Conversation w/ Allison

  • Allison (looks up from animal joke book): Dad, what’s gnu?
  • Me: excuse me?
  • Allison: In this joke book, it says the Moose says hello by saying “What’s gnu?”
  • Allison: So what’s gnu?
  • Me: I guess it’s the sound a moose makes.
  • Me: All I know for certain is that GNU’s Not Unix
  • Allison: huh?
  • Me: Never mind.

I was hoping for Poison Dart Frog

I'm a Pac Man Frog!
Argentinian Horned frogs seem to have been designed for the sole purpose of eating as much as possible. They appear to consist of two main parts: a mouth and a stomach. This is probably where they got the nickname “PacMan”. Their needs are fairly simple, a warm habitat in a simple plastic box or aquarium with some shallow water and a few rocks so that they can laze around all day suits them just fine. They don’t mix well with other frogs, even in their own species, as they are just as likely to eat them.What kind of Frog are you?

…but Pac Man Frogs are cool too.

Continue reading

Do Zinc Lozengers work?

A while back, Brenda’s sister suggested that we try Cold-Eaze whenever we caught a cold.  She said that her whole family uses them and they have had great success.  I was a little skeptical, but tried them anyway when the first cold of the season hit.

The box said that they had been clinically proven to reduce the strength and duration of the cold, and anecdotally, they seemed to lessen the duration of my cold as advertized.

The next time I had a cold, they seemed totally ineffective.  I looked at the box a little closer and saw that the papers they were siting were from the early 90’s. This made me wonder if I had been suckered.  As I fight off the 3rd cold of the season, I’m torn as to whether I should take the lozengers or save the 5 bucks.
I decided to do a little internet search on PubMed.  The quick glance suggest that the jury is still out on the effectiveness Vitamin C and Zinc Lozengers (like Cold-Eaze):

[1] Vitamin C may have a small role in preventing the common cold, with possibly a greater role in high-intensity physical activity and sub-arctic conditions.  Zinc lozenges seemed to be effective, but the issue of unblinding due to taste was a methodological issue of concern to the reviewers. (2005)

[2] Complementary and alternative therapies (i.e., Echinacea, vitamin C, and zinc) are not recommended for treating common cold symptoms; however, humidified air and fluid intake may be useful without adverse side effects. Vitamin C prophylaxis may modestly reduce the duration and severity of the common cold in the general population and may reduce the incidence of the illness in persons exposed to physical and environmental stresses. (2007)

My gut reaction is that maybe vitamin C and Zinc lozengers are effective against certain strains of viruses, but I have no proof.  I opted to take Claritin the past two days – it won’t shorten the duration, but it will mask the symptoms.