Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's been a long time (1999-2009)

There are some anniversaries to celebrate. First of all, one of the cutest, nicest girls celebrated her birthday recently and became 10 years old. Happy birthday again to you! Don't worry, you will get a cat one day, but keep in mind that cats also mean work.

I also had my birthday this month and I got a new electric shaver. The last one I got 10 years ago! Wow, that is already hard to believe. It helped me look acceptable from age 16 until now. Whenever I had to look neat, whether it's in job interviews, when meeting important people or just whenever I had to take that whole stuff off my face, I could trust my Braun shaver. Now I send it into retirement. It already started hurting my face, maybe because it was so overused.

The new one is the Braun CruZer² - yeah, that sounds stylish, right? And I hope this CruZer² can last for 10 years just like my old shaver. When I compare the both of them, it's already obvious on the outside that they come from different ages. My old shaver looks very boring, like an ordinary, mid-90s cellphone. A big black block without any aesthetic curves or shapes. The new one has those curves, and also a nice design, colours (orange for example) and cool stuff on it. Interesting extras. I wonder how these shaving things look in another 10 years. Maybe totally futuristic.

I often make a comparison to 10 years ago, no matter which year I'm in. 1999 was not the best year for me (and others), so I hope 2009 does not become this bizarre twin of 1999. It can even be a not so special year. Just normal would be okay. Maybe some things could go right instead of wrong, I wouldn't mind.

I try not to feel too bad. There are things to appreciate, things to enjoy. Like cooking. Or being in a nice relationship.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Top 7 Health Myths

It's a new year and I've been wanting to do this for a long time, so let's get straight to business. Here are my personal top 7 health myths. Why exactly seven of them? Because I only chose the ones that I consider most controversial, either because of the time they have been myths or because of the fact that even the media have abused (or still do misuse) them in a bad way.

7. You can leave the skin on when eating potatoes

This one has been a topic in a show last year, and they made a big deal out of how dangerous potato skin really is. They said that in the middle age, people knew how much poison there is in the skin, but people nowadays forget. When I heard this, I read about it again to make sure, and yes: Potato skin is dangerous and people who eat it a lot, especially children, can get in big trouble. Even death is possible, but of course not necessary.
The worst thing, though, is that I also saw the opposite claim on tv once. In a cooking show, a chef said:"You can keep the skin, it's okay". It was not a private station, it was a public-law station! They collect our money and not only do they broadcast crappy movies, they also don't even get the facts right! Shame on you!

6. High heeled shoes are good for women

My brother told me that, a couple of days ago, there was an infotainment show that claimed that these shoes are good for women. Why? Because, as they said, the different kind of walking strengthens a woman's hips and makes her get better orgasms. Another thing is that, which can be admitted is true, high heeled shoes give a woman a different stance. It's a more attractive way of moving and makes the woman look more approachable.
The downside is also worth mentioning: There are fibres in the body that get shortened by constantly walking with these shoes. Women who only walk around like this can no longer stretch their feet in all directions and get serious problems. But hey, why would anyone bring that up if the key to happiness, sexual power and superiority over other women is so alluring?

5. Sex is healthy (subliminal message: have as much sex as possible with as many people as possible)

364 days of the year, the media support sex, cheating, the attraction of things that are forbidden, free love and the idea that bad guys are so sexy. One day of the year, I believe it's the first of December, it's world Aids day.
Yes, sex as such is healthy, probably because it's one of the basic things that are put into the human instincts. The biological purpose is evident. But that does not mean that we need a society where everyone does it with everyone else. Not only are there enough diseases (that you can protect yourself from, sure), there are also moral standards. But it's hard to define them because nobody recognises them as binding. But that doesn't mean that the opposite has to happen.
Too much sex can also lead to addiction, and too much focus on sex can result in disappointment in a relationship, and eventually it can also lead to people cheating, which destroys the whole relationship. If sex is so important nowadays, would it be wrong to make it partly responsible for the high divorce rate?

4. Red wine is healthy

This is a myth that has been going back and forth. First people claim wine is healthy, then they take it back, then they say it's healthy again. The truth is: A certain ingredient in the red wine is healthy. But it's not the alcohol. It's an ingredient that appears in many red, dark drinks. There are juices that have the same effect. And that should be all there is to say. Alcohol may have positive effects, but it's addictive, has unhealthy side effects and has done a lot of damage to our society. We don't need it. Whoever wants to drink once in a while, go ahead, but you define what "once in a while" means.

3. Kissing is healthy and serves as an oral vaccination

While kissing as such, just like sex, is again healthy for reasons we can understand, it doesn't take any experience in kissing to tell that the statement mentioned above can't be right in general. Of course, if your immune system is perfect, you're doing sports, take cold showers, and have no stress in your life, then I agree that kissing a person with a slight cold might even give you a vaccination this way.
But in general, if you are an ordinary person, then I highly doubt there is this effect. I really doubt it. Isn't it so obvious? Look: You are on the bus, everyone is coughing and sneezing, you barely even get in contact with them. You even try to hold your breath and turn away in disgust, yet you still end up with a cold. Is anyone trying to tell me that, if I were to run towards them and kiss each of them passionately, it would save me from falling sick? Hell no... if little contact causes disease, then intimate contact surely causes a higher risk of falling sick!

2. Cold weather does not cause colds

The sentence itself already sounds quite absurd, doesn't it? Well, the answer to the myth is not that the myth is really wrong. The answer is that some scientists are really picky with their explanations. They say: You get cold, your immune system gets weak AND people spend a lot of time in rooms together, as opposed to the situation during the rest of the year. Therefore, you have a higher probability of falling sick.
Now here is my explanation: Cold weather weakens the immune system, you get the germs from wherever you will get them during the whole year, you fall sick, therefore the cold weather is responsible for your disease, dammit!
Why is there even questioning about it? I fall sick in winter at least once, but hardly at all during the rest of the year. Does anyone tell me it's not the fault of the weather? That's like saying it's not the man who pulls the trigger, it's the bullet that murders. Yes, it is the cold weather! Live with it!

And now, the worst of all...
1. Vitamin C saves you from catching a cold

This is the myth I have fallen for my entire life until 2008. I already understood a while ago that it will probably not help to consume vitamin C when I am already sick. But it's even worse. Not only does vitamin C not increase the recovery time during a cold. It also doesn't help at all to prevent you from having a cold. What I mean is: If you consume extra vitamin C. Of course you need vitamin C. But you don't need to eat oranges and other stuff like crazy. It has no purpose.

Scientists found out that only people who do extreme sports benefit from EXTRA vitamin C. The rest can eat tons of it or just the standard dose. If you want to save yourself from catching a cold, the only possibility is to isolate yourself from everyone who is a threat. And that can be almost everyone!
And just to explain to you what this whole vitamin C issue means: There is vitamin C in onions. Paprika. Horseradish. You don't need lemons. Vitamin C is in whatever is green or yellow or red. Eat healthy and you are going to be okay. If you like lemons or oranges, go ahead. But forget the extra dose, you will not be safe.

Thanks for reading, and now I hope all of you are wiser. See you next time when a scientist makes a new thesis or cowardly takes back an old one.