Thursday, December 29, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
PODCAST: Grilled by NewsRadio 610's John Corby
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
PODCAST: My recent appearance on Sirius Satellite Radio
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Truly great cinema
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
King Kloud: The Movie
As luck would have it, King Kong turned out to be King Kloud, sending me straight into the flatulence zone. You see, about 10 minutes into the first scene, someone in the general vicinity of our party started releasing a steady stream of methane into the theater.
At first I paid no attention to it. But it became unpleasant after withstanding an hour of it. I was on the verge of entering the fully-annoyed zone when I reminded myself that some people can’t help it.
By the second hour, whoever was “behind” the odor was becoming bolder, and started ripping them out loud. Literally. I clearly heard what sounded like a huge zipper being zipped.
Now THAT was rude, and they could have controlled it with a little effort and concentration. Still, the experience got me thinking about what movie foods could have possibly given this person such a bad case of uncontrollable gas.
Three suspects immediately came to mind (and all are not generally recognized by movie-goers as fart fodder): sugar-free soda, popcorn, and sugar-free candies. Their potency is amplified when they’re consumed together, as diabetics and dieters are likely to do at the movies.
Sugar-free candies are made with sugar alcohols, which cause extremely smelly gas, cramping, and/or the runs in a large percentage of the population. That’s why so many diabetics are gassy. They eat foods with sugar-free sweeteners, most if not all of which are sweetened with sugar alcohols.
Sugar-free sodas are also made with sugar substitutes. Combine the effects of soda carbonation (which is a gas) with the effects of artificial sweeteners that produce methanol – which metabolize into methane – and the results are audible.
Then there’s the popcorn. Operative word: CORN. It’s hard for the body to break down, which is why you'll see corn (or popcorn) kernels in your stool. They pass through your body completely intact.
Furthermore, popcorn is rich in natural sugars. Indeed, corn is where we get corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup from (hence the reason we call it “corn” syrup). The popcorn we eat at the movies is the starchy response of what happens when the sugars inside it are heated until they “pop” .
Combine something that’s hard to digest – popcorn – with easily fermentable sugar, carbonation, and sugar-free candy loaded with sugar alcohols, and you have a recipe for some serious methane production.
My advice for movie goers who suffer with gas problems: avoid the sugar-free candies and drinks, and swear off the popcorn while you’re at it.
Lastly, sit as close to the screen as you can, as methane rises rapidly. If you do happen to sit near a chronic gasser, you won’t suffer as much as those poor folks in the upper rows.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
First, regular readers of this blog know that I am concerned about environmental issues, and have written posts that talk about the strange-but-true connection between passing gas -- whether human or otherwise -- and global warming.
Hybrid vehicles are powered by both gasoline and some other fuel (such as hydrogen, natural gas, electricity, etc.). They produce fewer hydrocarbon emissions and, as such, are better for the environment.
While there are a number of hybrid automobiles on the market, until today, nobody has created a hybrid motorcycle.
Second, and more to the point, the man who invented, engineered, and built the prototype of the world's first hybrid motorcycle is a good friend of mine, and, as chance would have it, he suffers from flatulence.
Click here to download a small PowerPoint presentation that he is using to demonstrate his hybrid cycle.
If you don't have PowerPoint, click here to download and install Microsoft's free PowerPoint Viewer.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Supplement Cuts Methane Emissions 70%
That’s outstanding news for two reasons. One, any advance in the fight against global warming is an important win for the future of this planet. Two, if supplementing a cow’s diet can cut their gas emissions by 70%, without modifying their diet, what might the future hold for humans who can’t stop stinking?
In my view, this is a strong indication that there could be (and in my view, probably are) as-yet undiscovered organic compounds that might offer dramatic benefits to people who suffer with uncontrollable gas.
If it works for cows, who is to say it won’t work for humans? Can you imagine being able to reduce your gas problems by 70%, simply by taking a pill or sipping a mix?
The science behind this research is aimed at reducing greenhouse gasses. But you can bet scientists and drug companies will be looking closely at this study, and not solely at the agricultural aspects.
Call me crazy, but in my view, this news offers great hope for HUMAN sufferers of uncontrollable gas!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Extreme Problem, Extreme Solutions
Or consider this: a charcoal-activated chair pad for people with non-stop gas. Drop it on your office chair, park your tush, and you can squeeze methane out all day without offending your coworkers’ noses (although it can’t do anything for their ears).
I’m not endorsing these products. I haven’t tested them. And frankly, I’m not inclined to walk around with a charcoal pad jammed into my Skivvies.
But the fact that there’s a company out there that’s found a ready market for charcoal-activated undies proves what I have been saying for years: uncontrolled gas is a serious problem that impacts millions of people.
Worse, it’s a problem that people prefer to ignore, due to embarrassment, instead of talking about openly.
Frankly, I think a better approach to dealing with uncontrollable gas is to figure out what foods or combination of foods and medical conditions are causing the flatulence.
In some cases (such as with a lactose intolerance), a natural supplement can cure the problem, without requiring you to give up your favorite foods or dishes.
And in all cases, modifying one’s diet is not only less costly than buying a year’s supply of undie pads; it’s also more effective, because it targets the root causes of the problem.
Getting rid of the body odor that plagues sufferers of uncontrollable gas is a good first step. Eliminating the cramping, bloating, embarrassing noises, and inopportune bathroom runs is the as-yet unsolved step.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Hamming It Up for Xmas
For example, did you know that the first Thanksgiving actually took place this month, in December 1621, and not in November as we now observe. It took another 242 years before Thanksgiving became a national holiday, forever enshrined as the last Thursday of November by President Abraham Lincoln.
But while the date we observe Thanksgiving has changed from it’s original December observance to its present November holiday, one thing remains constant: it’s a national excuse to overeat.
And for people with diabetes; malabsorptive syndromes; lactose intolerance; Crohn’s, Colitis, Celiac, or inflammatory bowel diseases; or other lower-GI issues, Thanksgiving can be one of the most uncomfortable, gassiest holidays of the year.
Indeed, this year I personally suffered for days with flatulence issues, after eating too much of my Aunt’s delicious homemade cole slaw. The cabbage in her slaw causes severe gas for the same reasons beans do.
If you suffered, or are still suffering, as a result of your Thanksgiving dinner, it’s not too late to think about how you will survive—indeed, enjoy—your next challenging feast: Christmas dinner.
Eating too much of anything can (and often does) overburden your digestive system, and cause undesirable effects. This problem is exacerbated when the foods in question are refined, processed foods such as stuffing, filling, breads, pies, cakes, etc.
These foods are devoid of enzymes, which the body needs to break them down. Complicating matters: our bodies don’t handle raw foods very well anymore; because they’ve become accustomed to digesting the refined processed stuff.
The best way to avoid the consequences of your Christmas ham or turkey dinner: reduce your intake of gravy, stuffing, and other white refined foods (yeah, like that’s possible), while increasing your intake of lightly cooked (preferably steamed) vegetables.
When it comes to big holiday dinners, you really are what you eat.
And if someone you know returned from their Thanksgiving holiday smelling, well, not like roses, send them an anonymous Gassy Greeting Card. Maybe they’ll take the hint, and return from their Xmas dinner without that gas cloud in tow.
Friday, December 02, 2005
P.U.: Perfectly Unacceptable
There are some whacky guesses, such as an early marketing campaign for deodorant that fights Personal Underarm odor.
But this much is certain: the Indo-European root “pu-” means “rot” and “decay”, words obviously associated with objectionable odors. Think putrid, pungent, or even puke.
Another possibility is that P.U. is short for putro, puter, puteo, Latin words for putrid, foul, stink, be redolent, or smell bad.
Any way you slice it, this is an interesting factoid to bring up at your next boring holiday party. And make sure you tell folks you read it on the Trafon blog first!
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Good News for Bean Lovers
Here’s why beans give people gas: the complex sugars found in beans (carbohydrates or starches known as disaccharides) are too large to pass through the walls of our small intestine, and our body doesn’t produce an enzyme that can break them down.
This forces the body to move the beans through our large intestine, where they’re eaten – literally – by hundreds of bacteria species that live there.
The bacteria produce carbon dioxide and methane as they break the foodstuffs down. As those gasses build up, they’re passed out of the body in the form of breaking wind.