About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson - the legacy of dance and music

Michael Jackson died (June 25, 2009) at age 50, having been a “star” most of his life, with a gift for singing, dancing, and putting himself completely into the pose. His talent was original, it was the steam of consciousness, the part of being that wants to be and do the best image, the top of fashion, the most expressed expression.

He was one of the dancers who changed the world. Couple the moves with the music, and he changed how we think of ourselves, on a rainbow global scale. A black man whose talent was accepted by white people, and in his later years -- one hesitates to say "mature" -- as a white man who was accepted by people of color.

The debts of his estate are rumored to be $400 million. Clearly he was taken advantage of by those closest to him. He must have been completely isolated. Entirely alone, with the added certainty of having been betrayed, again and again.

Great dancers and musicians are more likely to change the world for the better, than any other occupational skill set. We seem to weaponize science, religion, law. But the arts, remain unifiers. Even when they are subversively invasive, they elevate the culture they invade. Even when they explode and pop, they do not destroy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sweeteners

We do crave sugar. Why? We crave energy.

That craving, however natural, is not necessarily a healthy habit to feed. The sugar molecule is extremely sharp-pointed and mauls the walls of the tiny capillaries of the eye and toes as the red blood cell buckets bounce their way through the narrows. Diabetics go blind and lose their limbs to gangrene.

No fix for heart problems, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight is as good as dropping the excess sugar we consume. Excess sugar is linked to diabetes and cancer. I used it to control ants -- they find it irresistible, but sugar simply does not provide a basis for growth and expansion, even for family Myrmex...!

The Eating Plan should include reducing sugar. The "problem" is that poisonous SUGAR SUBSTITUTES have invaded the marketplace. Other sweeteners MAY help reduce sugar intake, but the "industry" preying upon our healthy desire to reduce sugar is now poisoning us. Huge fortunes have been made selling poisons to people who rely upon the false representations and deliberate deception of marketeers.

The following is my effort to sort through the facts, past the hysteria and the marketing, to evaluate the wonders of this molecule we crave:

SUCROSE - natural organic disaccharide derived from glucose and fructose, known as "table sugar", or saccharose. It is a complicated molecule with a single isomer (exists in forms having different arrangements of atoms but the same molecular weight). These forms are "spiky" and sharp edged. Like other carbohydrates, sucrose combusts into carbon dioxide and water--it is a fuel. It is water soluble and hydrolysis breaks the glycosidic bond, converting to glucose and fructose, which are then absorbed into the blood stream by the microvilli lining the duodenum. It is a suitable preservative

ASPARTAME - (Nutrasweet, Equal, Canderel) - can be used after cooking. Controversial, since excesses are linked to complaints of seizures, blindness. Contains Phenylalinine, Aspartic Acid, and Methanol, and should only use with its natural antidotes, ethanol and pectin, and avoid large or regular quantity. Becomes unstable in aqueous media (drinks). Often combined with dextrose and maltodextrin. (The combination used in Equal.)

PHENYLALININE - Amino acid sometimes used as a mood enhancer. Phenylketonurics containing P are a component of Aspartame.

SACCHARIN - (Sweet'n Low, Sugar Twin) - produced from natural, but not naturally edible substances; excess amounts linked to cancer. Often mixed with cream of tartar (an acid which accelerates the hydrolysis of sucrose into fructose), calcium silicate [anti-caking], and dextrose. (The combination in Sweet'n Low).

ACESULFAME-K - (Ace-K, Sunnette, Sweet & Safe, Sweet One) -

SUCRALOSE - (marketed in Splenda, with dextrose and maltodextrin) artificially weaponized sugar (disaccharide), manipulated to surrender a portion of the hydroxyls and replace them with chlorine atoms, to produce a chlorocarbon, or chloronated sugar. Chlorine is an excitable element used as a biocide and bleaching agent. "Sucralose" is a marketing term for a man-made poison used to replace aspartame, and is now the #1 artificial sweetener in manufactured foods and beverages. I don't think chlorine occurs naturally bound to sugar. It does bind to sodium, but the chlorocarbons are incompatible with healthy metabolism, which is why they are such effective insecticides.

CYCLAMATES

STEVIA (Stevia rebaudiana) - an herb containing NO sugar, used extensively in Japan for 25 years. No known side-effects. Large amounts of steviosol, a stevioside derivative, resulted in smaller and fewer off-spring in female hamsters. May disrupt metabolism of food into energy. Steviol can convert into a mutagenic compound. Sperm production reduced in rats after long period of (involuntary) high dosing.

NATURAL SOURCES: Cane juice, fruit juice, rice syrup, honey, licorce root (small amounts), Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Amasake, vegetable glycerin, sugar alchohols (xylitol, sorbitol), maple syrup, barley malt.

Compare the chemistry of Sugar as the simplest of the carbohydrates. Unlike indigestible Hydrocarbons, Carbohydrates are soluble in water, with a double bond carbon-oxygen reactive center. To digest, metabolic enzymes must hydrolyse or otherwise break the glycosidic bond.

"-ose" denotes a sugar:

GLUCOSE - monosaccharide, primarily from maize or fruit. A blood glucose test measures the amount of this type of sugar, in your blood. Glucose comes from carbohydrate foods. It is the main source of energy used by the body. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body's cells use the glucose. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and released into the blood when the amount of glucose in the blood rises.

Normally, your blood glucose levels increase slightly after you eat. This increase causes your pancreas to release insulin so that your blood glucose levels do not get too high. Because of the shape of the sugar molecule, blood glucose levels that remain high over time can damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves, because of damage done to the capillaries, the small blood vessels.

FRUCTOSE - monosaccharide found naturally in many fruits. Most soft drinks are now made with "high fructose corn syrup", and glucose. (I see no studies showing that the substitution of sucrose with fructose alleviates the objections raised by the sucrose studies showing obesity, gout, hypoglycemia, and diabetes).

LACTOSE -
GALACTOSE -

SUCROSE - (saccharose) disaccharide found naturally in sugar cane and sugar beet, and along with the monosaccharide fructose, in many fruits. In pineapple and apricot, sucrose is the main sugar. In others, such as grapes and pears, fructose is the main sugar.

DEXTROSE - (main ingredient in Sweet/N Low, along with Saccharin, and in Splenda, along with Sucralose) two stereoisomers of the aldehexose sugars are known as glucose, L-glucose which cannot be metabolized, and D-glucose, which is destrose monohydrate, or "dextrose".

Starch and Glycogen - polysaccharides
Chitin and Cellulose - even more complex, indigestible as fibre.
Compare: plastic - cf. Carbohydrate and Hydrocarbon
The key similarity between Oil/plastic and biopolymers!
Butanol from biomass is an alcohol that is more similar to gasoline than it is to ethanol, and has been demonstrated as a fuel in internal combustion engines without modification of the engines.

AVOID - Splenda (a chorine-based "sucralose"), Equal (aspartame), Sweet'N Low (Saccharin).