Thursday, June 30, 2011

Diet Sodas Definitely Make You FAT

Sugar-free "diet" sodas can make you fatter and even give you Type 2 diabetes, according to a new report from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Researchers from the The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio found a strong association between drinking diet soda and increased body fat over time -- despite the fact that the popular soft drinks contain no calories!

The researchers found that, over a nearly 10-year period, diet soda drinkers experienced a 70% increase in waistline circumference (AKA belly fat!). In fact, the waistlines of frequent diet soda drinkers (2 or more 12 ounce sodas per day) grew by 500% over the time period. Researchers also found that consistent intake of aspartame leads to a pre-diabetic condition in mice.

Many experts believe that the artificial sweeteners are to blame for diet soda's problems. The ultra-sweet chemicals basically trick your brain into thinking you're consuming a large amount of simple sugars. That confuses your brain and messes up your hormone balance in a way that can lead to overeating and more belly fat.

We say: It's obviously a really good idea to avoid most diet sodas. Not only does aspartame appear to destroy your health, but it doesn't even provide the "weight loss" benefits it was supposed to!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Weight Loss Surgery Might CURE Your Diabetes!

If you're overweight/obese and diabetic you may want to consider getting weight loss surgery. A new study from Amsterdam found that gastric bypass surgery cures type 2 diabetes in over 80% of patients!

That's a MUCH better success rate than what most other diabetes treatments -- such as diet and conventional weight loss -- can boast. According to researcher Rick Meijer:
"In standard practice, only a very minor group of individuals with an iron will can lose enough weight to be cured from type 2 diabetes mellitus."
Meijer and his buddies compared the diabetes-curing power of both gastric bypass surgery and gastric band surgery. Gastric bypass had a 83% success rate and gastric banding surgery had a 62% success rate, which is still considered extremely good.

Here's the catch: many people tend to return to their bad habits within 10 years of undergoing weight loss surgery. They end up eating too many bad foods, gaining back much of the weight, and often lose control of their blood sugar levels... causing a return of their diabetes problems. Also, surgery always carries more risks of complication and death than diet, exercise, and even weight loss drug-based treatments.

Learn some mo': Weight loss surgery may cure obese diabetics: study

Friday, June 24, 2011

Oscar Goodman Will Promote Las Vegas "Showgirls & Booze"

Oscar Goodman gave his last news conference as mayor of Las Vegas yesterday and announced that he will now be working part-time promoting the "Showgirls and Booze" aspects of Sin City. The former Mafia attorney served for 12 years as mayor and his wife will serve for at least the next 4 years as the new head of the city.

As one of Vegas's most colorful characters, the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority hopes to use Goodman to help "sell" the city and increase tourism numbers. According to Goodman himself:
"I’m looking forward to my next life... I’ll be doing a part-time job as the brand of Las Vegas on behalf of the convention authority with the showgirls and the booze, promoting tourism."
He also said that he'll be writing a new book, appearing on "CSI: Las Vegas", and making a documentary about his life that may or may not turn into an ongoing reality TV show.

We say: Oscar was a decent mayor. We always liked him. Lots of people blame him for Las Vegas's current problems -- including huge unemployment and rising homelessness -- but we don't. He's one of the world's most well-known (and goofiest) mayors and hopefully he'll be able to get LOTS more tourists to come here. After all, there's plenty of showgirls and booze to go around!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lytro: Best Digital Camera Ever?

There's an extremely cool new kind of camera coming soon that's promising to totally change digital photography forever. It's called the Lytro and it's been getting tons of buzz online over the past week or so. The Lytro lets you change the focal length of a digital photo after you've already taken it. That incredible functionality is causing some experts to call it the best digital camera ever made.

The Lytro digicam uses "light field" sensor technology which basically captures all data related to the light rays that deflect off of objects -- including color, intensity, and vector. A normal digital camera captures only a small amount of data, recording light ray data as a simple sum total and creating static photos that can't really be changed (at least in terms of focus).

Light field technology represents a HUGE leap in photo-taking capability. It literally records every bit of light travelling in every direction off of every object through every point in space in a photo scene. Lytro's creators say it's the first consumer camera that can truly create "living photographs" just about anywhere. Traditional light field photos required 100+ cameras to take a single photo!

The end result is that photos taken with the Lytro can be easily adjusted, using your computer, according to how you want them to look. You don't have to worry about whether or not your camera's auto-focus feature is targeting the right part of a scene. It also allows for much better fast-motion photo taking. Finally -- and maybe most importantly -- the Lytro allows you to take "3D-like" pictures with just a single lens and without needing special glasses to view the 3 dimensional effects.

According to famous venture capitalist Marc Andreessen (a Lytro investor):
"Lytro’s breakthrough technology will make conventional digital cameras obsolete... It has to be seen to be believed."

We say: The Lytro sounds pretty damn cool. Our photos are almost never in focus and, if they are, the auto-focus is usually way off the mark. Expect some amazing "3D" Las Vegas photos taken by Lytro users in the near future!

Learn some mo': Lytro: The camera that could change photography forever

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dangerous Fungus Found in Dishwashers

Many dish washing machines are contaminated with dangerous types of fungus, including at least 2 types that have evolved to survive extreme conditions. A new report from the British Mycological Society shows that a "black yeast" fungus called Exophiala dermatitidis and a related fungus called E. phaeomuriformis were found in samples taken from nearly 200 different homes in 6 continents.

Both are known to be dangerous to human health, capable of causing systemic disease in people. They can even colonize the lungs of some sick people. They "extremophile" organisms that aren't killed by very hot water, high temperatures, soaps or detergents, dish rinsing salts, acidic water, OR alkaline water. Many of the contaminated dishwashers had fungus growing on the rubber door seals.

Experts say that it's not clear if these "super" fungi pose a serious threat to human health. But they also say it's extremely important to do further research, especially because of risks of "genetic mingling" creating even more dangerous organisms.

According to the British report:
"The co-existence of different genotypes of the same species possibly enables genetic recombination, resulting into new genotypes with unknown pathogenic potential."
Oh, and by the way, other microscopic (and potentially dangerous) organisms found in the dishwashing machines include: Candida, Aspergillus, Magnusiomyces, Fusarium, Penicillium and Rhodotorula groups. Fun!

We say: Great, another superbug to worry about. Also, another germ that can (hopefully) be killed by MMS/chlorine dioxide!

Learn some mo': New research finds harmful fungal pathogens living in dishwasher seals

(Please leave your questions and comment below!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Best Weight Loss Diets for 2011 (According to US News)

A new list of "best weight loss diets" for 2011 has been released by US News & World Report. 22 "independent" nutrition experts evaluated some of the world's most popular diets and ranked them according to 7 different categories, including things like short-term (fast) weight loss effectiveness, long-term effectiveness, how easy it is to follow the diet, how nutritionally "complete" the diet is, and how risky the diet is health-wise.

The US News experts decided that Weight Watchers is the best weight loss diet for 2011, followed by the Jenny Craig plan, the raw food diet, Volumetrics, Slim fast, and the Vegan diet. The Atkins diet was listed as 7th best, the Mediterranean diet was #11 (tied with the South Beach diet), the Medifast and Nutrisystem programs were tied for #16, the Zone diet was #18, and the Paleo diet (aka "caveman" diet) was ranked dead-last at #20.

We say: It's obvious that these so-called "experts" hired by the magazine have no idea what they're talking about. Either that, or they're corporate shills for the huge billion-dollar weight loss corporations. What a surprise that Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig -- the largest diet companies in the world -- were #1 and #2 respectively. Also, any group of nutritionists that would rank the sugar-water-based Slim Fast plan over the ultra-healthy Paleo super-diet obviously has ulterior motives!

Learn some mo': Best Weight-Loss Diets List for 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Japanese Green Tea Is Radioactive??

Green tea, something that is normally one of the healthiest things a human can consume, has gotten a lot more dangerous recently. New reports show that some green tea from Japan is contaminated with high levels of certain types of radiation.

Authorities have recently detected radioactive cesium in tea leaves in several areas near crippled Japanese nuclear power plants. Fortunately, they've begun to ban the teas from being shipped to market. But many people still think Japan's government isn't telling the whole truth about potentially-dangerous radioactive products.

Japan's nuclear crisis -- and the radioactive pollution it has created -- appears to be affecting more and more of the country's most popular products. Other agricultural products -- including spinach and milk -- are showing high levels of the dangerous radiation.

Of course, everyone from Japanese farmers (who stand to lose LOTS of money) to US authorities say we don't need to worry about health problems from all the radioactive stuff shipping out of Japan. Yeah... right!

We say: First we have to worry about radioactive Japanese cars. Then we got the great news that radioactive air has arrived here in Las Vegas. Now we have to worry about whether or not our morning cup of antioxidants is going to give us cancer?? Nuclear power SUCKS!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Micro-Blogging Platform Tumblr is HOT!

The popularity of the blogging website Tumblr has exploded over the past year, recently surpassing the 20.7 million blogs hosted on competing platform That's up from just 7 million Tumblr blogs in January! Experts say that Tumblr's exponential growth -- like that of Twitter -- shows that the average person wants a simple, easy-to-use, elegant platform to post image-heavy, short-form content quickly. and Google's Blogger platform allow people to create more complex and "professional"-looking sites. But their backends are much more complicated than Tumblr's and, according to many people, provide too many control options. Tumblr's ultra-simple backend, despite it's much more limited control and customization options, appeals to the average "non-geek" web user/blogger. It's the ideal platform for short, funny posts, simple photo-publishing, and easy social sharing.

We say: We love simplicity. Tumblr is awesome and we plan on using it in the near-future. Their templates look great and the email-to-post function is superb. Look for a new Vegas-focused Tumblr blog coming soon! ;)

Learn some mo': What Tumblr's Success Means For The Future Of Blogs, Twitter

Friday, June 17, 2011

How to Get the Cheapest Airfares

Finding the cheapest airfares online doesn't have to be a difficult thing to do. Plane ticket prices change constantly but you can use several strategies to make sure you're paying the lowest price possible for your next trip.

The Associated Press recently tracked several US flights for a July vacation and they found huge fluctuations in ticket prices. Here's some tips, based on the research, for finding the cheapest airfares:

1. Don't book on weekends, it's the most expensive time to buy plane tickets online.

2. Airlines run the best sales on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

3. Buy in advance but not too much in advance. Four to six weeks before your trip seems to be the best time to buy tickets.

4. Use Twitter and Facebook. Airlines are doing more and more social promotion, offering ultra cheap deals that often only last for hours.

5. Despite what many people think the discount airlines -- including Southwest and JetBlue -- don't always offer the lowest fares. You must use a price comparison engine to make sure you're getting the cheapest tickets.

Rising fuel prices are raising the prices of plane tickets but, if you do things right and use the power of online tools you can still find some great deals and save a lot of money!

We say: Plane tickets to Las Vegas are pretty dang cheap right now. So are hotel rooms in our home city. Come help boost our economy!

Learn some mo': Searching for airfares doesn't have to be a gamble

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Las Vegas Deals Attracting LOTS of People

Here's some good news for the City of Las Vegas: more people are searching for Vegas hotel deals on travel websites. It may be an indication that this summer's tourism rates may be higher than expected for our home city.

According to, a popular hotel price-comparison travel site, Las Vegas is currently the most searched destination in the US for people looking for summertime hotel rooms. During spring 2011, nearly 230,000 searches were made for Vegas travel from June to August 2011 -- a total of 7.36% of all searches performed on the site.

And here's some good news for tourists: the average Vegas hotel room rate is currently $130 per night, down 2% from last year. On top of that, many airlines are running deals for cheap airfare to Las Vegas from other major US cities. A ticket from San Francisco for travel between June and August is running at about $230, a whopping 61% drop from last summer!

According to the Kayak people, the Luxor is the most searched hotel on the site, followed up by the MGM Grand, Excalibur, Circus Circus, and the Venetian. Experts say that shows people are most interested in budget and low-cost hotel deals (duh!).

Travel site Orbitz also has Vegas ranking very highly on their list of top summer destinations. Only Orlando, FL beat it. On that site, Vegas rooms are going even cheaper -- $89 per night. According to Orbitz, the cheapest room rates in the US are still in Vegas.

We say: GOOD! Vegas needs all the buffet-buying, slot machine-playing, money-spending tourists it can get. Just keep those cheap room rates going casino execs and we might just be able to get this city going again in under 20 years! :)

Learn some mo': Travel website says summer interest high in Las Vegas

Monday, June 13, 2011

PiCycle: The Coolest Electric Bike on the Road

Here's something we've suspected since the oil price jumps of 2005: electric bicycles are going to be BIG. It's taken longer than expected for them to begin really catching on but it's finally happening. And the new PiCycle hybrid electric/manual bike is leading the pack.

The environmentally friendly "electrobike" is incredibly cool looking. It's not easy to make any bicycle -- electric or not -- look significantly different from other models. but the designers at Pi Mobility have done a pretty good job doing exactly that.

The PiCycle's swooping arch frame design will definitely get looks as you roll down the street. It will also provide you a very cheap mode of transportation as well as some good cardiovascular exercise. The newest model even features built-in WiFi technology that will track your PiCycle if it gets stolen or misplaced!

Reviewers say the PiCycle is fast, stable, exhilarating, and just plain fun to ride. It's ideal for going up and down hills with minimal effort, due to its efficient 750 watt battery-powered motor. It has a 20-mile range at 20 mph with no pedaling. If you do want to pedal it'll let you go 30 miles at up to 30 mph. The price: $3,000 for a single-speed and $5000 for an eight-speed... "PiFi" included.

New materials and construction techniques are allowing a whole new type of bicycle to be made. They get you where you need to go and you don't have to worry about gas prices or hurting the environment. As oil prices continue to rise we think the PiCycle and the new generation of e-bikes are going to explode in popularity!

Learn some mo': Artsy Smartsy Electric Bicyles

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cheap 1Gbps Broadband Internet Rolled Out in California, a small California-based internet service provider, rolled out a brand-new ultra-cheap 1Gbps broadband connection this week. While big ISPs across the country are doing their best to over-charge us for 100Mbps high-speed web access (with $200+ monthly subscription prices in most cases), is proving that low-cost fiber-to-the-home service is possible -- charging just $70 per month for the new service!

The company has developed a new business approach that involves installing fiber optic lines directly to homes from their network, and charging very low rates for the ultra-high-speed connections. Incredibly, the monthly price even includes home VoIP phone service.

Experts are asking if's new model is sustainable, especially given the fact that their 1Gbps option is only about twice the price of Comcast's (and other big ISP's) 1.5Mbps service, which is 600 times slower! The company says that, after the intitial roll-out to about 700 homes, they will know if the economic model can make money or not.

According to CEO Dane Jasper:
"I believe that fast service for a low cost is possible."
He says his company wants to remove artificial limits on internet connection speeds. Google execs have made similar comments in recent years and are expected to roll out cheap high-speed ISP options that will also disrupt markets and change the internet provider game forever.

We say: Great! Someone please begin offering low-price 1Gbps connections in Las Vegas. We're sick and tired of dealing with Comcast and their bullcrap!!

Learn some mo': 1Gbps fiber for $70—in America? Yup.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Naked Germans Are Everywhere!

This is currently on the Yahoo News "Most Popular" page:

We had no idea Germans love being naked so much!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Huge Jump in Online Ad Spending This Year

Here's some good news for people who publish web sites (like us!): a new report from eMarketer projects a 20% increase in online ad spending THIS year. A huge increase in display advertising has caused the group to double their earlier prediction of a 10% increase for 2011.

Companies are expected to spend over $31 billion on internet ads this year, much of it on search advertising and display advertising. Video ads and banner ads are increasingly being used by advertisers to attract leads from popular websites. Overall, online ads will account for about 20% of all major media buying in 2011, up from 17% last year.

Last year online advertising grew to $26 billion and passed newspaper advertising for the first time in history. It's slowly catching up to television ad spending and may even surpass it within the next 5-10 years.

We say: The online advertising "Gold Rush" is just beginning. More and more companies are focusing their marketing dollars on internet ads and it's a great time to be making good websites! :)

Learn some mo': Online ad spending poised for 20-percent jump this year

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Industrial Chemicals Causing Jump in US Autism Rates?

Autism in children may be caused by toxic chemicals in everyday products, according to new research. Currently, about 1 in 110 children in the US has some form of autism and the numbers are increasing rapidly... too rapidly to be explained simply by genetics, increased awareness, or a broader definition of the condition.

Experts say that increasing amounts of environmental chemicals could be the primary cause of the jump in autism rates. Some children appear have more genetic susceptibility to toxic chemicals, causing the development of autism in the womb and possibly after birth.

(Interestingly, a recent study showed that women with high-risk autism genotypes who took prenatal multi-vitamins were less likely to have a child with autism. But the study was relatively small and not definitive.)

Environmental health experts are calling for more government regulation of the chemicals used in household products and released into the environment every day. According to the Director of Program Research at The Autism Society, Donna Ferullo:

"We live, breathe and start our families in the presence of toxic chemical mixtures and constant low-level toxic exposures, in stark contrast to the way chemicals are tested for safety... Lead, mercury, and other neurotoxic chemicals have a profound effect on the developing brain at levels that were once thought to be safe."

The brain and central nervous system of a fetus is extremely sensitive to a wide array of chemicals, especially ones that disrupt hormones like androgens and estrogens. Certain pesticides, traffic pollution, flame-retarding chemicals used in things like furniture, the common plastics chemical Bisphenol A (BPA), and a variety of anti-microbials found in soaps and cosmetics have all been shown to interfere with natural hormone production. And they could all definitely play a role in autism.

New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg has proposed stricter regulations on industrial chemicals, forcing companies to more carefully test their products for safety. We sincerely hope he succeeds!

Learn some mo': Scientists warn of chemical-autism link

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Las Vegas Has a New Mayor... Kind Of

For the first time since 1999 Las Vegas, Nevada has a new mayor. Carolyn Goodman easily won today's mayoral election in Sin City. She will replace her famous husband Oscar Goodman, who's only stepping down becomes of term-limit rules.

Goodman got over 60% of the vote, beating the pants off of Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani. In a relatively unexciting election race, she promised to continue to build on her husband's work. Turning around Vegas's horrible economy is, according to Goodman, job number 1 (we agree!).

The Goodmans say they are the "Happiest Couple in the Universe" and most Vegas locals assume that Oscar will have A LOT of influence during his wife's term. That's probably both a good thing, since he was one of the most colorful and interesting mayors in US history.

We say: We like Oscar a lot and we hope he and Carolyn can turn things around in our home city. Hopefully they'll continue to push development in Downtown while helping to improve overall tourism numbers. Also, we sincerely hope that Oscar continues to show up at important public events with martinis and super-sexy Vegas showgirls at every possible opportunity!

Learn some mo': Wife of popular Las Vegas mayor elected to succeed him

Monday, June 6, 2011

Yo-Yo Dieting Not So Bad After All

Losing a significant amount of weight and then gaining it back soon after -- aka "yo-yo" dieting or weight cycling -- appears to be better than remaining overweight/obese, according to a new study. The research, done on mice, shows that yo-yo dieting may not be as bad for your health as previously thought... at least not when compared just being fat and doing nothing!

Experts say that maintaining a healthy weight is still ideal. But, if you're overweight, it's definitely a good idea to try to lose the extra pounds, even if it's only temporary. That's important advice considering hundreds of millions of Americanas -- or about 2/3 of the total population -- are currently overweight.

The bottom line is that even a little bit of weight loss, maintained over only a relatively short amount of time, is better than no weight loss at all. You don't have to be totally skinny before you start seeing health benefits.

We say: Focusing on dieting only is what causes most "yo yo" weight gain/weight loss cycles. Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet is the real key to losing weight and keeping it off over time!

Learn some mo': Yo-yo dieting better than staying obese

Friday, June 3, 2011

US Economy Slowing Down AGAIN!

The United States economy appears to be headed toward more trouble, according to new reports. Economic growth, job creation, and consumer confidence are all down once again, despite the many billions of dollars the US government has pumped into the economy over the past 2 years.

Politicians and investors are hoping it's only a temporary "speed bump" but some experts are saying we're headed for another big recession. According to economist Paul Ashworth:
"It is now pretty clear that the economy ran into a brick wall [in April, 2011]... The extent of this slowdown is becoming a big concern."
The news is pretty much bad across all sectors of the American economy. In fact, only 54,000 new jobs were created last month, way fewer than were expected. The bad news shows that the economy may not be building up the momentum the country needs to pull itself out of one of the worst recessions in history... and that we may be heading toward a dreaded "double dip" recession.

Many things are hurting US consumers and workers right now. Gasoline prices are way up, boosting the prices of just about everything. Huge floods and tornadoes have shut down businesses all over the South. A shortage of vital parts from Japan -- due to the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns that occurred there -- has hurt auto and other forms of manufacturing.

Here at home in Las Vegas the high gasoline prices are definitely affecting tourism negatively. On top of that, job growth in tourism, hospitality, leisure, and retail has basically ground to a halt. Not good news for a city that is definitely still in the doldrums of the recession.

Still, some economists and experts believe that it's only a matter of time before growth picks up again. Already gasoline prices are beginning to cool off a little, mainly because demand is dropping. Japanese parts suppliers are ramping up production much faster than suggested. Small businesses are being launched at a very brisk pace and will, hopefully, begin hiring people in large numbers again in coming months.

We say: Unless the politicians in Washington DC figure out how to stop fighting over non-vital issues and actually fix some major problems facing our economy, the US is screwed. The Democrats, despite their giant stimulus, don't seem to know what to do but the Republicans seem to not even care about fixing things. They have yet to present one "jobs" bill in Congress since taking over in January!

Learn some mo': Slow-moving economy runs into 'brick wall'

New "Super Toxic" E. Coli Bacteria Found in Europe

Here's more good news on the world health front: a new "super toxic" strain of E. coli bacteria is causing a major outbreak of food poisoning in parts of Europe. Scientists believe it's coming from contaminated raw lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, but are not 100% sure of the source yet.

So far, the new super bacteria has sickened about 2000 people in 10 different European nations. The scary part is that at least 500 people have developed serious kidney complications and at least 18 people have died after eating the contaminated produce.

German and Chinese researchers say that this E. coli is "an entirely new, super-toxic" variation that has not been seen before. It contains several different genes that cause antibiotic-resistance and may have been created by the combination of 2 different types of E. coli bacteria. Experts say it has characteristics that make it significantly more toxin-producing and dangerous that most E. coli.

We say: It's only a matter of time before antibiotic-resistant strains of many different types of deadly bacteria are all over the place. It's time to start putting SERIOUS effort and money behind investigating new bacteria-fighting technologies like sodium chlorite/chlorine dioxide, colloidal silver, copper, and others!

Learn some mo': WHO: E. coli outbreak may be from super-toxic new strain