Justifying soybeans

Soybeans…lol by ardie96750

More and more I’m noticing health-conscious people say “I don’t eat soy” with the same self-righteousness with which vegans inform their more barbaric friends that they don’t eat meat, saying that something in soy mimics estrogen and can have noticeable effects on the development of children, especially males. Being as distrustful as I am of the American food system, I bookmarked this snippet for further research.

A quick search informed me that the concern is caused by phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that are molecularly similar to and therefore can have similar effects as estrogen. Flax seed and other oilseeds contain the highest total phytoestrogen content, followed by soy bean and tofu. The benefits of these foods have been touted in the health food circuit for years, and soybeans have been a major staple of the Chinese diet for oh, five thousand years. And they seem to be doing just fine.

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Standing naked before you

Ok, so I have a confession to make.  For the last several months I’ve been pretty doggone sick.  It started back in October right after the fires, but I’ve been through a number of seemingly unrelated phases.  Breathing problems, high blood pressure, severe loss of appetite…the list goes on.  As public as I tend to be with my life, there are certain kinds of vulnerabilities that I’d rather not disclose.  But now that I’m one follow-up appointment away from being pretty sure that I’m ok, I’m more comfortable telling this part of my story.  Plus it makes my recent twitter messages come less out of left field.

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Time for a beta break

Computers and I in general just aren’t getting along so well this week.  I think I need to take a break from having to passively troubleshoot just about every application I use on a regular basis.  Troubleshooting is so ingrained in my standard thought process that it doesn’t typically bother me, but when too much starts building up I start having suicidal thoughts of flattening my drive and laying down a nice tame install of Windows 2000.

A small list of what has me seething: 
Disclaimer:  May not actually be related to beta software.

* Microsoft Exchange
* Firefox randomly deciding to clear all my stored usernames and passwords
* Websites without contact information
* Vista’s finely tuned ability to activate a new window right when I’m typing/clicking somewhere else
* My obsessive-compulsive perspective on managing RSS feeds
* Sprint Connection Manager’s recent preference for 1xRTT
* Paragraph tags
* Trillian Astra

Formatting Gaia: Surreal mashup of humans, technology, and nature

embedding_animation I recently came across the photography of Patrick Millard and am absolutely captivated by his Formatting Gaia project.  The artist’s comments on his work:

Human beings, technology, and nature are now all part of a congruous system of existence that is becoming more and more visible in our landscape.  Formatting Gaia depicts this world, where there is a physical connection between the three and all work in unison with one another.



The first mailing included a TechCrunch Tshirt, and one made its way to Lisa Brewster, who writes the blog Sophistechate. She posted the picture above to her blog a couple of days ago. Golf clap for Lisa, our new unofficial mascot.


The twitter points system

During my monthly new twitter followers processing, I realized that I have a curious informal points system that I run through every single time I look at someone’s twitter page to determine their reciprocal follow worthiness:

1.  Is it not in English? -100 points
2.  Based in San Diego? +50 points
     SoCal? +40 points
     SF? +25 points
3.  Female? (I know so few of them) +20 points
4.  More than 1000 tweets?  -35 points
5.  Using twitter as an RSS feed for your blog?  -60 points
6.  Following more than twice the number of people who follow you?  -30 points
7.  Two+ recent updates regarding what you ate? (and you’re not Chef JoAnna)  -30 points 
8.  Have a website? +20 points
     And it’s a myspace page?  -40 points
     Powered by Tumblr:  +10 points
     Intriguing "about" page?  +20 points
     Informative, clever posts on topics I find relevant?  +40 points
9.  Twitter posts that don’t suck?  +50 points

I’d say it takes about 100 points to get followed.  Once I hit -100, you’re out.   But what I find so amazing is that I go through all these levels of scrutiny before I really consider the quality of the actual content someone’s generating.  The twitter posts themselves are LAST.  I think I do this because since twitter can be so interrupting, I want to make sure I really trust and value the people I give that kind of 24/7 power to.

And yes…even though I just whipped the logic behind this in a few minutes, I do realize that I’m giving the same amount of points to San Diegans as I am to people who make smart posts.  There’s never going to be a shortage of interesting people on the Internet, and I decided several barcamps ago that one of my new platforms is to cultivate a stronger and more cultural community in this city.  Giving locals higher priority in social networking services helps me shed that pesky Valley Envy and devote more time  to hyping up what’s happening right under my nose.