Grab Bag Day in History:
Happy Birthday Niccolò Machiavelli! Here’s Wikipedia‘s primer on the Renaissance’s OTHER famous guy:
Niccolò Machiavelli (May 3 1469 – June 21 1527) was an Italian philosopher, writer, and politician and is considered one of the main founders of modern political science. As a Renaissance Man, he was a diplomat, political philosopher, musician, poet and playwright, but, foremost, he was a Civil Servant of the Florentine Republic. He is known as “The French Chanakya” in the eastern world. In June of 1498, after the ouster and execution of Girolamo Savonarola, the Great Council elected Machiavelli as Secretary to the second Chancery of the Republic of Florence.
Like Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli is considered a typical example of the Renaissance Man. He is most famous for a short political treatise, The Prince, a work of realist political theory, however, both it and the more substantive republican Discourses on Livy went unpublished until the 1530s — after Machiavelli’s death. Although he privately circulated The Prince among friends, the only work he published in his life was The Art of War, about high-military science.
Grab Bag Nutrition:
Although I’ve said it a few times before, and with specific recommendations (click here to link back to that post), it bears repeating so that the importance is not in danger of being overlooked:
A BALANCED BREAKFAST IS KEY TO YOUR HEALTH
…. and the boys with the MDs after their names at RealAge back me up, as stated below. Here they emphasize losing excess pounds starts with a good breakfast…. I’m willing to go beyond that and say it sets up your blood sugar wave pattern for the whole day (and if you ignore that for too long, you may learn how to spell D-I-A-B-E-T-E-S).
Go Ahead, Eat a Big Breakfast
Hard to believe, but there could be a benefit to loading up your breakfast plate.
Besides helping you eat less later in the day, a big breakfast might also help you lose weight. But you have to be smart about it.
Load Up to Slim Down?
Okay, so you can’t completely overdo it at breakfast and hope to drop pounds. But when obese dieters ate a big 600-calorie breakfast of healthy protein and carbs (think scrambled eggs, diced turkey, whole-wheat toast, and a banana), they lost significantly more weight than dieters who ate only half that much. Why? Researchers speculate that eating a large balanced meal in the morning helps stymie carb cravings later in the day — especially if you’re cutting carbs and calories in an effort to slim down.
A Better Breakfast
Here are some other ways to make your morning meal really count:
- Put eggs back on the menu. Yep, they’re officially a health food again. Watch this video to learn how to poach eggs quickly and easily.
- Never skip. Check your RealAge Plan to see how much older skipping breakfast makes you.
- Follow these four simple breakfast rules for shedding pounds.
Grab Bag Medicinal Moment:
Here’s some trivia that will be sure to amaze in your next cocktail conversation….
As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one good thing about getting a cold, and it’s the excuse to chug NyQuil. I rarely take medication for anything, but if I get a bad cold, NyQuil is a MUST. Not only does it give you a FANTASTIC night’s sleep, but your cold will actually change overnight. Not disappear, but change for the better. If you’ve never tried it, let this be your awakening… you’ll almost welcome the sniffles 🙂 Swine flu may be on the rise, but I wouldn’t let it keep you up at night just yet. If it does, this will help that, too. And this is one time I will make a recommendation that contains High Fructose Corn Syrup, which otherwise should be absolutely verboten.
So, what’s the magic? WIRED magazine, one of my favorite reads for random fascinations, deconstructed this little green (and now in Cherry, too!) miracle, and here’s what they found in the best cold medication on the market planet.
Why DOES NyQuil work so well? An entertaining read…..
One of the many wonder-pharmaceuticals that can be derived from coal tar, acetaminophen was used for nearly a century as a painkiller and fever reducer before anyone figured out how it worked. We now know that as the drug breaks down in the body, it turns into a cannabinoid: yes, stoners, the same type of compound that makes marijuana so irresistible. Doctors also once thought acetaminophen made users more talkative and outgoing. Current research suggests this idea was half-baked.
A cough suppressant. Well, actually, in the body it becomes dextrorphan, a cough suppressant, and levorphanol, a painkiller five times as powerful as morphine. Like PCP and ketamine, DXM is also an NMDA receptor antagonist, so the National Institute on Drug Abuse lists it as a “dissociative” drug. Twelve times the recommended dose of NyQuil leads to distorted perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment — dissociation — from the environment and oneself. For people whose bodies are unusually slow at metabolizing the drug, even low doses of DXM trigger full-blown “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” psychedelic trips.
Officially, this ingredient is on the label as an antihistamine. But it is equally useful as a sleep aid, providing a nice, convenient one-two… Zzzz.
Citric acid has proven somewhat effective as a flu killer, but only if you spray it into your nose. Because NyQuil is meant to be swallowed, not snorted, its presence here is probably to add a little tang, and possibly to act as a low-level preservative.
Hooch has been used as a folk remedy for the common cold for centuries (despite the fact that it doesn’t work). But according to Procter & Gamble, alcohol’s sole purpose in NyQuil is to serve as a solvent, keeping the top three ingredients in solution.
Polyethylene glycol and propylene glycol
Chemical cousins used as thickeners. NyQuil’s consistency is somewhere between water and honey, but not because it needs to be. Drug marketers know many people prefer medicines in syrup form.
In other contexts sodium citrate is an anticoagulant; most likely it is used here as a buffer to maintain the acid-base balance of all the other ingredients.
P&G isn’t talking, but we suspect the cloyingly repulsive taste of NyQuil is to ensure that you can swallow a tablespoon or two but can’t drink enough of the stuff to start seeing Jesus.
High fructose corn syrup
A dash of sugar helps that tablespoon or two go down.
Grab Bag Matters:
From the Every Monday Matters book and website:
Note from LK: Humor me for a moment. I have a theory, and I’d like all you good people to be my guinea pigs. I believe that the happiness→smile chain of events can work backwards as well (smile→happiness). When you’re not feeling particularly happy, try forcing a smile and let me know if it made you feel better. I think it will 🙂
Show Your Smile
- A smile is a universal expression of happiness and recognized as such by all cultures.
- A smiling person is judged to be more pleasant, attractive, sincere, sociable, and competent. Smiling is contagious.
- Happy people generally don’t get sick as often as people who are unhappy.
- Smiling or even seeing somebody smile releases endorphins that work in the brain to give an overall feeling of well-being.
- People are born with the ability to smile. Even babies born blind smile.
- Adults laugh approximately 15 times per day, while children laugh about 400 times a day.
- It takes only 17 muscles to smile compared to 43 muscles to frown.
- Women smile more than men.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
- Smile at EVERYONE you see today.
- Keep track of how many times you smile and laugh today.
- If you are having trouble smiling, here are a few suggestions to help:
- Make faces at yourself in the mirror.
- Shake your body like it’s laughing from inside.
- Jump on the bed.
- Hug someone you love.
- Visit a pet store.
- At the end of your day of smiling, notice how you feel and whether people acted differently around you.
Happiness leads to smiling, and smiling leads to happiness. Happiness is your natural immunity, having a profound, positive effect on your health and well-being. If you are happy, smile. If you aren’t happy, smile anyway. It will help you get there.
Grab Bag Cool Stuff:
This was sent to me recently and I must say it is quite fascinating to see someone with this level of mastery in their art. The explanation on You Tube of who and what you are seeing is copied below:
Filmed over the period of a few months in and around Edinburgh by Dave Sowerby, this video of Inspired Bicycles team rider Danny MacAskill features probably the best collection of street/street trials riding ever seen. There’s some huge riding, but also some of the most technically difficult and imaginative lines you will ever see. Without a doubt, this video pushes the envelope of what is perceived as possible on a trials bike.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
A variation on Boggle, ScrabbleBlast, etc.
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
Funny Look Alikes