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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

That New Article of Clothing May Actually Be 'Filthy' │ The Surprisingly Healthy Coffee Cherry

Last evening was another in which my younger brother Mark was agreeable T.V.-viewing company.  I had this season's second episode of America's Got Talent tuned in when he got home.

Those four judges (Howard Stern, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel) are probably my favourite combination for any of the talent-judging shows that are currently airing.

I got to bed by 11:50 p.m., and never really had my sleep break until a time-check revealed it to be just about 5:00 a.m. ─ that is an unusually long stretch of slumber for me.  Mark had not yet left for work.

And I was further surprised when it was on the order of 8:15 a.m. when I next checked the time and decided to rise for the day.

I had a post at my Latin Impressions website that I left half-finished yesterday, so I sat here at my computer and stayed at it until it was completed and published:  Doll Toy II.

However, since yesterday, I have been gnawed with irritation by an E-mail I received from someone I know with whom I was obliged to spend over 1½ hours chatting with on Skype a couple of weeks ago.

He apparently wants to do it again.

I never opened up his message yesterday until late last evening:
How are you, Garget?
 

When is a good time to call you on Skype? Do you have any other number that I can call you on?
Please use this (Hotmail) account for further communication, instead of yahoo account. Thanks.

R....
It is no small matter for me to throw away the time for idle conversation like that.  He may have aught else to entertain himself with, but I have limited time each day ─ in fact, it's usually so limited that I struggle with anxiety and frustration over how my day just seems to evaporate.

I like the chap ─ very much.  I just do not appreciate being forced to socialize like this when I have so much else I could be doing.

Yes, my personal life is void.  But I do not have an issue with boredom ─ far, far from it.  I go nearly crazy from my labours at my websites and here in this blog because of the many ─ usually frustrating ─ hours a day it requires of me.

I frankly do not care for telephone conversations ─ it doesn't matter to me that Skype allows us to view one another.  Big freakin' whoopee!  It's still essentially a telephone conversation.

So after turning off T.V. last evening, I finally responded back ─ he had sent the message before 10:00 a.m. that morning.

I suggested hooking up around 4:00 p.m. today.

I wish to Hell that he would just say what he's got to say via E-mail ─ it is my preferred mode of communication.  And he's got far more education than I do.

Why is it that so few people seem able to communicate in print?

Anyway, I feel like I've got this oppressive waste of an inestimable amount of time hanging over me like a depressing cloud.

I was a little surprised to get a call from my wife Jack before 11:00 a.m. this morning.  She just called from Vancouver to let me know that there was a big container of fish curry in the fridge.

Due to a transportation conflict ─ she shares with someone else the car that she uses ─ she was unable to make a planned appearance home late last evening.  So she had her eldest son Tho come and see her at Mango Thai Restaurant.  

He brought home the food she would otherwise have brought. 

But let's talk weather.  Thus far today, it has been another overcast day ─ right now, it is late into the noon-hour.

Yesterday afternoon, I sat outside in a lawn-chair in the backyard facing where I thought the Sun should be, and racked up over 35 minutes.  I hope to do so again very shortly when I break from working upon this post.

For the present, though, I want to conclude this section of the post detailing my day since I last posted.  I will be publishing today before that 4:00 p.m. nuisance Skype session.

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When you buy new clothes, do you ever wash them before you first wear them?

I have long realized that there are likely certain chemicals on them that remain from the manufacturing process that are probably best washed away ─ even things like excess dye residue.

But my concern has never been sufficient to have me launder anything before I wore it ─ until reading this report from the Health Sciences Institute (HSI) from about a half-dozen days ago:

Dressed to kill
When you go shopping for clothing, you consider the style, size and, of course, price -- not whether those new duds could be hiding things like lice or scabies.

And the last thing on your mind may be that your snazzy new outfit could be covered in toxic, disease-causing dyes.

But if the first thing you do when you buy new clothing is put it on, two university scientists are sounding an alarm that you need to hear. They're claiming it's never been more important to decontaminate our new clothes before we wear them -- and that this simple step could protect you from dangerous infections and even chemicals linked to cancer.

It may seem illogical to take that perfectly neat, wrinkle-free shirt you just purchased and toss it in the wash. But that extra bit of caution could keep you from developing a potentially serious illness.

Dr. Philip Tierno, director of microbiology and immunology at New York University, tested 14 items of clothing from pricey stores and big-box retailers, and he got some pretty disgusting results. His tests turned up respiratory secretions, fecal germs, yeast and microbes from skin.

Dr. Tierno said that some items were "grossly contaminated" with organisms that can survive for months on clothing. He said that the clothes could spread norovirus, stomach bugs, and even MRSA.

Some people have even caught lice and scabies from new garments.

And it's easy to see how that happens when you consider how many people try on clothes and how returned items are often put out for sale without being washed.

"In a sense, you are touching somebody's arm pit or groin" when you wear unwashed clothes, Dr. Tierno said.

And even when new clothes are free from nasty germs, they could still expose you to disease-causing chemicals.

Fabrics may be made with any of an estimated 2,000 chemicals, especially dyes and formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen, according to Dr. Donald Belsito, a professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. And they can easily be absorbed through the skin, especially when you sweat.

When azo-aniline dyes, which are used to color most synthetic fabrics, come into contact with skin, they can cause reactions ranging from dry, itchy patches to scaly rashes. Some people who are especially allergic to them can suffer severe cases of dermatitis, Dr. Belsito said.

If the clothes are shipped from a very humid climate (such as Southeast Asian countries), fungus can be a problem and that's something that can last for quite a while. Also, it's a common practice for factories to use chemicals like dimethyl fumarate to prevent fungus and mold growth, and that can cause severe allergic reactions.

Dr. Belsito recommends that all new clothing should be washed at least once -- and with a double rinse -- before wearing, which is something he always does himself.

And while shopping you can protect yourself by wearing clothing underneath when trying new garments on.

"I've seen examples of some strange stuff," Dr. Belsito said, "so I don't take any chances."
Obviously no one is likely to have tried on anything that's all packaged up, but I have bought such packages where it was clear that someone had removed the item of clothing and then stuffed it back into the plastic containment.  

Did they try it on, perhaps?  They would certainly have handled it.

And just the handling alone could prove an issue, couldn't it?  We all know that things like doorknobs or door-handles harbour all manner of troublesome organisms, so who knows just what may be on the previous shoppers' hands?

Those hands could have been touching almost anything.

By the way, Health Sciences Institute (HSI) are a member site of NewMarketHealth.com.

I also have a report I would like to offer from Dr. William Campbell Douglass II concerning a study involving the health-benefits of the 'cherry' containing the familiar coffee bean.

Unfortunately, only the technical abstract (or summary) is available to the general public for free, but I am quite certain that this must be the publication:  Ground green coffee beans as a functional food supplement – Preliminary study (DOI: 10.1016/j.lwt.2015.03.076).

Here's what Dr. Douglass said of it:

The surprising coffee bean secret that "turns back the clock"
You love coffee -- and for some very good reasons. There's that eye-opening burst of caffeine, and then there's the deliciously rich taste of your favorite bean.

Those are both great benefits. Either one alone would make a daily cup or three worth it.

But the REAL reason coffee is nature's best way to start the day is that every mug is overflowing with powerful disease-blocking, cancer-beating, age-fighting antioxidants.

But if you think what's IN your coffee is so darned good (and it is), you should see what gets thrown into the trash.

The coffee bean is actually a coffee SEED, and sits at the heart of what's called the cherry. The coffee companies only care about that seed -- the bean -- so that part gets sent to the roaster, while the rest gets tossed.

But the part of the cherry that ends up in a Colombian landfill contains even more antioxidants than the bean -- and there's one part in particular that really shouldn't be thrown out.

It's called the silver skin, but when it comes to antioxidant power this stuff is solid gold -- because a new study in the journal Food Science and Technology finds the antioxidant properties of coffee's silver skin is an astounding 500 times more potent than vitamin C.

That means it can give your cells extra protection against oxidative stress, slowing and even reversing the ravages of aging. It works on the inside, helping your vital organs, and on the outside, where it can even protect your own skin from wrinkles and age spots.

It's practically a crime that this superfood is little more than fertilizer -- but fortunately, not everyone is throwing out that precious silver skin. While you still won't find coffee cherries at your local supermarket (they're delicate, don't taste like much and don't travel very well) you can find it in a supplement.

It's often sold as an extract, either on its own or with another complementary antioxidant. As always, do your homework and make sure you get yours from a maker you trust.

With something brewing,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
Another report on that study is available at UPI.comCoffee byproducts are a powerhouse of antioxidants.

I would still like to see confirmation that instant coffee extends the same antioxidants and other benefits that the ground coffee bean does.

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I have a brief entry to post from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 24 years old, and renting a cheap housekeeping room in New Westminster.
Monday, June 3, 1974

A rainy day, and I still lack energy.  I hung about Royal Avenue till Cathy noticed me after work and drove me home with her.  I lost a rough draft for Avengers #126 doing so.  She later fed me a hamburger/hot-dog bun supper.

After she retired I had a nominal work-out again, and walked home in dry weather.  I'll be abed by 1:30 a.m.

I erupted a thumbnail-sized pustule in the centre of my chest, with an ejection of five directly horizontal feet.
Yes, that last statement was certainly worth bothering to record.

Haven't I said before that I had a bit of a complexion problem?

"Cathy" was actually Jeanette, as she preferred to be called ─ my brother Mark's girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther.

Due to absence of space at my room, I was keeping a set of weights at the home Mark and Jeanette were renting together out in Whalley.  I had been told that I could work-out there anytime I wished.

Lately I had been feeling  listless, so I was not inclined for the hike to their home.  If Jeanette was on day shift, then she was likely finished work by 3:00 p.m. over at New Westminster's Scott Paper.  She would normally travel along Royal Avenue to get to the Pattullo Bridge to cross over into Surrey.

Loitering about paid off for me ─ while she was driving along Royal Avenue, she noticed me there, and pulled over.

It seems that a draft for a fan letter I was writing for Avengers #126 was somehow lost by me during that wait. 

I do not mention my brother Mark being home ─ perhaps he had an evening shift at the sawmill or wherever it was that he was employed.  Both he and Jeanette worked various shifts.

My uninspired workout was followed by the fairly long walk back to my New Westminster room.  Obviously, I must have locked up the house to keep sincerely precious Jeanette safe.
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