Werewolves Of London

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fook’s
Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein

Aaoooooo!
Werewolves of London!
Aaoooooo!

He’s the hairy-handed gent who ran amuck in Kent
Lately he’s been overheard in Mayfair
Better stay away from him
He’ll rip your lungs out, Jim
I’d like to meet his tailor

The London Olympics reminded me of this favorite song. Werewolves reminded me of Vampires, since I also just watched a DVD movie, Thirty Days of Nights, with vampires invading the town of Barrow, Alaska, first killing off the sled dogs. American Werewolf in London is a far better movie and the song Bad Moon on the Rise is up there with Werewolves of London if you like percussion and beat.

Why should Vampires be so pale? They are not sun tanned but since they feed on blood neither should they be anemic. To be consistent with physiology I believe Vampires should have a photogenic peaches and cream complexion that would beautifully offset the blood dripping from pearly fangs.

Vampires remind me of BLOOD!

The Nutritional Significance of the Composition of Blood.

In the whole body the ratio of Potassium (K for the Latin name Kalium) to Sodium (Na for Natrium) is about 5/1. In blood the ratio is more than reversed, 1/30 with Sodium predominating.

The cannibals of the South Pacific referred to human meat as long pig but said the White Meat alternative for them (European White meat) is too salty.

Both Sodium and Potassium are required in the diet to replace losses from excretion. In the evolutionary diet, the diet to which humans or other animals (such as our favorite, dogs) adapted, Sodium is rare. Except in seaside environments, soils and foods are generally low in Sodium. Plants, fruits, vegetables, grains, are a good source of Potassium, also the meat of animals. Sodium is washed out of soil and ends up in the oceans. Ocean water and blood have a similar content of Sodium and Potassium, suggesting animal life forms’ origin in the oceans.

This explains why in human history Sodium Chloride, salt, has sometimes been worth more than gold in areas far from the oceans, why the kidneys usually function to conserve Sodium but readily excrete Potassium, and why animals crave salt/Sodium. Given all that, in modern diets where people can cheaply and easily satisfy all their cravings, salt consumption contributes to the incidence of unhealthy hypertension, high blood pressure.

In trying to return to a more healthy species-typical diet for humans and dogs it is important to focus on the amount and also ratios of Na to K. If Na level is too high it can be corrected by decreasing the amount in the diet and/or by increasing the consumption of K. Carnivores can satisfy their Na requirement with  the blood in a carcass but not as easily with meat from commercial slaughter where the blood is removed. There is no benefit or advantage to exceeding the necessary but sufficient requirement for Na; moderate excess will increase thirst therefore is self-correcting *provided there is access to water; however in sports competitions this may be a disadvantage. (*see a later post on this subject; cold environments can derail this self-regulation in several ways)

The Nutritional Requirements of Dogs (NAS 1974) recommends 1% salt by weight in food, while admitting that amount probably exceeds the minimum needed. If you were feeding 20 average sled dog dogs 10 kg of raw meat equal to 3 kg dry weight, that recommended amount would be about 30 grams, one ounce. Seems like a lot to me.

According to an MD PhD acquaintance who advises weight loss clients, in trying to eat healthy with low carb, low Na and salt consumption they may sometimes experience headaches which can be prevented by drinking a salty broth. Maybe blood sausage would also help, but most blood sausage is made from blood absorbed in flour… Where did I put his book??

With the popularity of Vampire books and movies as well as diet fads it could be time for a Vampire Diet book.

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Anecdotes, The Antidote To Complacent Thinking

Isaac Newton observed an apple drop from a tree and wondered if the action and trajectory of the apple was related to the movement of the moon in the sky. To create a (mathematical) model explaining the two he invented calculus.

Below a different kind of model demonstrating gravity and levity, mass and buoyancy.

To Presuppose and Put it to the Test:

Galileo may have dropped two objects of different weight from the Tower of Pisa to determine that they hit the ground at the same time, so disproving Aristotle. (There is disagreement that he ever did this.) If he did actually perform the legendary experiment, it was done to confirm a hypothesis he arrived at via an experiment in his mind with two objects of different weights attached by a cord; you could call that “thought experiment” an example of imaginary anecdotal evidence or an anecdote based on fantasy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo’s_Leaning_Tower_of_Pisa_experiment

If the two objects he used had been greatly different in density he would have found they did not hit the ground simultaneously. (Air drag/resistance could measurably affect the result.)

Every Move You Make, Every Step You Take, I’ll Be Watching You

All observations have scientific value to the extent that conditions and possible limitations are identified, disclosed, or documented-and understood. The validity of a “scientific” conclusion is subject to the same limits. Results of experiments are only as useful as your understanding: of the circumstances under which the research was conducted and of the application to which you want to put them.

There are few studies where the outcome does not depend on factors that were improperly “controlled” despite the investigators thinking their influence unlikely or did not recognize them at all. The history of science is primarily that of discoveries made when someone considered the effects of factors earlier investigators had ignored. Progress comes on the broken back or destruction of conventional wisdom.

“You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows”

Bob Dylan hit the bullseye either way you look at it. You can be your own weather man or Weatherman. Don’t let the experts put you down. Any time you feed your dogs you are the expert, the scientist, the principal investigator. Every time you train sled dogs or water your garden or buy food to eat, when you go to bed and wake in the morning, each is an experiment with the opportunity to learn something new.

“…Strength to accept what you cannot change, courage to change what you can, wisdom to know the difference.”

“If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery”- Enrico Fermi. When asked what characteristics Nobel prize winning physicists had in common, Fermi replied, “I cannot think of a single one, not even intelligence.”

Denis Diderot  ‘Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.’

More about the encyclopedist Diderot in the future. Let VP candidate Paul Ryan listen to audiobook lectures on Voltaire and presume to be an intellectual, a student of the Enlightenment; he is not sufficiently enlightened or he would know that Diderot is The Man.

Gonzo Nutrition Vindicated

David Kronfeld, paleo-diet, low-carb, high-fat, non-glycemic, sugar toxicity,  ketogenic…

What Kronfeld knew to be true for dog diets and suspected would apply to humans receives more confirmation:

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/08/10/fat-not-glucose.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/07/dr-paul-jaminet-interview.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/23/low-carb-high-fat-diet.aspx

Borsch Is Dynamite!

“Let food be your medicine.” Are beets good for your heart? The answer is yes and NO.

Good for the heart & circulatory system. The herbalism Doctrine of Signatures scores confidence points with beetroot.

Blood color, heart shape, ascending vessel/stems:

Nitroglycerin, beet soup, Viagra, sports, Popeye, spinach… the common denominator is NO, nitric oxide.

Beet soup combats erectile dysfunction?

My friend and neighbor, fellow dog musher Jim Stephens, had a good life until he and his logging partner won a tree cutting contract with the USDA Forest Service. One day as a result of miscommunication his partner Ted cut a tree down too close to where Jim was working and a branch bounced so to hit him in the back, tossing him a long distance through the air. After that he suffered back pain, took pain killing drugs with whiskey, smoked cigarettes; followed by heart disease, bypass surgery, then a heart transplant. In the early stages of this progression he was taking nitroglycerin for chest pain, called angina.

The party continued in Margueritaville across the road. Roasted bear meat, smoked suckers (a kind of fish) and lots of beer. Some enthusiasts shooting clay pigeons off the back porch and their yelling made as much noise as the shotgun. It was too loud. Jim and I were both walking back up the hill to his house. Bear meat makes you fart. Suckers are full of y-shaped bones, their revenge for getting hooked by fishermen although we had netted these.

Jim was puffing a bit and said he felt chest pain despite taking a nitro pill. Maybe his pills were stale. Maybe I would be a good friend and take one myself to verify if the medication worked. How would that affect me, I asked. Nothing serious, I would feel flushed because nitro dilates your blood vessels. I swallowed one pill and did not feel any immediate. I stopped to talk to someone else while Jim continued to his house. By the time I got there I felt as if my head had been inflated like a basketball with an air pump. Jim was not around for news that his nitroglycerin was still potent. He had already convinced his wife to take him to the hospital. Either way he was gone but if he had waited I would want an antidote to the pill he conned me into taking for him. I sat down until the headache dissipated. (Was it the combined beer, hops and nitro that caused OD?)

Borsch, borscht, barsch, борщ, is eastern European type of soup. I have been told that the word generally means soup. In Poland I had white borsch that was made with fermented grains similar to kvass as a base. In the USA because of immigration by Ashkenazi Jews from eastern Europe, borscht is understood to mean beetroot soup with cabbage and meat, usually topped with sour cream. (I mentioned before the Borscht Belt aka Jewish Alps in upstate New York, a resort area popular with NYC area Jewish vacationers.) It is good soup for cold weather with the effect of warming you up, sometimes you could feel overheated and need to go outside after a bowl to avoid sweating.

Today I stumbled across the explanation for the similar effects of these bioactive substances.

Having refrained from making puns about beats and beets or NO and no, avoiding the impractical and fatuous confusion about nitrate, nitrite and nitric oxide, I need only tell you, *hypocrite lecteur-mon semblable-mon frere, that nitroglycerin, TNT/trinitrotoluene, ammonium nitrate fertilizer, even nitrocellulose that was used in the early years for movie film, are explosive because of the powerful oxidizer nitrate. The agent or mediator in the body of the desirable effects is endogenous nitric oxide, NO, a vasoactive antioxidant and neurochemical.

*Hypocrite reader, my double, my brother, Baudelaire’s term for what now might be called co-conspirator. Another modern poetic translation for semblable would be avatar.

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/beets-and-beetroots

Some people are sensitive to biogenic amines caused by bacterial and yeast fermentation (wine, cheese, vegemite) or similar reactions among amino acids and NO compounds. If you get headaches from such things be forewarned.

P.S. I had a bag of powdered beet root that I mixed with lime juice and tomato salsa to drink for the present occasion as a test and so far nothing remarkable has happened. I suspect that sour cream and vinegar or other SCFA (short chain fatty acids) also play a part in the borsch exothermic mix. If you included kielbasa in your beet soup that’s got nitrates too.

P.P.S. Read the link for details about Viagra, sexual performance enhancing, erectile dysfunction etc.

More links:

http://nutsci.org/2009/10/23/how-to-get-athletes-to-eat-their-vegetables-nitrate-and-performance-part-1/

http://jap.physiology.org/content/107/5/1678.full