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Category: science

08/26/10 02:05 - 63.ºF - ID#52571

Clinical strength trash

I am really uneasy about all this rampant advertising for "Clinical Strength" antiperspirants everywhere.

First, the safety of aluminium compounds is still under question. Second, do doctors here really prescribe such high concentrations of aluminium for local use? I haven't been to a dermatologist recently - does anyone know if this is true? Doesn't medical advice usually consist of preventive approaches to body odour - such as diet change and more water intake?? And couldn't excessive sweating be a sign of other things that might be wrong - such as loss of temperature control because of obesity or excessive stress?

If this level of aluminium in a local application is indeed prescription-based, then is it really advisable to drum it up for everyone?! I won't ask if these antiperspirants have FDA approval because the scientific evidence for or against aluminium is far from conclusive. However, I am very uneasy about these deodorant companies pushing a compound which potentially might have carcinogenic (or other disease-causing) effects.

This illustrated mechanism of these "clinical strength" antiperspirants does little to win my confidence in these products. It is so creepy that they are using this graphic to promote use of these products not only in the morning but additionally at night as well.
(From )

Sweating is a key element of several homeostatic processes in the body. These antiperspirants clearly block your sweat/sebaceous glands. Blocking the secretions of any gland results in backing up of secretions and quite possibly, interferes with all these homeostatic processes. Why on earth would anyone want to intentionally invite such complications? Body odour is primarily caused by bacteria that break-up proteins into certain smelly amino acids. It seems to me that blocking the glands that produce sweat, while keeping the surface dry, would only promote a local environment more prone to infections and ill-health internally.

Aggressive marketing of these high aluminium antiperspirants looks like a classic example of the wrong and ill-advised approach to a problem that can be resolved in better ways. Instead of drinking more water, switching to plant-based proteins, avoiding a high-meat diet and wearing natural-fibre air-circulation-enhancing clothes - which will naturally reduce body odour and promote gland-health, we are busy covering up the consequences of our poor eating habits with dodgy "clinical strength" trash.
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Permalink: Clinical_strength_trash.html
Words: 412
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/26/10 08:19

Category: e:strip

08/23/10 04:35 - 65.ºF - ID#52547

Location Location Location

At this rate, the population density at Niagara Square will soon outstrip the heart of Chandni Chowk.
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Permalink: Location_Location_Location.html
Words: 18
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/23/10 04:35

Category: the odes

08/19/10 11:01 - 74.ºF - ID#52477

Chuck Norris CAN believe

that it's not butter.


But I can't believe that
I share my birthday with HIM!

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Permalink: Chuck_Norris_CAN_believe.html
Words: 17
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/19/10 11:01

Category: eating in

08/19/10 08:34 - 75.ºF - ID#52476

Wishful Dinner

What I would really like to make for dinner today...

But didn't.

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Permalink: Wishful_Dinner.html
Words: 14
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/19/10 08:34

Category: the odes

08/18/10 08:59 - 66.ºF - ID#52467

Bread Crust

As a kid, I always liked the brown crusty edges of bread and the two extreme-end slices (that are completely crusty on one side) way more than the white portion. Even now, I really like the brown bits and eat them first.


No one else in my family liked bread enough to eat it so I had no idea that many people actually prefer to throw the brown crusty edges out when they make sandwiches. I am constantly amazed whenever some kid makes a fuss about the edges. Surely everyone knows the crust is the most delicious part of any bread!!? If I were given a choice, I would like all my slices to be the extreme-end slices.

PS: Extreme-end slices toasted with a hint of hummus, mint sprigs and raw crispy red onions. Mmmm...
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Permalink: Bread_Crust.html
Words: 138
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/18/10 09:03

Category: science

08/12/10 12:56 - 75.ºF - ID#52418

What are the right questions?

How do you know you are asking the right questions in research? I was in a fascinating meeting with a brilliant basic science researcher at Roswell recently. I went in with my ideas and background and after the discussion, came out with a virtual unique-coloured lens that lends an entirely new perspective to what I thought I knew before.

There are infinite ways to look at a problem. And of course, there are infinite problems. So in the midst of all this infinity, how do you pick the one problem, the one perspective that really will go forward and help the patients? How?

If you trawl through NIH RePORT website you will be amazed at how many billions and billions of dollars have been awarded to the vast landscape of researchers and institutions across the board. Research has become an industry. But what are the products that this industry is so industriously producing? How many of these generously funded projects are actually making any tangible positive impact on what an average patient with cancer is going through? Are we even thinking of this patient?

Is it possible to think of the patient when you are dabbling in population research and you can't really say anything with a lot of certainty about any one individual? I thought about all of this after the meeting. There are so many ways I could dissect what I know. How would I really know which approach is the correct one that will perhaps lead me a smidgen closer to my personal objective? Time will tell - but I wish there were some kind of certainty today and at this very moment.

I could present a counter argument to my own thoughts that Science is always a quest towards the unknown - and so it is perhaps prudent not to look at the ends too much. But I am conflicted about treating Science as an abstract entity. I want to be involved and productive in Science that has a tangible practical impact on people who need it the most. I am just not clear about the path to this personal Nirvana, though. This lack of clarity worries me... I need to work out a way to cut through some of this smog of consciousness.

Meanwhile, I am loving this speech by Atul Gawande. Even more entertaining are the comments. Spot on!

You don't know where the solar plexus is? Really? It lies tangent to the velluvial matrix, just below the avorial passages.

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Permalink: What_are_the_right_questions_.html
Words: 447
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/12/10 12:05

Category: the odes

08/11/10 11:14 - 76.ºF - ID#52417


I have seen the swallow-dance incorporated into so many films and videos, but I think this is probably right up there among my favourites.

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Permalink: Amazing_.html
Words: 27
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/11/10 11:15

Category: eating in

08/08/10 02:39 - 82.ºF - ID#52397

My blender jar just shattered

I was expecting the motor to give way before this happened.

I knew this day would come, with all the torture I put it through but it's depressing, nevertheless.

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Permalink: My_blender_jar_just_shattered.html
Words: 31
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/08/10 03:11

Category: art

08/06/10 11:06 - 63.ºF - ID#52378

Lights. Art. Music!

The gorgeous opening sequence of the Pillars of the Earth.

With an awesome score by Trevor Morris.
Without the SFX


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Permalink: Lights_Art_Music_.html
Words: 30
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/08/10 03:10

Category: the odes

08/04/10 10:34 - 77.ºF - ID#52365

French Press Mesh Vs. Permanent Mesh Filter

The wikipedia entry on the French Press reads...

A French press consists of a narrow cylindrical beaker usually made of glass or clear plastic, equipped with a lid and a "plunger", made of metal or plastic, which fits tightly in the cylinder and which has a fine wire or nylon mesh filter.


Because the coffee grounds remain in direct contact with the brewing water and the grounds are filtered from the water via a mesh instead of a paper filter, coffee brewed with the French press captures more of the coffee's flavour and essential oils, which would become trapped in a traditional drip brew machine's paper filters.

So does this mean that using a mesh filter instead of paper filters will produce better coffee in a regular coffee maker?
Reviews for this gold mesh coffee filter on Amazon don't really address the question of taste. Has anyone tried the mesh filter instead of paper and noticed their coffee tasting better?
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Permalink: French_Press_Mesh_Vs_Permanent_Mesh_Filter.html
Words: 204
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/04/10 10:45



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