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Peanut butter satiation Thu, Mar 31, 2011
I made some changes to my diet recently, and one of the immediate downsides was that no matter how much I ate and how full I felt, I never felt satisfied.  Someone recommended peanut butter because it has a good fat-to-carb ratio or something like that.  Sure enough, peanut butter is a great satiator (that's not a word; I just created it).  I eat spoonfuls of it at various times throughout the day, and it magically takes my hunger away.  Hence my concern regarding aflatoxins. #food

iPod podcast sorting (2) Wed, Mar 30, 2011
My iPod sorts podcasts in reverse chronological order, i.e. newest ones first.  This is a dumb system in my opinion, since many of the podcasts I listen to are news shows and other date-sensitive stuff that only makes sense when listened to chronologically.  But oh well.  There's no way to change this, so I'll move on to the next problem:  Changing the sort order of podcasts added from external sources (i.e. not iTunes).  I have several spoken word mp3s that I like to consider to be podcasts (one of which is an audio version of the Bible), but they weren't added through iTunes; they were ripped from CDs or downloaded from various websites.  When these mp3s were added to iTunes and classified as podcasts, they were sorted in some unintuitive, undocumented way.  And no, it's not based on file name, track number, date added or anything else.  After some digging, I found that it actually all depends on an iTunes-specific mp3 tag called "RELEASETIME".  The way to utilize this is to get a program like Mp3tag that can edit "Extended Tags," add the RELEASETIME tag in the form of "2000-01-01T12:00:00Z," and go from there.  For a chronological list of mp3s, change any part of the date (I changed the seconds) so that each successive mp3 has a chronologically different date.  But remember that since iPods sort the way they do, you should use the earliest date for the last file in the list, and go up the list from there.  Finally, in iTunes, right-click on each file you just modified and select "Get Info" so that iTunes realizes the file was changed. #technology

Emotion sponge Wed, Mar 30, 2011
I learned recently that my wife is often unintentionally, subconsciously affected by my negative emotions, even when they're not specifically directed at her.  So if I'm stressed out from work, or angry at someone who cut me off driving home, she's negatively affected, almost like she's absorbing my negativity.  In fact, it turns out it's a two way street; I'm also an emotion sponge. #psychology

Harold Camping's prediction (13) Tue, Mar 29, 2011
Harold Camping, a radio evangelist and preacher, has predicted that the Second Coming of Christ will happen on May 21, 2011.  That's fine and all, but I feel the need to hold people accountable when they make claims like this.  If he's right, the world will end, or all Christians will spontaneously disappear, or something tremendous and unmistakable like that will happen (if so, repent and believe!).  If he's wrong, we humans, as a collective group of intelligent, logical people, should all agree to never listen to him again.  It's that simple.  It's not like predicting the weather, where meteorologists say there's a 20% chance of rain or something.  The end of the word is a little more important than the daily weather.  As such, people who make predictions about the end times should be rated according to how right they are.  So far, everyone ever in the history of everything is ranked 0.  We'll see if that changes. #religion

Cows vs. sharks Mon, Mar 28, 2011
As with many times in the past, today I gained valuable new information from Ripley's Believe It Or Not, which is found on the comics page of your local newspaper:  Statistically, you're more likely to be killed by a cow than a shark.  Cracked explains that it's more about the fact that people spend a lot of time with cows and not much time with sharks, rather than the fact that cows mistake you for food and try biting your legs off. #entertainment

Aflatoxin Thu, Mar 24, 2011
Aflatoxins are naturally-occurring fungi-produced toxins that are found on foods like corn and peanuts and are known to cause liver cancer.  Developing countries are most at risk, but thankfully the FDA tests for these substances and has certain stated limits for ingestion.  This is of particular interest to me because of the frightening quantity of peanut butter I eat on a daily basis.  It's easy to find murmurs on internet message boards about how [X] food causes [Y] deadly problem, and this is no exception, but since there are so few (or perhaps no) documented cases of aflatoxicosis due to peanut butter ingestion, I'll continue eating it to my heart's content. #food

Radioactive bananas Thu, Mar 24, 2011
Bananas are a good source of potassium, but some of that potassium comes in the form of the radioactive isotope potassium-40.  Thankfully the human body does a good job of self-regulating the amount of potassium it stores, so there isn't really a chance for a deadly buildup.  And just because bananas contain a radioactive substance doesn't mean they're unhealthy.  Different radioactive elements affect the body in different ways, so potassium-40 from bananas won't affect a person the same way as uranium-238 from a nuclear reactor.  Other foods with naturally-occurring radiation include Brazil nuts, carrots, potatoes, and lima beans. #food

Real cinnamon Wed, Mar 23, 2011
LA Times on cinnamon (via Mental Floss): 
There are actually two spices known as cinnamon. Both come from the dried bark of evergreen trees of the Lauraceae (laurel) family. True or Ceylon cinnamon comes from Cinnamomum zeylanicum, a tree native to Sri Lanka and the southwestern coast of India along the Arabian Sea... The less expensive Chinese cinnamon, otherwise known as cassia, comes from the related tree C. aromaticum and is produced more widely. From China it is exported as Kwangsi, Yunnan and Honan cinnamon; from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam as Saigon cinnamon; and from Indonesia as Korintje, Padang and Vera cinnamon. Most of the cinnamon imported by the United States is cassia.
Whoa.  "Brown sugar and cassia" doesn't evoke nearly the feeling of elation that comes with the phrase "brown sugar and cinnamon." #food

The Beanie Babies Bubble Wed, Mar 23, 2011
Mental Floss has an interesting re-post about the Beanie Babies Bubble of the late 1990s.  I personally never participated in this elite investment opportunity, and I remember thinking at the time how ridiculous it was to believe a collection of stuffed animals would produce a good return for your money.  People are stupid. #lifestyle

ADHD and diet Wed, Mar 23, 2011
A recent scientific study has shown that 64% of children diagnosed with ADHD are actually experiencing a reaction to certain foods they eat.  They can undergo a fairly simple though rigorous test to determine (a) if they've been misdiagnosed with ADHD, and (b) if so, what specific foods cause their hypersensitivity. #health

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