Posts filed under ‘Health’

Street Food Taste Secret Ingredient = Street

Please ignore for uno momento why millions of dollars of taxpayers money worldwide is going into studies that show that the true taste of food comes from a combination of how it smells, looks, sounds and finally, environment – believe it. No wonder then idiotic cooking courses, useless cookery shows and silly cooking competitions place a lot of onus on the presentation/garnishing and restaurants focus on ambience and the “experience” rather than the food itself. For example, there are morons in Canada who eat in total darkness to enhance the smells and sounds and taste. Then there are these morons in USA who eat in complete silence. Yet another morons in Germany who cook meals chromatically i.e. based on colour. Here we are as a species struggling to put even basic food on the plates of all humans, struggling to scrape funding for space travel etc. and here are people who are spending their entire lives obsessed with food. If only all these researchers who made such bad life decisions and funding bodies who made such bad financial decisions could have heard a quip by one Sadhana Vishnu Vardhan on 23rd April of some year outside the canteen of NIT-Warangal – “… canteen food taste is because of the canteen …” How true and words to live or rather to keep up with food analogy, “eat” by –

In other words, the secret ingredient for the taste is the street – the pollution, the filth, the dirt, the particulates, the gutter, the parasites, the flies, the stagnation, the germs, the stench, the putridicity et al. – don’t let the ‘Kung-Fu Panda’ motto of no secret ingredient in secret noodle soups and blank dragon scrolls fool you with its epiphany.

[add – 20141029] The full sketch on CWorks –

3 July, 2014 at 15:32 1 comment

Consequences of Selling Votes – Rotten Rut

Now that the Lok-Sabha elections are underway, here is a message from a psuedo-sponsor, I-Am-Aam, that there are consquences to selling votes. So, please do us all a favour, and more importantly, do yourselves a big favour and do not sell your votes for it could not only lead to metaphorical death of integrity but also an undignified cruel physical death by bills, taxes, poverty, starvation, garbage, disease etc. –
You have been told nicely and have been warned. Full story here at CWorks.

8 April, 2014 at 15:43 Leave a comment

Sleep Cleanses Toxins, Gunk, Trash in Brains

What do our brains do while we sleep? Image courtesy of Katherine Streeter for NPR

Finally we have it folks. After millenia of having a crack at the mystery, with thousands of crackpot theories in vogue and spending exponentially more think-time and dollars on the research, theory, practicals and experiments on man, fish, insect and beast, 13 scientists of a melting-pot persuasion representing atleast 5 continents in their origins based in Rochester have some semblance of a partial explanation as to the function that sleep of the night-cap kind serves. Here is “Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain”, Lulu Xie, Hongyi Kang, Qiwu Xu, Michael J. Chen, Yonghong Liao, Meenakshisundaram Thiyagarajan, John O’Donnell, Daniel J. Christensen, Charles Nicholson, Jeffrey J. Iliff, Takahiro Takano, Rashid Deane, and Maiken Nedergaard, Science, 18 October 2013: 342 (6156), 373-377. DOI:10.1126/science.1241224]

The conservation of sleep across all animal species suggests that sleep serves a vital function. We here report that sleep has a critical function in ensuring metabolic homeostasis. Using real-time assessments of tetramethylammonium diffusion and two-photon imaging in live mice, we show that natural sleep or anesthesia are associated with a 60% increase in the interstitial space, resulting in a striking increase in convective exchange of cerebrospinal fluid with interstitial fluid. In turn, convective fluxes of interstitial fluid increased the rate of β-amyloid clearance during sleep. Thus, the restorative function of sleep may be a consequence of the enhanced removal of potentially neurotoxic waste products that accumulate in the awake central nervous system.

Duh, I say. Is it huh, I hear you say? From a mish-mash of coverage of this seminal development and dissemination in various places (and counting) like NPR, Science Blog, Associated Press, Times of India and Zee News, allow me to plainspeak. Essentially, brains sweep hemselves clean of toxins during sleep. In mice, their brain cells shrink, allowing cerebrospinal fluid to flow easily around them. The fluid can then clear away toxins. The study reveals brain takes out the trash while we sleep in findings that give fresh meaning to the old adage that a good night’s sleep clears the mind for sleep gets rid of gunk that builds up while we’re awake which while explaining the function of sleep, may also provide new clues to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders. These waste products included amyloid beta, a protein that when accumulated is a driver of Alzheimer’s disease. In order to help remove the waste, cerebral spinal fluid is pumped through brain tissue. The process is sped along during sleep because the brain’s cells shrink by about 60 percent, allowing the fluid to move faster and more freely through the brain. The whole operation takes place in what researchers call the glymphatic system, which appears to be nearly 10 times more active during sleep than while awake. The body does this sweeping only during sleep and not continuously during wakefulness for the sake of energy efficiency and performance in day activities.

I would not be much of a self-acclaimed scientist and card-carrying blogger if I did not put my spin on it now, would I? We may not have hundreds of mice lying about to dissect their brains about and 2-photon microscopes in the garage but this study appeals to us because this ‘cleaning trash’ theory is something we all innately have internalized to explain, if only to ourselves, why nature has made sleep mandatory that takes up roughly half of our lives (counting the sleep from when we are young and senile which is a lot). Life is short and then we have to sleep. Doh! Not to drill holes but there is a lot more to be explained about sleep, especially in humans who also sleep recreationally with naps, siestas, kunukus etc. and under stress when we are ill, hit on the head etc. What happens and what is the purpose of sleep in these situations? Seriousness apart, that sleep cleanses our brains of toxins makes one wonder about death which is but indefinite sleep. It seems to me that death is that one last big cleanse. It is nature cleansing the planet of our toxic insignificant existence in this mortal coil. Sweet dreams, bitter visions, sour nightmares et al.

19 October, 2013 at 14:48 Leave a comment

India Independence Day 2011 – Cuffed and Shackled

It is and probably always has been very fashionable to say, nay quip that India is a land of contradictions. For once, I tend to agree with this today of all days because it is so-called “Independence Day” of the nation. I know very well that ‘independence’ does not mean nor ‘imply’ freedom by no sense nor definition of the words but for all the patriotism and jingoism to mark 64 years of independence from a cruel, racist, iron-fisted rule of the British, it seems to me that the common man of this country is still in bondage – clutches, suffering, cuffs, shackles and the works…

Ah yes, the contradictions. The police who are supposed to protect, torture. The politicians who are supposed to serve, rule. The doctors who are supposed to treat, harm. The corporations who are supposed to utilize, exploit. Finally, the people who are supposed to live, merely exist to drag yet another day without any hope towards a bleak future that is losing purpose with a unstable economy et al. I digress.

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    15 August, 2011 at 23:53 Leave a comment

    NDM Superbug Vindicates India Superpower Status

    This might be old news but still it is news that WHO endorsed Lancet report on India giving rise to NDM superbug that can potentially threaten the whole world but hey, why see this as such a bad thing? Why should 3rd world douchedirt scumbags, read, Indians be scared of germs, take it as a national insult, see it as a Western political conspiracy to undermine medical tourism, feel that it will affect development growth and try to fight and refute it? Just pay heed to the politician…

    Any person who has been taught history knows that any country holding a world-threatening thingy – be it a weapon or disease – is a bonafide superpower. In fact, America was won by fleeing Europeans because of germs mostly. Maybe, it is indeed India’s decade as some magazine put it naively and jingoistically.

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      10 February, 2011 at 18:26 Leave a comment

      Australian Big Dick, Atanu and Sex Lives of Indians

      Met an old mate at shuttle court and being an ex-NRI USA return, he inadvertantly asked, “Wassup?” in Budweiser tone (you know the commercial of an alien going back to the galactic council?). I answered nothing. He asked me how Atanu Dey was doing and if I talked to him recently. I asked why. He said Atanu’s rants are getting quite heated, paranoid and bubbling with hatred of Indians, Government, Muslims and Islam. He showed off his latest gadget and showed latest tweets and posts. I had to agree but let us not digress from topic. While playing around ‘Asian Correspondent’, we came across, “Tiny Penises to Blame” by Mr. Beck of Perth, Australia which references the “Indians Don’t Like Sex and Don’t Have Sex” article by Atanu Dey. I present the penis article by the dick in question in all its nudity…

      A really interesting post from Atanu Dey about sex lives of Indians. See folks, the problem here is those tiny little Indian penises:

      Survey of more than 1,000 men in India has concluded that condoms made according to international sizes are too large for a majority of Indians. Study found that more than half of the men measured had penises that were shorter than international standards for condoms

      Australians both enjoy sex and engage in it often. Massive they are.

      I wanted to write a comment but could not because the ‘security code’ thing at AC seems to be broken. I saw it as a sign because I don’t believe in leaving comments when I maintain a blog. So, here we are. First of all, the Atanu article was not about penises at all. In fact the title is what one calls a sensationalist attention-grabbing sleight-of-hand bucket of text meant to mislead because the first para reads, “That, dear boys and girls, is clearly not so. First of all, the storks did not deliver the babies that go on to make up the 1.2 billion population. There aren’t that many storks in the world. Clearly Indians do have sex and I am certain that some even like it.” So, the joke is clearly on Mr. Beck of Perth, Australia. I however salute him for the BBC story although it is rather pretty obvious. Indians are small people compared to first world countries because of decades of slavery, exploitation, suffering, and malnutrition. No masters, except USA who bred blacks for their athletic attributes wants to see slaves beefing up under cruel sado-occupational rule. If the condom sizes sync with Africans who are much worse off economically it is because blacks have bigger sticks than other races. Seems like what Indians lack in size, they make up for it in virility, numerosity, frequency and stamina which according to any other research is what really matters. Moving away from size and to the point of liking sex, if there is any truth to Indians not having enough sex then we can see a correlation with culture and marriage which we all know suck the sex drive. No matter what, the joke is yet once again on Mr. Beck of Perth, Australia. I wanted to blast the dripping ignorance, superiority complex and blatant racism but then I realized that well, the big dick (quite literally) seeing the penis size link I suppose in an article which is entirely off-topic and side-footed, is the classic anthropological principle/bias at play here i.e. humans tend to see what they want to see. As for size comparision and flaunting of his Australian sausage (how insecure are we?), when it comes to men individually or as nations, it all about who has biggest dick. (cue: “Six Feet Under”)

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      30 December, 2009 at 01:10 1 comment

      Binding Emissions Cut – USA to India Shake Hand

      According to any source one might want to look into, total carbon dioxide emissions (in millions metric tonnes as per 2003 figures) for USA is close to 6000MMT, for China is 4000MMT and India is 1000MT. Taking population numbers, this means the per-capita CO2 emissions (in metric tonnes) for USA is 20MT, China is 4MT and India is 1MT. Yet, in the COP15 conference in Copenhagen, USA is asking the world to wipe the slate clean and pressuring India to shake hand and comply in binding that every country, rich and poor reduce their respective emissions by 25% from now on – no matter what the gross, nett and per-capita emissions have been for the past 400 years during which time all the damage we see today (glacier reduction, droughts and floods, ice cap melting, typhoon severity et al.) has been done primarily by rich countries getting industrialized into developed countries. This situation has been depicted by many cartoonists. Here is Subhani in DC today…
      If that is not unfair, I dont know what is. Given that per-capita income is inexplicably linked to per-capita emissions (higher income, higher pollution, duh?), it means that rich countries will get richer (but slower) and the poor countries will get poorer (and faster) if this policy or protocol or poo-poo is implemented. It seems to be more like arm-twisting to me. The irony is not the 25% or whatever arbitrary number but the gal to demand the world to forget the damage that has already been done and brandishing an air of superiority that it is the poor countries who have to take the initiative to save themselves. There is no fine being slapped because no one is asking. No technology transfer because no one is giving. No pledge to remedy the mistakes because no one is apologising. I will tell you what is binding. Rice. Ha ha.

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        14 December, 2009 at 23:52 1 comment

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