The Phoenix

Thursday, June 29, 2006

New Weapons Against Zits

Most of us associate acne and pimples with the surge in hormones during adolescence. However, many adults over 25 also suffer from zits that won't quit. We've tried using special cleansers, pads, and medications...but results have been mixed at best. Science has been hard at work, and two new solutions have hit the market this year.

What if you could eat your way to a zit-free face? Jelly beans, chocolate, and even gummy bears might be the new weapon to prevent and treat acne. Scott Vincent Borba has several delicious products that contain powerful antioxidants to battle your worst pus-filled nightmares. They contain pomegranate and green tea extracts.

According to Borba, independent testers of the powerful chocolate bar had a reduction of 52% in
28 days. I'm not exactly sure how these testers measured a 52% reduction in pimples...but that's what the company reports. Such a yummy product does come with a heavy price tag. The chocolate bar costs $8 at Nordstrom's. The gummy bears and jelly beans are $25 per pound. Last I checked, the average teenager can't afford to buy this stuff on a regular basis, so they might be forced to stick to Clearasil pads and staying home on Saturday night playing Halo 2.

Or, hey, how about you eat some pomegranate fruit and drink some green tea? Maybe wash your face more than once a year???

Here's a picture of Scott Vincent Borba...look at that zit-free face. The guy must be telling the truth about his expensive candy. How can you not trust a man with the most exquisitely shaped eyebrows?

No, this is not the latest mp3 player technology, this is Zeno - the zit zapper.

Using heat shock therapy, this gadget focuses pin point heat in order to kill the bacteria beneath the skin's surface to accelerate healing. Literally, this blasts away pimples.

Manufactured by Tyrell, Inc., this product has been known to help 90% of the testers involved in the company's own study. Can you imagine that? I expected nothing less than 80%. According to their website, just a couple 2 1/2 minute treatments is enough to accelerate the improvement of typical pimples.

The Zeno, however, is not supposed to be used on whiteheads or blackheads. The pimples where you get that clear pus secretion is the kind of pimple Zeno works best against. I hope you just didn't eat lunch. After charging the Zeno for 6 hours initially, it's ready to blast away your nasty zits - using the power of heat shock therapy.

I wonder if you could use this neat technology to torture ants.
Anyway, this product is also very costly. At $225, the Zeno is not a cheap solution. However, where else can you possible use the power of heat to destroy pimples?

A hot washcloth couldn't possibly do the same thing for the cost of $0.000000000001 per treatment, could it?
If Zeno could play 2GB of my favorite tunes, then maybe I'd get one.

Thanks goes to Siren for sending me the article on these fabulous products.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Alzheimer's Not Only For "Oldtimers"

Yes, I do know people who actually call it "Oldtimers." What these semi-educated folks mean is Alzheimer's disease, the neurological disorder that robs people of their memories. It is often associated with senior citizens, and it costs nearly $100 billion a year to treat those with the disease in this country.

Most recently, researchers have found that Alzheimer's might actually affect a greater percentage of the population than originally thought. Dr. David Bennett, director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, believes the actual number could be as high as THREE times greater.

Dr. Bennett and his fellow researchers autopsied "healthy" elderly people and found that many had visible lesions on their brains signalling Alzheimer's, but they had similar memory test scores as those without lesions. It's believed 4 million have Alzheimer's disease, but these findings mean it's possible 12 million might actually suffer from it, and most are not being diagnosed with it.

Most recently, The Alzheimer's Association published findings earlier this month that believe many Americans under 65 have early onset Alzheimer's...and their memory issues are incorrectly attributed to things such as stress.

"These...warning signs are more easily put off to other factors," the report concluded.

So how soon could the early onset of Alzheimer's actually be affecting those under 65? What can doctors do to detect...

Oh look, I see my shadow.


I love peanut butter.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Can Bozo Help Solve Infertility?

Clowns. Some people think they're funny. Others have an actual fear of them. Personally, watching the Stephen King mini-series It totally messed up my opinion of clowns. I'm now a little creeped out by them.

But how doctors originally linked clowns and fertility is beyond me.

Women undergoing treatment at a fertility clinic in Israel received a bedside performance by professional clown Shlomi Algussi. The clown was dressed in a chef's hat and yellow and white vest as he told jokes, did magic tricks, and played the fool in front of patients. The result:

The 93 women, who had been implanted with embryos, saw their pregnancy rates shoot up from 20% to 35%. Another 18 other women served as the control group.

How is this possible?

Dr. Shevach Friedler, who came up with the idea, said: "We know that fertility patients are very stressed, and laughter could have an effect on the immune system." Dr. Friedler is also a trained mime artist.

"We know that fertility patients are very stressed, and laughter could have an effect on the immune system," Dr. Friedler explains. The researcers, who submitted their findings to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology meeting, believe that humor can reduce the stress and anxiety of the IVF treatment, particularly after the embryo had been implanted in the woman’s womb.

So is it the humor that helps these women conceive? Or is Shlomi The Clown responsible? Look at a couple pics of some of these "miracle babies" and you be the judge:

A Christmas Baby

Would You Like Fries With That?

I think Shlomi's got some explaining to do.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Baby Whisperer

If only you could talk.

For many parents this is a desperate wish for their young child. Some babies scream all night, others refuse to eat, and then you have the "demon seed" kids that refuse to behave. The frustration is worse when the child is simply too young to talk and verbalize what's bothering him.

That's where Derek Ogilvie comes in.

Mr. Ogilvie (pictured left and below) is a well known Scottish psychic, and he's written a book and has a TV series showcasing his ability to communicate with little babies...psychically.

Is that possible?

Ogilvie says yes. He states, in fact, that ALL babies are psychic and capable of telepathic communication. For some of us parents, that doesn't seem too farfetched. I seem to know when my little one is taking a big dump in her diaper. I don't believe it's telepathy that tells me this, however. It's the funny face she makes, the deep furrowing of her brows. Then there's always the smell that tips me off.

In an article in the Daily Mail from 2 years ago, a mother - a self-described skeptic - invited Derek Ogilvie to her home to work with her kids. In the article, she says that her doubt melted after just 20 minutes. I read the article very carefully, and personally, I didn't see anything that would indicate to me the mother was a skeptic at all. In fact, she seemed to be trying to conform the truth around Ogilvie's reading.

Whether you believe he's legitimate or simply employing "cold readings," it's still a fascinating possibility. Imagine the cool psychic sessions Ogilvie could have with two of the tabloids' favorite newborns: Shiloh Nouvell Pitt-Jolie and Suri Xenu L. Ronnette Holmes-Cruise.

Ogilvie: OK...I'm connecting with Shiloh. She's very unhappy, unable to sleep at night.

Brad: Hey, that's right. This guy is good.

Angelina: I told the psychic about her crying at night before he came over, you idiot.

Ogilvie: I see the Equator, we are south of it. Somewhere far away. In a distant, ancient, desert land. The cradle of life.

Angelina: My last Tomb Raider movie was called The Cradle of Life.

Brad: No, he's talking about Africa, you bitch. Namibia. Where we had the baby.

Angelina: WE? WE had the baby? Excuse me, Achilles, but I didn't see the doctor cutting YOU open to get the baby out.

Ogilvie: Oh dear...

How about doing a reading for TomKat's newborn?

Ogilvie: I'm connecting with Suri...

Tom: I'm SO Happy! (Starts strutting around as if he's re-enacting a scene from The Color of Money).

Ogilvie: She's very sad...very unhappy.

Katie: She's disappointed I had an epidural? I knew it.

Ogilvie: No...she's conveying to me she hates her name. Suri Xenu L. Ronnette Holmes-Cruise.

Tom: What?! But Suri means "Princess" in Hebrew. It's a beautiful name.

Katie: Yeah, but it also stands for Surrey, England. L. Ron Hubbard had a house there and it's the site of the UK Scientology headquarters. And Xenu? What the hell?

Ogilvie: Suri is also telling me that "suri" means "pick-pocket" in Japanese.

Tom: Well shit, how the hell was I supposed to know that?

Katie: Last Samuri my ass! I don't blame her for hating her name. Why didn't we just name her Suri Xenu Scientology Dianetics L. Ron Hubbard Cultis Maximus?

Tom: Silence! I command you not to speak!

Ogilvie: Oh dear...

I'm hoping The Baby Whisperer gets to communicate with Anna Nicole Smith's baby, once it's born. (You all can make up your own breastfeeding jokes here).

Monday, June 19, 2006

Wal-Mart's Watching You

Many of you have heard of the infamous Area 51 military installation, the super-secret base 90 miles north of Las Vegas rumored to house wrecked UFOs, alien bodies, and most certainly state-of-the-art high-tech weaponry in development. But have you heard about Wal-Mart's similar secret base?

Introducing...Wal-Mart's Area 71.

In Jane, Missouri - right on the Missouri/Arkansas border - is the 125,000 square foot facility. Shielded by razor barbed wire and security cameras all over the place, the building is known to house information. A LOT of information. The data center contains information on all of us, the consumers, and our buying habits. How much information?

460 terabytes of data.

Is that a lot? Imagine this: the entire internet contains less than HALF that much information.

Experts speculate that Wal-Mart stores billions and billions of hours of security camera footage, data on what we buy, when we buy it, how we pay for it, and where we go to buy, and data from RFID tags - or spychips - from the items we buy.

(Here's a Google Maps satellite photo of the huge data center).

So Wal-Mart is watching you. The mega-retail giant is watching you mull over which type of contact solution to buy. You're being watched as you impulsively grab that bag of candy before you head to the cashier. And a lot of the stuff you buy is being tracked via spychips.

Pretty freaky, huh?

The data center is also known to house all of their predictive software and data. In other words, if a Hurricane were to hit the Gulf, Wal-Mart is prepared to know what products consumers will buy when such an event takes place. I don't mean the normal flashlights and gas generators either. In 2004, as Hurricane Francis made it's way towards the Carribean and then eventually headed for Florida, extra shipments of Strawberry Pop Tarts were racing down Highway 95. Why? Because the Wal-Mart predictive analysis found that the sales of Strawberry Pop Tarts increased seven-fold after a hurricane.

What other kinds of data does Wal-Mart store at this secret data center? Personal information for sure. Ever pay for stuff at Wal-Mart with a credit card? A debit card? Personal check? All that data is stored, you can bet your smiley face it is.

Obviously, there are some privacy issues with this collection of data. Signs posted inside tell you that surveillance cameras are in use, but that's to catch shoplifters. The cameras mounted on the roof, capturing footage of the parking lot is for our safety, they say. But on the other hand, the information gathered is information Wal-Mart uses to figure out purchasing patterns. The vast amount data collection is mind boggling.

And Wal-Mart officials are extremely secretive about the data center. When Carrie Thum, a Wal-Mart senior information officer, was asked about the building. She replied, "This is not something that we discuss publicly. We have no comment. And that's off the record."

I wonder if they're keeping Sam Walton's frozen body at the data center with the hopes of ressurecting him someday.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Weapons of Mass Destruction?

As the war in Iraq continues to divide the country, it's time to look at some of the alternative weapons the US has investigated in the past. Perhaps if some of this technology could've been further developed, we could have unsurped Saddam while minimizing casualties on all sides. One such weapon is known as the GAY BOMB. Some have tagged it the Homo-Bomb, or H-Bomb for short. What can such a weapon do?

It's a bomb that releases a chemical that makes the enemy sexually irresistable to each other. To the point where they lay down their weapons and begin to lay down with each other.

Does anybody else find this incredible silly, yet ingenious???

The "Gay Bomb" is only one of many non-lethal weapons that were considered by the US military. Other variations include:

The Bee Bomb. These bombs would release a bee pheromone onto the enemy. Then we'd throw a bunch of bee hives in the vacinity, and let them at 'em. I find the visual incredibly funny. Although it wouldn't be non-lethal to those that are allergic to bee stings. In the cartoons, the person being chased by bees only had to jump in the water to avoid being stung. Remember, Iraq is a desert.

Bad Breath Bomb. Imagine a bomb that gave the enemies severe bad breath. How would this be helpful? In the ugly world of gurella warfare, soldiers often blend in with civilians. This makes it difficult to track them down without creating collateral damage. If the soldiers had severe hallitosis, it would be easier for our troops to single out the soliders hiding among the citizens. My question is, just how bad are insurgents' oral hygiene to begin with? I'm going to assume the Iraqi insurgency doesn't come with a dental plan.

Who Me? Bomb. This bomb creates a strong fart smell within the enemies' locations. It's supposed to make them ill and wear down their willingness to fight. Air Force Researchers finally axed this option because they learned that in many parts of the world, the smell of ripe ass music is as natural as the wind blows.

To me, the Gay Bomb is the most interesting. Is there such a chemical/pheremone that would make soldiers suddenly want to stop fighting Infidels are start making sweet homosexual love to each other? The answer is probably "no." Although the public really doesn't know how far, if at all, such a chemical has been developed. I personally believe the Gay Bomb SHOULD be developed.

It's a much better alternative to blowing up our enemies. And can you imagine the morale of insurgents knowing their brothers in arms are now literally brothers in arms??? In a part of the world where homosexuality is punishable by death, I believe such a Gay Bomb would make all of our enemies drop their weapons and surrender. Whether they're Iraqi insurgents or Afghan Al Qaeda, they would probably rather give up then be turned into homosexuals on the battlefield. (The French Army have already volunteered for any future Gay Bomb's testing).

Think about it. The war in Iraq has been very bloody, and nothing can bring back the ones that have died. Could all of this death have been avoided with a Gay Bomb? With such a non-lethal weapon, say goodbye to machine guns, rockets, and land mines. Say hello to lives saved, hot gay love in the desert, and well dressed enemy soliders.

There's a "Weapon of Mass Destruction" joke in there somewhere, but I can't quite word it right.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I never do this, but I have to talk about something out of my personal life just for this one post. So please forgive me for stepping out of my wacky science shoes for just a moment...

My five year old son, whom I affectionately call The Dominator, recently learned one of his preschool buddies has just been diagnosed with leukemia. His classmate and friend, Logan, had missed an entire week of school, and a letter home from the school broke the news to his classmates.

The Dominator is your typical first born. He's a leader, follows direction well, is very responsible, and he is always concerned about others. There is so much change going on in his young life right now, and this was just one more thing weighing on my boy's young mind. Is Logan going to be alright? Is he going to die? Can I get sick like that too? What is leukemia?

I really had no idea what to say. I floundered, and I'm sure I probably confused The Dominiator even more. I didn't know anything about leukemia. All I knew is that it was a form of cancer. So I did some digging. Here is what I found:

* Leukemia refers to cancers of the white blood cells. When a child has leukemia, large numbers of abnormal white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. These abnormal white cells crowd the bone marrow and flood the bloodstream, but they cannot perform their proper role of protecting the body against disease because they are defective.

* Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and adolescents. It accounts for about one third of all cancers in children under age 15.

* Although there is a genetic factor, and scientists are learning about environmental factors that might affect the likelihood of a child developing leukemia, most leukemias arise from noninherited mutations in the genes of growing blood cells. Because these errors occur randomly and unpredictably, there is currently no effective way to prevent most types of leukemia.

* Treatment includes chemotherapy, which is a method of using drugs to kill the cancerous cells, and to keep them from dividing. The drugs are normally injected intravenously, through the spinal column, or directly into an organ. Oral drugs are also used in combination.

* The 5 year survival rate for those with acute lymphocytic leukemia (bone marrow leukemia) has increased to 85% thanks to advances in medicine and science.

* The 5 year survival rate for those with acute myelogenous leukema (myleoid cell leukemia) has also increased, up to 52%.

The Dominator's last day of preschool was just this past Thursday, and Logan was allowed to visit his classmates just for a few minutes. Although chemotherapy is such a difficult and draining treatment physically and mentally, chances are very good that Logan's cancer will go into remission.

Now that I've done my research, I feel much more educated on the matter, and I'll be able to speak to him about leukemia more intelligently. I've got some statistics, quotes from the American Cancer Society, and some facts from several pediatric oncologists.

But tomorrow, when we talk about his friend's illness...I will just talk to my son about hope.

National Cancer Institute
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Leukemia Research Foundation

Thursday, June 01, 2006

VeriChip Off The Old Block

Immigration is a hot topic in this country. It seems everybody has an opinion. Now, science has entered the immigration controversy. The latest idea: implanting a VeriChip to track immigrant workers.

On the surface, this does seem like a great idea. The VeriChip is very safe and is FDA approved for human implantation. It would be a simple, effective, and costly method to tracking immigrant workers that come into the United States. And should any Mexican guest worker happen to get "misplaced" or "lost," our government enforcement agencies could easily find them and make sure they are sent back home...safely. Isn't that nice?

I have my dogs VeriChipped. It didn't hurt, and there aren't any side effects. And the chip is very easy to use.

It is unobtrusive, since it's the size of a grain of rice. Once implanted, it actually bonds with the tissue to keep it in place. When a reader is placed over the chip, it activates it and received its encoded information. Easy schmeezie!

There is the matter of infringing upon the immigrants' privacy and civil liberties, but those are just pesky details that can be dealt with quite easily. In fact, this idea has the backing of Columbian President Alvaro Uribe. He is reported to have voiced his approval of the practice with several US Senators.

Recently, proponents of this potential solution have come up with additional uses of the implantation of such a tracking device into the bodies of seasonal workers.

One idea being thrown around is that the chip will release a painful, but not fatal, electrical shock when an immigrant worker is even thinking about impregnating our American women. The chip would be able to detect such lustful thoughts of the implantee and send a "correction" that will quickly remove such detestable desires from their foreign libidos.

The other novel modification would detect when three or more Mexican workers are congregating at any Home Depot parking lot and send an ear piercing signal that would only cease when they vacate the premises.

Scott Silverman, CEO of the VeriChip Corporation, was on Fox News Channel recently - and he said implanting immigrant workers is a FANTASTIC idea. Whom are we to argue with Mr. Silverman and the President of Columbia?

We can make getting a VeriChip the IN thing to do! I hear if you have one implanted in your arm, and you walk through an area with Wi-Fi signals, you get such a kick-ass buzz.

Established 2005...

Welcome to the blog that aims to examine the lighter side of science. From the paranormal to wacky inventions, to strange mysteries and goofy experiments, I cover it all. Thanks for stoping by science is always stranger than fiction


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