When will repairs be repaired?

The breaking news this weekend is that yet another internet cable connection the Middle East has been severed.  What?  Is this some kind of weird and unusual anti-terrorism campaign?  Does somebody really not like the Internet?  Is it the end of the world?

More importantly,  does it mean the end of CNN’s ability to spot-edit on the fly.  I note the third paragraph of this article which states that”it was uncertain when repairs on it [the cable] would be repaired.”  This is not a direct quote – it’s a paraphrase.  Which means that someone picked up this shining gem and thought it sounded gud together.

Now, I’m aware we’re all under a lot of pressure and under a time crunch here.  I myself have lots of cleaning to do today even after I finish blogging here.  But still – if you need help CNN, TEAL (Typo Eradication and Advancement League) is here for you!

Nutrition Information

So I did a little more checking about those nutrition information labels on products and what they actually mean. So, the FDA is the one that monitors and tracks them. The producing company or group of companies first submits a database to the FDA every year with nutrient information. This basically means the manufacturer is responsible for taking a number of sample packaged products and analyzing them in a lab to make these databases, and from that data, an average is taken for the labeling. As noted here, “the FDA’s continuing policy since the 1970s assigns the manufacturer the responsibility for assuring the validity of a product label’s stated nutrient values. Accordingly, the source of the data used to calculate nutrition label values is the prerogative of the manufacturer, but FDA’s policy recommends that the nutrient values for labeling be based on product composition, as determined by laboratory analysis of each nutrient.” So the actual carrying out of the sampling is left to the discretion of the
producer, though the FDA requires yearly review of the data base itself and those specific results that make up the label’s average.

And when I say ‘average’, I mean that only in the most broad sense. As you can see from this document, there are specific label requirements for each piece of nutrition info. For example, for calories, any number below 50 should be rounded to the nearest 5 and any number above 50 should be rounded tot he nearest 10 (ie, 47 calories should read ’45 calories’ on a label, but 56 calories should read ’60 calories’. I have no idea what 55 calories should read.) So that means even the average is not so specific.

Makes me feel a little better about my gyminee bummage.

I fail (for the moment) at gyminee.

Remember those New Year’s resolutions of a month ago? I don’t – I really didn’t have any. Still, I find it interesting that in the month of December, when I was traveling for almost half the month, I made it to the gym at least once a week. This month? A grand total of one time.

Sure, a large part of that can be attributed to illness – both mine and my gym partners – and a general start-of-the-year blah. But it goes deeper than that. Take, for instance, the gyminee program and graphs I wrote about earlier. I was all excited to get going and track my progress! And I thought that I might even be able to determine a few things about the way my body works in terms of food, exercise, and a general feeling of health. So far, that has not been the case.

Every morning I wake up and scale myself, marking down the ups and downs of my weight, body fat, and water levels. On the exercise side things have pretty much been flatline. As for food, I just haven’t been able to track it accurately. Not because I haven’t been trying – and I do have gyminee to thank for providing that tracking model. But it’s jsut too hard to tally effectively. If you go out to tapas for your friend’s birthday, even if you can find nutrition information for the restaurant later, how can you possibly guage how much of each dish you had? What about if you’re just hanging out with friends or at a party and have some snacks?

In addition, the nutrition information on the back of a product is not that specific anyway. They don’t measure the fat and sugar content of each individual Twinkee. It’s an average, an amount within a certain tolerance. And while I don’t know what that tolerance is, it doesn’t comfort me to note that even my most diligently tracked numbers might be incorrect.

Still, I will try my best for you and hopefully have some results (however arbitrary) for you in another month.