Saturday, January 14, 2006

Dextrose May Boost Sports Performance

In a recent study, dextrose has been shown once again to boost sports performance. Interestingly, the study compared Ribose to dextrose for sports performance in female college athletes. The theory posted by the article is that ribose could increase ATP stores and enhance exercise performance. I assume they were simply using dextrose as a placebo. Unfortunately I don't have access to the full text, and I am not sure if it has been entirely published online yet.

Ribose Versus Dextrose Supplementation, Association With Rowing Performance: A Double-Blind Study.

Dunne L, Worley S, Macknin M.

From the *Sports Medicine Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; the daggerDepartment of Quantitative Health Sciences, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH; and the double daggerChildren's Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH.

OBJECTIVE:: It has been hypothesized that ribose supplementation rapidly replenishes adenosine triphosphate stores and thereby improves exercise performance. We compared the effects of ribose versus dextrose on rowing performance. DESIGN:: Double-blind randomized trial. SETTING:: Rowing team training area of large midwestern university. PARTICIPANTS:: Thirty-one women collegiate rowers. INTERVENTIONS:: We studied the effects of ribose versus dextrose supplementation (10 g each in 8 oz water) for 8 weeks before and after practice and 2000-m time trials. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:: In the time trials, the dextrose group showed significantly more improvement at 8 weeks than the ribose group (median, 15.2 vs. 5.2 s; P = 0.031). CONCLUSIONS:: We doubt ribose impaired, and hypothesize dextrose enhanced, rowing performance. Further research is needed to define what role, if any, dextrose and ribose play as athletic supplements
So for the rest of us, we can continue drinking our Gatorade during workouts.

Dextrose May Boost Sports Performance

Friday, January 13, 2006

Dallas number 6 in Top 20 "Meanest Cities Towards the Homeless" in the US

In a new report compiled by the National Coalition for the Homeless, Dallas ranked number 6 in the "meanest" cities towards homeless people.

When I first read the headline for the story, I expected to see Dallas within the top 10. Dallas has a long history of employing restrictive measures aimed at trying to drive the homeless population of Dallas away. In the past, the Dallas city council has enacted legislation to criminalize the use of removing shopping carts from store parking lots. They have also had local law enforcement bulldoze makeshift homeless shanty downs located below bridges and other areas.

Most recently, Dallas has banned independent groups from feeding the homeless without a permit, which the city claims is an effort to attempt to force the homeless to go and seek out the cities shelters. However, local charitable organizations spoke out against the ban because it puts restrictions on where and how they can deliver free food and care to the homeless.

Although I personally am in agreement with disallowing panhandling, all these other restrictions seem to be an attempt for the city of Dallas to send a message that they hope the homeless problem will just "go away" - at least out of the Dallas city limits.

Illegal to be Homeless - The National Coalition for the Homeless

FDA warns against Brazilian mystery fun pills

The FDA is warning people against new diet pills from Brazil labeled as "all natural" but contain all sorts of fun goodies.

The pills are billed as all-natural but may contain active ingredients, including controlled substances, normally found only in prescription drugs like Librium and Prozac.

Another ingredient in the pills, Fenproporex, is a stimulant that the body converts to amphetamine.

Sounds like fun. Be sure to pick up your Brazilian party pack diet pills before it's too late! - Consumers warned to avoid Brazilian diet pills - Jan 13, 2006

Customs admits what we already know - They're opening international mail

According to an article by CNN, U.S Customs officials have admitted to opening mail that they deem to be from a potential "terrorist" leaving the door open to basically do whatever they want (as usual).

Most of us already knew this anyway, international mail has never been safe. According to the law, the USPS can open up any international mail under any circumstances without a warrant. Only domestic first class, Priority Mail and Express mail requires a warrant to be opened. FedEx, UPS and any other carriers can open up whatever they want whenever they want.

But, this article sheds light on the fact that they might be opening international mail at a rate more than we previously thought.

Grant Goodman, an 81-year-old retired history professor, drew attention to the policy after a letter he received from a colleague in the Philippines was opened and resealed by Customs and Border Protection, and only then sent on to him.

He said he was shocked and amazed that the letter -- which he received last month from another retired history professor with whom he has corresponded for 50 years -- had been screened.

"It was a big surprise," Goodman, who taught at the University of Kansas, told Reuters. "The public should know that this is being done. Nobody whom I know had any idea that this was going on. And as far as I know, it's never been announced. It's never been revealed that this is being done."

The ACLU has an Action Campaign against the whole NSA spying on people deal, so you can write your reps and let them know you don't like that, and this about Customs (if you think it might do any good). The EFF has a similar action campaign. Both will automatically fax or email your representatives after you input your info and it generates an prefilled out letter. - U.S. opening some private mail in terror fight - Jan 9, 2006

Cameras to Catch Red Light Runners in Dallas

The Dallas City Council has approved new "Big Brother" style cameras to catch red light runners. The only answer is to stock up on PhotoBlocker Spray which is supposed to make your license plate impervious to cameras by creating an extremely shiny surface that blurs when a picture is taken.

Previously, Texas enacted a law that prohibited license plate covers, so you can no longer use any type of physical plate covers to try and blur or block your plate from cameras.

The only question is if the PhotoBlocker Spray actually works, then will these cameras use a flash that will enable it to blur your plate or will they just be live video cameras like other cities have used, rendering it useless? Either way, it's a cheap investment and I use it on my single rear license plate.

Hopefully the Texas branch of the National Motorist Association will have something to say about this.

Red-light cameras in Dallas a go - Dallas Morning News (Subscription Required)

New Law Prohibits being "annoying" online

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any sort of reporting apparatus in place yet to inform authorities when you're being annoyed or harassed online. More bureaucratic nonsense? C|Net has the low down...

FAQ: The new 'annoy' law explained | CNET

Thursday, January 12, 2006

FDA Requests Seizure of More Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids

FDA Requests Seizure of More Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids

The FDA and U.S. Marshals have seized boxes of Lipodrene, which contain 50mg of ephedrine alkaloids per capsule. Sounds like the FDA is still not ready to accept the Utah court decision that ephedra still might be legal. Although this might be a rocky legal stand point for the FDA, the product did contain more than 10mg that was decided upon in the court case.
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