Reasons to Eat Dead Diatoms

Posted: October 21, 2016 in Articles
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Technically, my title is a bit misleading. If you consumed diatomaceous earth, you wouldn’t be eating entire dead diatoms, just their cell walls.

While I was studying Kingdom Protista this fall, I read about the microscopic organisms that inhabit most bodies of water, known as diatoms. If you know about them, it could be because when their dead cell walls clump together, they form what we know as diatomaceous earth, or it could be because diatoms are responsible for producing the most oxygen out of any group of photosynthetic organisms. If you don’t know about them, it’s probably because you don’t know about them.

Diatomaceous earth, which looks like a white powder, has become increasingly popular in today’s world, especially among farmers who use it for garden pests like killing slugs. Today I read an article that lists ten reasons why you should ingest diatomaceous earth (one ingests diatomaceous earth by mixing it with water or some liquid – apparently, it has no taste). Obviously, only ingest food grade diatomaceous earth, not the type that is used in pools or other types. I found two uses for diatomaceous earth particularly interesting: you can get rid of gum problems, and you can help prevent and get rid of any parasitic problems your chickens get.

Of course, this is all according to the source below, and I’ll research it further before I believe it, but I understand at least how diatomaceous earth kills slugs. Diatomaceous earth contains silicon dioxide, also known as silica, which is the primary component in glass. As you can imagine, diatoms have very strong, abrasive cell walls that provide them with excellent protection. In turn, their dead cell walls, containing silicon dioxide, are abrasive. When slugs move over diatomaceous earth, the abrasive substance cuts their abdomens, and they eventually die. I don’t know if that’s how killing parasites with diatomaceous earth works, but I certainly believe that it’s useful to have.

Anyway, this guy lists some pretty interesting reasons to ingest food-grade diatomaceous earth. Be careful, though, because if you’re like me, reading this article could lead to researching carbothermic reduction.

Also, I’d like to say that I don’t like the idea of killing slugs with DE. Yes, they are slugs, but we will either remove them with our fingers, let them eat whatever they are on, or plant the stuff they like to eat off the ground and not over water anything in general. This year, the slugs were quite bad and we did lose a lot of food to slugs, but this was the first year we’ve ever had such a problem.


To All Millennials

Posted: October 15, 2016 in Articles
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The decline of McDonald’s is indeed, in my opinion, long overdue. A while ago, I read an article that said that McDonald’s needed to close a large number of their restaurants (I did forget the exact number) and today, I read an article that said that only one out of every five millennials has eaten a Big Mac.

Even though I’m not a millennial, I’ve never eaten a Big Mac and I only remember about four distinct times that I’ve even eaten at McDonald’s. Given that I haven’t returned a lot, perhaps I regretted my decisions.

Now that McDonald’s has seen that slightly “healthier” burgers are catching on, they’re going to try to make theirs more healthy as well. I wonder how that’s going to work. Personally, I wouldn’t really trust any McDonald’s food anymore. They’ve gained a rather… sinister reputation.

Anyway, I’m getting slightly off track. I did want to ask a question in this article. Purely out of curiosity, I’d like to know if any millennials reading this have ever eaten a Big Mac.



Yes, yet another set of wisdom teeth has been removed successfully from our family. This time they belonged to Dink. Even though he only had three, they were all impacted, so it was a fairly traumatic operation. He went in yesterday morning to have them removed and it took about an hour. When he got back, it seemed the surgical anesthesia hadn’t fully worn off, as he was pretty out of it. It was rather amusing. Anyway, he ate some mashed potatoes, swallowed his various pills, took an ice pack, and went back to sleep in his room.

I’ve now seen two of my siblings lose their wisdom teeth, so I guess I know what I’m in for. I also looked at the sheet of restrictions/instructions for after the surgery. They instruct patients to keep their heads elevated when lying down, which is why Dink is propped up against a corner in the picture. You can not disturb the empty sockets in any way, you can’t spit, rinse, or probe at it with anything. And, most unfortunately, you can’t drink out of a straw for three days after the surgery. Dink does so love to drink out of a straw.

The last time I was at the dentist, they took x-rays of my mouth and they could see my wisdom teeth. I was thinking that I might be able to get them taken out next summer, but I guess it depends on what my wisdom teeth are doing. If the doctors would have to drill through too much bone, it probably wouldn’t be worth it, but on the other hand, the teeth wouldn’t have fully developed roots. I suppose we’ll consult an expert when the time comes!

Anyway, Dink sure is going to miss solid food for a couple more days.

Learning to Speak, But In Public

Posted: October 10, 2016 in Articles

This year at school, I’m taking a speech class. It’s a class that helps to improve your public speaking skills. Every two or three weeks, I will have to write a five to seven minutes speech, practice it (probably in front of my parents), and then give it in front of my fellow classmates, as well as my teacher. The topics vary a good deal, and the types of speeches that we will give do as well; I believe there will be a debate at the end of the year. Almost all of my siblings have taken this class, and almost all of them wound up enjoying it, even if they were dreading it at first. Surprisingly, I was looking forward to taking the class.

A couple of weeks into the class, I’ve given one speech, the purpose of which was to introduce a classmate. Writing it was a fairly simple process (I’ve written a lot of essays), and practicing it in front of my parents wasn’t too bad either; although, it was difficult at times seeing the sheer agony on their faces.

And then, there was the experience of giving my first speech in front of a room full of people, most of whom I didn’t know. No, it really wasn’t as bad as it sounds. I personally was expecting it to not be a great experience, so I was indeed surprised at the reality. To sum it up in just one little word, it was traumatizing!

I’m quite thankful to say that a good bit of this article has been in jest. Giving the speech really wasn’t very unpleasant at all. I was well within the time limit, and after I was done, there was a helpful session of constructive criticisms. The really unfortunate assignment came next: I had to watch my own speech and write a critique on it. Needless to say, that’s always going to be unpleasant.

Anyway, I find that I’m strangely looking forward to continuing this class. I think it’s going to be fun, if, at times, a little – or very – traumatizing🙂

Back In Commission

Posted: October 8, 2016 in Articles
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I have now returned from my blog break and will hopefully be publishing more regularly now. To begin with, I’d like to alert everyone of a new Safeway… uh, thing. I’m really not sure what to call it, but we have written about this phenomenon before: it’s basically Safeway’s version of Green Stamps! For every ten dollars that you spend at a participating Safeway, you get one stamp. Once you have saved up a certain number of stamps, you can exchange them for a prize. Last time, you could get anything from a 3.5″ paring knife for 30 stamps to a 20 piece flatware set for 160 stamps. We got a nice 20 piece flatware set which we now save for special occasions and also a set of nice steak knives. All of the prizes were from Cuisinart.

This time, the prizes are various pots and pans from Farberware. While we’re not personally the biggest fans of Farberware products, they’re free! (if you shop at Safeway anyway, which we do) Why not collect the stamps? We’ll be trying to save enough stamps for both a 6-quart covered stockpot and a small skillet. To get both, we’ll need to save 180 stamps by January 17, 2017, when the offer ends. To be honest, though, that really won’t be difficult; we buy a lot of groceries. We’ll have to update you on our progress every once in a while.

In any case, if you do shop at Safeway (or even if you don’t), free things are never bad, are they? And even if you don’t need more pots and pans, you can always give your newly acquired ones to someone who does!