28 July 2010

Easy Steps You Can Take For Computer Eye Strain

*** Vision problems are on a dramatic rise as computers become a regular part of our everyday lives for several hours a day.





Increasing condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome

From Denny: You are in front of a computer all day and your eyes hurt. So what else is new? Yeah, but do you take measures to take care of your eyes? If you use a computer more than two hours a day it's possible you might be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

Of course, with computers becoming more important than just at the work place, this CVS is both a new and growing condition. Did you know that this condition impacts as much as 70 percent of people who work at least two hours daily on a computer? So, you can imagine this story caught my weary computer eyes' attention. :)

What can we do to help our eyes while cruising the web or at the work place?

Got digital addiction? We have iPhones, iPods, Blackberries, laptop computers and more hand-held devices that attract and often demand our attention. Some people are more prone to this condition than others. CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton explains how you can ease your eye strain.

"It's a new and growing condition that's a byproduct of modern technology," she said. "The most common symptoms are: eye strain, dry or irritated eyes, fatigue, and headaches."

More From Ashton: "According to eye care specialists (at the University of Pennsylvania) almost 71 percent of those who have reported experiencing the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. These people also report more eye, neck and back pain than people who do not use optical aids. Also, though heredity seems to play a significant role in the development of myopia in childhood, some research suggests that eye strain, and specifically computer eye strain, may also be involved."

So what can we do when our work demands prolonged computer use?

Here are some easy tips from Ashton on how to ease our eye strain. Over the years of using computers I figured out these steps but this is a great review if you find yourself having eye strain and maybe got away from some good work habits:

Blink Often: When looking at a computer or hand-held digital device, it's common for you to blink two to three times less than you normally would. This can lead to "dry eye." Blinking bathes your eyes in tears, and tears are naturally therapeutic for the eyes.

The 20/20/20 Rule: When spending long periods in front of a digital device, every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away to allow your eyes to rest.

Ensure Proper Lighting: Poor lighting often causes eye strain. To help ease the strain on your eyes, keep bright lighting overhead to a minimum and position your desk lamp to shine on your desk, and not at you. Position your computer screen in a way that reduces reflections and glare from windows or overhead lights.

Location of computer screen: Most people find it more comfortable to view a computer when the eyes are looking downward. Optimally, the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes.

Here are two recommended sites about eye care:

Vision Care for Life

American Optometric Association






*** Eye Photo by MJ Cobweb @ flickr

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The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

27 July 2010

Can Child Abuse Cause Heart Attacks Later in Life?

*** Stunning new study to tell us why not to spank our kids now as it causes heart disease later in life.




photo by istockphoto


Childhood physical abuse leads to heart disease

From Denny: A controversial new study from Canada is out about how former childhood physical abuse leads to significantly higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks later in life. Spanking is something of which I've never been a fan. Now many are wondering if this constitutes child abuse and will it lead to heart attacks?

From Dr. Esme Fuller-Thomson, professor of family and community medicines at University of Toronto, who is also the study's lead author: "Individuals who reported they had been physically abused as children had 45 percent higher odds of heart disease than their peers who had not been abused, despite the fact we had adjusted for most of the known risk factors for heart disease.

How large was the Canadian study?

Geographically it covered two Canadian provinces and involved 13,000 people. Within the study it was found there were seven percent were reported as physical child abuse. Of those seven percent there were four percent who reported they were also diagnosed with heart disease. The report was published in the journal "Child Abuse & Neglect."

Did the study explain the correlation of physical childhood abuse with increased risk of heart disease?

Dr. Fuller-Thomson believes "childhood stress causes lifelong abnormalities in the body's reaction to potentially stressful situations. Children who always have to be vigilant that a parent is not going to come home and beat them - kids who can never relax and are always scanning the environment - may grow into adults who react to almost any stressors. I am against spanking in general. Using words and time-outs tends to be more effective over the long term in instilling self-discipline. You want to minimize physical punishment."

There have been similar studies proving that childhood stress also affects the brain, severely impairing the ability to learn. When stress chemicals bathe the brain it's difficult to focus upon much of anything outside of fright or flight. This study linking childhood stress from abuse to heart disease later in life is no surprise since stress chemicals constantly pumped into our bodies takes its toll eventually.

Please, if you care about your child's future health, don't spank them - no matter how badly behaved they are. Take your time-out and think of a wiser more long term effective strategy as a discipline that does not involve violence. Look at it this way, they won't grow up to resent you. After all, when you get old, it's that same child who chooses your nursing home. :) If you want them to choose wisely later for you, then think twice about choosing wisely for them now while they are young.


Read full report here - The association between childhood physical abuse and heart disease in adulthood: Findings from a representative community sample


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

26 July 2010

Celebrities Who Fought Postpartum Depression

*** Two Hollywood celebrities are sharing how they suffered with postpartum depression after the births of their children, hoping others will seek help.





Actress Gwyneth Paltrow at Toronto International Film Festival, photo by AP


Actress Gwyneth Paltrow suffered from postpartum depression

From Denny: Postpartum depression cuts across all economic, race and cultural lines to affect new mothers just after giving birth. It may be their first, second or even third child. Each pregnancy can be different from previous ones.

The tough thing about this disorder is that it makes a woman feel such low self-esteem that she doubts her ability to be a good mother, even months after the birth. Too many women feel they are alone in feeling this way.

Celebrity actress Gwyneth Paltrow and "New Moon" star Bryce Dallas Howard have decided to go public with their personal trials and painful experiences to help other women suffering from this particular and other mood disorders. They are hoping other women will quit hiding their suffering and seek help. It's OK to admit they are not as excited to be new mothers as they thought they would be. If you are experiencing this, see your doctor and talk it over to see if this could be an issue.

Women are society's primary caregivers around the clock

As it is women are the primary caregivers in society, caring for the new born as well as the aging parents or grandparents in their last years. Women carry a lot of the long term stress of physical and emotional burdens of society, especially in America. Women tend to attribute these negative feelings to something else, not realizing they may be suffering from postpartum depression or perhaps a generalized depression. A generalized depression could be a result of sleep deprivation and a poor diet. Once those factors are addressed the depression can easily lift.

Here is how Paltrow described how she felt immediately following the birth of her second child, son Moses: "It was one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life." It was a surprise to her since she had such a wonderful experience after the birth of her first child. She said she experienced an incredible euphoria and was expecting the same after this second birth.

How many new mothers suffer pregnancy related mood disorders?

According to the medical site, WebMD, there are about 800,000 women each year in America who just don't experience that sense of wonderful joy after giving birth. That's about one in five new mothers, about 20 percent, who suffer from perinatal mood disorders.

Pregnancy related mood disorders don't always present as depression, though these are the most common. In some women they can appear as anxiety or panic disorder, agoraphobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Fewer still suffer from intrusive, unwanted thoughts that are frightening to them because those thoughts are about hurting the baby. So, they tell no one about those destructive thoughts which only makes matters worse.

Bryce Dallas Howard's struggle with postpartum depression

Bryce Dallas Howard revealed how she was struggling with postpartum depression after giving birth to her son in 2007. "In those moments after giving birth, I felt nothing," she told People Magazine. "I definitely felt I was a rotten mother - not a bad one, a rotten one. Because the truth was, every time I looked at my son, I wanted to disappear."

Howard went on to relate she tried to distance herself emotionally from her son by referring to him as "It" instead of by his name. She also said she could not tolerate breast feeding him because of the intense pain.

More women need help than seek help. About 80 percent of new mothers do experience some of the "Baby Blues" as doctors label the experience. However, sometimes, doctors can confuse the Baby Blues with serious postpartum depression so it's important to seek a second opinion if you are told not to worry about the depression or negative thoughts you are experiencing.

Baby Blues versus Postpartum Depression

How do you know the difference? Baby Blues can be similar to a mood disorder yet those symptoms fade away within a couple of weeks as your body gets its balance back hormone wise.

So how can you know if what you are feeling is within the range of what's considered normal or if it's something far more serious? Karen Kleiman has written several books about this subject. She is the executive director of the Postpartum Stress Center in Rosemont, PA. She tells new mothers and pregnant women to "Trust your instincts and if you think something isn't right, it probably isn't." Don't override those instincts with the doubts of second guessing; get some help. Kleiman said, "It doesn't mean something terrible is going on, but you should get help."


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

25 July 2010

Posts Roundup of Dennys Blogs - 25 July 2010

*** Check out news, political opinion - serious and funny cartoons, recipes, science and health news, poetry, funny posts, photography, spiritual thoughts and great quotes.






The Social Poets:


Cartoons: American and World Politics, Tea Party - 24 July 2010

Govt Justice Dept Wastes $100 Million on Partying With Taxpayer Money

Govt Sex Perverts: Pentagon, Govt Spooks Watching Child Porn - News Headlines 23 July 2010

Just How Angry Are Americans At Their Prez and Politicians?

Americans Sour on Economy, Obamas Better Plan to Manage Our Oceans - News Headlines 21 July 2010

Funny Economy Humor - Cheeky Quote Day 21 July 2010

Unemployed About To Get Relief, Brit PM Visit, Fox Lies About Govt Official - News Headlines 20 July 2010


Roundup of Late Night Funnies - 20 July 2010

Funny Video: Wanna Work in the Fields Like the Immigrants?

Funny Video: Colbert Talks Food For Thought - Canwich Setback

Funny Video: Colberts Automatic Weapons For The People


Obama Shouts At Republicans, What We Get Out Of Financial Reform - News Headlines 19 July 2010





Beautiful Illustrated Quotation:


So How Do You Measure Your Spiritual Progress?

How Psychic Are You? Fun Test and Spiritual Gifts






Dennys Funny Quotes:


Hunh?! Are You Crazy?! Cartoons - 24 July 2010

Recession Humor: Termination Letter to Employees

Funny GOP: From The Bush Years - Homeland Security Self-Exam

Funny Video: Economic Fun Fair by Mark Fiore





Dennys Food and Recipes:


Cake Tuesday: Lemon Honey Cake and Lemon Bread

Muffin Monday: Dennys Summer Fresh Muffins






The Healing Waters:


Why Are So Many People Addicted to Pain Meds? Numbers Up 400 Percent

Just How Fast Is Human Evolution?






The Soul Calendar:


BP Oil Spill Cartoons - 24 July 2010






Visual Insights:


Cartoons: American Economy - 24 July 2010



*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets
The Social Poets Fav Bloggers
The Soul Calendar
Visual Insights
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations
Poems From A Spiritual Heart
The Healing Waters
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes

23 July 2010

Why Are So Many People Addicted to Pain Meds? Numbers Up 400 Percent



Photo from Getty Images


Prescription Drug Addiction

From Denny: Something is wrong in America. Far too many people are in pain and now addicted to pain medications. It could be attributed to the fact that the largest ever generation, the Baby Boomers, are growing old and experiencing all the issues that go with older age. Yet the reality is this study reports the increase cuts across all ages, gender, level of education and employment status. "It cuts across all age groups and socioeconomic levels," says Rob Covin, author of "Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction."

Rehab Admissions up 400 percent past decade

It is alarming how many drug addicts have been checking into rehab, people who abuse prescription medications. In just ten years this has risen 400 percent and is unprecedented, this according to a study released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Back in 1998 it was only 2.2 percent of people seeking treatment for addiction to pain relievers yet the number kept increasing steadily over recent years. By 2008, it was up to nearly 10 percent who reported they were addicted to commonly known brand name drugs like Vicodin, OxyContin or even morphine.

More people choosing to get treatment is up

Peter Delany, director of the Office of Applied Studies at SAMHSA, who conducted the study, says this spike is "a reflection of a steady increase in the prevalence of the issue. In a way it's a good news/bad news story. People are getting treatment, which is good news. But the bad news is the problem just keeps growing. People look at these medications and because it's a prescription, they don't think it's as dangerous. But the dangers of prescription drug abuse become clearer with every year."

Emergency room visits double in four year period

What's alarming is that SAMHSA found that from the period of 2004 to 2008 emergency room visits associated with prescription drug overdose more than doubled.

"This has been a trend coming for 10 years," says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of A Partnership for a Drug-Free America. "It should be no surprise that now it is showing up in ER visits and people checking into treatment centers. Despite its prevalence, prescription drug addiction is still a poorly understood issue in America. We have to struggle with overturning the public misperceptions. I'm hoping this report can be like a cold, wet slap in the public's face to wake up to the fact that this is an actual, real public problem."

Prescription drug addiction spans all age groups, teens to middle age

Talk about spanning the age groups. One in five teenagers report they like to get high on prescription drugs (data from: A Partnership for a Drug-Free America). On the opposite end of the age spectrum, the 45 to 54 age group, there's a surge in prescription drug overdoses. It's the second leading cause of accidental death in that age group.

How did this happen to people?

So why is it America is struggling with this high level of a prescription drug problem? Pasierb believes it may be how Americans view medications. "There's such a low perception of risk involved with these drugs. People think because they're FDA approved, then they aren't dangerous or addictive and that increases the likelihood of use."

As Colvin notes, "Many people also assume that addiction cannot happen to them. We hear about it when a celebrity dies but we don't hear about the families that deal with it every day."

How do people get a hold of drugs so easily?

Another reason for the drugs' appeal is how easily available they are. You get one guess as to where the drug addict's number one source for easy access to drugs is located. Yes, the family medicine cabinet. Those who are prescribed the medicines legitimately - and then don't use them - often end up holding onto the drugs, stashed away for a time when they think they might need them. "Hundreds of millions of these pills are sitting in medicine cabinets in every state. It's no shock that abuse rates are so high," says Pasierb. "You don't have to go to the scary drug dealer, you can steal it from Grandma."

President Obama's awareness program

Since this report, President Obama is making a concerted effort to increase awareness among the public with education on prescription medication. The program is the 2010 National Drug Control Strategy, Delany says.

Addiction experts warn us that the problem is not going to improve any time soon. "It's going to take a long concerted effort to slow down the progression of this problem before we can expect to turn it around," says Pasierb.

Of course, it's obvious that public awareness and education is not going to stem the tide of this level of addiction. It will require doctors to make changes in the way they prescribe medications and how children are educated in schools. Another front for change is the way aw enforcement tracks and prosecutes prescription fraud.

Practice of Doctor Shopping

The practice of "doctor shopping" is a serious problem where people build up large stashs of prescription drugs. At the moment there are 39 states with prescription monitoring programs in place to prevent this practice. "The problem is, these states don't talk to each other, so people just hop on a plane and go somewhere else for their prescriptions," Pasierb says.

Covin also noted that "Illegally selling prescription drugs also tends to receive less attention by the law enforcement because illicit drugs get much of the focus. Family doctors often lack the skills needed to recognize and treat prescription drug addiction. Because prescription drug addicts don't carry some of the more visible warning signs that those abusing cocaine or heroine might, the condition often goes undiagnosed."

How to prevent drug addiction

People always think it won't happen to them. "People think this addiction is a moral issue so it won't happen to them, when in fact it is a disease - a chronic, progressive disease. If you don't get help, it will become fatal," Covin says. "People just don't seem to understand that."

Pasierb advises: "Don't have prescription narcotics on hand if you don't need them. And if you do need them for medical reasons, keep them out of reach of kids and teens. It's a complicated issue and it's going to take a lot of changes on the policy, medical and education front. But if people just cleaned out their medicine cabinet tonight of unnecessary prescription narcotics, it would make a difference immediately."







Pain Med Addiction Up 400 Percent in Last Decade
Numbers of Addicts Seeking Rehab Spikes


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*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets
The Soul Calendar
Visual Insights
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations
Poems From A Spiritual Heart
The Healing Waters
Dennys Funny Quotes
Dennys Food and Recipes

22 July 2010

Just How Fast Is Human Evolution?

*** Find out how fast our bodies can adapt to new living situations and what's involved.





From Denny: Imagine you and your family were forced out of your homes and told to trek a few thousand miles and go live high up in the mountains. How high? Try 14,000 feet up high and breathe 40 percent less oxygen than you were used to breathing at a sea level altitude. This is exactly what has happened to the people who are now called Tibetans.

Some Chinese scientists decided to take a look at today's current Tibetans and analysis their DNA versus today's Han Chinese. It's speculated that the Han Chinese, the majority ethic group, split from China and went high up into Tibet about 3,000 years ago.

What the scientists found is that 30 genomes have evolved in this short time. They examined the genomes from 50 Tibetan villagers and 40 Han Chinese from today's Beijing, China. What they found is that a genome rare among 9 percent Han Chinese is common among 87 percent Tibetans.

Which mysterious gene is this that has scientists so excited with their find? The official name of the gene is hypoxia-inducible factor 2-alpha, or HIF2a. What this gene shows is that those persons with it have fewer red blood cells and, therefore, less hemoglobin in their blood.

Why is this important? Because when people who have been living well below such high altitudes try to live up high what happens is that their blood thickens. You see our bodies try to counteract those very low oxygen levels by manufacturing more red blood cells. Then this overproduction of red blood cells leads to chronic mountain sickness, or altitude sickness.

It also causes lesser fertility. The current day Han Chinese living in Tibet suffer three times the infant mortality rate of the Tibetans. China's displacement policy of the population to subdue Tibet by sending in communist Chinese to take away the land from the Tibetans seems to have backfired on them and now they have fallen into an evolutionary trap.

While scientists can account for why the Tibetans do not suffer from altitude sickness they still don't know how they compensate for living with much less oxygen. There are archaeologists who argue the 3,000 year fast evolution is not likely. They favor the argument for the Tibetan plateau being inhabited anywhere from the past 7,000 to 21,000 years. Anyway you look at it, such high altitude living so successfully is impressive!

For more details about the three reports, go here: Scientists Cite Fastest Case of Human Evolution



*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets
The Soul Calendar
Visual Insights
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations
Poems From A Spiritual Heart
The Healing Waters
Dennys Funny Quotes
Dennys Food and Recipes

18 July 2010

Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 18 July 2010

*** Check out news, political opinion - serious and funny cartoons, recipes, science and health news, poetry, funny posts, photography, spiritual thoughts and great quotes.






The Social Poets:


Dark Humor: BP Oil Spill Cartoons - 17 July 2010

America, World Politics, Sports Cartoons - 17 July 2010

Sweltering Summer Heat poem - Libations Friday 9 July 2010

BP Plays Games With Oil Spill, Democrats Face Huge Losses in November

Funny Texting Quotes - Cheeky Quote Day 14 July 2010

Why Obama Is Failing Miserably At Running America

Roundup of Late Night Funnies - 12 July 2010

Funny Video: Colbert Mocks Republican Men Hairstyles

Colbert: Rent a White Guy in China For Business Meeting Prestige

Funny Video: Colbert Rips Glenn Beck For His "Wildly Important" Work

Celebrity: Chelsea Clinton Wedding Day Details

Posts Roundup of Dennys Blogs - 11 July 2010




Beautiful Illustrated Quotations:


Kabbalah Quotes: How to Know You Are On The Right Path For You

Madonna Offends Traditional Jewish Kabbalists in Israel




The Healing Waters:


How To Exercise Effectively On A Hot Day: Drink A Slushie

How Bad Is High-Fructose Corn Syrup For Your Health?




The Soul Calendar:


Popular Funny X-ray Pin-Ups Calendar: Stripped to the Bone

Are These Fossils The Earliest Traces Of Complex Life?




Dennys Funny Quotes:


Hunh?! Cartoons - 17 July 2010

Funny GOP: Ridiculous Republicans Dictionary

Funny GOP: The 10 Commandments Republican Style

Funny LOL Work Jokes

Funny GOP: Limbaughs 18 Rules of Right Wing Talk Show Bombast

Funny GOP: Conservatives Prayer to Capitalism God




Dennys Food and Recipes:


How To Make Your Own Pimento Cheese Spread From Southern Living Magazine

Easy Healthy Dessert: Orange Gel n Fresh Fruit

Craving Ice: Is It A Sign of Anemia?

Cake Tuesday: 4 Cakes Celebrating America

Muffin Monday: Chocolate Chip Orange Muffins




Visual Insights:


Cartoons: America and Immigration - 17 July 2010

Funny Comic Betty White Gets Her Own Calendar

Photography and Poetry: Release Your Dreams and Spring into Life



*** Photo by heliosphan @ flickr


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets
The Soul Calendar
Visual Insights
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations
Poems From A Spiritual Heart
The Healing Waters
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes

16 July 2010

How Bad Is High-Fructose Corn Syrup For Your Health?

*** Lots of problems with high fructose corn syrup and latest study links it to elevating high blood pressure.




*** Karo corn syrup Photo by kerryvaughn @ flickr


From Denny: The soft drink companies are at war with the health industry about high fructose corn syrup. The big business of soft drinks is worried consumers may quit drinking their products so they are advertising to counteract the latest studies about high fructose corn syrup. This corn syrup is an intense sugar that bypasses everything and goes straight to fat. Not anything people want to hear when they are trying to get those perfect abdominals.

Two kinds of sugar

OK, let's discuss kinds of sugar. There is the usual sucrose that comes from sugar cane and beets. Then there is fructose which is created from corn. The problem with fructose is it can raise your uric acid levels which is really bad for your kidneys. Too much acid in the body is bad in general and can cause swelling.

Elevating blood pressure

Here's the deal about elevating your uric acid levels: it can set off the hormone angiotensin II that causes your blood vessels to contract. Yes, and this hormone can increase your blood pressure, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.

Which sugar is healthy?

So which sugar is healthy? The normal sugar we know about, sucrose, isn't exactly healthy either. It's just that fructose is far worse. Sugar of any kind has to be taken in moderation and watched you do not have too much in your diet. We all know that if we consume too much sugar we are prone to adult onset diabetes, stroke and heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

One good piece of news: regular sugar from sugar cane or beets does not raise blood pressure. Only fructose is known to do that. (Study: the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology)

Big Business in damage control mode against new study

Of course, watch big business launch into damage control mode. The Corn Refiners Association has decided that study is flawed, probably because they didn't pay for the study where the results were predetermined. And, makers of soft drinks, also went into self-defense mode, like the American Beverage Association, lending their objections to the study.

"This study, which looks at fructose intake, furthers the confusion and misunderstandings about high-fructose corn syrup and sugar-sweetened beverages," Dr. Maureen Storey of the Beverage Association said in a statement.

The big business companies are claiming that no true cause-and-effect relationship has actually been proven. They got one Colorado researcher, Michael Chonchol, to agree with them, sort of. She is calling for a clinical trial to compare the effects of fructose to other kinds of sugars.

Sugar Embargo

Of course, many kinds of sugars have been tested in countless studies since the 1950's when they first developed high fructose corn syrup in an effort to develop other sources for sugar than from sugar cane. At the time America was dependent upon Cuba for sugar but with the political revolution and the American embargo that source dried up.

American sugar industry developed, then decimated by Republicans

Since that time Louisiana farmers still grow a lot of sugar cane. But it was President George Bush who decimated the sugar cane industry in America just a few years ago. He gave sweetheart deals to foreign countries to bring into America cheap sugar that took jobs away from Americans and no longer made it feasible for American farmers to grow sugar cane.

Favorite Foods

So, when the holidays roll around and you want that piece of awesome pecan pie that is chock full of high fructose corn syrup, make those slices small. The holidays are tough enough about putting on extra weight. Why eat something full of fructose sugar that you know goes straight to putting on fat? At least let me enjoy the meal first! And I think I'll skip those soft drinks from now on... :)


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets
The Soul Calendar
Visual Insights
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations
Poems From A Spiritual Heart
The Healing Waters
Dennys Funny Quotes
Dennys Food and Recipes

15 July 2010

How To Exercise Effectively On A Hot Day: Drink A Slushie

*** Find out the latest research of how to avoid heat exhaustion when exercising in very hot weather.




How to exercise in extreme hot weather

From Denny: Say what, drink a sugar syrup iced slushie? I get to eat bad while I exercise? Sounds intriguing. Talk about the best of both worlds. Exercise workouts can be demanding enough but when it's a really hot day - like this summer when the temps poke up well above 95 degrees plus a heat index adding another ten degrees of misery - well, exercising seems to fall by the wayside. Worse, when you do exercise it feels like you are sloshing through mud. An easy workout now becomes grueling. Why is that? What ever happened to my endurance?

How does the body cool itself?

Here's what happens - and how your body reacts - when the temperatures rise into the stratosphere on that hot summer day. To cool itself the body directs blood to the skin. When that happens it means the blood is diverted away from working muscles. So, as the weather gets hotter and if you try to do hard exercise, the more difficult that exercise becomes. You soon figure out to slow down considerably or just stop exercising.

Why do we slow down when exercising in hot weather?

There is some debate as to why this happens. Some physiologists think it is because the muscles are starved for blood because too much of it left the neighborhood to go cool the skin. Others speculate that the heart is unable to beat fast enough to meet the demand of hard exercise because not enough blood is available for the project. More speculation wonders if the brain itself gets too hot.

How to delay heat exhaustion in hot weather

While knowing the exact reason as to why it is difficult to do hard exercise in very hot weather, researchers have found a way to delay how much time it takes before you collapse into utter exhaustion. The solution is simple: get people chilled down quite a bit before they start.

How world class athletes cope with hot weather exercise

Researchers have experimented with world class athletes whose conditioning is superb yet still suffer from the heat just like the rest of us. They have tried wearing cooling vests before exercise. They have tried out portable cold baths to immerse the athlete before a race. Athletes have been advised to swim in cold water for an hour, sit in a cold room or stand in a cold shower. The whole point is to create a cooling effect before the exercise. Unfortunately, too many of these methods are terribly practical, not always easy or even inexpensive - certainly for the average weekend athlete.

New Zealand Ironman athlete researcher came up with easy solution

Leave it to the Kiwis to figure out the obvious for the rest of us. A New Zealand endurance athlete, Dr. Paul Laursen, who is also an exercise researcher, claims his easy method works. Just drink a sugary ice slushie before you start that hard exercise. His study reports that when his young male recreational athletes drank a sugary slushie just before they ran on a treadmill in a very hot room they were able to keep exercising for an average of 50 minutes before they had to stop. He tried having them drink only a syrup-flavored cold water but the results were not quite as good: they could only run for an average of 40 minutes.

Research testing indoors versus outdoors results

This test was conducted indoors so there was no cooling effect possible from breezes on the skin. So, we could reasonably assume that any efforts of cooling down the body before exercise would have a more dramatic effect than if the test was conducted outdoors. What racing athletes are looking for is to be able to go faster as opposed to the endurance factor of running until they drop. Most athletes run for speed not a marathon distance. This study researched more for endurance as opposed to performance.

The indoors versus the outdoors aside, exercise specialists found the cooling effect prior to exercise to be dramatic. "It’s a really interesting study, well done and carefully thought out," said Craig Crandell, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He studies the results of exercising in the heat.

Ironman triathlon and pre-cooling effect

Of course, the marathon athletes just had to weigh in and declare the pre-cooling effects to be short-lived. Dr. Paul Laursen, from the New Zealand Academy of Sport, has competed in 13 Ironman triatholons. A triatholon involves a 2.4 mile swim, then followed by a 112-mile bike race that is then followed by 26.2 mile marathon run. So, you can see why this Ironman athlete says the pre-cooling effect would not last long enough to be useful for his sport.

Pre-cooling effect great for other sports

What he does say is that this pre-cooling effect is a great idea for other sports like tennis, a short race like for 5 or 10 kilometers, team sports like soccer and football. Dr. Laursen believes this cooling idea would be effective for the first 50 minutes or so for a long distance athlete because it would help them beat the heat at least for awhile.

How Laursen came up with the slushie idea

Dr. Laursen said he came up with the slushie drink idea because he knew they could lower brain temperature in swine better than just cold water. Would it work on humans? Those swine studies were tests to cool the body before surgery. Laursen wondered if the slushies could cool the brain before surgery, could it also cool the brain before hard exercise in hot weather? He soon found out that the slushies, because they contain sugary water swirled into the crushed ice, were actually colder than ice.

"It’s a neat idea," said Scott Montain, an exercise researcher at the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Mass. "I wouldn’t have guessed slurries would have that much of an effect."

Ideas as to why the slushie idea works so well

Dr. Laursen is still not clear as to why the slushie idea works so well. In a review article he wrote, "The mechanisms underlying the performance effects associated with pre-cooling are not yet completely understood." Laursen speculates why slushies work is because they lower body temperatures before the athlete races. This allows the athletes a bit longer time before their bodies enter the critically hot zone.

Dr. Montain said that may not be the reason since the men in the study did not get that level of critically hot. Apparently, once exhaustion hit, the mean body temperature of both groups - those who drank the slushie and those who drank cold water - was only 101 degrees.

Dr. Montain wonders if the men's heart rates might be a limiting factor. He said that in both groups the exhaustion happened when their heart rates reached about 185 beats per minute. The slushie drinkers hit that heart rate about 10 minutes later than the cold water drinkers. He said that the heart works hard by beating faster and faster to get the blood to the skin to cool the body, doubling its efforts to the muscles for the hard exercise - until finally it just can't keep up.

"The heart can’t send blood everywhere without the blood pressure falling. At some point, you can’t maintain your blood pressure," Dr. Montain said.

How people living in adverse hot environments learned to stay cool when exercising in the heat

Dr. Montain lives in New England where the weather is not quite as challenging as where I live. People here have figured out ways to stay cool for centuries in this environment in Bayou country. Since this writer lives in hot and humid south Louisiana my solution has always been a similar solution as this researcher found.

If the heat and the heat index is under 90 degrees then I tank up with about three glasses of iced water before I go out to work in the yard - even when I'm in the shade. I keep several glasses of ice water in a thermos and drink every 15 minutes.

When the weather is worse, like above 95 degrees with a 110 heat index - and I simply must go out and work in the heat and can't avoid it - then I add hard candy to the mix. I find that sugar is actually helpful for maintaining your blood sugar level in very high heat situations.

And another trick when out in the heat exercising? Soak a small towel or washcloth in cool water and then wrap it around several ice cubes. Hang it around the back of your neck to cool your brain - the old animal brain that regulates body heat. Works like a charm, especially if you are out mowing the lawn. By keeping your brain cooled you stay much cooler in general and are not so exhausted when you return indoors.

Just remember to beat the heat by first drinking your favorite slushie! Who knew exercising could taste so good?



*** Slushie photo by Gudlyf @ flickr


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets
The Soul Calendar
Visual Insights
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations
Poems From A Spiritual Heart
The Healing Waters
Dennys Funny Quotes
Dennys Food and Recipes






To Beat the Heat, Drink a Slushie First

11 July 2010

Posts Roundup of Dennys Blogs - 11 July 2010

*** Check out news, political opinion - serious and funny cartoons, recipes, science and health news, poetry, funny posts, photography, spiritual thoughts and great quotes.





From Denny: With the new and faster features offered by Blogger lately, I decided to go ahead and take the jump. All of my three food blogs are now neatly compiled into one blog: Dennys Food and Recipes.

For the past year I've been experimenting with small niche writing like the so-called internet SEO experts preach. As far as writing goes, I felt constrained in too small a space. Yes, I'm one of those kids who skipped coloring outside the lines in coloring books and took it to a whole new level. I colored whole murals on my bedroom walls. It sure beat the pedestrian mind-dull wallpaper my parents used to cover unsightly and uneven plaster walls in a 160 year old New England house. My father knew how to properly plaster walls since his father was a commercial and residential contracter among other talents - he just didn't want to go to the bother. So, I had my own solution.

I have my own solutions too for these many blogs and I'm combining several of them. What the statistics have proven over the past year is that once a generalist always a generalist. Roaming intellectually is fun for me and I like to bring home my finds for others to enjoy whether it's for mind food or just a good silly laugh.

The new large recipe blog is finished and is called Dennys Food and Recipes. You can find everything from pasta to chocolate to Louisiana food. There are recent food videos and food from other countries like the Olympics food from Canada. The Muffin Monday segments feature bed and breakfast inn recipes from primarily America and Canada to help support small business over Big Business. Supporting small business helps build up and stabilize the economy. It's small business owners who are the heroes of the economic world as they hire at least 70 percent of the workers in America. Supporting them to do well helps you!



The Social Poets:


Cartoons: BP Oil Spill, American Economy Opinion, Russian Spies in America - 10 July 2010

27, 000 Aging Abandoned Leaking Oil Wells in Gulf of Mexico

Roundup of Late Night Funnies - 5 July 2010

Funny Video: Jon Stewart Lampoons The G-20 Summit

Funny Video: Jon Stewart Says Republicans Want Clinton Blamed, Not Bush

Funny Video: Colbert Lampoons BPs Positive Spin On Oil Spill

Funny Video: How BP CEO Hayward Can Improve His Image

Funny Video: Kimmel Compares BP To Al Qaeda

Posts Roundup at Dennys 14 Blogs - 4 July 2010




The Healing Waters:


Easy Healthy Dessert: Orange Gel n Fresh Fruit




Beautiful Illustrated Quotations:


How Do You Assess Change in Yourself?

How Do We Prepare Ourselves For Change?

How Does Change Crash Into Our Lives to Build Anew?





Dennys Food and Recipes:


Muffin Monday: The Best Blueberry Muffins - also there is Kale's Chocolate Zucchini Bread and Sophia's Banana Chocolate Chip Bread from this same bed and breakfast inn.

Muffin Monday: Sweet Potato Muffins

Cake Tuesday: Red, White and Blue Independence Day Cake

Cake Tuesday: Red, White and Blueberry Shortcakes

Cake Tuesday: Shenandoah Apple Cake

Popular Posts 2010 at Romancing The Chocolate and Thank You!

Popular Posts 2009 at Romancing The Chocolate and Thank You!

Chocolate Cake Recipes at Romancing The Chocolate

Funny Quotes About Chocolate

Popular Posts 2010 at Comfort Food From Louisiana and Thank You!

Popular Posts 2009 at Comfort Food From Louisiana and Thank You!

Popular Posts at Unusual 2 Tasty




Dennys Funny Quotes:


Obama, American and World Politics - 10 July 2010

Hunh?! Cartoons - 10 July 2010

How You Know You Have Dreaded Teabagger Disease





Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd:


Outrageous Funny Photos: This Is So Wrong...





Visual Insights:


Music Video: Rusty Hammerstrom - Oil in the Water

Music News: Beatles Ringo Starr Turned 70

Music News: Featuring Marilyn Monroes Jazz Pianist Hank Jones



*** Cup of Spanish Hot Chocolate Photo by heliosphan @ flickr


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets
The Soul Calendar
Visual Insights
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations
Poems From A Spiritual Heart
The Healing Waters
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes

05 July 2010

Easy Healthy Dessert: Orange Gel n Fresh Fruit

*** Healthy recipe, quick and easy to make in a flash to beat the summer heat - and it's beautiful for the eyes!





From Denny: Want to eat with your eyes along with your taste buds yet want to keep down those calories? This simple dessert is a winner and a refreshing ending to a light summer meal. Serve it in grand style in a martini glass so you get a 360 degree view of this pretty dessert.

It combines the fresh fruit of your choice, what's in season, along with quenching fresh orange juice, gelatin and a little fresh buttermilk.

Fresh fruit choices? Fresh orange segments, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, banana and kiwi - whatever you and your family enjoy the most. You could wait to garnish with the fruit and make this interactive fun, allowing guests to make their own fruit choices and then help you serve the dessert.

You have the option of placing some orange segments in the gelatin - or serve the fruit on top later - or both. The choices are endless.

What keeps the calories low is this dessert is made from sugar-free gelatin. The dessert is 60 calories before you add the fruit topping. And don't worry about using buttermilk as it is not noticeable while it gives body and creamy flavor to the dessert.



Orange Gel Dessert With Fresh Fruit

From: “Healthy Eating the Louisiana Way” Food Focus booklet, produced by The Advocate newspaper


Makes: 4 (1/2-cup) servings

Ingredients:

1 cup pure orange juice
1 (3-oz.) small box, sugar-free orange gelatin
1 cup buttermilk
Fruit of your choice for topping
Vanilla yogurt or Lite Cool Whip for topping, optional

Directions:

1. Heat orange juice to almost boiling, then add gelatin. Remove from heat and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

2. Add cold buttermilk. Stir thoroughly and pour into 4 glass cups or glasses.

3. Refrigerate and chill until firm.

4. Before serving, top with a spoonful of your favorite fruit and a small dollop of vanilla yogurt or whipped topping.

Note: A 1/2 cup is 60 calories (without the fruit and yogurt topping).



*** Photo by Richard Alan Hannon @ 2 the advocate - online Louisiana newspaper


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets
Dennys Global Politics
The Soul Calendar
Visual Insights
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations
Poems From A Spiritual Heart
The Healing Waters
Dennys Art Sanctuary
Romancing The Chocolate
Comfort Food From Louisiana
Unusual 2 Tasty
Dennys Blog Feeds
Dennys Funny Quotes
Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd

04 July 2010

Posts Roundup at Dennys 14 Blogs - 4 July 2010

*** Check out news, political opinion - serious and funny cartoons, recipes, health news, poetry, funny posts, photography, spiritual thoughts and great quotes.




Cup of coffee from Brazil by il Quoquo @ flickr




The Social Poets:


Fourth of July Fireworks Cartoons - 3 July 2010

How Do We Live Freedom and Liberty? Libations Friday - 2 July 2010

8 Funny Posts 4 A Grin From Dennys Blogs - 2 July 2010

How To Save Obamas Presidency AND The American Economy

Funny Smile Quotes - Cheeky Quote Day - 30 June 2010

American Revolt: How You Can Break Big Business, Big Banks, Big Insurance, Big Oil, Big Lobbyists

Roundup of Late Night Funnies: BP Oil Spill, McChrystal Firing - 28 June 2010

Funny Video: Colbert Says McChrystal Had To Have Been High

Funny Video: Stewart Nails Republicans As Flip-Floppers On BP Escrow Fund

Funny Video: Colbert Lampoons Barton's BP Apology

Funny Video: Stewart Lampoons McChrystal's Balls For An Honorable Discharge




Dennys Global Politics:


American and World Politics Cartoons - 3 July 2010

Taiwans Whale-Sized Skimmer to Gulf Coast Rescue, Obama Ranked High as 15th Prez - News Headlines 2 July 2010

Kagan Takes Hits From GOP For Not Being Christian Enough - News Headlines 1 July 2010

8 Funny Posts 4 A Grin From Dennys Blogs - 30 June 2010

Spies Among Us, Scumbag Congress Denies Food to Children of Unemployed - News Headlines 29 June 2010






Beautiful Illustrated Quotations:


63 Quotes About Freedom and Liberty: Happy Birthday, America!

Why Smiling is Good For Your Spiritual Health: 7 Quotes About Smiling





Poems From A Spiritual Heart:


Fourth of July When Life is Simple





The Healing Waters:


Craving Ice: Is It A Sign of Anemia?




How I decided to start helping the economy recover: promoting small businesses while blogging on Muffin Monday recipes. I'm promoting bed and breakfast inns over Big Business hotel chains.


Romancing The Chocolate:


Cake Tuesday: Shenandoah Apple Cake

Muffin Monday: Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins

Cake Tuesday: Coffee Toffee Fudge Cake, Tunnel of Fudge Cake






Comfort Food From Louisiana:


Cake Tuesday: Red, White and Blueberry Shortcakes


Muffin Monday: Sour Cream Walnut Cinnamon Muffins






Unusual 2 Tasty:


Muffin Monday: Egg, Ricotta Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomato Breakfast Muffins

Cake Tuesday: Red, White and Blue Independence Day Cake





Dennys Funny Quotes:


Dark Humor: BP Oil Spill Cartoons - 3 July 2010

5 Funny Shorts: What Kids Think About Love and Life




Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd:


Funny Iran Sanctions Cartoons 3 July 2010

Funny Video: Surfing Group Known as The Radical Rodents





Visual Insights:


Hunh?! Cartoons - 3 July 2010

Dennys Photo Gallery: Fourth of July Spectacular Fireworks




*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets
Dennys Global Politics
The Soul Calendar
Visual Insights
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations
Poems From A Spiritual Heart
The Healing Waters
Dennys Art Sanctuary
Romancing The Chocolate
Comfort Food From Louisiana
Unusual 2 Tasty
Dennys Blog Feeds
Dennys Funny Quotes
Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd

03 July 2010

Check Out 5 Funny Cartoon Posts This Week - 3 July 2010

*** Keep the laughs going while you catch up on the latest cartoonist political opinion of the news!





Fourth of July Fireworks Cartoons - 3 July 2010

American and World Politics Cartoons - 3 July 2010

Dark Humor: BP Oil Spill Cartoons - 3 July 2010

Hunh?! Cartoons - 3 July 2010

Funny Iran Sanctions Cartoons 3 July 2010



*** Photo by Randy Son Of Robert @ flickr


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets
Dennys Global Politics
The Soul Calendar
Visual Insights
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations
Poems From A Spiritual Heart
The Healing Waters
Dennys Art Sanctuary
Romancing The Chocolate
Comfort Food From Louisiana
Unusual 2 Tasty
Dennys Blog Feeds
Dennys Funny Quotes
Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd

02 July 2010

Craving Ice: Is It A Sign of Anemia?

*** Another newly documented symptom of anemia to consider besides fatigue or weakness.






From Denny: Well, here's one thought we rarely give any time to pondering. Who ever thought wanting ice in your drink on a hot sweltering day could mean more than you are hot and thirsty?

Anemia afflicts millions of Americans every year. The most familiar symptoms, especially to younger women, are issues like fatigue and weakness that signal anemia may be the problem. Often, iron supplements are all that's required along with a mindful change in diet.

This fixation for ice, as a connection to anemia, is a new symptom recently studied. The medical community finds this craving for ice puzzling and has been documenting the craving as a sign of anemia for several years now. It's generally noted in the form of anemia known as iron deficiency anemia. Researchers still don't fully understand the link to ice and anemia. What they do suspect is that ice consumption alleviates mouth inflammation that occurs from iron deficiencies. They have named the compulsive consumption of ice as pagophagia. You know how doctors are, they like to give Latin names to obvious plainly named conditions that are a lot easier to understand.

There are documented cases of people who have gone undiagnosed with pagophagia that actually go through multiple bags of ice or trays of ice in one day alone. Their problem most often fades when they are treated with iron supplements. (Sickle cell anemia. a more severe form of anemia and genetically inherited, cannot be treated with iron supplements and is a far more serious form of anemia requiring constant medical monitoring.)

Northwestern University has conducted studies that reveal ice cravings are also a very common side effect of a type of weight-loss surgery known as Roux-en-Y (say it as ROO-on-why). This is a popular bypass surgery. The problem is that this also bypasses the very part of the intestine where iron and other minerals are absorbed by the body.

Studies, from the Mayo Clinic Proceedings of 2008, show that one-third of these bypass patients develop a B-12 or iron deficiency. The husband of one bypass patient, a 33-year-old woman, " I frequently observed her in the middle of the night with her head in the freezer eating the frost off the ice maker." Her craving subsided after transfusion and iron administration.


So, the next time you are craving ice, ask yourself two questions, "Am I getting enough iron in my diet? Did I forget to take my vitamin supplements lately?" The next time we all put ice in our drinks I bet a lot of us will be asking those questions.



Links to check out:

Symptoms of Anemia

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Pagophagia

Side effects of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery

Mayo Clinic articles

Mayo Clinic Home


*** Ice photo by Steve Snodgrass @ flickr


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets
Dennys Global Politics
The Soul Calendar
Visual Insights
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations
Poems From A Spiritual Heart
The Healing Waters
Dennys Art Sanctuary
Romancing The Chocolate
Comfort Food From Louisiana
Unusual 2 Tasty
Dennys Blog Feeds
Dennys Funny Quotes
Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd

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