I'm so sick of the mass media.

I mean, I've learned so much about health & nutrition in the last year and a half that DOESN'T fit with what we hear in the mainstream media, and so much of it makes sense, and I WANT to tell people what I've learned, but I don't think anyone would believe me when I say it because they've all been brainwashed by the media, and/or they believe their doctor actually knows anything about nutrition. (In the USA, only SIX PERCENT of medical students take the elective nutrition courses. Medical school is all about TREATING disease, not preventing it.)

So I'll just say this: the next time you hear of some revolutionary clinical study that's been done on Drug XYZ or Food XYZ or Dietary Supplement XYZ, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Who funded this study anyway? Nine times out of ten, the ones that make the six o'clock news were funded by Drug Company XYZ or Food Company XYZ.

2. How long was the study conducted for? Many studies are only done for a few WEEKS, which is nowhere near long enough to get a good picture of what's going on.

3. Who actually was in this study? Did they take volunteers from the general population, or did they go to some third-world country to do the study so they wouldn't jeopardize the lives of Westerners?

4. The results of this study are great...compared to what, exactly?

5. Are there any other studies that back this one up?

6. Are you SURE this study is true? I mean, thirty years ago we thought vegetable shortenings and margarines made from hydrogenated oils were so much better for us than butter, but now we see they cause cancer.

7. There's more to a clinical study than just a headline. Dig deeper.

But is anyone actually going to listen to me? Of course not. People are gonna do what they want regardless of what anyone says. And what would I know anyway, I'm not a doctor.

"Does that seem right to you?"

I was in K-Mart today looking at pens. The ones I prefer can be bought singly, or in packages of two or four. I did some price calculations. Two pens bought singly cost two cents LESS than the two in the double pack, and two doubles cost two cents LESS than the four pack. I thought it was supposed to be the other way around.


How bizarre.

Last night I ranted about the lack of my Time Machine block in the left sidebar. Today it's there, with neither of us doing anything. So either it doesn't show up anymore when there's nothing to report, or it was just being snooty and didn't want to work. I'm guessing the first option.

So now I can post about the things I wanted to post about yesterday.

The first is this. I have finished all twelve assignments of the correspondence bookkeeping course I started almost a year ago. The last four are in the mail. Turnaround time is usually two to three weeks. So I should have a diploma in a few weeks and maybe actually be able to find a job finally. By the way, if you're in Adelaide and you know someone else who lives in Adelaide who might need a bookkeeper, please let them know I'm looking for work.

The second: in the Sunday Mail this week was an article which stated (among other things) that Nestle - yes, the chocolate company - has started producing Cheerios in Australia. For the clueless, Cheerios is an American breakfast cereal that American children LOVE. As the name kind of implies, they're an 'O' shape. I've seen a frantic American mother posting on a site for Americans living in Australia dying to know where to get Cheerios here because her toddler wouldn't eat anything else for breakfast. Cheerios are also sometimes used to toilet-train little boys, because they float.

Anyway. So when I was in a supermarket yesterday, I remembered this, and went walking through the cereal aisle looking for the yellow box. Finally I found it on the bottom shelf, but...it wasn't yellow. It was white. What's more, it was the multi-grain version (oats, corn, rice, wheat...I think) rather than the original version (just oats). Yet it's still called just Cheerios, not Multi-Grain Cheerios like in the US.

Attention, Aussies: you are NOT getting the REAL Cheerios! To get the real Cheerios, which is by far the best of the Cheerios family, you'll have to visit the USA.

So that's two things. And I'm sure there was a third that I was thinking about writing about, but I can't remember what it was now.

However. I found this survey link on one of the forums I read this morning. If you're following a low-carb diet, go have your say.

Things I definitely DON'T miss about living in America, and if I never saw them again, it'd be too soon.

1. The Menards guy. Although I do see his great-nephew every week playing Greg on CSI.

2. Old Navy commercials.

3. Politics. Sure, they have politics in Australia too, but nobody pays attention. At least not to the extent of demanding the resignation of a congressman who said something which, in the right frame of mind, was totally benign, but too many people took it out of context or got offended by it or whatever. In Australian Parliament, politicians call each other some pretty vulgar names, and nobody bats an eye.

4. Walking around at Christmas time and seeing "Merry Christmas" everywhere and not "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings." Because apparently there aren't enough extremists here to get upset by it yet.

5. The tax system. My last US tax return was something like nine pages, including the 2-page 1040A, an application form for Darrin's Taxpayer ID number, and at least one separate form for reporting foreign income, plus my W-2. My last Australian tax return - which I filled out on THE SAME FORM that every other individual taxpayer in Australia uses - was just the one form, but I was ABLE TO DO IT ONLINE for no additional charge. And I didn't have to file a state tax return either, because Australia doesn't do that.

To the dork who hacked my website yesterday...

Thank you so very, very much. Because of you we have lost the sidebar item that tells us what happened on this day in whatever year. Also you caused me no small amount of annoyance at not being able to rant about you right away, and Darrin no small amount of headache trying to fix the site. Were you bored? Did you want attention? Or are you just an idiot with nothing better to do than exploit websites?

See, I had two things I wanted to post today, but I couldn't, because YOU SCREWED UP MY SITE. So I'll have to post them tomorrow since I've got other things going on at the moment and I can't. Sheesh, tomorrow I might not even remember to post them, and it's ALL YOUR FAULT. Hope you're happy with yourself. Oh yeah, you're SO cool, you're such a 1337 h4x0r* for what you do.

Note: * If you don't get the phrase, don't worry, it's not that clever.

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