phew! I’m glad that’s over!

I’ve just finished chairing the examiners’ meeting that finalises grades for students in our School. (For those who might think that uni lecturers have nothing to do once the students have left – forgeddit! This is the time when we: finish exam-related admin, work with grad students, prepare for next year’s teaching, write papers, do a bit of research… But I digress.) This was a new role for me & the several days’ preparation for the meeting left me feeling a bit like this:

tired from work.jpg


So before the meeting I did what I suspect many do in this position – stocked up on ‘V’ & other commercial caffeine sources & made a pot of tea. (Green tea. Jasmine dragon pearl tea, actually – lovely stuff.) Only to be to told by my science colleagues that: this one contains ammoniated caramel (see if you can guess which product that’s in!) & that’s a neurotoxin, while that one will see me taking something for acid reflux in next to no time.

Am I worried? Not particularly. Because I’m pretty sure that, like many other things, the dose is what’s important. Water, for example – you have to have it, but drink too much of it & you’ll be a very sad (& possibly dead) puppy. Or vitamins – vitamin A’s an essential part of your diet, but take it in megadoses (eg by eating carnivore liver…) & you’ll discover the unpleasant effects of hypervitaminosis A.

So – I’ll continue with the commercial stuff in moderation. And I certainly won’t be giving up my nice pot of tea any time soon!

4 thoughts on “phew! I’m glad that’s over!”

  • I read on Scienceblogs somewhere quite some time ago that the catechins in green tea are pro-oxidant in vivo. Not good news. I probably drink far too much tea (I can get over 6 cups a day!). I’m constantly trying to cut down, but it’s an ingrained habit. I boil the jug without even realising.

  • Alison Campbell says:

    I love green tea & drink a lot – but I don’t let it brew for long (as an ex-flatmate once said, you could spear a shark through 40 fathoms of that stuff!) 🙂 I’m just reading an interesting piece on anti-oxidants by Ben Goldacre (bought his book “Bad Science” the other day) & might get on to writing about it later.

  • Annette and David says:

    This was an item in the NZ Skeptic’s Newsfront column a few years ago:
    A Feng Shui practitioner who died while on a life mastery course in Fiji was ready to leave his body, his widow believes. Stephanie Challis, pictured in the Nelson Mail (11 December 2002) smiling happily with her three children, told how her 41 year old husband Will had undergone a course of body cleansing which involved colonic hydrotherapy and drinking quantities of good quality water.
    “He always played full out,” she said. “My guess is that he had seven or eight litres of water, thinking, ‘the more I drink, the cleaner I am’.” Mr Challis mentioned that he had been throwing up, but Mrs Challis, having previously done that when detoxifying, didn’t think too much of it. She said his sodium levels had become unbalanced, leading to loss of consciousness. Because they were on an island facilities were not available to rectify his sodium balance, and he was not given any oxygen.
    “It appears his brain suffered massive oxygen starvation in that first 24 hours. The doctors tell me they will never know.”
    Mrs Challis said she met her husband through training in Qi Gong, an ancient form of energy cultivation, and the basis of their relationship had always been spiritual. In the months leading up to his death, they had been “full out” on various courses. She believes he was on an unconscious level preparing to leave his body. “There are so many amazing coincidences. It all points to the fact that this was his time.”
    Mrs Challis said she had remained positive throughout the ordeal, and did not blame anyone for what happened and, in fact, feels privileged that her husband shared the experience with her. “I was keeping the bigger picture in mind the whole time. When he died I felt incredibly peaceful and even joyful. I realise since that what he’s done has been the biggest gift he’s ever given me. I feel closer to him now than I’ve ever felt and deeply grateful for what he has taught me about life through his dying.”

  • Alison Campbell says:

    That is a very sad story 🙁 That colonic hydrotherapy thing has always puzzled me – the concept that without it your gut will be lined with ‘old’ faecal material… How has our species lasted so long without it???

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