Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

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Verbose About Lactose

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help

Like sixty million other Americans, I am lactose intolerant. I have not been this way all my life, but only began having trouble with dairy products sometime in the year 2000. This is often the case however according to Michael Hirt of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Tenet Tarzana Regional Medical Center in California.
As you get older, depending on your culture and race and genetics, the ability to digest milk sugar wanes. At some point certain individuals can't digest lactose sufficiently to avoid having the laxative effect once they cross their own personal threshold. Some people can have a glass of milk but not two. Others can have yogurt but not ice cream. It depends on the individual. But a lot of Asians and people of African descent are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is common, and the food pyramid that tells you to consume three or four servings a day of dairy is clearly not speaking to everyone. You can tolerate and digest lactose, but it's important to make sure you aren't allergic or intolerant to other proteins in dairy.1
Interestingly enough, ninety percent of Asian-Americans, eighty percent of African-Americans and fifty-three percent of Mexican-Americans are lactose intolerant. Ernie and I had a nice conversation about this phenomenon when he was in town last June.

I am one of the fortunate sufferers to only have adverse effects when I consume certain levels of certain things. A glass of milk is bad, but pizza is just fine. A cheeseburger is fine, but a grilled cheese sandwich is murder. It is for this reason I continually remain extremely cautious about consuming foods that could even remotely have the chance of making me feel the way I do if I ingest enough lactose. I do not get nauseous or have diarrhea. In fact, I wish I would. Instead my stomach cramps to the point where it basically reduces me to a fetal position on the floor, tears running down my face. Pussy you may say, but these pains have been described by some as comparable to those experienced during childbirth. Oh, and if I do get to that point it lasts for a good three hours.

Thus, as one who very much enjoys a glass of milk (skim, thank you) during a home-cooked meal or for that matter any meal I consume at home by myself, I was delighted to try Lactaid Dietary Supplements. This product is a pill form of the lactase enzyme, missing from those with lactose intolerance. Unfortunately while the effects were lessened, I still experienced major discomfort subsequent to consuming dairy products even with the Lactaid pill.

It was after then I reluctantly tried the Lactaid Milk product and am I glad I did. I am able to drink as much of this stuff as I want without any worry of lactose stomach hell. I will note for anyone looking to try this product, Lactaid Milk is sweeter than normal milk. After drinking it a few times, though, I stopped noticing and today I have no idea how different or not normal milk tastes. An amusing aside is the fact that due to the ultra-pasteurisation process Lactaid Milk undergoes, the expiration date printed on the carton is often an entire month away from the date of purchase! Never have I tried to keep it around that long though because I just enjoy it way too much.

With the success that Lactaid Milk has been over the past year or so that I have been drinking it, I decided to try something new I recently found: lactose-free cheese. Borden Dairy's Lactose Free Singles are a wonderful alternative and taste just like your normal, run of the mill cheese singles. I have made several grilled cheese sandwiches with these and have been so thrilled with the results that I am going to get more of them tomorrow whilst shopping.

Finally, my latest dairy craving came tonight in the form of chocolate ice cream. Minutes after having a singular half-spoonful taste of Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream, I was braving the 45°F temperatures and making a run to the store. I ended up purchasing the first lactose free ice cream I found: Tofutti Chocolate Supreme ice cream. At first I was a bit disappointed with this product as it seemed to have an unusual aftertaste, but as I consumed more and more I could no longer really tell the difference. No Häagen-Dazs for sure, but certainly a viable alternative especially for someone like myself who will enjoy ice cream no sooner than every six months. I also came to the conclusion that I craved the texture of ice cream just as much if not slightly more than the taste and with Tofutti the texture was right on. They have a large selection of products, one of which I just submitted my address to receive a coupon for, and I am planning on trying many of them.

1 Morgan, John, 04 April 2003, "Star of 'V.I.P.' busts lactose intolerance," USA Today

Wedding March

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Congratulations to my friend Tina in New York City who during this weekend got married. I was unfortunately unable to attend, but I am sure the ceremony was lovely. I wish her and her new husband, Greg Newman, the very best!

Wish I could have been there! Congratulations you two.


by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help

For anyone interested this is my formal announcement and invitation to join me in a celebration of my twenty-third birthday this upcoming Thursday, 29 January 2004. While subject to change, the plan at present is to enjoy an evening of beverages and music at Southern Nights. As Thursday night's theme is "campus," those with student identification or those wearing Abercrombie and Fitch attire gain entry for free. I will also have a limited supply of admission coupons for those with neither. I will likely dine with my family in the evening and then head down to the club for an arrival around 2200. Please let me know by commenting or contacting me directly if you plan to attend.

Lunar Politics

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
Some of you may already have heard of the reported plans by President Bush to formally announce a reformation plan of action that would place as a primary goal America's return to the moon. Various news agencies and other public discussion forums have already starting asking questions about this plan and raising suspicions as to where this sudden shift in politics originated. Others are more concerned that the money being discussed for this plan could be better spent on needs closer to home.

While it is no secret my views when it comes to social policy and government are mostly liberal, I do not hold a strict loyalty to the Democratic Party. I vote on the issues individually, selecting the best candidate for the particular task at hand. I would also like to point out that in elections for my local City and County governments I have, on several occasions, voted to re-elect Republicans to continue doing the job they were adequately performing during their previous terms. I have also not made it secret that I largely disagree with the stances taken policy-wise by the current administration. I do primarily place my disgust with Republican leaders, but in many cases (such as the Patriot Acts and other similar anti-Constitutional legislative measures) Democratic officials are just as guilty.

With all that said, I offer up this theory regarding the new moon policy which I will admit sounds very exciting, especially with our space programme still laying in ruin after the unfortunate destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia nearly a year ago. It is my belief the sudden change of policy of this administration toward increasing the budget for NASA and its programmes is all due to politics and not an inherent desire to reunite the country with a goal that spans sex, race, religion and every other individual trait we possess.

A costly (fiscally and life-wise) invasion of Iraq coupled with the successive failures to complete very publicly made goals subsequent to the attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. on 11 September 2001 has certainly taken its toll on the public opinion of President Bush. While his public opinion rating did take a substantial hike after United States Military personnel located and captured Saddam Hussein, current local issues such as the return of the ever-growing national deficit (currently approximated around one-half trillion dollars), unemployment and the economy as a whole are going to be, or at least should be the ultimate deciders when Americans go to the polls.

And the polls they will go in just under eleven months. Public opinion will have its best opportunity to affect change in office from the time starting now all the way to 02 November. While opinion polls are important for every elected official at all times, the general public as a whole is more likely to remember things an official has said or done in the time immediately prior to an election.

I know most of the regular visitors who are likely to reply are probably going to lean toward this being a plan not for the overall good of the nation, but for the continued re-election efforts. I would be very interested to read some opposing opinions if people can mind their comments and keep the conversation to the topic without making personal remarks.

Theatre Review: Copenhagen

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
Thanks to a special invitation from Orlando blogger Katharine, three of my friends and I were treated to the Orlando Theatre Project's interpretation of the Tony Award-winning production Copenhagen. Written by Michael Frayn, Copenhagen tells the story of physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg (who may be best known for his uncertainty principle) and their conversation about the science of nuclear weapons in the midst of World War II.

This was my first opportunity to see a performance by members of the Orlando Theatre Project, but even by this first exposure alone it is apparent that the drive behind the performers and staff is truly one based on a love for the theatre. As the show began and the lighting gently illuminated the three stars of Copenhagen, it was clear this art would be something very different and at the same time rather interesting. From the execution of the lines to the carefully constructed conveyance of every emotion, the players and this story grabbed at the audience and drew them into a world of fear, science, morality and discovery; one that would not ease up on them until the final word was spoken, the lights raised and the performers bowed.

As the story of Heisenberg's clandestine visit to Copenhagen to chat with his friend and ex-colleague Bohr progressed, I was increasingly impressed with Frayn's ability to discuss highly scientific topics without downing the audience in technobabble as I was with the collaborative operation of Philip Nolen (Heisenberg), Doug Truelsen (Bohr) and Christine Decker (Bohr's wife, Margrethe). And even when the dialogue was forced because of the subject matter to delve into fission, atomic structure and theoretical physics, it was handled by the performers with such drive and motivation, yet at the same time very delicately so as not to loose anyone during the recounting. Even if you had no idea what the difference was between protons, neutrons and electrons, you did not feel like a child stranded on the corner after having missed his school bus. The interaction between the characters and the actors was nearly indistinguishable, an obvious outcome from a performance by talented actors who really grasped and understood the play.

I found the philosophical discussions, the scientific fact and the basic historical outline all very intriguing. The point of view of the characters is one of reflection, questioning and resolution; a point of view which I felt really helped show the audience the full picture of the chain of events. If you are at all interested in the history of the atomic bomb, World War II in general or science and physics, I highly recommend a viewing of Copenhagen. Additionally for those who live in the metro Orlando area, support the Orlando Theatre Project and their abundant talent by catching a showing. You will not be disappointed and may find yourself at future performances as well.
Presented by the Orlando Theatre Project
Directed by Kristian Truelsen

Show Information
08 January 2004 to 25 January 2004
Thursday - Saturday at 08:00 PM
Sunday at 02:00 PM

General Admission: $22.00
Seniors and Students: $18.00

Fine Arts Theatre at Seminole Community College
100 Weldon Boulevard
Sanford, Florida 32773

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