Sunday, May 31, 2015

Coffee is good (and bad, but mostly good) for you!

Welcome to another Monday morning, and for many people, a fresh cup (or 2...) of coffee.

Which is actually a Good Thing: despite the guilty pleasure and bad reputation coffee has generated, there is growing consensus among medical researchers that drinking coffee improves, rather than harms our health and fitness.

Besides keeping you awake, coffee may provide an increasing number of potential health benefits, including protection against liver and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's disease, according to some recent scientific studies.

But there's also a downside: too much java can make you jittery and cause stomach pains, and some studies have tied it to elevated blood pressure and heart rates. Why the dichotomy?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Summer takeover

This is, of course, Australia, where killer critters abound
photo credit: Bill Adler, Flickr
It's the unofficial beginning of summer in the United States this weekend, and people are headed to the beach, so I figured a post on jellyfish would be appropriate.


They're brainless, boneless, and bloodless, and they mostly drift with the currents, but they are apparently scheming to take over the seas.

And we are helping them do it, by messing with fish communities, ocean temperatures, and chemical composition of the water itself.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nut nutrition, seeds that satisfy

man-eating plant
this one is still really hungry
photo: The AquaponicSource
Picture life as a plant. A brand new plant who's hungry and can't just go to the store for a snack.

How do you start growing with no one to feed you?

Happily, your loving mom endowed you with a nutritious snack when you said farewell and blew off or got carried away by some hungry animal.

That snack is made up of actual tissue from your mom, surrounding and even protecting you until you develop your own leaves and roots and start finding your own darned food through them. Thanks, Mom!

Once fertilized, the new plant embryo grows within a seed. Plants need food just as we do, and a seed provides the nutrients and energy used by a growing plant.

A seed, therefore, packs a lot of nutrition, particularly fats, proteins, and other plant nutrients, into a tiny compact package, that can also benefit a person or animal that eats it.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The goats must be crazy

These animals are relaxed and happy. They know their place in the world, and that place is nearly vertical.

photo: Aladdin Shishani on Flickr

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Strategic coffee - beer consumption

We recently learned how caffeine affects our brain and nervous system, keeping us alert and awake by blocking the compound adenosine from telling us we need to sleep and causing chemical reactions that increase brain activity.

In case that was too much to read or process, here's a simplified version that also suggests strategic consumption of both coffee and beer!  Perhaps happy hour needs to come BEFORE the workday, to help you generate new ideas, do better in your job, and thus improve your social and biological fitness.

image: SoBadSoGood