Browsing the archives for the I’m just sayin’ category.
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Things You Will Probably Not Say on Your Deathbed

I'm just sayin'

Abe Lincoln on his deathbed

  • Man, I wish I’d spent more time watching TV
  • I now regret not eating more of those doughnuts people kept bringing in at work
  • All that time I wasted with my family and friends! Why didn’t I work constantly and become wealthy but unable to enjoy any of my income?
  • Those solar panels were pointless. Now that I really think about it, I don’t care whether climate change disasters would have been a lot worse over the last few decades if people like me hadn’t done something about it.
  • Good thing I took all those Facebook quizzes!
  • At least I got to argue with everyone who ever annoyed me.
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Top 12 Reasons Bernie Sanders Can’t Possibly Be Elected President or Even Win the Democratic Primary Because for the Love of Pete, Didn’t We Already Agree It Was Going to Be Hillary?

I'm just sayin'

I hope folks will forgive me for making a post related to the presidential race. I’m not usually inclined to post about political matters, but lately I’ve been agog at how desperate the press seems to be to try to prove that Bernie Sanders can’t possibly win anything. I don’t say Bernie will win the presidential election, or even the primary, but for some reason he’s not yet being treated as a credible candidate, and that’s ridiculous. And speaking of ridiculous: here are the top 12 reasons he can’t possibly be elected.

Bernie

 

 

  1. Voters don’t think enough other voters will vote for him, so he won’t win, even if voters prefer him. That makes sense, right?
  1. He’s just a left-wing Donald Trump (you know, because he speaks his mind and has messy hair), and Donald Trump isn’t going to win. Ergo, Bernie won’t win either, QED.
  1. Bernie doesn’t have much Latino support, and with only 15 months left before the election, there’s no time for that to change.
  1. Hillary already has the nomination locked in by winning over all the big corporate and private contributors–you know, the people whom Bernie is specifically trying to get out of government. All Bernie has is hundreds of thousands of average Americans. Since when do they count?
  1. He’s not going to appeal to black Americans, because black Americans would never vote for the only candidate who even has a racial justice platform. So he marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King, so what? Everybody’s done that!
  1. The press all says Hillary is going to win, and they’re the ones who matter. The only people Bernie has behind him are voters, and everyone knows they don’t make a difference in presidential races.
  1. Everybody seems to like and respect him, even people who disagree with him. What kind of reputation is that for a president?
  1. Sure he gets massive turnout at his events, but that doesn’t mean people are actually going to vote for him! I mean, come on: apples and oranges.
  1. The idea of putting a heavier financial burden on people who can actually afford it to help out people who can’t make ends meet is repugnant, mean-spirited, and un-American.
  1. Who said it was OK for him to run, did you think about that? Nobody, that’s who.
  1. He’s too radical to appeal to a broad constituency. All the progressive Democrats who like him are too radical, too. Also the centrist Democrats. And I guess the independents. And the … Republicans …
  1. He’s too honest: people don’t trust that in a politician.
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Does Chocolate Really Contain Caffeine, or Are People Just Confusing It with Theobromine?

I'm just sayin'

chocolate

There’s an assertion circulating on the Web that caffeine content in chocolate is an urban legend based on misunderstanding of a related compound, theobromine. From what information I’ve been able to turn up, it appears this assertion is false: that is, the urban legend is that chocolate doesn’t contain caffeine.

The first significant information I found on this is on the Hershey Company’s site, which has a page entitled “Caffeine and Theobromine“. On this page they discuss the two separately and state that “For example, a 1.55 ounce (43g) HERSHEY’S milk chocolate bar contains about 9 mg of caffeine.” They later say “a 1.55 ounce (43g) HERSHEY’S milk chocolate bar contains about 64mg of theobromine.” It does not seem possible that they could be confusing the two in this situation.

This next page also gives specific numbers for both caffeine and theobromine content of chocolate, though I don’t know how reliable the source is: http://www.food-info.net/uk/qa/qa-fp47.htm

Getting into slightly more authoritative stuff, here’s a Russian article through Medline called “Biologically active substances in grated cocoa and cocoa butter” that discusses both caffeine and theobromine content in chocolate, separately: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=17674523&ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum .

Here’s another article, this one from The Journal of Chromatographic Science, also speaks of both caffeine and theobromine content in chocolate: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=17555636&ordinalpos=3&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Why does all this matter? Depending on who you are, it may not. After all, chocolate doesn’t contain a lot of caffeine. That Hershey’s bar mentioned above only has about 1/10 the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee, though dark chocolate has more. However, if you’re like me and have bad physiological reactions to caffeine (itching, headaches, etc.) under some circumstances, it’s pretty important to understand that chocolate–all chocolate–is going to have that effect.

On a related note, please remember too that decaffeinated coffee and tea aren’t devoid of caffeine, either–they both just have a lot less than their caffeinated counterparts.

All of the above is just based on online research, of course: I’m not a nutritionist, researcher, or medical professional.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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Counterfictionals: The Witch of the West

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Apropos of nothing, here’s a cartoon …

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If It’s Not Fun, Why Do It? A Few Pointed Answers

I'm just sayin'

Don’t get me wrong: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is delicious–nobody’s saying it isn’t. It’s also ridiculously unhealthy and will kill you if you eat enough of it, but I’m sure that when Mssrs. Cohen and Greenfield started their ice cream shop up, killing people was the furthest thing from their minds. I even believe that the company is, or at least has been, a beacon of responsible corporate citizenship–honestly I haven’t looked at it in great detail since the Unilever takeover a decade or so ago, so I’m not sure whether that’s still the plan or if it’s just the brand strategy.

But notwithstanding delicious ice cream and the good will of the founders, I have always hated the slogan Ben & Jerry’s uses sometimes: “If It’s Not Fun, Why Do It?”

Here’s why:

  • Because the kids need to eat
  • Because long-term happiness is more important than short-term pleasure
  • Because you’ll be glad you did, even though it was difficult at the time
  • Because you have a cavity
  • Because tequila isn’t good for dogs
  • Because it will clear the air
  • Because you promised
  • Because if you do it enough, it will really pay off
  • Because it will help you do fun stuff in the future
  • Because they can use your help
  • Because the cat box isn’t going to clean itself
  • Because integrity is more important (and more satisfying) than fun

I could go on like this all day, but they’re telling me it’s time for my meds. Let me just mention, though, that I’m very much in favor of making things you’ve decided to do fun–it’s practically essential. I’m just not in favor of deciding what’s worth doing based on whether or not it seems easy and pleasant. There’s more to life, right?

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When Not to “Be Here Now”

I'm just sayin'

The mainstay New Age advice “Be here now,” is great sometimes. It’s essential for things like meditation, children’s birthday parties, May in Vermont, not letting your relatives freak you out, and dying well.

In other cases, “here and now” is overrated. Here are some suggested situations in which it’s best not to be here now:

* Figuring out where you left your keys
* Writing a novel
* Anything involving dentistry or proctology
* Using credit cards (which are more safely used while imagining your future financial state in vivid detail)
* Playing chess
* Working on your dissertation on a gorgeous Spring day when the birds are singing and [fill in outdoor activity of your choice] is calling
* Crossing the street (it’s best to think ten or fifteen seconds ahead for this)
* When now is depressing and thinking about what you can achieve in the future is inspiring
* Walking through any place where you have happy memories
* Cleaning the cat box

I’m just sayin’.

Photo by cogdogblog

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