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May 15th

Anne Boleyn began her trial for treason and adultery on this day.


She was framed.

Grab Bag Too Much of a Good Thing:

A published study in Molecular Cancer Research Journal last October found that cancer cells (in vitro) that had been “wounded” by radiation actually survived BECAUSE OF increased levels of a protein called Hsp-27… and one of the main stimuli for Hsp-27 in the body is intense exercise. 

Oops. This small study flies in the face of other research that shows exercise is beneficial for cancer treatment.

Suggestions are offered that it may be a good idea to keep exercise quite moderate a few days before, during and after radiation cancer treatments. Seems reasonable. More research is certain to follow.

Grab Bag Minute Help:

Online Volunteering

Is that minute, as in 60 seconds, or minute, as in tiny? Well, it’s both.

We all know that big accomplishments are just a culmination of a lot of small efforts. The brilliant folks at Sparked have found a way to tap into the extra minutes we all have that could be harnessed into something bigger, and for good causes. Putting a few minutes into something important can be part of a big success:

Sparked helps us donate our time to worthy causes, even when all we have is a few spare moments. They match your skills with needs from non-profit to create small tasks you can do right from your desk.

They call it “microvolunteering.” It’s the idea that while you might not be able to donate an entire afternoon, you could totally use a few minutes of your “Late Afternoon Facebook Time” to help others.

You can lend a hand with everything from design to web development to tweeting. Breaking down the needs of non-profits into smaller tasks lets entire projects be crowdsourced to microvolunteers like Team Netted.

Everything you do brings us a tiny step closer to solving huge problems.

Grab Bag Salmon Quandary:

Recently listed in Sunset magazine’s Top 100 Cultural Trends Shaping the West:

#28: Eat salmon without the guilt

For many of us Westerners, dinner doesn’t get any better than a buttery side of rich pink salmon. Plus, it’s our heritage fish, a centuries-old food for all who have lived along the Pacific. But order it from a waiter or at a fish counter these days, and the person next to you might hiss. That’s because stocks in certain areas of the Pacific are crashing, and farm-raised salmon are tagged as polluting and disease-spreading. What’s a salmon lover to do?

At risk of getting the fish-eye ourselves, we’re here to tell you that you can eat salmon without fear of social ruin. For a start, always go with wild over farmed: All salmon fisheries off the West Coast are responsibly managed, so any salmon from these waters is sustainably caught. Wild salmon stocks from Alaska are particularly healthy and strong, and Oregon salmon from north of Cape Falcon (on the coast roughly west of Portland) are doing well too. So are salmon fished off of Washington.

Take one of these wild fish home, grill it until it’s crispy on the edges, and savor it with a good glass of Pinot—and a clear conscience. Because the West doesn’t taste any better than this.

… And don’t forget… market price will drive availability. Wild salmon will always be more expensive…. and may get prohibitively so should stocks begin to drop dangerously low. That’s our economic version of “natural selection” 🙂

Photo by Joel Sartore for National Gepgraphic

Grab Bag Shoe Savior:

Awhile back I posted about the potential damage done to knees by high heels. I think we can safely assume that feet, ankles, hips and back are included in that concern.

But there’s a side to many women that isn’t ready to wave the white flag on fashionable footwear.  Can comfortable feet and healthy spines co-exist with good looking shoes? 

That’s what Scarpasa aims to do. Their website is all about mid to low heels and flats… and searching the globe for just that. Here’s what they say about themselves:

At Scarpasa we do the work for you, scouring the world for quality flats and low and mid-heeled shoes. We curate an international collection of the hottest wearable footwear from independent designers so you can look good and feel good while doing what you do best.

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by many of their offerings when I looked at their site. They also make it easy to narrow down just what you’re looking for:

So here’s hoping you can look like Manolo but feel like Nike, and rescue your gorgeous musculoskeletal structure in the process 🙂

Grab Bag Listing Agent:

Never used Craigslist? You don’t know what you’re missing. This king of internet want ad sites can help you buy, sell, rent, or give away anything you want.

BUT, Craigslist is not fancy. Noooo…. it’s not even very good at making it easy to find what you want. It’s just HUGE and somewhat organized. Definitely could be improved.

So along comes Craiggers, tidying up what the original lacks. Just go to Craiggers.com and search for the item, the category and the location, and Craiggers provides a MUCH better interface.

After you enter your search, a list of your items, in your specified neighborhood, pops up. When you see something of interest, click on it and an additional column pulls out on the right, showing the description and any picture attached.  

Thanks to the smart kids at Craiggers…. a vast improvement on the original.

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Typing random letters… a good deal more difficult than real words… sharpens observation and coordination.


Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

This one has spread over the internet like wildfire, but in case you haven’t seen it….

You like food? Huh? Yes?



And…. a fine compilation of years of feline faux paws 🙂

Have something to say? Love to hear it. Click the word “Comment” below and leave yours 🙂

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Grab Bag Lonely $yber-Heart:

I’m not making this up…… there could be $10,000 in it for YOU…

“Chas” is a real, live 40 year-old San Francisco man in search of a wife.

Chas is witty. Chas is wise. But Chas is single.

To remedy his misfortune, he has decided to elicit the help of the internet, and all the potential matchmakers out there who might find his Cinderella.

Here’s how Chas explains it all on his “About” page at www.hookchasup.com:

What is this?

It’s simple. Introduce me to the girl I end up marrying, and I’ll give you ten grand.

Sounds kinda sketchy.

Fair enough. Basically, I work a lot and never had much luck with online dating. I figured, why not create a site where I’m the only guy.

Why $10,000?

If this helps me find a soulmate, it’ll be worth bazillions. But I don’t have bazillions. $10K seemed to say, “I’m serious but not insane.”

40 and still single? Hmm.

Thanks to a decade of “life coaching” and some insightful relationships, I can honestly say I’m ready to start a family. For realz.

Hit the site and read through the few pages Chas has decided to offer as a window into who he is… I find it funny, and oddly touching…. but maybe that’s just me.

Grab Bag Bag the Big C:

40 years ago President Nixon declared a war on cancer.

How’s that working for us?

Not so great. Sadly, only a few select cancer treatments have made some strides, but words like “cure” and “prevention” are virtually stalled in the discussion thus far. Total cancer rates have risen in those four decades, some dramatically ….. (hello, thyroid).

What really irkes me is that the mainstream medical community, as a whole, lacks the cojones to advocate getting serious about potential environmental exposure. Does it lack empirical evidence? Yes. Studies on these issues are increasing, but the subject is akin to an Escher drawing…. what are we looking at and where is it coming from??

On the other hand, can any research facility currently tell us what causes cancer? With very few exceptions, the answer is No.

So let’s get proactive while the guys and gals in the white coats untease this mammoth snarled mass.

In my “can’t hurt” scenario, your doctors would advocate reducing your exposure to at least SOME of the toxins lurking under your sink, in your fridge, and on your bathroom counter. I mean, why the heck not? There are cleaner, less toxic, and potentially less harmful alternatives.

I’ll be devil’s advocate for a moment…what if I’m wrong and that’s not it? What if we discover that cancer comes from, say, bug bites? Well, no harm done... will you suffer a terrible injustice or danger if you don’t eat hot dogs or you change your body lotion to a chemical-free variety?

The prosecution rests.

The list and links below are part of a larger and more comprehensive approach to the topic, found at PreventCancer.com, the website of the Prevent Cancer Coalition:

Cosmetics, foods, even milk may contain contaminants not listed on their labels. Find out who’s influencing U. S. product safety laws.

General Information

General Information

Milk: Banned in Europe
Beef: Banned in Europe
Dirty Dozen Consumer Products
Dirty Dozen Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Cosmetics and Personal Care

Toxic Ingredients in the Majority of Cosmetics & Personal Care Products (from the 2009Toxic Beauty book)
Talcum Powder
Perfumes Can Be Toxic
Lice Rx-Shampoo (Lindane)
Diethanolamine(DEA) in Shampoo
Black Permanent Hair Dyes
Phthalates in Cosmetics
Cosmetics Fact Sheet

(I also hope you will look at THIS link which gives a great explanation of what to look for when shopping for cosmetics.)

Food and Beverages

Milk and Hormones
Meat and Hormones
Hotdogs and Nitrites
Food , Beverages, Pesticides
Food Irradiation

Household Products

Carcinogens at Home
Cleaning Products Risks
Insecticides: Scourge
Pesticides used at Home
Ingredients in Household Products
Safe Alternative Household Products

And here are 12 suggestions from Dr. Mercola that you can do right now to optimize your chances of dominating the cancer battle:

  1. Normalize your vitamin D levels with safe amounts of sun exposure. This works primarily by optimizing your vitamin D level. Ideally, monitor your vitamin D levels throughout the year.
  2. Control your insulin levels by limiting your intake of processed foods and sugars/fructose as much as possible.
  3. Get appropriate amounts of animal-based omega-3 fats.
  4. Get appropriate exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.
  5. Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are very much underappreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have.
  6. Have a tool to permanently erase the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. My particular favorite tool for this purpose, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique.
  7. Only 25 percent of people eat enough vegetables, so by all means eat as many vegetables as you are comfortable with. Ideally, they should be fresh and organic. Cruciferous vegetables in particular have been identified as having potent anti-cancer properties. Remember that carb nutritional types may need up to 300 percent more vegetables than protein nutritional types.
  8. Maintain an ideal body weight.
  9. Get enough high-quality sleep.
  10. Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution.
  11. Reduce your use of cell phones and other wireless technologies, and implement as many safety strategies as possible if/when you cannot avoid their use.
  12. Boil, poach or steam your foods, rather than frying or charbroiling them.

Grab Bag De-Clutter Part 1:

Spring cleaning? Did someone say spring cleaning? Admit it, the wintery cobwebs, the musty residue and the unnecessary clutter in your closets, drawers and corners is begging to be ousted and/or re-ordered.

Just two tips each week for the next three weeks should make it manageable.

1. • Ready to clean house on a room/closet/cupboard/set of drawers?? Snap a photo first. The “after” photo will be quite rewarding.

(Good heavens… who ARE these people? But I guess the “afters” do look better… I’ll bet you can do WAY better than this…)

Before

After

 

Before


 

After


 

Before


 

After


 

Before

 

 

After

2. • Give each family member a covered bin (maybe laundry basket size?) in the garage or basement to keep treasured keepsakes. When it gets full, edit, or decide if a second bin is warranted.

Grab Bag 1st Dibs:

So those de-cluttering images were traumatic. On to yummy things to clutter up your empty closets….

When the economy blossoms this spring (maybe wishful thinking, but let’s put it out there…), and you’re in the market for, say,  a fabulous coffee table to MAKE your seating area shine, or a GORGEOUS vintage dress for your upcoming

39th birthday,

or perhaps a work of art to beautify your bungalow, there may be no better site than this mammoth “portal” called

1stDibs.com.

“The Dibster” (we’re really good friends, in my own mind) is a gathering place for some of the finest purveyors of antiques, works of art, jewelry and vintage clothing. Register your email and a password and the prices will be revealed to you (in some cases, you’ll need to provide your own smelling salts).


Not everything is priced in the stratosphere, but everything IS unique and quite beautiful. AND.. you can search just store wares local to you (especially handy when looking for a set of dining room chairs… shipping gets a bit nasty when they come from, say, London to LA).

They ALSO profile up and coming talent and special exhibitions for fashion, jewelry, art and antiques as well.

FLASH…. FEEL GOOD MOMENT… nearly everything here is vintage/antique…. making you the ULTIMATE RECYCLER!

 

Grab Bag Better Eating Habits:

Real Food Has Curves, a new book written by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, offers a 7-step plan for weaning yourself off processed foods:


• Seek true satisfaction. Enjoy genuine flavors, rather than fat, sugar, and salt added to mask the metallic taste of chemical additives.


• Read labels wisely. You can find food with “real” ingredients in the supermarket if you read labels carefully.


• Relish what’s on your plate. Devote time solely to enjoying the pleasures of eating.


• Wean yourself off excess salt, fat, and sugar. You can also cook with smaller amounts of these ingredients by using natural substitutes like strong spices.


• Give your palate time to change. You’ll gradually lose your taste for excessively sweet and salty foods.


• Go for high-quality foods. Look for products that contain the least amount of processed ingredients.


• Treat yourself well by not skipping meals. Try eating three meals a day at fairly regular times, plus a mid-afternoon snack.

Grab Bag Brain Game:

What type of ghost are you? Type the words to eliminate the ghosts…. before they eliminate you…

GHOST TYPE

 

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Some of you who have never visited a Walmart may think these photos are falsified, or at the very least a set-up. I am here to testify that, having some experience within the walls of a 203,000 square foot beauty of a Wal-Mart, these are TOTALLY believable. I suggest you enlarge the view so all captions will be readable… (but the images might be overwhelmingly disturbing in a larger dimension!) To enlarge, hold down the Apple (command) key on a Mac or the Control key  on a PC while hitting the + key.

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