The Truth about Tryptophan

Live Turkey

After stuffing yourself silly of mashed potatoes, gravy, cornbread, wine, beer, and of course, turkey, it’s no wonder why your belly’s bloated and you’re ready for a good nap. The blame of needing a nap is never referenced to two or three plate full’s of grandma’s home cooking, but is instead blamed on the turkey’s tryptophan. But how much truth is there in all of this?

Tryptophan is actually a chemical that’s important to our health. Our body uses tryptophan to make serotonin, which is a chemical that helps to regulate sleep. Although turkeys do contain tryptophan, so does a lot of other meats- even cheddar cheese. And while different meats and cheeses contain the chemical, you don’t hear a connection to feeling sleepy after eating chicken or a grilled cheese sandwich, do you?

In essence, eating big meals with anything containing the chemical can make you sleepy. Adding the carb-heavy potatoes, veggies, bread and pie to the tryptophan…yeah, you would be pretty sleepy. And like many people, we starve ourselves to make sure we have enough room for the yummy dinner- tryptophan’s effect on serotonin is heightened when ingested on an empty stomach.

So, in all, turkey’s sleeping effects does have some truth to it, but over time, it has become largely over exaggerated. If you don’t want to be in a turkey and carb-induced coma after dinner tonight, don’t stuff yourself silly.

Happy gobble-gobble day!!

Nothingface Still Making Music Quietly

Nothingface

Heavy metal music gives lots of people a headache, but not me. I understand that it’s a little wild and crazy sometimes, but you have to listen for the beauty in it, both vocals and instruments. I prefer my metal to have some actual singing in it though and not just an entire song of yelling. Some good examples of great vocalists/screamers would be bands like Papa Roach, Killswitch Engage, Snot and the Deftones.

I see something good in just about any type of music, from Hip Hop and Blues, to Classical and even Country. I actually don’t like country all that much, but some of the female singers have beautiful voices.

Back to the point. If you are a fan of metal music, you probably remember an awesome band by the name of Nothingface. I haven’t heard anything from these guys in a long, long time, but I heard one of their songs on Last.fm this morning and decided to look them up and see what they’re up to.

It turns out they have broken up, reunited and broken up again. I believe they may have reunited again temporarily. I also found out that they have an official Nothingface website where they’ve been adding downloads to songs they’ve been working on over the past year. They actually release about four or five songs every month. Lots of them are demos, but still good.

If you like metal, go download some of those tracks right now and if you have any recommendations for me or want to list a few of your favorite metal bands, please do in the comments. I always love checking out new music.

Find Restaurants Where Your Kids Can Eat for Free

Messy Kid

If you have kids, you know how much of a pleasure it is to find a restaurant where your kids can eat for free. I don’t have kids, but I have friends who do, and I get to hear about their money woes all the time. Even going to a place like McDonalds with two kids can be extremely expensive, or so I was told be my good friend Cecil. And what about when someone gives you a restaurant gift card with enough funds for yourself but not enough to take the kids too?

Cecil is going to love me after I show him Kids Eat For (odd name, right?), because this site has a sort of daily calendar that lists restaurants where kids can eat for free for each day of the week.

They have 19 major U.S. cities listed on the home page, but don’t worry, they have tons more locations if you click through the link that says “Don’t see your city? Find a kids eat free deal near you.”

They even have an iPhone and Android app so you can always find a restaurant to hit up when the kids are screaming in your ear from the backseat of the minivan while they’re picking their noses and spilling their juice on your seat.

If this service just doesn’t cut it for you, also check out this great resource 101 Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free. This is an impressive list and all in one place. Check it out!

A Recreational Drug User Version of FML

Drunk Guy

You’ve probably enjoyed a few entertaining stories from the popular website, FML (F My Life) by now, which I’ve mentioned before. Hell, they even have an iPhone app. A friend of mine likes to open up that app just about every 5 minutes so he can share a story with us.

Now there’s another take on FMLs popularity, but this time for stoners. Frying High (update below) is a place where drug users, from marijuana to acid can share their stories of stupidity.

Some of the stories are hilarious. One thing I’ve definitely learned from this site is that Taco Bell is the place to be when you’re high.

Update: The original website seems to be gone, but thanks to some great detective work by a reader, there is an alternative at highDEAS. Thanks Sam!

image courtesy of bistrosavage / CC BY 2.0

Technology That Listens for Gunfire

The ShotSpotter system is an interesting new technology that police have been using in various cities across the U.S and in a couple places internationally. They’re more commonly used in cities with high gun crime.

ShotSpotter listening devices are placed on top of buildings throughout the city where they listen for gunshots within their radius. When gunfire is identified, the police station is notified of where it occured and can help the police respond to the scene much more quickly.

If you watch the video below, you’ll see how the system works. I wish we had this in Denver.

In Las Vegas Last Week

Sorry for the lack of updates lately in the past week.

I went to Las Vegas on Monday last week for an internet marketing conference called Pubcon and was out there for 4 days, so between the conference during the day and the networking parties at night, I didn’t even have time to check my email, let alone write a post for Aimless Direction.

It was a great time, but I was completely exhausted when I got back on Thursday night. I caught a cold from someone while I was out there too, so I’ve been sick all weekend and feeling miserable. So there’s your quick update.

I didn’t take many pictures, but enjoy the few that I did take. 🙂

[svgallery name=”las-vegas”]

Date Rape Detection and Lip Gloss

2LoveMyLips Lip Gloss

Lip gloss is probably a common item in many women’s purses. I guess so anyway. I’m not a woman so I have no idea. Anyway, 2LoveMyLips carries one kind of lip gloss that should be in every girls’ purse, at least if they are the party-going, bar-hopping type.

What makes this lip gloss different is that it comes with a date rape detection kit. The kit wasn’t designed to test every drink, but if you’re out-and-about and have a funny feeling about that drink that stranger, or even friend just bought you, don’t take any chances. Just test it.

Dip the supplied strip into the drink and if it comes up blue, it contains either GHP or Ketamine. That’s your cue to tell someone and call the cops.

The safest bet is just to purchase your own drinks and never leave your drink unnattended, but having your own date rape detection kit is a great idea. Stay safe out there.

The Impossible Project

Impossible project

It was back in 2008 when Polaroid ceased production of their vintage instant cameras and film. Many of our cameras that we once purchased and captured tons of comedic family memories rendered obsolete.

The Impossible Project is bringing back to life the very popular and epoch style of photography. They’re not simply just reproducing the Polaroid film- they are reinventing it.

You’ll be able to purchase this newly reinvented film in mid 2010. If you’re like me and you can’t wait until then, occupy your time by supporting the project by purchasing some Polaroid-lover t-shirts. I’m especially excited because there are some excellent photographic effects and processes that is unique to Polaroid and can’t be replicated quite the same way.