Wednesday, November 25, 2015

probiotic properties of some cootchies beyond reproach...,(or making coconut cinnamon buns)

RT |  Feminist and blogger Zoe Stavri shocked the internet this week after she revealed she was making a loaf of sourdough bread using yeast from her vaginal thrush infection.

Stavri, who tweets under the moniker Another Angry Woman, posted on Saturday she had the common and easily treatable infection. She suggested she might use some of the yeast to make a sourdough starter culture.

Usually a sourdough starter is made using water and flour to harness wild yeast, and the starter culture will continue to grow naturally until a budding baker decides to turn it into bread.

However, her suggestion was not well-received by internet denizens, who quickly expressed their disgust at Stavri’s creation.

“I just threw out the entire loaf of sourdough bread I bought today bc I can’t eat it w/o thinking of that girl eating her yeast infection [sic],” one user tweeted.

Another tweeted: “You dirty dirty b*tch go lob yourself into the Atlantic please.”

Stavri posted on her blog that she had been surprised at the level of disgust she had triggered with her loaf.

“I’d expected perhaps the odd ‘eww’ and maybe even an ‘I wouldn’t eat that,’ but not this, the level of outright horror, as though I’d dismembered a litter of puppies and was posting selfies with a selfie-stick while doing it,” she wrote.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

regular doses of acid have become the creativity enhancer of choice for some professionals

rollingstone |  Let's call him "Ken." Ken is 25, has a master's degree from Stanford and works for a tech startup in San Francisco, doing a little bit of everything: hardware and software design, sales and business development. Recently, he has discovered a new way to enhance his productivity and creativity, and it's not Five Hour Energy or meditation.
Ken is one of a growing number of professionals who enjoy taking "microdoses" of psychedelics – in his free time and, occasionally, at the office. "I had an epic time," he says at the end of one such day. "I was making a lot of sales, talking to a lot of people, finding solutions to their technical problems."

A microdose is about a tenth of the normal dose – around 10 micrograms of LSD, or 0.2-0.5 grams of mushrooms. The dose is subperceptual – enough, says Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, "to feel a little bit of energy lift, a little bit of insight, but not so much that you are tripping."

At a conference on psychedelic research in 2011, James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide, introduced microdosing to the popular discourse when he presented the results of survey data he had collected from self-reporting experimenters. Ever since, he says, the number of people describing their experiences – or asking for advice – has been on a steady rise.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

the complicated causes and consequences of obesity

thescientist |  Talk about timing. As I write this editorial introduction to our special issue on obesity research, a food fight is going on in a hearing room at the US Congress. The point of contention is the scientific validity of studies informing 2015’s proposed Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released every   years since 1980. Fueling the harsh questioning of the latest guidelines is the doubling of the global incidence of obesity over the past 35 years. “In some ways, haven’t these guidelines somewhat failed? . . . They don’t seem like they are accomplishing their objective,” said Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA) at the hearing.

One can hardly blame the skeptical questions of the pols. The stats are staggering. According to the World Health Organization, in 2014 more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, 600 million of whom were obese. In 2013, 42 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese.

Who’s to blame? Sedentary, overindulgent people, food manufacturers, nutrition and obesity researchers focused on the wrong questions? Two opinions in this issue, by Rudy Leibel (here) and Joseph Proietto (here), put forth the idea that genes and lifestyle are both at fault, but are only part of a complicated story of metabolic and hormonal dysfunction, epigenetics, and environmental influences.