28 May 2007


Do you know Lou Ferrigno? He played the Hulk in the tv show in the 70s-80s. I remember well seeing him on Mr. Roger's and learning about how the makeup/costume was applied. I also remember watching Pumping Iron my freshman year of college. My friends, Noel and Jason Green, got to meet Lou and eat with him in a restaurant. They got me an autographed photo of "the Hulk". Noel sent that to me while I lived in Japan. That was awesome. I used to watch the Hulk series from behind the kitchen bar in our house until I was four. I wouldn't let my parents change the channel even though I was scared somewhat.

Well, recently, we moved in to our new apartment. I set my framed Hulk photo on the top of my bookshelf. When two of our maintenance guys came in to fix stuff, they commented on the photo with great excitement. "Did you meet Lou?" We enjoyed talking about him for a few minutes.

Then, after the "assembly order" as my local church community calls it, Lou came up in my conversation with a recent newcomer, a semi-retired man who uses a device to help him hear prayers and sermons. I said, "Do you know who Lou Ferrigno is?" We had several minutes of enthusiastic conversation about this good man. I said, "Did you know he is practically deaf?"

There was another conversation, though I don't remember who with (Derrick?), in which the other person said in reference to Lou, "Man, isn't he good at reading lips!" This conversation may have been on Saturday since my friend of half my life, Derrick, has been bodybuilding for a couple of years now. (I'll post on he and Naomi later.)

I hope to hear more good things about Lou in the coming future. Some "facts" that I hear about Lou are probably inaccurate, but it seems most people like Lou better the Arnold. It is interesting, though unprovable phenomenon to me. Feel free to give your "Lou" reports or opinions anytime on my blog. I'm thinking of placing him on my mental board of trustees along with MLK jr and Song Sun, some of my other heroes.

P.S. Nicole, who will always be on my mental board of trustees, just said, "I will not sleep with Lou Ferrigno in my bedroom," referring to the framed picture . . . not having read this post. Sorry, Lou, I guess you're going to have to sleep in the closet or living room or something.

22 May 2007

Is Ritalin Right for You?

The most powerful symptom: "Often figits with hands or feet or squirms in seat."

Should everyone take psychotropic drugs? Many M.D.s believe ADHD exists, but that doesn't mean everyone who "squirms" has it. You should seek critical doctors before you take any drugs--in my humble, but passionate opinion. Especially when you are giving the drugs to your child.

No tests document ADHD, only symptom clusters . . . but treatments cause long-term and, at times, permanent effects on the brain. ADHD is an unproven disease, but treatments are proven to produce brain atrophy. Other side effects according to a young man prescribed Paxill in the third grade: "hallucinations, a voice telling me to kill people". Can you imagine a Mormon kid becoming violent, walking into school with a gun?

If an "expert" gave you choices of "covering" your child's hyperactive squirming: fresh foods, watching the Little Mermaid 29 times, electric shock therapy, or a magic pill . . . which one(s) would you choose. Would you go to prison for not medicating your kid?

Was Television your babysitter? At what age must a person stop squirming? Why must the energy be stifled? Shouldn't it be channeled? Are pills ways of raising proper kids?

Well, hopefully my questions will make good teasers for the video. Click on the title link to watch the video and read a commentary.

Why do I put things like this on my blog? I trust in God to constantly provide renewable energy, healing, and joy. I'm not perfect. I get depressed, sick, and mean-spirited. But I don't expect the solution, ultimately, to come from people who will make a lot of money from it (i.e., many drugs on the Western market). I don't want to bow down to anyone. It doesn't mean I won't submit to medical care; I will as long as it is "care".

If you suffer from depression, I would recommend several choices. You may not find the side effects from drugs acceptable (especially for 80% of people diagnosed with depression). So try some or all of these proven solutions that have mostly positive side effects and no debilitating ones:

Eat a fresh variety of food, especially plant food, without avoiding good fats like Omega-3s.

I think these have God's stamp of approval and the promise of his sustenance. Even if you are skeptical that God might work through natural living processes, at least be skeptical of specific technologically produced pharmeceuticals prescribed by an expert who may be indiscriminate, for example, psychotropic drugs. The person is not bad, but the prescription might be and, I would say, probably is.

15 May 2007

Dirty Guts

Click on the Title link to read some interesting information and commentating about negative effects of using antibacterial soaps and positive effects of building up the trillions of bacteria living in our guts. (Link courtesy of www.mercola.com. Photo courtesy of www.hpylori.com.au/)

Bacteria may be the immediate cause of . . . (ahem) . . . throwing up and such, but the loss of intestinal bacteria diversity is the cause of chronic diseases that prevent many of us from living vigorously.

12 May 2007

Death by Subsidies

"What’s at stake in our eating choices is not only our own and our children’s health, but the health of the environment that sustains life on earth." (excerpt from Michael Pollan's website)

Michael Pollan has researched and written on the modern history of the food industry for several years. Here's a review of his latest book: "Expanding on his articles for The New York Times Magazine, he lays out the many ways in which government policy since the Nixon era — to grow as much corn as possible, subsidized with federal money — is totally out of whack with the needs of nature and the American public."

I am convicted of the fact that people ought to pay attention to what they eat, pay for, and the ethics (or nonethics) of the systems they are supporting. In a NY Times article published on my birthday, Pollan writes:

"Twinkies are made from 39 ingredients, most of them requiring elaborate processing themselves, in addition to packaging and marketing.

But they, like many other processed foods, are cheaper than a similar quantity of carrots, which require no processing or marketing, and little or no packaging. How is this possible?

The answer is a piece of legislation called the farm bill, which is renewed every five years (including this year), and sets guidelines for the American food system -- including which crops will be subsidized and which will not.

Processed foods like Twinkies are made from carbohydrates and fats extracted from corn, soybeans and wheat, which, along with rice and cotton, are the products supported with $25-billion subsidies from the U.S. government.

But the farm bill does almost nothing to support farmers growing other forms of produce, such as more nutrient-rich vegetables. The result is a food system flooded with corn-derived added sugars, and soy-derived added fats. Meanwhile, the real price of fruits and vegetables increased by nearly 40 percent between 1985 and 2000, while the real price of soft drinks (made with high-fructose corn syrup) actually declined by 23 percent.

The farm bill has far-reaching effects on health, the economy, and the environment. A growing body of activists are becoming aware of the implications, and are pressing for changes to the bill, which has remained largely unchanged for decades."

New York Times April 22, 2007 (Registration Required)

10 May 2007

Whole Summer

If you're interested in health, you should regularly explore http://mercola.com. Dr. Mercola is an D.O., or doctor of osteopathy, which means he is " . . . licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery in all 50 states. But [osteopathic physicians] bring something extra to the practice of medicine. Osteopathic physicians practice a "whole person" approach to medicine, treating the entire person rather that just the symptoms. With a focus on preventive health care, DOs help patients develop attitudes and lifestyles that don't just fight illness, but help prevent it, too."

Dr. Mercola responds to scientific studies from various journals. You can find a lot of encouragement to live well and affordably. Here is an excerpt from a particularly basic article: " . . . the study very elegantly demonstrates that whole food sources are clearly superior to the supplement form of vitamin C. In whole foods, there are a variety of accessory micronutrients that work synergistically with the primary one. It is very rare where the isolated nutrient will perform better than the whole food version."

You should also search mercola.com for information about disappearance of honeybees. I think we should minister not only to the "whole person", but also to the "whole creation". The gift of the "breath of life" is not only a gift of metabolism, but a gift of interdependence with all other creatures who also have a gracious relationship with the Creator. In the beginning . . . God created creatures. There certainly are differences between humans and the other creatures, but we will have to deal with that somewhere else.

By the way, I graduated from Harding Graduate School of Religion last Saturday. I found I can't stop reading. I wondered into the library while babysitting Joshua on Tuesday and he led me to Mr. Turtle's guided research paper. I finished reading it last night. I also read the first chapter of Moby Dick last night. I don't know that I've been trained to read fiction, but I'll keep trying. I've definitely developed a thirst for knowledge, though.

I will be babysitting Joshua and doing grounds/maintenance work with the graduate school through May. Then, the first full week in June, Nicole and I will be doing Memphis Workcamp where we scrape, paint, and do minimal maintenance for low income folks in Memphis. The second full week in June I will probably begin working for Wagner construction. We need to find a cheap second car by then.

08 May 2007

Provisions Plus

Just thought I would post something since I haven't in a long while. These were photos taken on my third fastest birthday yet, my 30-second birthday. We had a team meeting and had a small party at India Palace.

I wanted to type some words from Isaiah 55 in the Message version:

"I don't think the way you think.
The way you work isn't the way I work."
God's Decree.

"For as the sky roars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don't go back until they've watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They'll do the work I sent them to do,
they'll complete the assignment I gave them."

So, let me ask you something. Do you trust God to provide? Do rich countries need to become richer before they will be capable of producing extra food? Or is God already providing enough food? Does it have to become cheaper for us before we can make it available to them? Do we trust God to provide?