Vitamin Water = Sugar Water?

By: Billy BeerSlugger

While I’m on the subject of beverages, I just wanted to point some things out about Vitamin Water. For a beverage that is supposed to be really healthy it sure has a lot of calories. About 125 per 20 oz bottle. You would think from the name that it would basically be just Water and Vitamins, maybe with a little fruit flavor mixed in. Not really the case here.

vitamin water

Now would you be surprised if I told you that Vitamin Water is owned by the Coca-Cola Company? Nope not some health centered company or a bunch of doctors that got together to make healthy drinks but the same company that puts out Coke. A little weird huh?

Now it’s great that they pack about 3 cents worth of Vitamins into their drink, mix in a little Crystalline Fructose and sell it for $1.50 or more but a vast majority of the country thinks this beverage is really good for them. There’s as more calories in this 20 oz bottle of Vitamin Water as there is in a 12oz bottle of Coke or Pepsi. Seems a little illogical. For people that are trying to lose weight and grab a Vitamin Water with their lunch it really isn’t doing them any favors. Even though the Mad Men at Coke would lead you to believe so.

I’m almost certain that you could drop a Flintstones vitamin in a glass of water, let it dissolve and it would be more healthy for you than Vitamin Water.

Crystalline Fructose

Crystalline_FructoseBy: Billy BeerSlugger

I’m a person who usually looks at the health information on the back of a package or drink to see what I’m putting into my body. Increasingly and especially in so called “health drinks” I have seen “Crystaline Fructose” as a sweetener. Inquisitive as I am I had to look this healthy stuff up that has been replacing sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup in some of the drinks I see.

Well essentially Crystalline Fructose is just crystallized Corn Syrup which is pretty much the same stuff that’s in High Fructose Corn Syrup and that is the same stuff that’s in soda like Coke and Pepsi.  So Crystalline Fructose is about 5% sweeter than High Fructose Corn Syrup and 20% sweeter than Sugar which allows beverage companies to add less of it to their drinks and thus cut about 20-30 calories per 12 oz. beverage. The marketing behind the beverages can employ a “healthier” or “reduced calorie” tag-line because ultimately the calories have been reduced and there is no High Fructose Corn Syrup in the beverage even though Crystalline Fructose is made from Corn Syrup.

I’m inclined to drink a beverage with Crystalline Fructose in it over artificial sweeteners like Aspartame and the like found in Diet Sodas. However, I really don’t think there’s a good substitute for regular sugar for sweetened beverages and drinking them in moderation. I don’t trust these companies/corporations who’s main goal is to increase their profits. That’s why I was glad to see Snapple go to real sugar in it’s beverages, at least you know what you are getting into.

One “health” drink I rather like is Arizona Rescue Water and it uses Crystalline Fructose to make a 20 oz beverage about 75 calories and packs in a bunch of stuff like Alpha Lipoic Acid, green tea extract, milk thistle extract, and L-Glutathione and various vitamins. It generally makes me feel slightly better after I drink it and doesn’t have a sugary taste.  Of course water is your best option in terms of watching calories but there are at least some better options than soda and processed fruit juice which generally still employ High Fructose Corn Syrup as the main sweetener.

Overall I wouldn’t be surprised down the line to hear that Crystalline Fructose is bad for you. There are even concern right now as to the effects of Crystalline Fructose and hepatoxicity and it’s effects on the liver even though the FDA considers it safe. Seeing how Crystalline Fructose still comes from Corn Syrup I am on the fence as to embracing it because I am an opponent of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Making Corn Syrup sweeter to reduce calories isn’t really a solution to a problem but I’ll try and consume it in moderation until more data comes out on it. Maybe you should too.

Meatloaf: Love and Logic

meatloafBy: Billy BeerSlugger

I have a friend who is currently enamored with the sultry stylings of Meatloaf or more particularly one song, I Would Do Anything for Love. Recently she emailed me with the graphic pie chart to the right which she thought was hilarious.

Now I appreciate novelty, I really do but I had to completely disagree with the math presented in this. Clearly if he won’t do “that” then at least a portion of the pie chart would have to be green. It doesn’t even matter what “that” is, if Meatloaf will not do one thing for love then the entire pie chart cannot be 100% colored by “anything”. Even if there was infinity things Meatloaf would do for love he would still not do that one thing and therefore I think my logic is pretty good.

Now is there something in the song that would lead you to believe that he would do “that”? The last words of the song are, “…but I won’t do that.”. I think that really wraps my case up.

Now my friend who sent me this is pretty livid on how I took her funny little pie chart and turned it into an argument but I’m not going to stand for faulty logic… and you shouldn’t either.

Athletes Pulled Over For Speeding

SpeedingBob McFlurry with Sports

I’ll never get why it’s big news when an athlete or celebrity gets pulled over for speeding or driving erratically. DUI is a different story but just going 20-30mph above the speed limit? People get pulled over for that every day and they are not made to be ridiculed on TV for it and seriously isn’t there something you could be covering that has a little more journalistic integrity ESPN?

I for one drove to Chicago as fast as the car and traffic conditions would allow last month, probably averaging around 90mph but hitting as high as 115mph. I was in complete control of the car the entire time and it was all highways and during daylight. Now I’m not saying I’m right but I didn’t put anyone in danger. Maybe these athletes were driving a little erratically but for the most part I just read or hear that X athlete was pulled over for doing 100mph in a 65mph or something of the like. With the souped up cars these guys drive 115mph can feel like 70mph. I’m sorry people but that is not news. Someone getting a traffic ticket is definitely not news it’s tabloid fodder.If the person gets pulled over and then gets arrested on outstanding warrants then print that, don’t tell me so and so got pulled over and got a traffic ticket though. It’s a waste of the 5 seconds it took me to read it across the bottom line

If ESPN wants to be the of sports news then I’m all for it. But if you want to be taken seriously just report on sports, not what Brett Favre is having for breakfast or if Tiger Woods just took a dump.

The Lovaza Laboratory

By: Billy BeerSlugger

I’m not really sure what Lovaza is but I know that if it’s made in a kick ass underwater laboratory like the one in the commercial it can’t not be good.  The laboratory resembles something I think the Cobra Commander or Dr. Evil would have his base of operations. And how cool would it be to work in an underwater laboratory? One minute you are looking at a microscope slide, the next you look up and there’s a school of fish or a stingray. Fantastic!

You have to wonder what the waiting list is to be a scientist for Lovaza just to get the chance to possibly work in this underwater facility. Right now I’m trying to find out where this place is and if it is on a list of top 10 offices ever.  A portion of my guess as to why it is underwater is because Lovaza deals with fish oil and fish live underwater. Makes complete sense to me. You no longer have to be a marine biologist or oceanographer to work underwater. And the scientists go WILD!

Seriously though you may have seen this commercial and thought nothing of it. I saw a big bullshit sign. It’s just another in a long line of advertisements for prescription drugs which make something seem more attractive than it is. No one wants to take pills so these drug companies put imagery of an underwater laboratory or his and her clawfoot tubs on a beach to dress it up and make it look appealing like a cigarette commercial. And there’s absolutely no way that any company would sell anything that could be deemed hazardous to our health is there?

Google Contacts

google-bbBy: Billy BeerSlugger

Now I’m all about Google Services and have been for a long while. Long before I swore by gMail I was an early adopter of Google Search. I started using Google Documents to save things in the cloud that I needed to have access to between my home computer and work computer. Google Calendar sends me text message notifications before my calendar events in case I’m not at my desk. I use a host of other Google Services including Google Analytics to track the traffic of this blog to watching Youtube videos and the list goes on. Until recently I hadn’t really found a reason not to use one of their services.

Google Contacts will act as a digital Rolodex for you and store all this information online.  This year I got an Android Phone and I love it. When I enter a new persons information into my phone it asks me whether I want to enter them into my phone’s contact’s or my Google Contacts. At first glance this seems kind of intuitive, store all my contacts online in one place and never have to worry about losing my phone and subsequently all my numbers. Or I can’t tell you how many times I had to backup or migrate someone’s Microsoft Outlook contacts from one platform to another. But seeing how I really don’t want to be that plugged in, how I’m not on any social networks, how I think these things are just one more way for the government to keep tabs on the general population I am quite hesitant on using what looks to be a very good free product.

What if Google uses my contact information to connect dots between me and other people like my asshole friends? What if there’s some people I don’t want other people to know that I know? What if Google can track though my Android that I and another Google/Android user were at the same place at the same time? Certainly possible.

I mean why was a woman not allowed to buy an iPad using cash a little while ago? These companies want as much information they can get on you. Paying with a credit card certainly gets Apple a lot more information then a pile of 10’s and 20’s. This is the edge that Google has on other search engines, it has more data, their algorithms aren’t any more snazzy. So the only way to keep their number one search engine ranking is to keep adding more and more data about you and everyone else in the world. So they can target ad’s to you better and maybe, just maybe because they are in cahoots with the US government.

If I were in charge of data mining for the US government one of the first things I would have done was to set up a meeting with Google, applying whatever political pressure possible to allow access to their no doubt Exabytes of data at their disposal. Same thing with Facebook. If you don’t think there’s been at least contact about this happening you are probably a little naive.

So it really does come down to big brother. Google now has my email, my search history, my newsfeeds, my chats, my documents, my calendar and if I start using Google Contacts it will know everyone I care to list in there. Certainly a wealth of knowledge at someones fingertips if they choose to use it. I mean you could readily figure out that I’m an avid porn watcher and have athlete’s foot just from my Google searches alone, couple that with the questionable company I keep and I doubt I’ll be spared during Armageddon.

Stuff Guys Shouldn’t Do: Decorative Rags

img_6971By: Billy BeerSlugger

I think rags are a really superior to paper towels in a lot of ways. You only buy a rag once, you use it as many times as you want and you can throw it in the washing machine or dishwasher if you think it’s got a little too much nastiness on it.  If the rag gets so old and ratty that you can’t bear to look at it anymore you can actually use it like a paper towel and throw it out after it’s last use.

So in some instances I’ll go to a friends house for drinks and if there is a spill I’ll quickly reach for the nearest rag, usually hanging on the oven handle or somewhere about the sink. So I was kind of taken aback that when I tried to hand this person the rag that hung on the oven I was rebuffed.

“That’s just there for decoration. We don’t use that as a rag.”

At this point I was thinking, what kind of practical use of a rag is that. It’s up there with Throw Pillows in terms of shit that is completely and utterly unnecessary. It’s a rag, it’s within reach and often the most obvious places you would look for a rag in case something spills but you can’t use it? It is there for show, a faux rag?

If you have a penis and don’t enjoy making out with guys I implore you to stop this practice. A rag only has one purpose, to clean things up. A rag is not a fashion statement even if it goes with your kitchen’s overall motif. If you live with your girlfriend or wife (or mother you loser) it is a perfectly acceptable trade off to keep the girl be happy with a decorative rag. However, if you’re a dude living by yourself or with other dudes and employ decorative rags in the kitchen you might want to get yourself tested for “the gay”.

And The Winner Is: Jennifer Aniston

jennifer-aniston-smart-water-pictureBy: Billy BeerSlugger

While Angelina Jolie may have stolen her husband and former sexiest man on the planet Brad Pitt, I think that Jennifer Aniston has officially won the battle.  Yes she lost her husband, no she didn’t re-marry and may not be in a long term relationship right now but she is still undoubtedly really fucking hot. Hotter than Angelina Jolie by leaps and bounds. You might bring up that Angelina popped out a couple of kids and might be the better actor but the woman looks haggered and if I’m Brad Pitt right now and looking at my completely gorgeous ex-wife in various advertisements I’m thinking I may have made a huge mistake.

Now I wasn’t involved in that relationship so Jennifer Aniston may be a complete bitch behind closed doors, she might be a dead fish in bed, I don’t know. All I know is that Jennifer Aniston is 40 years old and looks better now then she did 20 years ago.  You can’t call the woman a cougar because she doesn’t look like she is over 30 years old. I think she may have a time machine or sleep in a hyperbaric chamber and I have a feeling her ass tastes like pink Starburst.

So hold your head up high Jennifer Aniston, you just won the war with Angelina Jolie. Congratulations.

Kevin Kolb vs. Bobby Hoying

Bobby Hoying
Kevin Kolb

Bob McFlurry with Sports

I’ve been saying for awhile now that I’m not sold on Kevin Kolb as the answer at QB in Philadelphia.  The situation reminds me of 1997 when Bobby Hoying was anointed the savior of the Eagles franchise. Hoying was a second year Quarterback who took over for Ty Detmer who had taken over for Rodney Peete that year. Hoying threw for over 300 yards in a start against the Bengals which the Eagles won 44-42 in a shootout against Boomer Esiason.  I can remember the newspaper headlines the next day in which the media put the weight of the city on Hoying’s shoulders.

The Kevin Kolb situation is eerily familiar to the Hoying situation. Both QB’s were essentially over-hyped following 300 yard passing games. Kolb had two in a row but only one one to show for it. However, before Kolb took over for an injured Donovan McNabb in 2009 he had not throw for a touchdown. Well technically he had throw at least one touchdown, it just happened to be to the other team in Ed Reed’s NFL record 108 yard interception return. Before 2009 Kevin Kolb had a TD-INT ratio of 0-4 and at the end of the 2009 season he sat at 4-7.

The Kolb / Hoying comparisons go a little further than that:

  • Both players are listed to be 6’3″.
  • Hoying is the principal owner of a Real Estate Agency in Columbus Ohio
  • Kolb majored in Business Entrepreneurship at Houston.
  • Completion %: Hoying 64%, Kolb 68%
  • TD-INT: Kolb 4-7, Hoying 11-15

Maybe that’s where they stop but if Kevin Kolb doesn’t produce a sizable playoff run in his first two years he may go the way of Bobby Hoying and be shipped out of town. Only time will tell.