Grab Bag Lost in the Land of Hold:
Is this you?
I’ll bet you’d rather eat barbed wire than call some of the big companies that you KNOW will cut you loose into the oblivion of customer service limbo…. the Land of Hold. But sometimes we have no choice… we have to make the call.
Now… you can have an “assistant” do it for you, and let you know when a live human is ready to roll. And…. you’ll be using your cell phone… not the way most of us (us dinosaurs who still have land lines) would normally make what could be a 30 minute phone call.
There’s an app for this, it’s free, and it gets great reviews!
Here’s how it works:
Now, with all that free time, you can play more Words with Friends and Angry Birds 🙂
Grab Bag Water Wars:
Next time you grab a bottle of water, pause for a moment and ponder what it took to get that little plastic vessel of essential life force into your hands. Better yet, watch David Garcia’s brilliant production of the big business, and future, of water.
We cannot ignore this issue.Vodpod videos no longer available.
Grab Bag Breath Boost #3:
I am a meditation flunky. I have never been very successful at the traditional approaches to meditation, but this really simple technique just might help me quiet the lists that constantly seem to write themselves into the space I attempt to create in my mind.
If you want to get a feel for this challenging work, try your hand at breath counting, a deceptively simple technique much used in Zen practice.
Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.
- To begin the exercise, count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
- The next time you exhale, count “two,” and so on up to “five.”
- Then begin a new cycle, counting “one” on the next exhalation.
Never count higher than “five,” and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to “eight,” “12,” even “19.”
Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.
Yet another thanks to DrWeil.com for this.
Grab Bag Vitamin C, See?:
Do you ever use those powdered packets of Vitamin C? I have. We all might want to read this….
From September 28th Science Daily:
Anti-caking agents in powdered products may hasten degradation of vitamin C instead of doing what they are supposed to do: protect the nutrient from moisture.
Lisa Mauer, a Purdue University professor of food science; Lynne Taylor, a professor of industrial and physical pharmacy; and graduate student Rebecca Lipasek study deliquescence, a reaction in which humidity causes a crystalline solid to dissolve. They wanted to understand how anti-caking agents protect substances such as vitamin C from humidity.
In Mauer’s laboratory, different anti-caking agents were blended with powdered sodium ascorbate, a common form of vitamin C, and were exposed to different relative humidities. Normally, sodium ascorbate deliquesces, or dissolves, at 86 percent relative humidity and is stable below that level. Some anti-caking agents, however, caused the degradation to begin at lower humidity levels.
“The additives that the food industry puts in to make these powders more stable didn’t help the vitamin C, and in some cases actually made things worse,” Lipasek said.
Once vitamin C changes chemically, it no longer holds its nutritional value.
The findings suggest that foods made with powdered vitamin C may lose the vitamin’s nutrients at a lower humidity than once thought. The team’s findings were published in the current issue of the Journal of Food Science.
A variety of anti-caking agents were studied.
“Some of the agents act like little raincoats, covering the particles and protecting them from moisture. Others will absorb the water themselves, keeping it away from the vitamin C particles,” Mauer said. “I really thought some of those anti-caking agents would help, but they didn’t.”
The problem, according to the research, is the chemical properties of the anti-caking agents themselves.
The water-repellent agents, which act like raincoats, are mobile, Lipasek said. When they move around, they clump together and leave some of the vitamin C uncovered. When that happens, moisture is able to reach and degrade the exposed vitamin C.
The moisture-absorbing agents, which absorb the water at a lower humidity than vitamin C, may be absorbing so much moisture that they become saturated. When that occurs, Mauer said, the pH level around the vitamin C can change, or water can move and interact with the vitamin C. Both of these scenarios could lead to further reactions that lower the humidity at which vitamin C deliquesces and changes from solid to liquid. Once the vitamin C dissolves, it is unstable.
Next, Mauer and Lipasek plan to test more complex blends that contain more ingredients along with vitamin C. They also plan to determine how much water is necessary to destabilize vitamin C and how temperature affects the destabilization of vitamin C with anti-caking agents.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Purdue Faculty Scholars Program funded the research.
Grab Bag Movie Maker:
Such a fun app for the iPhone…. make a little stop-action looping film in seconds with…
Grab Bag Brain Game:
Solitaire and a puzzle in one:
Grab Bag Funny Stuff: