Friday, December 30, 2005
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
That is my wish for you.
Eric aka Senor Enrique
Photo credit: wlct.org
THE CHIEF PROTAGONISTWhen I enumerated the adverse effects of aspartame on my two posts — The Perils of Aspartame (12/7) and Side Effects of Aspartame (12/13) — the comments and emails I received conveyed a singular question: If it’s so bad why was it ever approved for human consumption by the government; specifically, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration?
It didn’t require an exhaustive investigative effort to discover the chief protagonist: Donald Rumsfeld.
Rich Murray’s article, How Aspartame Became Legal - The Timeline, claims:
In 1985 Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet. Monsanto was apparently untroubled by aspartame's clouded past, including a 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry, comprised of three independent scientists, which confirmed that it "might induce brain tumors."
The FDA had actually banned aspartame based on this finding, only to have Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld (currently the Secretary of Defense) vow to "call in his markers," to get it approved.
On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan's inauguration, Searle re-applied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame in food sweetener, and Reagan's new FDA commissioner, Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr., appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the board of inquiry's decision.
It soon became clear that the panel would uphold the ban by a 3-2 decision, but Hull then installed a sixth member on the commission, and the vote became deadlocked. He then personally broke the tie in aspartame's favor. Hull later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety, served briefly as Provost at New York Medical College, and then took a position with Burston-Marsteller, the chief public relations firm for both Monsanto and GD Searle. Since that time he has never spoken publicly about aspartame.
Below is another link for all to peruse and draw conclusions from:
Aspartame Gate: When Donald Rumsfeld was CEO of Searle
Photo credit: wizbangblog.com
Thursday, December 29, 2005
A TRUE HERO
The following is an excerpt from Margarita Ventenilla Hamada’s article, Nation Mark’s Rizal’s Martyrdom, published by Manila Bulletin:
The core of Rizal’s nationalism is love for fellow-beings, not love for the Filipino proletariat alone. Rizal’s nationalism targets the immature, evil psyche as its enemy, not the immature, evil people (the imperialists and the elite) as its enemy.
Rizal’s nationalism is based on the whole of reality, not on fragments of reality. He saw wickedness in both master and slave, in both the rich and the poor, not just in the rich. Rizal’s nationalism is open to anything that could give his countrymen human rights; the basis for peace and progress; assimilation into a mature, foreign government included. It is not focused on just one independence or separation from any foreign government no matter how benevolent.
Rizal’s nationalism recommends a change from immature, defective thinking to mature, sensible thinking via enlightenment or revolution of the mind. He did not recommend a change of defective government systems or defective leaders via revolutions, rallies or strikes.
Rizal’s nationalism made him a man of courage who was not afraid to die for the cause of freedom, peace and progress, yet who will never kill nor inspire others to kill for mere political independence at the cost of freedom, peace and progress.
Read Nation Mark’s Rizal’s Martyrdom in its entirety.
About Margarita Ventenilla Hamada: Founder of Harvent Schools, Dagupan City and Lingayen, Pangasinan; author of "Swatting the Spanish Flies," a critical commentary on Philippine history, 2001, Giraffe Books
Related Links (must-reads):
There's The Rub : A Century Thence
by Conrado de Quiros
The Long View: Rizal's Pending Questions
by Manuel L.Quezon III
photo credit: Knights of Rizal
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
THE WANNABE HERO
Featured in 2004 as one of Time Magazine’s People Who Mattered, Dr Hwang Woo-Suk is a veterinarian by training who began to research cloning to create a better cow. But his ambitions went beyond the farm.
With the help of his team at Seoul National University, he spearheaded a project to clone human embryos capable of yielding viable stem cells that might one day cure countless diseases. He raced to become the first man to prove that human cloning can be a fact of life. Hence he was dubbed the pride of South Korea for bringing the country to the forefront of stem cell and cloning research.
Dr. Hwang attained rock star-like status in South Korea even inspiring a book for pre-teens; an against-all-odds tale of a humble national hero it called "South Korea's No. 1 scientist." However, its publisher along with other firms who rushed to cash in on his fame by releasing 16 books about him — 10 of which were children's books — are now livid. Demand dried up after two of his university collaborators confessed that a paper they published in May 2005 for the U.S. periodical Science was based on fabricated data.
All those unsold inventory of books are being shipped back to their publishers while Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk will probably head back to the farm.
photo by Ron Wurzer / Getty Images
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
HERO BY CHANCE OF FLIGHT 847
Uli Derickson was the only German-speaking flight attendant aboard TWA’s flight 847 in 1985 when two Lebanese Shiite Muslims barreled down the aisle of the plane with guns and grenades. They demanded the release of more than 700 prisoners held by Israel. The terrorists spoke no English but one of them spoke German, which meant Uli Derickson suddenly became responsible for ensuring the flight’s safety. She was at that time already 40 while the hijackers were in their 20s, a useful age for a woman dealing with two frantic captors.
It was a harrowing ordeal which lasted about 40 hours. Yet through it all, Ms. Derickson successfully convinced the hijackers to immediately release all women and children hostages. However, she was unable to prevent the shooting to death of one American passenger, Robert Dean Stethem, a U.S. Navy diver, when the plane was diverted and landed in Beirut. Eventually, all passengers and flight crew were released.
One of the two hijackers was never captured; the other, Mohammed Ali Hamadi was eventually apprehended two years later. He was tried and sentenced to life in Germany for the killing of the American passenger. He was quietly released last week when a German hostage, Susanne Osthoff, an archeologist, was recently freed in Iran.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Eric aka Senor Enrique
Photo location: The Exxon Building, Avenue of the Americas, nyc
Friday, December 23, 2005
THE CHRISTMAS SONG
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like eskimos
Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight
They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys
And goodies on his sleigh
And every mother's child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly
And so, I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although its been said Many times, many ways
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas to you!
Written by Mel Torme and Robert Wells
Photo location: Lincoln Center, New York City
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Featured Photo by DONDON
Photo by Dondon
Don said “this sweet little girl was too shy because the other kids were looking at her while she was saying her Christmas wishes to the angel.”
Who could blame her? Who would want the other kids to be staring and straining their ears to hear what you have to say to the angel, especially when what you might want to whisper is a special toy or doll you’ve always wanted to have, right? This photograph was taken during Don’s recent trip to Australia.
A Filipino who lives in Japan but constantly travels all over the world partly describes Don. He is also an avid photographer. He claims to be an amateur, but his photo galleries at flickr suggest otherwise. From golden sunsets to sensuous raindrops, his compositions are simply mesmerizing; some with vibrant and breathtaking colors. Talk about photo therapy; I feel good every time I visit his galleries.
Visit don2g @ flickr and enjoy his collection of photographs.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
THE ITALIAN CHRISTMAS BREAD
When recently asked what holiday things I miss most from New York, being a carbo addict that I am, I quickly replied, Pannetone — Italy’s favorite Christmas dessert. It is a tall cake-like bread stuffed with dried raisins and candied orange and lemon peel. I love this bread! I’m sure our fellow-Filipinos in Italy will agree with me.
According to Nicole Martiche’s The Legend of Panettone, this bread has a rich and often varied history; that its birthplace is Milan. The most popular of the stories about its origins is a romantic tale that begins with a "Once upon a time." Ms. Martiche writes:
So it was that a Milanese nobleman and falconer, Ughetto degli Atellani, fell in love with Adalgisa, the daughter of a poor baker named Toni. To win her over, the nobleman disguised himself as a baker and invented a rich bread in which he added to the flour and yeast, butter, eggs, dried raisins and candied lemon and orange peel.
The duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro Sforza (1452-1508), agreed to the marriage, which was held in the presence of Leonardo da Vinci, and encouraged the launch of the new cake-like bread: Pan del Ton (or Toni's bread).
But according to another tale, the Panettone though invented in the court of the Sforzas, was spawned in entirely different circumstances. It was Christmas and the court cook had no dessert to offer. So the guests were given sweet bread baked by a mere kitchen boy, called Toni, which won general praise. Rather than steal the praise for himself, the cook congratulated his assistant and named it after him.
Other historians claim to have found references to "pan del ton" as far back as the 1300s. In those days some families made a thick bread with wheat flour called "pan del ton", which meant "luxury bread" in Milanese dialect.
Whatever its origins, it was only in 1919, just after the end of World War I, that Panettone became widely known thanks to a young Milanese baker, Angelo Motta, who gave his name to one of Italy's now best-known brands. It was also Motta who revolutionized the traditional Panettone by giving it its tall domed shape by making the dough rise three times, or almost 20 hours, before cooking, which is what makes it so light.
The recipe was adapted shortly after by another baker, Gioacchino Alemagna, who also gave his name to a popular brand that still exists today. The stiff competition between the two that then ensued led to industrial production of the cake-like bread.
So by the end of World War II, Panettone was cheap enough for anyone and soon became the country's leading Christmas sweet.
Read entire story …
The Legend of Panettone
by Nicole Martiche
Panettone Baking Recipe
Gifts From Your Kitchen
Photo Credit: Cyber Italia Online Store
Pinoy Blogs Directory
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The Story of "SILENT NIGHT"
180 years ago the carol "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht" was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. The congregation at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church listened as the voices of the assistant pastor, Fr. Joseph Mohr, and the choir director, Franz Xaver Gruber, rang through the church to the accompaniment of Fr. Mohr's guitar. On each of the six verses, the choir repeated the last two lines in four-part harmony.
On that Christmas Eve, a song was born that would wing its way into the hearts of people throughout the world. Now translated into hundreds of languages, it is sung by untold millions every December from small chapels in the Andes to great cathedrals in Antwerp and Rome.
The German words for the original six stanzas of the carol we know as "Silent Night" were written by Joseph Mohr in 1816, when he was a young priest assigned to a pilgrimage church in Mariapfarr, Austria. His grandfather lived nearby, and it is easy to imagine that he could have come up with the words while walking thorough the countryside on a visit to his elderly relative. The fact is, we have no idea if any particular event inspired Joseph Mohr to pen his poetic version of the birth of the Christchild. The world is fortunate, however, that he didn't leave it behind when he was transferred to Oberndorf the following year (1817).
Read complete article…
SILENT NIGHT: The Song Heard 'Round The World
by Bill Egan, Christmas Historian
Art Credit: Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne
Title: Adoration of the Shepherds, 1622
Artist:Gerard (Gerrit) van Honthorst (1590–1656)
Medium: Óleo sobre lienzo.164 x 190 cm
A CHRISTMAS CONSCIOUSNESS
And Christ told us that we must some day discover that the old forever passes into the new. He told us that we should use everything that we have to the full and not bury our talents in the ground nor hide them lest they become moth-eaten and rust away into nothing. It is as though he had said: Life is a game. Life is a continual movement. Life is forever changing. But running through it all, if we learn the secret of living, there is an all-sustaining Law of Mind upon which we may rely. There is a Divine Presence with which we may commune. There is a kingdom of Peace into which we may enter. There is a joy that may be ours. If we live and think and act as though we were in partnership with God right now.
Text: The Philosophy of Jesus for Today’s World
By Ernest Holmes
Compiled and edited by Willis Kinnear
Art: Musée du Louvre, Paris
Title: The Marriage at Cana (1563)
Artist: Paolo Veronese
Medium: Oil on canvas, 666 x 990 cm
Labels: Words of wisdom
Monday, December 19, 2005
Featured Quote by WALT DISNEY
Title: Disneyland 50th Anniversary
Artist: Thomas Kinkade
Size: 18" x 27", 24" x 36", 28" x 42"
Labels: Words of wisdom
Sunday, December 18, 2005
WHY GOD WON'T GO AWAY
I must admit that Lorimar usually comes up with incredible online finds which he posts on his site, The New (Online) Confessions. Most recent of which is his God is Hired-Wired into the Human Brain about Andrew Newberg’s article published by Quantum Biocommunication Technology.
The following is an excerpt of Is Religion Rooted in the Human Brain?
Most secular thinkers believe that religion is an entirely psychological invention—born out of confusion and fear—to help us cope with the struggles of living and comforts us in the face of the terrible certainty that we will die. But researchers Andrew Newberg and Eugene d’Aquili offer a new explanation, at once profoundly simple and scientifically precise: the religious impulse is rooted in the biology of the human brain.
Newberg and d’Aquili base this revolutionary conclusion on a long-term investigation of brain function and behavior as well as studies they conducted using high-tech imaging techniques to peer into the brains of meditating Buddhists and Franciscan nuns at prayer. What they discovered was that intensely focused spiritual contemplation triggers an alteration in the activity of the brain that leads one to perceive transcendent religious experiences as solid, tangible reality. In other words, the sensation that Buddhists call "oneness with the universe" and the Franciscans attribute to the palpable presence of God is not a delusion, or subjective psychology, or simple wishful thinking. Rather, it is triggered by a chain of distinct neurological events that can be objectively observed, recorded, and actually photographed.
Read complete article…
Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief (Paperback)
By Andrew Newberg, Eugene d’Aquili and Vince Rause
Labels: Featured book
Featured Article by CONRADO DE QUIROS
My own belief is that our peculiar version of Catholicism contains humongous elements that are inimical to both morality and progress. The most patent of which is its obsession with ritual and form at the expense of interiority and substance. Our entire concept of salvation is investing in heaven. The "investing" is completely literal: People who donate to the building of churches and charitable works by the Sisters of Mercy imagine themselves exempt from having to live exemplary lives. We hear Mass, go to confession and receive the sacraments, and imagine that, like taking a bath, we are cleansed of our sins, enough to go back to lying, cheating and stealing with a vengeance. We flagellate ourselves during Good Friday, managing to become an episode for Ripley's, and imagine ourselves entitled to commit bloody murder all the other Fridays of the year.
Read complete article…
There's the Rub: Goodness Gracious
11/23/05 Philippine Daily Inquirer
Conrado de Quiros There's the Rub blogsite
An Interesting Discussion of "The Prodigal Son"
Journey to Honeyville
Labels: Featured Writer
Featured Quote by GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
Title: The Funeral of the Anarchist Galli
Medium: Oil on canvas (198 X 266)
Artist: Carlo Carra
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Neiman Marcus comes out with a Christmas catalog every year, which suggests special gifts for those who have everything. Well, I don’t have everything; besides, I wouldn't know where to put them all. But once in a while, especially on Christmas holiday season, I'd fantasize about an awesome gift. So, Santa, if you should happen to read this, I wouldn’t mind getting one of these for Christmas! Oh, yeah, make that complete with a home theater system so I could watch the DVD edition of the new King Kong movie when it comes out.
If your childhood included a tree house, it was likely a simple structure of 2' x 4's that Dad hammered together to provide a leaf-shrouded hiding place with a bird's eye view of the back yard. Artisan/builder Roderick Romero believes adults should have a similar getaway— but his vision is as different from the typical tree house as redwood is from boxwood.
A former musician (with the 1990s indie rock band Sky Cries Mary), Romero designs and constructs breathtakingly naturalistic sculptures that nestle into branches as if they had grown there. The self-taught designer has built more than a dozen tree houses from California to Tuscany, for a list of clients that includes Donna Karan and Sting.
His first creation was a nest-like construction for an art show in the Pacific Northwest, but he has gone on to develop remarkably diverse, site-specific environments that rest on a system of steel rods (called the Garnier Limb). Romero utilizes indigenous wood from naturally fallen trees whenever possible and has incorporated musical elements for some of his branch dwellers.
Each structure is unique, and all embrace the majesty of the natural world. If your loved one has practically everything, this might make a wonderful gift.
Prices start at $50,000.00
For more information, check out Neiman Marcus
DOING THE HOLIDAY PARTIES
Regardless of our complaints about the country’s gloomy economics, there’ll still be a Christmas party or two to attend, or as what Conrado de Quiros would refer to as “an existential hazard in this country at this time of year.”
And we all know what are usually at these parties — glorious foods!
But for those who prefer to stick to their disciplined and sensible eating habits or maintain their current weight, here are some worthwhile tips I’ve learned from friends, as well as from some online fitness gurus:
* Delight on interacting with your friends and relatives more so than with the buffet table. Make the people as your priority instead of the lechon and leche flan.
* Do not arrive at any of these gatherings famished. Plan ahead by munching on protein-rich snacks like boiled eggs or a piece of chicken, and drink plenty of water so you will have that feeling of fullness not starvation when you get to a party.
* If it’s pot-luck-style party, aside from the usual dish you intend to bring, add a hefty bowl of fresh vegetable salad, some protein-rich and salt-free nuts, and fresh fruit.
* Be mindful of those alcoholic drinks because of the sugar they contain. Better yet, stick to water.
* Do not claim any particular chair or part of a sofa as your personal territory. Get off your butt and mingle, mingle and mingle!
* If there’s music and dancing, well, by all means jump into the festive celebration and dance away the calories you had just consumed.
* Do not be tempted to bring home doggy-bags of those delicious but fattening foods because you’ll end up eating them when you get home.
* Resist the temptation to indulge in sweets or to have more than one serving.
Ah, but what the heck! It’s the holiday season, go and have fun!
Photo was taken at the prepared foods section of Suki Market at Mayon Street in Quezon City. For a fee, they will also cook any fresh meat or seafood that you purchase from the market's stalls.
Labels: Featured food
Friday, December 16, 2005
Featured Photo by CARLOS BRAVO
Photo by Carlos Bravo
Kahlil Gibran once wrote, “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts.”
Beautiful words of wisdom, indeed, but if these three beautiful children were mine, I’m afraid that I’m going to find the Prophet’s words hard to take. When I saw this photograph on Carlos’ site at flickr, I immediately sent him my reaction: “a colorful yet subtle celebration of innocence.”
I told him I chose Independencia to feature on my site simply because it speaks of connection, harmony and unity. And since Carlos is from Monterrey, Mexico, I added that I’ve always considered Mexicans and Filipinos as cultural cousins as well. So, this is indeed the ideal photograph for me to spotlight as a way to introduce him to my readers.
However, don’t let Independencia fool you and think of Carlos as a mere portrait artist. He happens to also excel in conveying surrealism, horror, culture, wit and playfulness in his other photographs. He’s indeed multi-faceted with his camera.
Please visit his galleries, but make sure you have plenty of time to browse around and fully appreciate his photographs.
Labels: Featured photographer
Thursday, December 15, 2005
HIGH SCHOOL ALLOWANCE
This is exactly how much I used to get a day in allowance — one peso.
My jeepney fare to and from school was twenty cents, and that would leave me with eighty-five centavos for lunch. I would sometimes get one siopao and a bottle of Coke for seventy-five, and I would have five centavos left for the jukebox. Marcos was on his first term as president then.
During my third and senior years, I tried lobbying for a raise, but my father would give me this long spiel about how he used to walk to and from his college campus. He also waved off my argument that his walk from where he was living in Ongpin to FEU (Far Eastern University) was idyllic compared to my walking it from our house near Espiritu Santo Church in Tayuman to MIT (Mapua Institute of Technology) in Doroteo Jose Street near Recto.
My failure to receive an increase in allowance wasn't such a pitiful experience after all; it honed my skills in negotiating for a raise and extra fringe benefits from my jobs later on in life.
Anyway, at a sari-sari store in Manila the other day, the only thing I can buy with one peso is one piece of candy (Menthos, X. O., Kopiko, or a piece of Stik-O). Most other candies are now three pieces for two pesos.
I wonder how much allowance others used to receive while in high school.
Labels: Growing up memoirs
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
SOUR NEWS FOR SUGAR LOVERS
The holidays mean lots of goodies on the table, including sugary sweets, but the price of sugar is going up because of crop damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. And hurricane damage to U.S. oil production is now forcing higher prices for anything wrapped in plastic.
Since the recent hurricanes, wholesale sugar prices in the United States have increased from 28 cents per pound to more than 40 cents per pound, according to the Department of Agriculture.
And it's not just sugar you'll pay more for this holiday season. For instance, Hershey is raising its candy prices one percent because of higher packaging and transportation costs. Kraft and others are, too. Some shoppers say the best way around higher food prices is to buy generic instead of name brand.
Hurricane Damage Driving Up Sugar Prices
Story by MATT PENE
Labels: health issues
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
SIDE EFECTS OF ASPARTAMEDr. Janet Starr Hull, author of Sweet Poison and creator of the Aspartame Detox Program holds a Doctorate in Nutrition, a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, is an international geographer and geologist, a former university professor, firefighter and Hazardous Waste Specialist and Emergency Responder. She is a Licensed Certified Nutritionist, certified fitness professional, author and aspartame victim.
She almost died from aspartame poisoning in 1991. She has documented the history of aspartame, government reports and Senate Hearings on aspartame safety, case histories, including death, and provided a list of products aspartame is found in, along with the 92 symptoms of disease aspartame creates. Sweet Poison also includes nutritional recommendations for restoring your health naturally.
Dr. Hull's diverse background supports her unique approach to contemporary nutritional issues. She has dedicated the past ten years to sharing with others her life-threatening experience and natural recovery from aspartame poisoning.
The following is an excerpt from her Sweet Poison Web site which enumerates the perils of aspartame:
There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption. It seems surreal, but true. How can one chemical create such chaos?
Aspartame dissolves into solution and can therefore travel throughout the body and deposit within any tissue. The body digests aspartame unlike saccharin, which does not break down within humans.
The multitude of aspartame side effects is indicative to your genetic individuality and physical weaknesses. It is important to put two and two together, nonetheless, and identify which side effects aspartame is creating within you.
The components of aspartame can lead to a number of health problems, as you have read. Side effects can occur gradually, can be immediate, or can be acute reactions. According to Lendon Smith, M.D. there is an enormous population suffering from side effects associated with aspartame, yet have no idea why drugs, supplements and herbs don’t relieve their symptoms. Then, there are users who don’t ‘appear’ to suffer immediate reactions at all. Even these individuals are susceptible to the long-term damage caused by excitatory amino acids, phenylalanine, methanol, and DKP.
Adverse reactions and side effects of aspartame include:
blindness in one or both eyes
decreased vision and/or other eye problems such as: blurring, bright flashes, squiggly lines, tunnel vision, decreased night vision, pain in one or both eyes, decreased tears, trouble with contact lenses, bulging eyes
tinnitus - ringing or buzzing sound
severe intolerance of noise
marked hearing impairment
headaches, migraines and some severe dizziness, unsteadiness, both confusion, memory loss,
both severe drowsiness and sleepiness
paresthesia or numbness of the limbs
severe slurring of speech
severe hyperactivity and restless legs
atypical facial pain
shortness of breath
recent high blood pressure
diarrhea, sometimes with blood in stools
pain when swallowing
Skin and Allergies
itching without a rash
lip and mouth reactions
aggravated respiratory allergies such as asthma
Endocrine and Metabolic
loss of control of diabetes
marked thinning or loss of hair
marked weight loss
gradual weight gain
aggravated low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
frequency of voiding and burning during urination
excessive thirst, fluid retention, leg swelling, and bloating
increased susceptibility to infection
Additional Symptoms of Aspartame Toxicity include the most critical symptoms of all
irreversible brain damage
birth defects, including mental retardation
aspartame addiction and increased craving for sweets
hyperactivity in children
Aspartame may trigger, mimic, or cause the following illnesses:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Post-Polio SyndromeLyme Disease
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Mercury sensitivity from Amalgam fillings
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
These are not allergies or sensitivities, but diseases and disease syndromes. Aspartame poisoning is commonly misdiagnosed because aspartame symptoms mock textbook ‘disease’ symptoms, such as Grave’s Disease.
Aspartame changes the ratio of amino acids in the blood, blocking or lowering the levels of serotonin, tyrosine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. Therefore, it is typical that aspartame symptoms cannot be detected in lab tests and on x-rays. Textbook disorders and diseases may actually be a toxic load as a result of aspartame poisoning.
Ever gone to the doctor with real, physical symptoms, but he/she can’t find the cause? Well, it’s probably your diet, your environment, or both.
Aspartame is the common denominator for over 92 different health symptoms at the root of modern disease. The Aspartame Detoxification Program demonstrates the most effective way to reverse disease symptoms is removing the underlying cause - aspartame.
For additional information visit Dr. Janet Starr Hull’s Web Site, Sweet Poison.
Labels: health issues
Monday, December 12, 2005
Designed by ALEXANDER GUSTAVE EIFFEL
The Order of the Agustinian Recollect (OAR) Parishes Manual cited that the San Sebastian church “is the first all-iron church in the world, the first iron edifice in Asia and the second in the world after Eiffle Tower.” It has its beginnings in 1621 when Don Bernardino Castillo, a generous patron and a well-known devotee of San Sebastian donated his lot for the dream of having a steel church in Asia become a reality.
The original church, which was made of wood, was burned in 1651 during a Chinese uprising. The succeeding structures were destroyed by fire and an earthquake in 1859, 1863, and, 1880 destroyed the imposing stone of the church. The exasperated parish priest, Fr. Esteban Martinez approached the Spanish Architect Genero Palacios with a plan to build a fire and earthquake-resistant church made entirely of steel.
Ambeth Ocampo states that the present San Sebastian church was ordered knockdown in steel parts from the “Societe Anonime des Enterprises de Travaux Publiques in Brussels, Belgium. The Societe cast all the parts and shipped them piece by piece to Manila, (as what Eiffel did in most of his designs). Two Belgian engineers supervised the construction of the church which was later completed and inaugurated in 1891.
Historical background: Artes de las Filipinas
Photo credit: Cesar in Nicaragua
Inspiration: Pinoy Travel Blog
GOT TO GET IN TO GET OUT
As they say, one’s anger can breathe life to a not so innocuous murmuring, and with the help of others with similar sentiments, turn it into a full-blown gossip. Regrettably, whosoever is the target of such rumor is doomed with a double whammy: correcting the wrong said and in so doing accuse the culprits of outright lying.
For a man well-known as reserved, though affable, the last thing Tito Romy would want to do is to publicly engage in a verbal battle against these women — the self-proclaimed social historians of the neighborhood. Besides, there is some truth in what they’re talking about -- that he has been enjoying a sort of afternoon trysts with the local beautician, while his wife, Tita Nely, was abroad.
It all started with his having patronized the neighborhood unisex salon. On his second haircut, he received a complimentary massage on the head, nape and shoulder areas. And by the fourth haircut, there was a more private full body massage session behind the floral curtains. Had Tito Romy been more discreet, the neighborhood historians wouldn’t have noticed the ensuing twice a week haircuts.
When Tita Nely came home last week, the neighborhood historians seethed with jealousy upon seeing the balikbayan boxes being unloaded from the rented Toyota FX. They hatched a plan. Soon thereafter, Tita Nely was hearing insinuations of Tito Romy’s obsession for full service grooming by Chinita at the salon down the block.
Unable to contain her curiosity, one afternoon, Tita Nely walked over to the salon to get her nails done and perhaps, catch a glimpse of this infamous Chinita. Immediately upon laying her eyes on this “other woman,” Tita Nely stormed out of the salon and immediately sought her husband.
“Don’t you dare pull a Bill Clinton on me, you sick perverted animal!” she screamed at Tito Romy.
“But it’s true … that was all that happened. It was nothing. It wasn’t even sex,” he pleaded.
“Besides, she’s not even … ah, entirely … you know, a real woman … so, it doesn’t count.” he stammered.
Tried as she might, Tita Nely was too embarrassed and horrified by her discovery of her husband’s sexual proclivities that she could only break down and cry in disgust.
What was anticipated to be a joyous Christmas holiday has now become a gloomy reunion, especially for the couple’s only child, 12-year-old Jonathan. Since the couple’s quarrelling, all he has been doing after school and right after dinner is hang out in the arcade in Dapitan Street; coming home usually around 10:00 p.m. every night.
Jonathan was practically raised single-handedly by his father when Tita Nely went abroad to work eight years ago. Sadly, Jonathan tends to side with his father; blaming his mother’s absence for having caused the entire problem. Oddly enough, during the last two times she vacationed in Manila, Tita Nely had already noticed Jonathan’s growing aloofness. And despite all the wonderful clothes, high-priced sneakers and toys, Jonathan is evidently fonder of his father, Tito Romy.
The other day, Tita Nely evaluated their savings and investments made possible by her earnings as a nurse in Riyadh. Tito Romy, she admits, has done an exceptional job of raising Jonathan, as well as managing their finances. It hasn’t been easy for everyone — she was working abroad and perpetually homesick; Tito Romy was struggling to be a perfect Mr. Mom; and Jonathan was growing up without his mother. Tita Nely was soon becoming more understanding of her husband’s predicament. She thought of letting him slide this time.
She also realized that since they had put aside a sizeable saving, she’d return to Riyadh for only a year just to fulfill her contract, and then return home for good to start a small business with Tito Romy. Besides, she had already missed out enough of her son’s growing up years. She wants to establish a much better relationship with him before he enters adulthood. And the best way to do so, she decided, is by being there for him.
Tomorrow, she will pledge to God her forgiveness of Tito Romy and then after church, take everyone to SM Megamall. Over lunch, she plans to discuss with Tito Romy and Jonathan about this new plan that might benefit the entire family. It’ll be a wonderful Christmas for everyone after all!
Perhaps, the neighborhood historians had done more good than harm on this one after all.
Dedicated to Single Fathers Everywhere
Men as Mothers
The Mr. Mom Myth
By Greg Downs
Sunday, December 11, 2005
FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY
Whenever I passed by some of Manila’s impoverished areas, I would find myself wondering at times if fear had a lot to do with their inability to advance in their lives. I would also wonder if theirs are so overwhelming that succumbing has become a more common practice than confronting their fears. And for those who strive to better their lot, what support system or information resources have they got? Where do they go for inspiration? Encouragement?
I once saw the book, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, by Susan Jeffers displayed in the window of a bookstore, and its title intrigued me. I later found out the book “offers readers a clear-cut plan for action that, when followed, should help them unlearn their misconceptions about fear and replace them with attitudes of strength and conviction.”
I was rushing to get home that evening and had no time to get a copy for myself. I wish I had because there were many times I felt fear—applying for a much more challenging job, traveling alone to a foreign country, undertaking a new task, replacing a team member with someone else, and so on and so forth. There were also times I was so anxious over something that I’ve lost sleep over it. Yet, in spite of those surmounting apprehensions, I managed to survive or achieve what I set out to do.
I soon realized I was responsible for adding on to the hindrances by giving additional power to my fears—by indulging in them and wasting a lot of energy in the process. From that time on, I’ve learned to focus on proactive solutions, as well as acquire the necessary skills to resolve a dilemma or achieve the desired results. As with most things in life, it took some time but well worth the effort; I was learning to empower myself rather than my fears.
Indeed, the unresolved fears we carry around with us can cause paralyzing anxieties—fear of getting hurt, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being laughed at, and worst of all, fear of losing what we never had to begin with; whatever that may be.
According to Ron Kurtus’ Overcoming Unnecessary Fears, “You can overcome fears by gaining confidence in your ability to do such a task. That is usually done by doing something difficult and seeing that the consequences of failure are not so bad or that the chances of failure are not so great.”
He then concludes, “People fear physical harm or ridicule. Sometimes the danger is not as bad as it seems. Taking a little step in overcoming the fear can go a long way in increasing your confidence and erasing other fears.”
I was once told by a mentor that the pain of failure is not as bad as the pain of someday saying to your self, “I should have.” I had since made that a personal mantra as I prepared to pursue a bigger challenge in life. Certainly, I failed on numerous occasions, but those failures only honed my skills to better manifest my visions, as well as attain some wisdom to guide my future journeys.
And knowing we only pass by once in this lifetime, heck, why not feel the fear and do it anyway, right? And as incentive, we ought to add another line to Bertrand Russell’s quote above — “And wisdom begets prosperity.”
But one question remains: How do we share this information with those living in impoverished areas of our cities?
Saturday, December 10, 2005
FRIED CHICKEN ala MAX's
For those who might want to deep-fry a whole chicken ala Max’s Fried Chicken, check out this recipe:
- Thoroughly wash a whole chicken with salt as usual.
- Fill pan with water (chicken must be totally immersed in water)
- Add 1 tablespoon of whole black pepper and 3 pieces of star anis (sangke)
- Add sliced ginger and salt according to taste
- Boil chicken for 10 to 15 minutes using low fire
- Drain and deep-fry
SPAMMEDWhen SpamJam in Glorietta opened with great fanfare—touting Spam as its main ingredient in most of the dishes on its menu—I could only say to myself, “They have got to be kidding!” Well, apparently not; the place remains open to date. Its owner must have struck a chord with the Filipino’s insatiable penchant for it.
Supposedly, over five billion cans of this pork-shoulder-and-ham concoction have been delivered across the globe, and 3.6 pieces more are churned out every second by Hormel Foods.
Some New York friends seemed revolted when I used to bring my lunch of Spam sandwich prepared at home. These were friends whose fathers fought in the war and most probably had nothing to eat but Spam while fighting the Nazis or the Japanese in the Pacific. So, they had grown to dislike it intensely, and after the war, passed on their disfavor of it to their young; much like an aunt who refused to eat any more bananas after coming down from the mountains during liberation, and refused to have any of it inside her house ever since.
But a more poignant if not outright tragic piece of family history that involved Spam also occurred during the liberation period when Macarthur’s men had just finished carpet bombing Manila into smithereens.
An uncle who adroitly escaped the death march in Bataan and hid up in the mountains of Subic, Zambales was exuberant upon learning from another guerilla contingent that the Americans planned to make a couple of food drops in the area. These were crates filled with emergency medicines, blankets and foodstuffs. At that time, the area was not fully secured by the GIs from the Japanese forces.
One night, upon seeing a crate parachuting from a plane, he precisely gauged where it would land and ran over to the area to meet it. Unfortunately, the other guerrilla unit failed to inform them to stay away from a food drop until it has landed; its sheer weight could burst open the crate, and its contents of canned goods could become deadly projectiles. Well, lo and behold, a can of Spam hit my uncle right smack on his forehead which almost cracked his skull wide open.
How did they know it was Spam that did him in? Well, the can itself was semi-embedded on his forehead when he was later on found sprawled on his back—his mouth agape and eyes open with horrific expression. The can of Spam was nestled firmly on his forehead as if contrived for an advertising photo shoot for Life Magazine. It was a closed casket service, but the Spam was fried and served along with other foods right after his burial.
Be that as it may, our family never espoused any resentment against Spam and would always have a couple of cans readily available along with some sardines and corned beef in the cupboard. My uncle’s tragic rendezvous with a can of Spam was considered an unfortunate happenstance, but no minute of silence was ever deemed necessary to observe whenever we enjoyed Spam with garlic rice and slices of tomatoes or as pandesal sandwich.
Friday, December 09, 2005
DON’T DAMN THE JAM
Quezon Boulevard would get extremely congested, especially during Fridays when most people head over to attend mass at Quiapo Church. These pictures were taken around 2:00 p.m. on a regular workday; not quite the rush hour yet, but notice the build up. However, if you drive a private vehicle, there are ways to circumvent the grim prospect of getting stuck in one; that is, if you knew of alternate routes or as more commonly known as short cuts.
Prior to my driving around Metro Manila, I consulted with the masters—the cab drivers. I took a lot of cabs to and from my residence and would ask every one for driving tips in and around the city. Believe me they all love to share their knowledge. One of the many wonderful things about our local folks is that they would immediately reciprocate the respect you afford them.
So for the most part, their universal advice is, when driving in Metro Manila, always yield to public utility vehicles—the jeepneys, cabs, and FXs, because they’re all hustling for a fare. The more you yield, the less the agitation you’ll experience from them. Remember, especially with the jeepneys, theirs are made of galvanized steel; your car’s body is merely a grade above the can of sardines. As for the traffic cops, everything is negotiable, especially if you demonstrate even just a tad of humility. Again, the operative word here is humility. Finally, traffic jams eventually move and dissipate so, just find ways to assuage the stress of waiting. What I do is sing along with my Beatle CDs!
RECENTLY, a cousin from Los Angeles remarked rather condescendingly about Manila’s pollution and traffic jams. Luckily I discovered this CNN report; although dated it seemed a perfect retort.
According to the article, traffic jams in the United States are “costing Americans $68 billion each year in wasted time and fuel.”
And here’s the stinger, “By several measures, the report found Los Angeles had the worst traffic. The report stated that the average Los Angeles rush-hour driver wasted 136 hours a year in slow or stopped traffic.”
Thursday, December 08, 2005
THE NIGHT THE MUSIC DIED
It was a night similar to this photograph—Christmas lights adorned some parts of the streets; there were steam coming out of manholes; some buildings’ were gaily lit; and giant billboards featured beautiful women promoting newest trends.
It was nippy outside when I stepped out of my Tai-Chi training center on Sixth Avenue and 43rd Street near Bryant Park. It was really late; they had a special demonstration conducted by a master from the West Coast that featured some of his students. I was compelled to sit through the entire performance; amazed by their disciplined forms and techniques. After which was the courtesy chit-chat with the visitors.
As I headed towards a bus stop on 42nd Street, a man came out of a Blarney Stone bar shouting, “He got shot! He got shot!” A couple of other patrons trailed after him; their faces seemed aghast from the breaking news broadcast that interrupted a football game on television.
I dismissed the commotion and kept walking towards the bus stop thinking the victim might be a Mafia kingpin or some Washington figurehead.
It was a slow night for buses. I must have been standing there for a good twenty minutes when a young couple walked over to wait for the same bus. The guy turned to me and asked if I heard the latest development—that he just lost too much blood to survive. When they told me who it was, my knees weakened; I just sat on the cold curb. The couple knew how grief-stricken I was.
"Damn, Lennon is dead," I whispered to no one.
I grew up in a household of diverse music. My father favored Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, and Xavier Cougat to name a few; my mother loves George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and Rogers and Hammerstein; my eldest sister adored Pat Boone, Paul Anka, Doris Day, Patsy Cline, Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole; my brothers would rock to Bill Hailey, Fats Domino, The Platters, Chubby Checker, Little Anthony and the Imperials and of course, the king; but when the Beatles came along, I immediately declared possession. For the first time in my life, I have music to call my very own.
So, when Lennon died that night it felt as if all music died as well.
He was my idol. I was always amazed by his quick wit, as well as by his courage to speak his mind. When the White House took him on as a nemesis, he fought back just as fiercely. But most important, I was in awe of his words and music. He was to me the finest wordsmith.
The first time I saw him in person was in Manila. He was seated at the back of a white Cadillac; George on his left and Paul on his right. When he noticed me and some friends running towards their car from a distance, he must have asked the driver to slow down a bit to allow us to catch up. He then bent forward and waved at us with a big smile on his face. When we all dropped on the grass as if struck by an invisible force of his gesture, they all laughed—amused by our antics. The white Cadillac then picked up speed, made a u-turn and headed towards the yatch club.
I would run into him many a times since that afternoon; usually around the Upper West Side. On a couple of times inside a café in the 70’s between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West. I would always greet him with, “Hi John!” And just like an old friend he would say hello back while meeting my eyes. That would be it. No small talk, autograph requests or pictures to take. He was considered a neighbor and that was it.
He was always with his baby, pushing his stroller. Inside the café, after giving the baby his bottle or letting him nap, he would lose himself in a book while he sipped his cup of tea or coffee. No one bothered him. Almost all of New York granted him that kind of respect; treating him as an ordinary citizen just out to enjoy the day with the baby. Always, the locals would greet him either with a quick hello or a simple knod of acknowledgement, which he would reciprocate in kind.
Wikipedia’s profile of him claims, “When asked once in the 1960s how he expected to die, Lennon's offhand answer was ‘I'll probably be popped off by some loony.’ In retrospect, although he might have meant it as a joke and did not expect it to happen, the comment turned out to be chillingly accurate. Another chillingly accurate comment was made in his last interview, where he mentioned that he often felt that somebody is stalking him: first it was federal agents in the 1970s trying to deport him and later the obsessed fan in 1980.”
New York has a handful of celebrities as its residents, but none compared to John Lennon in terms of integrity, madness, brilliance and influence. But most striking was his deep longing for peace for all of mankind.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
FRUIT OF THE GODS
One of my friends in New York loves fresh fruit. The weekend before Thanksgiving, she would have already ordered online and delivered at her apartment an ample supply of apples and oranges. She would put them in large baskets near her Christmas tree. The scent of which would add magic to her apartment beautifully adorned with Christmas ornaments. As for the grapes, nuts and cheeses, she would just walk over and buy them at Zabar’s on Broadway and then have them delivered. Zabar’s, by the way, is a gourmet Epicurean emporium much like Gourmet Garage (photo of which accompanies this blog post).
To her friends, her apartment has become a sanctuary of sorts during the Christmas holiday season. Depressed by a feeling of emptiness or strung-out by the stress of preparations for it, most friends would stop by at her place to recollect their senses or regain the needed emotional balance even if for a couple of hours. She would serve tea or wine and of course, fresh fruit. I always favored the apples and cheese.
As a kid in Manila, the Christmas season was always filled with great anticipation and sheer joy. But as I got older in New York, I became more aware of how adult issues gave the Christmas holiday season an entirely different meaning; that instead of jovial excitement, a feeling of depression, loneliness or anxiety may manifest instead.
For some, financial constraint is the reason — unable to give every one the ideal gift or prepare the usual festive banquet for the entire family and relatives. Others, on the other hand, may complain of their inability to be with their loved ones or close friends; ironically, it is during these times when stressful family and relationship issues would often arise. And in such instances, forgiveness is the key element to survive the holiday blues. That instead of devising ways to get even, forgiving the culprit may in fact deviate any one from harboring negative emotions.
In her new book, Heal the Hurt: How to Forgive and Move On, Dr. Macaskill guides her readers how to come to terms with issues around forgiveness. She explains, “We often find it very difficult to forgive people for the things they have done to us, we carry around hurt, anger and sometimes fear and can spend large amounts of time and emotional energy brooding over the wrongs done to us. Bad feelings can escalate, particularly around Christmas-time, when financial difficulties, relationship issues and family problems appear to be magnified. This can prevent us from getting on with our lives and can ultimately make us ill. I argue that in refusing to forgive or at least to put the hurt behind us we are frequently allowing the perpetrator to continue to hurt us. I introduce the reader via exercises and examples to strategies to help them to deal with the resentment and anger linked to the perpetrator so that they can out the events behind them and get on with their lives.”
There are many published books out there, as well as online resources to help those afflicted by this seasonal disorder. If you know of any other effective measures or resources, please share them with us. Having them to pass along to afflicted family members or friends may turn out to be the best Christmas gift that we can give to them. Along with some apples and oranges, of course!
Heal the Hurt: How to Forgive and Move On
By Dr. Ann Macaskill
Surviving the Christmas Blues
Tips by psychotherapist Beth Mares
Tips for Reducing Christmas Stress
Better Health Channel
Photo credit: NoelG
Nclicks @ blogdrive
THE PERILS OF ASPARTAME
This came as a shock to me. All along I thought I was making a better choice by drinking diet Coke instead of the regular soft drinks. I didn’t realize that one of the artificial sweeteners used in the manufacture of Diet Coke is actually worse to consume than sugar. And that this compound is very powerful and can cause severe biological effects in the human body. It is called ASPARTAME.
The following is an excerpt from Rino Soriano’s article, Sugar Lovers Beware:
What you are about to discover is information that has been known for quite some time by various health organizations. Please take this information seriously because there are agendas in place to hide this truth and to use it against you.Aspartame (nutrasweet) is actually worse to consume than sugar.
This technical name includes the following brands of sweeteners- (equal, nutrasweet, spoonful and equal measure).Be advised that these compounds are very powerful and can cause severe biological effects in your body. To say that they are toxic is an understatement. The manufacturer of these compounds knows of the dangers in consuming regular amounts of aspartame substances. As I have already said there is an agenda for putting these compounds into various products.If you want to know the true agenda then research it for yourself.
I am not one who attempts to prove anything to anyone. I challenge you to do your own research and see if you can prove what I am saying wrong. In trying to prove me wrong, you will prove me right.The Breakdown of AspartameAspartame is a volatile substance, meaning that it breaks down very readily under normal storing conditions. Primarily, all aspartame compounds break down into methanol (alcohol), which is a known neurotoxin. The methanol in time then will break down into formaldehyde that is a highly reactive chemical that is damaging to the cells and genetics of the body.
This process can cause a number of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease. The methyl alcohol that forms from aspartame is thousands of times more potent than the alcohol found in a normal alcoholic beverage.Reactions to aspartame products include the following: headaches, nausea, depression, fatigue, heart palpitations, slurred speech, breathing difficulties, memory loss, seizures and even death. Consuming high amounts of aspartame can also increase your cravings for carbohydrates. I explained earlier that consuming high amounts of empty carbohydrates (refined flours, pasta, rice, chips) will lead to weight gain.
Primarily, the effects of aspartame chemicals in the body seem to alter key hormones thus creating imbalances in neurotransmitters and blocking other hormone precursors. So, why haven't you heard about these dangers before now? Let's see, the diet industry is a trillion dollar market to many organizations. Obviously, they don't want this secret information to get out to public ears if you know what I mean.
Children love to consume sweets on a daily basis. Many of the food products that these children are consuming have aspartame sweeteners in them. I would advise all parents to get their kids off of aspartame food items. These foods are not healthy for them. There are plenty of healthy alternatives for any of the items that they enjoy.
Sugar Lovers Beware
by Rino Soriano
Carderock Springs Web
Labels: health issues