Friday, January 09, 2004

Hot Shazaam!

Is it true that when you eat celery, you burn more calories than you actually consume?

It may seem like wishful thinking to believe that such a "negative calorie" food exists, but in the case of celery, it appears to be true. According to several sources we found with a search on "celery burn calories," an 8-inch stalk of celery contains approximately 6 calories. But the mere act of digesting said stalk burns more than 6 calories, resulting in a negative caloric intake...

So, perhaps this means that if I eat like 10 lbs of celery a day and nothing else, I could actually starve myself to death? Anyone wanting to try that out?  

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Yikes! Trans Fat Hell !

From a health newsletter I receive comes this lovely bit of information. Buyer beware!

Without naming any specific restaurants or brands, here are some
of the items tested and their TFA totals:

* One slice of double-cheese pizza - about half a gram of TFA
* Large order of French fries - 4 to 6 grams
* Chicken pot pie - 5 grams
* One sour cream glazed doughnut - 5 grams
* Five chicken nuggets - almost 4 grams
* Two spring rolls - 2 grams
* "Captain's" platter of fried shrimp, fish, clams, and scallops
- 22 grams

That last one is not a misprint: 22 grams of TFA!

According to at least one research report, a daily intake of
only one gram of TFA may increase the risk of heart disease by
as much as 20 percent. And a 2002 report from the National
Academy of Sciences concluded that, "the only safe intake of
trans-fat is zero."

Don't say I didn't warn you!  

Music Players - Which One?

Lots of Players, Little Harmony Interesting article in the NY Times on the bewildering choice offered consumers today. And this article doesn't even mention Flac type formats or Ogg Vorbis. Huh, you're asking?

I like the Ipod, but it won't play WMA files and for my ears, WMA sounds just fine when recorded at 64kbps and I have quite a few tunes already recorded in that format. But it will play Audible files which are audio books that I frequently listen to and in a level 4 format which is the superior format for those books. A big plus for the Ipod. But will it serve as a voice recorder? No. Will it rip directly from a source (such as a record player,tape deck, cd player,etc?) - No. Does it have an FM tuner? No. Other makers offer many of these options, but do they offer Audible? No, most do not, so they are all pointless for me. I WANT IT ALL! Aren't any of these manufacturer's listening to me??

Let me know if you've figured out the perfect solution! As the article points out, it ain't easy!  

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Cold Mountain

Saw this movie over the past weekend. Had read the book by Charles Frazier when it first came out in '97(great book!), but had forgotten some of it. The movie brought back quite a bit, although the memory had grown foggy over the last 6 years. I'd give it 3.5 stars out of 4. The beginning battle scene at the battle of Petersburg near the end of the Civil War was awesome and hard to watch. I had remembered this particular scene from one of Jeff Shaara's books, The Last Full Measure . It made you realize how god awful war really is.

Some of the minor roles were excellently acted, almost overshadowing the major actors (Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Renee Zellweger). The preacher whom Jude Law strings to a tree in the middle of town for trying to drown a young black girl, whom he has impregnated, is great in his role. He played a draq queen in a movie with DeNiro, but his name escapes me at the moment. It's hard to overshadow Kidman though, who is so visually stunning. (Almost hard to believe you would have found anyone so beautiful lurking around back then. LOL) Zellweger turns in quite a performance as the local peasant girl who helps Kidman on her farm while Jude Law is trekking homeward across the Appalachians (some gorgeous Appalachian scenes), although at times I think she goes a bit over the top. The book was outstanding and I think the movie is certainly worth seeing. Not for young kids though (some nudity) and battle scenes and a few others would be too rough. Rated R. Great on the big screen though (what isn't, huh?).

A quote from that recaps the book: "The hero of Charles Frazier's beautifully written and deeply-imagined first novel is Inman, a disillusioned Confederate soldier who has failed to die as expected after being seriously wounded in battle during the last days of the Civil War. Rather than waiting to be redeployed to the front, the soul-sick Inman deserts, and embarks on a dangerous and lonely odyssey through the devastated South, heading home to North Carolina, and seeking only to be reunited with his beloved, Ada, who has herself been struggling to maintain the family farm she inherited. Cold Mountain is an unforgettable addition to the literature of one of the most important and transformational periods in American history. "


Sunday, January 04, 2004

Rover Lands on Mars!

NASA'S M2K4:Roaming the Red Planet Check out this very cool Flash site on the Rover mission to Mars. Watched this exciting moment on TV last night as it touched down and they had to wait about 10 minutes to finally hear the signals indicating that it was OK. You can imagine the tension in that control room.

This web site will tell you everything you want to know. Works of course quickly if you have a cable modem (broadband), but will work fine with dial-up modem, as long as you are patient. Highly recommended!

P.S. Unbeknownst to me (missed it in the news somehow), the Brits tried to land a craft on Mars on Christmas Day, but they have not yet heard back from it. For more news about that and attempts to find it, click here .

Update: I have to chuckle at a mention of the Beagle on Clive Soley's blog (I especially like the phrase "done a runner"!), "While I’m at it let’s give a quiet thought to the Beagle somewhere on Mars. That also was a great effort even if it has done a runner! A prize to the cartoonist as well who showed it following a Martian child back to his crater somewhere on Mars and saying to his mother “I don’t know where it came from - it just followed me home”!"