Car Warming: Debunking the Myth

I really can’t stay… baby its cold outside. I’ve got to go away… baby its cold outside! Those words are the words of our freezing cars in the winter. Common folklore tells us that it’s better to wait and allow our vehicle to warm up before we use it, but is that thinking actually correct? The Hinkle Charitable Foundation talks about 3 myths that are commonly associated with vehicles and warming them up before driving off. First and foremost:

Myth 1: Cars should run in an idling mode for several minutes before being driven.

Related Article: Google’s Self Driving Car Initiative

The foundation proposes that simply driving gently helps warm up the engine in seconds rather than letting the car sit on and idle. In fact, by idling you are mostly just wasting gasoline and straining the engine.  Not to mention the increase in CO2 emissions! Which brings us to myth number 2.

Myth 2: Each time you start your car you waste more gasoline than if you let it idle.

Actually, the opposite is the case. When the car is idling you are wasting more gasoline than you do starting it up. The amounts aren’t great, but over time if you add them up you get significant differences. After a couple of tests listed by Natural Resources Canada, it was found that a 5 minute warming session increases fuel consumption by 7 to 14 percent and a 10 minute warming increased fuel consumption by 12 to 19 percent. The folks over in Ohio have made it illegal to idle and warm up their car… what?? Likewise, myth number 3 debunks the idea of allowing your vehicle to stay on while you pop inside for a quick visit.

Myth 3: Repeatedly restarting your car is hard on the engine and quickly drains the battery.

Related Article: Remote Control Cockroaches

Still not convinced? The EcoEnergy publication states that:

Even on the coldest of winter days, you can drive away after only 30 seconds of idling (provided your windows are defrosted).

Let us say you have your windows defrosted, you drive off and are on the road to your family’s but you forgot some flowers for your mother. You run inside the store quickly and leave your car running to conserve wasting gas on restarts. Wrong!

If you’re stopped for more than 10 seconds, turn off your engine. It has a minimal impact on the starter switch, and idling for over 10 seconds uses more fuel than it would take to re-start your engine

How about all of us that have a remote starter? Well…

Avoid using remote car starters. These devices encourage you to start your vehicle before you’re ready to leave, resulting in needless idling and wasted fuel.

Who would have thought? It would make sense to practice each myth with old vehicles, from the 20’s…. but we live in the new millennium! Cars have evolved past the point of the Model T and are efficient and able to handle much more than we give them credit for! So what should we really do?

At most, if it is freezing outside and you start your vehicle, let it idle for a minute or two max, then gently drive off and allow it to work itself into efficiency! And don’t worry, your oil will warm up as well; automobiles today are not so fragile that they will fall apart and quit without a truly good mechanical reason! So stay warm, stay safe, and mostly stay joyful this Christmas as your vehicle just warmed up in less time than it took for you to read this article. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Research:

Hinkle Charitable Foundation: Anti-Idling Primer

Natural Resources Canada

Warming Car in Ohio is Illegal EcoEnergy publication

Wondergressive: Remote Control Cockroaches

Wondergressive: Google’s Self Driving Car Initiative

The Great Vitamin D-Ficiency!

Dear Chicagoan,

Stop Getting Sick!

Yours Truly,

Your Immune System.

 

This of course does not solely pertain to Chicagoans; any of you city slickers with those dark and snowy winters, those gloomy and menacing falls, and those extended rainy stormy weeks, are likely ignoring your immune system’s desperate cry for help. What am I doing wrong you may ask? What can I do when there is no sun to power me!? Even Superman was weak without the sun!

Start taking your vitamin D supplements people! Especially in the winter. Vitamin D deficiency is very commonly caused by a lack of sunlight during that dreaded FLU SEASON. A study by R. Edgar Hope-Simpson, a British family practice doctor, found that:

During the summer months in both hemispheres, influenza is virtually nonexistent. Aside from the flu, the common cold, which is actually a variety of more than 200 different viruses, also has a peak during the winter months.

Pish posh! I am 10 times the man I am during the winter period than the hot summertime! Look how efficiently I plow the snow and create icy sculptures with ease! I don’t need any supplements… John J. Cannell, MD, who heads the nonprofit Vitamin D Council, says otherwise:

Ninety-five percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D — that’s how big the problem is

Ahh but there are always critics in the world of modern medicine. Why would anything natural and recurring in nature ever be good for you? All we need is antibiotics and drugs and we can solve the world’s problems! An article titled Trying to Avoid a Cold? Skip the Vitamin D Supplements, goes in detail describing how a study in New Zealand, not America, produced results that leave the reader questioning the validity of vitamin D benefits. Yet it notes that those deficient in vitamin D would still likely benefit from supplements. Look up to statistic… a flurry of brain synapses going off will ensue. For a time there was vitamin D hype, which brought on vitamin D hate, and now it is not even mentioned anymore. We can ride the news roller coaster and listen to the media until we are all completely confused about everything, even ourselves.

So how much should I take? Will I get poisoned from too much vitamin D?

The Vitamin D Council recommends that children take 1,000 IU and adults take 5,000 IU when not exposed to sunlight regularly. In order to reach a state of toxicity with vitamin D, one would have to consume over 40,000 IU in supplements for over two months! I have heard as little as 600 IU should be taken and if taken in excess of 1,000 IU then you risk toxicity. Boy do they steer us wrong about supplements, or as some call it, voodoo magic.

A little late, why didn’t you tell me this earlier!? Well better late then never.. SO! If it’s the summer time or spring time and you are actively soaking in your rays, safely of course without overexposure to damaging UV rays, then don’t sweat the vitamin D supplements as much! But if you do not eat vitamin D rich foods and you are prone to sickness and easily contract a flu during that dreaded FLU SEASON, do your immune system a solid and pop a supplement every now and then. Your body will repay you with longevity, energy, and a solid ‘D’ against that flu enemy!

Before you go off to do what you were going to do, which is of course to read that AWESOME Wondergressive article on how Cannabis Cures Cancer, here is a list of ailments that Jack Challem, the author of more than 20 books on nutrition and a member of the American Society for Nutrition, put together for those deficient in vitamin D:

• Allergies. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a greater risk of allergies, such as to pollens.

• Back pain. Many studies have shown that in patients with chronic lower-back pain, vitamin D supplements led to either a partial or complete elimination of pain.

• Fibromyalgia. Low vitamin D levels are typical in this disease, and boosting vitamin D reduces symptoms.

• Heart disease. Low vitamin D levels are associated with up to a 50 percent higher risk of heart attack.

• Mental health. Low wintertime vitamin D levels may be a factor in seasonal affective disorder (that is, seasonal depression), as well as in schizophrenia.

• Multiple sclerosis. The risk of multiple sclerosis increases progressively in populations living at latitudes farther from the equator. A growing body of research suggests that adequate vitamin D might slow its progression, at least in the early stages of MS.

• Skin cancer. Some research suggests that for certain populations, vitamin D, in combination with sun exposure or calcium supplementation, might offer some protection against skin cancer.

• Type 2 diabetes. Considerable research indicates that vitamin D, often in combination with calcium, helps regulate blood sugar and may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

• Vaginal infections. Bacterial vaginosis affects nearly one of every three women. Maintaining normal vitamin D levels might reduce the risk of this type of infection.

Sources:

Jack Challem

Web MD Vitamin D Foods

Web MD Vitamin D Deficiency

CNN Health: Flu Season

Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D

John J. Cannell, MD

Vitamin D Council

Wondergressive: Cannibus Cures Cancer

Anti Vitamin D

Engineering the Perfect Morning in 8 Easy Steps

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Have you had your coffee yet? Stretch it out; it’s okay. Nothing quite like the old cigarette and cup of joe to kick start the day into gear, or maybe leisurely scrolling a Wondergressive post on the john is more your speed. Remember when you’d spring to life hours before the sun, like, say on Christmas morning? You couldn’t fall asleep from excitement and erupted from slumber like the rambunctious little meth-head every kid is. Well guess what friends… we can have that majesty again, and not just once a year, but every morning. Check out these 8 simple steps to supercharging your mornings and life:

1)

If you’re reading an article on this site, you’re probably pretty smart, and kudos to you already, so maybe you’ve heard of this thing called the REM cycle. Turns out the number of cycles is not as important as we’d previously imagined; rather, timing is the key. Those non-hangover days when, even with a full 8 hours, you feel like a monkey’s been bludgeoning you with a bag of unripe oranges (maybe the 6th cup will do the trick), most likely your alarm sounded mid-REM cycle, and this is a big deal. If the cycle is interrupted, this is a day of grogginess. Contrarily, rising between REMs leaves you alert and rested. A REM cycle is 90 minutes, give or take, so instead of getting a solid 8, aim for a solid 7.5 hours a night. You’ll be walking on (not sunshine) regular terrain, throwing away the old “I’m just not a morning person.” Likewise, 6 hours (optimal on average) or less will do the trick as well, though you may want to nap later with the latter. Easy-peezy. If you need to be up at 7am, hit the pillow at 11:15pm (15mins to fall asleep). With the demons of drowsiness never again jabbing your skull, it’ll be much easier to…

2)

Wake up early. I promise this is an easy step. Was it ever hard to roll out of the race-car to pillage Santa’s haul? If you’re awesome, and I’ll bet you are, you have a to-do list 6 pages deep and it’s become more of a “shit that’ll happen when I win the lottery” list. What a vicious, unending cycle, especially since “buy lottery ticket” is on that list. But you’re clever and ambitious; you know what to do to find those extra hours to get it all done: wake up early. Like we’ve already seen, 6 hours is a great amount of sleep where you’ll feel peak-rested. Congratulations, you’ve just found an extra 2 hours of private time every day (6 extra years of consciousness added to your life). While the world hits snooze, you can…

3)

Set an isochronic alarm. Good odds you’re reading this on your phone/mp3/alarm clock/everything, and you can set an alarm to sound any noise you’d like (if you don’t know how, Google it). Trythis iso-tone. It’s a sound that, when heard, snaps the mind into high gear (Make sure to check out the science behind isochronic tones– it’s pretty cool but beyond the scope of this article). No need to shut it off, by the way. This tone makes a great background to your…

4)

Dream journal. Why dream journal? It’s fun, for one. Keeping a journal of your dreams is like sharing an intimate conversation with your subconscious; never mind if you don’t have dreams (you do, everyone dreams every single night), start with anything, even a vague memory of a color, and details will start flooding back as the pen lurches rapidly to scrawl them. Even these few minutes of creativity, because they’re first thing, set a tone of greatness for the rest of the day, although no one will hold it against you if you still need…

5)

Coffee. Yes, have your coffee if that’s your thing (did you think I’d say you couldn’t?), but that delectable god-nectar takes a bit to brew, so in the meantime, we’ll be needing an empty stomach anyway for…

5.5)

Exercise. It doesn’t take much to get the job done; we’re not training for the Olympics. 10-15 minutes of easy calisthenics right at waking gets the blood flowing and kick starts the metabolism so your breakfast won’t sludge into more mass about the spare-tire, but burn to fuel your freshly invigorated body. Thanks, science.

6)

Read. Let’s leave off the Looney Tunes this morning, or if that’s not your style, no newspaper or CNN. Instead, over the oats and bacon, we’re going to read 10 pages (that’s it, easy) of self-help. Are you in the school that thinks self-help books are for a bunch of losers who need to pat themselves on the back? Okay, a lot are, but check outthese self-help books (or for the kleptos). A mere 10 pages a day will amount to 1,300 books over your lifetime. Fun side-note: Theodore Roosevelt read an entire book every single day, even while he had his hands full with all that presidenting.

7)

Take a cold shower. This will be the hardest step to adhere to, but well worth the sacrifice. According to Dr. Kruse, the benefits of becoming “cold adapted” include:

  • Optimization of hormone levels
  • Fertility and reproductive fitness
  • Strengthened adrenal function
  • Reversal of diabetes and thyroid disorders
  • Increased immune function
  • Pain management
  • Deepened and improved sleep
  • Increased sense of well being and better attitude
  • and, it may be helpful with serious neurological diseases and eating disorders

Sounds cool (groan over shitty pun).

8)

Meditate. I’ll bet you’ve heard good things. Here’s your chance, and if you’re afraid of looking silly, no one else is up yet anyway. Here’s a beginners guide if you’re unfamiliar. That’s it. Have fun y’all, and enjoy your new, awesome life.

 

Sources:

WebMD: Stages of Sleep

PubMed.gov: Effects of Interrupting REM sleep

Iso-tone

Science of Isochronic Tones

How Dreams Work

Reasons to Exercise in the Morning

Goodreads: Self-help Books

Cracked.com: Facts About Famous People

Dr. Kruse: Cold Showers

How to Meditate

Heating Yourself, Not Your House

 

Here is an awesome article on heating and insulating the self first and the house or space second. It talks about self insulation.

Modern thermal underclothing offers the possibility to turn the thermostat much lower without sacrificing comfort or sex appeal.

Of course its great to insulate your house, but should we all really be running about our houses naked in the middle of winter? I think we could all be doing the world a little favor and save some energy (not to mention moolah!) by wearing a nice sexy undershirt.

And then there’s THIS article on efficient heating of the space around one’s self. This blog post is pretty epic. She talks about different techniques to heating the person instead of the whole space. She goes through a whole trial and error process and the results of it. I’ll admit her techniques won’t work for everyone, but if that stops you, maybe you didn’t really want to do it in the first place. She managed to save buckets (I’m presuming one could fill at least one bucket with 250 crumpled ones) of money, and for people with larger houses this could save even more.  She has charts and graphs and seriously covers all the questions you might have. Excellent inspiration.

 

So there it is. Maybe we should be turning the spyglass inward and focusing on ourselves this season.  At least as far as the heating goes.

 

Sources:

Insulation: First the Body, Then the Home

Micro Heaters Cut 87% Off My Electric Heating Bill