TRAVEL BACK IN TIME WITH THESE OLD DIETARY GUIDELINES

 “Grab Your Fork and Travel Back in Time With These Old USDA Dietary Guidelines.” The U.S. government recently changed their dietary guidelines for the umpteenth time. For instance, for a time, butter and margarine were their very own healthy food group.

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17 SMALL THINGS TO DO EVERY DAY TO BE MUCH SMARTER

“17 Small Things to Do Every Day to be Much Smarter.” Click on those words to find an intriguing list. For example, start the day with two glasses of water and don’t forget your nap.

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ENOUGH TO RAISE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE

We like the idea of wireless blood pressure monitors. But trying to get the new Qardio monitor to work was enough to send our blood pressure through the roof. The $99 device is supposed to work with your smartphone, so there’s nothing to plug in.

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Dollars for Docs

“Dollars for Docs” is pretty interesting. Search on that phrase to find a site that shows how much the pharmaceutical industry has paid your doctor. Joy’s dermatologist only accepted $39. Joy’s internist accepted $6,243. We learned about this at NutrtionFacts.org, though “Dollars for Docs” is run by ProPublica.org. Some doctors, notably surgeons, accepted more than half a million.

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CHEMICAL OF THE DAY

ChemicalOfTheDay.squarespace.com gives you info on thousands of chemicals in the products we use. Joy switched her “natural” skin lotion after finding out it has phenoxyethanol, an aromatic form of ethanol that has raised some issues. Whole Foods and other stores have a variety of lotions without harmful chemicals. NOTE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are approximately 75,000-80,000 chemicals in daily use, of which only a few hundred have been tested for toxicity.  The European Union equivalent agency says the number is 140,000. A Canadian agency says about 30,000 are in common use.

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PREDICTING A HEART ATTACK FOUR HOURS IN ADVANCE

Data researchers have developed a way to predict cardiac arrest four hours in advance, which is accurate 66 percent of the time. Click on: “Machine predicts heart attacks four hours before doctors.”

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READER IS RIGHT

A reader doubted our recent comment that the Max Smart Home smoke and security alarm was bad for your ears. He’s right. We were wrong; it’s not bad at all.

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900 AILMENTS

Google has catalogued 900 ailments and pulled together pictures, information and some advice. Search for “pink eye,” and off to the right, you’ll get an information box with a picture, basic facts, symptoms and treatment options.

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13 YEAR-OLD INVENTS BRAILLE PRINTER

“Meet the 13 Year-old Who Invented a Low-Cost Braille Printer:” This Smithsonian magazine article  is about a kid who built a working Braille printer from a Lego Mindstorm set. It’s not for sale yet but Intel has invested in producing it.

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GETTING A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

“White Noise Free” for Android or iPhone/iPad has great sounds for getting to sleep. We liked “extreme rain,” “shower,” “train,” “beach,” “ocean waves,” “boat,” “chimes,” “crickets,” and “stream.” In fact, we were amazed by how many sounds we liked; normally we like one or two and the rest are stinkers. The sound quality was quite good. If you wish, the app lets you mix sounds, such as thunder, rain, and a clothes dryer. OK, skip the clothes dryer.

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