Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Is diabetes an epidemic or just a result of laziness?

Is the ice cream the real problem?

The Enquirer recently published an article about the diabetes epidemic and the widespread increase of Type 2 diabetes, especially in kids and teens, and below I’ve pasted some of the key points I took from the article. I find it aggravatingly hilarious that the article talks repeatedly about the effect of healthy weight maintenance as the leading suppressant of the disease, but continually asks what we should do to prevent the spread. It seems pretty obvious to me. My 93 year old grandfather always said if you get fat stop eating so much!

Weight loss is a difficult prospect for some people, I’ll concede that, but for parents who allow their children to balloon to more than 300 lbs in middle school, as one story in the article speaks of, they are failing their children and their responsibilities as parents. Kids can’t always be expected to understand the implications of their morbid obesity, but parents should.

Finally, I apologize for this rant, as I know obesity is a tough battle for many people, but stop whining! Losing weight is a result of a simple math problem, calorie intake – calories burned = weight loss. Like I said very simple. the part that seems to confuse people is the “calories burned” part. That is simple also. MOVE!

I don’t care if you wave your arms at passing vehicles or whether you run ultra-marathons, just move.

full story>>>

“A study from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found a 10-fold increase in Type 2 diabetes among adolescents.”

“Authors of the study blamed an increase in obesity, and warned the spike in diabetes could have dire consequences as those youths hit adulthood.”

“According to the report, 1 in 10 U.S. adults have diabetes. By 2050, as many as 1 in 3 could have the disease.”

“It’s a disaster in the making, experts say, and it’s a disaster Americans helped make themselves.”

“Our society is engineered to make us unhealthy,” said Lisa Simpson, a pediatrician and the director of the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s. “Diabetes is just one of the consequences of decades of choices that have led to the obesity epidemic.”

That means teaching people to exercise more, eat healthy and lose weight – three lessons many won’t learn until their lives depend on it.

“In 2008, diabetes’ total economic impact, including lost productivity, added up to $187 billion.”

“Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S., and a leading contributor to heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and a host of other ailments – all on the rise as baby boomers age.

To put it in perspective, diabetes kills about 72,000 Americans a year. Heart disease kills more than 630,000 Americans a year, and its economic impact is $316 billion – nine times the number of fatalities, but less than double the cost.

In 2004, 71,000 amputations were performed in the U.S. because of the damage done by diabetes.

Scientists have even identified a link between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.”

“Dolan and his colleagues are trying to figure out the best way to manage diabetes in teens.”

Work at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has shown that gastric bypass surgery, which causes weight loss by reducing the size of the stomach and limiting the calories the body can absorb, is an effective cure in teens.

At the University of Cincinnati, researchers are trying to discover why the surgery works and how they can get its effects in a less invasive and less expensive way.

full story>>>


HomeBrewing: Knutty Knappy Redhead

Homebrewing is an art form that I was fortunate enough to pick up a few years ago after my parents were kind enough to give me a brewing kit for Chistmas the year after I turned 21. The brewing process is a relatively simple one that involves boiling water and adding malt, grains (sometimes), hops and any adjuncts one my desire.

It’s been some time since I last attempted to brew beer, but like many other tasks one learns throughout life, it is much like riding a bike.

as you can see the dark foamy wort will eventually produce a great dark red beer

This evening I brewed a beer that was completely contrived by me. I had been planning on brewing for quite some time so I had some ingredients and malts for a couple different beers. Instead of deciding on a pilsner or simple amber ale I decided I’d mix the two malt types together, toss in a couple of my favorite adjuncts (cocoa and molasses) and see what developed.

Below you can follow the steps I took when putting this eventual masterpiece (if I do say so myself) together.

  • Bring 1.5 gallons water to rolling boil

    ingredients used to create my knutty knappy redhead

  • add 1.5 kg hopped amber malt (Munton’s)
  • add 1.8 kg hopped pilsner malt (Munton’s)
  • add 12 FL oz. robust molasses (Grandma’s)
  • add 1 tsp. pure almond extract
  • add 4 Tbsp. natural unsweetened cocoa (Hershey’s)
  • Boil 10 minutes
  • add 2 oz Fuggle Pellet Hops (Alpha Acid 4.2%)
  • Boil 35 minutes
  • add .5 oz. Kent Goldings Pellet Hops (Alpha Acid 4.5%)
  • Boil 15 minutes
  • pour hot wort into 3.5 gallons cold water
  • Measure Original Gravity (1.062)
  • place lid on fermenting capsule, set fermentation lock
  • wait ( my guess is 5 days) for fermentation to complete

I will check back in as I keg the brew.

Cheers: The Theory of Intelligence

The Theory of Intelligence

I don’t think I’ve ever heard the concept explained much better than this!

“Well you see, Norm, it’s like this… A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the heard is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest buffalo at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole. because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, the regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”

VOTE: San Juan Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project

Here is an election you will really want to vote in…..

My cousin, Gary Slater, is the current research director for the San Juan Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project which seeks to facilitate the reintroduction of this rare and beautiful species into the Western United States. The project is entering it’s fifth year, but this year faces some interesting challenges because of funding shortages. PLEASE read the letter below and VOTE for the San Juan Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project, as this species is the only one on the ballot which is in North America.

In March 2011, the San Juan Islands Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project will be entering its 5th year.  Each year, the project seeks to acquire the annual funding it needs from various agencies and foundations, but this year you can help!  We are currently in a competition with several other projects for funding from the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund that requires on-line voting during the month of October to identify a winner.  We would greatly appreciate your efforts to help us “get out the vote” for this important project.  Our project is the only one from North America, thus your vote helps to advance bird conservation “on the home front.”

Voting should only take about 1-2 minutes and you can access the process at the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund web page (   Please share this broadly and thanks in advance for your help.  Voting closes October 31.

Bluebirds last nested on the San Juan Islands in the early 1960s.  Over the last four years, we have been translocating adult bluebirds from Fort Lewis Military Installation in Olympia, Washington to the San Juan Islands.  In the first year (2007), we had a pair successfully nest and fledge young, and since then the number of returning birds, the size of the nesting population, and the number of young fledged has increased in each year.  In 2010, we had 12 pairs fledge 84 young on San Juan Island.  In addition to reestablishing a nesting population of bluebirds, our extensive education and outreach efforts are reaching children and adults alike, and significantly advancing conservation of the prairie-oak ecosystem.  Examples include schoolchildren building and installing nest boxes, community volunteers donating time and materials to build and move aviaries, numerous newspaper articles and television reporting stories, and landowners and conservation organizations protecting habitat through acquisitions and easements.

The San Juan Islands Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project ( or ( is comprised of many primary partners including American Bird Conservancy, Ecostudies Institute, San Juan Preservation Trust, San Juan Islands Audubon Society, Department of Defense Fort Lewis Military Installation, The Nature Conservancy of Washington, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; and has been financially supported by Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund, Zoo Boise Conservation Fund, Wildlife Forever Fund, Norcliffe Foundation, Horizons Foundation, and many private individuals.

Please support this project and VOTE TODAY by clicking on the link ( and by forwarding this message on.

Gary Slater
Research Director
Ecostudies Institute
PO Box 703
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Chilean miners’ rescue shows strength of character and Faith

While I have admittedly spent little time thinking about the 33 miners who have been trapped for months more than a half mile below the surface of the earth, I was brought to tears this morning as I watched live footage of their rescue. Hearing of the stories of the efforts that were made by these 33 men who were blessed with the absolute faith that they would be rescued is inspirational in the purest sense.

Chile's President Sebastian Pinera, top center, cheers as rescued miner Mario Sepulveda, center, salutes after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine near Copiapo, Chile, early Wednesday morning.

Mario Sepulveda, one of the first miners to emerge from the narrow rescue capsule said in recollection that, “I think I had extraordinary luck. I was with God and with the devil. And I reached out for God.” The collective understanding that they had to have Hope and Faith during their shared time in the mine is amazing, and offers a bit of clarity for me, as I often fail, even in generous times, to be truly thankful for all of the blessings in life.

I hope that as more people reflect on the immensity of the occasion that there is a renewed sense of the goodness in this world.

God Bless

P&G Program Will Offer Social-Media-Era ‘Green Stamps’

Recycling has always been a priority of mine, particularly in my home, as I find it extremely easy. Simply get two garbage cans in your home: One for trash and one for recyclable goods, which includes about everything you typically throw in the trash. I’ve found in doing this that I have cut down on the actual “waste” coming out of my house by more than 60%.

Recycling is only one step we can take to cut down on the impact we have on this planet of ours, and as I learn more about ways I can help preserve the beautiful landscapes that I’ve become accustomed to I’ll make sure to pass it on.

In the meantime, I wanted to pass along an extremely interesting article from which explains a new program that Cincinnati based, Procter & Gamble will implement to help spread the word about ways consumers can learn and practice sustainable living.

BATAVIA, Ohio ( — Procter & Gamble Co. is backing a first-of-its-kind effort to reward consumers for learning and blogging about environmental sustainability as it also underwrites a Cincinnati program to give people points redeemable for goods based on how much they recycle.

P&G’s multi-brand Future Friendly program will sponsor incentives for people to sign up with RecycleBank, a sort of electronic “Green Stamps” that gives people points redeemable for local merchants or merchandise when they recycle through curbside collection programs. Other marketers, such as Verizon in Philadelphia and Safeway in San Francisco, have similarly sponsored RecycleBank rewards, but P&G is the first to add a nationwide educational and social-media component to its sponsorship.

So, besides earning points for putting out more recycling in the 200 municipalities where RecycleBank operates, people nationwide can also get points for reading or watching videos, flash animation or other online content about ways to lessen their environmental impact. They’ll earn additional points by blogging or otherwise using social media to get others to view the P&G-backed content.

“Future Friendly is an education initiative around saving water, saving energy and reducing waste, and recycle bank is also an educational initiative, so we see a lot of overlap,” said P&G spokesman Glenn Williams.

The Cincinnati program is a pilot that could be expanded to more cities nationally depending on the results in P&G’s hometown, he said. P&G is also looking into possible sponsorship of another RecycleBank pilot program that provides points to consumers for reducing home energy consumption.

“The idea is to drive awareness of Future Friendly and P&G’s sustainably innovative products,” he said, “and ultimately we hope to drive purchase intent as well.”

The target for RecycleBank, like Future Friendly, isn’t the 15% of “dark green” consumers already committed to sustainable behavior or the 15% of consumers who don’t care about sustainability, but that 70% in the middle who’d like to do more for environmental sustainability but don’t really know how.

“We’re trying to advance this world-without-waste agenda but with mainstream consumers,” said Samantha Skey, chief revenue officer of RecycleBank. “They’re a group that has tremendous opportunity to drive positive impact, but many are fairly alienated by the traditional sustainability movement. They don’t feel included or that if they don’t do everything right there’s nothing in it for them.”

For the “Learn and Earn” social-media campaign, RecycleBank hopes to tap both into environmentally focused bloggers and what Ms. Skey termed “deal-seeking moms,” a large and active group that isn’t usually focused on environmental issues but will be more likely drawn in by the chance to earn and help others earn points toward merchandise and discounts.

RecycleBank is less labor-intensive than many deal programs. It requires people to sign up at, but there are no logs to keep or receipts or coupons to turn in. For the recycling rewards, for example, participants’ recycling bins have radio frequency ID chips that are read by readers affixed to scales on collection trucks, which weigh what consumers put at the curb and automatically credit their RecycleBank accounts.

An average household can earn rewards worth around $200 annually by participating in the recycling rewards program, not counting the additional amount for participating in “Learn and Earn,” Ms. Skey said.

“Our model is very much about easy green actions, and not being judgmental about consumption, but rather asking people to take steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle,” Ms. Skey said.

Future Friendly and the RecycleBank sponsorship dovetail with P&G’s broader sustainability drive with expanded goals announced last week by Chairman-CEO Bob McDonald. Those goals include eventually powering plants with 100% renewable energy, using 100% renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging and having zero consumer or manufacturing waste go to landfills. Shorter term, that includes reducing packaging by 20% per consumer use by 2020.


Happy Birthday to me!

Pecan-Crusted Pumpkin Pie, made by Julianne for my birthday!

For all of you who have wished me a Happy Birthday, I pass along a warm thanks. The past year has been a truly amazing year. I grew in a professional context, Julianne and I bought a rehabbed our first home together and I was blesses enough to be married to the love of my life.

In the words of Jack Murphy, the ring bearer in our wedding and my cousin, “my family is SO big now!” While he was commenting about the “in-law” additions to family that result from marriage, I tend to draw an even more profound conclusion about the impact that my extended network of family, friends and other contacts have on my life.

To each of you, I extend a profound thanks. Thanks for the love you express, the support you offer and the general kindness you all extend to me on a daily basis. For those of you who know me well this will not come as a surprise, but I grow increasingly sentimental. As a result I feel overwhelmed by the well wishes I’ve received today.

I sit on our couch this evening basking in the glow of the first fire that Julianne and I have had in our fireplace, anticipating the pecan-crusted pumpkin pie that Juli made for me.

I have been, and continue to be truly blessed.

Thanks again to everyone!

God Bless,