no soap?

as most people know, i continue to be on a huge bacteria kick...bacteria in that i think that our bodies are devoid of a lot of good bacteria...

let me tell you a secret: i don't use soap on my body 98% of the time. that's right folks. i wash my hair with head and shoulders, then my face with cetaphil. That's it.

here's the link to a woman who tried a bit more extreme version of this for a month...kind of crazy.



1. Do you know who the artist Marina Abramovic is? She sat in MOMA for weeks...performance art. Well Jay-Z did something similar...

This article is about the NY Mag's art critic who participated in Jay-Z's performance piece: 
Love this list of things. Good to keep in mind. What this guy has learned about life up to age 42...Well done!


TMA, this month's articles...

We moved and our magazines went missing and and and....

1. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/04/gut-microbiome-bacteria-weight-loss

If you only read one article I send out the rest of your life, please read this one. It is fascinating. Bacteria outnumber us 10-1 in our bodies...and turns out they are running the show. This article brings together most of my knowledge about the role of bacteria in our health.
2. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/how-long-can-you-wait-to-have-a-baby/309374/
Great article...But this section KILLED ME. Who is this American Society for Reproductive Medicine?
The best way to assess fertility might be to measure “cycle viability,” or the chance of getting pregnant if a couple has sex on the most fertile day of the woman’s cycle. Studies based on cycle viability use a prospective rather than retrospective design—monitoring couples as they attempt to get pregnant instead of asking couples to recall how long it took them to get pregnant or how long they tried. Cycle-viability studies also eliminate the need to account for older couples’ less active sex lives. David Dunson’s analysis revealed that intercourse two days before ovulation resulted in pregnancy 29 percent of the time for 35-to-39-year-old women, compared with about 42 percent for 27-to-29-year-olds. So, by this measure, fertility falls by about a third from a woman’s late 20s to her late 30s. However, a 35-to-39-year-old’s fertility two days before ovulation was the same as a 19-to-26-year-old’s fertility three days before ovulation: according to Dunson’s data, older couples who time sex just one day better than younger ones will effectively eliminate the age difference.

Don’t these numbers contradict the statistics you sometimes see in the popular press that only 20 percent of 30-year-old women and 5 percent of 40-year-old women get pregnant per cycle? They do, but no journal article I could locate contained these numbers, and none of the experts I contacted could tell me what data set they were based on. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s guide provides no citation for these statistics; when I contacted the association’s press office asking where they came from, a representative said they were simplified for a popular audience, and did not provide a specific citation.

3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=F5FEj9U-CJM
This video is awesome. Watch it.


not TWA but similar...

I am kind of newly obsessed with this woman and her story about her autistic child:

She is a biochemist and realized that tons of foods that are gluten free still have glutamate in them. Glutamate is processed by your body into MSG...so if you have an MSG sensitivity you need to watch out for these other ingredients. Of course this stuff is not labeled...the video of her going through the store reading labels really got me:

Oh and she mentions that there is a pesticide that they use on conventional crops made of MSG!! And they don't have to label it...so really go organic.

This book also made an impression regarding food and children:

Here is Robyn's TED talk where I first heard about her:



1. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/?src=me&ref=general
(hat tip to Montana)
Just 7 minutes a day of seriously working out can make you feel 

better and actually get fit...that is what this article says...
As soon as the baby comes, we are going to try this out.

2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteria-that-make-up-your-microbiome.html?hp&pagewanted=all
Michael Pollan is one of our heroes...and well now he has taken up my current 

favorite topic: bacteria. It is a long read, but well worth it. 
Towards the end of the article he gets the scientists to discuss how they 
have changed their behaviors based on what they now

That's it this week. A light reading week I guess.


other blog

Some of you, ok maybe just Jamie, may have noticed I have not been as regular posting here...lots going on. But I also have another fun blog started: The Dapper Hedgehog: Info for Traveling Coffee Snobs. Check it out...I think it is fun.


Note to Eddie Lampert


I went there today after searching for a product on line. The Sears website told me that the item, a bookshelf, I wanted was in stock. So we drive out to the Sears. And guess what? THEY DON'T HAVE THE PRODUCT.

Seriously, Sears just needs to die. I told the woman helping me to look for a new job, because surely Eddie Lampert was not going to keep wasting his money on this store.

Have you shopped there Eddie? EVER?

Done with Sears.


TWA 5.13.13

1. https://medium.com/the-ingredients-2/221d449929ef?utm_source=newsletter10&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=subA
Fascinating look at the ingredients of Coke and where they come from. I am going to keep this in mind when my brain says I want a Coke. I really just want bubblie water.

2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/business/soothing-back-pain-by-learning-how-to-sit-again.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130512
We will see if this lady's book helps Brent's mom. A lot of her back ideas make sense to me...as I just straightened my back!

3. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/may/12/psychiatrists-under-fire-mental-health
Humm, I want to know more about this article...really? No biological basis for the gigantic drug complex to help people with mental illness? I am as skeptical, ok more, than the next person about drugs for your mental problems, but I found this to be surprising.

4. Headache article, Harper's, http://harpers.org/archive/2013/05/an-uncommon-pain/
Headaches suck, but this woman weaves an impressive personal narrative with the actual science, or lack there of, around headaches.



1. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/05/how-not-to-die/309277/
“The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points … to a straightforward five-word conclusion: ‘Happiness is love. Full stop.’ ”

Which reminded me of:

Basically if you ask doctors what end of life care they want, they only want pain control. Full stop.

2. http://humanfoodproject.com/from-meat-to-microbes-to-main-street-is-it-time-to-trade-in-your-george-foreman-grill/
Last week I told you guys about how the bacteria in your gut can potentially cause heart disease. Well, there is a VERY in depth analysis of the research that last week's article was based on. Good stuff here. One of the best scientific critiques I have read in a long long time.

3. http://news.discovery.com/human/alien-looking-skeleton-poses-medical-mystery-130430.htm#mkcpgn=fbsci1
You have to look at this picture...it was a real person who lived to be 8 years old or so. Can you imagine? Did you ever see the Lilly Tomlin movie, The Incredible Shrinking Woman? 

And the movie that features the little person:


this week's articles (TWA)

1. touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-75241622/
This is a great article for helping you deal with friends who are in poor health. The circle idea really comes in handy.

2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/opinion/sunday/diagnosing-the-wrong-deficit.html?src=recg
ADHD might just be the result of not enough sleep. Lots of other interesting tidbits in here too. 

(hat tip to Steve)

(hat tip to Rachel)
Brent and I want to spend less money, but apparently not enough to actually do it. This guy is serious. We keep bringing him up when we think of spending money.

4. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/04/heritage-apples-john-bunker-maine

Two great articles about apples. These come out every few years, but still worth a read. And then it reminds me that there is only one variety of banana, and if that goes, well then we will lose the idiom "going bananas."

5. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/health/study-points-to-new-culprit-in-heart-disease.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
It is all about the bacteria people. SERIOUSLY. I think that is why Americans are fat. The bacteria in our tummies make us want to eat crap. Laugh now, but mark my words. Turns out heart disease is caused by bacteria poop...that is what is building up in your arteries. If you are a vegitarian, well, then you don't have this problem.

For more:


TWA: Podcasts

Here is a list of podcasts I love...I would love to hear if you guys have any you want to share.

1. 99% Invisible: this podcast is about the invisible infrastructure all around us. It is short and does
not come out all of the time, but when it shows up, I listen.

2. Radiolab: This one is all about science...and other interesting stuff. If you already listen to podcasts, you know radiolab. If you don't, START HERE.

3. On The Media: This podcast can get a bit snarky and inside the media, but really really great reporting and another one I have not missed in years.

4. To the Best of Our Knowledge: I am not sure what this podcast is about. It usually features a big theme and interviews with authors about books related to the big theme. Sometimes it has a religious bent, which I find interesting.

Listen while you fold laundry or drive. Kids LOVE Radiolab.



This article came out a few weeks ago...but a good friend fell again recently...and really, that is how we are
all most likely to die. So be careful. Great read. Worth sending to your parents.

2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/03/opinion/diagnosis-human.html?src=me&ref=general&pagewanted=printThis is a MUST READ. Stop with the drugs people. The data shows that most drugs are not effective. (See article from the New YorkReview of Books by the former New England Medical Journal editor. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/23/epidemic-mental-illness-why/?pagination=false)
And we wonder why it is that [children] use drugs with such abandon. As all parents learn — at times to their chagrin — our children go to school not only in the classroom but also at home, and the culture they construct for themselves as teenagers and young adults is but a tiny village  imitating that to which they were introduced as children."

3. http://www.webmd.com/melanoma-skin-cancer/ss/slideshow-skin-lesions-and-cancer?ecd=wnl_can_040213&ctr=wnl-can-040213_ld-stry_1&mb=
Slideshow about warning signs for skin cancer. Worth a look.
This is a lot of reading for you guys...so I will stop here.



1. http://www.slate.com/blogs/how_babies_work/2013/03/20/the_science_of_breast_milk_latest_research_on_nursing_and_milk_vs_formula.html
Fascinating. Seriously. The more you know about breast milk the more amazing it is.

2. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/The-Unintended-and-Deadly-Consequences-of-Living-in-the-Industrialized-World-199164051.html
Living laboratory: Finland and Russia. One side has huge numbers of Type 1 Diabetes, the other side has very low incidents of Type 1 Diabetes. But
which is which? And more importantly, WHY? Great article.

3. Up All Night, New Yorker
This one is about sleep...or lack there of. Basically a group of book reviews, there are some interesting nuggets in there. For example, couples
sleep better apart. A LOT BETTER. I can buy that. And there is a nugget about a naked Ben Franklin in the article too, Keith...

4. Similar, but not the Same, Businessweek
Are generic drugs the same as the designer drugs? Nope. So what does that mean for all of the drugs that are going off patent? A mess.

That's all for now.



1. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/fashion/england-develops-a-voracious-appetite-for-a-new-diet.html?src=me&ref=general

new diet out of england...look to see more about it. eat all week and then fast saturday and sunday. interesting. a good friend's brother did the reverse of this: fast all week and eat whatever on the weekends...worked. i would like to see more about how this impacts your bodies' bugs...of course. i have a good friend who has had good results fasting...feeling better...so maybe post-baby...

2. The Appetite Workout

This was interesting. Working out will make you hungry, but if you keep working out overtime, your body will compensate. It takes 3 months, so stick with it.

3. http://www.psmag.com/magazines/pacific-standard-cover-story/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/
Ok, this article reminded me of an article a friend sent around last year about how the mice we use in all of our scientific testing are all creating false results. Similarlly, psychologists have thought that the western brain was the "normal" brain, while the rest of the world's brains were strange. Take China. There the nail that sticks out gets the hammer. Here, the squeeky wheel gets the grease. So, we thought most of the world felt that sticking out and being an individual was the best way of thinking. Well most of the world thinks like the Chinese. This has implications for lots of science and really how we view and interact with the world. Excellent article. Hat tip to Keith.


this weeks articles: TWA

1. http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2012/12/18/when-you-swallow-a-grenade/

great article about the human biome and why you should really think three times before taking antibiotics. "don't kill the good guys, bro."

2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/health/mediterranean-diet-can-cut-heart-disease-study-finds.html?pagewanted=all

the Mediterranean diet may work...and the up side is that people stay on the diet rather than going off it...like they do with low fat diets. go get some olive oil. but...one of our cult leaders, dr. esselystyn doesn't agree. he doesn't allow any fat in his diet...and look how greatbill clinton looks these days.

3. http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/bitter-pill-why-medical-bills-are-killing-us/

Want to understand what is taking down our economy? Let me explain: health care costs. Why are the costs so high? Read the article. Get angry.

that's it this week.


This Week's Articles of Interest

1. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/magazine/why-can-some-kids-handle-pressure-while-others-fall-apart.html?_r=0&pagewanted=all
The author Po Bronson has been on a life long quest to figure out how to live his life. I guess he is looking back to his childhood now. Children and stress: two types of kids are Worriers and Warriors. Both have pluses and negatives, but was seems to be clear is that too much pressure on children will make them under-preform.

2. http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2013/jan/31/wes-anderson-worlds/
Some people like Wes Anderson some people hate him...but this essay is a fine meditation on what his art means and why it matters in helping you make sense of the world. All this time I thought Owen Wilson was Wes Anderson...Strange.

3. http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blog/2013/jan/15/bitter-end/
This is a podcast about what care doctors choose at the end of their own lives v. what the average person would choose. Doctors only want pain medication. Full stop. The rest of the stuff: CPR, chemo, etc., just makes the last days of your life miserable. Worth a listen and ponder.

4. Spirit Guide, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/02/11/130211fa_fact_sanneh.
The first problem with the New Yorker is that it comes every week. The second problem is that even the articles you think you can skip turn out to be fascinating. Take whisky. I don't care about whisky or that it lacks an 'e' if Scottish. But there I was reading along. But again, don't expect a solid ending.

5. Antarctica, by Gabrielle Walker
This book was interesting...but there were a few mind blowing nuggets. First, there is a single celled organism below Antarctica that shoots way above its weight. It can eat other multicelled organisms. Foraminifera. They might even be able to walk. SINGLE CELLED. Seriously. We continue to revise Darwin...And then there are some other little guys down there who live in the driest place on Earth called Tardigrades. "They grow up to a millimeter long, making the adults just barely visible to the naked eye. They are stubby and cute with four pairs of fat little legs, a vole-like snout, and a complexion of a gummy bear." Apparently no matter what you do to them they just don't die. And when things get too bad they swap out their body's water for sugar and can hibernate for decades. AWESOME.
I can send this book to you if you want it. Just email me.


This Week’s Articles of Interest to Nicole

In Summary (200 words or less)
1. The Quantified Spouse
Some spouses are crazy and taking the quantified self-movement too far...tracking their spouses eating, sleeping, and even pooping.
“Christine, a 20-something New Yorker who asked to be identified by her first name, had plans to move in with her boyfriend, and the couple spent every minute outside of work searching for a new apartment -- or so Christine thought. She logged into the Kindle account they shared to read an e-book she and her boyfriend had started in tandem, only to discover he’d plowed several hundred pages ahead, while she was still just two chapters in.”
Clearly a deal breaker....REALLY?
2. The Boy with a Thorn in His Joints
Three year old gets arthritis. Doctors prescribe steroids. They don't work. Mom tries alternative stuff like Omega-3 pills, probiotics, some leaky gut stuff (which turns out to be a real issue), and waits 6 weeks. Kid gets worse. Then on the 7th day of the 6th week, kid wakes up and can walk again. Remission. The article also talks about a topic I am into: fecal transplants. This is a topic de jour as people learn how important bacteria are for our bodies. Actually, we are bacteria vectors, no individuals.Well written and you really cheer for this mom.
3. Anarchist Calisthenics, Harper’s
Cute article about how people in Germany follow the rules and how one town put in round abouts which turns out to make people drive better. Fewer accidents. Interesting, as they put in a round about in my hometown of Kalispell that every one hates. I would like to see the numbers. From a book by James C. Scott, Two Cheers for Anarchism.
These guys, including a priest from Montana, have been playing tag with each other for decades. They buy plane tickets and surprise one another. They enjoy life. Cute.
5. They Cracked This 250-Year-Old Code, and Found a Secret Society Inside | Danger Room
This one was super interesting about a strange code from the 1700s. The pictures are very interesting and the history of secret societies that is included is fascinating. The article falls down at the end a bit, but ending stories, or anything is difficult, so don’t let that stop you from reading the article.


Harry Lattin

From the Daily Interlake, Kalispell, Mt.

Former Kalispell banker Harry Lattin died Jan. 14 in Portland, Ore., from end-stage renal disease. Lattin was 76.

After years in the banking industry in Nevada, Lattin moved to Kalispell in 1971 as a vice president at Conrad National Bank (later First Interstate Bank). Eventually he became president of the bank. He also served as president of the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce and was chairman of the Kalispell Art Show and Auction for three years. He was especially proud of the bank’s sponsorship of the Men’s U.S. National Downhill Championships at Big Mountain in 1982.

He began a new career as an investment executive at D.A. Davidson in Kalispell in 1984. Soon thereafter he was diagnosed with liver failure. He received a new liver in 1987 and was grateful for the support the Kalispell community gave him and the trust fund set up to help defray his medical costs.

Unable to work, he retired in Kalispell but kept busy through a longstanding commitment to the Republican Party in Flathead County. Lattin served as president of the Pachyderm Club in the early 1990s and was a longtime finance chairman for the Flathead Republican Central Committee. He was also involved in campaigns for the U.S. House by Ron Marlenee and Rick Hill. In 2006 received a special award from the Flathead County Republican Central Committee in recognition of his work. 

In 2008 Lattin moved to Portland to be closer to his son.

He is survived by two sons, Dr. Brandon Hayes-Lattin (Courtney Hayes-Lattin) of Portland and Brent Lattin (Nicole Harkin) of Washington, D.C.; three grandchildren; and his brother, Frank Lattin (Donna Lattin), of Las Vegas, Nevada.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the United Network for Organ Sharing, www.unos.org, in memory of Harry Lattin.



Learning historically was the goal of schooling: kids went to school to learn about the world and foster an interest in our world. Is that true? Or has school always been about socialization of our children to follow the leader, and do what they are told?

I think that the most important thing that a child can learn is how to think on their own; how to reason complicated things through and come to a logical conclusion. We won’t be around forever, and they need these abilities.

Schools today are largely teaching to tests. So today’s children are going to school 1) to be socialized and 2) to learn to rote-ly regurgitate the information for tests.

I consider homeschooling because I don’t want Oskar to learn either of these things, necessarily. Of course there is value in learning how to get along or ahead in the systems of our society. But that is not what I think school should be about.

I want Oskar to keep his innate interest in the world fully intact. I want him to always be interested in learning new things and trying new things. I want him to have the opportunity to keep learning more about a topic he is interested in.

My 6th grade class in Georgia, had this VERY progressive education plan which fully integrated all of the subjects around one major subject: Humpback Whales. Music: we learned about whale songs. Math: we leaned about waves and how to calculate the waves made by the whale songs. English: we learned facts about whales and wrote about these. Spelling: Our vocabulary was all about whales. Science: more whales. It was so much fun. I loved it. And this really helped me see all of the connections in the world, something I still see today.

I want Oskar to have the chance to explore the world through school, not learn that life is shit and you just have to memorize stuff and get through...to what? Life is today. Getting through is not enough. I want him to regularly enjoy the wonder of our world. And 35 hour a week at school might just kill the wonder in him.


someone else with beliefs

the designers at office:

What We Believe /

  1. We believe that mediocrity is our nemesis.
  2. We believe that design should make you feel something.
  3. We believe in clarity.
  4. We believe that gut instincts are usually right.
  5. We believe in bringing together extraordinary creative minds. And then going bowling.
  6. We believe any color can be the new black … except for purple.
  7. We believe Buckminster Fuller when he said, “A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist, and evolutionary strategist.”
    (And we wish we had said it first.)



Sorry for the radio silence folks. I took a great weekend course on photoshop and blogging last weekend and want to share one thing I made!

Oskar...crawling! He walks now though...

The Blogshop girls have quite a following and people flew in from Chicago and New York to attend the class. I heard about it from a friend of a friend who took the class in LA. Whitney is now their intern. Met lots of fun people and that was great.  It was also great to meet two women entrepreneurs clearly doing what they love. Inspiration.

Links to Photoshop: http://www.photoshop.com/ and Blogshop: http://iheartblogshop.com/.

Full disclosure: with this post I am entering the Blogshop/Photoshop contest to win the new Photoshop 6! Fingers crossed!



book review: the lifespan of a fact

Reblogged from www.bureauphile.com.

The Lifespan of a Fact, by John D'Agata, author. Jim Fingal, fact-checker.

I heard about this book from a podcast out of Wisconsin, TTBOOK. Listen to the interview if you have a few minutes. But you might be wondering what this has to do with bureauphiles. Well, lots of our government's time, and energy, all joking aside, is spent checking facts before government publications are published. As an intelligence analyst I spent days double and triple checking reports before they were "sent forward" for review and action upon my recommendations.But working at GAO is where I spent the most time checking facts. All words in GAO reports have been fact-checked. What Lifespan of a Fact distills so clearly is the back and forth regarding facts. A friend once spent hours trying to find original support for the assertion that the F-22 is the Raptor...hours. I spent time citing the Periodic Table of Elements to prove that Na was indeed sodium.

The flip side of this obsessive compulsive checking is that the information is reliable.
What is somewhat disappointing about the book is that it is apparently some kind of meta commentary on the nature of fact checking. The book itself, while publicized as nonfiction, is actually fiction.

So check out the book if you want to read some entertaining, yet apparently not entirely factual, insanity...and pull your hair out a bit.


book review: an everlasting meal

An Everlasting Meal, Cooking with Economy and Grace
by Tamar Adler

She gets a bit philosophical at times, but overall, this is one of the best cookbooks I have ever read. Less recipes, and more home cooking theory, if you will, we have already started implementing a lot of Adler's ideas into our kitchen. For instance, we now have "spread night." You basically make pestos out of whatever you have in your fridge with olive oil and walnuts (we used pistachios last night) in your handy chopper. Have someone bring home a fresh baguette and call it dinner.

She also instructs the reader to shop and then cook immediately all of your veggies, so you have them ready at hand to put into other meals, such as omelets or soups or pasta. This saves you time on the other end. We have done this for a few weeks now with great success. We are eating better and cheaper, at home.

Fun quote:
"Children must shell peas. In a world of things too big, getting peas from pods is a chance for pea-sized people to exercise authority. Always told to put things back where they found them, here, children have it right. Pea shelling goes only in one direction: dig, disperse, and never look back." pg. 53

This book is so good, I am going to buy it. (I got it from the library...)



I have been spending some amount of my time blogging over at www.bureauphile.com. I need to spend more time there. For those inclined we are posting information and topics of interest to people interested in government.

We are also looking for guest posters...so if you are interested, drop me a line!