Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A dose of chocolate a day keeps heart attack away - so they say

At last - a legitimate medical justification to indulge in chocolate!

A new study - my kind of study by the way - indicates that small doses of chocolate each day lessens one's risk of having a heart attack or stroke by nearly 40%. How exciting! So researchers based in Germany followed 20,000 people over an 8 year period by sending them questionnaires focusing on diet and exercise habits. Findings reveal that participants who ate 6 grams of chocolate per day or approximately 1 square of chocolate bar, had a 39% lower risk of either a heart attack or stroke.

Experts are of the opinion that flavonols, also found vegetables and red wines, are responsible helping the muscles in blood vessels widen, leading to the drop in blood pressure.

Hey - that sounds like a good enough reason to me. However - don't you hate the howevers in life - medical experts caution that eating larger amounts of chocolate could lead to weight gain. Wow - what a surprise!

"This is not a prescription to eat more chocolate," said Dr. Robert Eckel, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado and a past president of the American Heart Association. He was not linked to the study. "If we all had (a small amount) of chocolate every day for the rest of our lives, we would all gain a few pounds."

So basically if we read between the lines, the experts are still out regarding this eating chocolate=healthy heart study, but what the heck - we should all do our part to help science and if that includes eating chocolate, so much the better.

Meanwhile, watch this video for the lowdown on chocolate and healthy hearts. The Easter bunny would be happy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Man tries to revive dead opossum - without success

Yet another example of someone trying to do a good deed taking things too far. Also another example how our world or some of its people are getting weirder and weirder.

Most of us or a least a lot of people are familiar with Puxatawny, PA. as the home town of that well-known-bordering-on-famous ground hog, Puxatawny Phil. Once per year Phil emerges (with a little help) from his well-appointed den to predict whether we'll have an early or late Spring.

Recently, Puxatawny - the town - not the groundhog - was in the news again but this time it was related to an attempt to bring back the dead, be it a opossum. Seems that according to witnesses, one Donald Wolfe of Brookville, PA. spotted what he believed to be a dead opossum and was so moved by its demise that he attempted to resuscitate it. You read it right. At least that's what one of the witnesses believed Wolfe was doing since he was kneeling next to it at the time. Another witness reported that he saw him giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in addition to Wolfe waving his arms around in a manner that could be interpreted as conducting a seance. According to a CNN report, the marsupial was in a flattened state, which must have made the task difficult. I mean, he must have had to scrape it off the road first.

Police charged Wolfe with public drunkeness. What a surprise.

Meanwhile, here are some photos of opossum:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Life is a soap opera in the true sense of the word

Once again the focus of this story is England and makes a person (okay - me) wonder what or if there's something funny they're putting in the water these days. I dunno - some people - read: most people - live out their lives in veritable anonymity. Then there are others who make a point of conducting and documenting every minute of their existence in the tabloids.

Take Anna Nicole Smith, the wanna-be actress who ended her life in 2007 by an accidental drug over-dose, who will at last get her wish in a way, when the Royal Opera will next year premiere focusing on the life of former Playboy centrefold. The new opera, by British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and writer Richard Thomas, will be staged by renowned director Richard Jones.

For those people un-familiar with Thomas's work, he was co-creator of "Jerry Springer: the Opera" which resulted in numerous complaints to the BBC when it aired on the BBC in 2005. He says that the musical production will end with her death and not the custody battle over her daughter.

At the time of her death she was involved in a long-running legal battle over the will of her late husband, billionaire oil tycoon, Howard Marshall, who was 89 when they married. She was 26 years old.

The opera will have its premiere in February 2011 in Covent Gardens with Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek doing Anna-Nicole.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Ghosts in a bottle

Most people attending an auction bid on familiar items i.e. furniture, jewelry, art work -the "normal" stuff. Then there are others who seek out the unusual bordering on weird.

An online auction in New Zealand recently featured - wait for it - two vials allegedly containing the ghosts of two dead people. As they say there's a sucker....that should read, buyer, for everything and the ghostly apparitions sold for $1983. Guess ghosts are going for under $2000 these days. Still, that's not a bad bid for things one can't see or even prove exist.

These ghosts were put on the auction block by one Avie Woodbury, who claimed that she stored her ghosts in glass vials, with stoppers dipped in holy water. According to Woodbury, dipping the stoppers in holy water dulls the spirits energy.

Her claim could make sense since it's difficult if not impossible to prove that she had ghosts caught in a vile in the first place.

Anyway...Woodbury also claims that the ghosts were/are/could be an old man who lived in a house in the 1920's and a powerful, bad little girl who made herself felt during a Ouija board session. These two were subsequently trapped in the jar/vile and/or removed from the house during an exorcism session. I mean - how does she or anybody know this to be true? Perhaps - just perhaps - the ghosts are still in the house. How do we know?

Woodbury says that once an "exorcist's fee" has been deducted, the proceeds of the spirit sale will go to the animal welfare group the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Why am I not surprised an "exorcising fee" is involved?