Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Bacon can harm a man's fertility - Half portion a day of processed meat 'significantly harms sperm quality' -

Bacon can harm a man's fertility - Half portion a day of processed meat 'significantly harms sperm quality' - 

Men who eat just one rasher of bacon a day could be reducing their chances of becoming fathers.
Half a portion of processed meat such as a rasher or a small sausage can significantly harm sperm quality, scientists believe.
Those who want to boost the odds of having a child should eat fish instead – with species such as cod or halibut appearing to have a particularly dramatic effect on fertility.

The findings add to the growing evidence that a couple’s chances of having children is strongly governed by their lifestyle – with smoking, alcohol and stress having a detrimental effect and exercise and diet enhancing it.
Experts are still unclear why certain foods can harm or promote fertility, but red meat is thought to contain high levels of pesticides and other substances that can interfere with hormones. White fish is rich in zinc, which is believed  to boost fertility.

In a study to be presented this week at a meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Boston, Harvard University researchers compared the eating habits of 156 men undergoing IVF treatment with their partners. 
They were each questioned how often they ate a range of foods including processed meat, white meat, red meat, white fish and tuna or salmon. Men who consumed just half a portion of processed meat a day had just 5.5 per cent ‘normal’ shaped sperm cells, compared to 7.2 per cent of those who ate less.
Men who had dishes containing white fish at least every other day – or half a portion daily – had far better sperm quality than those who ate it rarely.


Japan now has wine for cats - meow Nouveau

Japan now has wine for cats - meow Nouveau

We've heard of beer for dogs, so it was only a matter of time before there was a wine developed for feline tastes. 

A Japanese pet lifestyle company called B&H Lifes has come up with a “wine exclusively for cats,” called Nyan Nyan Nouveau (or meow Nouveau), according to RocketNews24.

Unlike the human version, this kitty wine contains no alcohol, but it is made with juice from Cabernet Franc wine grapes, Vitamin C and catnip, which gives it the taste of wine.

B&H Lifes acknowledges that most cats don't drink liquids for taste, but the company hopes that cat owners will buy it for their furry friends to celebrate special days -- and the upcoming Beaujolais Nouveau season. Japan is the world’s second-largest consumer of the wine after Germany.

But cat owners better hurray.  There are only about one thousand bottles being made --which go on sale for about $4 each. 


TRICK OR TREAT: GM boosts price of new trucks -- to pay for rebates... -

TRICK OR TREAT: GM boosts price of new trucks -- to pay for rebates... - 

General Motors has boosted prices of its redesigned 2014 full-size pickups $1,500 – enough to pay for a $1,500 rebate currently offered on most models.

"It's the oldest game in the book – raise the price and raise the rebate. It's a marketing message," says Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. Shoppers have come to expect a rebate, and are less attentive to whether the price of the vehicle has gone up commensurately, he says.

The new prices make the least-expensive 2014 GM pickup – a Silverado with two-wheel drive and regular cab -- $26,670 including $1,095 shipping.

The peculiarities of car buying mean that it's easier to get financing for a $36,500 truck that comes with a cash rebate of $1,500 than it is for a $35,000 truck – even though the net price is the same.

The $1,500 rebate becomes all or part of the down payment that lenders want to see. "Dealers like that. They can use it to help get customers qualified for a loan," says GM spokesman Jim Cain.

Average transaction prices for full-size pickups are $40,000 to $42,000, Brauer says, "so $1,500 is nothing."

The higher prices were announced to dealers Oct. 7 and are effective from then. The $1,500 rebates run though Oct. 31. GM, Ford Motor and Chrysler Group's Ram are battling fiercely for sales so rebates, cheap leases, low-interest loans all are likely to continue.

"This price adjustment was planned and is a normal part of business," Cain says. The 2014 trucks were launched in the summer at the same prices as similar 2013 models, and "a new truck with more capability, more power, better mileage, more equipment – that's kind of a rebate itself," he says.

Might seem odd coming just after a month when Chevrolet Silverado sales were down 10.8% and GMC Sierra sales were off 1.5%, according to sales tracker Autodata.

But in GM's view, that's because it ran short of leftover 2013 pickups before it had fully ramped up production of the 2014s – not because the new pickups are unpopular.

Even though Cain says GM has just 20,000 of the 2013s left in stick, discounts on those are huge: as much as $6,000 on a 2013 Silverado regular cab, $5,500 on an extended cab.


How to Keep Google from Using Your Face in Ads -

How to Keep Google from Using Your Face in Ads - 

Google is getting ready to utilize Google+ profiles to shill stuff to your acquaintances enhance other users’ experiences, by placing your face and your reviews in ads aimed at your friends. According to a notice the firm posted about the changes to its privacy policy:

Recommendations from people you know can really help. So your friends, family and others may see your Profile name and photo, and content like the reviews you share or the ads you +1’d. This only happens when you take an action (things like +1’ing, commenting or following) – and the only people who see it are the people you’ve chosen to share that content with.

Given that I see my friends’ faces pop up in invitations to "like" things via Facebook, it doesn’t sound like the most-earthshaking thing in the world—or even something new. Especially if Google is only using reviews that you already wrote of restaurants, shops and products. Why did you bother reviewing them if you didn’t want people to find and read them? Catharsis?

But on the other hand, do you really want your face endorsing the local laundromat? Plus, who has time to sort their Google+ friends into tiers and circles just to make sure your reviews of Rod’s Porn Emporium don’t get back to your bosses at Hobby Lobby?

Look, it doesn’t matter why we don’t want to do it; I don’t remember asking them for this, do you? No? That’s reason enough. Let’s opt out! I’ll talk you through it.

An Exhaustive Guide to Opting Out of This Service:

It’s a little complex, but once you’re logged in to your Google account, go to - https://plus.google.com/settings/endorsements

Then scroll down to the bottom and uncheck that single checkbox.

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