Saturday, December 12, 2015

Live Long and Fart Long

A recent study by Stanford University has concluded that farting can help you to shed some of those unwanted pounds. One fart burns 67 calories, so if a person farts 52 times then they can effectively burn 1 pound of unwanted fat.
     In addition to that, Hydrogen Sulfide, the chemical compound that gives farts their awful smell may actually be good for you. The chemical compound is toxic in large enough quantities, but in small doses it gives cells just what they need to protect mitochondria.
     Dr. Matt Whiteman of the University of Exeter says that diseased cells draw in enzymes to create small quantities of the compound, which helps keep the mitochondria going and the cell alive. Basically if the mitochondria quit the cell dies.
     According to their study protecting mitochondria could be a key factor in preventing and reversing the effects of many conditions including heart disease, diebetes, dementia, and stroke. Some scientist is the UK are beginning to say that Hydrogen Sulfide might be the new health care hero of the 21st century.
     In fact they are developing a new compound called AP36, which will help to ensure that mitochondria receive Hydrogen Sulfide.

     “People say it is rude. But it’s your life, not theirs. If they want to be overweight and die early, that’s their choice. But if you want to live long, fart long,” explained Robert Hingle, lead researcher at Stanford University.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dealing With Illness and injury

     I recently went to an event that, big shock, was cold and rainy. That didn't stop me and my fellow warriors from having fun. We still battled between the stop and go spats of rain slipping and falling in wet grass and mud. Needless to say it was a blast.
     Afterwards when I got home I started feeling a tickle in my throat. The tickle turned into a cough, the cough brought his friend sneezy along for the ride, sneezy of course brought gobs of gross yellow goo, and before I knew what was what I was in a world of hurt. I had the full blown thing going on by then headache, stomach churning, throat burning, and pretty much aching all over.
     Now at this point many people have the knee jerk reaction to go to the doctor, and that isn't a bad choice but it does cost money. I grew up in a house that didn't believe in running to the doctor every time we got a boo boo or a sniffle. That doesn't mean suffer with illness until it gets so bad that you end up in the hospital either. There are some good common sense steps to take when dealing with illness and minor injury. Now mind you I am not a doctor, but the stuff I am about to outline is more common sense stuff than medical in nature. If you feel like your illness is serious by all means go to the doctor, but if it is just a minor boo boo or a sniffle save your money and take these steps. Even if you choose to go to the doctor following these common sense steps can expedite your recovery and compliment your doctors treatment very well.
     I like to think of my body like a walled city when I am ill or injured. The city is surrounded by an army of germs that want to get in and destroy it. ("But wait," you say, "You are already ill or injured. The germs are already inside.") If you ever watch a movie about a siege the enemy is trying to breach the walls, sneak in the gate, or climb over the wall with a small force to damage or destroy the enemies defenses. The soldiers of the city find themselves fighting both inside and outside the city. It is more difficult to deal with than just focusing on the problem of ridding the body of its invaders.
   So one thing that I do while ill or injured is pay extra attention to hygiene. It seems simple enough but when I am sick often don't feel like getting out of bed. I know that I am feverish and sweating. I can smell my own B.O. I'm coughing up gobs of disgusting goo or maybe even vomiting. All of this is natural. It is your bodies internal defenses attempting to drive the invaders out of the city but it is also terribly messy and it weakens our external defenses. So I help things along. I take showers, I brush my teeth, floss, and I use antiseptic mouth wash to kill the germs. If I have open wounds I keep them clean and use triple antibiotic ointment on them. Basically I do every thing I can to stop the army of germs outside of my body from getting in through my weakened defenses.
     I get lots of rest and I try to keep warm. It might not seem like it but your body is working overtime to rid itself of disease. It takes a lot of energy, which is one reason that people often lose weight while they are ill.
     I pay attention to nutrition and hydration. Often when I am ill I don't want to eat. Especially if I am vomiting. I drink lots of fluids and eat something if I can keep anything down. Sometimes this can be a challenge if the stomach is not cooperating. I find the BRAT diet to be effective when dealing with an upset stomach. Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are a bland diet that is easy to keep down. I'm also a fan of chicken noodle soup. Just remember the troops are fighting inside your city and they need plenty of water and nutrients to keep them going. Drinks that contain electrolytes are also a good idea. Take care of the troops and they will take care of you.
     I let my bodies natural defenses work normally. A lot of people freak out when they get a fever. I don't. A fever is the bodies response to disease. It raises its core temperature in an attempt to kill the bacteria with heat. So I monitor my fevers and let them run their course unless they start to climb to high. I'm not against using medications like tylenol, but I won't take them until my temperature rises above 101. Why that temperature you may ask. Well my reasoning is that a temp of 103 is considered dangerous. At 103 the brain can be damaged if it continues to long. If temperature is climbing then it can take a while for meds to kick in so I get preemptive and take something as soon as it climbs above 101.
    If the body is a walled city the mouth is the front gate. I know that I have talked a little already about oral hygiene but I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to guard the front gate so to speak. Good oral hygiene goes a long way toward maintaining good health. I want to talk specifically about using mouth wash and gargling. I find that when I have lots of nasty goo from drainage that gargling Hydrogen Peroxide not only disinfects but also helps to break things loose. Hydrogen Peroxide eats mucus so I find that when I gargle it it tends to allow me to evacuate the stubborn stuff that I have been trying to cough up.
     I also clean out the sinuses. I use a waterpik sinusense to do this. I used to have a lot of trouble with sinus infections before I found out about this but not anymore. The sinusense shoots a stream of saline solution into the nasal passage which flushes out the entire passage. This keeps the nasal passage clean and prevents infectious drainage from getting into the throat. Follow the manufacturers recommendation if you decide to pick one up.
   Cuts and scrapes can become entry points for infection. It is super important to keep wounds clean, bandaged, and dry. When I say dry I'm not talking about the act of washing but of long term exposure to moisture. Triple antibiotic ointment and antiseptics like Hydrogen Peroxide or alcohol are useful tools for accomplishing this. An untended wound that becomes infected should be considered a serious issue. I recommend seeking medical attention if this ever happens to you.
     Well that is about all that I have to say about the topic. I know that with the weather turning cold that flu and cold season sets in. Just remember to take care of your self. Have a happy thanksgiving.



Sunday, September 27, 2015

My havoc garb adventure

This weekend I attended Hollow's Havoc VI and had an awesome time, but in the rush of loading my car I made a classic mistake. I forgot my garb.  That's right I found myself 2 hours from the house and already running late for the event and nothing to wear. I considered going home and calling it a disappointment. I thought about going in and see if a friend had a loaner, but a very simple and inexpensive solution came to mind. I rolled into Walmart and bought a yard of the cheapest fabric they had and a pair of scissors. So for right around $4 I was able to create a very simple Tabard. No it wasn't pretty. After all I just split the fabric in half and made a place for my neck to go through by tying it back together at the corners. In retrospect buying 2 yards would have been better.  Then i could have just cut a neck hole and used it. Either way I hid my street clothes and got to fight on.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Were the Vikings victims of propaganda?

During the ninth and tenth centuries Europe was plagued by invasions. Magyars from the east, Muslims from the south, and Vikings from the north put a great deal of pressure on European civilization. Vikings showed remarkable ingenuity expanding north into Russia, the continent of North America, England, Italy, and even to Constantinople.
While they most certainly could be savage, they were not just savages. They had a rich culture and were highly adept at trade. The tools and tactics used by vikings were complex and effective. The long ships they utilized were well designed capable of both handling the high seas and of navigating inland on rivers. They were faster and more maneuverable than anything any one else had on the water at the time.
They showed no preference between trade, piracy, or raiding. They often did not invade with the goal of conquering and occupying territory. Rather they seemed motivated by profit and would utilize whatever method was best afforded to them by a given opportunity to gain it. They had a knack for striking at the most vulnerable targets at the most opportune time, then vanishing before the local authority could muster their forces to respond.
Vikings plundered places where money and goods could be found and being non-Christians had no problem with targeting churches and monasteries. Churches at the time were rich in precious metals that were difficult to find else where so they became prime targets for the Vikings. The clergy were among the few who could read and write during this period so their writings would often paint Vikings in the worse light possible.
Clergy described their attacks as horrific and disastrous. They described Viking warriors as barbaric, violent, and evil. Many of the images that carry on to this day are a result of these writings like the depiction of the Viking with horns on his helmet going so completely berserk in battle that he would kill both friend and foe in his battle frenzy or the description of the blood eagle as a form of ritualized execution. This was an obvious attempt to demonize the Viking with the addition of horns and indiscriminate blood lust. Today their is debate about whether any of these depictions had any basis in reality.
While Vikings most certainly could be savage and brutal they were not alone in this. The same could be said of any of Europe’s invaders and of the local lords and kings. Obviously the tales of Clerics were biased propaganda designed to paint the Viking in the worse light possible. One good example deals with the town of Dorestad which clergy blamed the Viking for removing from the trade route, but which we now know historically happened because the river changed course.
Viking raids most certainly hurt communities in the short term, but in the long term some believe they aided in Europe’s recovery. The precious metals the church’s had been hoarding were minted into coins and put back into the economy. The trade routes that they opened helped to spread all of that coin around. Many communities that had degenerated into barter trade (a system which offers no room for economic growth) for lack of coin suddenly found themselves with new opportunities open to them. This eventually opened opportunities for intercontinental trade that helped to revitalize Europe’s economy.

So while it is true that Viking raids did destroy trade centers and cause destruction, they also built new trade centers that were superior to the one’s they displaced. While it may seem barbaric to raid churches they took precious metals being hoarded by the church and reintroduced them back into the economy and they managed to reopen trade with the east that had collapsed with the fall of the Roman Empire. Yes, the Vikings had their faults but they were not the depraved, the ignorant savages often depicted in imagery.