Tag Archives: health

Newsflash!

I can’t sleep. This isn’t so much what you’d call good. To pass the time and hopefully bore myself into unconsciousness I decided to watch some news on the internet. The last story I saw was particularly enlightening. Researchers in Britain have found that the average person can add about fourteen years to their life if they do the following:

1) Cut back on alcohol.

2) Eat a diet of mostly fruits and vegetables.

3) Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes per day.

Great research there. Genius scientists of the world, I implore you. Find a way I can live fourteen more years without fricking giving up everything that makes life worth it.

Thanks in advance,

Bitterman

Book Recommendation: Army Survival Manual

A while back somebody posted a request for book recommendations. At the time I couldn’t think of a good non-fiction one. I can think of several good non-fiction books, but most of them are too specialized for the general public to read. The DSM-IV, for example. It’s a great read, and an absolute must for some, but for the average person? Not so much with the useful.

But I was looking over my shelves today, and I saw the perfect book to recommend:

FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual

This is a great book. It’s chock full of information on interesting and useful topics like finding food, building shelter, basic medical and sanitary practices in the field, signaling for help, and plenty more besides. The prose is straightforward, practical, yet confident and authoritative. One of the best parts about this book is its effort to familiarize the reader with the rudiments of survival in nearly any situation, including what to do if your plane crashes into an oil fire at sea. There are sections for jungle, arctic, mountain, and desert survival techniques. What more can you ask for? There are a few sections that seem glossed over, such as evading enemy patrols (this subject is given very light treatment), but overall great book. Highly recommended.

Bad Blood

In the last 4 years, I’ve lost almost 35lbs. I’ve done that by changing my diet to include less junk and more lean meats, vegetables, and whole grains and by running at least 3 times a week. I’ve recently added strength training to the list healthy things I do. So, it’s with these things in mind that I wonder what my cholesterol levels were 4 years ago.

I recently had a routine physical, which included blood work. Apparently, my total cholesterol is 244 (high risk) and my LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) is 162 (high, but not highest, risk) . Those levels should be below 200 and 100, respectively.

What the heck? There might be a hereditary component to this problem, but how much can that really account for? What more do I need to do to not be a future heart attack statistic?

Cigarettes Are Evil

Some good (but not great) news:

“A federal judge ruled yesterday that tobacco companies have violated civil racketeering laws, concluding that cigarette makers conspired for decades to deceive the public about the dangers of their product and ordering the companies to make landmark changes in the way cigarettes are marketed.”

“But U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said that under a 2005 appellate court ruling, she could not impose billions of dollars in penalties that had been sought by the Justice Department in its civil racketeering suit against the eight defendant tobacco companies.”

“All she could do, she said, was try to deter future illegal acts by the companies, and to that end, she ordered them to stop using terms such as ‘low tar,’ ‘light’ and ‘mild’ and to undertake a massive media campaign in an effort to correct years of misrepresentations.”

“It is a penalty that will cost the industry millions of dollars — a fraction of the cost of sanctions the companies faced at the outset of the case, when the Justice Department sought $280 billion from the industry.”

Meanwhile, Big Tobacco is still trying to make cigarettes more addictive than heroin.

“The amount of nicotine in most cigarettes rose an average of almost 10 percent from 1998 to 2004, with brands most popular with young people and minorities registering the biggest increases and highest nicotine content, according to a new study.”

“Nicotine is highly addictive, and while no one has studied the effect of the increases on smokers, the higher levels theoretically could make new smokers more easily addicted and make it harder for established smokers to quit.”