Monday, September 5, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Universe Is Big

Right now, on your computer screen, are approximately 10,000 galaxies.

Each of those galaxies contains anywhere from ten million to one trillion stars.

The average star is roughly a million times the size of Earth.

And yet, with all that junk, the Universe is more than 90 percent empty space.

All of that, in this tiny photo. A photo that took 400 orbits and 800 exposures to take.

And the kicker? The photo covers one thirteen-millionth of the entire night sky.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Did You Know...

New Zealand's national basketball team is called The Tall Blacks. They play an exhibition game against the Illini later this week.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

More On The Diet, Odds And Ends

Still Trying To Cut The Cheese

After my last post frequent commenter and all around cool dude Bryan Campbell asked that I go into a little more specifics about what I have and haven't been eating recently.

I think answering the what I don't eat part of that will prove easier. The very first rule Angie and I set for ourselves was No More White Flour, Added Sugar or Starch. In essence, we eliminated almost all processed foods from our diets. I say almost because initially dairy was still a big part of my daily consumption. Since we are shifting to a paleo diet I've gradually reduced the dairy. I still throw a little cheese on my salad and sometimes add a slice of cheddar on my burgers.

One misconception I hear a lot that I'd like to clear up: A paleo diet is not an all-meat diet. In fact, the phrase "paleo diet" is a bit of a misnomer. The foods that existed in paleolithic times are either gone or have changed to the point that they look completely different. A paleo person never saw anything like the domestic cows we feast on, and wouldn't know the modern banana if he slipped on the peel in hilarious fashion. Even the air they breathed was different. That said, do I eat a lot of meat? Hell yeah. I love meat, and eat it at every meal - mostly grass fed meat. But I eat a lot of veggies, too. In fact I'd wager I eat more veggies than almost anyone I know (that's my grocery cart pictured above). For the sweet tooth I still struggle with, a nice handful of mixed berries usually does the trick.

Odds And Ends

- If you haven't seen HBO's Game of Thrones yet, find a way to do so. If you haven't read the books, do that first. The first two episodes have followed the books almost exactly, with only a few minor (very minor) tweaks. I can see this show replacing Dexter as my current favorite. The books are second only to Discworld as my favorite fantasy series.

- I'm glad to see the St. Louis Cardinals have decided that hitting the ball is conducive to a successful season.

- The script for Bill and Ted 3 is finished. The end draws nigh.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Not Dead, More Alive Than Ever

Back in early March Angie and I stumbled upon a documentary called Fat Head on Netflix streaming. The film started as a send up of Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me, with filmmaker Tom Naughton exploring the possibility of losing weight on a 30 day fast food diet, and, no, he doesn't eat just grilled chicken and salads. You can even check out his daily food log, something Spurlock has never released. To achieve his goals,  Tom limited his daily caloric intake to 2.000, and daily carbohydrate intake to 100. The results shouldn't surprise anybody. He loses weight and body fat, and cholesterol numbers improve. The second part of the film focuses on nutrition, and how the nutrition recommendations given by the U.S. government are based on the fatally flawed lipid hypothesis.

Angie and I found the results of the film, and the revelations about nutrition, intriguing. We began studying up on low carb nutrition. We found the reasoning to be sound, but the only way to know for sure was to try it ourselves and see what happened. So about five weeks ago Angie and I started our low carb diets (with additional research we are slowly converting to a paleo diet, but that is for another post), and the results have been phenomenal. In the last five weeks we have both lost over ten pounds, and over three inches from around the waist. There has been a tremendous upswing in both our attitudes and energy levels. In fact, I've found myself with so much energy I've been walking three miles or more a day just to get rid of it.

But that's not the best part.

I'm an insulin-dependent Type II diabetic. I've struggled with it for years, giving myself anywhere from three to six insulin injections a day only to end up with readings ranging from 200 (bad, really bad) to ERR (too high for my glucose monitor to read). My endocrinologist told me my pancreas was likely dead, and I could expect to be taking insulin injections for the rest of my life. About a year ago I found checking my blood sugar too depressing, and just stopped doing it all together. From the start I really wanted to test the effectiveness of this diet, and stopped taking any insulin, as well as my Metformin. One week in I got brave enough to check my fasting blood sugar. Anything under 100 is good for a diabetic, although non-diabetics can typically expect something around 85 or lower. Mine was 77! Of course I was thrilled, and began checking my blood sugar throughout the day, following meals, before and after workouts, sometimes just when I felt like it. Since I started checking I've had an average reading of 89! That's a normal, non-diabetic reading without the aid of any medicine or insulin.

It gets better. Last weekend Angie and I traveled to San Diego for a family reunion, and broke our diets for the first time. I ate bread, cotton candy, and cake among other things. I came home expecting a blood sugar level back in the 200s. After all, I spent three days eating the diet that made me diabetic, and still wasn't taking insulin, and hadn't taken my daily walk all weekend. We got home Monday afternoon. Tuesday morning I checked my blood sugar; 78! That means my pancreas has begun repairing itself, and my body is back in the habit of regulating its blood sugar without outside help. A process you non-diabetics take for granted.

So that's what I've been up to lately. Sorry for the lack of posts. The diet (more of a lifestyle now) continues, and I still have about thirty pounds I'd like to lose. I see my doctor in a couple weeks, and should have my cholesterol numbers, and an A1C test. I expect nothing but positive results.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Here's a fun Internet time waster; an easy way to come up with your band's name, album cover and album title. Here's what you do:

1 – Go to Wikipedia. Hit “random.” The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2 – Go to Quotations Page and select “random quotations.” The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album.
3 – Go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days.” Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4 – Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together

My results:

Band Name: Disk space analyzer
Album Title: the way it started

Or you can just go here, and have it all generated for you. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Review of 2010 Goals

On January 1, 2010 I sat in my Chicago apartment and laid out what I felt were four honest, and attainable goals for the new year. Now, on January 1, 2011 I'll review how I fared with those goals from the comforts of my Springfield apartment.

1) Write Twelve Short Stories.  Failed. I only wrote two. One was a comedic story of twisted revenge. The other about a man who realizes that, although he is still very much in love with his fiance, he isn't good for her. I am rather proud of both, but two is nowhere near twelve. 
2) Cut Back on the Social Networking.
Failed. I find that whenever I'm bored I pull out the iPhone, and check Twitter and Facebook to kill time. Plus, I started posting my "standup material" on Facebook, and got some positive feedback which kept me coming back all the more often. I'd like to try this one again for 2011.

3) Devote More Time To The Blog. Failed. I made less entries in 2010 than I did in 2009. I'd like to say things will be different this year, but there will probably even less entries.

4) Read Only One Book, And Take As Close To One Year As Possible To Do It. Failed. The book I picked for this challenge was Under The Dome by Stephen King. I finished it in about ten days. Afterward I tried to keep a running lists of the books I read in 2010, but it got too long and annoying to maintain. This was the dumbest of the four goals.