How to get Zero Cavities!

Today, for the first time in a year-and-a-half, I went to the dentist. He took a full set of x-rays before congratulating me on having no cavities at all. It wasn't a shock; I've been fastidious about my oral hygeine since I learned two importing things. These are they:

1. Flossing stinks - Years ago, my friend Alexis and I happened to be talking about flossing. "Of course I floss," she said, "if you haven't flossed for a while and then you do, it stinks!" I was disgusted and intrigued; I ventured a whiff the next time I flossed. If whatever is in between your teeth actually stinks, then you're probably better off without it. From then on, I was a little sicked out about kissing people who don't floss.

2. Bacteria, not sugar, rots your teeth - I'm not Nick D.D.S., but I do know that it isn't sugar that rots your teeth. It's the acidic byproduct the bacteria in your mouth produce as they feed on sugar--sugar meaning any carbohydrate, including otherwise non-sugary foods like bread or even Grape-Nuts. When you're trying to clean your teeth, don't imagine scrubbing sugar off of them, imagine scrubbing all the food away so bacteria have nothing to eat. You want them to be spotless, bacteria are microscopic and can live on tiny amounts of food.

Then rinse with mouthwash. It starves the bacteria by rinsing out all the minute food particles you dislodged with floss and your toothbrush. Mouthwash also makes your mouth inhospitable to bacteria like S. mutans, which is one of the first bacteria to attack your teeth, and actually has special receptors to bond to them.

Tooth decay is a chronic infectious disease - it isn't just sugar rotting your teeth. Treat it as such, and use your toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash--every morning and night, at least--to make your mouth as inhospitable as possible to bacteria. These procedures are nothing new, I just wanted to shed some light on the mechanics of tooth decay--visualizing it this way (the actual way) helped me be more careful about my oral hygiene.

360 in a Car!

I finally did it. After years of watching stunt drivers do 360's, and even asking Autocar how to do it (they didn't know how), I've done a 360.

For the record--handbrake turn in neutral at above 40mph (75+ if its dry pavement), release the handbrake brake and turn the wheel the other way when you're nearing 180--- car should do a reverse flick (dab the footbrake here if you're having trouble) and you're on your way again...


Cold Air Balloons - 3M Window Film

It may be a little late in the season to begin thinking about insulation, but when I learned about window films I couldn't resist trying them. The windows in our apartment are double-hung, double-pane, and metal-framed--and they look absolutely top-notch. Even so, it is possible to feel a draft around the top of the bottom pane and the bottom of the top pane. Cue 3M's Window Insulator Kit.

The "kit" is just a giant piece of plastic film and a few rolls of tape. After all, its only objectives are to seal any of the window's leaks and to capture a layer of insulating air. That little piece of film can more than double a window's insulating ability. Of course, if windows aren't the main source of drafts, then doubling their effectiveness might not make a difference. But they are and it does (other possible sources are the hole around a ceiling fan, a dryer vent, or even wall sockets facing exterior walls).

Have a look at 3M's Calculator to see what you might save with a bit of film...

But the best bit is seeing the film puff up after you've installed it (I'll try to get a picture). I reckon its the dense, cold air pushing in past the window frame. It's like a cold air balloon. My window films are bulging 3" at the center of the pane (see top picture)... I can't wait to see the difference it makes to the bill.