22 May 2006

Some Light Late-Night Entertainment

Observe, Sunday's Foxtrot. (Strip from 21 May 2006; online strip expires 4 Jun 2006, if this link leads to an error page)

Observe, a link to a Morse code translator. (Java required)

Observe that the combination of these two leads to one staying awake even further beyond one's ostensible bedtime. Shocking!

14 May 2006

April... Er, May Showers

So... it's been raining for basically two days straight now. Now, aside from the jaunts to and from church this morning, this hasn't really affected me very much. However, there are some people that it's going to affect rather severely. From a weather.com severe weather report:

MAJOR FLOODING AND IN SOME CASES... RECORD FLOODING...IS FORECAST TO OCCUR ON SEVERAL RIVERS IN NORTHEAST MASSACHUSETTS AND SOUTH CENTRAL NEW HAMPSHIRE WITH VERY SLOW RECESSIONS ANTICIPATED AFTER THE CRESTS EARLY THIS COMING WEEK.

ANOTHER 2 TO 5 INCHES OF RAIN IS ANTICIPATED TO FALL BETWEEN 6 PM THIS SUNDAY EVENING AND NOON MONDAY ACROSS ESSEX COUNTY OF NORTHEAST MASSACHUSETTS AND HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY OF SOUTH CENTRAL NEW HAMPSHIRE. THIS WILL RAISE 3 DAY STORM TOTALS IN PARTS OF THESE TWO COUNTIES TO NEARLY 15 INCHES IN AT LEAST A FEW LOCATIONS.


I mean... 15 inches?! That corresponds to something like twelve feet of snow, pound for pound! Even more remarkable than that, from the NOAA's Weather Reports (select "Record Event Report", "Boston Logan", "Most Recent", and hit 'Go'):

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
840 PM EDT SUN MAY 14 2006

...SUCCESSIVE RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM RAINFALLS SET AT BOSTON...

A RECORD RAINFALL OF 3.84 INCHES WAS SET AT BOSTON SATURDAY MAY
13TH. THIS BROKE THE OLD RECORD OF 1.56 SET IN 2002.

A RECORD RAINFALL OF 3.36 INCHES WAS SET AT BOSTON TODAY SUNDAY MAY
14TH. THE PREVIOUS RECORD FOR MAY 14TH WAS 1 INCH SET IN 1882.


I mean... three times the previous rainfall record for May 14th? And this report is from 8:40 tonight; it's now almost 11, and rain has been falling steadily all evening. I doubt it'll hit four inches here, but still... this is crazy!

Update (5/15/06 3:45PM): Looks like quite a few people further north in New England have been affected by significant flooding and states of emergency have been declared in MA, NH, and ME. For those of you who pray, these folks could definitely use it.

06 May 2006

Eat Right, Perhaps Stay Healthy... Shocking!

From CNN.com, emphasis mine:

A Mediterranean-style diet that appears to cut the risk of heart disease also may help protect against Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

People who followed the diet were up to 40 percent less likely than those who largely avoided it to develop Alzheimer's during the course of the research, scientists reported.

[...]

The diet he tested includes eating lots of vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals and fish, while limiting intake of meat and dairy products, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol and emphasizing monounsaturated fats, such as in olive oil, over saturated fats. Previous research has suggested that such an approach can reduce the risk of heart disease.

[...]

The idea that a heart-healthy diet could also help fight Alzheimer's fits in with growing evidence that "the kinds of things we associate with being bad for our heart turn out to be bad for our brain," said Dr. Marilyn Albert, a Johns Hopkins neurology professor and spokeswoman for the Alzheimer's Association. The list includes high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and uncontrolled diabetes, she said.


As I understand it, a food science revolution occurred back in the early-middle part of the 1900's (or whenever it was, I welcome corrections on this) where scientists decided that purifying the known beneficial compounds (starch, vitamins, etc.) and making foods containing only those compounds. While this seemed to make good sense at the time, it seems that whole, unprocessed foods are inevitably better for you than refined ones. Thus, even if one doesn't eat outright unhealthy foods like donuts and fries all the time, avoiding vegetables, fruits, and whole grains likely results in deficiencies in a variety of important compounds, many of which we probably don't even know about yet. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," indeed.

Just something to 'ruminate' on, as it were... ;-)