Tag Archives: science

Yes, I’m “Detoxing” with Apple Cider Vinegar

No, I’m not fasting. No, I’m not planning to drink vinegar cocktails every day for the rest of my life.

Yes, I feel better.

For the serious science on vinegar in general, and for the current crunchy take, there are your links.

Basically, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is lauded in the fight against allergies, dull hair, skin problems, fatigue, diabetes, toxic buildup and, my favorite, cancer! It’s also limited as a miracle cure by a lack of hard scientific evidence.  Of course, that’s true of many natural/home remedy type agents. We just don’t know, really. Risks seem minimal, though low potassium, bone trouble and bladder cancer have all been mentioned, but not in the context of short-term, moderate use.

My reason for doing this is not that I believe it will make me live forever or even be in perfect health today. The thing is, it’s not going to hurt me, and it’s getting me to drink more water. It’s also a proactive ritual that’s part of my determination to get back on the health wagon, so to speak. The holiday season made me a bit squishy, in every sense of the word, and adhering to some sort of “detox” routine is part of my counter attack.

As always, good health is about a mindset, and not following a bunch of formulated Do-Don’t lists. My goal is physical and mental calm – not to cheat the Reaper.

Along with the ACV regimen, I’ve slashed the sweets and booze intake, upped the whole, fresh foods and started exercising again. Wherever credit may be due, I’m feeling more energetic, enjoying better digestion, less anxious and just feel… cleaner overall. I realize the ACV might be the least important factor, but, as a healthy ritual, it’s helping me stay on track.

If you hate vinegar, you’d probably hate the concoction I’ve been imbibing daily for the last week:

  1. Every day, shortly after getting up, I put the kettle on and grab my jar of raw honey.
  2. I put about 1/3 tablespoon of honey into a large drinking glass, along with small dashes of cayenne pepper and cinnamon.
  3. I add the boiling water to fill the glass – about a pint or so.
  4. I drop in one tablespoon of lemon juice and one to two tablespoons of ACV, stir and sip.

It’s all based on the Bragg’s ACV drink recipe and a few others I checked out.

This is something I’ve wanted to try for a while, and what better time than the kickoff of 2015? What are you doing to take on the year?

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Filed under Health, Recipes

“A Level of Connectivity”

the carina nebula

The Carina Nebula

Those of you who’ve been visiting for a while likely remember my passion for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and its predecessor from 1980.

Lately, I’ve had a hankering to watch the episodes again. Not sure if it’s the cooler weather, or just the way Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson spin tales of science and history in such assuring, calm voices.

Maybe it something to do with humankind landing on a comet. Whaaaaaaaaaaat?!?

I was reminded of all this the other day when a friend shared a brief statement from NDT – puts a few things back into perspective, and makes me feel connected to the planet, the universe, and you.

Cosmos is on Netflix now. I highly recommend it for group or solitary viewing on those long winter nights, when we simply can’t be outside staring at the stars ourselves. How incredible that we have such information and imagery available to us.

Also, today would have been my dad’s 69th birthday. I’m certain he would have been a big fan of the new Cosmos, and in that thought I have a whole new level of connectivity.

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Vampire Stiinta

vampire man fangs woman neck

This time of year is about celebrating the spooky, the scary and embracing the fears that make us all human.

Of course, I might be a touch excited, because I’m about to go to New Orleans, and everyone knows that city is awash with vampires – revenants, Nosferatu, the undead. Never sparkly; never vegetarian. These Ricean beasts characterize NOLA, and I can’t wait to reconnect with them in my 16 year old imagination, and mentally run a little wild in the heat of the swampy south.

But, of course, I’ve also learned a few things about where these creatures came from, and why they so haunt us, even after their reworkings and mainstreaming at the hands of certain authors. Also, it’s Wednesday. So, science!

Following are links describing various musings on why vampires are with us. Some suggest they only exist in the mind, while others proclaim they walk among us for real. All are entertaining:

The Science of Vampirism

The Science Behind the Myths: Are There Clinical Explanations for Vampires, Zombies or Werewolves?

Rabies: A Possible Explanation for the Vampire Legend

Vampire Science: Young Blood Recharges Old Brains

New Orleans Vampire Association

So much more is out there on this stuff. You will quickly see that vampires are a lot more than monsters born of superstitious mentality.

Now, for something a little more romantic, or at least completely scientifically unhinged, check out my own attempt at vampire fiction.

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Filed under Science, Seasonal

Required Watching

Cosmos eye in the sky logo opening

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me once again mention the new Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson and an amazing opportunity for free, entertaining education.

Three episodes have now aired, and are available to you, without commercials, online 24/7. Adults and children alike are experiencing the beautiful and fascinating presentation of science and humanity that is Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Happily, so much more is to come. Like, 10 more episodes to come.

I’ve enjoyed all of it immensely, even those times that I tried to watch late at night and ended up falling asleep. NDT has a very soothing voice… it’s like the universe’s best bedtime story. The visual, audio and content are just beyond words. This stuff is epic – and real.

Further, I feel I owe it to myself, my daughter and my society to participate in this happening. Although the subject matter is literally, in part, light years away, numerous aspects of it take place within our atmosphere, and within our bodies. The work that people like Tyson are doing enlivens the past, clarifies the present and, hopefully, guides our future. Maybe a grade-school viewer will be inspired to help us one day breathe cleaner air. Maybe a high school babysitter will share some of what she’s learned with wide-eyed charges. Maybe someone who’s never heard the real, undeniable facts of evolution will encounter a new, fuller kind of spiritual experience. Cosmos provides the opportunity, and we have the choice to seize it.

All you have to do is watch.

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Filed under Current Events, Science

She *Should* Be Blinding Us With Science, But…

historical female science figures drawingSome of my favorite women are graduate and post-doctoral level scientists and science educators.

Whether or not they know it, they are inspiring me to encourage my daughter to not only advance her education, but also investigate, question and hypothesize. If you’re reading this, science-smarty lady-friends, I thank you.

It’s no secret that women are under-represented in the areas of math and science. For my part, I did alright in both of them, though less so as I moved into later high school. I also happened to display an early aptitude for writing, and so was always encouraged in that direction.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered an awe for the natural world. Instead of arty movies about poets, I choose dinosaur and astrophysics documentaries. This isn’t to say that I fully grasp them – far from it. But I can’t help but think a different pedagogical approach might have nudged me and some of my female peers to at least give science careers a try.

Continue reading

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The Fish and The Stars

sun ocean clouds space view My curiosities wriggle to the depths of the oceans,

And flit to the height of the stars.

Sharing niceties with the fish,

And begging secrets of the planets.

Listening to Sagan as if in a dream,

And hoping his sentiments do not go unheard.


Musing a little as we hear that NASA’s Voyager 1 is officially the first human-made object to leave our solar system and enter interstellar space. Wooooooooooow. Words fail. Astounded. To only imagine what might be found… or what might find Voyager.

We watched some “tribute” videos of Carl Sagan this week, and were again put into that dreamy, inspired trance that his intonation and knowledge always impart. Science and humanity take on new meaning when spoken of by such a sage.

Also, because it’s pretty, and because stars… and fish:

red gray starfish under water

Also, because cosmic fish (the only clip of this I could find):



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Filed under Current Events, New Story

Prepare – NDT and Cosmos Cometh

The new Cosmos is coming. Few things are as mind blowing, and potentially perception changing, as this series. It’s science, history, humanity and the future, all wrapped into a presentation by the greatest minds of our time.

For NDT nerds, I expect this to be an especially monumental event. The trailer is thrilling, and almost makes one emotional with the anticipation of the knowledge it will share.

If you never saw the Carl Sagan original:

Get ready.

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