Monday, November 27, 2006

Does a body good?

I've always heard that it's a good idea to avoid dairy when suffering from a cold. That's a pretty big problem for me, since my diet pretty much breaks down like this:

On average, I drink about a gallon of milk in three days, and that's with little to no help from MB. As you can imagine, it's nearly impossible to put aside an addiction of that magnitude even if Web MD and my parents tell me that dairy will thicken the mucus that is making me feel so crappy. Then again, the Dairy Council of California claims that nothing bad will happen to me, no matter how much cow juice* I chug:  "There is no scientific research showing that milk produces mucus in the airways or the throat. It will not worsen cold or asthma symptoms."

Interesting. I think I'll enjoy another cool glass of 2% and let the academics battle it out.

Now that I've ruined your appetite by discussing mucus and cow juice*, let's do another Green Challenge summary!

Week Six:  The Holidays

Congratulations—you have taken the Week Six Action Quiz. Your score is 154, which means you've promised to take the annual equivalent of 0.02 cars off the road.

"On average, the amount of garbage Americans produce between Thanksgiving and New Year's increases by 25 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That comes to a total of more than 25 million tons.

>>Joining OurEnergy saves about 139 pounds of CO2 per person per year.

>>Donating a tree [in lieu of a physical, purchased gift] saves about 50 pounds of CO2 in a year.

>>Switching out three strings of regular holiday minilights for LED lights saves 17 pounds of CO2 per person per year."

I pledged to buy gifts with less packaging and to recycle as much holiday-related waste as possible. I also said I'd join OurEnergy , which claims:

"We offer the best opportunity to support clean domestic renewable energy, hands down. While most of the available renewable energy options ask you to do more, we work with you. Integrated easily into your daily life, OurEnergy offers an uncomplicated and easy way to support American renewable energy at no cost to you.

Join free, we will generate 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind energy when you do and you will help reduce global warming immediately. For every additional $2.50 that is contributed by our retail partners, we will generate another 100kWh of clean wind energy. You will make a real difference for free with every purchase!"

If I see any LED holiday lights, I wouldn't mind trying them on our little Christmas tree, but I didn't agree to it on the quiz since I'm not sure I'll be able to find any in stores. I did buy one of the funny-looking CFL bulbs today, so I'm interested to see how it holds up in the wonky kitchen light fixture. According to the packaging, it's absolutely guaranteed to last for five years, so I guess I can get my money back if our bad kitchen light luck takes it out in just a few months.

*Cow Juice:  not as gross as it sounds

Here's the story of cow juice. When my sister was little, she never wanted to drink milk. She only ever wanted fruit juice, no matter what. On a camping trip when I was 8 and she was 2, our mom was trying to get her to drink a cup of milk. My sister protested that she wanted juice. Repeatedly. Finally, in exasperation, my mother said, "It's cow juice! Drink it!"

Reading: I finished books 2 through 5 of Y, the Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra today. I usually don't get into graphic novels, since I typically have a hard time picking up on the flow of the pages and get lost trying to read the panels chronologically, but this series is pretty easy to digest. Each collected book only took about an hour to get through.

After finishing book 5, I picked up Preludes & Nocturnes, the first collected volume of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, but I'm having my typical trouble following along, as well as having no luck recognizing characters and being able to remember their names. Obviously this is no fault of the writer or the artist, just a weird tic in my brain. I hope to soldier on tomorrow on my lunch break, so I guess I'll just have to see how it goes.

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