I'm just Super Saiyan

No one tells me anything, just saiyan…


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TEDxFIU 2013 – Reimagine Possible

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Talk about Depression.

As a student nurse, I feel like I should really be mentioning a lot more posts about health promotion and awareness.

That’s why I’m going to do a Mental Health related post because its Mental Illness Awareness Week!

More specifically, today (October 10th) is National Depression Screening Day! So if you, or someone you know, has had an inkling that something is a bit off in their lives and that feeling doesn’t seem to resolve, there’s free screenings offered through the website “Help yourself. Help others.”

I’m not sure why there is such a stigma about depression, although no one can deny that it exists. People go through so much in their life times, its no wonder that the statistics for depression are so high.

I’d like to leave some of these statistics with you all so that you can become more aware of how problematic this health issue is, and why it needs to be talked about.

  • 3 million men are affected by depression in the United States
  • Men are 4 times as likely to die by suicide
  • Women 18 to 45 years of age account for the largest proportion of people suffering from depression
  • 10 percent to 15 percent of women experience a clinical depression during pregnancy or after the birth of a baby
  • Latinos are more likely to present “somatic” symptoms of depression, like body aches and nervousness
  • One out of four young adults will experience a depressive episode by age 24
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for those aged 15-24 and the second leading cause of death of college students
  • Depression affects more than 6.5 million of the 35 million Americans who are 65 years or older

The CDC has some more statistics and information about depression.

Depression can be caused by a variety or combination of different factors. No one chooses to be depressed. Start talking about it. Seek out resources about depression, especially those in your local community.

I recommend that you give Kevin Breel’s TED talk, “Confessions of a depressed comic” a listen as well.


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VIDEO CHATTING IS THE BEST.

So everyone is familiar with the old time-y phone calls, right? Remember those? It’s when you push buttons to call people. When you do it you hear the voice of another person (get excited)! You may have forgotten a midst your texting, tweeting, facebooking and iphone messages that only iphone people can do. I don’t know why I’m hating on the iphone all of a sudden. Okay, I’ll stop being sarcastic…

I could talk on the phone for fucking ever. I don’t know why, but I loved phone calls man. Something about hearing your friend’s voice just really gives me the happy feels. It’s probably why I got so into using VoiceIP programs (ventrillo, mumble, teamspeak, axon…) because it made gaming even better. But the game changed when my friend Darren introduced me to Skype. Holy shit. Skype is like the holy grail for procrastinating, talkative people like me. I can be on skype talking with friends for hours. HOURS I SAY! My yapping mouth aside, video chatting has become something that I really enjoy. It’s also something I’ve taken advantage of since moving away from all my close friends. It also comes in handy for getting to know new friends I made (though drawing my guesses of what  I think they look like based on their voice seems to be a lot more fun, lol, it’s called trolling kids!).

Turns out, I’m not the only one who enjoys video chatting. Starbucks is getting in on the action as well! If you live in Washington or Nevada, there’s a good chance you can video chat your Starbucks “drive thru” order. Doesn’t seem like a bad idea to entice consumers.

I don’t think its a secret now, but I’ve been in a bit of a melancholy mood. The thing that cheers me right up is receiving skype calls. One of my close girlfriends has been paying me some skype visits recently, and I thought this would be an opportune time to introduce her to you guys. (I said I’d draw her at the beginning of this month) This is my lovely Naty Cakes:

Generally, when I skype with someone, my room (video backdrop) is an embarrassing mess. Add to that an over zealous attitude, an inexplicable burst of energy, and sloppy appearance – and that’s what its like to video chat with me. Don’t judge me. It’s just that since I didn’t leave the house to talk to you, I validate my laziness by telling myself that its okay to not look presentable.

I also happen to communicate with my pen pal over skype as well. Seeing as how he lives in the Netherlands, and I ran out of money to send post cards on a regular basis (I’m a terrible pen pal at this point ), it just makes things easier.  We end up being weridos…

But back to video chatting…

I recently read an article on CNN by Jennifer Bixler, entitled “Video chat may help language learning!” A study, led by Sarah Roseberry, yielded results that children learned languages better when having an interactive teacher than those who did not.  This active learning proved to be very effective. THIS GOT MY OLD GEARS TURNING! What if…what if I utilize the fact that I know people who speak other languages…and force them to teach those languages to me over skype??? I’M A GENIUS.

Time to learn German.

I have been using Livemocha, which is a free language training site, to start learning German. It’s a lot of fun, it incorporates games and exercises that you can have graded by people who speak the language fluently. The site works off of a sort of points system, each lesson costs a certain number of points. So in order to continue taking the lessons, you have to buy it with the points you have. In order to refill your points you have to help grade other people’s work in your language. Thus, helping the Livemocha community helps you gain points for yourself. It’s a great concept and I really enjoy it. But, I have to do a lot of repetition to make the new vocabulary stick.

I also bought a German language CD that I can listen to in the car. It was on sale, and I’d never tried learning a language solely through audio before, I thought why not try it. The CD includes songs that are sung in both German and English, so I’m not totally lost – but I do have to admit that the German is sometimes very fast…so I miss things and have to replay the entire section/lesson all over again. Once again, repetition will probably make it stick with me.

BUT, I told Svemmy about how I was trying to learn German, and he helped me learn the numbers 1 through 10 in like… half an hour. Seriously, I’m not kidding. It was hella efficient this way too because he immediately corrected my pronunciation and everything. DING DING DING! We have a winner! Active learning and video chatting is, once again, the best!

Man, video chatting kicks ass.


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15% of Adults are offline, bunch of hipsters

A new estimate reports that 15% of Americans, ages 18 and older, are “offline.” As in, no internets.

According to an article on Pew Internet, there are several reasons why these adults choose not to use the internet. There’s a whole list of reasons, ranging from not having a computer at all, to thinking its a waste of time. But the biggest reason that people don’t use the internet, “Just Not Interested.”

Dang. Shot down like a bad date.

But, the thing that I really didn’t understand was the statistic: 14% of these adults had used the internet (at least once) and decided to stop.

This got me thinking. What kind of circumstances would have to happen for me to never use the internet again? 

Scenario 1: If I lost access to the internet.

Let’s say that I could no longer afford to pay for the internet, or my computer exploded, or both. I still foresee myself going to the local library or my university library and hogging a computer for as many hours as  I need. So, nope, I still use the internet in this case.

Scenario 2If I were stranded on a deserted island.

I’d be fucked. I have completely forgotten all the survival skills I learned in the Girl Scouts. Wait, did we learn those? Yeah, I’m super fucked. So, this would probably be the only scenario – that I can come up with – where I would be forced to stop using the internet.

But, if I survived, you know what I’d want to do when I came back in contact with civilization? Blog about it.

Scenario 3: If I died. 

Yes, being dead stops me from using a lot of things.

The problem with all 3 of these scenarios is that I can’t control them. Maybe I can try to work more to save money to buy a new computer or resume payments to my internet provider. But all of these situations were against my will. I can’t see myself willingly giving up the internet.

On a global scale, there’s a crazy number of people who don’t even have access to the internet. But if they were introduced to it, I wonder how many would chose to stop. Would it still be 14%?

I mean, I’m old enough to remember what it was like growing up without the internet. I still had fun. I may not be a fan of social media, but I mean, I have to admit I was excited to create my first email account. Even with youtube and Netflix feeding me all sorts of entertainment, I know it wouldn’t be impossible for me to go back to exclusively reading books/graphic novels/comics. I could do it. I just…choose the internet.

So, my friends, now I am curious…What kind of circumstances would have to happen for YOU to never use the internet again? 

 

 

 

 

 

            


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Stress Eaters – Part 1

“Stressed is desserts spelled backwards.” FUCK THAT GUY. Yeah, fuck whoever first said that crap. “Pots” is “Stop” spelled backward, welcome to palindrome land! Where there is no hidden meanings, shit just happens to spell things when the letters are read backwards!

Some of you may be saying “Whoa, chill out bro. You mad?” To which I would like to respond, “Yes, good sir or madam. Yes I am.” Get ready for a long post.

The reason I’m mad is because I’ve been stress eating everything in sight. Yesterday I was cleaning up my room (something that deserves a whole post by itself) and I all of a sudden got overwhelmed with how long this is going to take to finish. This feeling was quickly followed by the sudden, dire need to eat cupcakes. FUCK! I wanted cupcakes so bad. I had just had lunch too, but my body doesn’t care, its not here to make sense…its here to make me happy. And you know what makes me the happiest little school girl? CUPCAKES. So then I started having that inner battle, the one where you argue with yourself about how you really, really don’t need cupcakes but you really, really, really need cupcakes. If you have never had this battle before, fuck you. I’m sorry, that was harsh, I’m sure you have some kind of Kryptonite – pizza perhaps? Or are you into those little cake pops? Or full blown ice cream from the container? Do you get what I’m saying here? This is part of our lives folks. Hence why I want to smack whoever said “stressed is desserts backwards” in the face. You trying to be cute? It’s not cute. THIS IS MY LIFE. My life is not a catchphrase! Oh God. This…is my life.

So I broke down and bought cookies. Yes, its one step down from cupcakes, but I’m still not proud of myself. Icing makes me weak willed. Anyway, I started thinking more and more about stress eating, or emotional eating. Emotional eating didn’t pop up out of no where guys, this shit is deep rooted in our psyche.  Lifelong behavioral conditioning has taught us that doing something right should be rewarded with a piece of candy. Nailing that report card grade deserves a greasy night out dinning.  Making it through your period deserves chocolate. Shit, living with the fact that you have periods means you deserve chocolate. As if that wasn’t enough, your body gets rewarded with food chemicals that give you pleasures. Yes, pleasure.

Ever heard of serotonin or anandamide? Serotonin is a hormone associated with the infatuation you feel related to love. And anandamide is literally known as the “bliss molecule” – its a neurotransmitter that binds to your brain receptors similarly as THC (marijuana) does. Chocolate is full of these two guys. Guess what happens when you eat a piece of chocolate and your body gets flooded full of happy chemicals; your brain sends endorphins back. Yes, endorphins.  This is just the chocolate example, but I think you get where I’m going with this.

While no one is going to deny that happy events in any given person’s life probably had some junk food involved (happy birthday cake anyone?), there is a new study saying that this isn’t exactly where emotional or stress eaters get their drive to down those baddie foods in times of need.

According to a small (12 volunteer) recent study, there are hormones in your stomach that are sending signals to your brain that aren’t linked to any specific food at all.  The study’s experimental subject group were given saturated fats, while the control subject group was given a saline solution; both to the point of satiation. Tummies full, they were shown images of sad faces and listened to sad music, and guess what – neither group was hungrier after that.

What does this mean? This means that emotional eating is both psychological and biological.  Its just that more work has to be done in order to really figure out whats happening biologically. Lukas Van Oudenhove, one of the authors of this study, had this to say:

“Evolution has made every aspect of feeding as rewarding as possible… These days it may not be a good thing anymore. When food is available anywhere, then it may be a bad thing, leading to obesity or eating disorders in some people.”

Susan Albers, Psy.D., a Cleveland Clinic psychologist, added:

“Given the strong soothing effect of food on a biological level, we have to work even harder to find ways to soothe and comfort ourselves without calories… This is important in the long run for managing your weight, improving your self-esteem, and protecting your overall health.”

But while top researchers continue to study these findings and carry out additional studies, I’d like to follow up this post with Stress Eaters – Part 2. 

 

 

 

 

 

            


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HEALTHY FOODS

So, here’s something you may not have known about broccoli – it can help prevent arthritis :3! Alexandra Sifferlin’s article in time magazine talks about some delicious tastie healthy foods! Broccoli has potassium, zinc, fiber and the vitmain A, B, C, K!  {Kimbohydrates says that vitamins B & C are water soluable. However, vitamins A & K are fat soluble so if you really want to absorb those tasties, eat them with a little fat (cook with oil, butter, etc). } Turns out that some studies have found that broccoli and its besties (brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage) have sulfur compounds that filter out carcinogens! If that’s not delicious, I don’t know what is.

Here’s some flash facts about fruits – brought to you by MS Paint!

This brings me to another article from health.com, written by Sarah Richards, called Foods that fix your health problems! For example…

Bro, I’m super bloated. There’s a food for that!

  • Melon, cucumber and celery will flush you out!
  • 1 cup of papaya a week will help with gas and irregularity
  • FIBER SMOOTHIE!! toss in papaya, pineapple, protein powder, ice and almond milk!

Bro, my mood sucks lately. There’s a food for that!

  • Make sure you get breakfast*** within 2 hours of waking up. If you don’t have time or aren’t a breakfast person, a small fruit still counts!
  • Selenium, an awesome trace mineral, helps to make thyroid hormones! Get some from Brazil nuts, tuna, eggs or turkey!

Bro, my skin be cray. There’s a food for that!

  • Antioxidant rich onions! Or other sulfur-rich veggies, like leeks and scallions!
  • Up your vitamin B6 and/or B12

Bro, my I’m not sleeping very well. There’s a food for that!

  • Cherries, dried cherries, or cherry juice 1 to 2 hours before bed! It has melatonin!
  • Turkey – tryptophan comes in handy outside of Thanksgiving!
  • Bananas! Magnesium is a muscle relaxant :3
  • Sweet potatoes also have muscle relaxants and their a complex carb to keep your tummy full and happy during the night!

This is not photoshop at work here…this is a purple sweet potato.

I’d like to close my foodies post with this great discovery, SWEET POTATOES THAT ARE PURPLE, WTF? Yeah, no one tells me anything. Apparently purple sweet potatoes are a thing and they are a thing that is changing the way food dyes are made! That’s right, according to NPR, the natural purple color of these sweet potatoes is being used as a food dye! Boss. A bunch of well known companies have already started ditching artificial dyes for natural ones, so I guess purple is now a color they can choose from.

***An “optimal” breakfast is described as one that has whole grain (glucose for your brain), protein (to decrease hunger), and 1 or 2 antioxidant-rich fruits or vegetables.  I’ll probably make a post just on breakfast foods, cause breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! :3

And so this concludes my post – but I want to bounce some of these off of Kiam, because she’s the expert on nutrition. :D So let me know what you think!


 

 

 

 

 

            


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Cilantro filters water! Also kiam!

So I came across this cool finding about Cilantro!  Some researchers at Ivy Tech Community College have found out that Cilantro is bioabsorbant which allows it to  grab metals from undrinkable water.  Adding to its usefulness is the fact that this plant is not an essential crop, so using cilantro won’t hinder any staple foodies that, specifically Mexico, may need!

ground-up cilantro can be inserted into a tube into which water is passed through. The cilantro allows the water to trickle out but absorbs metals, leaving cleaner drinking water. Dried cilantro can also be placed into tea bags that are placed in a pitcher of water for a few minutes to suck out the heavy metals.

And in non-related news, I have created a cartoon Kiam! :3 And here she is!

I want to encourage her to write more stuffs for her blog, cause she doesn’t know what to talk about, but she says Beluga a lot. XD

 

 

 

 

 

            


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Dinosaurs and how my childhood is a lie, again…

My face when I read about fun things I’ve grown up believing turn out to be wrong…first Pluto is no longer a planet…now Brontosaurus and Triceratops don’t exist????

“Forget Extinct: The Brontosaurus Never Even Existed” – NPR destroys my childhood again

So when I was a little kid I fucking loved dinosaurs, a lot. I remember a lot of the VHS tapes my brother and I used to watch were like old school claymation where like my little dino friends were brought to life. 1990s technology, got to love it. Let’s not forget LAND BEFORE TIME. That had a lot of replay potential. Little Foot was all over them prehistoric valleys.

Now an article from NPR is bringing to light the BONE WARS [real name, I did not make this shit up]!!!! Apparently, like 130 years ago, two paleontologists, Yale’s O.C. Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope, decided it was a good idea to play a macho game of “Name that Dino the fastest!”  I imagine two scientists running back and forth in giant dirt pits while Benny Hill plays in the background.  Instead of putting a lot of effort into analyzing the credibility of their findings, they were more in it for the fame, cause they’re dicks. I know, that’s harsh to say…I didn’t know them personally. I’m sure they were lovely people who thought a BONE WAR would be a fun idea…

Anyway, long story short (TL;DR), in 1877 Yale Marsh discovers this cool long-neck, long-tail, veggie dino which he names the Apatosaurus, problem is that it was missing a head. Fast forward to 1883 Marsh substitutes the head of a Camarasaurus to make the skeleton complete.  In 1888 Marsh gets another completed dino skeleton that he thinks is a different dino, CAUSE HE CAN’T TAKE TWO SECONDS TO LOOK AT THE DAMN SKELETON, and he decides to name it a Brontosaurus. Spoilers, it wasn’t a different dino, it was a more complete Apatosaurus.

The thing that really bugs me, is that in 1903 someone finally decides to point out that there was a mistake made. But its not until the 1970s when Carnegie scientists publically announced and verified the mistake. So, SCIENTISTS FOUND OUT THAT THIS WAS A MISTAKE BUT THEY JUST FUCKING LET IT KEEP GOING! WTF??? Like, instead of being like, “hey guys, this is wrong, we should correct this” they went “lol, who cares” so now its in children’s books and Jurassic Park and life.

OH BUT IT DOESN’T STOP THERE!

Remember the Triceratops? I loved those guys, they were so cool! Welp, here’s an article entitled “The Triceratops Never Existed, It Was Actually a Young Version Of Another Dinosaur” …. WTFFFFF? Yeah, that’s what John Scannella and Jack Horner are saying. These two scientists think that the Torosaurus and Triceratops are really the same species.

My first thought is, wait, you mean this guy?

 But then I re-read what it says lol… its TOROSAURUS…not Totorosaurus.

Quotes from the Article:

as a Triceratops aged, its horns and frill became more similar to that of a Torosaurus. Short becomes long, saw-edged becomes smoothed and so on. Having them be the same species would explain why there were never any young Torosaurus fossils discovered.

there is a clear transition from triceratops into torosaurus as the animals grow older. For example, the oldest specimens of triceratops show a marked thinning of the bone where torosaurus has holes, suggesting they are in the process of becoming fenestrated.

Gad damn it. There goes my childhood.

Sorry Little Foot. Sorry Blue Power Ranger. Here’s a final farewell for those who watched Dino Riders.

 

I guess this is why they’re making another Jurassic Park...called Jurassic World.  I hope they get their shit together this time.

 

 

 

 

 

            


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Skinny People’s Gut Bacteria

I read up on something recently about bacteria, rats and skinny people. Thought I’d share it with you guys.

So apparently, according to a Harvard Medical School study, the bacteria in “skinny” people is different than that of people who are overweight. How did they come up with this exactly? The old fashion way. Take the gut bacteria of leaner twins and the gut bacteria of obese twins and stick them in some rats. The result was the rats who received the skinny twin bacterial mix grew to be leaner and the rats who received the obese twin bacterial mix grew to be fatter.  Gat damn. Additionally they concluded that this process is a one way street:

“in the presence of a low-fat diet, bacteria from a lean twin will take over the gut of a mouse that already had bacteria from a fat twin. The fat mouse then loses weight. But the opposite does not happen. No matter what the diet, bacteria from a fat mouse do not take over in a mouse that is thin.” – New York Times

Obviously, this is a super interesting finding, but more research should be conducted to find out (1) which of the bacteria in this gut cocktail are responsible for the weight differentials and (2) what about those bacteria make them prone to aiding in skinniness or fatness.

The study, headed by Dr. Gordon, decided to also investigate how the rats would react when given foods that are associated with “skinny” and “obese” diets. Would the gut bacteria affect the rats differently with these diets? Would it inhibit or facilitate weight loss?

“The fat mice that got food high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables kept the gut bacteria from the fat twins and remained fat. The thin twins’ gut bacteria took over only when the mice got pellets that were rich in fruits and vegetables and low in fat.”  – New York Times

So, once again, this raises more questions and more investigations are necessary to identify which bacteria are responsible and what’s so special about these bacteria.

I mean there are a lot of different bacteria that take residence in each person’s stomach, and that juicy bacterial cocktail varies from person to person. Generally speaking the flora in your gut are meant to work with you, not against you. Hence why you are encouraged to eat probiotics to assist in helping those little microbes flourish. But based on what you introduce to your stomach, sometimes that changes. It’s like messing with the natural ecosystem of you.

So sifting through the good and bad bacteria is important. Equally important, educating yourself on what makes your tummy happy and keeps your good flora healthy. :3

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