Translate

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The disease riddled 21st century




Why is it, even though we've made such astronomical advances in the field of medicine, more and more new diseases surface every year at an exponential rate?

So you live until you're 80 huh? But then what; you take a pill for this, a pill for that, so many pills and you still get cancer and die a slow painful death.

Let's explore this, shall we.

The power of fungi


Well let's state the obvious one first. Antibiotics weren't around until 1928 when Penicillin was discovered. What does this mean? Well a little cut from that broken glass turns into a little infection, a little infection turns into roasting fevers, which then turns into sepsis and likely death without antibiotics. So this is how it went back then. If all the young people were dying out before they hit 30 (which by the way was the average life span in the dark ages) then you don't live until the age where you're more likely to develop heart disease, or hypertension, or cancer or most chronic diseases for that matter.


We're not as smart as we think we are


Let's not forget that we were pretty dumb back in the day. We are only recently emerging from an era where science was deemed witchcraft, and many religions forbade the practice of science. No science? No medical advancements, duh. So a lot of the diseases that we're now discovering, have actually always been around, it's just no one bothered to take notice of them, or study them until now. Just imagine, up until the 20th century, the treatment for the majority of illnesses was bleeding. Meaning, 'Oh you've got a fever? Let me just take this knife and slit your wrists until the fever goes away. Fever not going away? Let me slit you some more!'.


It's all in the code


Even though Homo Sapiens have been in existence for about 150,000 years (according to the oldest fossils) the population boom only started within the last few thousand years. Greater population means more genomes, more genomes means greater chance of mutations. Since the majority of mutations are harmful rather than helpful (we're most likely never going to become X-Men) then more mutation means more diseases. Here's a good article expanding on this topic. Link.


We're full of crap(py food)


I'm sure you'd never hear King Tut ask for his fries up sized with his burger combo. Our diet has changed dramatically within the last century, due the the Western influence on the rest of the globe. Vegetable oils, wheat, and deep fried foods are a fairly new staple to the human diet. Our change in diet from home grown, natural food to a mainly processed, chemically preserved diet is not agreeing with our body's physiology. Our bodies weren't meant to consume the food we do today, and it's fighting back with a vengeance. Acid reflux (heartburn) has only recently become a crisis in the medical field. Cancer rates are soaring, as well as those of obesity and the associated diabetes and hypertension. Let's me and you both, go for that fresh salad over that up sized fries next time.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Aiming for the 1%, or even the 10%

So you want to be part of that upper class bracket of your society, or even settle for upper middle class.

It's not going to happen on its own, nor is it likely to happen if you keep relying on that lottery ticket every week to take away your financial woes.

For starters, you wouldn't be reading this if you were already where you wanted to be right?

So let's cut to the chase and see where the majority of the population make their mistakes.


Living one month at a time

I'll admit, I did this from the time I first started getting a stipend in university, up until the end of my first year working, which was 2006-2012. That's 6 years of money down the drain that I'm never going to get back.

I was one of the fortunate ones who had a scholarship while I attended medical school, which meant every month for 5 years, I got TTD$2400. For anyone foreign reading this, it costs about TTD$12 for a loaf of bread, so I had a pretty comfortable life as a student.

Now I knew nothing about saving, let alone investing, nor did I have any bills to pay, apart from gas and phone money.

Yet every month, I would down to my last few hundred dollars, having to borrow money from my mother at times.

Why? Frivolous, careless spending. Living beyond my means. I was a student. I had no right spending $300 on a pair of jeans, or $600 on a pair of sunglasses, or $800 on a watch.

Say I was careful with my money, spending only $800 a month on necessities and entertainment, which should have been more than enough. I would be left with $1600 a month.

That's $1600 a month for 60 months, or $96,000.

Now I didn't have $96,000 at the end of those 5 years. Nope! I had less than $500 to my name.

If it's one thing I learnt, it's try to live within your means.

Saving at least 10-20% of your take home salary at the end of the month, before you pay bills, loans etc. will go far in the next 20-30 years.


Invest Invest Invest

I think I've made my point clear. Not all of us can be financially savvy, least of all me.

Everyone knows that bank interest rates are a joke. Banks are just there to keep your money safe, nothing more, AND they charge you for it, even though they use your savings to invest and make their billions.

I wish though, that I did start investing at a young age. I mean, I was't going to get all up in the stock market's behind. I was just a student back then.

However if I did throw my money into a mutual fund, the average one gains about a 5% return per annum.

Let's see exactly how powerful compound interest is.

If I had invested my $1600 a month for 5 years at 5% per year, at the end of those 5 years I'd have a whopping $111,000. That's $15,000 richer for doing nothing but sitting on my rear and letting my money do what it does best.

Even if you're not sure how all of this works, find a friend who does. It's worth investing that money financially, than into a bottle of cheap rum. That way, you can get the expensive stuff years from now. Makes sense right?


Credit cards

Credit cards can quickly become your worst nightmare.

I for one, am really glad I didn't get a credit card until I started working. If I had, then those years in university of no savings would have turned into years of debt.

There's a simple solution. If you find that you have nothing left of your salary every month, don't get a credit card. You simply can't afford it.

How long are you going to keep paying the minimum?

Credit isn't free money, the interest from your credit card will make government taxes seem like a Piña Colada on a hot day.



Overpopulation

Many of you may laugh at this one, not take it seriously, or deem it offensive, but I call it as I see 'em.

The majority of people who live in poverty, or even those in the middle class can't make it any higher up the food chain for this simple reason.

Why would you have more mouths than you can afford to feed?

The other day I saw a lady on the news, she was begging for handouts because her tiny wooden house was destroyed and she had nowhere to keep her SIX children. For starters, how do you even begin to fit SIX children in there. Why would you have SIX children and nowhere to keep them? She had none of my pity.

It's not the 1600s where there's no contraception or access to abortion.

Contraception is widely available, even free in some countries including mine.

If abortion isn't legal in your country, it's far cheaper to travel abroad and have it done somewhere legally than having to raise a child!

Children are an expensive investment, one which you should think through thoroughly before going ahead with it.

It's better to wait the extra years and start a family later, when your income is closer to where you want it to be.




Education

I don't even know where to begin with this topic.

Many people out there who labour day after day, complaining about all the people in suits who make more than they do. A lot of them have no right complaining.

Don't try 'get rich quick' schemes and fail time after time.

With a university degree, there are a lot more higher paying job opportunities available to you than without.

That sounds a LOT easier than it actually is for many people. Students in my country are lucky that tertiary education is free, but in countries where it isn't, those who can't afford it work hard everyday, job after job, to make their way through university and get that dream job, with the dream salary of course.

For those of you who know that 1 in a million person who dropped out at high school level and made it big with their business. Do you really prefer those chances, with less than 5% of university graduates being unemployed, versus 3 times the unemployment rate in those of a high school education or less.



For all those who were offended, or insulted by this post, take it to the complaints department on the 5th floor.

I wrote this to help those who want to be better, and have a better life for themselves.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Faith lost in humanity? Or restored?

When I saw this video last night, I did get a bit flared up, but I realised, nothing should be shocking anymore.

Humans are the most disrespectful species in the animal kingdom.

Thinking about that statement, it has gotten better within the past few centuries. Imagine living in the 18th century as a servant or some other unskilled labourer, someone looked down upon, thought of as less than human.

This is the kind of behaviour displayed by the young lady in the video. 

This newly viral video, is a rant by a young woman, 27 years old to be exact, with tertiary level education, a BA in Business and Marketing.

She meant for the video to embarrass the Dunkin Donuts employees for not giving her a receipt, but look for yourself and see who's the one who should be embarrassed.

Note: This video is NSFW, contains adult language and  racial comments.




One can sometimes excuse spur of the moment behaviour, words spewed in anger, not thought through, that's only human nature.

But this woman, she thought this out overnight, planned out this 'crazy' in her head, and came back with a vengeance the next day for these fine workers doing their job.

Notice how she starts off calm and collected, then progresses to bouts of crazy, through which, both employees keep their manners and respect for the customer throughout.

I admit, I too do become annoyed with fast food employees, but never if I get brilliant service like this young man gave her, and never would those words come out of my mouth in public domain.

Also, you may know of the Mars One mission, which is a one way trip in the year 2023 to establish a human settlement on Mars. If what she's claiming is true, then I'm sorry, if those are the kind of people that will be representing the human race, then label me as something else, thanks much.

Throughout the whole debacle, I thought this was just another crazy person rant. Then came the racism. 
Racism still exists far and wide, and it's not going anywhere for a long time to come.
I realised at this point, that if the employees behind the counter were Caucasian, maybe she would've forgotten the whole thing with a simple apology.

Don't pity the employees, I'm sure customers going there on a daily will reward them with compliments and tips for braving the likes of Hurricane Crazy.

So let's all have a laugh at her expense. At least for the next few days.

This is surely going in my YouTube favourites.

















Saturday, 15 June 2013

5 Unconventional Dad gifts for this Father's Day



This year, let's not get Dad another tie. I'm sure he has more than enough. Wait, did you get him one of those really cool zipper ties? Hellz naw...take it back, IMMEDIATELY.

Let's explore some options more unique to your own Dad, shall we.


1. For the conservative dad

So, is your dad a more reserved, prefers to stay in his man den, reading the latest edition of Reader's Digest, maybe a cigar or two, kinda guy?


This bottle of Glenmorangie 18 year old 'Extremely Rare' is a great gift for most fathers, conservative or not. It matures for 15 years in American White Oak casks, then 30% of that golden liquid is transferred to Spanish Oloroso casks. They're then matured separately for 3 years, and then jumbled back together, leaving you with one of the finest scotches around.

Get it here for USD$107.95.



2. For the gamer dad



This hot new title is a post-apocalyptic zombie thriller for the PS3. You're taken through the game as a hardened survivor, travelling across the United States with a young girl. The real danger is not the zombies, as you may think, but other survivors, doing anything and everything to stay alive in this ruined planet we once called home.


The Last of Us has a really good shot for game of the year, so if your dad is a gamer, this is perfect. Hopefully you'll still be able to get one, because it launched two days before Father's Day! Good strategy Sony, although knowing Sony, that may have just been coincidental.

Get it now for USD$59.95 on Amazon.



3. For the corporate dad

Want to spruce up your dad's desk at work? Tired of getting him Newton's Cradles and pen holders every year?

Well, here's a fairly new gadget to keep him busy and distracted, from what he really should be doing at work.



It looks like a plain old jar of water with a grey blob in it, but throw in a magnet and things get interesting.

Get one for him on ThinkGeek for USD$30.



4. For the cooking dad

Many dads love to cook, but not many have the patience to marinate their meats from the night before. We want meat, and we want it now!

Well there's a solution for that.

The Instant Marinater


The Instant Marinater is a unique dish that marinates your meat within minutes! Wow! That's pretty awesome. No more bland chicken dishes, due to hurried seasoning and then tossing it on the grill.

Get one for him here for USD$39.99.



5. For the out of shape dad

So your Dad's at that point in life where his waistline seems to be mimicking his age.

A large (no pun intended) number of men die every year due to lifestyle disease and complications from obesity.

Let's help your Dad not be one of those.



For the Dad who prefers to lose weight outside of the gym, the Nike+ FuelBand, is an activity tracker that's worn on the wrist. It tracks physical activity, steps taken, and calories burnt. Also tells time, no need for a watch with this sleek piece of machinery.

So you set a goal, and throughout the day, the FuelBand tells you what you need to do. If you're in the 'red' zone, you need to get more active. if you're 'green' then you deserve a break.

It can sync up with your smartphone as well, to track overall progress.

However, it will set you back about USD$150, but that's still nothing compared to his health right?

You can get it at the Nike online store.



I believe I've given you quite a few unique options, at least one should satisfy your Dad.

Happy shopping!

Friday, 14 June 2013

2 Funky new religions for you to check out


Whether or not you have a religion, we are aware of them, and of the many variants out there. In an age where the development of society, is greatly due to secular thinking, people are gradually becoming more accepting of the religions of others while still practicing their own., or none at all.

Even now, there are some new options popping up, giving those whose thinking, fall not within the realms of traditional religion, but still desire to be part of a modern religious movement.

The majority of western civilisation are aware of Scientology, mainly due to it's exposure to the public by celebrities, that's all I'll mention on Scientology here.

There are lesser known unorthodox religions however such as,

1. Pastafarianism



Pastafarinism, also known as the 'Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster' started back in 2005, when a young physics graduate, sent a letter to the Kansas State Board of Education. This was because the board still promoted the teaching of intelligent design and creation over evolution in Biology classes, and he proposed that if the former was true, then it could also be said that a 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' could have created the universe. Logical no?

He then posted the letter on his website, and its popularity grew exponentially from there.

You can read the letter on his website here.

Back in 2011, an Austrian Athiest, was allowed the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head for his driver's license photo, claiming the headgear was part of his religion. This caused major uproar worldwide, amongst religious extremists, who claimed it mocked traditional religious use of headwear.



So if you're pro-evolution and want to debunk theories of intelligent design and creationism, this may be the religion for you.


2. Jediism



Jediism began in New Zealand back in 2001, where more than 10,000 New Zealanders put 'Jedi' as their religion, during the national census. This made it eligible for status as an official religion. However because it came about this way, there was no official founder, or order, and in 2008 the 'International Church of Jediism' was founded in the UK by a 23 year old man.

The religion follows the philosophy and teachings of the Jedi, from the world renowned Star Wars universe.

Their teachings are that of one powerful 'force' binding everything and everyone in the universe together.

However, Mr. Founder over there got a bit of a bad reputation for himself when he was thrown out of a Tesco(Supermarket)  in the UK, as he refused to remove his brown hood. Read more on that hilarious incident here. He claimed it as bias, but I think it may have had something more to do with hiding his face than bias. Not so logical of Mr. Jedi Founder eh?




Well there you have it. I hope I've given you some insight, and exposed your mind to a whole world of other religions out there, that you may not have known about. Don't like yours? Try an unorthodox one why don't you.


May the force be with you, padawans.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Bored? Here's 6 ways the Internet can undo that for you




At some random point in your day, when you actually have some free time to yourself, you're bored.

Don't know why you're bored, and you don't know how to undo this boredom.

Not in the mood to do anything, but desperate to do something.

Before the 21st century, this was quite troublesome, but then the internet started to get really good.

With the advent of smartphones and other portable smart devices (tablets etc.) , we have constant access to the internet. Not bad eh?

So if you're too lazy to even scour the vast ocean of data available on the internet when you're bored, there are some tools that can do it for you.


1. StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is both a gift and a curse. It works as an extension for your browser. It's available for all major browsers; Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer, yes I just said it's available for IE. Will resist making an IE joke.

So what you do is go to their homepage, make an account, add whatever interests you like, ranging from Music, Video Games, Cooking, Technology, Sports, to even UFOs.

After that, go to their downloads page and download the relevent extension for your browser.

Then you'll see the Stumblebar pop up somewhere below your address bar like this


Then you're free to stumble to your heart's desire.

All you have to do is click stumble and it takes you to a web page that's in one of your interests. Don't like that one? Aww darn, guess it doesn't work :(
Just click Stumble again, silly. Different page, like magic.

So it's awesome right?

Think again, it starts with one stumble, then 6 hours later, and it's 4am and you think, 'where did the time go'.




2. Youtube random video generator

So you love YouTube, but you're tired of watching all your favourites, and can't seem to find new videos to your liking.

There's a solution for that.

www.youtuberandomvideo.com is a website that pulls random videos off of YouTube for you to watch. You can choose a specific category if you want, such as Music, or Gaming. You can even choose the maximum length of the video, if you're looking for short stuff, set it at 5 minutes.

Pretty straightforward to use, and not as addictive as StumbleUpon.

Like one of the videos and want to keep it? See my article on how to do that here.


3. I Am Bored

www.i-am-bored.com is a website that's full of links to random pictures, videos, games, in an attempt to unbored you.

They're sorted by categories such as Most Popular, Science, Games, Quizzes etc. Each one having thousands of links to various crevices of the internet.


4. Cracked.com

Cracked.com is a comedy website that posts articles, which are basically lists of awesome things you probably didn't know.

Some examples are:-

'6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person'
'5 Ways You're Accidentally Making Everyone Hate You'
'The 6 Creepiest Lies the Food Industry is Feeding You'
'5 Things They Don't Want You to Know About the Olympics'


5. CollegeHumor


CollegeHumor is another comedy website that contains content geared towards teenagers and young adults.

They have videos, pictures and articles that will make you laugh right off your chair.



6. Bash.org

Bash.org is a quote database from the days when IRC (Internet Relay Chat) was in. This was way before all the instant messenger programs, such as MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and ICQ, were created. 

I suggest you start with the ridiculously hilarious Top 100 and go from there.

Note: Most of these quotes are quite crass, and not for the faint of heart.



If you actually got to the end of this list and you're still reading this then you must really be bored.

You need to click on one of those links ASAP.

Hope this article was helpful.

Ciao.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Think positively, stay happy, and don't wear sunscreen.



The video I'm about to post had a profound impact on me the first time I heard it.

At only 6.6 million youtube views, I think this is something a lot more people need to hear.

His advice is quite sound, except for the opening, which is to wear sunscreen.

Not all sunscreen is good for you, only the ones that are based on zinc oxide, and don't contain certain other cancer causing agents.

But we're not here to talk about that, if you'd like to read more on sunscreen causing cancer, click here.

He gives a lot of general advice of how to appreciate what you have, and taking care of yourself.

Let's have a look.



I don't agree 100% with everything he says. So, listen carefully, be informed, but take it with a pinch of salt.