Several years ago, a 28-year-old California woman died after competing in a radio station’s on-air water-drinking contest. After downing some six liters of water in three hours in the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” (Nintendo game console) contest, Jennifer Strange vomited, went home with a splitting headache, and died from so-called water intoxication.In 2005 a fraternity hazing at California State University, Chico, left a 21-year-old man dead after he was forced to drink excessive amounts of water between rounds of push-ups in a cold basement. Club-goers taking MDMA (“ecstasy”) have died after consuming copious amounts of water trying to rehydrate following long nights of dancing and sweating. Going overboard in attempts to rehydrate is also common among endurance athletes. A 2005 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that close to one sixth of marathon runners develop some degree of hyponatremia, or dilution of the blood caused by drinking too much water.Severe cases of hyponatremia can lead to water intoxication, an illness whose symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination and mental disorientation and sometimes even death.

When a person drinks too much water in a short period of time, the kidneys cannot flush it out fast enough and the blood becomes waterlogged. Drawn to regions where the concentration of salt and other dissolved substances is higher, excess water leaves the blood and ultimately enters the cells, which swell like balloons to accommodate it. Brain cells however are tightly packaged and has almost zero room to expand and swell.  Thus, drinking too much water can cause the entry of water into brain cells leading to brain swelling, which manifests as seizures, coma, respiratory arrest, brain stem herniation and death,” explains the chief of nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Where did people get the idea that guzzling enormous quantities of water is healthful? A few years ago Heinz Valtin, a kidney specialist from Dartmouth Medical School, concluded that no scientific studies support the “8 cups of water a day” dictum. In fact, drinking this much or more “could be harmful, both in precipitating potentially dangerous hyponatremia and exposure to pollutants, and since he published his findings, Valtin says, “not a single scientific report published in a peer-reviewed publication has proven the contrary.”So how do we know how much water to drink? Apparently there is some science behind it. According to Verbalis: While exercising, “you should balance what you’re drinking with what you’re sweating,” but measuring sweat output is not easy. When in doubt simply follow Verbalis’s advice, “drink to your thirst. It’s the best indicator.”


We Can’t Always Win!

Ok, there are some A-list actors out there that you just assume have won an Oscar or two, but really, film’s most prestigious of awards has escaped even some of the most A-list of A-list performers. Yes, we know, being nominated for an Academy Award is a fine honor, however I don’t know about you – but I want to win!

What we have here, courtesy of Buzz60, is a list of five unlucky people, 39 nominations between them, and no wins whatsoever. Here’s a breakdown:

Glenn Close, from 1987′s Fatal Attraction has been nominated six times.

Brad Pitt, who magnificently played Lt. Aldo Raine in Inglourious Basterds, has been nominated five times. Maybe he could get his first on March 2 for 12 Years a Slave.

Tom Cruise, a.k.a., Ethan Hunt, has been nominated three times.

Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated five times.  Nominated for his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street, can DiCaprio win his first on March 2?

Sound mixer, Kevin O’Connell, (Armageddon, Transformers, Pearl Harbor) has been nominated 20 times without winning.

Check out the Oscars on March 2 to see if either DiCaprio or Pitt can break their unlucky streak.



With packaged food ingredient lists reading more like a chemistry text book, marketers have figured out a way to keep toxic additives and disease-promoting food packaging off of the label, making your job as a consumer harder than ever. The stuff on this list makes rat hair in peanut butter seem appetizing.

1.Flame Retardant Liquid: The toxic flame retardant chemical “Brominated Vegetable Oil” otherwise knows as BVO, was initially used to keep plastics from catching on fire. Today, BVO is used in some of your favorite sodas like Mountain Dew, Sunkist Pinapple and some Powerade/Gatorade Flavors. It is said that these chemical prevents the artificial flavoring chemicals from separating from the rest of the liquids. Unfortunately, Scientists have linked too much BVO to symptoms like skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders.

2. Paint Chemicals: Titanium Dioxide is a component of titanium, which is a substance quite often contaminated with toxic lead. Commonly used in paints and sunscreens, this chemical can also surprisingly be found in processed salad dressing, coffee creamers and icing.

3.Maggots/Mites: Maggots are fly larvae, tiny rice shaped creatures that feast on rotting foods. Unfortunately, the FDA legally allows 19 maggots and 74 mites to be packaged in a 3.5 ounce can of mushrooms. Although maggots have their place in the medical world, I don’t think people imagine eating them along with their canned mushrooms. If you need another reason to ditch canned goods, most are lined with BPA(Bisphenol A) a plastic chemical that causes unnatural hormonal changes linked to heart attacks, obesity and certain cancers.

4. Herbicide: Glyphosate, is an active chemical ingredient in the popular weed killer roundup. This hormone disrupting chemical is now used primarily on genetically engineered corn and soy crops. Because it’s a systemic herbicide, which is taken up inside the plant, we actually eat it even if we wash them first and this is legally allowed in our food, and in an amount that worries scientists. Continuous Glyphosate exposure is linked to obesity, learning disabilities, birth defects, infertility, and potentially irreversible metabolic damage.

5.Sex Hormones:The genetically engineered and synthetic hormone called rBST(recombinant bovine somatotropin) can be found in most dairy products not labeled(rBST free). This chemical(which is banned in other countries) has been linked to prostate,breast and colon cancers.

6.Human Hair/Feathers:L-cysteine, a non essential amino acid made from dissolved human hair(often from china) or duck feathers is used as commercial dough conditioner to improve the texture of breads and baked goods. Although there are no known side effects of this ingredient, it does violate some religious/ethical beliefs.

7.Beetle Juice: No, not the crazy white haired guy in the pinstripes… Carmine, a bright red food colorant usually labeled as crimson lake, cochineal or natural red #4 is actually the crushed abdomen of the female Dactylopius coccus, an African beetle like insect. These crushed critters can be found in any candy, yogurt or juices tainted red(ex. Ruby red juices). This too has no known side effects except of it posing an ethical issue for some vegetarians/vegans.

8. Ammonia: Meat factories are usually rife with bacteria after mixing meats from thousands of different cows which could be a public health hazard. To make the meat safer, the USDA typically allows these factories to put the beef through an ammonia gas bath. This process is deemed safe enough to not include any indication on the packaging that your beef has been treated with the stuff. Unfortunately, ammonia is a poisonous gas and evidence even suggests that blasting it with the stuff might not even be fully effective at killing these germs.

9. Brain Killing Food Dyes: Many artificial food dyes are made from petroleum derived materials. Dyes are used in cereals and candy especially to make them more fun for kids, in pickles to make them appear fresher and in place of real ingredients in a variety of foods. Take for example Betty Crockers Carrot cake mix, which is actually a carrot free product with only carrot flavored pieces cooked with these artificial dyes/corn syrup. Some of these dyes,especially Orange and Purple are shown to impair brain function, while others have been linked to ADHD and behavioral problems in kids and brain cell toxicity.

10. Non stick metal components: An Industrial nonstick chemical(perflourinated) used to coat theinside of popcorn bags is the same chemical used in the nonstick coating of many pots, pans and baking sheets. A stufy found that nonstick chemicals in popcorn bags significantly damage your immunce system, it is also linked to high cholesterol, sperm damage, infertility and ADHD.

I hope that this list gives you enough leverage to come to your own conclusions on what we are putting into our bodies every day. It’s very hard to escape eating some of these ingredients as they are found in many foods at your grocers, however purchasing Organic and avoiding processed foods  as much as possible will be your key to living a healthier lifestyle. Here’s to good health! Cheers!
Credit: Leah Zerbe, Rodale News



Driveclub for Playstation 4

Driveclub is being developed by Evolution Studios, the same team that handled the Motorstorm franchise. It’s not set to be a simulation game like Forza or Gran Turismo. It’s going to be an action racing game, similar to Grid 2 or the Burnout. Although not much is being revealed, The Mercedes-Benz  CLA45 AMG will make its digital debut in the game. Without doubt, it’s certainly gorgeous enough to make you want to buy your own. Though the game was originally supposed to launch alongside the Playstation 4, Driveclub has now been rumored to be launching in June 2014.

Forza Motorsport 5 for Xbox One

Currently the only simulation racing game for the Xbox One, Forza Motorsport 5 launched alongside the Xbox One. It launched with a paltry 200 cars from 50 different manufacturers and allows you to upgrade your vehicles. Most importantly, however, is that the game looks unbelievable, and it runs extremely smooth. There are several modes, with more being added through updates,the latest being the addition of a drag racing mode

Need for Speed: Rivals for Playstation 4 and Xbox One

The latest in the annual Need for Speed franchise is one of, if not the best offering thus far. This version was developed by Ghost Games, a new company under the EA umbrella, along with Criterion Games. It launched alongside the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.In Need for Speed: Rivals, you’ve got two separate career paths: racer and cop. If you choose the racer, you’ll launch into a story about outrunning the cops, and if you’re a cop, you’ll be chasing down the racers. As you race, you’ll earn various upgrades, including spike strips. This game also features All Drive mode, which blends single player and multiplayer modes together. There’s no waiting or loading—you and your friends are there, ready to dominate.

The Crew for Xbox One and Playstation 4

The Crew is, perhaps, the most ambitious next generation racing title yet. For this game, developed by Ivory Tower and published by Ubisoft, you’ll be able to strip cars down to its bare parts and customize it to your liking. Customizing your car is nothing new, but the extent that you’ll be to do it to in this game is nothing short of impressive. The developers have created their own version of the United States, and you’ll be able to drive all the way from Los Angeles to New York, down to Miami, then up to Chicago. It will take you around two hours in real time to make the journey from coast to coast. As you travel, you’ll earn money, upgrades, and XP. This game is unique in every way, and will hopefully change the landscape of all racing games when it launches in 2014.

Project: Cars for Xbox One and Playstation 4

Little to nothing is known about Project: Cars. It’s currently in development by Slightly Mad Studios, the team that handled Need for Speed: Shift, Shift 2, and Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends. This game is entirely funded by the developers and the community and doesn’t even have a publisher. As of right now, the game will feature 60 cars and 35 race tracks. The tracks all have a day and night cycle, as well as completely dynamic weather.If you’re a fan of racing games, you should definitely keep this game on your radar.

Keep an eye out for more information on these games, and possibly some new ones, when E3 rolls around in June.



Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans injured a knee in training and his bout at UFC 170 against unbeaten Daniel Cormier scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas has been canceled. The fight between Rory MacDonald and Demain Maia is expected to move into the slot as the co-main event behind the women’s bantamweight title fight between Ronda Rousey and challenger Sara McMann. Although details of his injury has not been released, it is said that doctors told Evans that he needs four weeks of rehabilitation. He said UFC officials are looking at potentially adding the fight to UFC 172 on April 26 in Baltimore.

 Cormier was devastated to learn of Rashad Evans’ injury. He has fought his mixed martial arts career as a heavyweight, weighing in the 240-pound vicinity. But because his friend and training partner, Cain Velasquez, is UFC heavyweight champion, he opted to drop to light heavyweight for the fight. He’d been methodically cutting weight and had been tweeting pictures of a much slimmed down version of himself. “This is just so devastating,” Cormier said. “It’s so close and I’ve worked so hard. My family has sacrificed so much. I have hardly seen my girlfriend and my kids the last eight or nine weeks. I was trying to do this right. This is very hard for me. I didn’t make the weight at the Olympics and it cost me a chance to wrestle for an Olympic gold medal. Hard news to swallow for both fighters as well as countless UFC fans!



Today, February 6th…the Legendary Musician Bob Marley would have turned 69. Known for his uplifting and soothing melodies, his relatable sound unified many and created such a bond that we all felt as if we knew him personally. So many had tales of the Bob Marley not many of us got to know. Here are some interesting facts about the King of Reggae Music:

1. Bob Marley’s original name was Nesta Robert Marley but his middle and first name were swapped around to preserve his masculinity after a comment was made that Nesta was seen as a girl’s name. This was not the only thing which was noticeably different from his birth certificate. After Bob was born on 6th February 1945, it took his mother a while to finally get him officially registered, meaning the date on his birth certificate was incorrect, stating he was born on 6th April.

2. From the age of four it was discovered Bob Marley could read palms. When Cedella (Bob’s mother) first heard of this from relatives and neighbours she took it as a joke. These palm readings invariably came true, which left his mother quite shaken. When Bob was a lot older and returned to Kingston, a woman asked him to read her palm – he replied: “I’m not reading no more hand: I’m singing now.”

3. In Kingston Bob Marley was known by the natives as a “white boy”. This was due to his mixed raced origins being clearly visible in his facial skin. This made Bob feel very alienated although was a huge aid in helping him build up his confidence and self-esteem, turning him into the man he was.

4. When Bob was at school his best subject was mathematics. He didn’t stay in school for long though, and left at a young age when he managed to secure himself as an apprentice welder. After a dangerous injury in which a piece of metal flew into his eye, he decided to leave, ultimately for the whole world’s benefit.

5. After being arrested for possession of marijuana, the singer spent a month in prison, during which time he met many prisoners that he formed strong relationships with. These prisoners motivated him to write songs with a more political message.

6. The record label Tuff Gong was set up by Bob. It was named after his self-made nickname. This record label now boasts one of the largest audio recording facilities in the Caribbean.

7. Bob was well known for being a bit of a ladies man. Throughout his life he had an involvement in many different women’s lives. Several of these women bore him children – he had one main chat-up line: “Yuh wan have ma baby?” Apparently he used this a little bit too much.

8. Once he’d found success Marley became extremely generous with this money. Having grown up in a poor family in Jamaica he knew how difficult it was to get by. He decided to put his goodwill into practice by buying houses for friends and supported many of the poor in Jamaica.

9. A 1977 football injury led doctors to discover a malignant melanoma in Marley’s toe. They recommended amputation, but he refused for religious reasons. The tumour then spread, which ultimately caused his death.

10. When Bob was terminally ill he wanted to end his days in Jamaica, but unfortunately, on the Germany to Jamaica journey, didn’t make it past Miami. Ever the romantic, he was buried on home turf along with a soccer ball, his Gibson Les Paul guitar, and a bud of marijuana.

Credit: Jess Longstaff


2014 Car buying tips

Big ticket sales are rampant during tax season, with one of the most profitable being auto sales. Dealers find this the most ideal time to market to potential buyers as they are armed with the money needed to meet most if not all of the requirements in purchasing a car. This is also the time when buyers do extreme research, making sure they are investing their money into something that will give them the most bang for their buck. Every year, buyers look to the consumer report guide to steer them in the right direction in purchasing a car. But is that really the way to go? Consumer report scores are usually based on perception not facts.  As a smart shopper, the key is to look beyond the hype to the virtues that matter most to you and ensure you’re buying a product that truly excels based on real-world tests, rather than merely perceptions or empty marketing slogans.

First, you’ll need to determine what your new car needs are. If you are a single male, your needs will be vastly different from those of a soccer mom with three children, or a young couple. Get out your paper and pencil and use these ideas to help get you going:

1.      Price: For most people who are not independently wealthy, price will shape many of the decisions related to choosing what kind of car you will purchase. Keep in mind that you’ll have to factor in the price of auto insurance, fuel and maintenance costs to get the true price of driving a particular car.

2.     Fuel Efficiency: With rising fuel prices, gas mileage has become an increasingly important factor in choosing a new car. If you must have a larger vehicle because of the number of passengers you transport, you will want to carefully compare mileage among available models in your size and price range.

3.      Features and options: Is there a particular feature that your new car must have such as GPS, or anti-lock brakes, or an entertainment package?

4.     Size: How many passengers need to ride in this car on a regular basis?

5.     Safety: What safety features are a must-have for you?

6.      Resale Value: What will your car be worth three to five years later if you want to sell it? Some models are famous for having good resale values; others lose a significant amount of their value the moment you drive off the lot.

Now that you have your list of what your new car must have it’s time to go online and get a look at what’s available. When it comes to researching anything online it’s important to consider the sources of the information that you’ll be accessing. For instance, if you consult the website for the car’s manufacturer, you will find vastly different information than if you were to look at the website of an independent reviewer. Research prices across the board to get a general idea of what you’ll be spending. Call  your insurance carrier and get an estimate of your policy payments based on the car  you are interested in. This will factor greatly on the car you choose. Also, make sure to check out safety recalls as well as obtaining the vehicles car fax report to ensure it has not been in an accident or flood(For used cars). With these tips, you can walk in to your dealer armed and ready to negotiate your way into your new car!

Here are some great websites to check out:

Autobytel , Cars Direct , Edmunds



One month into my new year resolution and I’m trying to stay on course and eat right, exercise when I can, get enough sleep – and like all of us, sometimes find this difficult to do.  But the one thing I always can do is drink a lot of water, and I’ve always heard that adding lemon in your water not only makes it taste better but there are health benefits. Actually ten of them – which are:

1. Boosts your immune system

2. Balances pH

3. Helps with weight loss

4. Lemon water aids digestion

5. Is a diuretic

6. Clears skin

7. Freshens breath

8. Relieves respiratory problems

9. Keeps you zen

10. Helps kick the coffee habit

BUT I’ve been wondering about the germs on those lemon wedges that are thrown into my water glasses when I’m out enjoying my meal in a restaurant – Sorry I asked!  Read this articleNo more lemon wedges for me