Friday, August 28, 2009

Thought provoking

I had seen somewhere on the web about the book: Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham, but not thought much about it one way or another. On the way home today from a company picnic WBUR had the author on (I think) Science Friday and it was quite interesting.

The idea is that cooking food makes it easier to digest and allows our body to extract more useful energy out of a given amount of food. This leads humans to having a smaller digestive system and thus more body mass available for a larger brain & so forth.

All of this got me thinking about eggs. In popular culture we have tough guys showing how committed--to whatever quest they are on--by drinking a glass full of raw eggs. Setting aside the risk of salmonella poisoning, raw eggs actually remove an essential nutrient from your body. Egg is, or I should say would be a really great place for bacteria to grow but birds have found a way to prevent this. There is a protein called Avidin in egg whites which binds very strongly to Biotin (which is one of the B vitamins. The complete absence of Biotin makes eggs a lot less attractive to bacteria. When you cook eggs, the proteins become denatured and loose their ability to bind Biotin.

Tying-up loose ends

Our Main bath had a multitude of little things that needed fixing and we just got through them all in about one week.

The bottom rail for the glass tub enclosure had never mated properly with the top of the tub and hence mildew and water deposits had accumulated below and around the rail. It couldn't really be cleaned thoroughly since you can't get under the rail to clean it or dry it. I took the whole enclosure apart and scraped-off all the mildew, old caulk and mineral deposits. When I reinstalled it, I drilled through the rail into the top of the tub and put in stainless steel screws. Now there is solid mating and no water can get underneath it.

The walls and ceiling constantly got mildew on them--you could scrub it off with bleach but it would come right back. We repainted with special paint that won't allow mildew to grow.

There has never been a blind on the window to this bathroom: Between being on the 2nd floor, distant neighbors and hilly woodsy terrain; nobody could see in anyway. But visitors, which we have from time to time, might mind; so we finally put up a cellular shade.

There is a linen closet in the bath and the door would never latch closed. A couple of minutes with a chisel and an adjustment to the faceplate and now the door latches shut.

Last and easiest: We have had a framed Monet print for a couple of months that we wanted to hang. A nail in the wall and we are good to go.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I was only half-paying attention when this commercial came on but it drew me in and I loved it.

There is something about that Bat out of Hell album: I wasn't a huge fan when it came out but now it speaks to me. What does it say? "This album represents a sound and sentiment that is totally and irrevocably late 1970's American".

Making an impression