Monday, April 25, 2011

love the questions.

Twelve brownie points for guessing where this is! (but of course.)

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer." -Rainer Maria Rilke 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Man from monkey.

I'm reading "The Dinosaur Hunters" by Deborah Cadbury, and the last part focuses on Darwin's publication of Origin of Species and the reaction from the scientific community. The suggestion that "natural selection" was the driving force behind speciation and diversity was bold enough, and that Man may not be excluded from this principle, descended from apes rather than created by God, shocked many.

One of the very public debates occurred at the annual meeting for British Association for the Advancement of Science. Bishop Samuel Wilberforce asked Huxley, in a somewhat rude and daring question, who of Huxley's ancestors was descended from a monkey? Huxley replied "he would not be ashamed to have a monkey for his ancestor; but he would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used great gifts to obscure the truth."

The ongoing debate of Bible vs. scientific evidence continues today, and it's an immediately polarizing issue for many. I wonder if centuries from now, history books will write this age of confusion curiously with a "why didn't they realize... ?"-sort of tone.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

HCG: trick your body.

Watching a baseball game at Reckling Park, LBears mentioned that she's heard of this bizarre diet treatment, where the dieter is injected with HCG hormones (pregnancy hormones!) while consuming extremely low calories. It sounded insane enough I had to look into it.

HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, a glycoprotein which is produced in pregnancy, and is used in pregnancy tests which detect the presence of this hormone present in urine and blood. HCG, among other roles, acts to ensure that the fetus receives enough nutrients, even if the mother is not, by mobilizing stored fat which can be used by the fetus.

Dr. A.T.W. Simeons Photo credit

In the 50's Dr. A.T.W. Simeons had been using HCG to treat boys with stalled genital development, and noticed that pregnant women in India who were on a low-calorie diet did not experience hunger. He then proposed a combination of low-calorie diet with HCG injections his book "Pounds and Inches".

In this diet which has gained a wave of enthusiastic albeit controversial support, the dieter consumes 500 calories with daily self injections of HCG over 26 days, a treatment which costs about $500 currently, and is not covered by insurance. The role of HCG is two-fold: HCG mobilizes fat from storage instead of breaking down protein, and suppresses appetite even in such mock-starvation mode. The diet curiously works on both men and women, and a weight loss of about 25 astounding pounds is expected after a month of this diet.

Despite FDA only allowing the use of HCG as a fertility drug, not for weight-loss, HCG is easily obtainable with a willing doctor's prescription or even via the Internet. This diet has its loyal band of fans with amazing testimonials, who swear by this diet. Marie Claire published an article where Alison Edmond talks about her weight loss success from this diet, in a somewhat matter-of-fact tone. She notes that many people are reluctant to talk about their experience with this diet because it seems so extreme, which I agree with.

First of all, does this mean that a pregnant woman should take her ten months as her opportunity to lose weight? And how does this work on men? I guess the button to press are still present and functional in their pathways? Controlling your weight seems simple enough to me (exercise and diet) to not undergo such extreme and costly measures. Here's a forum of HCG dieters that is interesting to click through.