Cold summer

Posted in Society at 10:34 by RjZ

It just doesn’t seem right to me. Summer is just getting started and I am excited for a weekend of hiking, climbing and just getting outside. By Thursday, though, I am feeling a little bit more exhausted than usual and by Friday I wake up with a sore throat. Crap. Who wants a cold at the beginning of summer?!

I’ve heard about Cold Snap, an immune system booster based on ancient Chinese medicine. I went online to learn more about the preparation and to the health food store to see if I could find it. Cold Snap combines a variety of herbs which have, traditionally, been individually prescribed, based on a consultation with the patient. It’s meant to be taken three times a day to ward off “uninvited guests” but:

If you have not been able to forestall the unwanted guest, frequent use (as often as every 20 minutes) may be required to change the momentum of the invasion. With more experience in taking Cold Snap and some anticipation, you won’t need to consume a large quantity of herbs. Continuing with the Basic Way for a couple of days after feeling better will ensure restoration of righteous chi.

On Saturday and Sunday my sore throat was gone but I was weak and my nose was running constantly. The nights were poor and punctuated by coughing. By Monday, though, I was feeling better and while my nose was still running, my cough was becoming productive. It’s Wednesday now and, while I am still coughing up some phlegm that my body produced to trap all these “unwanted guests,” I appear to be on the road to recovery, just exactly as the makers of Cold Snap, OHCO, predicted.

Except I didn’t take any.

It’s not that Cold Snap does or doesn’t work; I really don’t know that. I couldn’t find any clinical tests for it online nor an assay that describes what exactly is in it. Many homeopathic medicines contain ultra-low quantities of the “active” ingredients. The claim is that the liquids, now indiscernible from ordinary water, contain “molecular memory” and can contribute to cures. I doubt the effectiveness of these preparations, but I don’t know if Cold Snap is one of these or not. After following the link, scroll down to the “Challenging Homeopathy” header for a bit more information.

It’s not the whether or not Cold Snap works though, it’s that the claims made on the manufacturer’s own website aren’t really claims at all. Essentially, they say that you should take Cold Snap all the time, but if you feel yourself getting a cold, you should start consuming rather high amounts and your cold will go away in a few days and you’ll be stronger for it. If you don’t take Cold Snap, your cold will still be gone in a few days and your wallet will be stronger for it.

So next time you start to feel symptoms of a cold, try the following remedy. Don’t do anything at all. Get some rest, blow your nose often, suffer a little, maybe have an extra glass of orange juice (vitamin C, in reasonable doses, is clinically proven to strengthen your immune system). If your cold goes a away in a few days, let me know.

And, feel free to send me a few dollars for my miracle cure.

(2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Hurrah! Torpedo.

Posted in Reviews at 11:45 by RjZ

or check out the slideshow!

Hurra Torpedo is unquestionably the best Norwegian appliance-rock band in the world. You don’t want to miss them the next time they come to your part of the world. Three terribly attractive Norwegians teach the audience how to be sexy, why they come to rock concerts and how make violent love with your old kitchen appliances.

If that’s not good enough, the covers of Prince, the Pixies, and, if you’re lucky enough to catch them in Colorado, John Denver, ought to be enough to get you to the show. Check out the attached slide show to see them in action.

(2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
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BBC News: The US ‘wants to end Guantanamo’

Posted in at 12:47 by RjZ

It’s about time.

It’s about time the United States started recovering it’s constitutional ideas. It seems we have lent out our constitution long enough to Iraq and while we don’t seem interested in using it, perhaps this is a step towards the return to our fundamentals. Let’s hope for more steps backward like this one.

Update: of course, President Bush hasn’t given a timetable for this, just as he won’t for the war in Iraq.

(1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Rate me

Posted in at 10:28 by RjZ

Now you can rate the posts on Traveling Hypothesis. You don’t have to say who you are or have anything meaningful to add to the posts to give some feedback and anonymously let others know what you think of what’s written there.

But what to rate on? Quality of the writing? How entertaining it was? How much you agree or disagree? I don’t think it matters much. Perhaps this will be a gut reaction; something akin to “I really just hated this, it was a waste of time. And you really ought to proofread more!” or, and this is much more likley of course, “Wow, this was great. After I am done sending the link to all my friends I am going to bookmark this so I’ll never lose this incredible insight.” Yeah, that’s much more likely!

Meanwhile, please let me, and others, know what you think with a simple click on the little squares at the bottom of each post. Five is good, one is not so good. (I can make it out of three or 10 or whatever, so let me know by leaving a comment what you think would work.) Come on, don’t be shy!

(6 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)
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Some animals are less equal than others

Posted in , Travel at 15:12 by RjZ

I don’t dislike any animals. Large or small, furry or creepy. Man-eating lions, tigers and bears; cold blooded snakes, fishes and snails; we’re all passengers on the same earth and I respect them all and am fascinated by most of them.

I’m lying.

Leeches scare me. The slimy bloodsucking creatures have freaked me out since I was a child. My spine tingles and I get the willies just thinking about them. Actually, I don’t like most of the bloodsuckers. Mosquitos seem to offer little benefit to the eco-system that gnats wouldn’t fill just as well, that being annoying campers and offering food for bats. Ticks used to bother me even more until a few attached themselves to me in Costa Rica. I will never say where exactly I found the leeches. Hint: they like dark warm places.

I’ve not yet —gasp— encountered leeches —b-r-r-r-r— but I dread the day I do. The author of Indian Summer has just had her first encounter with them (well actually, I don’t know if it’s her first encounter, but I just hope so ’cause it freaks me out.) Even though her post details the fascinating countryside and complex bureaucracy that she’s encountering first-hand in Sikkim and India, you can see that all I really got out of it was a squirming thought of leeches.

But I still like all the other animals.

(6 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)
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Posted in Liberty at 16:18 by RjZ

Try this. Do a web search on “Homeland Security Pork.” You’ll get articles about “homeland-security rescue and communications equipment” for North Pole, Alaska, or fake nuclear power plants in Nevada. You can read how FEMA was stripped to pay for big spending elsewhere and “that $38 million went to cover fire claims related to the April 2001 Cerro Grande fire in New Mexico.”

In the name of protecting U. S. citizens, congress has spent nearly $207 billion since September 11, 2001. President Bush used this spending to demonstrate how strong he was against terror. The sales of loafers and sandals have probably increased since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA is part of the department of Homeland Security) now requires that we remove our shoes before boarding airplanes, but our nation’s ports complain that they’re not safer than they were before “the day everything changed” and that they need help.

The problem though is that a (no longer) brand-new government organization is ill-suited to solve the problems of security or terrorism and much more capable spending money on pork-barrel projects. The central government taxes the people and then the states must go to the central government to beg and justify that their citizens need some of their money back to protect themselves.

It’s not surprising, then, that New York City is upset that they’re handout funding was cut 40%. It’s not surprising that Bush appointee and secretary of Homeland Security, Micheal Cherthof is being described as “embattled” as he tries to alternately justify and defend the 2007 funding.

Homeland Security funding turns out to be good evidence why the central government shouldn’t be trusted with doling out money for local activities. The cities and states know better how to spend their money. The system we have in place results in what I call the “race for the bottom.” When the authorities have control over resources then those who should receive them race to show who is more needy than the next. Failing that, they’ll be forced to bribe, cheat, or steal to get the money they are confident they deserve in the first place. There is zero motivation for Omaha to hand over money to New York City and Los Angeles doesn’t care what happens in St. Louis. Adding insult to this injury, the layer of bureaucracy in the middle must be padded with reports on justifications and requirements and the dollars associated with writing and reading all of them.

Of course there are activities for which the central government is best suited (few of them, true, but the military is an obvious example…) but it’s difficult, in the face of recent history not to see the department of Homeland Security as more than political posturing and an unfortunate opportunity for more spending by politicians than a sincere and effective agency to prevent terrorism at home. We may not like it, but spending is always rewarded. It’s our money, and we like getting it back, even if the president and congress like to make us be for it.

Alas states and cities aren’t necessarily much better at spending money wisely but my voice might get heard at home; it’s very unlikely to be heard in Washington. In addition to having an ill-advised government bureaucracy called Homeland Security we have local governments spending to defend their citizens from terrorist acts at any cost. Local city councils aren’t cynical Washington insiders. They’re doing their sincere best to defend us because the Bush administration has told them to be afraid, very afraid. We should expect to hear more about being afraid as we approach November and U. S. citizens consider whether they will keep the current congress (most of which voted to go to war with Iraq, for the patriot act, for the creation of the department of Homeland Security and for the pork it created).

Be afraid, be very afraid.

(1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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National language or freedom of expression

Posted in at 14:18 by RjZ

I’ll have more to say about English being our national language, but meanwhile, and in reference to my previous comments about the congress wasting time, let’s see what
Nick Gillespie, Editor in Chief, Reason Magazine had to say during an interview on the O’Reilly Factor:

I want to congratulate the senator [Lamar Alexander, who put forward the "symbolic resolution] because who knew that war in Iraq was over? Who knew that the out of control spending the Republicans have brought to Washington 11 years of budget control and that the saber-rattling by North Korea and Iran and other countries, it’s over. And we can spend time on a completely inane and asinine issue. To be talking about passing resolutions in a way even, especially if they’re nonbinding about what language people should be able to sing the national anthem or say the pledge after allegiance is ludicrous beyond belief. One of the great things about America is our First Amendment which guarantees political expression. Certainly the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem are political speech. And now you’re trying to say that only way can you be truly American is to say it in English, which the last time I checked was the language of our colonial overlord from a couple hundred years ago.

Thanks, Mr. Gillespie. And he got to rant on national TV too!

As I said here, there is a bright side. The more time the congress wastes on “asinine” issues the less they spend on asinine, or dangerous, laws.

By the way, see if you can read the comments in the linked article without laughing out loud at how much 1. people have no clue who Gillespie is (he’s no lefty) 2. how they use ad hominem attacks over and over again and 3. how convinced that any one who says anything about America (they mean the United States of America of course; Mexico is in America too…) is clearly a communist who hates the U. S. and even though he’s a third generation U.S. American he should go back. Guess what kids, if you’re born here, you’re a citizen. If Mr. Gillespie really doesn’t like the U.S. he can leave, but he is allowed to complain a little bit to improve it, isn’t he?

(2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Senate Tackles Gay Marriage Ban, Proposal Backed By President Has Little Chance Of Passing – CBS News

Posted in at 7:48 by RjZ

CBS News thinks the senate is ‘tackling’ gay marriage. Ha! What they’re doing is wasting time! Regardless of your views on the marriage rights of U. S. citizens,(you can read some of mine here) unless you’re a member of Focus on the Family, you’d be hard pressed to believe that this is the most important thing on the Senate’s agenda. Has the U. S. government forgotten that health care is becoming a crippling expense for the majority of individuals and small business and that thousands have died in a war overseas? Not to mention this ban, thankfully, has little or no chance of passing.

For the local Coloradans reading here, please note that Senator Wayne Allard is the sponsor of this pandering waste of time.

It’s rather convenient, in an important election year for republicans who are seeing dwindling approval ratings, to stir up their base of social conservatives with a non-issue that results in non-work. I would be more bothered by this, were it not that this congress and administration seem to be most successful at restricting privacy rights of the citizens and spending money. As a result, better they waste their time posturing than actually get anything done… ’cause that could be dangerous.

Remember, this is an election year. Don’t forget to vote them out in November!

(2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
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Recommended reading?

Posted in at 7:13 by RjZ

I think I’ll pass on this offer made during the Boulder Creek Festival last memorial day.

(3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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