Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Aeropress and Tirra Frothing Wand

I am getting ready for a trip and will need to say goodbye to my Anita espresso machine and Macap grinder for a couple weeks. On a rafting trip last year I brought the Aeropress manual coffee press but did not have a milk frother. So, I recently purchased the Tirra milk frother at a kitchen store going out of business sale.

Today in trying to figure out the right Aeropress grind for the coffee I am bringing on my 2 week trip, I put some milk in a mug and microwaved it for 40 seconds and then frothed it with the Tirra. Then I did a double with the Aeropress right on top of the frothed milk.

People - this was excellent!!! It is better (I'm drinking it now as I type) than 95% of the caps you buy out there in retail coffee land. I cannot say enough about how good this is. For a large majority of the cap and latte crowd this little combo with a good grinder would give them everything they need.

Wow! I am blown away. I'm sure the Pacific Bay Colombia organic "Mesa de Santos" is a big part of the equation, but, still - a press and battery powered frothing wand producing something this good puts me in a state of disbelief.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Reprogram Your Genetics

There is research supporting the theory that lifestyle and environment can change how our genes express themselves. Studies show that the genetics of identical twins can change significantly due to lifestyle choices.

The implications are that making healthy eating choices, exercising, clean air and water, and having parents that made the same choices can have a dramatic effect. Do it for yourself and do it for those children you are planning to have.

Check out this Q&A link. Evidence shows that smoking and exposure to chemicals affects our genetic expression. Take care of those genes!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Byron Wien Announces Top Ten Surprises for 2010

According to Stephen Leeb and a couple other blogs I checked out, Byron Wien has been pretty accurate with his forecasts. For example, he predicted Obama's Presidency before the Iowa Caucuses. I would not bet the farm on his prognostications, but, he should be considered seriously along with other sources you trust and your own analysis.

His US economy forecast for the beginning of the year fits my contrarian hunch at this time - everyone I know is so negative about the economy they must be wrong!

Blackstone Group's Byron Wien Announces Top Ten Surprises for 2010

2010-01-04 18:08:56 -

Byron R. Wien, Vice Chairman, Blackstone Advisory Services, today issued his list of the Ten Surprises for 2010. This is the 25th year Byron has given his predictions of a number of economic, financial market and political surprises for the coming year. He started the tradition in 1986 when he was the Chief U.S. Investment Strategist at Morgan Stanley. Byron joined The Blackstone Group in September 2009 as a senior advisor to both the Firm and its clients in analyzing economic, political, market and social trends.

The Surprises of 2010

1. The United States economy grows at a stronger than expected 5% real rate during the year and the unemployment level drops below 9%. Exports, inventory building and technology spending lead the way. Standard and Poor’s 500 operating earnings come in above $80

2. The Federal Reserve decides the economy is strong enough for them to move away from zero interest rate policy. In a series of successive hikes beginning in the second quarter the Federal funds rate reaches 2% by year-end

3. Heavy borrowing by the U.S. Treasury and some reluctance by foreign central banks to keep buying notes and bonds drives the yield on the 10-year Treasury above 5.5%. Banks loan more to corporations and individuals and pull away from the carry trade, thereby reducing demand for Treasuries. Obama says, “The suits are finally listening”

4. In a roller coaster year the Standard and Poor’s 500 rallies to 1300 in the first half and then runs out of steam and declines to 1000, ending where it started at 1115.10. Even though the economy is strong and earnings exceed expectations, rising interest rates and full valuations present a problem. Concern about longer term growth and obligations to reduce leverage at both the public and private level unsettle investors

5. Because it is significantly undervalued on a purchasing power parity basis, the dollar rallies against the yen and the euro. It exceeds 100 on the yen and the euro drops below $1.30 as the long slide of the greenback is interrupted. Longer term prospects remain uncertain

6. Japan stands out as the best performing major industrialized market in the world as its currency weakens and its exports improve. Investors focus on the attractive valuations of dozens of medium sized companies in a market selling at one quarter of its 1989 high. The Nikkei 225 rises above 12,000

7. Believing he must be a leader in climate control initiatives, President Obama endorses legislation favorable for nuclear power development. Arguing that going nuclear is essential for the environment, will create jobs and reduce costs, Congress passes bills providing loans and subsidies for new plants, the first since 1979. Coal accounts for about 50% of electrical power generation, and Obama wants to reduce that to 25% by 2020

8. The improvement in the U.S. economy energizes the Obama administration. The White House undergoes some reorganization and regains its momentum. In the November Congressional election the Democrats only lose 20 seats, much less than expected

9. When it finally passes, financial service legislation, like the health care bill, proves to be softer on the industry than originally feared. There is greater consumer protection, more transparency, tighter restriction of leverage and increased scrutiny of derivatives, but the regulatory changes for investment bankers and hedge funds are not onerous. Trading volume and merger activity increases; financial service stocks become exceptional performers in the U.S. market

10. Civil unrest in Iran reaches a crescendo. Ayatollah Khameini pushes out Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in favor of a more public relations adept leader. Economic improvement becomes the key issue and anti-Israel rhetoric subsides. Talks with the U.S. and Europe begin but the country remains a nuclear threat. Pakistan becomes the hotspot in the region because of the weak government there, anti-American sentiment, active terrorist groups and concerns about the security of the country’s nuclear arsenal

About The Blackstone Group

Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms.

Friday, February 5, 2010

CNN Interview with Sensa Founder Dr. Aubrey de Grey and The Blues Zones author Dan Buettner

Dr. Gupta interviews SENS founder Dr. Aubrey de Grey and The Blues Zones author Dan Buettner. Mr. Buettner researched where centenarians live and looked for behaviors that were common to the long-lived people.

Dr. de Grey is researching how to solve age-related health issues like cancer, heart disease, dementia, diabetes, etc and to arrest and prevent them and ultimately reverse the aging process. His research focuses on the cellular and molecular level. Dr. de Grey speculates that his foundations research has a time horizon of 20 - 30 years before mainstream therapies could be available.

Mr Buettner on the other hand has focused on the lifestyles that can be adopted today to promote longevity.

Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different? | Video on

Short vid on how to think differently. Get outside your box!

Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different? | Video on

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Why do we get fat?

Short video explaining why we get fat.   Go Primal!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ron Paul's State of the Union

Here are a series of three videos by Ron Paul primarily concerned with the US economy.  He provides some history on The Great Depression.

Less than 20 minutes of your time to watch these videos by maybe the only politician left who espouses conservative values. The third video also speaks to our personal liberties and the limitations being unconstitutionally implemented in the name of terrorism.

He offers recommendations on economic, foreign, and monetary policies at the end of Part III. He also talks about what needs to be done to restore our personal liberties. Many people believe it is too late - I hope Ron Paul's message is listened to and his ideas implemented very soon.

Part I

Part II

Part III