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Friday, February 22, 2008

Female G spot 'can be detected'

Woman's lips
Some doubt the existence of a G spot at all
The mysterious G spot - supposedly a route to female sexual satisfaction - can be located with ultrasound, claim Italian scientists.

Some women say stimulating a certain part of the vagina triggers powerful orgasms, but medics have not been able to pin down the exact location.

Researchers told New Scientist magazine they found an area of thicker tissue among the women reporting orgasms.

But specialists warned there could be other reasons for this difference.

For the first time, it is possible to determine by a simple, rapid and inexpensive method if a woman has got a G spot or not
Dr Emmanuele Jannini
University of L'Aquila

The existence of the G spot has remained controversial since the 1980s, when the term was coined as a way to explain why some women were able to achieve orgasm through vaginal stimulation, while others were not.

Some specialists claim that the term has led to over-anxiety among women who cannot reach satisfaction this way, and their partners.

Love muscle

The latest research, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, was carried out the Dr Emmanuele Jannini at the University of L'Aquila, and involved just 20 women.

Ultrasound was used to measure the size and shape of the tissue beyond the "front" wall of the vagina, often suggested as the location of the G spot.

In the nine women who reported being able to achieve vaginal orgasm, the tissues between the vagina and the urethra - which carries urine out of the body - were on average thicker than in the 11 women who could not reach orgasm this way.

It's telling people that there is a single, best way to have sex, which isn't the right thing to do
Dr Petra Boynton
University College London

Dr Jannini said: "For the first time, it is possible to determine by a simple, rapid and inexpensive method if a woman has got a G spot or not."

However, Dr Tim Spector, from St Thomas' Hospital in London, told New Scientist that the thicker tissue might actually be part of the clitoris - another extremely sensitive area.

Another suggestion was that, rather than being the cause of more orgasms, having these frequently might actually lead to better-developed musculature in this area.

Dr Petra Boynton, a sexual psychologist at University College London, said that an entire industry had grown up around the idea of a G spot, and it was unhelpful to label women unable to find theirs as "dysfunctional".

She said: "We're all different. Some women will have certain area within the vagina which will be very sensitive, and some won't - but they won't necessarily be in the area called the G spot.

"If a woman spends all her time worrying about whether she is normal, or has a G spot or not, she will focus on just one area, and ignore everything else.

"It's telling people that there is a single, best way to have sex, which isn't the right thing to do."

Original here

A 12-Step Program to Eating Healthier Than Ever Before

“If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” - Leon Eldred

As I mentioned recently, I was a junk-food addict in my not-too-distant past, and ballooning alarmingly around the waistline. I was addicted to burgers and sodas and fries and pizzas and sweets and all the fast food you can think of and most especially chocolate.

Today, while I can’t say I only eat wheat germ and fresh veggies picked right from my home garden, I generally eat healthier than I have ever done in my life.

How did I get from Point A (junk food junkie) to Point B (much healthier diet)? I’ll let you in on my secret (and it’s not a secret if you’re one of the many people who discovered this already): I didn’t go from Point A to Point B. It’s more like Point A to Point Z, with lots of points in between.

Actually, that’s the secret to any meaningful improvement, in my experience, but we’ll just talk about eating healthy for now.

Today I’m a vegetarian (mostly vegan) and I try to eat lots of fruits and veggies and whole grains and nuts and beans. I’ll admit that I still have burgers, though they’re veggie burgers instead of fatty meat burgers, and I usually have them with whole grain bread or buns and lots of fresh veggies on them. And I don’t use fatty mayo anymore, but Veganaise, which helps.

I also eat pizza, but it’s not covered in sausages or pepperoni, but veggies. I still eat burritos, but I try to fill them with low-fat beans, veggies, salsa, instead of fatty stuff. I really really enjoy soy yogurt and fresh berries, whole-grain cereal with soy milk, oatmeal with berries and nuts. Mmmmm.

My point is that I don’t deprive myself, but have learned to love foods that are at least a little bit healthier, and in some cases much healthier. I also don’t miss meat at all, but the secret to that is the baby steps we’ll talk about in this post.

The Problem With Most Diet Plans
New fad diets in books and magazines and the Internet are a dime a dozen. Some of them are actually pretty decent, but almost all of them have one single flaw that will make it very difficult for anyone to stick to them.

The flaw? They try to get you to change your entire diet at once.

That just doesn’t work for most people. I’ve tried lots of diets, and for the first week, I’m extremely enthusiastic and determined. But such a drastic change in diet is hard to sustain, and soon you give in to temptation and then it falls apart. We’ve all been there.

The Power of Small Changes
The title of this post is misleading, and I’ll admit that. Most people associate a “12-step program” with alcoholics anonymous or similar program, but this post isn’t about those programs at all.

That it is about is making changes to your diet one small step at a time. Baby steps. The miracle of this is that we adjust to these small changes after a couple weeks, until they seem normal and we don’t feel like we’re depriving ourselves of anything.

Take meat for example. Let’s say you wanted to become a vegetarian, and you cut out all meat from your diet completely. You’d feel very deprived, and you might have a very hard time. Most people wouldn’t last very long — maybe a week or two at most — before caving in and eating meat and feeling guilty.

But let’s say instead that you just started with beef. Well, at dinner tonight, you probably wouldn’t notice much because you could have chicken or fish or turkey or pork — all the stuff you might normally eat. After a few weeks, going without beef would seem normal, and you probably wouldn’t miss it much.

Repeat that process for pork, and soon you’ve cut red meat from your diet (assuming you don’t eat much venison or buffalo or otter or whatnot). Then do chicken — this might be a difficult stage for many — and just eat seafood for awhile. After a few weeks of that, though, you’d get used to it. Next step is dropping seafood, and soon you’re a vegetarian who doesn’t miss meat one bit.

I’m not saying you need to become a vegetarian. I’m saying that small steps, taken a few weeks at a time, makes the process much easier. I’ve done it with meat, with fried foods, with sweets, with eating more fruits and whole grains, and many other food changes, and it’s worked every time.

You get used to it, if you do it a bit at a time.

The 12-Step Program
Actually, what follows is just an example. You can use as many steps as you want, making whatever changes you want. This is just a sample of what can be done, to give you some ideas.

The rules:

  1. Apply these changes, one at a time, until you get used to them. This will probably be 3-4 weeks per step. But in a year’s time, you’ll be eating as healthy as possible.
  2. Focus as much energy as possible on each change for at least a couple weeks. Don’t deviate if you can. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.
  3. If it seems too difficult, make a smaller step instead. For example, instead of cutting out sweets, just cut out cakes and donuts. Smaller steps make things much easier.
  4. Always replace bad food with healthy food that you enjoy. What I’ve given are just examples — everyone has different tastes.

OK, so here’s an example of how this step-by-step process could work:

  1. Eat fruits for snacks. If you snack on junk food during the day, have some fruits by your side at all times. When you’re feeling hungry for a snack, eat a fruit. One of those bags of small apples is a handy thing — you can’t go wrong with apples.
  2. Drink water instead of soda. The only thing I drink (besides an occasional beer) is water. I’m not saying you need to do that, but try to cut out sugary drinks a bit at a time, replacing them with water.

  1. Eat whole grain bread. If you eat white bread or bagels or whatever, replace them with whole-grain versions. Be sure to look at the ingredients — it shouldn’t say enriched wheat flour, but whole grain. Also try to avoid breads with high-fructose corn syrup (actually, avoid that ingredient in anything).
  2. Add fresh veggies to dinner. If you don’t already, have some steamed greens with dinner. Cut out a less healthy side dish if you usually eat something else.
  3. Cut out red meat. You can still eat poultry and seafood for now. You can later cut those out too if you want.
  4. Make pizza instead of ordering. Homemade pizza is the best, and if you haven’t made it yet, you should. The simple way is to get a ready-made whole-wheat crust, although making your own tastes even better. Start with the simple version, though, as you don’t want to make things too difficult. For the simple version, just add some gourmet spaghetti sauce (not Ragu), cut up some veggies (I like tomatoes and mushrooms and spinach and olives, but you can use anything, even potatoes). Brush the veggies with some olive oil. You can add grated cheese or soy cheese if you want, though it’s not necessary. Bake till it looks cooked. Mmmm.
  5. Nuts instead of chips. If you normally snack on chips, try unsalted peanuts or raw almonds.
  6. Soymilk instead of whole milk. Whole milk is fatty (not to mention the suffering done by the cows in modern dairy factories). Soymilk is much healthier. You get used to it after awhile, like all the changes on this list, but if soymilk is a problem at least drink 1% milk.
  7. Whole grain cereal. If you eat sugary cereal, try a whole-grain cereal instead.
  8. Berries instead of candy. This is a recent change of mine, and it’s actually been much easier than I thought. I used to snack on chocolate candy all the time, but now I try to eat berries to satisfy my sweet cravings and it works!
  9. Scrambled tofu instead of fried eggs. Scrambled tofu is a secret vegan wonder. Try this recipe.
  10. Try some great veggie dinners. There are so many good ones out there if you haven’t tried them. Try my soup or chili.

If you implement 12 changes, you’ll probably be eating healthier than you ever have before. A great thing is that once you’ve done this, you’ll probably keep going, to 20 steps and beyond.

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” - Mark Twain

Original here

Slurping Your Way to Weight Gain

Liquid calories slip by so easily, it’s almost hard to take them seriously. But alas, all those super-sized beverages and high fructose corn syrup concoctions have contributed, quite stealthily, to our obesity epidemic. Our adults have the beer bellies and our children the Big Gulp guts to prove it. Although some cities have started to ban sales of soda in schools, we adults are free to roam in the world of heavily sauced drinks, sometimes adding a meal-sized amount of calories from a tiny little straw. Here are some obvious and not-so-obvious ways to bulk up without ever having to chew.

Burger King Chocolate Ice Cream Shake: 950 calories, 29 grams fat (19 saturated), 640 milligrams sodium, 146 grams sugar

Hmmm … a milkshake, or an entire meal? You could have a burger (290 calories), small fries (230 calories), and a small soda (140 calories) for fewer calories (660) than this drink. I’d rather chew.
A better bet:
small chocolate milk.

Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino:
410 calories, 16 grams fat (10 saturated), 270 milligrams sodium, 54 grams sugar

Is it a coffee, or is it a milkshake? Although the CEO of Starbucks recently made the decision to stop selling sandwiches in their stores, I’m guessing they’ll keep selling these espresso-flavored milkshakes as long as we keep buying them. Darn, they’re good.
A better bet
: iced skim milk latte.

Jamba Juice Peanut Butter Moo’d Shake Original Size: 840 calories, 21 grams fat ( 4.5 saturated), 122 grams sugar, 15 milligrams cholesterol

Jamba Juice’s logo contains a lot of colorful fruit, but there’s little of it in this shake. Instead, it has frozen yogurt, chocolate moo’d base (what is that?), soy milk, bananas, and peanut butter. With 122 grams of sugar (very few of them from the banana), it’s the equivalent of drinking five Cokes (a can has about 40 grams of sugar). Even their less obviously bad Strawberries Wild has 83 grams of sugar.
A better bet
: 16-ounce Bright Eyed and Blueberry shake; it has 220 calories, and 38 grams sugar

Orange Julius’ Strawberry Banana Shake (32-ounce):
600 calories, 14 grams fat (11 saturated), 87 grams sugar, 130 milligrams sodium

It must be a first: a shake made with lowfat frozen yogurt, bananas, and strawberries that contains 11 grams of saturated fat. Truly amazing. I’d rather eat a Snicker’s bar, which has half the calories (280), less saturated fat (5 grams), and less sugar (30 grams).
A better bet
: a 20-ounce Orange Julius has only 160 calories and 5 grams fat, none of them saturated

Seven Eleven Double Gulp Soda: 600 calories

I drank sixty-four ounces of soda on a cross-country road trip once, and it was a bad scene. My stomach didn’t feel quite right for at least a day, and my friend, who also imbibed, was so hopped up on caffeine she started giving lip to the Texas highway patrol who pulled her over for doing ninety in a fifty zone. I think there’s still a warrant out for her arrest.

Soda isn’t that bad every once in a while; unfortunately, it’s hard to find anything smaller than a 16-ouncer and really easy to get things much larger. Cans of soda seem to be obsolete. The Food and Drug Administration’s official serving size is 8 ounces (100 calories), not eight times that amount. Bigger isn’t better.
A better bet
: can of soda (150 calories) or a diet soda.

Bottled Juice: 300–400 calories for 20 ounces

True, juice isn’t inherently bad for you, and can sometimes provide vitamins and nutrients. However, you’d be much better off eating the fruit from which it came rather than drinking mostly empty calories. Many store-bought juices have added sugars, and most come in a 2.5 serving or larger container, making that breakfast accompaniment as many calories as the meal itself.
A better bet
: stick to 8-ounce containers or kid’s containers; look for 100 percent juices; juice your own.

Pina Colada: 644 calories (approximately)

If you really like Pina Coladas, you may not only get caught in the rain, but in the fat farm. At around seven hundred calories, this drink, made with rum, coconut milk, and pineapples has more calories than a Big Mac. Other calorically heavy-hitting cocktails are Long Island Iced Teas, Margaritas, and White Russians. Damn, I love those.
A better bet
: vodka and soda with lime; glass of red wine; a beer

While it’s hard to think about drinks as anything but additions to a meal, the sizes and sugar-laden drinks we’re faced with today make them more like an entire meal. Unfortunately, rarely are they as satisfying or as filling. So when I find myself having more pints of beer than slices of pizza, I get rid of them the only way I know how: by drinking water while I exercise.

Original here

How Magic Works - Penn & Teller

Air-Powered Car Coming to U.S. in 2009 to 2010 at Sub-$18,000, Could Hit 1000-Mile Range

The CityCAT, already being developed in India (bottom left), will be available for U.S. production in three different four-door styles. But it's the radical dual-energy engine, with a possible 1000-mile range at 96 mph, that could move the Air Car beyond Auto X Prize dreams and into American garages.

The Air Car caused a huge stir when we reported last year that Tata Motors would begin producing it in India. Now the little gas-free ride that could is headed Stateside in a big-time way.
Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM) confirmed to on Thursday that it expects to produce the world’s first air-powered car for the United States by late 2009 or early 2010. As the U.S. licensee for Luxembourg-based MDI, which developed the Air Car as a compression-based alternative to the internal combustion engine, ZPM has attained rights to build the first of several modular plants, which are likely to begin manufacturing in the Northeast and grow for regional production around the country, at a clip of up to 10,000 Air Cars per year.

And while ZPM is also licensed to build MDI’s two-seater OneCAT economy model (the one headed for India) and three-seat MiniCAT (like a SmartForTwo without the gas), the New Paltz, N.Y., startup is aiming bigger: Company officials want to make the first air-powered car to hit U.S. roads a $17,800, 75-hp equivalent, six-seat modified version of MDI’s CityCAT (pictured above) that, thanks to an even more radical engine, is said to travel as far as 1000 miles at up to 96 mph with each tiny fill-up.

We’ll believe that when we drive it, but MDI’s new dual-energy engine—currently being installed in models at MDI facilities overseas—is still pretty damn cool in concept. After using compressed air fed from the same Airbus-built tanks in earlier models to run its pistons, the next-gen Air Car has a supplemental energy source to kick in north of 35 mph, ZPM says. A custom heating chamber heats the air in a process officials refused to elaborate upon, though they insisted it would increase volume and thus the car’s range and speed.

“I want to stress that these are estimates, and that we’ll know soon more precisely from our engineers,” ZPM spokesman Kevin Haydon told PM, “but a vehicle with one tank of air and, say, 8 gal. of either conventional petrol, ethanol or biofuel could hit between 800 and 1000 miles.”

Those figures would make the Air Car, along with Aptera’s Typ-1 and Tesla’s Roadster, a favorite among early entrants for the Automotive X Prize, for which MDI and ZPM have already signed up. But with the family-size, four-door CityCAT undergoing standard safety tests in Europe, then side-impact tests once it arrives in the States, could it be the first 100-mpg, nonelectric car you can actually buy?

Original here