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Category Archives: Health issues

Big savings on both money and pain

My old WaterPik died after eight years of service. I ordered a new one from Amazon. The new models have some small improvements. The lid pops up and stays put rather than coming off completely. The water tube curls up inside the case when it’s not in use, saving a little space. I don’t yet […]

Country-style seitan

Country-style steak made from seitan I have bought seitan in the past (it’s very expensive), and I didn’t really like it. Homemade seitan is a whole ′nother thing. The key ingredient is gluten flour. Gluten alone would be impossibly rubbery, so a certain amount of ground legumes (I used garbanzo beans in the seitan in […]

Entropy and a speculative theory of health

Basil (with okra in the background) — a negative entropy factory! Edible order I have written here before about negative entropy and its relation to life on earth. The post was “The opposite of entropy, and why we’re alive,” from December 2016. The concepts are based on a short but important book by the physicist […]

Our own fresh taste of the 14th Century

The Covid-19 virus. Source: Wikipedia By historical standards, this plague has been a mild one. So far, worldwide, about 2.3 million people have died from Covid-19. The most fatal pandemic in recorded history was the Black Death, which peaked in Europe between 1347 and 1351. The Black Death killed between 75 million and 200 million […]

Eat more mushrooms

A stir-fry of Quorn, green pepper, mushrooms, and broccoil Several articles have appeared recently about the benefits of eating mushrooms at least twice a week. Something in the mushrooms apparently wards off cognitive impairment in older people. Here are two of the articles: Science Daily: Eating mushrooms may reduce the risk of cognitive decline New […]

Flu shots?

Wikipedia Each winter, the media bombard us with articles telling us to get a flu shot. Here’s a typical headline: “The flu vaccine is only about 30% effective but you should get it anyway.” No thanks. I’ll do my own calculus on whether to get a flu shot. Those of us who avoid vaccinations are […]


It’s terrifying how much money Americans spend on bottled water — more than $13 billion a year. Even if bought by the gallon, bottled water costs well over $1 per gallon. When water is bought retail in smaller bottles, it costs $8 per gallon and up. And the plastic! Each year, 50 million barrels of […]

Blue-filtering eyeglasses

My eye doctor urged me to wear blue-filtering glasses while I’m in front of a computer screen or an iPad screen. Though I love the Retina display on my new 27-inch iMac, the screen does seem to be — at least subjectively — more intensely blue than the screen on my old iMac. So I’ve […]

Coping with carb craving

We all have carb cravings. For me that equals bread, or sometimes potatoes. The best way I know to mitigate the sin is to make one’s carb dishes at home, from scratch. There are ways of making carb dishes a little less carbie, not to mention keeping the salt much lower than what you get […]


By the way, this is 1,004th post in the Into the Woods blog. In the past, I have mentioned one of my heros (or heroines, if you wish) — Rita Levi-Montalcini. Italians affectionately called her “La Professoressa.” She was a Nobel laureate. She discovered nerve growth factor back in the 1980s and in 1986 won […]