Eat Less Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A's new slogan

The crap-fried deep-fried eatery, Chick-fil-A, thinks it owns the phrase “eat more” despite the fact that the word “more” does not appear anywhere in their slogan. They proudly display the purposely misspelled slogan, “Eat Mor Chikin,” a plea from cattle who favor the wholesale slaughter of chickens over their own kind.

Bo Muller-Moore, a folk artist in Vermont, has been handed a cease and desist letter from the Chick-fil-A legal team for his use of the phrase “Eat More Kale.” They feel it infringes on their intellectual property and diminishes their brand. To which I say, “Really?” They think that a healthy, nutrient-rich leafy green vegetable diminishes their reputation as a purveyor of artery-clogging, fried chunks of chicken flesh and oil-soaked, sodium-caked potato discs diminishes their brand?

Even if you ignore the obvious fact that Chick-fil-A doesn’t use the word “more” in their slogan, the corporation that wears it’s Christian values on its deep-fried sleeve doesn’t have a case. To my knowledge, my mother came up with the phrase, “eat more.” She used it over and over again to get me to eat healthy foods. “Eat more spinach.” “Eat more carrots.” “Eat more salad.” Never once did she use it to encourage me to eat something as devoid of nutrients as a Chik-fil-A sandwich.

I submit to Chick-fil-A that if anything, they are diminishing the phrase “eat more.” And while we’re at it, they’re not doing Jesus any favors either by doing something as un-Christian as suing some small businessman for using a common phrase in the pursuit of making a buck in order to survive this horrible economy and feed his family.

My advice to Chick-fil-A is to back off. You’re going to rack up legal fees that will likely bury the poor guy and all you’ll get out of it if you win is ownership of a common phrase that no one really associates with your brand and your corporate soul will grow darker in the process. On the other hand, if the “closed on Sundays, praise baby Jesus” reputation you’ve cultivated over the years is just a lot of deep-fried nonsense, then by all means, proceed with love-of-money abandon.

You can read more about Muller-Moore’s battle with Chick-fil-A here: Vt. artist: I’ll fight Chick-fil-A for my kale

BTW – Everyone knows that cows spell “more” with two 0’s and an apostrophe – “moo’r.”

Teen doesn’t need to apologize for telling Kansas governor he sucks

Brownback rattled by teen tweeter

Be sure to read update at the end of the post.

This is a special message to Emma Sullivan of Kansas City. Stick to your guns! You have no reason to apologize to Governor Sam Brownback for tweeting that he sucks during your Youth in Government program. In fact, his staff should apologize to you for colluding with your principal in an effort to get you to apologize for exercising your first amendment rights. And, if your principal, Karl R. Krawitz, persists in his demands that you write the letter of apology that he has outlined for you, you should demand that he take an adult education course on the United States Constitution because if he’s fuzzy on the very first amendment, he probably doesn’t have a great grasp on the ones that follow.

Now, having said all that, if you violated school rules by tweeting during a school sanctioned event, then you are subject to punishment for the act of tweeting, but not for what you tweeted. You should be honorable and take the punishment for that without argument. But absolutely do not apologize to the governor for what you said. It’s true what you wrote was disrespectful, but you have a constitutional right to be disrespectful. Elected officials aren’t to be worshipped or coddled. They are to be pushed and criticized and jerked around by their constituents to keep them from becoming complacent and corrupt. If they’re in politics for the praise, they’re in it for themselves, and we don’t need those types of people holding any kind of elected office.

To Governor Brownback – Grow a pair. You’re a politician who is supposed to serve the people of your state. You should be battled trained and ready for any kind of criticism that comes your way from opposing politicians. If you balk at a single derisive tweet from a teenager, then I have serious doubts you have the sack to do the hard work for the citizens of Kansas. You might want to find a new line of work.

For those of you who missed the story, here’s a link to an article on Yahoo News: Teen tweeter won’t apologize to Kan. governor

UPDATE: I’ve just been told the governor actually apologized to Emma.  Good on you, Governor Brownback.  At least you respect the constitution.

Why there is no such thing as a football expert

I listened to ESPN radio last week and the commentators were lamenting the upcoming college football weekend. They were convinced it… and I’m paraphrasing here… was totally going to blow. One of them was even a little irritated by all this talk about an LSU/Alabama rematch in the BCS championship game. According to him, Oregon was clearly better than Alabama.

To all their kvetching I say, HA! It was probably the most exciting weekend in college football this season. Number two Oklahoma State fell to 27 point underdog Iowa State. Number four Oregon fell to a slightly above average Southern Cal despite USC’s attempt to hand the Duck’s the game on a silver platter. Number five Oklahoma fell to a Baylor team that lives and dies by the play of its quarterback. Lucky for the Bears he was his super version against the Sooners. And finally, number seven Clemson was dominated by lowly North Carolina State.

Where does that leave us? That leaves us with the SEC West taking the top three spots in the polls this week. LSU will remain number one. Bama will slide up to number two, and thanks to the meltdown by the rest of the top five, Arkansas will jump up to number three, setting up a showdown between number one LSU against number three Arkansas next week.

I cannot recall in my lifetime when three teams from the same division of a conference has ever been in the top three this late in the season, and if Arkansas beats LSU, the BCS will go into a tailspin. Which is why I am calling for everyone to toss a coin into a fountain and spend your wish on a Razorback’s victory? Then toss in another coin and ask for world peace just so you won’t look like a total jerk.

The little girl in the video below sums up how I feel after hearing those so-called college football experts bitch and moan about the quality of football this weekend.

Adrian Erickson & the Larry Surface Video

UPDATE 12/03/2011: Dr. Ketchum just made a statement about Erickson on FB.  You can read it here: Ketchum on Erickson

This week saw two separate developments that caught the attention of cryptophiles everywhere. First, The Erickson Project website went offline very quietly. No official word has been released by Adrian Erickson nor has any member of his team spoken off the record about the sudden vanishing. We are left with nothing but rumors. When you think about it, it’s a fitting end to the mysterious project because nothing but a constant stream of rumors swirled around Erickson and his team since word of the project first hit the crypto-world.

A story appeared in the Osoyoos Times that hints as to a major reason Erickson pulled the rug out from under the project. We of crypto inclinations have been so involved in the steady drip of stories surrounding Erickson’s documentary and project, we forgot that the man actually owns an honest to goodness development company. By all accounts, it was a very successful business. Unfortunately, ‘was’ is the key word here. Erickson, like most land developers, has taken a hit during these unfavorable economic times. Here is a quote from the Osoyoos Times’ story REGAL RIDGE UNDER SIEGE:

The letter acknowledged that Regal Ridge (Adrian Erickson’s development company) was undergoing restructuring and downsizing. Certain costs for infrastructure development, said Erickson, would have to be shifted. Causes for the shortage of funds was attributed to the decline in the economic climate, competition from crushed housing prices in the U.S. Sunbelt and “uncontrollable power infrastructure costs.”

The letter stated that three quarters of lots had services in place and the company was working to find a solution for the others, with support from its creditors.

This is not a fun thing for anyone to have to deal with. Jobs and livelihoods are at stake here, so I can’t really blame him from walking away from something that amounts to a hobby. The footage he has isn’t definitive enough to stand on its own. He made the decision to tie his documentary to Dr. Ketchum’s DNA study to give the film more validity. You have to admire him for sticking to his guns and not damaging the integrity of the work his team has done in favor of getting a quick buck. My feeling is that he pulled the website down simply because he’s trying to keep his development company solvent and there’s no reason to compound an already difficult task by being known as the Bigfoot guy. Closing down the Erickson Project was a business decision and nothing more.

On to Larry Surface. Larry is a retired gentleman who lives in Southern Ohio. I knew nothing about him until this week. He had a blog chronicling his research in his area surrounding what he calls the “Wild People.” You might know these wild people as Bigfoot. Larry announced this week that he captured one of the wild people on a camera he set up in a location he would like to keep undisclosed. The video made a brief appearance on his blog, and it clearly showed a humanoid subject from mid-back up walking on and off camera, and then on and off camera again. What he actually caught on camera is up for debate. Like most videos in this field, it’s blurry and grainy. Larry is convinced it is an undocumented bipedal hominid. This is normally where I would provide a link to the video, but Larry took the video down because he says he was asked to by none other than Dr. Melba Ketchum. It seems she has been looking for supporting evidence in the form of video or still images to accompany her study. Evidently Larry has provided samples to Dr. K’s study, and he says she has an interest in including the video in her study. Larry not only pulled the video. He shut down his blog because he was tired of the negative comments.

I will close this story with this. I was able to capture a frame from that video that I post here now without comment. It’s the same frame repeated a number of times from its original incarnation through various other incarnations with filters and tweaks applied to bring out details. You be the judge. If you do want to comment, be as supportive or as critical as you want, but please be constructive, as well.

UPDATE 11/21/2011: Larry respectfully requested that I remove the image from my blog. 

Let’s talk about turmeric and pain

Turmeric - the natural pain reliever

I happened upon an old Time magazine article online a number of weeks ago about the pain relief properties of turmeric. Now, as far as I knew at the time turmeric is a spice that shows up in Indian food quite frequently. But this article written by a physician claimed that a daily intake of a turmeric supplement helped a patient with a badly deteriorated hip get around without pain. He actually had constant bone on bone contact in the hip joint. The patient elected to have hip replacement simply because he felt stiff, but not because he was in pain. The doctor did the surgery and allowed the patient to take turmeric post surgery not because he believed it would help the patient recover, but because he didn’t think it would hurt the patient. To the doctor’s astonishment, regardless of the patient’s advanced age, he recovered at a remarkable speed. In the doctor’s own words:

Jerry (the patient) was a post-op marvel. There are some patients in their 70s who surprise us with how quickly they recover from an operation. And yes, we did it the minimally invasive way. But Jerry outperformed them all. A week post-op, he walked in without a cane, without a limp, got up from a chair faster than I can and showed me a healed surgical wound that looked a month old. The “stiffness” was gone; he now had normal range of motion.

Now, the doctor goes on to say that he believes that part of the patient’s speedy recovery can be attributed to a placebo effect, but he was impressed enough to start experimenting with turmeric on his own aches and pains. Reportedly, he feels it works.

I started to take a turmeric supplement after reading the article. I have aches and pains from running three days a week. For some reason, my body doesn’t react well to the activity. My shins in particular hate it when I run. The turmeric seemed to alleviate the normal pain I got from running. But the real test for turmeric came about a week after I started taking it. I twisted my ankle on one of my runs. It was a severe twist. In fact, I witnessed the twisting with my own eyes and was horrified at the angle of my foot during the accident. I saw an object in my path and attempted to jump it. Tired from the run, I misjudged my jump and landed on the object. My foot turned inward at about a 90 degree angle. I hopped up and it immediately popped back in place. It’s an injury I have suffered four or five times in my life. Turns out I have what’s known as weak ankles. My previous experience with the injury told me I had a window of opportunity while my adrenaline was pumping to make it home. But I stopped just before heading home and thought, “Let’s test the turmeric theory out and finish the run.” So, I did. I completed the run and then walked home. The pain was just underneath the surface. I was aware of it but I was able to work through it. Something I would not have been able to do before. I got home and decided while I was still relatively pain free I should run some errands. I got in the car and drove around for a couple of hours and came home. Again, I was aware of the pain, but my ankle never seized up me like it had in the past.

When I got home from running errands, I made the mistake of sitting down and putting my feet up. Thirty minutes later, I was in agony. I twisted in the chair, searching desperately for a comfortable position. I never found it. By the time my wife got home, I couldn’t get out of the chair. She helped me to bed and gave me a fistful of turmeric and an Aleve. I lay in bed trying to figure out how I was going to get around for the rest of the week. My now swollen ankle wouldn’t allow any weight for at least a week. I would surely have to go to the doctor to get it x-rayed and bandaged. I was annoyed and grumpy that my turmeric experiment had failed. I fell asleep knowing I was going to be hobbled for weeks with a sprained ankle at best and a broken one at worst.

The next morning I awoke, flexed my foot and then furrowed my brow in confusion. No pain. I pulled back the covers and the swelling was gone. I gingerly placed my foot on the floor and slowly pushed myself off the bed. No pain. I took a step. No pain. I walked to the bathroom. No pain, no limp, no evidence I had twisted my ankle at all. I worked out with only moments of minimal pain when I turned my foot a certain way. The next day I ran. No pain at all.

I have since switched from turmeric to curcumin, the component in turmeric that helps the body by “blocking production of the protein that turns on the gene that tells tiny blood vessels to grow” (quote from Time magazine article) in areas with inflammation and eliminates pain. If it is just a placebo effect, I don’t really care because placebo or not, it works for me.

Here are 20 health benefits of turmeric:

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Look, I’m no doctor, so don’t read this post and think I’m recommending turmeric for you. It is said that people with gallstones and bile obstruction should stay away from turmeric. Talk to your doc and see what he says. My guess is that he won’t see any harm in taking it in most cases, but there are always exceptions.