Can Smoking Help You Lose Weight?  

Posted by joe

Smoking is highly damaging to your body and it is not an activity I recommend you participate in. However, there are limited advantages associated with this habit. One such advantage is that smoking can help you lose weight. In this article I discuss how it helps you lose weight and compare this with the damage it can cause.

There are a number of reasons that smoking helps you drop the pounds and I have listed these below:

1) Smoking Damages Your Taste Buds:- The more you smoke the more damage you do to your taste buds. Over time the chemicals and tar in cigarettes coat the inside of your mouth and cover your taste buds meaning that they become less and less effective. As your taste buds become progressively hampered the food you eat becomes increasingly bland. Therefore, you do not enjoy your food as much as you once did and there is less temptation to carry on eating. You start to eat until your hunger is satisfied and not for enjoyment which means you eat less. Since you are eating less the logical result is for you to lose weight.

But is it worth damaging your taste buds just so that you eat a little less each day? In my opinion definitely not. I really enjoy tasting all the different flavours that food has to offer and would not like to have that taken away from me. I would much rather discipline myself to moderate my eating than damage my taste buds so much that I do not enjoy my food anymore.

2) Nicotine is an Appetite Suppressant:- Studies suggest that nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant. Therefore, the more you smoke the less hungry you feel and the less you are likely to eat.

However, nicotine is a very dangerous substance. Certain reports suggest that there may be a link between nicotine and kidney disease, that nicotine damages the inside of your arteries and that nicotine can increase your risk of heart disease. Furthermore, withdrawal from nicotine can lead to irritability, headaches, poor concentration, insomnia, constipation and it can even increase your appetite. Therefore, whilst you may feel less hungry when you have a steady supply of nicotine you quickly become reliant on this substance to suppress your appetite, all the time doing increased damage to your body.

3) Smoking Increases your Metabolic Rate:- Smoking cigarettes makes your heart beat faster, meaning your body expends more energy and burns more calories. Therefore, when you smoke you will burn more calories than when you do not smoke. Heavy smokers are believed to burn up to 200 additional calories each day as a result of this.

However, the extra pressure placed on your heart by smoking does not just burn calories. It also increases your risk of heart disease which is one of the most common causes of smoking related deaths. Is it really worth putting your heart in this much danger just to get a slight daily boost in metabolism?

As I have already mentioned smoking is not a good habit and is something that I suggest you avoid. Nevertheless, I am prepared to offer a balanced argument and I admit that one of the few benefits of smoking is that it assists weight loss by boosting your metabolism and suppressing your appetite. However, when you balance this against the negatives which include damage to your lungs, arteries, veins & heart, bad breath, wrinkled skin and poor health smoking is not such an attractive weight loss solution.


Erectile Dysfunction from Bike Riding  

Posted by joe

Research suggests that riding a bike for long periods can cause temporary erectile difficulties, explains What to Do about Erectile Dysfunction, a new report from Harvard Medical School. The risk appears highest among men who cycle more than three hours a week. 

Sitting on a bicycle for a long time puts pressure on the perineum, the area between the genitals and anus. This pressure can harm nerves and temporarily impede blood flow, causing tingling or numbness in the penis and, eventually, erectile dysfunction. However, one study showed that while a conventional bicycle caused a dramatic (though temporary) drop in oxygen supply to the penis, a recumbent bicycle did not. 

If you don’t want to switch to a recumbent bike, these precautions may help you prevent cycling-related erectile problems: 
1. Wear padded biking shorts. 
2. Raise the handlebars so that you’re sitting relatively upright. This shifts pressure from the perineum to the buttocks. 
3. Use a wide, well-padded or gel-filled seat instead a narrow seat, which places more pressure on the perineum. 
4. Position the seat to reduce pressure: Make sure it is not so high that your legs are fully extended at the bottom of your pedal stroke, and don’t tilt the seat up. 
5. Change your position and take breaks during long rides. 
6. If you feel tingling or numbness in the penis, stop riding for a week or two.

Women + Math = Disaster  

Posted by joe

Harvard University has produced many great men of higher learning since it has been in business. They know who they are. I don’t need to mention any of them here — probably a bunch of presidents and whatnot, all of us men know how the game works. That’s not what’s up for debate.

Actually nothing is up for debate. The head of Harvard University said at a conference recently that women suck at math and science. What he did was grant all women an honorary PhD in In Your Face-onomics.

The point he was trying to make was simple: when it comes to math or science or using your brain, men are using the cream of the crop of brains — the top shelf. We are driving high performance thinking machines. We are moving mountains of thought with our mighty man-brains which operate like huge construction machinery.

Women, the headmaster of America’s top university is saying, are using brains that resemble a broken tricycle one might find at a garage sale in the bad part of town. Women’s brains reek of tetanus and squeak like a hamster wheel.

I checked around for an exact quote from the esteemed president of Harvard: Lawrence “The Never-ending” Summers, but I couldn’t find one. This is probably what he said though:

“Women couldn’t do math even if it tasted like chocolate.”

The fact that he’s right in every way didn’t keep fore-running members of the woman community from throwing major hissy-fits the second the words left his mouth. I’m sure they had been lying in wait for such a baseless, yet socially imposed social faux pas — like rats lurking under the picnic tables at the county fair. That’s how women behave when they land themselves in an industry where good looks and cock teasing won’t save their ass: the man-realm of science.

Does Falling In Love Really Cause Chemical Changes In Your Brain?  

Posted by joe

Helen Fisher, an anthropology professor at Rutgers University, along with two colleagues, used an MRI machine to study the brains of people who described themselves as being wildly in love. When each subject gazed at a photograph of his or her sweetheart, the ventral tegmental area and the caudate nucleus in the brain lit up. The caudate nucleus is the site of a dense network of receptors for the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine neurons are activated when an unexpected reward is presented.

Donatella Marazziti, a psychiatry professor at the University of Pisa in Italy, also measured the levels of neurotransmitter serotonin in the blood of people who'd been in love for several months and who pined for their lovers for at least four hours a day. She found that the serotonin levels in the lovesick subjects were as low as the serotonin levels in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). So if you're feeling "madly" in love, there's a solid scientific basis for losing both your heart AND your mind.

Bad Morning Breath  

Posted by joe

Bad morning breath is something that we all experience, if not every day, at least on some mornings. You wake up, yawn, and realize that your mouth tastes like a garbage can. You know it's imperative to get to the bathroom before interacting with any other human being - a toothbrush and a bottle of mouthwash probably await you there. There's comfort, at least, in knowing that everyone else goes through the same thing and understands the problem. There's comfort also in the fact that, when bad breath occurs only in the morning, it's much easier to deal with than breath odor that persists throughout the day.

Treating morning breath is much easier when you understand what is causing the odor. Like other types of halitosis that originate in the mouth, morning breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth giving off bad smelling gases, called volatile sulfur compounds (VSC). These bacteria are normal inhabitants in the mouth - almost everyone has a few of them. In small numbers they're not a problem; it's when they gain the upper hand that trouble happens. Bad morning breath is a result of bacteria that have multiplied and produced VSC throughout the night.

The morning is a worse time for bad breath because the mouth remains relatively quiet while we are sleeping. The flow of saliva slows down and we don't swallow as much; we aren't eating and drinking so we don't tend to flush the mouth out as much. The tissues of the mouth become drier as a result of all this, and there is a decreased supply of oxygen to the oral cavity and tissues. Bacteria that cause bad morning breath are anaerobes - they do much better in the absence of oxygen, and they are otherwise held in check by saliva, which has antibacterial properties. Treating morning breath requires the reversal of the processes that were happening while we slept: provide oxygen, flush away bacteria, and get the saliva flowing again.

Doctors and dentists recommend good oral hygiene as a starting point for treating morning breath. Brush and floss your teeth, and clean your tongue before going to bed. Rinse the mouth out thoroughly. Upon waking, repeat these steps, particularly if you notice bad morning breath. A good mouth wash may be helpful as well, and to get saliva flowing, specialists recommend sugar free gum. (Don't use gum with sugar in it because not only does this contribute to tooth decay, but sugar supports the growth of the oral bacteria that you are trying to get rid of.) Underlying all good oral hygiene is regular professional care - see you dentist and doctor regularly and deal with any oral health concerns promptly before they become serious and chronic. If you do all this and have a healthy mouth, you should have minimal trouble with bad morning breath.

Why Do Men Have Nipples  

Posted by joe

There seems to be a logical explanation about why women have nipples - for babies. But why do men's bodies retain what appears to be redundant body parts? The Darwinian natural selection process would seem to dictate that male nipples really should not be there. So what's the deal? Why do men have nipples?

The answer is that as embryos men and women have similar tissues and body parts. If anything the embryo follows a 'female template'. That is why nipples are present in both sexes. It is the effect of the genes, the Y chromosome and the hormone testosterone that brings about the changes and masculinises the embryo. Testosterone promotes the growth of the penis and testicles. Because nipples are there before this process begins the nipples stay!

Nipples and breast tissue have no function as such except for perhaps protecting the heart and lungs from injury.

Male Breasts Can Produce Milk and Get Breast Cancer
A certain level of the female hormone estrogen is present in all men. If, as a result of disease or a condition affecting hormones, breast tissue in men can grow (gynecomastia- abnormal enlargement of breasts,) and men can produce milk. 

Gynacomastia is more commonly seen in adolescence, a period in development when hormones fluctuate a lot. It is also seen in some men with liver disease and sometimes in alcoholics.

Men can get breast cancer as well as women.


How Unique Are Your Fingerprint?  

Posted by joe

How unique are your fingerprints? It's general held that your fingerprints being found at the scene of the crime tied you up with it pretty conclusively, but a report published earlier this year by New Scientist claims that there is little scientific basis for the infallibility of fingerprints, and that the only research indicating that there is, is fatally flawed.

This could have major implications for the criminal justice system, and could undermine the basic premise of planned ID sytems in the UK, US and Europe. The report notes that the only known study, commissioned b y the US Department of Justice and only made public in summary form, was challenged in December. The study involved matching up 50,000 fingerprint images, and concluded from this that the probability of a false match was effectively zero. However, says New Scientist, "Although this produced an impressive-sounding 2.5 billion comparisons, critics point out that it is hardly surprising that a specific image should turn out to be more like itself than 49,999 other images."

The study wasn't designed to test matches between two or more different prints from the same finger, and it was even discovered that it originally included three instances of fingerprints being listed as similar but different, when they were actually different prints from the same finger. One pair was even found to be as dissimilar as prints from different people. And the sample size is seen by many critics as being too small to be seen as valid.

Despite the apparently shaky foundations of the little 'proof' that exists, there seems to be no government enthusiasm for further research. The DoJ has refused to sanction further research, and a Department of Defense and National Institute of Justice programme fell apart last year after arguments over dissemination and review of the material.

New Scientist points out that fingerprint evidence still has a value, but that it's such a long-standing technique that it has never been subjected to rigorous scientific scrutiny. This could well be its undoing, as ID systems' need to match up prints from millions of people takes fingerprinting into entirely uncharted territory. It would surely be just a little bit embarrassing if a few years down the line governments' deployment of fingerprints in the war on terror resulted in the near overthrow of the criminal justice system, wouldn't it?