Welcome and Mabuhay

If you love Marinduque and want to contribute articles to this site, please do so. My contact information is in my profile. The above photo was taken from the balcony of The Chateau Du Mer Beach House, Boac, Marindque, Philippines. I love sunsets. How about you? Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing your copyrights. Thank you and Cheers!

Tres Reyes Island view of the Marinduque Mainland

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Can Phases of the Moon Affect Mood Swings?

Eight Phases of the Moon-Photo from devdutt.com

In my previous posting about compulsive talking disorder(C.A.D.), I mentioned that the mood of my relative who has C.A.D. seemed to be affected by the phases of the moon and it gets worse during full moon. I also promised I will do some web search on the subject. The following article confirms my observation. The title of the article: Can Phases of the Moon Affect Mood Swings?

"Moon causes mood swings, true or false? Ask this question from a doctor the answer would be a thundering No. Ask this from a farmer in the village the reply would be a smiling Yes. Most pragmatic people concede that the Moon influences them in their moods and emotions.

The MoonIn Astronomy, the Moon is the closest celestial body to the Earth. In fact the Moon is not a planet; it is just a satellite. The Moon orbits the Sun, however as it is gravitationally linked to the Earth it rotates around the Earth as well. The Moon was once part of the Earth. Millenniums ago a celestial body by the name of “Theia” struck the original Earth to break it into two pieces: The broken out part emerged as the Moon the remaining part continued as the Earth.

The Moon revolves around the Earth and it takes 29.56 days to complete a cycle. In this revolution the Moon goes into phases or lunation cycles. The Moon’s journey has eight such phases: New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter and Waning Crescent (Balsamic Moon). Out of these eight Moon phases the New Moon and Full Moon are noted as regards to their gravitational influence in opposite directions. Full Moon pulls you whereas New Moon dulls you. Waxing Crescent and Waning Gibbous have similarity in the degree of gravitational pull; First Quarter and Last Quarter are equal in their gravitational influence.

Moreover, the Moon wobbles on his erratic and elliptical path thereby at times it gets closer to the Earth and at times it is farthest from the Earth. These aspects are called perigee and apogee:

1. Perigee: This is the point where the Moon is closest to the Earth in its revolution. The closest perigee recorded is 221,440 miles from the Earth. At this moment the Moon has the highest pulling power

2. Apogee: This is the point where the Moon is farthest from the Earth in its revolution. The farthest apogee recorded is 252,730 miles from the Earth. At this moment the Moon has reduced pulling power.

3. Mood Swings

Both men and women are subject to mood swings of varied degree. Some men are susceptible to high mood swings, while others experience low mood swings and still few others relatively mild or no mood swings:

4. A high degree of sexual arousal is experienced in women; in the case of men the sexuality could turn out to be fairly violent. Sometimes they tend to use force on sexual partners or masturbate. Making sex during this time does not give mutual satisfaction to partners

5. Generally the Moon influences the endocrine system; Pituitary, Hypothalamus, Thyroid, Adrenal, Thymus, Pineal , Prostrate, Pancreas glands together with Gonad, Sex and Sweat glands are all impacted by the Moon. Furthermore, vital organs, nerves, blood cells, and body cells are also affected by the Moon

6. The energy produced within the body system experiences see-saw pattern; consequently either you brim with vitality or complain about loss of concentration

7. The aspect of criminality raises its head; surprisingly more crimes take place during bright Moon than dark Moon

8. More people get into injury or cause injury on others; those who are prone to accidents and falls have tendency to suffer more

9. Emotional instability is yet another disturbance caused by the Moon especially in those who are engaged in stressful jobs and vocations or having competitive lifestyle

10. Mentally retarded children would experience fall in their cognitive ability, while those who are insane or on the borderline might engage in madder actions than ever.

What You Should Do?

1. Be prepared to handle Moon related disturbances that could severely affect members of your family

2. Do your planning well by checking the date of Full Moon and Perigee Moon. When the time gap between Perigee Moon and the Full Moon is less than six hours the impact of these disturbances is very high. So diarise the full Moon days.

Source: cosmicgemslanka.com

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Is Compulsive Talking an Addiction Disorder?


I have two relatives that are compulsive talkers in the Philippines. One is on my wife's side and the other on my side of the family. Both relatives are sometimes socially avoided because of their compulsive talking. The most common phrase use in our household, is the term "diarrhea of the mouth". When this relative starts talking and dominate the conversation, everyone just look at each other, thus not helping this relative at all. The compulsion seem to be more frequent during the full moon phase. All the relatives warn each other not to contact this person during the Full Moon days. Thus I do believe that people moods are affected by the phases of the moon. Do you believe this? I plan on posting some information on how the phases of the moon affect human behaviour soon.

The following article, I found very practical on how to deal with relatives who have compulsive talking disorder.

"Conventional wisdom holds that people who talk incessantly are merely rude, or pushy, or domineering. Instead, they are more likely suffering from "Communication Addiction Disorder." (C.A.D.) That is, they seem not to be able to stop themselves from talking so much, despite receiving social rejection for doing so.

This syndrome parallels one identified earlier in many people, I.A.D. - "Internet Addiction Disorder." In the case of I.A.D, persons seem to be unable to stop spending time online, surfing the net, communicating in chat-rooms, etc.

I used to think that over-talkers kept jabbering because they didn't think anyone was listening. By using a machine-gun approach, they hoped to hit something and finally be listened to. I now believe that most "talkaholism" is an addictive condition, and one more difficult to treat than its opposites of reticence, shyness, and communication apprehension.

In some ways C.A.D. is self-reinforcing to the talker, as if through some dysfunction in the person's neurological wiring the talker gets some reinforcement of their talk habit.

We all know at least a few talkaholics and may even have tried to "cure them" by pointing out how much they talked, or by scolding them, or by avoidance. Because most of them deny that their over-talk causes problems, these attempts to change them rarely help (as you may have noticed.)

Ways to manage compulsive talkers
Assert yourself and take charge of the conversation.

This is what HMO doctors have to do when they are required to see many patients in brief consultations. If you merely do polite listening and expect normal turn-taking, you may be run over by the talkative one. It can help to set up the time frame for talk, as in "I've got only 10 minutes before I have to pick up my daughter.

You can take more control by firmly interrupting. For example, you can say "Hold on a minute and let me ask you a question" or "I'd like to respond to what you've said so far."

Tell them how much you want to hear. Talkaholics tend to share all the details. Tell them, "I don't need all the details right now to understand. Just give me the headlines." You can do this if you're talking with a peer or a subordinate, but you may not be able to do so if you're talking to your boss.

In meetings, talkaholics can be reined in by having ground rules that require brevity. Having a set of agreements about how long participants are allowed to talk can help. We are aware that such procedures are used in both houses of the U.S. Congress and many public hearings.

If nothing else works, you'll want to escape the frustrating situation, saying "Please excuse me, I've got to go now." We know that victims of talkaholics eventually reduce contact with them, stop inviting to social events, and sometimes even sever their friendships.

Treatment for Communication Addiction Disorder?

The research evidence indicates that dependable treatment is not yet available. However, I think it is possible for a talkaholic to better manage their tendency with some coaching. If willing, they can learn to talk more briefly, to recognize the feelings that accompany their need to talk, and to pick up on the cues from others that they are causing interpersonal problems.

I also think that the new "energy psychologies" that have proven effective in dealing with stress and anxiety should also be tried.

Usually it is a high state of tension that drives a person to talk so much as a way of seeking relief. Reducing tension through simple self-help methods could go far in helping compulsive talkers to manage how much they talk".

I hope you found the above article informative.

Sources: Loren Ekroth, www.hodu.com and http://www.conversation-matters.com.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lady Gaga Cried at SYTYCD Fox TV Show and a Mini Gaga from Brazil

Lady Gaga as Judge at SYTYCD Reality TV Show-photo from idolator.com

Do you watch the Fox Dancing Reality Show, So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD)?
At the last night show( July 27), Lady Gaga was one of the two guest judges. She not only cried but also throw her red boots to show her appreciation of the dancing of Melanie and Sasha. The show last night is by far the most enjoyable and entertaining episode of the season in my opinion. Gaga was an excellent guest judge as well as Rob Marshall-an award winning choreographer. So far all of the previous guest judges were all good. Mary Murphy a regular judge was on her usual screaming fits and inspiring comments.

The first video is an excerpt from last night show. The second video is about a young girl or a midget imitating Lady Gaga during a singing competition in Brazil. Hope you enjoy the two videos.




Mini Gaga-Laura Fontana Melhores of Brazil. Is she a young girl or a midget?

Note: Lady Gaga's video, Alejandro, is one of my top ten most viewed posting with over 24,600 page views since June last year. Have you listened to it? Entertaining indeed!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Do you Play Bridge? Party or Duplicate?


Macrine and I started playing party bridge way back in the 1970's. We started playing party bridge at the SOS Club in Modesto, California. We made a lot of friends this way and had a grand time. When we moved to the Bay Area, we started playing duplicate bridge at the El Cerrito Bridge Club. We played once a week for almost two years and accumulated enough master points to become Junior Masters. We became members of the American Contract Bridge League( ACBL). When we moved to the Washington, DC area we stopped playing either party or duplicate bridge completely. If you are playing bridge now, this posting is not for you. So, I suggest stop reading and just help me by clicking on my ads above. This way you can add groceries to my table, in case I do not receive my SS check next week. Just kidding!
But before you sign out, I have a joke for you. "Having sex is like playing bridge, If you don't have a good partner, you better have a good hand."

If you play cards before and want to know more about bridge continue reading, but do not expect to learn how to play bridge after you read this posting.

There are two types of bridge games -- "party bridge" and duplicate bridge. Both use the same rules for actually playing the game, but the scoring and structure of the two formats are different.

Party bridge is informal and and is usually played in people's homes. A group of four people (two partnerships) -- or several tables of four people each -- play as many hands as they like, at any pace. Each table records its own scores on the hands it plays and may or may not compare its scores with those from other tables.

Duplicate bridge is an organized, more competitive form of the game, usually for larger groups, and is played at a set time and place. It's called duplicate because the exact same hands are played at every table and scores are compared among tables. Each partnership plays several other partnerships, and everyone plays the same number of hands (usually 24-27 hands) in the same time period (3 to 3.5 hours).

History of Bridge:

Contract Bridge was invented in the 1920's and in the following decades it was popularised especially in the USA by Ely Culbertson. Bridge currently occupies a position of great prestige, and is more comprehensively organised than any other card game. There are clubs, tournaments and championships throughout the world.

Rubber Bridge is the basic form of Contract Bridge, played by four players. Informal social bridge games are often played this way, and rubber bridge is also played in clubs for money.

Duplicate Bridge is the game normally played in clubs, tournaments and matches. The game is basically the same but the luck element is reduced by having the same deals replayed by different sets of players. At least eight players are required for this. There are some significant differences in the scoring.

Contract Bridge developed in the 1920's from Auction Bridge, which is different mainly in the scoring. In Auction Bridge, over tricks count towards making game, so it is only necessary to bid high enough to win the contract - there is no incentive to bid all the tricks you can make.

Note: Currently, Macrine and I play bridge on line. We use Hoyle's Card Games,2010
Edition. It is one of the best way to exercise your mind/memory, thus delay the onset of Alzheimer's Disease. The CD cost only $19.99. If you are not comfortable with computers and want to learn this card game, I suggest you take lessons in your local bridge club. The fee is usually very minimal and it is a good way to socialize with others. If you are single, a widow or divorced thus have no partner, do not worry, the club will assign you a partner and hopefully you are compatible. Bridge is a partnership game. It is very, very important that you and your partner are compatible. When, I say you must be compatible, I meant your skill and knowledge of the game is about in the same level. If you are more skillful in the game than your partner, and you are not patient, the game of bridge instead of being fun will be a source of frustration and irritation for you. You will know exactly what I am trying to say, when you start to actually play a bridge game, specially duplicate bridge.

Reference: www.pagat.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Three More Scam Letters, I Received This Month



Here are the three letters verbatim. Note the several typo's and grammatical errors. Sentence construction and syntax are all out of whack. These three letters are sounding more ridiculous than the scam letters I have received previously.

1.First Letter:
Salam Alaykum Urgent Reply Pls

Dear Friend

I know that this message will come to you as a surprise. I am the Auditing and Accountingsection manager with Bank Of Africa Ouagadougou Burkina faso. I Hopethat you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of our both families.I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of (£10.5)million to your account within 10 or 14 banking days.you will have 45% of the above mentioned sumwhile 50% will be for me, and the other 5% will be for the expences

These are the details about the deceased and his family. Late Hassan El-madi used his late wife (MRS.HAJIA EL-MADI) as his next of kin but unfortunately, she died along side with him in their house. So, nobody knows about the account and as such,you should not be afriad in this deal. Just keep it as secret between us.You can still see again the website covering U.S.A Boomp Explosion as posted by the CNN and BBC news report;
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/11/iraq.deaths/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6040054.stm


Mrs Sotisse Kuume
Bank Of Africa Ouagadougou
Burkina faso.(B.O.A

FROM: MRS. AISHA ABDULAZIZ,
EMAIL: aisha.aziz10@gmail.com

**********************************************************************************
2. Second Letter
Dear Friend,

AS SALAMU ALAIKUM

I know this letter may come as a surprise to you. I am Mrs. Aisha Abdulaziz, the Secretary of the contract Award commission of the Energy management board in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

We had a contract with Denmark through the Burkina Faso Danish Cooperation, which was signed on the 4th of march, 2008 on the Electrification of the Urban centres, offices and rural dwellers. The project has been executed, you can check on the
website. www.sonabel.bf During the award of this contract,The Chairman, Dr. Philip Sawadogo, A Board Member, Mr. Sidiki Ouedraogo, and I,The Secretary,Mrs. Aisha
Abdulaziz and Mr.Kabore Jean Baptiste, a board member had inflated the amount of this contract and the OVER- INVOICED is being safeguarded under our custody and the inflated amount is with a bank.

However, we have decided to transfer this sum of money, Nine million, five hundred thousand U.S dollars only ($9,500,000.00) out of this Country for disbursement. Hence, we seek for a reliable,honest andnot greedy foreign partner whom we shall use his or her account for transferring the fund.

And we agreed that the account owner shall benefit 40% of the total amount of money, 60% is for us here. If you are capable to handle the transaction without hitches and
flaws, then we have confidence in the business and a risk free transfer from our side.

We want to transfer this funds, so that our retiring soon or later will be a better and blissful retirement life, as such we are very cautious towards actualising this noble venture.

If you are interested to execute this deal with us, kindly respond by sending me the followings:

(1) YOUR FULL NAMES & ADDRESS
(2) YOUR AGE & OCCUPATION
(3) YOUR TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS

Waiting for your urgent respond.

Best regards,

Mrs. Aisha Abdulaziz
EMAIL: aisha.aziz10@gmail.com

AS SALAMU ALAIKUM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.The Third LetterA CRY FOR HELP.

My Humble Greetings! Please permit me to introduce myself properly to you, My name is Maverick Ducoin the only child of late Dr. Soro Ducoin from Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire, (Ivory Coast). My late father was the formal General Manager of Cocoa Merchant Industry in Abidjan, he was among the rich agriculturist murdered by the agent of the government of President Laurent Gbagbo during the political crisis / war for his support and sympathy for opposition party Rassemblement Des républicains de Côtes d'Ivoire (RDR).

Before the death of my father, he deposited in the bank the sum of US$9.5,million (Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) in one of the Investment Bank, for investment before his sudden death. Right now, I'm in Republic Of Benin where I'm taking a refuge because of the war which took over in my country few months ago. So therefore, I'm contacting you for you to assist me transfer this money to your country for investment in your Company under your management while I continue my education there in your country because my education stopped due to the sudden death of my Father. My mother died after giving birth to me through operation.

Thank you for you concerns as I would compensate you with 20% of the total money after you have help me transfer the money successfully into your safe bank account in your country. Please reply back to me through my private email here (meverick.ducoin@hotmail.fr) for more details. I will be waiting to hear from you.

Thanks and best regards.

Yours Sincerely,
Miss. Maverick Ducoin.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Famous Pure and Half Filipinos in the US

Manny Pacquiao
Do you have a favorite Filipino or Filipino-American celebrity? I have my top ten favorites listed below.





My top ten favorites are: Manny Pacquiao( boxer),Leah Salonga(singer and actress), Enrique Eglesias(singer), Christine Gambito(internet comedian), Cheryl Burke(dancer), Cristeta Comerford (White House Chef), Rob Schneider( actor), Fe del Mundo(pediatrician), Josefino Comiso( physicist), and Charice Pempengco(singer). How about you? Who are your favorites?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Do you like Balut? What is Balut?


My oldest son( Dodie) and oldest grandson(Ian) participated at a balut eating contest at Chateau Du Mer during our 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines in 2007

My American friends and acquaitances here in US and in the Philippines informed me they hate balut. But probably 99% of them have not really tasted it. They are just turned off by the appearance of an embryo and sometimes feathers. I love the 17-day balut( balut sa puti),because the embryo has no feathers yet- Yummy and tasty! So what is balut?

A balut is simply a fertilized duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell.

Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, balut are mostly sold by street vendors in the regions where they are available. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines. They are common, everyday food in countries on Southeast Asia, such as Laos (where it is called kai ), Thailand (khai khao - ไข่ข้าว in Thai), Cambodia (pong tea khon in Cambodian) and Vietnam (trứng vịt lộn or hột vịt lộn in Vietnamese). They are often served with beer.

The Filipino and Malay word balut(balot) means "wrapped" depending on pronunciation.

Preparation

In the Philippines, balut eaters prefer salt and pepper and/or a chili and vinegar mixture to season their eggs. The eggs are savored for their balance of textures and flavors; the broth surrounding the embryo is sipped from the egg before the shell is peeled, and the yolk and young chick inside can be eaten. All of the contents of the egg may be consumed, although the white may remain uneaten; depending on the age of the fertilized egg, the white may have an unappetizing cartilaginous toughness. In the Philippines, balut have recently entered haute cuisine by being served as appetizers in restaurants, cooked adobo style, fried in omelettes or even used as filling in baked pastries. In Vietnam, balut are eaten with a pinch of salt, lemon juice, plus ground pepper and Vietnamese coriander leaves (southern Vietnamese style).


Chinese traders and migrants are said to have brought the idea of eating fertilized duck eggs to the Philippines. However, the knowledge and craft of balut-making has been localized by the balut-makers (magbabalut). Today, balut production has not been mechanized in favor of the traditional production by hand. Although balut are produced throughout the Philippines, balut-makers in Pateros are renowned for their careful selection and incubation of the eggs.

Fertilized duck eggs are kept warm in the sun and stored in baskets to retain warmth. After nine days, the eggs are held to a light to reveal the embryo inside. Approximately eight days later the balut are ready to be cooked, sold, and eaten. Vendors sell cooked balut from buckets of sand (used to retain warmth) accompanied by small packets of salt. Uncooked balut are rarely sold in Southeast Asia. In the United States, Asian markets occasionally carry uncooked balut eggs. The cooking process is identical to that of hard-boiled chicken eggs, and baluts are eaten while still warm.

Duck eggs that are not properly developed after nine to twelve days are sold as penoy, which look, smell and taste similar to a regular hard-boiled egg. In Filipino cuisine, these are occasionally beaten and fried, similar to scrambled eggs, and served with a vinegar dip.

The age of the egg before it can be cooked is a matter of local preference. In the Philippines, the ideal balut is 17 days old, at which point it is said to be balut sa puti ("wrapped in white"). The chick inside is not old enough to show its beak, feathers or claws, and the bones are undeveloped. The Vietnamese often prefer their balut mature from 19 days up to 21 days, when the chick is old enough to be recognizable as a baby duck and has bones that will be firm but tender when cooked. In Cambodia, it is eaten while it is still warm in its shell. It is served with nothing more than a little garnish, which is usually a mixture of lime juice and ground pepper.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Do You Suffer From Insomnia? 28 Tips You should Try!


My wife suffers insomnia once in a while. But, I know of a relative that has chronic insomnia, she had to see a doctor. In my case, I have probably had insomnia once or twice in six months and I feel I am lucky I have no problem sleeping. The following article are tips that may you already have tried, if you suffer from insomnia. According to the latest medical survey around 30% to 40% of the world suffers from insomnia, short-termed or chronic. Here are the 28 tips you may want to try.

1. See a Doctor
Insomnia can be a symptom of physical disorders, although for most of us it's the result of tension, stress and anxiety—and of course the more anxious we get about our insomnia, the worse it gets. If your doctor pronounces you a "healthy" insomniac, he might suggest some of the techniques provided here. Or she might prescribe drugs to help you get to sleep. We suggest you try all these methods first, and use drugs only as a last resort. The decision, of course, is yours.

2. Take a Warm Bath
It's a great way to relax your body. Don't overdo it, however. You merely want to relax your body, not exhaust it. Too long in hot water and your body is drained of vitality. Use bath salts, or throw in Epsom salts and baking soda—one cup of each. These will relax you and also help remove toxins from your body.

3. Get a Massage
Have your spouse (or whoever) give you a massage just before going to sleep. If you can convince them to give you a full body massage, great. If not, even a short backrub and/or a face and scalp massage can be a big help. Have them make the massage strokes slow, gentle, yet firm, to work the tension out of your muscles and soothe you to sleep.

4. Listen to Music or Other Audio
Play some soft, soothing music that will lull you to sleep. There are many CDs designed for that very purpose. Some are specially composed music, others simply have sounds of waves rhythmically breaking, or the steady pattern of a heartbeat. Some will lead you to sleep with a combination of music, voice and other soothing sounds.

5. Drink Warm Milk
A glass of warm milk 15 minutes before going to bed will soothe your nervous system. Milk contains calcium, which works directly on jagged nerves to make them (and you) relax.

6. Drink Herb Tea
If you don't like milk—or are avoiding dairy products—try a cup of hot camomile, catnip, anise or fennel tea. All contain natural ingredients which will help you sleep. Most health food stores will also have special blends of herb tea designed to soothe you and help you get to sleep.

7. Eat a Bedtime Snack

8. Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Tobacco

9. Sleep in a Well-Ventilated but not very bright Room

10. Sleep on a Good Firm Bed and Sleep on Your Back

11. Get Some Physical Exercise During the Day

12. Keep Regular Bedtime Hours

13. If You Can't Sleep, Get Up, Don't Sleep In

14. Get Up Earlier in the Morning

15. Keep Your Bed a Place for Sleep

16. Avoid Naps

17. Avoid Illuminated Bedroom Clocks

18. Of course there's the standard insomnia remedy that everyone knows (although it never worked for us): Counting Sheep



Some insomnia techniques you probably haven't seen before

19. Sleep With Your Head Facing North

20. Don't Watch TV or Read Before Going to Bed

21. Toe Wiggling and Stomach Rub

22. Progressive Relaxation and Deep Breathing

23. Visualize Something Peaceful or Visualize Something Boring

And some new suggestions from readers who have found these remedies useful for their own insomnia.

24. Not Thinking and Yawning

25. Smoke Yourself to Sleep

26. Sex—Alone or with Others

27. Backwards Counting / Mental Computer

28. Short Walk Before Bed

Good luck! Have a pleasant sleep! Which tip(s) have you tried?

Source: www.well.com_mick/insomnia

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Will My wife and I Received Our SS checks next Month?



Congress has until August 2 to raise the debt limit. If that does not happen, the federal government will have to make some tough choices on which bills to pay beginning August 3.

President Obama has warned that if the debt ceiling is not raised, Social Security checks may not go out in August. Obama also continues to warn that we may default on our debt if the debt ceiling is not raised.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), a member of the House Tea Party Caucus, accused Obama of using “scare tactics,” and said that Obama is getting bad advice from people who are “lying” to him.

“There is money there regardless of what we do,” said Gohmert.

Others in the Tea Party Caucus also take the view that the debt ceiling does not need to be raised. Rep. Michele Bachmann, for instance, emphatically said in one of her presidential campaign ads that she will not vote for a debt ceiling increase.

Who is right? Will we default on our debt on August 3? Can we maintain our current level of debt without dire consequences?

Debt Default
An analysis of these questions was conducted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank founded by two retired Republican Senators, Howard Baker and Bob Dole, and two retired Democratic Senators, Tom Daschle and George Mitchell.

According to its report, the federal government will receive about $172 billion and have bills totaling about $307 billion in August. This leaves a shortfall of about $135 billion.

To keep from defaulting on our nation's debt obligations, the Treasury Department would first need to pay the interest on the treasury bills due in August, which will be about $29 billion. Since there will be $172 billion in revenue in August, there will be more than enough money to pay the nation's debt obligations and there will not be a default.

Jay Powell, who served as Under Secretary of the Treasury under George H. W. Bush and is a Visiting Scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center, made this point in an interview on The Newshour.

“There's always going to be enough money to pay the interest on the debt, and it's very unlikely that there will be an actual debt default,” said Powell.

Tea Party Republicans are correct, therefore, when they say that there will be enough revenue to avoid a default. What about Social Security payments?

Social Security

Social Security payments in the month of August will be about $49 billion. If we subtract the interest on the debt ($29 billion) from August revenue ($172 billion), we are left with $143 billion, more than enough to send out Social Security checks.

Tea Party Republicans are correct again. There will be enough revenue in August to avoid default and to make sure seniors get their Social Security checks.

The available options after those payments are made, however, with only $94 billion left, get more difficult. As Powell points out, we may not default on debt, but we will “default on lots and lots of very important payments.”

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be in the unenviable position of trying to decide which payments will be made and which will not be made.

Note: My wife and I and the 60,114,000 social security recipients will be very unhappy if we do not get our SS check next month. Congress and President Obama( if he wants to be reelected in 2012) will not dare starve more than 60 million US citizens next month. Senior Citizens, let us unite to keep our SS payments on time.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lowest and Highest Point in My Professional Career

Mt McKinley-the highest point in the United States

I have often been asked by friends and relatives, what were the lowest and highest point in my professional career as a Chemist here in US. Without hesitation and doubt, my most unhappiest moment or the lowest point in my career was when I was laid off with only one day notice (fired/restructuring) from my job as a Principal Research Chemist for Stauffer Chemical Company in Richmond, California.

Also without hesitation, I can state without doubt that the happiest moment or the highest point in my professional career was my promotion to Chemistry Team Leader in FDA including the award I received for expediting the manufacture of a burn ointment needed by the terrorist victims of the 9/11/01 bombing in New York and Washington, D.C.

The following are excerpts from my autobiography, on the two unforgettable events(low and high) in my professional life.(http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com)

Lowest Point in My Professional Career:The Death Valley of My Life

In 1974, I had a choice of working for a private company or the Federal government. I chose to work for Stauffer Chemicals in Richmond, California because I needed the money (higher salary than what the Federal Government was offering me at that time). I started as a Research Chemist and after 10 years (1984) reached the position of Principal Research Chemist. This is the highest technical position ( without supervisory duties) attainable in the company at that time. In 1986, a mass of layoffs occurred at Stauffer Chemicals. The company was getting out of the pesticide business. I was one of 60 employees relieve of our duties after just one day of notice. I just can not described the feeling of being laid off after 12 years of service and good performance. You feel betrayed and unappreciated, and envious of the other employees not fired. How I wish I took the Federal job offered to me at the time. With this experience, I vowed I will never work for a private company*.

Death Valley-the lowest point in the United States

Highest Point in My Professional Career-The Mt McKinley of My Life

I was hired by FDA as a Research Chemist in 1990. In 1994, I was promoted as Expert Research Chemist( GS-14). In 1997, I was again promoted to Chemistry Team Leader, supervising the work of six reviewers ( five with doctorate degrees). As far as I know, I was the first Filipino-American who has achieved this position in FDA. As team leader, I was responsible for prioritizing, assigning, and assuring the technical accuracy of all chemistry, manufacturing and control issues for all new drug applications submitted to the Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products. As team leader, I also give advice, instruct and promote high morale and teamwork in my group. In 1998, I won the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award. The citation reads, “For outstanding accomplishments in fostering the objectives of the EEO Program by hiring minorities and encouraging their professional growth while providing excellent leadership.”

I have received numerous certificates of appreciation, awards in leadership and communications, commendation for teamwork and excellence in the accomplishment of the FDA mission. I have also received several letters of appreciation from private industry for my review work.

In 1995, I was elected to the United States Pharmacopeia, (USP), Committee of Revision(CR), Standards Division. As an elected member, I was responsible for establishing standards of identity, safety, quality, purity of drug substances and drug products as well as in-vitro and diagnostics products, dietary supplements and related articles used in health care. Election to this body is a very selected process. It is held every five years. In 1995, there were more than 700 scientists nation-wide from academia, government, and industry who volunteered to serve. USP narrowed it down to 256 final nominees. Of the 256, only 128 were elected. Election to the USP Committee of Revision confirms that the person is both the national and international expert in the field of election. In my case, it was in the field of antibiotics, natural products and botanicals.

The University of the Philippines Alumni Newsletter congratulated me with this statement, “ We join with your colleagues and your family in congratulating you for this singular honor, which brings prestige to the Philippines as well”. In March, 2000 I was reelected for another 5 year term.

My career in FDA would not be complete if I do not mentioned the terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. I remember clearly what I was doing and how I felt afterward. That morning in September 11, 2001, The office of New Drug Chemistry had a joint meeting with representatives of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PHARMA) at the Hilton Hotel in Gaithersburg, MD. At about 9:20 AM, we received an announcement that the meeting is canceled and we can go home, since the World Trade Center in New York was burning. All of the attendees went to the hotel lobby and the TV was announcing the news. I felt sick, depressed but helpless to see the burning WTC building. Later, I learned that the Pentagon in Washington DC was also bombed and another plane crashed in the field somewhere in Southern Pennsylvania. I also found out that this United Airline plane was intended for the White House. Had it not been for the courageous heroics of several passengers, the White House would have suffered the same fate as the WTC and the Pentagon.

The most heinous crime of the century produced thousands of burnt victims. Two drugs in my Division, Sulfamylon and Silvadene, approved for the treatment of burns were out of supply. A chemistry manufacturing supplement has to be approved as soon as possible to manufacture more of these ointments in a new facility. This required a review by the chemist, an inspection of the facility by a field inspector, my approval as the chemistry team leader plus the paper work by the project manager. The drugs are needed immediately, so we have to do an expedited review of the manufacturing supplement. It took us only 12 hours to approve the new facility and the review of the chemistry supplement and its manufacturing and control procedures. This review normally will take at least one month to three months depending on the availability of the field inspector and the schedule of the review chemist.

In December, 2001, the four members of my review team received a special cash award and recognition award from FDA management for our work on expediting review of two drugs, Sulfamylon and Silvadene. Of my more than a dozen awards I had, this one is the most appreciated. I felt that I have done my job as a public servant and had helped the victims of the terrorist attack in a timely manner. In January, 2002 I received another award for my work on Doxycycline, an antibiotic needed to treat anthrax victims due to bio terrorism activities from unknown terrorists.

*Afterthought: I should really thank Stauffer Chemical Company management for firing me even after 12 years of excellent performance. This experience gave me an incentive to work for the Federal Government, otherwise, I would probably be working in the laboratory all my life. FDA had challenged me to my utmost ability. I learned not only to be a "work" oriented but also a "people" oriented human being. My 12 years in FDA had been the most productive and satisfying years of my professional career.


Note: For continuation of my FDA employment experiences, read http://lifeinus1960present.blogspot.com or my autobiography above.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wine and Health-Part 2


This is Part 2 of the article Wine and Health by Frank Cabunoc, guest blogger from Fairfield, California. Frank is a wine aficionado and indeed a true oenophile.

In over 400 studies conducted around the world, many of them long-term and in large populations, they have concluded that most healthy people who drink wine regularly and moderately live longer. The only group exception, whose members should not consume any alcohol, is pre-menopausal women with a family history of breast cancer.

Wine’s nutritional content is minimal, inasmuch as there is no fat, cholesterol, or dietary fiber in any wine. It is only with excessive drinking would anyone reach their Minimum Daily Requirement for calories, carbohydrates, sodium, protein, vitamins or minerals, all of which all wines contain insignificantly. Each one’s specific content varies between types of wine, based upon color, alcoholic strength and residual sugar. The key to the beneficial aspects of drinking wine are regularity and moderation. The importance of this consumption pattern cannot be over emphasized. An occasional serving of wine is better than none, but overindulgence can be considerably more harmful than total abstinence.

Regular moderate wine drinking was discovered to be the one consistency. Studies in England found the occurrence of coronary disease to be much higher in heavy or binge drinkers and even higher in abstainers. It is very important to note that Europeans generally drink wine and water with their meals.

Wine is not a cure-all and not everyone should drink wine. There are instances when no one should drink any alcohol. When combined with specific over-the-counter or prescription drugs, for example, alcohol in any form can produce an adverse reaction. Wine should not be furnished to people with inflammations of the digestive tract, peptic ulcers, liver disease, pancreatitis, kidney or urinary infections, prostate disorders, epilepsy, or alcoholism. As mentioned earlier, pre-menopausal women with a family history of breast cancer should abstain from drinking any alcohol, including wine.

Excessive drinking or overindulgence is possibly the worst health problem of consuming wine or any alcoholic beverage. Ingesting too much ethanol at one time will cause headaches, nausea, and other symptoms for anyone, regardless of individual tolerance to other compounds in wine. Drinking alcohol too much or too fast leads to loss of control and judgment. A couple of glasses of wine may help relaxation and lower blood pressure, but four or more raises blood pressure to a level of concern.

When wine is consumed, alcohol enters the bloodstream while it passes from the stomach to the small intestine and continues to the liver which uses an enzyme called dehydrogenase to break down and eliminate alcohol from the body. Medical evidence suggests factors of body size; muscle mass, food intake, gender, and experience affect one's capacity to avoid drunkenness to some degree. On average, a healthy human can metabolize one-half ounce of alcohol per hour. The best rule to follow is to not consume more than one drink or 4 ounces of wine per hour, regardless of size, sex, or a full stomach.

Whenever it is practiced in moderation and consumed with food at mealtime, wine drinking may develop cultural and sociological patterns that actually help to prevent alcoholism. The vast majority of healthy individuals may enjoy wine regularly and moderately as a pleasure that supports and prolongs a gracious life. Here's another video on benefits of wine in moderation.

Note: I agree with the last sentence(in bold). If you are a beer drinker, could you site an article on the health benefits of beer. Again, here's my toast to you all my readers, Salud, Peseta y Amor!( Health, Money and Love).!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wine and Health-Part 1


Yesterday, I posted an article discussing which is better for your health, wine or beer. I indicated that there were more articles in the Web indicating that wine is better than beer. Today, I have another article from Frank Cabunoc, guest blogger from Fairfield, California, on Wine and Health. You are reading Part 1 now. I will post Part 2 tomorrow. Again, enjoy this very informative article.
Wine and Health

Wine has been used by man for ages and there is enough evidence of the benefits derived from drinking wines. It has been used for spiritual enrichment and to cure health problems for thousands of years. Modern science is proving what many cultures have known for many years, that moderate wine consumption is good for your health. There has been a vast spending of money into research studying wine and disease. Because of the complexity of disease, a direct correlation between wine and health is difficult to establish. But there are trends that are evident that indicate potential positive benefits of moderate wine consumption.

Behind all of the medical claims about wine and health is scientific evidence. The science of wine and health is receiving attention from both the medical community and wine lovers alike. Researchers are constantly learning about the chemicals and processes involved with wine and the human body. What we do know provides the backbone for physicians and researchers to find the association between wine and health.

Most of the pathogens that threaten human lives are inhibited or killed off by the acids and alcohols in wine. Because of this fact, wine was considered to be a safer drink than much of the available drinking water up until the 18th century. The alcohol in wine is a mild natural tranquilizer which reduces anxiety and tension. As part of a normal beverage with meals, wine provides the body with energy, with substances that aid digestion, and with small amounts of minerals and vitamins, and it also stimulates the appetite. Moreover, wine works to restore nutritional balance, relieve tension, sedate and act as a mild euphoric agent to the convalescent and the aged.

In the 1970s, a cardiovascular study showed moderate drinkers had 50 per cent fewer deaths from coronary disease than non-drinkers. The country of France has one of the lowest rates of heart disease in the developed world despite their high fat diets, smoking and drinking. The French have the highest per capita wine consumption in the world. This phenomenon is known as The French Paradox, and the results of this study changed our view on wine and health. The typical diet of people in France includes a very high proportion of cheese, butter, eggs, organ meats, and other fatty and cholesterol-laden foods. This diet would seem to promote heart disease, but the rate of heart disease among the French was discovered to be much lower than Americans. Herein lay the paradox.

Moderate and regular consumption of red wine may prevent coronary disease and some forms of cancer. The chemicals responsible are catechins, also known as flavanoids and related to tannins. The catechins function as anti-oxidants, they prevent molecules known as free-radicals from doing cellular damage. One particular form of flavanoids, called oligomeric procyanidin, proved to prevent hardening of the arteries.

There are chemical compounds in grapes and wine especially red wine, grape juice, dark beers and tea, but are absent in white wine, light beers and spirits called resveratrol and quercetin. Many clinical and statistical evidence and laboratory studies have shown these may boost the immune system, block cancer formation, and possibly protect against heart disease and even prolong life. A recent study indicates that resveratrol also inhibits formation of a protein that produces a condition called cardio fibrosis, which reduces the heart's pumping efficiency when it is needed most, at times of stress. More proof suggests that wine dilates the small blood vessels and helps to prevent angina and clotting. Moreover, the alcohol in wine helps balance cholesterol towards the good type.

Research on obesity and extending life span is ongoing, and it is a mistake for anyone to radically change their consumption pattern based on preliminary data. A study of obese mice showed that doses of resveratrol prolonged their life spans, but for a human to duplicate this dosage using wine, one would need to drink over 250 gallons per day.

Wine consumption might even preserve cognitive function in the frail and weak elderly. Many European studies have shown the prophylactic effects of regular light to moderate alcohol consumption may include the prevention or postponement of Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s diseases and other forms of dementia. It begs us to ask if wine could be the original brain food.

Another study showed that moderate, regular consumption of wine or beer decreases the risk of peptic ulcers and may help to rid the body of the bacteria suspected of causing them. In contrast, both over-consumption, especially of beer, and any regular consumption of spirits at all, even at a low level, seemed to increase the ulcer risks.

Other medical research and studies point to multiple benefits of regular moderate wine drinking that may include lowered risks of stroke, colorectal tumors, skin and other types of cancers, senile dementia, and even the common cold, as well as reduce the effects of scarring from radiation treatments.

Here's a video about red wine. CHEERS!















Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wine versus Beer: Which One is Better For You?



My next door neighbor is a beer drinker. He claims it is better than wine. I did not agree with him. We had an interesting discussion on the subject that lasted for 15minutes. At the end of our friendly debate, I told him, I will do some web search on the subject and post it in my blogs. There are several excellent articles on the subject. Several articles stated wine is the winner and only one article states beer is better. Here's an article that confirms my belief than wine is better for your health than beer.

Medical researchers have known for quite a while that drinking alcohol moderately seems to have a beneficial effect on health, particularly on heart disease. Now a new study by Danish researchers suggests that wine drinkers have a substantially lower death rate than people who drink other forms of alcohol, according to an article published in the Sept. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"There certainly seems to be a difference in the effect of drinking wine compared to beer or spirits. Wine drinkers appear to live longer," Morten Grønbæk, MD, tells WebMD. "Wine appears to have a beneficial effect on cancer mortality, as well as on mortality due to heart disease." Grønbæk is a research associate professor at the University of Copenhagen and lead author of the article.

"Alcohol is a pleasure many people enjoy, and it appears to actually make your arteries younger," Michael Roizen, MD, tells WebMD. "Alcohol in moderation seems to be beneficial unless a particular person has reasons to avoid it. We're talking here about small amounts of wine: one to two drinks per day for a man, and one-half to one drink per day for a woman." Roizen is professor and chairman of the department of anesthesia and critical care at the University of Chicago School of Medicine and author of the book Real Age: Are You As Young As You Can Be?

In the study, researchers looked at survey data on drinking patterns for almost 25,000 men and women, as well as data on death rates from national registries. This is the largest study of its kind so far. They found wine drinkers decreased their risk of death by a third compared with nondrinkers. People who avoided wine but drank other forms of alcohol showed a 10% reduction, compared to nondrinkers.

This was after researchers took other lifestyle factors into consideration -- such as smoking, exercise, age, and education level -- that may have had an effect on the results.

"This is a very interesting and somewhat provocative finding," says Barry Meisenberg, MD. "It fits with numerous other studies that show alcohol can reduce overall mortality. If someone already has the habit of drinking small amounts of alcohol, they can take comfort from this study." Meisenberg is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

"However, alcohol is a two-edged sword," he emphasizes. "While small amounts may have beneficial effects on mortality, when you go much above that amount the effects are reversed. The exact transition point may differ for every individual." For this reason, he does not believe physicians or public health officials should advise people to drink alcohol.

There are many individual patients who should not consume even small amounts of alcohol, he notes, due to conditions such as gastritis, liver disease, or medications used for high blood pressure. Alcohol has lots of calories, so drinking alcoholic beverages could be a problem for people who are dealing with obesity. "Consumers should first discuss this issue with their own physicians to find out whether they have something in their personal health history that could make even small amounts of alcohol dangerous," says Meisenberg, who also is head of the division of hematology and oncology, and deputy director of the university's Greenebaum Cancer Center.

Source: Here's to Your Health: Wine vs. Beer, Spirits By Elaine Zablocki
WebMD Health NewsReviewed by Merle Diamond, MDSept. 18, 2000

Note: Macrine and I are both moderate wine and beer drinkers. In the Philippines we drink more beer than wine, because it is much cheaper and we love San Miquel beer. In the US, we drink more wine than beer, because of the numerous selection of good wines here in Northern California. How about you? Are you a wine or beer drinker, if you drink alcohol at all?

Monday, July 18, 2011

I am on the Waiting List on Google+ Social Networking Site


About three weeks ago, my friend who is a professional Blogger ( earns his living by blogging) informed me that he accepted the invitation of Google+ to join this new social net work site. He said it appears to be better than FaceBook, but since it is just starting, the impact of this site in attracting traffic to your site remains unknown. He suggested I sign for it with my current Google Account. The next day, I received an e-mail that the site is not ready for mass consumption and I will be placed on their waiting list. So what are the similarities of Google+ and Facebook. Has Google+ a shot at giving Facebook serious competition? Perhaps?

Google+ members must sort out friends into customizable groups called Circles. FaceBook on the other hand has Friends Lists option which can restrict who sees what you have posted in FB, but only 5% of members is using this option currently.

Googles+ has Hangouts allows 10 pals/friends to use webcams to hear and see each other. Facebook has now a new skyped-powered video calling( I have not tried this feature yet) that allows only one-to-one connection. I have used the Chat Feature in FB overseas and oftentimes it is so slow, but it works.

Face Book has third-party applications such as games-Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc which I hate, but Google+ has no third party applications so far.

Unlike Facebook, Googles+ lets you follow other members without getting their permission just like in Twitter. You do need however, to put every person you follow into one or more Circles, such as family, blogger friends, poker and bridge buddies, former office mates, etc...

Googles+ has just began opening its doors to VIP's and slowly admitting batches of wait listers. I am still waiting for Googles+ response regarding my request to join this social network, which I believe could add traffic to my blogs. How about you? Are you planning to join Googles+? Are you happy with FaceBook? Do you think Googles+ has a shot of giving FaceBook serious competition?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Casino Gambling and "Come Ons" for Senior Citizens


Casino owners and their advertising department are very smart,indeed. They offer the gamblers free slot money(from $5 to $30), free gifts and cheap lunches or dinners as well as all the soft drinks, or coffee that you can consumed all day. Last week Red Hawk Casino(RHC)offered seniors(55 and above),a buffet dinner or lunch for only $5.99on Tuesday and Thursday. The buffet has more than 250 selection of dishes, ranging from Chinese Dim sum, roast beef, pizza, seafood, oysters, shrimps, sushi, chicken and fish dishes, about 25 kinds of desserts, another 25 kinds of salads and a drink of your choice. Macrine and I enjoyed the buffet very much. We thought we had a good bargain. But at the end of 7 hours of slot playing, we both lost $100 each, our budget for the day. So our dinner cost us $200 not $12. However, we did have a grand time. We also received $30 free slot money and was able to play for an hour using casino money.

I had been writing about casino gambling in my blogs for the last two years. The reason why I am blogging again on this subject is the fact that Casino Gambling may be addictive. The "come ons" as I described above is very tempting. You may think, since the casino is giving you $30 free slot money, and offers you a cheap buffet, why not go to the casino every day or every week since you have plenty of time as a retiree. Remember that this offers are attempts to entice you to gamble and at the end you are the loser. Remember, to have a budget for your casino gambling activity and stick to it. Once you have spent the allocated amount in your budget for gambling entertainment, do other things besides hustling with the one-arm bandits. You will never win or become a millioner anyway and the odds are you will be the loser. Treat casino gambling as part of your entertainment activity and not as a way of getting rich. If you are bored, read a book, walk around the neighborhood and/or talk to your neighbors. Do other things and forget casino gambling and their tempting "come ons".

Note: In my case, if I get bored, I blog and do a little walking around the yard or talk to the neighbors. I also read books and/or watch my favorite TV shows. How about you? What do you do to avoid boredom as a retiree? Perhaps, if you are taking care of your grandchildren, this activity prevents boredom. But what do you do for entertainment? All of us need a respite from our daily activities to maintain our sanity in this complex society. Right? Please share!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What is Happiness? The Answer is in Your Hands!



Macrine and I attend Sunday mass every week in our local catholic church here in Northern California. This week mass was special because of the homily by a visiting priest. The priest talked about happiness and meaning of life. The priest told us a story of a young boy who found a baby bird that fell from its nest. It was alive but very weak. The boy picked up the baby bird and held it in his hands. He then went to his Dad with the bird in his closed hands. He asked his Dad. Could you guess if the bird in my hand is dead or alive. His Dad hesitated for a moment and gave his response. The answer is your hands, son.

His Dad thought that if says, the bird is alive, his son will just squeezed his hands tight and kill the baby bird to prove him wrong. If he says the baby bird is dead, his son may be so disappointed and very unhappy of his response. The story above, implies to me that happiness is in your hands and within you. The following article attempts to answer the question of what is happiness. It was written by a Budhist philosopher, Daisuku Ikeda from Japan.

What is the purpose of life? It is to become happy. Whatever country or society people live in, they all have the same deep desire: to become happy.

A young friend of mine once spent a long time trying to work out what happiness was, particularly happiness for women. When she first thought about happiness she saw it as a matter of becoming financially secure or getting married. (The view in Japanese society then was that happiness for a woman was only to be found in marriage.) But looking at friends who were married, she realized that marriage didn't necessarily guarantee happiness.

She saw couples who had been passionately in love suffering from discord soon after their wedding. She saw women who had married men with money or status but who fought constantly with their husbands.

Gradually, she realized that the secret of happiness lay in building a strong inner self that no trial or hardship could ruin. She saw that happiness for anyone - man or woman - does not come simply from having a formal education, from wealth or from marriage. It begins with having the strength to confront and conquer one's own weaknesses. Only then does it become possible to lead a truly happy life and enjoy a successful marriage.

She finally told me, "Now I can say with confidence that happiness doesn't exist in the past or in the future. It only exists within our state of life right now, here in the present, as we face the challenges of daily life."

I agree entirely. You yourself know best whether you are feeling joy or struggling with suffering. These things are not known to other people. Even a man who has great wealth, social recognition and many awards may still be shadowed by indescribable suffering deep in his heart. On the other hand, an elderly woman who is not fortunate financially, leading a simple life alone, may feel the sun of joy and happiness rising in her heart each day.

Happiness is not a life without problems, but rather the strength to overcome the problems that come our way. There is no such thing as a problem-free life; difficulties are unavoidable. But how we experience and react to our problems depends on us. Buddhism teaches that we are each responsible for our own happiness or unhappiness. Our vitality - the amount of energy or "life-force" we have - is in fact the single most important factor in determining whether or not we are happy.

True happiness is to be found within, in the state of our hearts. It does not exist on the far side of some distant mountains. It is within you, yourself. However much you try, you can never run away from yourself. And if you are weak, suffering will follow you wherever you go. You will never find happiness if you don't challenge your weaknesses and change yourself from within.

My teacher used to talk about two kinds of happiness - "relative" and "absolute" happiness. Relative happiness is happiness that depends on things outside ourselves: friends and family, surroundings, the size of our home or family income.

This is what we feel when a desire is fulfilled, or something we have longed for is obtained. While the happiness such things bring us is certainly real, the fact is that none of this lasts forever. Things change. People change. This kind of happiness shatters easily when external conditions alter.

Relative happiness is also based on comparison with others. We may feel this kind of happiness at having a newer or bigger home than the neighbors. But that feeling turns to misery the moment they start making new additions to theirs!

Absolute happiness, on the other hand, is something we must find within. It means establishing a state of life in which we are never defeated by trials and where just being alive is a source of great joy. This persists no matter what we might be lacking, or what might happen around us. A deep sense of joy is something which can only exist in the innermost reaches of our life, and which cannot be destroyed by any external forces. It is eternal and inexhaustible.


Source: The Book of Wisdom by Daisyku Ikeda, Budhist Philosopher

Note: The article above reminds me of one of my favorite quotes "Home is not a place but in the Heart".

Quote I learned from this article: "Absolute Happiness is something we must find within, thus can not be destroyed by any external forces. It is eternal and inexhaustible ".

Do you have any favorite quotes on Happiness? Please share!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Unforgetable and Memorable First Lines from My top Ten Favorite Books


Do you read books? If so what are you favorites and why? I used to read a lot of books before I started blogging. Today, I find I had no time to read leisurely, although occasionally, I will indulge in this pleasurable activity. Below are the
first lines from famous books that I loved. They are mostly the first sentence but sometimes the following sentences are included when the first sentence is short. This list of books is a mix of classics and modern novels. My favorite is Book #1. How about you? Are you a book reader or just A TV enthusiast? I suggest that even if you are not an avid book reader, try #1, #8 or #10. It will be worth your time, I promise.


1. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,....

2. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him. Yossarian was in the hospital with a pain in his liver that fell just short of being jaundice.

3. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky: At the beginning of July, during a spell of exceptionally hot weather, towards evening, a certain young man came down on to the street from the little room he rented from some tenants in S--- Lane and slowly, almost hesitantly, set off towards K---n Bridge.

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling: Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

5. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka: As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.

6. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

8. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: Renowned curator Jacques Sauniere staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery.

9. The Godfather by Mario Puzo: Amergo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the men who had cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonor her.

10. Stupid White Men by Michael Moore: I am a citizen of the United States of America. Our government has been overthrown. Our elected President has been exiled. Old white men wielding martinis and wearing dickies have occupied our nation's capital.

Source: Andy of pubquizhelp.com

Note: How many of the above books have you read?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Three More Styles of Scam Letters, I Received Recently



Last week I posted a typical scam letter in this site. In the posting, I also included a reader response to my posting on Chain Letters. My reader informed me that he received a call about from a Man in Nigeria informing him that he won $10 million dollars in a lottery and to get his winnings he has to send a $5000 processing fee from his bank account here in US. I responded that it is a scam and he should never send a single dollar or any information about his bank account.

This week, I received three more scam letters in a different style. I am posting it for your information. Have you received similar letters recently? I am posting the three letters verbatim, that is no correction of typos and grammatical errors.

**********************************************************************************
Letter Number #1:
Good day!!

You are hereby informed through board of directors that since you are not capable to send the require fee to enable us deliver your check to your address noted and the board have submitted your check to ECOBANK OF GHANA to cash the check to avoid expire of your check of $2.5m US,dollars, which i kept for you, i went and deposited it with FEDEX as Consignment, so you have to contact them.

Below is the Deposit details.
Deposit Number: PLCC-101-PL45
Deposit Certificate N0.: 405576
Consignment Description: 1 Box Sensitive Photographic Film Material
Depositor: Rev David Owomah

Company Name:FEDEX COURIER SERVICES
The Directors name is ( DR.PARKIS TED)
Direct Telephone :+233 5487-30329
Email Address: fedex.couriercom2@hotmail.fr

Send below information to company with consignment details above.
Your full name_________________________
Your address__________________________
Your country___________________________
Your age______________________________
Your occupation________________________
Your Phone number______________________

Note that i paid for the delivering Charges except their Security Keeping Fee of $195 USD which they said no,
because they don't know when you will contact them in case of demur-rage,
So you are to pay the $195 as soon as you contact them.

Regards,
Rev.David Owomah

**********************************************************************************
Letter # 2
Hello Good Day,

It is my pleasure to reach you after our unsuccessful attempt on our business transaction. Well, I just want to use this medium to thank you very much for your earlier assistance to help me in receiving the funds

Now I am very happy to inform you about my success in getting that fund transferred. I later succeeded with the help of a new partner from South Korea Margate Freda. Now I want you to contact my secretary on her email address below and receive your compensation of $850.000.00 USD Bank Atm Master Card dollars from her;
Name Mrs. Rose Martin
E-MAIL ADDRESS ( mrsrose_martin@yahoo.co.uk )
PHONE NUMBER +226-7493-0179

Kindly send her the following below information;
Full Name:
Address:
Age:
Telephone (Mobile/Home/Office)
Occupation and Your scanned ID
Note that if you did not send her the above information complete, she will not release the Bank Atm Master Card for you because she has to be sure that you are the rightful owner of the Atm

Remain blessed,
Mr.Ugochi Frank


FROM: MR. JOHN MCFARLANE.
Finance & Credit Account Depth,
Head of Banking & Treasury.
**********************************************************************************
Letter # 3
Good Day.

TRANSFER OF £62,950,000.00 MILLION TO YOUR ACCOUNT.

I am a banker. I work in the credit and accounts Department as the Head of Banking and Treasury. This is an investment/partnership business proposal which I believe, will be of mutual benefit to both of us.

I need your co-operation to transfer the above mentioned sum of (£62,950,000.00 (Sixty Two Million Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand British Pounds Sterling) out of United Kingdom to your account. I am confident that you will give your consideration to this proposal and response positively within a short period of time. I am available to discuss this proposal with you and to answer any questions you may have in regard to this fund.

As soon as you give your positive response to this proposal, I will not hesitate in sending you the details information of this business. This transaction is 100% RISK
FREE.

If you are interested, please fill and forward me the following information as below to start the transfer process accordingly.

{1} Your Name/company's name and full address:.............
{2} Bank....................................
Name:.............................................
{3} Bank Address............................
{4} Account No:........................................
{5} Swift Code or Routing #..................................
{6} Account Holder's Name..........................
{7} Your telephone Number both Home, Office &
Cell/Mobile
and fax Numbers:..................................
{8} Your Occupation:........................................

I look forward to discussing this opportunity further with you.


Sincerely,
Mr. John McFarlane
Credit Account Depth,
Head of Banking & Treasury.
#39 Brown Road London
SW1W 0NR
Tel" +447045761447.

Note: Is there a a state or federal agency that can investigate these scam letters?
Probably there is, but they have no budget or personnel to do work. These kind of fraudulent activities are very low in their priorities. So, my dear readers beware again of SCAM letters.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Do Filipino Women Make Good Wives?



The answer to the above question is yes and no. However, in general Filipino women do become good wives if you are a good husband yourself. I am married to a Filipina who grew up in the US, and I could definitely say, she is an excellent wife, because I am a good husband. Marriage is not a one side proposition whether your mate is a Filipina or not. It takes two to make a good marriage. Speaking of marrying a Filipina, I found the following article very interesting and realistic. It is must read for those who are looking for a Filipina mate. Answer the 20 questions and calculate your score. Question #20 is my own question. If you score high, a Filipina woman is in your future and good luck!

So You Want to Marry a Filipina? Why?Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great decision for many men, but definitely not for everyone. Too often Filipinas are tossed into that broad and meaningless category of "Asian Women." Why do I say meaningless? Typically that category would include Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Malaysian women, amongst many, many others. Yet these people have different languages, different ethnicities, different religions, and different cultures. About the only thing they have in common is that they can see the same ocean if the make it to the beach.

For that reason I discourage any man from marrying a Filipina simply because he has some mythical notion (which the Internet tends to perpetuate) that all women from that area of the world are pretty much the same.

Anyway, here's a little test for you prospective husbands. There are two aims here: first, to determine how much you actually know about your prospective wife's homeland and culture, and two, to check your ability to deal with certain nuances once the marriage is official. Be honest, because you're the only person who knows your score, and there aren't any cash prizes!

1. Have you ever been to the Philippines?

2. Can you find the Philippines on a map?

3. Can you list three languages, other than English, spoken in the Philippines?

4. What are the three primary religions/denominations in the Philippines?

5. When did the Philippines become a U.S. colony? When did it become fully independent?

6. Why do Filipinos typically have Spanish names?

7. Do you plan on having children? Preferably several?

8. Are you at all reluctant to accept your new wife's family as your own, and if not, are you prepared to provide financial assistance to your new, extended family when they need it for schooling, medical care, or food?

9. Are you tolerant of superstitions?

10. Do you like soy sauce, garlic, and fried foods?

11. Do you like raw fish?

12. What is the preferred utensil when eating? Silverware, chopsticks, none?

13. Do you know how to bow properly?

14. Do you anticipate that your wife will be submissive and obedient?

15. Are you getting married basically for the sex? Be honest now!

16. If you are not Catholic, and your wife is, how will you raise your children?

17. What is the difference between a Tagalog, Ilocono, Zambal, and Visayan?

18. How does a Filipina differ from a Japanese woman? A Thai woman? Why does that make her a better choice for you?

19. Are you marrying a Filipina because you pretty much hate the women of your own country?

20. ( My own question): Do you know of anyone with Filipino roots in their ancestry?

Answers and comments:

1. Have you ever been to the Philippines? Yes=5 pts.

2. Can you find the Philippines on a map? Yes=1 pt.

3. Can you list three languages, other than English, spoken in the Philippines?

1 pt for each language. Examples: Tagalog, Ilocono, Visayan, Cebuano, Zambal, etc.

4. What are the three primary religions/denominations in the Philippines? 83% Roman Catholic, 9% Protestant, 5% Muslim. 5 pts if you selected these three correctly (percentages are not, of course, required for a correct answer).

5. When did the Philippines become a U.S. colony? When did it become fully independent? 1899, 1946. 5 pts. for each date.

6. Why do Filipinos typically have Spanish names? The Spanish Friars forced the native Filipinos to take Spanish names during the Spanish colonial period. When the Spanish arrived the local priests & friars began to baptize the local people into the catholic church and undertook the first registration of births, marriages and deaths, this way they could effectively manage their new congregations. Naturally, they did not consider names like Lapu Lapu to be very Christian, so they gave baptized them with new Spanish names. Correct answer=3 pts.

7. Do you plan on having children? How many? 1 pt for each child.

8. Are you at all reluctant to accept your new wife's family as your own, and if not, are you prepared to provide financial assistance to your new, extended family when they need it for schooling, medical care, or food? If you're prepared to help your in-laws, financially, as if they were your own family, give yourself 4 pts.

9. Are you tolerant of superstitions? Yes=2 pts.

10. Do you like soy sauce, garlic, and fried foods? Yes=5 pts, No=(-5 pts)

11. Do you like raw fish? Yes=(-5 pts). Trick question. 90% of Filipinos don't. One site visitor tells me that on Mindanao, kinilaw (with raw fish) is very popular, but if you know what kinilaw is, you shouldn't be taking this test anyway! Some Americans eat raw beef, too, but it's not the norm.

12. What is the preferred utensil when eating? Silverware, chopsticks, none? None. Finger foods include rice and just about everything else. Silverware is used selectively, and chopsticks not at all (at least no more than any American might use them). None=5 pts, Silverware=1 pt.

13. Do you know how to bow properly? Yes=(-2 pts).Trick question. Filipinos don't bow. If you were thinking of the "mano po" gesture, give yourself +2pts instead. If you don't know what that means, you don't get the points, and it wouldn't hurt you to figure it out before you meet the girl's parents!

14. Do you anticipate that your wife will be submissive and obedient? No=2 pts. Filipinas are generally non-confrontational, but that should not be mistaken as submissive. They are simply more sophisticated in getting you to do what they want you to do. They may hesitate to challenge you in front of other people, also, to save you from embarrassment. Even when you are clearly off your rocker.

15. Are you getting married basically for the sex? Be honest now! No=5 pts. Sex is part of marriage (well, most marriages), but what do you plan on doing with the other 96% of your day? She's not going anywhere, you know. She might even want to talk to you!

16. If you are not Catholic, and your wife is, how will you raise your children? Just something to think about. No points either way. You'll both have to decide, and the odds are that she's more devoted to her religion than you are to yours, so be prepared for some soul-searching on this matter.

17. What is the difference between a Tagal, Ilocono, Zambal, and Visayan? These are ethnic divisions within the Philippines, each with its own distinctive culture, foods, and language. In the last century the divisions were referred to as "tribes." But don't be misled. Tagals, Zambals, etc., are not rivals, at least not in modern times. A Filipina can maintain her local ancestral heritage and still happily remain "Filipino." Comparing these groups is not unlike comparing Southerners to Californians to New Englanders in the U.S. 5 pts if you got this one right.

18. How does a Filipina differ from a Japanese woman? A Thai woman? For one thing, unless she's from Mindanao, odds are that she's a very devoted Christian. She's probably got Spanish, Malaysian, and Chinese blood in her, and possibly even American. In general, she speaks excellent English. Filipinas come from a nation that is very western. In fact, after centuries of Spanish and American rule, the Philippines more closely resembles Mexico than Japan or China. If you got the general idea right, give yourself 5 pts. Why does that make her a better choice for you? That's for you to decide. No points.

19. Are you marrying a Filipina because you pretty much hate the women of your own country? Yes= (- 25 pts). I know that sounds like a rather draconian penalty, but you have to realize that hating an entire gender, even within the confines of a single country, just isn't reasonable. Odds are that your mom, grandmother, and sister weren't Filipinas, right? Did you hate them, too? It's one thing to say that you believe that you'll have a greater chance of finding the woman you want in the Philippines, but it's quite another to say that all the woman from your own homeland are unworthy of marriage. If you're marrying a Filipina, it should be because of who she is, not who she is not. That she isn't from your own homeland in no way guarantees she will be any more suitable for you than any other woman.

20. If he or she is a closed friend, add +5 pts. If he or she is just a casual acquaintance, add +3 pts. If you have not met any one with Filipino roots/ancestry, deduct-3 pts.

Calculating your Score (below)

60+ pts: Either you're from the Philippines or you're already married to a Filipina. If not, you certainly did your homework! Congratulations!


40-59pts: Not bad at all. I'd proceed with my plans if I were you, but it wouldn't hurt to educate yourself a little bit about the Philippines.

20-39pts: Hmmm...average showing. Well, at least you've got the knowledge and qualifications it would take to pull this off, but I think you might meditate a bit longer before committing yourself.

01-19pts: Is it Philippines or Phillippines or Phillipines? Danger! Danger!

0 and below: This can only end in disaster, you realize.


Source: www.asawa.org

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Asparagus Cure for Cancer? Truth or Fiction?



Is Asparagus a Cure for Cancer or is it a Hoax? The following two articles circulating in the Internet states it may have merits, but the articles #3 and #4 indicate it is a Hoax. Judge for yourself.

1.Article #1: "In Biblical times, herbs were one of the popular items eaten for not only nourishment, but sustenance. Now science is going back to those days to discover how the inhabitants of the earth survived without going to their non-existent local pharmacist. Whereas asparagus, an herb, has been around for 2000 years, currently there are studies which suggest that it is beneficial for curing cancer.

Beta carotene is one of the bonuses of asparagus along with the ever-welcome Vitamin C which assists the body in producing collagen. Without collagen there is no help in holding together the body’s tissues and cells.

Asparagus is a source of potassium. Its stalks are loaded with antioxidants. Potassium helps the body from losing calcium. The fiber content of asparagus makes it a natural laxative while other substances act as a diuretic and neutralize ammonia which makes us tired.

Closer analysis reveals that a half-dozen spears of asparagus contain about 50% of an adult’s recommended daily intake of foliate. Among other benefits, foliate protects pregnant mothers from their baby having neural tube defects.

The National Cancer Institute states that asparagus is one of the top-notch foods on their lists for helping the body to fight cancer. Along with containing the phyto-chemical glutathione, asparagus is high in rutin which is a recognized aid in strengthening blood vessels.

Cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine are the amino acids found in the protein glutathione and are part of the process of detoxification of the body when asparagus is eaten. Or, try some asparagus and lemon grass which are said to be a natural means of maintaining good health".

2.Article #2: ASPARAGUS – WHO KNEW?

"My Mom had been taking the full-stalk canned style asparagus that she pureed and she took 4 tablespoons in the morning and 4 tablespoons later in the day. She did this for over a month. She is on chemo pills for Stage 3 lung cancer in the pleural area and her cancer cell count went from 386 down to 125 as of this past week. Her oncologist said she does not need to see him for 3 months.

Several years ago, I had a man seeking asparagus for a friend who had cancer. He gave me a photocopied copy of an article, entitled, Asparagus for cancer 'printed in Cancer News Journal, December 1979. I will share it here, just as it was shared with me: I am a biochemist, and have specialized in the relation of diet to health or over 50 years. Several years ago, I learned of the discovery of Richard R.Vensal, D.D.S. that asparagus might cure cancer. Since then, I have worked with him on his project We have accumulated a number of favorable case histories. Here are a few examples:

Case No. 1: A man with an almost hopeless case of Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lymph glands) who was completely incapacitated. Within 1 year of starting the asparagus therapy, his doctors were unable to detect any signs of cancer, and he was back on a schedule of strenuous exercise.

Case No. 2: A successful businessman 68 years old who suffered from cancer of the bladder for 16 years. After years of medical treatments, including radiation
without improvement, he went on asparagus. Within 3 months, examinations revealed that his bladder tumor had disappeared and that his kidneys were normal.

Case No. 3: A man who had lung cancer. On March 5th 1971, he was put on the operating table where they found lung cancer so widely spread that it was inoperable. The surgeon sewed him up and declared his case hopeless. On April 5th he heard about the Asparagus therapy and immediately started taking it By August, x-ray pictures revealed that all signs of the cancer had disappeared. He is back at his regular business routine.

Case No. 4: A woman who was troubled for a number of years with skin cancer. She finally developed different skin cancers which were diagnosed by the acting
specialist as advanced. Within 3 months after starting on asparagus, her skin specialist said that her skin looked fine and no more skin lesions. This woman
reported that the asparagus therapy also cured her kidney disease, which started in 1949. She had over 10 operations for kidney stones, and was receiving government disability payments for an inoperable, terminal, kidney condition. She attributes the cure of this kidney trouble entirely to the asparagus. I was not surprised at this result, as `The elements of material medical, edited in 1854 by a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania , stated that asparagus was used as a popular remedy for kidney stones. He even referred to experiments, in 1739, on the power of asparagus in dissolving stones. Note the dates! We would have other case histories but the medical establishment has interfered with our obtaining some for the records.

I am therefore appealing to readers to spread this good news and help us to gather a large number of case histories that will overwhelm the medical skeptics about this unbelievably simple and natural remedy.

For the treatment, asparagus should be cooked before using, and therefore canned asparagus is just as good as fresh. I have corresponded with the two leading canners of asparagus, Giant and Stokely, and I am satisfied that these brands contain no pesticides or preservatives.

Place the cooked asparagus in a blender and liquefy to make a puree, and store in the refrigerator. Give the patient 4 full tablespoons twice daily, morning and
evening. Patients usually show some improvement in 2-4 weeks. It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink. This suggested dosage is based on present experience, but certainly larger amounts can do no harm and may be needed in some cases. As a biochemist I am convinced of the old saying that what cures can prevent. Based on this theory, my wife and I have been using asparagus puree as a beverage with our meals. We take 2 tablespoons diluted in water to suit our taste with breakfast and with dinner. I take mine hot and my wife prefers hers cold. For years we have made it a practice to have blood surveys taken as part of our regular checkups. The last blood survey, taken by a medical doctor who specializes in the nutritional approach to health, showed substantial improvements in all categories over the last one, and we can attribute these improvements to nothing but the asparagus drink. As a biochemist, I have made an extensive study of all aspects of cancer, and all of the proposed cures. As a result, I am convinced that asparagus fits in better with the latest theories about cancer.

Asparagus contains a good supply of protein called histones, which are believed to be active in controlling cell growth.. For that reason, I believe asparagus can be said to contain a substance that I call cell growth normalize. That accounts for its action on cancer and in acting as a general body tonic. In any event, regardless of theory, asparagus used as we suggest,is a harmless substance. The FDA cannot prevent you from using it and it may do you much good. It has been reported by the US National Cancer Institute, that asparagus is the highest tested food containing
glutathione, which is considered one of the body's most potent anticarcinogens and antioxidants.

Here's a video for additional information:




Article #3:

I recently was told by one of my phone consultees that he was making a slurry of asparagus as a treatment for his cancer. For 35 years I have been hearing about the allegedly curative properties of asparagus. There is a single scientific study from China indicated that an asparagus extract can kill some cancer cells in the test tube (Liu 2009). But the Internet story of an alleged asparagus cure both predates that, and also goes way beyond it in its claims. It has all the hallmarks of an urban myth.

The "asparagus cure" apparently originated with one Richard R. Vensal, DDS. There are thousands of references to this Dr. Vensal on the Internet, but no explanation of who he was or how he arrived at his astonishing idea. No Richard Vensal is the author of any PubMed-listed scientific articles or any books in the gigantic National Library of Medicine catalog. I do remember some articles on the topic of the asparagus cure in Prevention and other health magazines in the 1970s. But, if I remember correctly, these were unsupported by scientific studies.

The Guinea Pig Connection

Ironically, there is indeed a connection between asparagus and cancer, but it not in the manner that most people believe. The real asparagus-and-cancer story began with an observation by the research pathologist John G. Kidd (1909-1991) at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in 1953. Kidd discovered that the blood serum of healthy guinea pigs killed leukemia and a few other types of cancer in mice. A few years later Dr. John D. Broome of Texas figured out why. Guinea pigs have in their blood an enzyme called L-asparaginase, which destroys the amino acid L-asparagine. Normal cells generally manufacture their own L-asparagine, but leukemia cells are often unable to do so. They have to 'steal' their supply from normal cells.
So the idea arose of using L-asparaginase as a cancer treatment and it turned out to occasionally be dramatically effective. In 1967 Time magazine reported on the complete remission of one of the first patients to receive the drug:

"Nine-year-old Frank Hayes Jr. had been in the last stages of acute leukemia when Dr. Joseph M. Hill began giving him injections of the bacterial extract, L-asparaginase," Time reported. "Within a month, the boy's grotesquely swollen glands had shrunk, and analysis of his blood cells showed no active cancer" ("Cancer: Secret from the Guinea Pigs," Time, April 14, 1967).

Subsequent treatments were rarely as dramatic as this, but the drug was found helpful. As a result, to this day, L-asparaginase (now called Elspar) is part of the standard regimen for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) as well as some other rare tumors. The basic idea is to destroy as much of the circulating L-asparagine as possible, in order to starve the leukemic cells.

Most cancer cells, however, resemble normal cells in their ability to synthesize L-aspargine and so L-asparaginase has little activity on them. But for people with ALL and certain rare cancers eating a great many asparagus, with their abundant supply of L-asparagine, would seem to be a bad idea, especially if they are currently on a regimen containing Elspar. It would be counterproductive.

That said, I don't mean to denigrate that possibility that asparagus (like so many other plants) might some day be shown to contain helpful constituents. Last year, researchers in Nanjing, China reported the presence of a compound called Asparanin A from standard asparagus. It is "an active cytotoxic component," they said. Asparanin A arrests cell growth and also induces apoptosis (the most common form of programmed cell deaths) in human liver cancer cells. Asparanin A "shows promise as a preventive and/or therapeutic agent" against human liver cancer (Liu 2009). But this is a far cry from the claims of an asparagus cure that one finds circulating in viral fashion on the Internet these days.


Article #4:
Today I received in the e-mail a health tips item, and it was about the health benefits of asparagus, specifically, the health benefits of 'asparagus as a cancer cure'. I read through quickly, and the facts and stories presented got the better of me. I went further. I checked through the web on additional information about 'asparagus curing cancer', and whether there are contrary, or supplementary, information. And sure enough, I did find both. As it turned out, the e-mail is a hoax, and while there are truths contained in it, the danger is that there are also lies, or fabricated info stated. The e-mail is below, for your information.

Here are the debunking points that will render this e-mail a hoax, a fallacy, and while the arguments seem plausible, be wary when receiving e-mails such as this.

Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S., is an unknown guy. His name doesn't appear anywhere else, except in this hoax e-mail, or variations of it. Nobody knows whether he really is a cancer or nutrition expert, or if he holds any qualification at all.

The periodical in which this article was said to have been published, Cancer News Journal, is no longer existing. And while it did, it apparently devoted itself to "alternative" cancer therapies.

There are no peer-reviewed medical studies proving that eating asparagus alone prevents or cures cancer. Although asparagus has nutritional benefits, such as glutathione, protein (three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine), vitamin D, folic acid, the amount you get from eating asparagus is not sufficient to combat cancer alone. You still get the benefit, so eat your asparagus!

There are many other foods that offer the same, if not more, benefits, so why focus on asparagus alone? There is benefit with variety, and more so, the taste is improved, not to mention the synergized effect of a diet high in fiber, fruits and vegetables and low in fats and nitrates (salts), all of which will have maximum effect in combating cancer. Medical experts will usually recommend variations so as to conform to a balanced diet.

Finally, while it may help, dietary measures cannot replace a proper medical diagnosis and treatment of a disease, especially cancer.

Source: Blog May, 2009: Healthy Me-At Home and Away.
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