Monday, April 26, 2010

A Reply to the Bad Astronomer to his last post of Stephen Hawking

Yesterday night there was the premiere of the new TV series of Stephen Hawking called "Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking". I must say it was probably the best series Stephen Hawking has done so far. But this post is not about the documentaries he does, is about discussing a little bit about aliens and Phil Plait's recently posted "In which I disagree with Stephen Hawking". In his post he discusses Stephen Hawking's opinions with more opinions.

I have to say that even thou Stephen Hawking might be the smartest cookie in the globe today, it seems Phil Plait is very skeptic about his opinions and stood up to be the first contender against hawking's point of view of aliens. After I read his post I was kind of skeptical myself as well, I must say, and therefore I had to post my opinion in his blog posting this.

"To Bad Astronomer, I think that we cannot know how the aliens will look like, or what are their intentions. Just imagine ourselves as the aliens traveling through other galaxies to explore new worlds. What would our intentions be? I mean really, we haven't have the time to really think it through, we haven't been in outer the milkyway so we can't really tell what the aliens might do because we think like humans who just been to the "moon" and we just think what the aliens can possibly do, but not what humans possibly might do if we are able some day to do interstellar travel. In a logical point of view, the human rationale is only queerer than we can predict so just imagine how queerer an alien species might think logically.

We can assume that aliens might send robots to take our resources or just simply think that they were so intelligent that destroyed themselves and that's why we don't see any E.Ts visiting earth.

I think that whatever race who develops interstellar flight it doesn't mean is most likely to be doomed. It can mean progress if we take a look int he optimistic way. There can be many possible reasons for an alien to take our resources the same way there can be many possible reasons the aliens didn't make it to earth. There can't be a single reason of why we cannot think in some possible reasons to be doomed or at least some possible reason to be unique.

At the end of the day it makes no difference, everything continues forward. Life is just life where you put it and questions are just questions seeking for a logical answer. In my opinion I think is better to be prepare  for any possible threat and at the same time workout a way to be prepare for a peaceful alien visitation. There are plans for everything the same way there are ideas for the unknown but we need to realize that not all that we know about logical way of thinking is completely accurate when it comes to E.T visiting earth."

I was very skeptical after what the Bad Astronomer posted and per say, these little battles between Stephen Hawking and Phil Plait are kind of cool. I really hope Dr. Phil Plait seeks for more battles, he certainly looks like a very nice contender.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Garlic: A 360º Report in Vampirism

Today I felt like writing about something completely different from the usual stuff. This is a report based mainly in to the understanding of "garlic". By now you must be thinking, why garlic? WTH! happened to pseudo-science? Well, to not get confused with the subject. Garlic plays a very interesting role in spiritual and religious believes that have been around even before Van Helsing came with the idea of using garlic as a weapon against Count Dracula.

But, before beginning to explain and comment about the insubordination of garlic I would like to make a brief introduction to garlic for those who are not very familiar with it.

Allium Sativum, commonly known as "GARLIC" is a species in the onion family alliance. It's close relatives with the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. Throughout history garlic has been used for culinary and medical purposes.

Now, let's make a really brief explanation about the history of this sativum.

To begin with, garlic, comes from old English "garleac", meaning "spear leek". DATING back over 6,000 years ago, it is a native of Central Asia, and has long been staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Egyptians used to worshiped garlic and placed clay models of garlic bulbs in the tomb of Tutankhamen. garlic was so highly prized, it was even used as currency.

(Can you imagine! Client: "I would like two pints of beer please" Bartender:"Sure! it would be 5 garlic cloves") ROFL!

Going far forward after the Egyptians. Garlic was frowned upon foodie snobs in the United States until the first quarter of the twentieth century, being found almost exclusively in ethic dishes in working-class neighborhoods. But, in 1940, America had embraced garlic, finally recognizing its value as not only a minor seasoning, but as a major ingredient in recipes. Quaint diner slang of the 1920's referred to garlic as "Bronx vanilla, halitosis, and Italian perfume". Today, American alone consumes more than 250 million pounds of garlic annually.

(That's a lot of garlic in 1 year for 1 country).

Garlic may be applied to breads to create a variety of classic dishes such as garlic bread, garlic toast, bruschetta, crustini and canapé. Oils are often flavored with garlic cloves. These infused oils are used to season all categories of vegetables, meats, breads and pasta.

So, imagine how much stuff garlic is used just in culinary arts today. But we have to remember that garlic is not only used for gastronomic purposes. A lot of people use garlic in cooking without knowing that this herb has quite a few medical uses. AFTER some considered garlic as evil and BEFORE garlic had an important role in WWII even though penicillin had been discovered. Garlic was known to aid digestion, ward off colds, infections, expel worms, ease chest congestion, help alleviate rheumatism and cleanse the intestines, as well as hardening of the arteries, sinus problems, skin complexion, and hay fever if taken in capsule form in regular basis.

(LOL,to avoid problems. Please consult your physician for further details before taking any capsules. I don't want people dead because of what you read here. LOL).

By now, you must be asking. So how in the world Count Dracula suffered big time when garlic was around? Well, this is a very interesting question. Sadly I couldn't ask Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia personally why he hated so much the garlic. But, there is some theories about why Dracula hated garlic so much.
One theory is that garlic has been known as a mosquito repellent for centuries. Is kind of obvious that, knowing that mosquitoes suck your blood and transmit diseases thanks to their feeding tube. Is very tentative to associate a mosquito with Drake. Of course, if a mosquito has a feeding tube, Drake has his long fangs. If a mosquito sucks blood, Drake sucks blood. If a mosquito transmits malaria, Drake transmits vampirism. If in the folklore of garlic about mosquitoes being repelled by garlic was true, the folklore of garlic about Drake being repelled by garlic was also true.

(So, if you ate a clove of garlic and you have stinky breath, you are protected against vampires and mosquitoes ROTFLOL!!!).

But, all of this folklore about garlic is kind of missing something. What in the world makes garlic so special? Well, is very interesting. When you crush a garlic or also called Allim Sativum it yields "allicin" a powerful antibiotic and anti fugal compound (phytoncide). That is why garlic is so good with almost everything (Even Vampires). The taste and smell of garlic is thanks to a large number of sulfur compounds, this compounds. The most important compounds found in garlic for the taste and flavor are "Diallyl disulfide" for the odor component and "Allicin" for the hot sensation of raw garlic. 

Maybe Drake hated the components from the bottom of his heart!

In addition, when the garlic is crushed it releases this chemicals to open thermo TRP (Trasient receptor potential) channels that are responsible for the burning sense of heat in foods. The process of cooking garlic removes allicin, thus mellowing its spiciness. (A reason why garlic powder is not as strong than raw garlic).

Also, this well known phenomenon of "garlic breath" is alleged to be alleviated by eating parsley. However, some people regards this as a myth- it is no more effective than chewing any other substance (such as chewing gum).

But not to panic! if chewing parsley doesn't fix the stinky breath we must remember that garlic was a force for both, good and evil!!!! Though it is not mentioned in the bible, a Christian myth considers that after SATAN left the Garden of Eden, garlic arose in his left foot print and onion in the right. ROFLMAO!!!xD. 

But does garlic gives you gas? It can! garlic and its cousins the leek and onion, are high in inulin, a pro-biotic soluble fiber in the form of a fructose polymer that is indigestible by the human starch enzymes amylase and ptyalin; it passes straight through the human digestive system, unless digested by something else along the way. if it is digested by bacteria in the colon, gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen may be produced as a result. It`s worth nothing that garlic, leek and onion widely considered to be beneficial herbs that stimulate good health in the cultures where they are widely used. One hypothesis is because their high inulin content stimulates pro-biotic growth. 

(This brings back memories of a very recognizable saying which was: "He may forget your name, but he'll know you've been there".)

Any way, garlic has many myths an legends surrounding it (one of the main reasons I wrote about it). After all this report about vampires and garlic I learned that the effective use of garlic is no longer a myth anymore. Hey!! garlic was eaten to fight off the plague in Europe! 

So the next time you need to treat your body right consider garlic as an all around healing option.  The only side effect of garlic is "garlic breath". But I repeat talk to your doctor FIRST!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Concept: Strange Bedfellows The Target: Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a pseudoscience that has existed for more than 200 years. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, developed homeopathy in about 1796. He was dissatisfied with the conventional medicine of his time. And therefore he invented an alternative medicine,  he was tired of seeing people die because of the remedy than by the disease itself. Hahnemann did not believe in atoms, and yet, he thought that matter could be divided endlessly.

The essential method of homeopathy is to dilute a substance by reducing its concentration of it by a process called "potentization" where by as said before; is a substance getting diluted.

The substance must be diluted with alcohol or distilled water and vigorously shaken in a process called "succusion". Shaking by forceful striking.

Considering the understanding of modern biochemistry, it is paradoxical that a process of dilution would arrive at a higher potency than a lower dilution, and in some highly diluted preparations there is very low probability for even a single molecule of the original substance to be present. As a matter of fact to make things more specific. The New Age movement is found in the emphasis upon some mystical energy (called the "vital force") which, though unquantifiable, supposedly permeates the universe and is responsible for healing.

(Ironically, the same way my nose predicts a T-storm).

One of the most gathering amusing things about this subject is the way how many physicians deeply believes in  Homeopathy.

When you take a look in the internet, you can find very amusing things to read about homeopathy. There are some interesting articles written by doctors such as Dr. Peter Klay. In his article we can find how he intends to revive or just let's say, to introduce the basic principles of Homeopathy to science in a very optimistic way.

Dr. Klay explains how Homepathy can activate beneficial genes such as p53. He also explains how this "highly sophisticated molecular biological techniques" such as dilution and dynamized ( potentized) can, in fact, not only cure cancer but prevent the battle against cancer. (If I understood the article right, Of Course).

( What Dr. Klay doesn't know is that my nose can create a neutron star potentized in diluted space).

I think that Dr. Klay is not trying to consider that when  you dilute a substance and you know that the greater the dilution the most likely the dilution will not contain any molecules of the substance being diluted.

When talking about amusing you know you're talking about something funny. But, when you talk about Homeopathy acts different in different genetic blue prints is like saying that Haiti recently lost many citizens because of a Hurricane, when everybody knows it was because of an Earthquake.

New Homeopathy is the new thing in the New Age movement to the new people getting involved in the old Homeopathy. New Homeopathy compared with he old Homeopathy is diluting DNA molecules with specific nucleotide sequences, this specific nucleotide sequences it refers to SNA ( Specific Nucleotide Acids) as the New Homeopathy. Now!! after all this nonsense i'm commenting here I asked myself this question, I mean really, how could highly DNA molecules target beneficial health promoting through their sequences?

Nevertheless, according to New Homeopathy and Dr. Klay is called "Telepathic DNA".

I know it sounds very pseudo-scientific, but, not to fear!

"If it walks like a duck, and looks like a duck; and sounds like a duck, than it probably is a duck". To what extent does homeopathy look like a complete QUACK, QUACK, QUACKERY? Let me rephrase the so called telepathic DNA and SNA invention of Dr.Klay and his stooges to clear the faulty logic.

The first example of SNA argument shown in Dr. Klay's article just show the fact that homeopathy does not guarantee validity because in first place, the more diluted a substance the more it loses its properties and second, just imagine the quantity and assortment  of substances to dilute and actually recognize each and every single one of their DNA structures to make it recognize our own sequence! ENDLESS!!!!

Per say, I'm not saying is impossible I'm just saying that you can't really tell when a grain of salt is going to communicate with your hair to heal your toe. Even WORST! diluting salt with hair to hear your toe.

The paper of "DNA double helices recognize mutual sequence homology in a protein free environment" is, in fact, very interesting. However, from that paper written by Baldwin GS, Brooks NJ, Robson RE, Wynveen A, Goldar A, Leikin S, Seddon JM, Kornyshev AA. and to call it homeopathy is "non sequitur". Yet again, when diluting chocolate with mil and adding more milk to try to make it taste more like chocolate is not a logical way of thinking.

I just hope that my nose doesn't lose power when homeopathy strikes it with "homeovitality" power.

"The only thing necessary for quackery to succeed is for intelligent people to do nothing"

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