Monthly Archives: November 2009

What in Santa’s name is going on?

I am perplexed.

I began this blog about one year ago. Over the course of the year, I have built a small cult following (or so I imagine it!) and typically somewhere between 75-100 people visit my blog every day.

I have seen occasional spikes in the number of viewers up in the range of 200-250  on a given day, particularly after I have had a radio appearance (and when I did a post about being visited by extraterrestrials!).

Four days ago, however, for no apparent reason, my viewership jumped to 434. The following day, it climbed to 686. The day after that it escalated to 892. And yesterday, it topped one thousand, ending at 1041. Today, at 8:55 a.m. as I write this, it has already reached 233.

What in Santa’s name is going on?

The reason I use that expression, is that about 95% or more of these hits are all for one posting – something I wrote on December 15, 2008. The entry was entitled, The REAL Reason for the Season and it focused on the pagan origins of many Christian Christmas traditions.

But why this sudden attraction and attention to this posting? Why now? Why this entry?

I invite you to read the original entry (the link is above) and then submit your hypotheses regarding this flurry of interest.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I’m hoping many of these viewers will become regular readers of The Former Fundie.



Filed under Athesim

New Evidence That Dark Chocolate is Good For Me!! (and you)

I have a serious addiction to Lindt Swiss Dark Chocolate – a vegan delight if there ever was one.

And now I have further evidence that this addiction is actually a virtue, not a vice. Here’s the story from Science Daily:


ScienceDaily (Nov. 12, 2009) — The “chocolate cure” for emotional stress


Pieces of dark chocolate. The "chocolate cure" for emotional stress is getting new support from a clinical trial. (Credit: iStockphoto)

is getting new support from a clinical trial published online in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research. It found that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed. Everyone’s favorite treat also partially corrected other stress-related biochemical imbalances.

Sunil Kochhar and colleagues note growing scientific evidence that antioxidants and other beneficial substances in dark chocolate may reduce risk factors for heart disease and other physical conditions. Studies also suggest that chocolate may ease emotional stress. Until now, however, there was little evidence from research in humans on exactly how chocolate might have those stress-busting effects.

In the study, scientists identified reductions in stress hormones and other stress-related biochemical changes in volunteers who rated themselves as highly stressed and ate dark chocolate for two weeks. “The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 grams [1.4 ounces] during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers,” the scientists say.

Journal reference:

  1. Martin et al. Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects. Journal of Proteome Research, 2009; 091007113151065 DOI: 10.1021/pr900607v
Adapted from materials provided by American Chemical Society.

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Filed under animal rights, environment, health, humanism, science, social commentary, veganism