Nov 09 2010

Alcoholic Energy Drinks

Posted by PAgent in Food and Drink, Health, science

Alcohol is a sedative. It works in part by potentiating the GABAergic neurotransmitter system. GABA [gamma-aminobutyric acid] is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. When the neurons in the brain release GABA, it acts to slow down or inhibit other neural processes. This can reduce anxiety, increase relaxation while sedating a person. With higher levels of alcohol, problems can arise as important neural and other bodily systems become overinhibited and shut down.

Compared to alcohol, caffeine is on the other end of the spectrum of psychoactive drugs in that it is a stimulant. Caffeine is an antagonist for the neurotransmitter adenosine. Adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter; so similar to GABA, adenosine can dampen or inhibit other neural processors. With caffeine, we have a double negative in that it inhibits an inhibitory neurotransmitter and thus increase levels of arousal and alertness—but higher doses can produce nervousness, anxiety and tachycardia.

I don’t know how anybody could think it was a GOOD idea to slam down 24 ounces of this stuff, with an alcohol content of 12 percent and the caffeine equivalent of five cups of coffee. However, if you want a more reasoned explanation why it would be a Bad Idea, read the linked article at Scientific American.

Why Are Caffeinated Alcoholic Energy Drinks Dangerous?

Nov 04 2010

From My Inbox

Posted by PAgent in FYI, Flotsam

You almost have to admire their chutzpah.



Dear Award winner

Award Reference code: GOOGLE568A2010
File number: G255

This is to inform you that you have won yourself an Award of One Million Five Hundred Thousand Pounds (£1,500,000 GBP) in the Google 11 years Anniversary Awards as organized by the Anniversary Centre of Google Inc., held in SOUTH AFRICA

The Anniversary Centre of Google Inc selected your email id as of one it is 20 chosen fortunate winner to receive this award.

The Anniversary Centre of Google Inc, as a part of their for-profit philanthropic wing (GOOGLE.ORG) promotion. Awards MUST be claimed by the email owner ONLY, not later than 30 days from the day of notification.

Award Reference code: GOOGLE568A2010
File number: G255

Send your complete personal information with your Award Ref. and File no. to us to enable us process your Prize;

1. Full name …………….
2. Country …………….
3. Contact Address …………….
4. Sex …………….
5. Age …………….
6. Occupation …………….
7. Nationality …………….
8. Telephone/Fax Numbers …………….

Director of Peoples Operations:
Name: Mr. Ian (redacted)
Tel: (redacted)
Email: (redacted)

Please do not reply if you are NOT the owner of this email address

Congratulation!! Sincerely Yours,

Google Management

After 11 years of establishment, Google Inc is worth over US$23 Billion with over
20,000 workers worldwide making it the best and most successful online search engine around the globe. Keep your Award information confidential.

Nov 02 2010

Africa is Big

Posted by PAgent in Images

I mean really big. Click pic to embiggen.

Thanks to ultrafastx

Oct 28 2010

Customer Service? Seriously?

Posted by PAgent in Portland

When I came to the Rose City, lo these many years ago (okay, 2001), I was given the responsibility to select a work chair for my office. Even then I was old and decrepit beyond my years, and already suffered from repetitive stress injuries and a really persnickety lumbar region. For that reason I selected the most ergonomic, adjustable, and comfortable chair I could find: The Herman Miller Aeron chair.

Yes, it was insanely expensive. Yes, I went well over budget. BUT, this was a chair that came in an Extra Large, was seriously well-built, and offered a 12-year warranty. When you have a build like I do, these are important considerations.

I have NEVER regretted this purchase. The Aeron is the most comfortable and adjustable chair I’ve ever used, by far. As my job requires me to sit, at a desk, using a computer, for virtually my entire workday I considered it a basic investment in my health. And besides, a 12-year warranty? This may be the last chair I ever need.

Yesterday morning, as I was shifting position, the left armrest SNAPPED off my beloved chair with a sound like a rifle going off. The bolt that secured it to the chair had failed, probably due to metal fatigue. I was dumbfounded, but remembering the warranty I did a quick calculation and realized I had owned this chair for about ten years. It was still covered by the original warranty! Ah, but how hard was it going to be to get it repaired? Would I have to prove my original purchase date? Would I have to carry it to an authorized dealer myself? How long would this take?

I drafted a quick email inquiry to the dealer where I had purchased the chair, asking them for the best way to approach the problem. I got a response within hours, telling me someone would be at my office the next day to pick it up and repair it. They didn’t even ask me for proof of purchase. Unbelievable.

Sure enough, said repair person arrived at my office before lunch, and after retrieving a necessary tool from his truck, fixed my chair out in the hallway in about ten minutes. Again, unbelievable.

It is my habit to use this forum to rant about annoying people and inferior services. But I want to take this opportunity to instead advertise a local business that provided immaculate service while honoring the manufacturer’s warranty. Good customer service is becoming so scarce a commodity I feel it should be recognized whenever it occurs. So if you are looking for a Herman Miller product, or other office furniture, please consider using Pacific Office Furnishings, on 2nd Avenue, downtown Portland.

You could tell them that PAgent sent you, but that would probably just earn you a VERY puzzled expression.

Oct 27 2010

This Just Gets Better and Better

Posted by PAgent in Current Events
Oct 26 2010

Audioblog Episode 2: Let’s get out of Australia, already

Posted by PAgent in Podcast, australia