Thursday, March 31, 2005


Geoff, of Ars Politica, to have second "home" here!

Remember how important it is to pick the best players for your team, even if you aren't into sports? Am I pleased to report that Geoff, of Ars Politica, has agreed to make Good Bloggin' his second "home" to post anecdotes, commentary, ideas, humor and, of course, interesting news. Geoff's talented writing drew my attention for its clarity, unique wit, originality and fairness. You'll see those qualities reflected in his answers to this, my first "Meet the Blogger" interview:

1. Why did you start "Ars Politica"?

Ars Politica began as a way for me to keep abreast of what was going on in the world. I didn't want to be told what to think about current events, I wanted to learn what was happening and then make up my own mind. I wanted to have my own little corner of the 'net where I could chronicle my discoveries and post my take on events.

2. What do you like best about blogging?

The best part of blogging, for me at least, is the promotion dialogue. Ideally, I'd like each of my posts to spark a conversation where all sides of a topic are debated. Blogs are great because they allow people to discuss important issues without spatial or temporal restraints.

3. What do you like least about it?

As it has come out recently there are a lot of bloggers who get paid to support certain ideas. While I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with that, I do think that bloggers should disclose that sort of information. It is also a little scary to think that anyone with internet
access can read what I wrote.

4. What tips do you have for people who want to start their own blog?

Do it! Even if you don't think you have enough time to invest in your blog. There are some excellent blogs out there that only get updated once a week. Who can't afford to spend 5 minutes a week to post to your blog? Alternately you could get a group of friends to blog together. It is a great way for people from your high school/college/camp/whatever who don't live near each other to keep up to stay in touch.

5. What do you see for yourself and "Ars Politica" in the future?

Oh, man. I don't know. On the cover of "Wired"? Just kidding. I really don't have any expectations for Ars Politica. Of course it would be nice if people visited the site and read the blog and even better still if it inspired them to leave comments, but if it winds up being just another ghost site I'm ok with that too.

Welcome Geoff, we hope you have many good bloggin' days w. us!


Supermarket "Schlock Shock"

My friends and family know my husband and I normally shop either at (1) the local, natural, vegetarian market, Freshmart, or (2) our neighborhood market, named Los Robles, which has charm and a hand-picked selection. One evening, we ventured into a regular supermarket for a change, only for me to come out in shock. Mind you, we were at an upscale supermarket, next to one of San Juan's wealthiest neighborhoods close to where my husband grew up, so it's not that the market happened to be located in a less affluent area to justify the selection.

The plastic bottles of soda reminded me of weapons for self-inflicted violence and the detergent aisle did not have a single, natural, environmentally-friendly choice. Neither did the paper goods. To find a fruit preserve without sugar or Splenda, I had to wait until we made it back to the Freshmart. The Romaine Lettuce my husband picked out turned out to be genetically modified to the point of becoming cardboard.

We bought (if you wonder why: I don't like to give my husband a hard time, he seldom has any spare time to go shopping with me and he seemed to enjoy reminiscing about his childhood if only for one trip to the market) some canned vegetables which when I had a chance to read the labels included sugar which I can't have. My husband's Tomato Soup choice included High Fructose Corn Syrup, which he doesn't like. Heads up: Neither manufacturer website has nutritional information displayed for consumers.

All those cans are still unused in our kitchen, I wish I could return (here my "don't disturb your husband" rule applies) them. From now on, without inconveniencing my husband, I plan to boycott those manufacturers, I hope you do too.

I fear for my nieces and for all the children whose parents have no choice but to shop @ supermarkets like the one we were in. Understanding how in our country obesity has reached epidemic rates became a lot easier after that visit.

My family knows I've advocated for healthy foods since my nieces were exposed to the evils of fast food, now I know I should dedicate part of this blog to help all of you make wise, healthy food choices.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


Changing "the course of scientific research"

Are my efforts triggering that dream-come-true headline? No, or better, not yet... Business Week reports how an enterprising, visionary MS patient:
  1. brought together five renowned MS researchers. from Case Western Reserve, McGill University, Northwestern, Stanford and the University of Chicago, to speed up discovery thru cooperation.
  2. started the Myelin Repair Foundation "MRF"
  3. and, funded each scientist thru MRF
... "to develop palliative myelin repair treatments" 'til a cure for MS is found. This one ranks as one of the best stories I've read since I started blogging for Missing Lymph.

In an aside: did I ever mention to you that if I ever started my own community newspaper here it'd be called "Optimista"? It'd be packed w. stories like this one.


Week-in-Review: Taking the heat

Lotería Chicana has published a "blog-power-exemplified" week-in-review of her staple reading, her idea triggered mine. I'll review my own week for you: I caught veritable hell for thinking that Terri Schiavo could be resuscitated, then getting upset w. her husband for not allowing her parents to decide on her behalf.

Now, I'd like to publicly apologize to those who were offended by the words I published, I got carried away by emotion. Just a few minutes ago, I removed three ill-advised, offensive postings from here where they have no place since my main mission is to advocate for tonsillectomy research.

Once everyone's emotions have settled back to "normal," I hope we move on w. mutually productive/beneficial dialogue in mind. I've learned a valuable lesson.

Friday, March 25, 2005


Read the plants on the wall

Last weekend, I visualized a new art form: "plants on the wall." Since I'm a well-known involuntary flora-cide perpetrator (dont' know why, the only plants that thrive around me are the wild ones outside - I've been known to bring the water in which I boiled my veggies out to them), I present this idea to those of you who know how to grow plants (and for those of you who may try this one day): I'd like to see artwork that is made up of living plants that can be hung on a wall. The image I have is of a thin, flat, open-top, crystal rectangle filled with some water, soil and with beautiful growing plants hanging from a wall. Wouldn't that be interesting?

Just now (a day after I wrote this posting), I'd like to add that a multi-media installation created with some plants would work too -- to "green up" the contemporary art world!


Milk-Topped Cranberry Juice

Try this one day: Pour a bit of real, whole milk (preferably organic if you can find it where you live) on top of natural, chilled cranberry juice. You'll be astonished by the result.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Better than the Pope!

After hearing my pro-miracle-based-on-scientific-progress, pro-life stance in the Terri Schiavo case, my college roommate wrote me this:
"You sound more Catholic than my pops or the Pope today. Too bad the church
doesn't recognize women or you could take over."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Blogging is good for the brain...

Someone commented that my writing, although upsetting to her, must have been "cathartic" for me. Now that I'm feeling better, and have made my peace with what was upsetting me, I'd like to point you to the benefits of blogging (many thanks to Brain Waves for this link).

Could we add that blogging may be "cathartic"?

Friday, March 18, 2005


Terri Schiavo's "resuscitation" plan

To all my fellow bloggers, my loyal readers, my friends, family, casual passersby here's an FYI, I just emailed it in to

Terry Schiavo’s “resuscitation” plan

San Juan, PR – The founder of a small, web-based nonprofit, and author of a promising blog-with-a-cause,, has submitted to the press a “resuscitation” (think in terms of Oliver Sacks here) plan for Mrs. Terri Schiavo.

The resuscitation plan is simple, feasible and firmly rooted in knowledge readily available on the Web, first through the website of one of Berkeley’s top researchers, Dr. Bruce Ames, and then through one of every fitness enthusiast’s mega-supply purveyor, Seldom in U.S. recent history, are men like Dr. Ames linked to muscle-head concerns like FitnessFirstUSA, but the unlikely combination would work a miracle for the fragile, defenseless and essentially sentenced-to-death Mrs. Schiavo.

Dr. Ames published in 2002 research that indicates that a powerful anti-oxidant, Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and an amino acid derivative, Acetyl L Carnitine (ALC) work together to stimulate cell renewal in laboratory animals. Since then, Dr. Ames has become a celebrity of sorts since his work launched ALA and ALC as rejuvenation agents for people with Alzheimer’s and ailments related to aging in the U.S. (see:

Now, FitnessFirstUSA carries both ALA and ALC at very reasonable prices. Today, ALA was listed as follows at this URL

“Alpha Lipoic Acid is a vitamin-like antioxidant that helps neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. Free radicals can contribute to oxidative stress, which plays a role in the premature aging of cells. Alpha Lipoic Acid also helps metabolize sugar in the body, especially in the muscles, where it promotes energy.”

The price for ALA today? Two 60 capsule bottles for $11.18.

While ALC appeared at this other URL: described in the following way:

“Acetyl-L-Carnitine is similar to the amino acid, L-Carnitine, and can be found throughout the body. This naturally occurring molecule helps transport fatty acids into cells involved in brain energy metabolism. Studies indicate that Acetyl-L-Carnitine may help promote memory and cognitive function.”

Its going rate? A very affordable two 30 capsule bottles for $15.98.

Buy those two, add them to Terri's daily nutrition regimen when her feeding tube is reinserted, and, presto, her resuscitation effort is well underway.

The plan has a second phase rooted on new research (see: ) which shows that laboratory animals undergo a process of new neuron generation (named “neurogenesis). Mrs. Schiavo should allowed to stay fed and alive to possibly benefit from a treatment plan to stimulate her own neurogenesis to lead to her recovery.

No one has ever seen reknowned scientists, straight from the sacrosanct world of the Ivory Tower, look so good next to sweaty muscle-heads, brought together by a tenacious blogger-with-a-cause, to help a woman in desperate need.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


First Mini-Tour: "Lady Blogs"

Last night, it occurred to me it'd be nice to set up "tours" of the Blogosphere, to take people to blogs that interest them, by asking them exactly what'd they like to visit or which type of publication they normally read (the user could ask: "take me to all the blogs of New York Times Magazine caliber"). Here's a mini-tour list, I've replaced my women's magazine reading with what I refer to as "Lady Blogs" -- the top three I'm getting used to reading are:

1. Lotería Chicana: written by a UCLA PhD student who has a gift for observation, humor, commentary, story-telling and a loyal following.
2. Blogcabin: Recently, this blog re-opened its doors in, today its freelance author celebrates St. Pat's Day, she also has a gift for story-telling and willingness to share tidbits about her world in a very amusing way.
3. Rayne Today: FOAF and Radio-Free Blogistan contributor, her posting "Having an awkward moment" is something every woman (and man, but us women tend to do a lot more nurturing) should read.


Beat-up socially: both of us

Our Dominican housekeeper lost one of her other jobs last week to a younger, indocumented worker who would do the same job for less money. She works here only one day a week, since we don't have any children and don't need her full-time (we could afford it if all my projects gel and I could hire her as part of my own small business). The other job she lost was simply awful, I'd told her I didn't like the way it sounded and the way she was being treated -- when she came in this week, I could immediately tell, by her look and demeanor, something bad had happened. She's tenacious, and after letting me know about being fired, she returned to her normal, happier self going through her natural detergent-filled routine here. I wish her life and mine were different, better.

Monday, March 14, 2005


In the sun with a green iguana

This morning, my husband noticed my winter paleness, and I, determined to undo that, went out in the sun a little after midday. I walked over to the park next door surrounded by lots of sunshine and low humidity. The park was deserted as it normally is that time of day. The only others there were the birds, which I've seen before, and to my great surprise one I'd never seen before around here, a stunning, green, tropical iguana. Looking up a good, easy-to-read link for this posting, I discovered why the iguana was in the sun w. me, s/he is cold-blooded and derives all heat from basking in the sun. Now, you know that too (in case you didn't before).


Two one-liners

Many of you know I like to write jokes sometimes, here are two silly one-liners I thought of this morning:

Q: What is hegemony?
A: Uh.... what kind of money?

Q: What is a "retrainer"?
A: A fee you have to pay your health club to get back in shape.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Eco-pools: Plankton in your backyard

For those who enjoy having a pool in their backyard: why not convince an eco-entrepreneur to start a line of environmentally-friendly pools, either salt water and/or fresh? Kids would love the idea b/c the possibility of having pet fish and other marine life to swim with would open up if a "habitat" pool was set up. The oxygen output of the pool could be measured and plans made to maintain its stability with the proper nourishment and care. Alternative power sources could be part of the model, i.e. heat provided by photovoltaic cells or windmills. Having an eco-pool would become equivalent of driving a hybrid car!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


My neighbor, the baseball park

My grandmother met my grandfather at a ball game, and loved the game (but not him -- but that's a different story) until the day she passed away. She bought this house situated directly across from what was then, ca. 1952, a ball field. Well, that ball field has evolved into a spectacular baseball mini-stadium with a rustic look of two-tone terra-cotta paint accented with green trim. The carefully maintained area surrounding the park houses beautiful trees and other vegetation, a winding track, an activities gazebo and a small playground for young children. Right now, there must be at least ten identically clad, in bright green uniform t-shirts, two to three year-olds running around gleefully, cueing up to climb to slide down the red, spiral "chorrera", owning the entire place since there is no one else around only their watchful caregivers. On weekends, there is a parade of families celebrating birthdays mixed in with laborious joggers, strollers and athletic sports-inclined people. Last Sunday, I witnessed a piñata moment, whose violence a parent ended by opening it up for the children who looked about the same age as the ones out there now. A young man was practicing his juggling act nearby. Ball players were out on the field, seemingly oblivious of everyone else, their bats an offshoot of the trees surrounding them. If only my grandmother was here to see this... she'd love it like I do.


"Kid Colada" : Pineapple Juice w. Real, Whole Milk

Let's shift gears a bit to go back to one of my favorite good blog activities: recording my "inventions" in the kitchen. I just finished one of my favorite drinks, what I christened a "Kid Colada" -- an equal parts combination of Pineapple Juice (unsweetened, I prefer the Lotus brand) and real, whole milk (to promote maximum calcium absorption!). Try it one day and share it with your family and friends! Distinguish it from a "Virgin Colada" in which the pineapple juice is mixed with Coconut Cream, ice is added and all ingredients are blended. The grandaddy, Piña Colada, has rum, which I dislike b/c it's too sweet (many of you may know I don't like any sugar - I prefer honey or the non-caloric Stevia).

For dinner, I fixed Valencia(medium grain, white) rice with extra virgin olive oil, cumin, almonds and garlic -- the almonds and garlic (micro-processed together for a few minutes) worked very well together, but I should have left the cumin out -- the rice was cooked separately and then mixed in the little pan where I was toasting the almond and garlic combination. Rating: Great w/o cumin

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Today's muse: Nathan Myhrvold's "Magic of Invention"

Today, the muse is Nathan Myhrvold with his "Magic of Invention" speech when he received the Madison Medal, Princeton's highest honor to a graduate alumnus. Myhrvold asked everyone to nurture inventions and noted that much of society is focused on steps that come after invention but not on nurturing the initial spark itself. I propose we plant the seeds for future inventions, here's one of mine: I think the first invention-in-waiting is the "tonsil implant" for people who were unnecessarily tonsillectomized as children. As you know, I believe that the lymph tonsils contain is "second to blood" in ways unknown currently to medicine. I'd venture that lymph adds power to the nervous system, from head to toe. Without lymph, bodies become weaker, prone to premature aging, with diminished senses and limited mobility. Without tonsils, lymphatic flow is disrupted, and in extreme cases, stopped. An implant to restore optimal lymphatic flow overnight without the months-long wait for tonsils to regrow, would be one of our society's great inventions. It'd be ideal for folks of advanced age tonsilllectomized as children who may not be able to regrow their tonsils!

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