There might be some fun sister-city opportunities in there.
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There might be some fun sister-city opportunities in there.
I needed to order some more enteric-coated fish oil capsules, and the warehouse club that had been my trusty supplier discontinued all of its useful supplements, seemingly in favor of cheese platters and bagels. I ordered some Kirkland brand from Amazon (since I had luck with the warehouse brand before) and got terrible fish burps from them, so, of to iHerb, I went, my trusty supplier, and found that the types and costs were all over the map. For my own sanity I made a spreadsheet so I could calculate the cost per g of EPA and figured it would be worth sharing here, since there’s such a wide disparity and access to concentration value seems hard to come by.
I knew that there is some shenanigans afoot in the enteric-coating business, since the Kirkland “enteric coated” capsules gave me the fish burps, which would be impossible if the enteric coat was real, so I figured I might need to try some different brands to try some. Note: I’ve excluded all the enteric-coated items that are not ‘molecularly distilled’ since I have a fish allergy and am not fond of consuming mercury nor PCB’s. Nobody should be consuming those.
Finding #1: the “Maximum Strength” capsules from 21st Century Health Care are by far the best value if you don’t mind swallowing pills. Finding #1a: they give me fish burps. Finding #1b: “Maximum Strength” is a meaningless label at only 200mg per capsule.
Finding #2: Natural Factors’ “Ultra Strength” is almost twice as expensive per g of EPA, but is the least expensive with an enteric-coating that works. So, Finding #2a: no fish burps. The concentration is really good – few capsules are required.
In sum, I’m taking the cheaper ones before bed and the more expensive ones during the day. I did not need to progress up the scale beyond the second attempt. Do you know of better values? Leave a comment.
|brand||product||count||molecularly distilled?||mg EPA per serving||pills per serving||servings per bottle||EPA per pill||cost||cost per pill||cost per serving||cost per g EPA||URL|
|Natural Factors||Ultra Strength Rx-Omega-3 Factors||150||Y||647||1||150||647||$29.64||$0.20||$0.20||$0.31||http://www.iherb.com/Natural-Factors-Ultra-Strength-Rx-Omega-3-Factors-150-Enteric-Coated-Softgels/24529|
|Olympian Labs Inc.||Enteric Coated Omega-3 Fish Oils||120||N||360||2||60||360||$17.71||$0.15||$0.30||$0.82||http://www.iherb.com/Olympian-Labs-Inc-Enteric-Coated-Omega-3-Fish-Oils-2000-mg-120-Softgels/10076|
|21st Century Health Care||Alaska Wild Fish Oil||90||Y||650||3||30||650||$10.64||$0.12||$0.35||$0.55||http://www.iherb.com/21st-Century-Health-Care-Alaska-Wild-Fish-Oil-90-Enteric-Coated-Softgels/15223|
|21st Century Health Care||Fish Oil||90||Y||180||1||90||180||$8.87||$0.10||$0.10||$0.55||http://www.iherb.com/21st-Century-Health-Care-Fish-Oil-1000-mg-180-Enteric-Coated-Softgels/11329|
|Optimum Nutrition||Enteric Coated Fish Oil||200||N||180||1||200||180||$19.31||$0.10||$0.10||$0.54||http://www.iherb.com/Optimum-Nutrition-Enteric-Coated-Fish-Oil-200-Softgels/38943|
|21st Century Health Care||Fish Oil, Maximum Strength||90||Y||200||1||200||200||$7.09||$0.04||$0.04||$0.18||http://www.iherb.com/21st-Century-Health-Care-Fish-Oil-Maximum-Strength-1200-mg-90-Enteric-Coated-Softgels/41324|
[I'll do some photos next time I make it]
This is the best-tasting food in the world, and it’s pretty easy to make, besides being really inexpensive and healthy for you. The final consistency is approximately that of a homemade apple sauce, except it’s savory and served hot.
This takes about 45 minutes to cook. There’s no separate prep time if you’re working on one step as the previous one is going. If you’re going to serve this with rice, don’t forget to start the rice cooker before you start this recipe.
Ingredients, Step 1:
Start the water to boil on high. Cut the stem end off of the chilies. For a milder taste, scrape the seeds out. Dice or puree them. Put the chilies, turmeric, and salt in the water as soon as possible and bring everything to a boil. Set the timer for 30 minutes and add the lentils. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to “medium” (~7000 BTU on my stove). Stir with increasing frequency to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
* apparently some brands of lentils come with small stones in them. I haven’t found this to be true with any of the lentils I’ve bought, but keep it in mind. Fortunately, small stones probably aren’t pink, so they should be easy to see. Most recipes call for washing and sorting the lentils, but I always skip that step.
Ingredients, Step 2:
Start the oil heating in a large flat-bottomed pan while you dice the onion. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook on medium-high heat until the onions begin to brown on the edges. Add the ginger. Cook until the ginger stops sizzling, then add the can of tomatoes. Cook the mixture on medium heat until the oil has separated out of the mixture and the tomatoes are somewhat carmelized. That should be just about at the 30 minute mark if your stove is like mine. When the mixture is ready, stir it into the lentil pot.
Ingredients, Step 3:
Make sure the bottom of this pan is smooth. If it has ridges (like a Circulon) the spices will get jammed up. An omelet pan works great. Pay attention to the heat. You need to get the oil hot to fry the spices, but you do not want to burn these. A little bit of smoke will signal when the spices are ready, and you have to dump them in the pot right away to prevent a burned flavor. That said: add the panch phoron to the hot oil, fry until some of the seeds pop like popcorn, and then add the bay leaves. Get the bay leaves down in the oil and fry until you first see smoke, them dump them in the pot and stir.
You want the lentils to cook with the tomato/onion mixture for at least five minutes, preferably ten, with the spices going in half way through. But don’t let the lentils burn on the bottom of the pan for the sake of reaching a ten-minute mark – just turn off the heat and let them cool together if you need to.
This dish can be eaten straight (just a little bit scovie) or is great with basmathi rice. It reheats easily and stores well for about a week. Note, the bay leaves are not intended to be eaten but go ahead and crunch right through the other spices.
This recipe was adapted from Julie Shani’s Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking, which is an excellent cookbook. Most of the recipes are easy to adapt to the tastes of your household.
If you can’t find any of the ingredients at your grocery story, any Asian or Indian store will have them. Big Asian stores often have the best prices on all of these ingredients, including the produce.
Nutrition Information (Generated by MyFitnessPal.com):
Per serving (recipe makes 8):
What could sound more gimmicky than “The Chocolate Shake Diet”, right? There’s all sorts of chocolate shake products – Slimfast, Carnation Instant Breakfast, and all kinds of more expensive options. But they don’t work (at least not for me or many people I’ve talked to). Why? Look at this breakdown of the ingredients in Slimfast – yeah, 34 grams of sugar. My daily target is 31 grams of sugar, and somehow many people don’t lose any weight consuming several times that on a diet. But, hey, it doesn’t taste bad, does it?
OK, so then back to losing weight with a bit of scientifically sound nutrition instead. I was inspired by some successes I saw and when I looked more closely, what I found was that the secret to those successes was a constant stream of protein, to avoid hunger. Also important were simple rules, and ease of implementation of the diet. I also saw that the diet programs that sell products especially geared for weight loss are extremely expensive. The first rule of sales is to find the pain, right? They see the desperate fatties coming and take full advantage of them. Looking around, Americans need to start with losing fifty megatons of weight, and 70% of them are living paycheck to paycheck. I have no wish to buy into such expensive programs myself and I thought I could do better.
So, I began researching various products, looking at what they were made of, what their nutritional properties were, etc. Then I began cross-referencing the desired characteristics with commercially available products that were both sufficient and (relatively) affordable. Then I narrowed them down by product reviews for quality, usability and taste.
So then, here is the diet in three easy steps:
That’s it. A simple diet that will leave you never feeling hungry and consistently losing weight. While drinking chocolate shakes. Read on for details on each of those steps.
Pre-gaming Meals with Protein
The trick here is that if you have 10 grams of protein an hour before each meal, you won’t be as hungry when you eat the meal. You will eat less without feeling hungry. It’s no secret that every successful diet is ultimately about calorie restriction, but fighting Nature is a bitch, and it’s very hard to succeed if you’re hungry.
Now comes the part with product suggestions. I’m recommending these because they work for me. I’m still using them in my quest to de-lard myself and get my health under control.
First: BSN Syntha-6 Protein Powder.
Here are the things to like about it:
Here’s what not to like about it:
OK, then, product recommendation #2: Sundesa Blenderbottle with Blenderball
Really, these are fantastic. It’s a plastic sports bottle with a surgical-grade stainless steel ball inside. The lid screws on nicely, the ball mixes the drink with about 10 seconds of shaking, and it cleans up very easily. This is important because you’re going to be cleaning the bottle 4-5 times a day. The ball is smooth so it doesn’t scratch the bottle (you don’t want to drink plastic powder!). The opening for drinking is smaller than the ball, so you don’t have to open it after shaking – just drink.
Get the 20oz size (I got the “macho” 28 oz size initially, and that’s silly for a half-cup of drink). In fact, get three bottles so you can bring one or two with you when you go out. If they had a 12-oz ‘mini’ size, I’d get that.
Take your favorite high-strength multi-vitamin once a day. You can do it with your meal replacement, or as I often do, I find it easier to take one first thing in the morning. Having all your essential nutrients covered is one way to avoid cravings. I’m a big fan of the ‘Mens Maximum’ vitamin that’s been sold under WalMart’s OneSource brand and then most recently by BJ’s. I see it’s missing from their website at the moment, but sometimes I see it at the store. Get the best one you can find, and that doesn’t depend on having a high price.
OK, then, that’s the hardware, so here’s an example of how to use it:
So, what kind of results are you going to see here? I’m down 16 pounds in 3 weeks. I’m not sick of the effort at all at this point. How much Syntha-6 are you going to have to buy? I’m going through a bottle every two weeks. Amazon has a subscription service to ship these once a month, but that doesn’t cut it for me. I didn’t see a way to subscribe twice, so I’m paying the 5% premium to get these on demand. (UPDATE: There’s now a 5 Pound option, in some flavors with an additional 10% savings per pound. First delivery on the subscription is about two weeks after ordering, so you might want to order a 2.91lb unit without subscription and a 5lb unit with subscription at the same time).
Speaking of which, you do have Prime, right? It’s ridiculously useful. So, I need to lose about 50 pounds, and if my weight loss continues at about 5 pounds a week, that’s $150 I’m going to have to spend on this product. That’s such a good value for me, that I simply can’t complain. If it takes twice as long, I’m still going to be a happy camper. A happy, 190lb camper.
Lastly, I’ll note, Syntha-6 isn’t sold as a weight-loss product. In fact, its primary purpose is for body builders to get extra protein for adding weight, of the muscle variety. Are these two goals in conflict? Not really – they both speak to the quality of the protein in the product, and it’s just that we’re using it here for a different goal. When I get back to a reasonable weight and back to the weight room, I’m going to strongly consider continuing to use this product for its originally intended purpose. In the meantime, I’m very happy with its results for this new use.
Have you tried this technique? Leave a comment below with how well you did!
“How can the Boy Scouts admit gay youth? Doesn’t the Scout Oath require them to be ‘morally straight’?” some ask.
It does, and it has since 1911.
“So how can the Boy Scouts admit gay youth – they’re not straight?”
First things first – the use of the word ‘straight’ to mean ‘heterosexual’ was first used thirty years after the Scout Oath was adopted by the BSA.
So, it is impossible that the Scout Oath meant ‘heterosexual’ when it was adopted. Sexuality is not and never has been part of Scouting.
“So, if ‘morally straight’ doesn’t mean ‘heterosexual’, what does it mean?”
Simply put, it means living one’s life in adherence to one’s morals.
“So, then, what are the morals of the Boy Scouts of America?”
That one is easy – they are established by the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. Beyond that, a Scout’s morals are established by his community, religion, and personal moral code. To be morally straight, a Scout will abide by his moral code. The particulars of that code will vary according to his place, his faith, and personal beliefs.
Boy Scouts, as an organization, is non-sectarian. It does not impose any requirements on a youth beyond the Scout Oath and Law, but it does require the Scout to live up to his own morals. It’s a reminder to the Scout to never stray from his principles, a guide that will serve him well throughout his life.
Certainly, there are differences among the worlds’ religions. A Jewish Scout may not be permitted to eat pork, while a Catholic Scout may be a happy consumer of bacon. Scouting does not require the Jewish Scout to eat bacon, nor the Catholic Scout to abstain from bacon for the Jewish Scout’s sake, but it does require both Scouts to be ‘reverent’ and to respect the teachings of each others’ religions. He doesn’t have to follow those teachings, but he has to respect that the other Scout follows them. Tolerance of every Scout’s religion is simply the only way for an organization like the Boy Scouts to be viable.
In regards to homosexuality, some of the world’s religions don’t address the subject at all. In the Abrahamic religions, Leviticus forbids many things, including homosexuality and the eating of certain foods; those who observe the Kosher tradition abide by these rules. Most Christian traditions consider Mark 7:15 to reverse the prohibition on those foods from Leviticus, and some denominations feel that the literal text of Mark 7:15 also removes the prohibition on homosexuality. Some denominations further cite Matthew 19:12 as clarifying Jesus’s stance on homosexuals and as such they welcome homosexuals into their churches. Other denominations strongly disagree, and so there is religious controversy as to which Bible verses mean what, and how they should be properly interpreted.
Boy Scouts of America does not take a position on the interpretation of any Bible verses. It is explicitly non-sectarian and only requires that Scouts and Scouters be ‘reverent’ towards theirs and other religions, while abiding by their own moral codes.
Some Scouters (for the most part not Scouts) are currently upset that the most recent change in BSA policy is no longer in line with their own religion’s teachings. This is certainly true in many cases, and one can understand the challenge a Scouter faces when the BSA’s policy changes from directly supporting a teaching of his own church to requiring the Scouter to be instead tolerant of others’ churches’ teachings. Though perhaps difficult, that same Scouter can take solace knowing that the new BSA Membership Standards policy is more clearly in line with the Scout Oath and Law that than previous policy was. Scouters are encouraged to continue continue to help other people at all times, and to always be Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Brave, and Reverent.
here’s how crazy SCOTUS is (an actual excerpt from /Quill/):
“Under the Articles of Confederation, State taxes and duties hindered and suppressed interstate commerce; the Framers intended the Commerce Clause as a cure for these structural ills. See generally The Federalist Nos. 7, 11 (A. Hamilton). It is in this light that we have interpreted the negative implication of the Commerce Clause.
Accordingly, Congress is now free to decide whether, when, and to what extent the States mayburden interstate mail order concerns with a duty to collect use taxes.”
The ellipsis representing a somewhat thorough retelling of their poor decisions, each building upon the prior.
The trouble with this situation is that the Ron Paul supporters are focusing on WIPO’s status as a UN organization, because Ron Paul has been vocally opposed to the UN consistently, and they see him as now being hypocritical on the matter. This is the wrong focus for two reasons: first because WIPO has a monopoly on resolution, but more importantly because the hypocrisy is about the core libertarian value of private property, not the UN.
During the primary campaign, individuals opposed to Ron Paul’s nomination uploaded a video to YouTube that was in quite poor taste and slapped Ron Paul’s name on it. Ron Paul took the stance that this was fraud (it was) and used the Trademark Law as a means to counter the fraud. This is where Ron Paul became confused – he associated use of his name with Trademark Law, which is now the basis of the WIPO claims.
The error in logic here is the assumption that any use of the Ron Paul name is justifiably actionable under Trademark Law because it’s a case of fraud. This is not the case, clearly, for RonPaul.com. The only argument against RonPaul.com is that the name “Ron Paul” is the Intellectual (aka Imaginary) Property of Ron Paul.
So, here’s where it gets dicey – Imaginary Property is a direct affront on the principle of private ownership of property (it restricts the arrangement of private property of the People to the benefit of the one), which is the foundation of modern Libertarian thought. Now, the Constitution of the United States authorized the use of Imaginary Property monopolies through the Copyrights and Patents process, but this has proven subject to rampant abuse to the degree that it does more harm than good. And it was clear in Ron Paul’s farewell address that he had found the Constitution lacking in its ability to restrain the government’s abuses, if not in its intent. The Constitution doesn’t even authorize trademark protection – that has to be inferred through the Commerce Clause and the minarchist view of government’s role to prevent fraud.
What Ron Paul is effectively saying here, probably unconsciously, is that the RonPaul.com folks may not organize their articles (their property) in the way that they see fit (under the RonPaul.com label) when they have committed no acts of aggression towards Ron Paul (quite the opposite – they contributed to his current status in society). He’s literally saying that the RonPaul.com domain belongs to him because he wants it, and the notion of Imaginary Property gives cover to this illusion (it must be remembered that government abuses exist because each individual holds on to that one function of government that they cannot let go of). This is an assault on the private property rights of the people at RonPaul.com (stop being anonymous, guys, it does not help your image), and, yes, he is using government force to back his aggression.
It’s a zero-sum game when a Free Market solution is so painfully obvious: host a money bomb. The RonPaul.com folks have helped promote Ron Paul Moneybombs in the past, and achieving a $250K level has never been even a little bit difficult. Ron Paul can promote the money bomb himself, leading to an even greater chance of success. No Ron Paul supporter will deny that owning the RonPaul.com domain will be beneficial to Ron Paul, deny that Ron Paul still has important work to do, or deny that the RonPaul.com folks have a valuable asset that they’ve created and that the pricing mechanism is a superior method for transferring ownership of resources than government force.
Forget that the UN is even involved in this dispute – the real scandal is that government-based coercion is being used as aggression (in the absence of fraud) when a Free Market solution is plainly available and achievable. If Ron Paul persists and succeeds with a WIPO claim, his use of the domain will be forever tainted by the decidedly non-libertarian means of its acquisition. If Ron Paul can be made to see that there is no fraud involved here and that the initial aggression is in the form of the IP claim, I believe he will abandon the unjustified means and embrace a peaceful settlement. This principled action will return benefits to the movement he kindled for years to come.
Here’s the recipe for the “Christmas Cream” adult beverage that I whipped up for my wife- seems to be a big hit with her lady friends.
1/4 c ‘natural’ coffee creamer
1/4 c milk
1 T Creme de Cacao
2 t Whipped Cream Vodka
2 t Peppermint Schnapps
Mix ingredients and serve over ice.
Party Sized Recipe
1 quart heavy cream
1/2 gallon skim milk
(makes 1 1/2 gallon half-and-half; use that if it’s less expensive)
2 1/4 cup sugar
2 T vanilla extract
1.5 c Creme De Cacao
1 c Whipped Cream Vodka
3/4 c Peppermint Schnapps
1. Heat milk and cream to 180 degrees (bubbles around the edge).
2. Add sugar and mix to dissolve.
3. Add vanilla, mix in.
4. Mix in alcohols.
5. Bottle if making ahead and refrigerate before serving over ice.
Question: Does the control of concealed carrying (of handguns) have an impact on violent crime?
Hypothesis: Increased control of concealed carrying will cause an increase in violent crime.
Method: Values were assigned to the level of control in a State as follows: 0 for no control, 1 for shall-issue control; 2 for may-issue control; 3 for no-issue control. Data was plotted on two axes: one for all violent crime, one for homicide. Sources: control, homicide, violent crime. Control level was coded by statute, to avoid bias in subjective interpretation of practice. Linear regressions were run for both data series to determine the coefficient of correlation. LibreOffice 3.5.7 was used for charting and calculations.
Results: Both data sets show a weak correlation between increased control and increased rates. R2 for violent crime is .17, for homicide it’s .14. In no case did the least violent State in a group have a lower crime rate in either series than the lowest State in the less restrictive groups.
Conclusion: Restrictions on concealed carry may cause an increase in crime, but other cultural factors are probably more significant in determining the overall difference in crime between States. In no State has increased control lowered crime rates below that of all States with less control – adding control on concealed carry cannot be justified as a valid approach for improving crime rates.