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33 sleepless years for Vietnam man. November 1, 2006

Posted by Heather in insomnia, Insomniac, Interesting Reads, Odd News, Vietnam.
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According to Thai Ngoc, he hasn’t slept in over thirty three years. Following a fever
back in 1973, the man simply stopped sleeping.

Can you imagine?

Doctors say that he is in good health, and at the age of 64 he still works at his farm each day (and night) as well as becoming a sort of ‘village alarm clock’. He regularly wakes other townsfolk when they have work to do in the wee hours, and he also is the most likely volunteer for night-duty watch over the homes of those neighbours who have to be away for any period of time.

Having tried various drugs, as well as alcohol, to get to sleep he’s pretty much accepted the fact that sleep is just something he doesn’t do any more.

I don’t know whether the insomnia has impacted my health or not. But I’m still healthy and can farm normally like others.” Ngoc said. — thanhniennews.com

That’s pretty wild, just think of all the things you could get done if you never had to sleep! Is the story true? I don’t know for sure, but it seems like it…

Scariest Movies Ever October 31, 2006

Posted by Admin in Don't Look Now, Eraserhead, Exorcist, Halloween, Night of the Living Dead, Nightmare of Elm Street, Psycho, Repulsion, Scary Movie, Suspiria, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
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I am a huge fan of scary movies and when I saw the post Sympatico’s MSN Entertainment site, I had to pass it along. They seem to have a good handle on what I like about scary movies: A good scare without all the excessive gore that a lot of today’s movies seem to have. They did leave Poltergeist out… which I found a bit disappointing though.

The mark of a great horror film is whether it sustains its vision of terror through several generations of increasingly desensitized viewers. Does the movie still make you jump or squirm or sweat or scream? The following efforts do all of the above.

Top 10 Scariest Movies – We count down the films that still scare us silly
[credit: Dave McCoy, MSN Movies]

10. “Eraserhead” (1977)
9. “The Exorcist” (1973)
8. “Halloween” (1978)
7. “Don’t Look Now” (1973)
6. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)
5. “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)
4. “Suspiria” (1977)
3. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)
2. “Repulsion” (1965)
1. “Psycho” (1960)

For the full description on why these movies are great, visit the full MSN post here.

A Guaranteed Way to Quit Smoking October 29, 2006

Posted by Admin in Addiction, Canada, health, lung cancer, nicotine, nicotine patches, smoking, Smoking Cessation, Tobacco.
15 comments

Before I tell you the controversial solution to getting people to kick the smoking habit, let me first tell you a story that’s close to my heart.

In 1989, my Mother, a nicotine addict for more than 20 years finally quit smoking, cold turkey. Then one day in 1995, a combination of peer pressure, a still nagging addiction and stress pulled her back to her DuMaurier Special Milds during a coffee break with her UPS coworkers – bringing a successful six year smoking cessation period to an abrupt end.

A Guaranteed Solution: How to Quit Smoking

Heather and I were having a discussion this morning over brunch about those nasty pictures on the outside of cigarette packs. You know the ones: The rotted gums and nasty yellow teeth, the baby in an incubator, the pregnant woman, among others.

Do these pictures work, or is their sole purpose to just gross out the non smokers that have to look at those disgusting images after their colleague leaves their smokes sitting on their desk.

Digressing for a moment: We also compared the dangers of food to cigarettes. I told Heather I was sure it would only be a matter of time before a box of Twinkies, or King Dongs, or Miss Vickies chips had a pictures on them with an overweight, sweaty, rotted teeth thirty year old sitting on a couch, in an attempt to warn people about the negative health effects of ingesting certain types of food. Because that’s how smart our government is. Don’t think this will happen? How many of us, twenty years ago would have predicted the nasty pictures we have to look at on the outside of cigarette packs today?

Truth is certainly stranger than fiction.

FACTS ABOUT SMOKING & NICOTINE:

FACT:

Worldwide, tobacco causes one in five cancer deaths, or 1.4 million deaths each year. An estimated 1.25 billion men and women around the globe smoke cigarettes.

FACT:

In Canada, 30 per cent of fatal cancers can be linked to tobacco. Health Canada projects 70,400 cancer deaths for 2006. (Pat Wellenbach/Associated Press)

FACT:

The leading causes of death in 2000 were tobacco (435,000 deaths; 18.1% of total US deaths)

FACT:

The number of U.S. smokers – about 45 million – in 2005 was the same as in 2004, prompting suggestions that the eight-year tobacco battle has hit a lull.

THE THREAT. Obviously, the threat is real. We have verifiable proof that thousands of people die from smoking and second hand smoke every day. People that don’t die can be subjected to some pretty scary diseases and general physical grossness (to use a technical term).

THE ADDICTION. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substance on this planet. Thousands of people try to quit every day, but the incentives just aren’t high enough when compared to the addictive hold of nicotine.

THE STATISTICS. Based on the facts above, Health Canada projects 21,120 smoking related deaths by the end of 2006. That’s 57 people per day. In the United States, that figure is 1,191. Globally, 3,835 people drop dead from smoking every day of the year.

If 3,835 people die each day, why do people continue to smoke?

The trouble is that smoking is like playing a game of Russian Roulette, with one exception: You play the game today and you don’t find out if you actually won for 20-30 years. The odds are not in your favour my friend, because there are only 6 chambers in the pistol, and at a pack a day, you’ve already pulled the trigger 219,000 times in 30 years.

THE SENSE OF URGENCY. In a world where people live with a buy now, pay later mentality (thank you Visa, Mastercard, AMEX), we are conditioned to act now and worry about the consequences of those actions later. We don’t invest in RRSPs for retirement for the same reason we don’t worry about smoking: The debt and the diseases won’t hit us until years later and by then it’s too late.

What we need is something that will make us act now, without hesitation. We need an immediate threat. Parents offer children immediate consequences for their misbehaviours, why shouldn’t we have a consequence for smokers?

What steps will we take to save the 1.4 million people who die each year? They can’t save themselves and the government has made it pretty clear that it is helpless in stopping the nicotine machine from growing; they need the tax money at the expense of it’s citizens health.

Smoking KillsTHE CRAZY SOLUTION (otherwise known as: DO YOU HAVE A BETTER IDEA?). What if the tobacco companies were required by law to manufacture random cigarettes with a lethal dose of hydrogen cyanide? Inhalation of high concentrations of hydrogen cyanide causes a coma with seizures, apnea and cardiac arrest, with death following in a matter of minutes. Cigarettes already have this compound in them by the way… just not enough to kill you right away.

I’m not suggesting EVERY cigarette should have this lethal dose: only 3,835 cigarettes per day, the total number of people that die each and every day from smoking related illnesses.

A drastic measure to be sure, but as a society, would the immediacy of the mortality bring immediacy to the cause? Would people about to light up refrain, knowing that it might be their last cigarette?

If 3,835 bodies littered the streets you live on each day from these lethal cigarettes, what would you do? How would you cope? I know you’re thinking… who would pick up all those bodies? Probably the same people who pick them up today, I suppose.

Before you go, consider this:

By the end of the century, Tobacco is on course to kill a billion people this century — ten times the toll it exacted in the 20th century — if current trends continue.

What actions will we be willing to consider by then?


For more information, see the Progress Report on Cancer Control in Canada, an 80 page report published in 2002 by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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‘Hercules Hook’ fraudulent website security claims – Part II October 16, 2006

Posted by Admin in infomercial, online security.
6 comments

Original post: Fraudulent security claims on ‘Hercules Hook’ website could affect consumer confidence.

Update: It’s been more than 24 hours since the herculeshook.com domain owner has been advised of the failure to properly secure the Hercules Hook e-commerce website. I decided to review the herculeshook.com privacy policy this evening and here’s what it has to say regarding their information protection practices:

How We Protect Your Information [privacy policy excerpt found on herculeshook.com]
To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy and ensure the correct use of personal information, the Company uses appropriate industry standard procedures to safeguard the confidentiality of personal information including the use of firewall, encryption, token authentication, application proxies, monitoring technology and adaptive analysis of network traffic to track abuse of our network and its data. All transmissions of information are through secure computer servers, which also run authentication and Secure Sockets Layer (“SSL”) 128-bit software data encryption software to encrypt all personal information including your name, address and credit card number so that it cannot be read as the information travels over the Internet. [Full herculeshook.com privacy policy]

I’m not sure what steps to take next, but since the website domain owner has proven to be non-responsive and the site is hosted in the US, filed an official complaint with the Federal Trade Comission. The FTC has a ‘Bureau of Consumer Protection’ with a division called ‘Division of Privacy and Identity Protection’ that deals with these types of concerns.
Specifically, this division enforces:

  • Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices, including deceptive statements and unfair practices involving the use or protection of consumers’ personal information;
  • The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which requires financial institutions to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer information, provide notice to consumers about their information practices, and give consumers an opportunity to direct that their personal information not be shared with certain non-affiliated third parties

The Slapnuts Revival October 15, 2006

Posted by Admin in inappropr, party.
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A year has officially past since my brother sent the now infamous ‘slapnuts’ email out to 90 of my closest friends and colleagues.

The story was originally published to another blog of mine, and regardless of how much time goes by, people always ask me about it. It was memorable enough in fact, that people would ask me when the ’2nd Annual Slapnuts End of Season Patio Party at Jack Astors’ was being held.

Since the event is destined for the history books (at least MY family history book), I decided to pay homage to my brother Ryan by publishing the Slapnuts story to it’s own page. If you’re looking for a good laugh, and a lesson on why email BCC is important, check out the *official* Slapnuts page. And yes ladies, my brother is single.

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