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  1. Here's an easy way to keep tabs (no pun intended) on the progress of COVID-19. Go to the World Health Organization home page. Click on the main article, currently labeled "Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak." Shortcut: Click on the "Situation Report" tabs on this page. Today's report is #34, yesterday's is #33, etc. Each report will open in a new tab on your screen, and once a bunch of them are open, you can easily click-thru the tabs and compare the daily statistics (they're all in the exact same place, so you don't even need to move your eyes). It's troubling that in Hubei (the original location), there are now over 64,000 cases, and over 2,300 deaths. --- A very interesting article: "Who Is Patient Zero in the Coronavirus Outbreak?" by Fernando Duarte on bbc.com
  2. I shamefully admit I've been a smoker off and on since I was 20 or so. About 18 months ago I did a little research on eCigs and thought I'd give it a try. First off, I didn't get one of those cheap ones that you can pick up at a 7-11. I bought a well-reviewed eCig starter kit and that kicked off a series of upgrades to the hardware I now use (Kanger Aerotank with a 20 watt eLeaf battery). The current setup costs about $70. I also found a shop (Velvet Cloud) that sold 100% vegetable glycol-based eLiquid with flavors I really like. They're even organic! I went for a while smoking a few real cigarettes each day and relying on the eCig to get my fix the rest of the day. Over the course of a month, I switched over and haven't looked back. I no longer smell (like cigarettes anyway), I actually enjoy the flavor, it costs much less than cigarettes, there are no butts and ash, and I feel much better physically. I can also take a "stealth" hit from time to time in the office and no one notices. When I have bummed a smoke, I couldn't even finish it because the taste just seemed so bad. I'm not trying to sell anything here, but eCigs have been in the news quite a bit over the past year or so. The industry is booming with more and more people trying it out. Most of the articles I've read are quite critical of it all with doctor's saying there are no long term studies showing what the possible effects are of vaping. I'm not saying the media and medical community shouldn't be skeptical, but on the face of it, how can this possibly be nearly as dangerous as smoking cigarettes? Yes, I'm inhaling nicotine, but there is no tar and none of the thousands of other chemicals found in a cigarette. I don't plan on vaping for the rest of my life. The nicotine level I use now is half what it was and I'll continue to reduce it until I hit zero. Anyway, what are your thoughts? Does anyone else vape?
  3. Just over a year ago I bought a grill. Before that I almost never cooked. I started grilling up loads of chicken, pork, veggies, etc., so that I'd have food to eat over the week. Later I bought a bike, then started running. In the fall I found out I was diabetic and had high cholesterol so I got stricter on my diet, started seeing a personal trainer, and talking to a nutritionist. So, basically, over the course of a year I lost over 60 pounds, got my blood sugar under control, am working on my cholesterol (it was there, then went back up, and we'll see), and I feel better than I have in years. But here's the thing: occasionally, I still eat something bad for me. For instance, I went to the Beer & Bacon Festival. It was awesome. I had a roast beef po' boy at the Passenger last week and it was one of the best ones I've had (period). And every night and morning after that, I've been miserable. Unable to sleep. Dehydrated/dry mouth. My stomach felt taut and I wanted to throw up. So yeah, I can't eat stuff like that anymore. That sucks, but that's probably for the best. But is there anyway to recover from that other than just time and Tums? It completely wrecks me in a way that I can't recover quickly from unlike booze. I don't want to know to enable me - I'm not going to change my habits either way, I'll still eat healthy overall and occasionally have something delicious but bad for me - but just so I don't have to call in sick to work the next day because I'm exhausted and miserable.
  4. Dr. Oz had a guest who has written a book on places where some on the oldest people live. One of those places is Sardinia. Here is what I learned: 1) they drink the local wine every day. 2) they drink wine with breakfast. Dr. Oz says there is some healthful ingredient in the wine. My wife mocks me often for listening to this quack. Got a bottle of Argiolas Costera 2010. It is tasty. Hints of cherry and licorice. Feeling healthier already. Cost $11.99 a bottle at Calvert-Woodley. which fits in with another thing my wife mocks me for. My thriftiness. (But that is not what she calls it)
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