Cod Liver Oil, A?

And D, and K!

A piece, perhaps a critical one, of the nutrition and health jigsaw puzzle. Understanding the interaction and conditional or optimum requirements for Vitamins A, D and K could be valuable also for dog food. I recall back in the 70s and 80s buying large cans of cod liver oil to add to the sled dog’s food. The NAS 1968 Nutrient Requirements of Mink and Foxes had a more practical approach than for dogs since the processed pet food industry already controlled that field. The document recommends dietary Min/Max limits for animal liver 1.5/7% and cod liver oil .3/.8%

Health bonus not addressed in the W-P article below, the bottle of CLO I have in front of me also contains per 5 ml, 430 mg EPA and 390 mg DHA, and “Quik-Sorb” ginger, amla and capsicum. Could increase absorption as the name implies, protect as antioxidant, reduce burping? Don’t ask me about burping, I use it on salad with olive oil and herbs for dressing.

In many countries a spoonful of cod liver oil was a daily supplement ritual for children. They usually disliked the taste. Some products were flavored with malt extract, some with black currant syrup to improve palatability. CLO can be purchased now with lemon, orange or similar added flavor.

BTW, if you are going to eat cod fillets, the best way to cook Poor Man’s Lobster is to lay Bay leaf on top when you steam or poach the fish, then eat with melted butter.


North Atlantic Cod

Looks somewhat like walleye aka perch pike or pickerel, but the freshwater cod around here are called lawyers aka burbot, loche, lingcod, mariah.

cod-liver-oilcod-liver-oil-vitamin-a    Selected excerpts:

>In order for vitamin D to activate the expression of its target genes, it must bind to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and then combine with the retinoid X receptor (RXR), which is activated by a particular form of vitamin A called 9-cis retinoic acid. Researchers from Spain recently showed that vitamin D can only effectively activate target genes when its partner receptor is activated by vitamin A.

WAPF Response: A dose of 1000 IU vitamin D daily is adequate to avoid problems with vitamin A in adults. If the ratio of A to D in cod liver oil is 10 to 1, then it is easy to obtain a safe amount of vitamin A along with an adequate amount of vitamin D.

WAPF Response: As stated earlier, vitamin A can be toxic when vitamin D is absent. Vitamin A does not antagonize vitamin D—both are needed for optimal assimilation. It would be amazing if vitamins A and D were antagonistic since they are so often found in the same foods.

Our primary message is that vitamin A levels are far too low in the modern American diet compared to primitive diets. Primitive peoples consumed very high levels of vitamin A from organ meats, insects, fish eggs, fish heads, liver and fish liver oils, as well as from butterfat and egg yolks from grassfed animals. Since most of our animals are raised in confinement today, and many of the vitamin A-rich foods are unacceptable to modern palates, we recommend taking cod liver oil on a daily basis. We have never recommended taking a multivitamin. Likewise, we have never stated that vitamin A is “not at all” toxic.

We have thoroughly explored this topic and shown that plant foods are a very poor source of vitamin A for humans, especially for babies and children, diabetics, and those suffering from thyroid and digestive disorders.

WOUND HEALING: The combination of zinc oxide and cod liver oil was found to be superior to the formulations containing only one active ingredient. This combination was also found to be most efficient in accelerating wound healing when it is retarded by repeated dexamethasone treatment (Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2006 Sep;113(9):331-4).

HIP FRACTURE: Multivitamin or cod liver oil supplementation was associated with a significantly lower risk of any fracture. “We found no evidence to support any skeletal harm associated with increased serum indices of retinol exposure or modest retinol supplementation in this population” (J Bone Miner Res. 2005 Jun;20(6):913-20).

UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS IN CHILDREN: Children supplemented with cod liver oil had a decrease in upper respiratory tract infections and pediatric visits over time (Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2004 Nov;113(11):891-901).


Try B And See…

Boron, a new nutritional wunderkind.

The element Boron has many uses in the form of borax, boric acid, and a naturally occurring organic complex in plants, calcium fructoborate.

Boron and borate not to be confused with bromine and bromate. Borax sold as laundry booster can be used as powder or spray on wet floors and walls subject to mildew. It is also a cheap, effective and nontoxic wood preservative that will dissolve and spread in the wet  or moist environment, reaching areas below the surface and inside walls. Boric acid  or borates like borax are typically and commonly used in eyewashes, antifungal salves and cosmetics.

Recent research shows calcium fructoborate dietary supplementation and consumption as found in foods can have valuable health benefits. However when elemental boron levels are low or depleted in soils the consequent levels in foods grown there will also be low.

>Calcium fructoborate (CF), a natural sugar-borate ester found in fresh fruits and vegetables, is a source of soluble boron. CF contains three forms of borate (diester, monoester, and boric acid) and all are biologically active, both at the intracellular (as free boric acid) and extracellular level (as fructose-borate diester and monoester). At the cellular and molecular level, CF is superior to the boric acid/borate, exhibiting a complex “protective” effect against inflammatory response. CF is commercially available in the USA as a “nature-identical” complex, an active compound for dietary supplements. It provides effective and safe support against the discomfort and lack of flexibility associated with osteoarticular conditions (arthritis and joint degeneration), and improves Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) and McGill indexes. In addition, orally administered CF is effective in ameliorating symptoms of physiological response to stress, including inflammation of the mucous membranes, discomfort associated with osteoarthritis disorders, and bone loss, and also for supporting cardiovascular health. Clinical studies have exhibited the ability of CF to significantly modulate molecular markers associated with inflammatory mechanisms, mainly on the elevated serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).

The following article includes studies showing the effects of boron as trace mineral in some or in the form of CF in others:

> As the current article shows, boron has been proven to be an important trace mineral because it

(1) is essential for the growth and maintenance of bone;

(2) greatly improves wound healing;

(3) beneficially impacts the body’s use of estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D;

(4) boosts magnesium absorption;

(5) reduces levels of inflammatory biomarkers, such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α);

(6) raises levels of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase;

(7) protects against pesticide-induced oxidative stress and heavy-metal toxicity;

(8) improves the brains electrical activity, cognitive performance, and short-term memory for elders;

(9) influences the formation and activity of key biomolecules, such as S-adenosyl methionine (SAM-e) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+);

(10) has demonstrated preventive and therapeutic effects in a number of cancers, such as prostate, cervical, and lung cancers, and multiple and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; and (11) may help ameliorate the adverse effects of traditional chemotherapeutic agents.

In none of the numerous studies conducted to date, however, do boron’s beneficial effects appear at intakes > 3 mg/d. No estimated average requirements (EARs) or dietary reference intakes (DRIs) have been set for boron—only an upper intake level (UL) of 20 mg/d for individuals aged ≥ 18 y. The absence of studies showing harm in conjunction with the substantial number of articles showing benefits support the consideration of boron supplementation of 3 mg/d for any individual who is consuming a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables or who is at risk for or has osteopenia; osteoporosis; osteoarthritis (OA); or breast, prostate, or lung cancer.

Avocado has the highest level of boron in commonly available foods.




Red Hair & Freckles Alert!


Literally! Green Self-Medication Selfie! For Real!
Nicotiana alata (Azteca), Freckles, Keratoses, Scissors…Thumbs up!  (From Nicotiana alata is called Azteca NIght Blooming; other sources might call particular N rustica varieties Aztec so beware common names vs. the more reliable botanical “binomial” names.)

“…faut cultiver son jardin!” Candide/Voltaire

Tobacco species, genus Nicotiana, one of which (rustica/Hopi) was used to treat skin diseases/cancer successfully 450 years ago by Jean Nicot based on Monardes’ introduction; another species, Nicotiana alata (Azteca in the photo), was discovered recently, better to say rediscovered, to contain antimicrobial peptides, AMP Defensins, that do in fact attack and eviscerate human cells with irregular or abnormal membrane characteristics without harming healthy ones, a better alternative than fluorouracil treatment for sunlight damaged skin aka actinic keratoses.

Re: Are traditional herbal medicines obsolete?

What replaces them? Recent drug “inventions,” many based on traditional plant constituents? Drugs which may treat particular conditions but for some people have serious adverse collateral effects? Methods and substances based on the principle of attacking the agent of disease while often ignoring prevention and harming the host organism? Closing the barn door after the horses escaped, or worse, shooting the horses that did escape! Is the traditional method built on hundreds of years experience replaced by so-called controlled studies which can’t possibly control for all possible variables?

In fact, genetics, epigenetics, and the evidence of pervasive effects of microbiomes different for each person and each organ have all kicked the support out from under the 20th century evidence-based eco-phobic allopathic medicine scam. It is a method based on the misuse of statistics to imply more certainty or confidence than can exist in highly variable real-world populations and never applies to any single person. Statistics do not apply to individuals, no surprise there! The Medical Industrial Pharmaceutical Complex or cartel is  more about liability, insurance, invested interests, entitlement, and psycho-social politics at many levels, not true science. Use all the buzz-words you want, try to claim evidence to support one position or another, but evidence and data are not misleading, people misuse statistics calling them evidence to mislead people. “Asinus asinum fricat.”

Statistics give you probabilities about future behavior of collections or aggregates of objects/events based on and derived from analysis of past outcomes of similar (but necessarily not identical) populations and events. How good is the modeling and similarity?

True science, as opposed to the pseudo-science practiced in “Evidence-based” medicine, would acknowledge that a single case, an anecdote, while suggesting a possibility of causality, does not confirm any general conclusion, at the same time also recognizing that the statistical results of a population study do not confirm or predict with certainty the outcome of a single case.

“What is truth?” so Pontius Pilate said to Jesus

What is any fact or truth that Evidence-Based Medicine can claim to own it exclusively? From the book, The Half-Life of Facts:

“Facts” live and die, writes Samuel Arbesman in this nifty introduction to “scientometrics,” the ecology of knowledge; facts migrate through social networks, interbreed, evolve, and undergo mass extinctions. Surprisingly, the growth and turnover of knowledge plot the same predictable curves as bacteria in a petri dish or a radioisotope’s decay. But predictable doesn’t mean optimal: errors are perpetuated, effort is duplicated, and pieces of many a lifesaving puzzle lie buried in widely separated studies.

The simplistic “Evidence-Based Medicine” approach on careful logical examination turns out to be another version of the No True Scotsman fallacy.                                        >This fallacy is a form of circular argument, with an existing belief being assumed to be true in order to dismiss any apparent counter-examples to it. The existing belief thus becomes unfalsifiable.

“Those who cling to perceptions and views wander the world offending people.” The Buddha

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” The Buddha

Fry Bread First Nations

Fry Bread: an element of Cultural Stockholm Syndrome?

As Marie Antoinette said, contributing eventually to her own execution, a clueless insult to the malnourished masses, let them eat cake… or frybread.

The five gifts (Trojan horses, seeds of destruction) of the white man: sugar, lard, milk, salt, flour according to an article in The Walrus, June 2016, Breaking Bread, Bannock’s contentious role in Aboriginal cuisine. (Must mean specifically food “gifts” otherwise why not strong alcohol and twisted Euro-centric Christianity?)

“Hide your wives and daughters; hide your groceries too…

Now they’re gone, gone, really gone…”

Bannock as a tool of Colonialist Imperialist repression? Fry Bread and bannock are agents of cultural genocide! Don’t blame the Scots. The early versions in Scotland would have been cooked on girdles (our language corruption, gridles) hot flat stones around the fire, the dough batter made with barley and/or oats. No sugar. Baking soda was introduced to cooking ca. mid 19th century… more about that in Marian McNeill’s book The Scots Kitchen… BTW, even uncooked oats are tasty and digestible.

What brought on this gratuitous rant; who am I to complain? Who has any right to identify with Aboriginal and other enslaved colonized people? Take a hint: don’t mistakenly refer to a Paddy, a Cousin Jack, or a Scot as an Englishman…

Is it good enough to say of native culture “use it or lose it?” In the face of constant overt and covert cultural sabotage, the prescription should be “use it and flaunt it.”

Stockholm Syndrome is a term used when captives identify with and join, co-opted by the captors. Willingly adopting and carrying shackles of repression that were first forced on them.

The new colonial imperialism goes by the euphemistic title Globalization. But long in the past, as now, the tools perpetuating Colonialism following military conquest were diet, culture and religion promoted with false proxy misleading doublespeak doublethink Newspeak reminiscent of George Orwell’s novel 1984. The colonizers are so adept and proficient they no longer need military force. (Except the USA when manipulated for their more immediate benefit by the Military branch of the Greedy Industrial Complex.)

Trade agreements, Free Market manipulation of culture and diet are all more efficient and cost effective methods in the New Fascism based on the old paradigm of big business and government collusion, the Military Industrial Complex Ike Eisenhower complained about too late as he was leaving office. Comedian Mort Sahl said, “We fought WWII to stop Fascism. We won, we prevailed… for about 10 years.”

The 99% or fewer (even in the so-called Free World) that are losers in the Globalization Grand Game don’t understand they are exhibiting Stockholm Syndrome, buying and investing in the chains, restraints, constraints and shackles they put on their own bodies. Occupy Wall Street Movement were simply taking superficial actions while continuing as part of the Globalization franchise constituency. Speaking and demonstrating for the 99%, they were themselves 99% immersed voluntarily in the Globalization element. Calling out for Apocalyptic changes but truly only Apocalypstic. Many of them and certainly their parents depend on the banking stock market-controlled global economy scheme.

As a metaphor Jozef Conrad wrote in Lord Jim, “Swim in the element that surrounds you.” The corollary means keep your head above water or you will die. To avoid “drowning” you must swim in one prevailing element or medium but keep your head up, above in another.

Back to bannock, fry bread, scones, tools of colonial cultural aggression, changing course from general abstractions toward specifics…

There is often a dispute about native culture, some feel proprietary and secretive (often because historic suppression by colonizers required distrust and hiding their culture) unwilling to show and tell to others within or outside their own tradition. When I hear that I usually say, the cat was out of the bag long ago, any cats still in the bag you may think you are protecting but more likely will suffocate and die. Use it, flaunt it or lose it! In biological systems there is no static equilibrium, only temporary stability with opposing balanced forces; diversity is strength to adapt to inescapable changes to equilibrium. True for culture and populations as well as species and individuals.

Invasive species, invasive cultures. Invasive species coming in because of changing habitat are inevitable but useful. What good can there be from a single global dominant invasive culture?

Another way to put it, in a one dimensional system the universal and perhaps cosmic principle of Entropy dictates one step forward can only result in multiple steps back, the Entropy of the universe is a negative sum game. But in a multi-dimensional system you can chose which direction or in which compartment to progress/win and which to regress/lose, one step forward can be achieved without loss in that direction when the two steps back occur in another area/compartment which you can determine.

Apologizing for logorrhea, running at the mouth…

A few years ago, Reinhardt was serving up fry bread, a type of bannock, at a fundraising event, when he asked himself, “Would my ancestors even recognize this as food?” His question led him to develop a year-long study called the Decolonizing Diet Project, in which twenty-five participants, including Reinhardt, ate a diet of foods indigenous to the Great Lakes region. For Reinhardt, like Adams, decolonizing means not eating bannock. “People are calling it Indian soul food,” he says. “Fry bread helped us to survive in a period of colonization—why would we celebrate that and internalize that?”

Here is a pdf slideshow with lots of good info and data, though some might see also in their rigor the foolish consistency that is the hobgoblin of little minds, for instance rejecting parsnip but eating squash.

Breaking Bread



Breaking Bread

















How To Receive The Benefits Of Chaga … Without Consuming Chaga

Best advice for consumption: grind it fine then powder it, add to warm water or coffee cooled to body temp, drink it all down.

You say, well woo, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?
I say woo, woo, to relieve your belly ache
You say ya, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?

You put the lime in the coconut, you drink ’em bot’up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drink ’em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drink ’em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you’re such a silly woman

Put a lime in the coconut and drink ’em bot’ together
Put the lime in the coconut, then you’ll feel better
Put the lime in the coconut, drink ’em both down
Put the lime in your coconut, and call me in the morning

Wild Foodism

chagawildfoodismStanding under the protruding, irregularly-shaped black mass, it’s hard to imagine anyone would make a fuss about this fungus.

I mean, look at it.  Certainly there are mushrooms that could seemingly outperform chaga in a beauty contest.  There’s hardly a debate about that.

It’s not a prized edible fungus, either.  Chaga is essentially a hardened mass of mycelia and much too tough to chew (though I have been known to nibble on the interior amadou from time to time).

So why is it that photographs of chaga (or growths that people want to look like chaga) inundate most mushroom identification forums with the accompanying million dollar question, “Is this chaga?”  Why is it that every nutraceutical company seems to market a chaga-containing supplement?

And why is it that chaga is so near and dear to my heart, routinely forming the foundation of my personal medicinal protocol?

Simple, really. …

View original post 2,835 more words

Coconut Oil

Eat fat to become lean…

“One measure for a dog, two for a man?” Iams and other dog food or supplement makers were adocating MCT from coconut and palm oil for their sponsored sled dog teams back in the early 90s. There was a Mayo Clinic diet promoted for weight loss before that, a type of ketogenic diet. David Kronfeld was talking about the benefits of ketone bodies for sled dogs long before too.

To the extent that ketones aka ketone bodies are comparable from exercise, low glycemic diets, fasting and MCT dietary sources, you could say that coconut oil is exercise or fasting without exercising or fasting. Gain without pain. Although many people who have fasted will tell you that fasting is not so hard after the first 24 hours, they feel empowered, invested and committed so that stopping a fast is harder than continuing.

Excerpts from an article in AOCS magazine Inform:

Coconut is the oil du jour, attracting endorsements from athletes and celebrities for its alleged health-promoting effects. The oil, once considered exotic outside of the tropics, is showing up in supermarkets and health food stores everywhere, often advertised as a “functional food.” Yet not long ago, coconut oil was reviled by health experts, lumped in the same unhealthful category as lard and tallow because of its high content of saturated fat. As saturated fat has embarked on the long road to exoneration, many people are starting to appreciate the unique physical and chemical characteristics of coconut oil, not only as a cooking oil, but also as a cosmetic ingredient, an antimicrobial agent, a biofuel, and even a possible medicine for ailments ranging from obesity to Alzheimer’s disease. But does the scientific evidence of coconut oil’s benefits justify the hype?

Based mainly on incomplete epidemiological data, in the 1950s prominent US nutrition researcher Ancel Keys formulated a hypothesis that dietary saturated fat raises cholesterol levels in the blood, which in turn clogs arteries and causes heart disease. Because coconut oil is about 93% saturated fat, it was viewed as less healthful than edible oils composed of primarily unsaturated fats, such as soybean oil.

Apparently bolstering Keys’ hypothesis, several studies showed that rodents fed coconut oil as the sole dietary fat had higher cholesterol levels and were much less healthy than animals fed corn or soybean oil (e.g., Williams, M. A., et al., J. Nutr., 1972). However, according to Foale, these studies were flawed because coconut oil lacks the essential omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, the animals fed coconut oil were suffering from a dietary deficiency, rather than from negative effects of the oil per se. “In the real world, coconut users of the tropics generally eat fish, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids,” says Foale. “So the combination has always been a healthy one, and heart disease isn’t an issue among traditional coconut users.” Moreover, in these studies the researchers typically used hydrogenated coconut oil, which could contain trans fats. Trans fats are now recognized to have adverse effects on serum cholesterol levels and human health.

Despite firmly entrenched biases against saturated fat within the medical community, mounting evidence has begun to exonerate saturated fat as a contributing factor to heart disease. Coconut oil has likely benefited from this recent development. Like other saturated fats, coconut oil raises the total serum cholesterol level, which concerns some health experts. However, more than any other type of fat, saturated fats raise the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the so-called “good” cholesterol that has been correlated with a reduced risk of heart disease (Cassiday, L., Inform, 2015). Although saturated fat also raises the serum level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol, the type of LDL particles increased are of the large, buoyant type, which are less strongly associated with cardiovascular disease than small, dense LDL particles.

Because of the opposing effects of HDL and LDL cholesterol, the total serum cholesterol level has proven to be a poor predictor of cardiovascular risk. Instead, the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (total:HDL) is a more reliable estimate, with lower levels correlating with reduced risk. Whereas unsaturated fats lower total:HDL cholesterol, and trans fats raise the ratio, saturated fats typically have no effect, suggesting a neutral influence on heart disease risk.


Although saturated fats are often considered a single nutritional entity, studies have shown that molecular chain length greatly influences a fatty acid’s metabolic and physiologic properties. Coconut oil is unique in its fatty acid composition, containing more than 65% medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs)—commonly defined as fatty acids with chains of 6 to 12 carbon atoms (C6–C12) (Fig. 2). In contrast, saturated fats in animal fats and most other vegetable oils are mainly long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs), which contain 14 to 18 carbon atoms (C14–C18). Triacylglycerides (TAGs) composed of MCFAs are more water-soluble and readily digestible than TAGs containing LCFAs.

Coconut and palm kernel oils have similar fatty acid profiles, but they have different triacylglyceride (TAG) compositions (Dayrit, F. M.,, 2015). In one study, researchers found that the predominant TAGs in coconut oil are trilaurin (3C12), 1-capro,2,3-dilauryl glyceride (C10-C12-C12), and 1-capro,2-lauryl,3-myristyl glyceride (C10-C12-C14). In contrast, palm kernel oil contains mostly trilaurin (3C12), 1-myristyl,2-stearyl,3-lauryl glyceride (C14-C18-C12), and 1,3-oleyl,2-lauryl glyceride (C18:1-C12-C18:1). Unlike coconut oil, palm kernel oil is not commonly consumed in the diet because of the presence of residual extraction solvents, says Foale.

“Most of the health benefits of coconut oil, whether VCO or RBD coconut oil, have been attributed to the high content of lauric acid,” says Fabian M. Dayrit, professor of chemistry at Ateneo de Manila University, in Quezon City, Philippines. “Additional health benefits of VCO have been attributed to the presence of polyphenols.”

As a result, most ingested MCFAs are transported directly to the liver, where they are converted to energy and other metabolites rather than being stored as fat. Indeed, among fatty acids, lauric acid contributes the least to fat accumulation.

Upon arrival at the liver, MCFAs enter the mitochondria. Unlike LCFAs, MCFAs can freely diffuse across the mitochondrial membrane without requiring carnitine-assisted transport. MCFAs are then rapidly metabolized by one of two pathways (Fig. 5). The major pathway, β-oxidation, yields acetyl CoA. Acetyl CoA either enters the citric acid cycle to produce energy, or is further metabolized to ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are three water-soluble molecules (acetoacetate, β-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone) that are transported from the liver to other tissues, such as the brain, muscle, and heart. There, enzymes can convert the ketone bodies to acetyl CoA for use as an energy source. The second pathway, ω-oxidation, accounts for only 10–20% of total liver fatty acid oxidation under normal conditions. This pathway produces 11- and 12-hydroxyl fatty acids, which can be further oxidized to dicarboxylic acids The ω-oxidation pathway may help remove excess fatty acids from the mitochondrial respiratory chain (Dayrit, F. M., Philipp. J. Sci., 2014).

Because of their rapid metabolism in the liver, MCFAs do not contribute to fat accumulation or obesity nearly as much as other dietary fatty acids.

Foale notes that many health-conscious people are now incorporating coconut oil into their diets, whether as a cooking oil or as an addition to their morning cereal, smoothies, or desserts. “People who are a bit skeptical about the advice that ‘this is a saturated fat and it’s bad for you’ are prepared to try it,” says Foale. “And then they discover that they feel better with it: Their general well-being is improved, and they feel more energetic.” Many athletes find that coconut oil sustains their energy during exhaustive competitions, Foale says, possibly due to the ketone bodies formed from MCFAs. Ketone bodies can serve as an alternative energy source in muscles during strenuous exercise, when glucose reserves may be lagging.

Although experimental evidence is lacking, some researchers have theorized that the ketone bodies generated from MCFAs in coconut oil could help treat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have already established that a ketogenic diet—a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, adequate-protein eating plan—can drastically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children who are resistant to drug therapies (Watkins, C.,Inform, 2016). The lack of carbohydrates in the ketogenic diet forces the liver to convert fat into ketone bodies, which can cross the blood-brain barrier and be used as a source of energy by the brain. However, the mechanism by which ketone bodies can help prevent epileptic seizures in some patients is still unknown.

In Alzheimer’s disease, certain parts of the brain have an impaired ability to use glucose, partially due to disruption of insulin signaling. Thus, ketone bodies may help alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s by providing an alternative energy source for the brain. Researchers have also proposed that polyphenols and plant hormones called cytokinins in VCO may prevent aggregation of amyloid-β, the peptide that forms plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants such as polyphenols also scavenge free radicals that cause oxidative stress, a condition that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

“I confess to some frustration that a food oil that has supported traditional healthy diets for millennia must now be proven to support good health because it was maligned and ousted from acceptance in the diet policies of the U.S. and Australia, in particular,” says Foale.

Sled Building Materials Spreadsheet

“An’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you don’t know by now…”

DENSITY p 0.60 2.7 4.5 4.5 8 2 1.6
YIELD STRESS S 8.00 80 105 160 350 120 230
MODULUS E 1.80 10 15.5 16.5 30 6 19
STRAIN at YIELD e % 0.44 0.80 0.68 0.97 1.17 2.00 1.21
WORK to YIELD W 17.78 320.00 355.65 775.76 2041.67 1200.00 1392.11
WORK to YIELD/p 29.63 118.52 79.03 172.39 255.21 600.00 870.07

The data in the spreadsheet fields apply directly to rods or bars in compression or tension from loading in the length; axial loads. With some simplifications it is possible to interpret for comparisons of bending properties of skis and runners.

If all other factors were equal this spreadsheet suggests that the material properties of the two fiber reinforced plastics FRPs in the last two columns (with far higher work to yield per unit weight) would easily make the strongest lightest sled runners or skis. For I beams or laminated/stressed skin with light cores,  the most strength and weight is in the skin or flanges with proportionally little weight wasted in the core or web.

For similar profile beams in bending, stiffness will increase with increasing Modulus and depth/thickness and width of the beam.

Strength of beams usually corresponds to the load on a beam spanning a given distance and the bending “moment” of the beam at failure. These are values calculated under static conditions. A ski or runners are not subject to the same kind of static loads. The load increases and decreases over time as the runner comes up and over a bump. A more flexible runner will “shed” part of the load by bending.

For these reasons the Work to Yield field and the corresponding Work to Yield divided by density give more useful comparisons of different materials.

Unfortunately attaching other components to FRPs can be a problem, forming a curve in the front of the runner also a problem, and making runners or skis with light weight cores from these materials by hand lay-up methods can increase the cost to be prohibitive. Another factor is the cost/benefit for weight saving at different baseline weights. If a pair of aluminum runners can be made weighing 3 kg/7 lbs at reasonable cost is it worth the extra cost in $ to make them lighter to save a given amount of weight considering also other downstream costs and difficulties to use FRP? Cost and fabricating could also disqualify the Titanium materials.

Adventure Learning

And spreadsheets…

A proxy or measure of competence: the better a person “understands” spreadsheets the better they understand the modern world. The contrary is also probably true.

Common misunderstandings at the office

Common misunderstandings at the office

The conceit “operant conditioning” coined by B. F. Skinner, adventure education, play, are all part of the same species-typical behavior re-branded for the latest buzz-word fads and technologies. Killer apps, Gameboys, Pac-Man, the medium is the message, the software/program is the device; in the words of Semantics, all are different higher or lower levels of abstraction or maps and projections of the same thing.

Spreadsheets embody and demonstrate Semantics. Language is inseparable from thought, hardware is defined by how we use it. Hardware and software, denotation and connotation.

(A reviewer of Hayakawa’s book wrote:

It’s been said that language is what differentiates humans from the apes. But why language? Why not hawaiian shirts? Senator Hayakawa’s short book explains why language, and particularly meaning, is so important. It stands alone on its own merits, or as an elegant frame to the debate addressed in Korzybski’s monolithic 1933 work, _Science and Sanity._
Ever been in an argument? Ever get hot and bothered, maybe even start shouting, until you eventually realize that your disagreement is over the definition of terms? And did you ever stop to consider that there might be more than two sides to every story – maybe an infinite number? Come along as Hayakawa examines these issues in great detail.
The style of the book is so lucid, you’ll almost feel as if you’re being reminded of things you’ve always known. Does the book reveal universal truth? Or maybe just a skillful command of language?
I recommend this to any human who uses language to communicate or think. You’ll never look at Hillary Clinton’s “politics of meaning” the same way again.”

Quoting a comment on the comment:

Rather, I will never look at Hillary Clinton in an Hawaiian shirt the same way again.)

Diarrhea, logorrhea, Facebook posticcerrhea?

Listening to the local radio station carrying news that the school district Superintendent decided to cut the IT budget and reduce the man in charge to half time, finishing my income tax with the help of the AARP tax preparation volunteers linked to their online calculation programs, I spun off into thinking about the keystone role of spreadsheets and their various implementations in our modern culture and the IT revolution. Spreadsheets are the nexus of PC IT and still could be a good operant conditioning or adventure learning tool.

Following are quotes from the article:

We can look back and recognize that VisiCalc was the first “killer” application for personal computers.

VisiCalc became an almost instant success and provided many business people with an incentive to purchase a personal computer or an H-P 85 or 87 calculator from Hewlett-Packard (cf., Jim Ho, 1999). About 1 million copies of the spreadsheet program were sold during VisiCalc’s product lifetime.

Lotus 1-2-3 made it easier to use spreadsheets and it added integrated charting, plotting and database capabilities. Lotus 1-2-3 established spreadsheet software as a major data presentation package as well as a complex calculation tool. Lotus was also the first spreadsheet vendor to introduce naming cells, cell ranges and spreadsheet macros.

When Microsoft launched the Windows operating system in 1987, Excel was one of the first application products released for it. When Windows finally gained wide acceptance with Version 3.0 in late 1989 Excel was Microsoft’s flagship product. For nearly 3 years, Excel remained the only Windows spreadsheet program and it has only received competition from other spreadsheet products since the summer of 1992.

(My own experience was that I could accomplish much more useful design with spreadsheets doing “what-if” simulations for different materials and structural profiles, similar to financial and accounting spreadsheets well before the GUI and mouse, using the various ctrl X keystrokes, and Excel spreadsheets were just a pain in the ass to adapt to later with little immediate benefit. Sometime around late ’80s I was thinking about applying for a small business loan to buy a PC system but the SBA adviser told me “you don’t need a computer, no small business needs a computer system for $2000, forget it.” So I borrowed money from the local bank with sled dogs and two gold bars from winning the Yellowknife race as collateral.)

50 years ago in college I took a course at the intersection of linguistics, computer programming, philosophy, math/logic and I don’t recall what else. The modern version at the high school level would be spreadsheets and semantics, including as reading the seminal books, Hayakawa’s Language in Thought and Action and Pierce’s Symbols, Signals and Noise, explaining the underpinnings of the modern IT/information world.

“No other book I know of can explain these concepts of information, bits, entropy, and data encoding without getting bogged down in proofs and mathematics. The book even manages to equate the concept of language with the information it inherently transmits in a conversational and accessible style. The book rounds out its discussion with chapters on information theory from the perspectives of physics, psychology, and art.”

But, quoting Cicero: “The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.”



Rules Are For The Blind Obedience Of Fools

And for the wise to use as a guide.

The lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client

The doctor who treats himself has an idiot for a patient

The writer who edits his own work…

“Only an idiot would swallow soup so hot it burns his mouth.” Ben Franklin said at a court dinner in France after spitting the spoonful of soup out on the table. Don’t conform to conventions contrary to your own common sense.

PRO-VERBS (In the fundamental meaning, what should precede any important action):

Go-to list of quotes

1 Our anger and annoyance is more harmful to us than those things which anger and annoy us

2 To refrain from imitation is the best revenge

3 How ridiculous and strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life!

4 Like a surgeon with his instruments and knives ready for cases which suddenly need their skill, so do you have principles ready for the understanding of things divine and human…

5 Make for yourself a definition or description of every object presented to you, so as to see clearly what it is in its own naked substance, complete and entire, and tell yourself its proper name, and the names of the things of which it is compounded and into which it will be dissolved

6 We sin by omission as well as by commission-Marcus Aurelius

So too can we profit by both

Discretion is the better part of valor-Falstaff/Shakespeare

Is it “actionable” information?

Human intelligence is greatly overrated

“What can be contained in words is without value.” Zhou Zuoren

“I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.” Potter Stewart

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…” -Emerson

BUDDHA “Those who cling to perceptions and views wander the world offending people.” The Buddha

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” The Buddha

“Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure.” The Buddha

POPE FRANCIS  Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,’” the Pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”

CICERO “The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero (Authority implemented in method and substance through formalities, discipline, conventions and conformity)

“Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

“The smart love to learn and the fool to teach” -Chekov

“He talked about it so much he began to understand it himself.”-Said of Albert Einstein by a fellow Nobel Prize winner

Those who can do, those who can’t teach

ISAK DINESEN There are three forms of perfect happiness:

To feel within yourself an excess of strength

To know you are fulfilling your destiny

The remission of pain


In the filthy menagerie of our vices,
There is one more ugly, more wicked, more filthy!
Although he makes neither great gestures nor great cries,
He would willingly make of the earth a shambles
And, in a yawn, swallow the world;
He is Ennui!
Hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable, mon frere

SHAKESPEARE “In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give,
Nor aught so good but strain’d from that fair use
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.”

ANNE MACVICAR  GRANT “I, who for my part detest every mode
of selfish luxury, could not endure to see a native
highlander make his good humour dependent on
a good breakfast, and was moreover disgusted by
certain learned strictures* on new-laid eggs, which
I am sure made no part of his college acquisitions.

* Among the peculiarities of highland manners is an
avowed contempt for the luxuries of the table. A high-
land hunter will eat with a keen appetite and sufficient
discrimination. But were he to stop in any pursuit, be-
cause it was meal time, to growl over a bad dinner, or
visibly exult over a good one, the manly dignity of his
character would be considered as fallen for ever.”

ROBERT MCNAMARA  Proportionality (The Fog of War)

Maritime-Inspired but wider application:

Constant bearing means collision

One hand for the ship, one hand for yourself

“Swim in the element that surrounds you.” Conrad, Lord Jim

It is reassuring or in the worst cases consoling to believe that doctors, veterinarians and other established authorities or systems have all the right answers and always have the right answers.

Wellesley, Duke of Wellington “If you believe that you will believe anything.”

Only a great defeat can be half as melancholy as a great victory

Blackstone’s Ratio

Abraham drew near, and said, “Will you consume the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it?[3]What if ten are found there?” He [The Lord] said, “I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.”

“It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”, as expressed by the English jurist William Blackstone.

Bismarck is believed to have stated that “it is better that ten innocent men suffer than one guilty man escape.”

Benjamin Franklin stated it as, “it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer”

Defending British soldiers charged with murder for their role in the Boston Massacre, John Adams also expanded upon the rationale behind Blackstone’s Formulation when he stated:

It is more important that innocence should be protected, than it is that guilt be punished; for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world, that all of them cannot be punished. … when innocence itself, is brought to the bar and condemned, especially to die, the subject will exclaim, ‘it is immaterial to me whether I behave well or ill, for virtue itself is no security.’ And if such a sentiment as this were to take hold in the mind of the subject that would be the end of all security whatsoever.

L’appetit vient en mangeant








Dacha Gardens, There Is A Garden In The Mind

Implying that one’s mind and happiness are fulfilled in the garden. There is a Garden in the Mind is a recent book with many philosophical thoughts on the central psychological relationship between humans and Nature. Sine qua non, without which there is nothing. A common thread in this book’s narrative is the iconic or visionary French bio-intensive gardening (whatever that means!) guru Alan Chadwick. More on

To paraphrase the U. S. Declaration of Independence, man is endowed with certain inalienable rights: life, liberty, the pursuit of gardening and happiness. As Voltaire wrote, “il faut cultiver son jardin.” Again the same metaphor and explicit method for happiness and coping with adversity. Did Candide suffer from PTSD?

Russians for historic, tradition and cultural reasons seem to have a better grip on this than most Europeans and North Americans as explained in detail in the graduate school thesis below:

‘However, no matter how hard orthodox economists try to punch down the dough of food
gardening back into the bowl of economic theory, the dough keeps rising and spilling over the edge. The neo-economics approach is too restrictive and we need to consider many important benefits as real as, but less “tangible” than sacks of potatoes. We need “a wider view.”’

My comment: In the wider perspective of ethology, the science of animal (including human) behavior and social organization, the benefit is not weighed and measured in estimated dollar value but in welfare and happiness derived from species-typical and evolutionary-determined activities, behavior and diet.

‘Besides, Schumacher (1975) criticized the separation of the economic concepts of
“production” and “consumption.” Such separation is artificial, and there are entire societies that even do not have concepts of “work” separate from “leisure” (Liedloff 1975). While conventional economics maintains that only the “consumer” derives “utility” or “pleasure” from the economic system, Schumacher observed that with creative labor involving both one’s hands and brains in the benefit of one’s family, the production process itself can be as satisfying as consumption of any “product.” After all, what matters is not the levels of “production” or “consumption” per se, but the enjoyment humans derive from both, while assuring health of the environment and equitable social practices.’

‘By way of example, let me cite a recent article that examined the connection of dacha
gardening with labor markets (Southworth 2006). That paper focuses “on the economic
rationality of the household, not cultural factors” and treats the dacha “as a labor-market
institution” (p. 452). In building the model, the author defines all dacha plots on which potatoes were grown as “subsistence dachas,” while those without potato plantings as “luxury dachas” (geared primarily towards recreation) — only to find that “growing potatoes per se is not a function of income at all” (p. 469). The author uses his statistical models to calculate, among other variables, “profitability [in monetary terms] of household agriculture,” to make a “cost-benefit analysis of growing vegetables” and even to figure out “rates of return” on gardening costs (p. 465), while at the same time excluding from the analysis the amount of labor households expend on gardening. Southworth concludes that “the attachment of the average urban household to the means of subsistence [i.e., food gardening] limits the ability of the market to allocate the most common sort of labor needed to fuel an economic recovery based on the production of goods and services rather than on oil and natural resources alone” (p. 473) without even considering a possibility of economic recovery through food gardening itself (after all, food gardening is a form of “production of goods,” too — and a very efficient form at that).’

‘Can we ignore the fact that a century ago Alexander Chaianov was already arguing that the laws of Western economics and capitalist farming had little applicability, if any at all, to the economy of Russian peasant households? How would the separation of dacha into “subsistence” and “luxury” classes on the basis of the presence of potato plantings hold up in view of the extensive evidence that even the highest elite commonly participate in potato planting and even, as in the case of the Nobel-prize winner Boris Pasternak, talk about it as a means for “spiritual salvation” (Sergay 2005)?’

(A photo unable to copy, however note that Pasternak is Russian word for the plant parsnip in English)
‘Figure 9: Boris Pasternak digging a potato patch at his dacha in Peredelkino, near
Moscow, in the summer of 1958. Photo from the Biblioteka poeta edition of Paternak’s
works, published in Moscow and Leningrad by Sovetskii pisatel’, 1965’

‘A related danger arises when different terms are used to refer to the same practice. For
example, a thousand years ago Russian families were growing their own food. A hundred
years ago Russian families were growing their own food. Today, Russian families still
grow their own food in small-scale operations almost identical to the peasant practices of
the 19th century or these of the even more distant past. However, since the term “dacha
gardening” became widespread only in the second half of the 20th century, many researchers tend to see the self-provisioning practice as something new. Indeed, even in his Summerfolk: A history of the dacha, Lovell (2003) presents what is more a history of the word term “dacha,” than a history of the practice that today happens to bear this name.’

‘The enslavement of Slavs: 10th to 19th century
When foreign warriors, calling themselves “princes,” arrived with their armed retinues of
foreign mercenaries in the 9th century, they were faced with the formidable task of subduing the vast expanses of pagan Rus’, a land that had known neither authority nor authority imposed religion ever before.
The path to successful colonization that the princes followed was strikingly similar to the
approach that would be advocated by Albert Schweitzer for Africa almost a millennium later:
• impose taxes and promote trade — so as to augment the rulers’ wealth and power
and to compel the natives to work more than they normally would;
• destroy family ties and subvert subsistence economies — to break down natives’
social cohesion, to compel them to produce beyond their subsistence needs a surplus 79
that can be extracted through taxation or trade, and to turn them into a labor force
available for use outside their households; and
• impose a new religion and eradicate old customs, traditions, beliefs, and worldviews
— so as to make the natives unfree, even in their minds, and ready to accept
the new order and their new status of slaves rather than free men.’

‘Table 41. Number of gardening households producing certain crops and other products
during the 2006 agricultural season.

Item-Households-Percent of gardeners

Vegetables (incl. potatoes)
Carrots 876 94%
Onions 846 91%
Cucumbers 830 89%
Garlic 824 89%
Beets 803 86%
Potatoes 800 86%
Tomatoes 675 73%
Squash 666 72%
Radishes 649 70%
Horseradish 492 53%
Peas 447 48%
Pepper 418 45%
Black radish 381 41%
Pumpkin 359 39%
Red beans 279 30%
Black beans and other beans 223 24%
Turnips (repa) 204 22%
Sunflower 187 20%
Eggplant 151 16%
Jerusalem artichokes 64 7%
Rutabaga 63 7%
Turnips 27 3%
Other vegetables 15 2%
Dill 768 83%
Parsley 487 52%
Sorrel 426 46%
Coriander 113 12%
Other greens 1 0%
Fruit, berries and nuts
Currants 766 82%
Apples 726 78%
Raspberries 670 72%
Gooseberries 637 68%
Plums 594 64%187
Cherries 539 58%
Wild strawberries 516 55%
Strawberries 491 53%
Pears 469 50%
Black rowanberries 294 32%
Rowanberries 229 25%
Sea-buckthorn 215 23%
Guelder rose 189 20%
Blackthorn 99 11%
Honeysuckle 94 10%
Rosehips 93 10%
Blackberries 84 9%
Garden serviceberries 83 9%
Magnolia vine (Schisandra chinensis) 38 4%
Currants/gooseberry hybrid 17 2%
Hazelnuts 11 1%
Other berries and fruit trees and shrubs 0 0%
Ornamental and non-food crops
Flowers 691 74%
Lilac 222 24%
Lawn 135 15%
Hay 10 1%
Other non-food crops, trees, shrubs 26 3%
Cereals (grains)
Rye 12 1%
Wheat 6 1%
Buckwheat 3 0%
Other cereal crops 3 0%
Animals, birds and bees
Chickens 137 15%
Pigs 58 6%
Cows 32 3%
Goats 25 3%
Bees 21 2%
Rabbits 19 2%
Ducks 17 2%
Sheep 11 1%
Turkeys 9 1%
Other animals & birds 1 0%’