Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Something worth reading...

Red Bull was invented by Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian, in 1984 based on a Thai beverage called Krating Daeng. It is was originally manufactured by a pharmaceutical company who received 51% of the firm in exchange for making the product.

RB was introduced to the world in 1987, originally marketted towards young urban professionals. 18 years later, RB's advertising focuses on its "stimulant properties."Advertising pitched the drink as being 'youthful', was given to DJ's and handed out at parties. They even went as far as intentionally leaving empties at key locactions in trendy clubs. Now RB pours a lot of its advertising into (extreme) sports, everything from "soapbox events to Formula One". How much money does it spend on advertising? About $400,000,000 last year. It is safe to say that RB created a market, a market of which it know owns 70-90%. That works out to making $1.3 billion in sales last year alone.

The ads say that RB will "give you wings." It has been nicknamed "liquid speed" and "crack in a can", but consumers buy it because it is an "energy drink."
RB, they claim, is for any occassion when you need a jolt of energy: take one when you're studying or driving late to stay away, have some to fight the effects of jet lag, take it as a boost before a race or work out, or drink while partying.
All the ingredients, they say, are natural and healthy, when consumed according to the recommendations.

The three main ingredients in RB are caffiene, taurine, and glucuronolactone. There is 80 mg of caffiene in each can (3 times the regular amount to a can of Coke or about 2 cups of coffee), 1000 mg of a taurine (an amino acid), and 600 mg glucuronolactone (a carbohydrate). The last two are supposedly detoxins and naturally occur in the human body. Also in RB are a handful of vitamins that speed up your metabolism (support energy production). On paper, this drink would definitely keep anyone awake and give their body a jolt.

The drink was approved for sale in Canada, but with strings attached. Though the ingredients are natural, in RB they are all synthetically produced. At least three countries have banned RB completely (Norway, Denmark, and France) because there has been no studies into the long term effects of how caffiene, taurine, and glucuronolactone interact in the body.

In France, rats, when fed taurine, were observed demonstrating "anxiety, irritability, high senstivity to noise and worst of, self-mutilations."RB is being promoted as an energy drink, "but it doesn't replenish the body after physical exertion", like drinks such as Gatorade etc. In fact, because of the large amounts of caffiene, RB actually dehydrates the body, never good for anyone who is about to engage in some serious activity. But further, a dehydrated body under physical exertion places strain on the heart.

In 2000, an 18 year-old in Limerick, Ireland died after drinking 4 cans of RB before a basketball game. The connection between his death and RB has never been proven, but the report said he died of Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome, "sudden death due to cardiac arrest brought on by a arrhythmic episode" (that's when your heart doesn't beat regularly).
In Sweden, the National Food Adminstration is investigating RB after it has been "linked to three deaths." Two people died after mixing it with large amounts of vodka, while another died while drinking RB after working out.
All of a sudden RB's marketting ploy of associating with extreme sports seems hypocritical at best, criminal at worst.

In Canada, at least two cases of serious health problems have been reported after drinking RB, but Health Canada refuses to say what happened and why.
RB is commonly now being mixed with alcohol at raves, dances, and bars around the world. Says a bar owner in Toronoto, RB & Vodka is the trendy drink of choice.
The RB warning label says "not recommended to mix with alcohol," by why then did RB apply to be sold in Alberta liqour stores?
The danger is that both caffiene and alcohol are diuretics, and the combination can lead to dehydration and damage to heart muscle.
There is danger in also mixing a stimulant (caffiene) with a depressant (alcohol). College students have turned to mixing RB with alcohol as a means of getting high without getting sleepy, drinking longer, and combating hangovers. But hangovers are a result of dehydration, which would only get worse with consumed caffiene. And since large amounts of caffiene will increase your heart rate and blood pressure, simultaneously consuming large amounts of alcohol will put your body under a huge stress as it is getting served mixed messages.Studies show that RB does not reduce nor reverse the affects of alcohol on the body, contrary to popular belief.
That said, dieticians will admit that mixing RB with alcohol will not harm the drinker if consumed in moderate amounts, but encourage people to mix it with non-alcoholic beverages to stave off dehydration.
RB Sales Reps have been heard to promote the mixing of RB & vodka "off the record" when the cameras aren't rolling, prompting Health Canada to put RB and its advertising practices under review.

I have never seen Coke or Starbucks sold with disclaimers for children and pregnant mothers, though both definitely could harm young children and unborn babies if comsumed excessively. Nor have I ever heard of anyone dying because they drank 4 Cokes before a basketball game. In fact, when I hear the warning label written out on the back of RB, I immediately associate it in my mind with alcohol and cigarettes, which carry a similar kind of warning to those people (but written by Mr. Surgeon General).
Furthermore, I might go as far as to say that it is healthier for the individual to comsume 4 cans of beer than it is to have 4 cans of RB. Please note I'm not endorsing the drinking of alcohol, especially since I find beer revolting! With the alcohol you'll have bad breath, maybe will puke, lose any sense of motor skills so physical exertion is out of the question, most likely have a headache the next day, and if it becomes a habit you will develop a disgusting gut and a slowly dying liver. But for the excessive drinker of RB, you have immediate and serious heart concerns, that, depending on any previous conditions or level physical exertion, could prove fatal. Excessive and uninformed drinking of RB has been known to serious harm and to kill. It's your choice.

Drink Responsibly. Please.

My Sources:

*Used with permission from my friend Andrew Haak*

Monday, June 27, 2005


For your viewing pleasure...

So I went to the Dentist today, and I was quite impressed with the latest technological advancements. I need to mention that my dentist is a member of my church which does make the visit a little more enjoyable. They took x-rays of my mouth, and later this afternoon I received this picture in my inbox. Apparentely my dentist has a lot of time on his hands if he can sit there and create these images and send them to his patients! Or maybe I'm special??? Either way it looks like my chompers aren't doing to well. Maybe it was two or three too many slurpees, or venti mocha frappuchino's???? Hmmmm.
Let this be a lesson to all of us...that flossing is not a disputable matter. Other wise we better think about investing in some polident for your dentures sooner then later. And for those who were wondering what those big white spots are in the x-ray those are fillings from past cavities. Looks like I need to listen to my own advice! Hopefully this will be my last trip to the dentist for a little while.
Brush at least twice a day:

Thursday, June 16, 2005

BIRTHDAY PRANK #1 who did this?

I am pretty sure that no one's gonna own up to filling my office with chairs, toilet paper (you could have at least used 2-ply), and massive amounts of balloons. Apparently the pumpkin head to my left in that picture is supposed to be me. Maybe I should have just left the head taped to the chair then take the whole day off...d'oh! So whoever came in late last night, or early this morning your prank is greatly appreciated, and you sure know how to make an old fart like me feel young again...well maybe 24 isn't that old.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY...Youth Ministry Style!

It took me 21 minutes to clean this all up. Of course most of that time was spent poping balloons and freaking out our Secretary and Sr. Pastor! WOO HOO.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


It was a real mixed bag of emotions yesterday as I handed over the keys to Jimmy's new owner. This SUV was my very first vehicle that I've ever owned, and I have so many fond memories of our times spent together. For those of you who know Jimmy you may be wondering if I sold it with the stereo system...the answer is YES. Thankfully the new owner lives right here in Walnut Grove so at least I'll see Jimmy cruising the streets some more! I never knew how attached I had gotten to my first vehicle, but at least I know Jimmy has a good home now. For those who are wondering what I have purchased to replace Jimmy...I have 2 words for you Vokswagen Passat. (scroll down)

Well as you can see from the first half of this post I did sell my Jimmy and now I am the proud owner of a Volkswagen Passat GLX. It is deffinately a change having driven my GMC Jimmy for the past 5 years to now driving a VW Passat. I have always thought about owning a VW for a while...since a few of my friends own them and they are known to be great cars. I originally considered purchasing a Jetta since that is the car many of my friends own. But for someone who is 6'2" I needed something with a little more space. This is where a Passat fits perfectly. They are quite more spacious then the Jetta, and this model in perticular comes with a shwack load of extra goodies!

I purchased to Passat about a week ago now, but since then it has been at a local garage called Auto Folks ( getting some much needed repairs done. Somethings are just common sense when you purchase a used vehicle, but this one had a few surprises up its sleaves. If you want to hear the whole story about what we've found wrong with this car please email me: Thankfully we got a BCAA inspection done prior to the purchase and as it turns out half of the costs for repairs will be covered by BCAA because they mucked up on their inspection. WOO HOO. I have been so blessed through this whole time, even though it has deffinately not been the easiest week on both Charity and I.

One thing that I love about my new Passat is that it comes with a whole bunch of things that I never had when I owned the Jimmy:

1) Cruise Control
2) Air Conditioning
3) Leather Interior
4) Heated Seats
5) Sunroof
6) 4 Doors
7) and many other things...

For anyone who is reading this...I warn you now NOT to read into the fact that I bought a family car (shrug) I HATE that word. If I really wanted a family vehicle I would have gone out and bought a MiniVan. This is one sweet ride...and I am excited to see all that it can do. Afterall it was built in Germany, and these cars are designed for the Autobahn!!!

Drivers Wanted: