2014-10-20

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. :)

2014-10-15

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.

2014-10-11

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.

2014-10-07

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, which are absent in the winter.
    • Vitamin D-2 (ergocalciferol) is not something humans produce, it's something that was discovered in rats. Rats are nocturnal animals, they get their version of this hormone by eating a fungus.
    • D-3 regulates a bunch of things in the body, from metabolism to sleep. D-3 is what enabled our ancestors to sleep 6 hours in the summer, eat 10,000 calories in a sitting, and work all day. Then in winter, dropping levels of D-3 caused their metabolism to slow down, depression to set in, and sleep to be longer, improving survival.
    • Most of us now spend our time indoors, with little sun exposure. We are operating on a permanent winter metabolism, with all its symptoms: fat accumulation, depression, sleep.
  • After applying this to her practice, Dr. Gominak's experience suggests:
    • Fixing D-3 deficiency fixes sleep. Sleep, in turn, fixes symptoms exhibited by patients, including: migraines, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, memory problems, depression, autoimmune disease, balance difficulties, pain, infertility, endometriosis.
    • Dosage is an issue. Too much D-3 causes the same types of symptoms as too little. The blood level to aim for is 60 - 80 ng/ml of D25OH. 50 causes problems; so does 95.
    • Reliability of pills is an issue. D-3 is over-the-counter, and is not subject to requirements for prescription drugs. A pill does not have to contain the amount listed on the label, and frequently doesn't.
    • 1,000 IU per day is probably too little, while 10,000 IU is probably too much. The right dose depends on the person - where you live, how much time you spend in the sun, what skin color you have. People with dark skin create D-3 much slower.
    • Prenatal vitamins don't have nearly enough D-3 for the mom and the baby (only 400 IU).
    • D-2 (ergocalciferol) is for rats. It probably does not help humans, and might even hurt by competing with D-3.
I highly recommend this video of Dr. Gominak's presentation; I found it concentrated and engaging. She also maintains a website with this information.

My subsequent posts on this topic: