherwise explain, so I sought explanations. It turns out that knowledge about our life when we aren't in a human body is readily available, it's just that few people want to know it. Without further ado, here is a reading list if you'd like to learn about this topic.

Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind
by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer

Materialism is the conviction that the universe consists only of dead matter as our current physics knows it, and that our consciousness inexplicably emerges from this. This book will prepare you gently for the possibility that materialism is not merely an unproven jump to a conclusion, but has actually been shown false with experiments. The science being done on this is rigorous, but isn't being taken seriously because materialism is a faith: an unproven belief that people adhere to in defense against the unknown. Trying to disprove it evok…

Join us!

The Warlords of Draenor expansion is looking to be the most fun and noob-friendly I've seen Blizzard make World of Warcraft. The game is finally in a state where I can genuinely recommend it to a new player. Check out these videos from Blizzard with short and neat intros to the available classes. Maybe one of them is something you'd want to play!

At $15 per month, WoW is by far the best bang for the buck you'll get for an entertainment hour. Hookers, restaurants, theater, opera, cinemas, bars, and legal and illegal drugs can't compare with that bargain. What I can't promise, however, is that you won't want to play too much. :)

Bill Gates in favor of progressive tax on consumption

I can't believe it! Bill Gates agrees with me! Not that he even knows of me, of course. But in today's article about economic inequality, he dismantles the popular compulsion to counter inequality with debilitating income or capital taxation, and argues in favor of a progressive consumption tax.

I've been making this argument for a while - on this blog, most recently here.

Politically Correct Asshole

A person who, instead of just saying things, concerns themselves with statements and observations about ways in which it's okay to say things.

It's not a vitamin, it's a hormone - and we lack it

Dr. Stasha Gominak makes a solid case in this presentation for the following:
In her experience with migraine patients, she discovered that 90% have a sleep disorder. Headaches in patients she tried to treat with medicines for years improved in a matter of months if she sent them to a sleep study, which got them a CPAP device to help them sleep.But CPAP devices are awkward and intrusive. After experiencing success by improving sleep, Dr. Gominak discovered her patients have something else in common - a vitamin D deficiency.She began researching vitamin D, and found that:
It's not a vitamin, it's a hormone. A vitamin is something we must get from food; a hormone is something our body produces to regulate its processes. We produce D-3 through our skin, and it deeply affects the entire body. We can't get it in sufficient quantity from food, except from pills.We produce D-3 (cholecalciferol) only when exposed to sun during the summer. D-3 is synthesized from exposure to UVB rays…

Terrible Weakness

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Brilliant.

By Dave Palumbo, "Terrible Weakness":




Since not everyone seemed to be figuring it out where I found it, or they had weird theories, I played art analyst:

The way I see it, he killed a woman who loved him. Her spirit is being pulled away from this world (the knife is in his hand, her death is recent), but even in death, she continues to love him (still hugging him, not letting go). Even as his shirt is soiled with her blood (a heart-shaped stain - implying love between the killer and the victim), her peaceful expression makes it seem she has forgiven - perhaps never blamed him to begin with.

One way to look at the name of the piece is that she had a terrible weakness - her love for him. But love isn't terrible; neither is compassion and forgiveness. The real terrible weakness, I think, is his proneness to anger and violence, the inability to control it. The destruction it wrought has been awful. It ended her life, and cost him a future with a woman who loved him…

In favor of economic incentives for healthily-proportioned mixed-race neighborhoods

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I was recently involved in a discussion about race and racism. It revolved around findings such as in the following Economist article:


Three-quarters of all victims and nearly 90% of perpetrators are male. Black Americans are only 13% of the population, but over 50% of murder victims. Among black men between 20 and 24, the murder rate is over 100 per 100,000 (see chart). [...]

Perpetrators in America tend to look like their prey: less than 20% of murder victims are killed by someone of another race.
The conversation also revolved around the contentious issue of race and average IQ. I reproduced some arguments I had recently written:

The main problem is the color itself, and its reliable correlation with IQ. This is unfair to exceptional individuals, who are judged superficially by their skin. Others notice the difference, and treat black people poorly and exclude them. This treatment causes them to bundle together and turn inward, producing hopeless, crime-ridden ghettos.

If we could b…

Aaron's adventures #5

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It's been 7 months since I last posted photos! My family has been reminding me about that. :-)

These are sorted oldest at the top, newest at the end. It's been a while, so there are quite a few.