The Common Cold at Work

HEALTH - If this is by accident my last post ever its because I have all the symptoms of swine flu (H1N1 is actually an hybrid of North American swine influenza, Asian swine influenza, avian influenza and human influenza) and might die from it. If not then its just the common cold (or it was the swine flu but I hopefully manage to survive it).

I actually think it would be kewl if it was swine flu just so I could brag about being a swine flu survivor and be one of the lucky 89% or so who only has mild symptoms (as opposed to the 11% who get seriously ill and the 0.5% who die).

So technically my chance of dying is very little. Only marginally worse than the normal flu if truth be told (yes, the normal influenza kills seniors/children and people with poor immune systems regularly).

NEVERTHELESS, I am going to explain how I combat the Common Cold:

#1. Lots of salt and acid in my diet. Germs don't like acidic things like apple juice, orange juice, any kind of citrus fruit, salty foods, salt & vinegar potato chips, fish & chips with lots of extra salt, drinks with lots of sodium in it (ie. Gatorade or Powerade). This list includes Neo-Citron.

#2. Eat a lot. Your body is a very efficient machine and if you have loss of appetite you need to combat that by eating lots. Unless you have a stomach flu and keep throwing up you need to force yourself to eat and snack often. You should definitely have a large snack about an hour or two before bed.

#3. Cleanliness. I think a lot of sick people tend to crawl into bed and just watch TV a lot. My advice is to get out of bed, take a shower, a bath, brush your teeth several times per day, wash your hair, wash your hands constantly. I find the mere act of brushing my teeth and showering makes me feel a lot better and healthier. I recommend a toothpaste with an antibacterial agent in it. The same goes for hands soaps/etc.

#4. Sleep, but don't overdo it. Only sleep if you really feel exhausted. If you're just sick and feeling lazy you don't need to turn into a big baby. I admit we men tend to do this when sick (its an excuse to be lazy and by gosh I am going to use it to full advantage!), but its not actually the best thing for you. Granted, you shouldn't be out going to the gym or mountain climbing, but you should be able to do light activity like cooking some soup and taking care of yourself.


#1. Don't drink alcohol. It may work a bit as a painkiller, but alcohol weakens your immune system. It does way more harm to your immune system for a 24 hour period after drinking and the painkilling effect only lasts a couple hours.

#2. Don't smoke or ingest anything toxic. This is a no brainer. If you can't follow this advice, well, you remember what Darwin said about Natural Selection?

#3. Don't go out. If you do have swine flu its recommended you isolate yourself for a period of 5 days. 2-3 days if its just the regular flu.

#4. Don't ignore your symptoms if they get worse and start have difficulty breathing. See a physician ASAP.

Swine Flu kills people due to respiratory failure or complications with other health problems. If you encounter problems breathing you should consult a doctor soon.

Feel free to check back later to see how long my cold lasted and whether I survived. Presumably I will because I am very aggressive when it comes to fighting a cold.

Car Options at Work

AUTOMOTIVES - When it comes to buying options for a new car the industry is really paying homage to one thing: People, men in particular, are suckers.

Let me explain:

1. Remote Car Starters: Its a gadget that you don't need, and worse the idling actually damages the cylinders in your engine.

2. Fog Lights: If you've ever used them you know they don't even work in fog. Its a misnomer because they're completely useless. Dumb saps however will think they need them.

3. Sunroofs: Oh sure, they look kewl, but the drag on your aerodynamics ruins both your fuel economy and handling. According to experts you're better off running the air conditioner. Worse, they also leak, rattle and the weight fucks up your car's centre of gravity.

4. Leather Upholstery: Sticky in the summer, cold in the winter, slippery all the time, expensive to repair and you will never be able to date that hot vegetarian you met at work.

5. Rear View Mirror Fashions: Dangly decorations in your rear window? Why don't you just crash your car now and save yourself the time when you accidentally get in a fender bender because you had a blind spot in your rear window?

6. Button Ignition: Another gadget for people who like race cars. Complete waste of money and basically for hosers who will basically buy anything that allows them to show off.

7. Paint Protection: Your paint is already high tech, the best the car industry can do. Do you really think some teenager in the service department with a spray can will do better?

8. Undercoating: See point #7. Your car has already had an electrostatic bath, painted several times and baked to prevent rust. Do you think the same kid with a spray can will do better than all that?

9. Rear Spoiler: Unless you're driving 140+ kmph all the time, the rear spoiler doesn't produce enough down force to actually give you any extra grip on the road.

10. Steering Wheel Covers: These things have a nasty habit of ripping, slipping and becoming a nuisance. You're better off just buying driving gloves.

Lets pretend you go out and get a new car from General Motors. For the sake of demonstrating we're going to use the 2010 Corvette as an example, for which the base model costs $67,050 CDN... but if you got all the options, its $142,980 CDN.

And those options include... a shade for your luggage, more memory for your onboard computer, heated seats, telescoping steering column, custom leather interior, 7 speakers for your tunes, remote control/starter so you can start the car and set the temperature/etc from the comfort of your bedroom or office and of course Bluetooth so you can plug it into laptop or iPhone. Otherwise this upgraded version comes with a slightly better motor. You can also get a convertible version.

For approx. the same price as the Corvette with all the options you could get an Aston Martin DB9, a vastly superior car, but without all the extra crap you don't need.

And there's quite a few other cars you could get... that's just an example of what you could get just by NOT buying all the dumb extras.

And I am not saying its just men who fall for the dumb extras. Women do it too sometimes. I'd estimate its the result of ignorance on the part of both men and women... they buy the extras without thinking and it never occurs to them they could get a vastly superior vehicle for the same money they are wasting on "luggage shade" and a remote.

Fast Cars and Testosterone at Work

AUTOMOTIVES - Scientists have discovered that the thrill men feel when they drive a sports car is testosterone. In fact they were able to measure it, comparing the testosterone in men driving a Porsche 911 vs driving a four-door family sedan and determined men feel significantly higher levels of testosterone when driving the Porsche 911.

Like duh. Not really much of a surprise there.

They also tested whether testosterone levels would be different when women were around and determined the presence of a female audience made no difference on testosterone levels. (That was a bit of a surprise.)

Thus they determined that the feeling of power and speed is what causes the testosterone increase, not the availability of women.

This explains why men having a "midlife crisis" are more likely to buy sports cars (ie. Jaguar, Aston Martin, Porshe, etc.) or supercars (Lamboghini, Maserati, Koenigsegg, etc.) because they have lost interest in women and now feel the need to explore something that interests them (and its very difficult to find a man who is NOT remotely interested in engineering speed, power and torque).

High testosterone has been linked to a healthier and more energetic lifestyle. Lower testosterone tends to result in obesity, heart disease, diabetes and depression. Men (over 50) with low testosterone are 33% more likely to die prematurely of health problems.

After testing their saliva they discovered men saw a significant increase in the Porsche. In the old Camry their testosterone levels actually decreased.

Scientists have also determined wearing red boosts testosterone, and thus sports teams wearing red uniforms have a slight advantage because of boosted hormones.

No word yet on whether driving a red car boosts more than a grey car.

Or whether women see any hormonal changes when they drive a fast car.

Or whether driving the Batmobile boosts testosterone levels...

The cars used were a $123,000 CDN Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and a 1993 Toyota Camry family sedan.

In related news 44% of British drivers apparently talk to their cars whilst driving, including 32% who constantly chatter to their car. Only 25% said they never talked to their cars. Another 25% has a pet name for their car.

The survey also determined women are twice as likely to talk to their car when compared to men.

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