Thursday, May 5, 2011

Herbs & Smoking.

Greetings and the warmest hospitality offered to you good folk tonight, and an even warmer one to those of you who are currently benefiting from the under-funded but highly regarded* medicinal herb section of your chemist.

*Highly regarded by all naturopaths I know, and most of my fellow students.

Of course, not all of these are found in chemists. Food you might use at home occasionally may have extraordinary benefits to your mental, physical, and overall well being. Just to put things in perspective, I personally do not smoke any of the herbs, or regularly smoke marijuana. Use at your own risk, you didn't buy them from me.

Everyday Herbs

Here is a (very) short list of some everyday herbs you may use that I have looked into and have shown surprising benefits. Perhaps pick some more up next time you go out to the shops, eh?


Not only a tasty garnish, Parsley should be used in as many meals as possible, as it stimulates appetite and metabolism. It contains anti-cancerous properties that help protect the liver and intestine, as well as stimulating digestion and detoxifying your tract. It helps prevent kidney stones from forming, and the seeds stimulate the sexual glands, and it is recommended as a neutralizer against alcohol dependency.

It is rich in many vitamins, containing more vitamin C than an orange percentage wise. It contains Vitamin A, B, E & K, magnesium and calcium. It also works as a mild anti-septic throughout the body, and stimulates cellular growth.

Aloe Vera

Hailed as the saviour of the planet, Aloe Vera has been recommended for the Nobel Prize twice, won 6 Oscars throughout various movies, and was recently elected into the Rock Hall of Fame (Which is as hard to get into as Griffith University).

But seriously, get one of these plants. You can use the leaves for burns, the yellow sap as a laxative, it is an antiseptic, disinfectant, and stimulates cellular repair. It contains over 20 important minerals and can be used to detoxify your body.


Okay, maybe don't go just grab yourself a handful of Nettle leaves. But tea that is brewed with Nettle contains therapeutic qualities, and is a great relaxant for those nights where you need extra sleep.

Lesser Known Herbs


This small plant is another one of natures super plants. It covers a wide spectrum of benefits including healthy circulation, mental stimulation, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressive, cellular energy, and reduction in fatigue. Quite the opposite of Nettle in fact, this is your get-up-and-go herb/root.

It is also recommended as a treatment for hyper/hypotension.

I suggest drinking it in tea, but in very small doses.

CAUTION - Ginseng can have damaging, negative effects if taken incorrectly. Consult a doctor or naturopath beforehand.


Yes, yes I know. Every stoner and his dog will probably use this from time to time, as it produces a mild high, with minimal to no side-effects. But (through experimenting with a number of herbs last year. Ask no questions get no lies) I have found that it has long lasting effects on your mental state, including stress-relief, increase in comprehensive skills and mind-eye co-ordination (I'm mind blanking at the moment, and cannot for the life of me remember the word for being able to articulate and draw ideas). Anyway. Again, use as you see fit. Yes it sounds like marijuana, yes it's related, get over it.

Remember folks, consult someone before using these. Except the first few, they're okay.

Stay safe, it's cold as fuck.

- Oscar

EXTRA - My rant on smoking.

As a health nut and psych. student, I have an incredibly bias opinion towards smoking. So whatever you read here, I'm telling you now, the facts will be warped by myself.

I grew up in a family of smokers, and indulged frequently as a teen. As I grew older I distanced myself from smoking and affiliated activities as I began to, not only hear about, but see the ill effects of long-term smoking. The argument that there are many others outlets available that are self-destructive is flat out nonsense. Simply because there are other things that can kill you doesn't mean it's a-okay to be involved in one. The stress-relief argument can be countered by offering a whole range of natural and medical alternatives, as well as introducing more frequent exercise and perhaps a change of life-style.

"But Oscar, it's my life, I can do what I want."

You sure can, I simply feel terrible for your close family and friends that have to watch you wither and die because of it. I think it's a terribly selfish ideology that just because you're going to die anyway you think you should speed up the process. And I don't believe that anyone is so hooked that through no force of will they cannot break the cycle.

Anyway. That's it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Funeral & Apology.

My dearest readers, I deeply apologise (with remorse) for being absent these past few weeks. I had to hot-foot it over to England in order to attend the funeral of my Grandfather. But I have returned, with my heart intact and my head sober.

I hope you've all kept yourself relatively comfortable during the Easter weekend, with plenty of chocolate/money/chocolate money available. I know some of you out there have been enjoying the 1.5 upate of Minecraft, I know I am.

Note: Don't worry, it won't bite.

As optimistic as I was about this post, it seems that my head is clouded and my fingers slow to type. I suppose I could rant on about the importance of sleep today, or healthy eating, or making sure you're organised. But if we're totally honest with ourselves, it just comes down to one defining question.

What am I willing to sacrifice to achieve my goals?

Is it staying up late watching movies, playing games? Is it getting that regular milkshake from a fast-food joint? Or is it a few years of laid-back entertainment that you give up, in order to secure a future for yourself? Whether you like it or not, you're here and alive, and as you're reading this on a computer you are considerably lucky within this life. I suggest making the most of it.

Have a think about it, I hope to hear from you soon. Please forgive me for my late-ness in posting.

All the ebst.

- Oscar

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Item Distribution.

My friends,

There comes a time in a mans life where he wakes up one morning a different person. He does not simply put on his dressing gown and go and make some sweet, delicious porridge. He does not wade through the floor clutter like so many lego blocks of the past. No, sir. He gets up, turns around, looks at his shelf, and says.


Or at least, I did this morning, when noticing the condition of my shelves and the lack of recognisable organisation. Which, as you may have picked up throughout this blog, I think is incredibly important to have. Not only to keep things nice and neat, but to know where your belongings are, to have control and discipline in the physical world, and to keep things aesthetically pleasing.

After that extensive introduction, Good Evening! I trust we are all well and healthy, and might I say, looking rather dashing. Before I go on, I would like to, once again, draw attention to my new blog, which is just a journal of some sorts, which can be found here:

Of course, there are an incredible number of ways in which to organise and store your possessions. I myself make the most commonly used items the most accessible, and if I were to hazard a guess, this is the most frequently used strategy. This means that in my top drawer of my desk I have wallet, phone, folders, laptop case, etc etc. Because of this, I am always aware of where my stuff is. This, of course, is just an example, and on a very small scale. The distribution of belongings throughout your entire house is far more important though.

For example, a close friend of mine (who shall remain nameless, Greg) has terrible habits when it comes to storing. He puts his personal, everyday stuff on the table, which he then moves to god knows where when he eats, his course books are scattered throughout the various rooms (I found an autobiography of Bertrand Russel in his sink.) and, perhaps worst of all, he doesn't keep track of where his various cords and chargers are. Now, I might seem a bit obsessive/petty/wound-up (understatement of the year, eh?) but the amount of time I have spent waiting for him to find his phone could probably be measured in days. A structured layout of where to keep things not only makes life easier, if you lose something, it's a whole lot easier to find.


When it comes to drawers, I recommend not simply shoving everything in them like some kind of universal dump for miscellaneous items. Instead, keep small boxes you get from stores and what not, and then itemise into them. This especially applies for everyone out there who just has a pile of paper that has to be kept due to the nature of the information. Get a folder. It's easier and you feel professional while using it.

Filing cabinet. Not the most aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture, but incredibly handy when it comes to filing the aforementioned paper of doom. And who doesn't enjoy flicking through the named folders? It's the little things.

Desk Space. A cluttered desk is a cluttered mine, or at least in my opinion. But it is general knowledge that if you have a ludicrous amount of paper, knick-knacks or paddy-wacks about, your work is bound to be impeded. I think that a small tray that can stack A4 pages is perfect for keeping relevant paper close by. If you have an snow-globes or Newtons Cradles, make sure they're not immediately in the way of anything important. Mug of pens. Do it.

All of this goes for the virtual world as well. It's much easier to find files if you have them organised, particularly your downloads folder, mine used to overflow with torrent links and pdf files.

Clean and easy. Just like my women. And there goes my female audience.

Stay safe. Sorry for the late post, I've been spending my nights in the entertainment district. Mana Bar, to be specific.

Have a good one folks.

- Oscar

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Understanding Sleep & Sleep Apnea.

Afternoon Gents.

Before anything important is written down, be sure to visit my new blog at


Now that we have that out of the way, I would like to address the issue of sleep in today's post.

On average, we spend about a third of our life asleep. In this time, our mind is at rest and our body repairs itself. Without reasonable sleep, our cognitive ability is damaged, our body is unable to heal properly, our metabolism is slowed down, and our state of overall health goes downhill. The average amount of sleep recommended used to be 8 hours, however, new research is emerging that sleeping too long is detrimental to your health, recommending 6-7 hours as the best amount of time.

- >

Of course, it varies person to person, due to sleep disorders, patterns, and how much energy is spent during the day. The best way to determine how much sleep you need is through trial and error in my opinion. Only you will know how much is too much, and once you've found the magic number, it is best to stick to it.

While you are asleep, you go through 90 minute phases. Each phase is made up of 5 stages. The most notable stage is the 5th, which is referred to as REM (Rapid Eye Movement). This is when dreaming occurs and you are most likely to wake. If you find yourself often remembering your dreams in great detail, it may mean that you wake up in the middle of REM during the night, but forget it ever happened later.

(As a side-note, that has often fascinated me. I mean, if you can't remember anything, are you even aware you exist? The answer will always elude me.)

Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea is one of the most commen and varied sleep disorders. In short, while you are asleep you run the risk of ceasing to breathe for anywhere from a few seconds to a minute. This can happen frequently throughout the night, and causes disrupted sleep and health risks. This is not to be confused with Hypopnea, which is extremely short and shallow breathing during sleep.

"The Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study estimated in 1993 that roughly one in every 15 Americans were affected by at least moderate sleep apnea" - Wikipedia.

I am posting this here because I find it is much more common that anticipated, and it is important to discover whether or not you have it. In Brisbane, most hospitals will give you a free polysomnogram, or sleep test. Even if it's not free, I highly recommend getting one, just to be sure you don't suffer from anything else.

To the lighter side.

Sleep is an incredibly interesting function of the body. Scientists are still baffled as to why we require it to heal. Nearly every complex animal on the planet sleeps, whether it be in the day or in the night.

It is important to understand what time period is best for sleeping, how many hours you need, and any accessory things needed for a good nights sleep. Here's my personal list:

- White noise, such as a fan or rainsounds from my laptop.

- One really soft pillow, and one firm pillow. I like to have support right before I go to sleep, but then I like to change in the middle of the night.

- Socks. No matter what temperature it is.

- A glass of water. If I wake up in the night, you better believe I'm thirsty.

That's it for now, hope you have a thoroughly relaxing sleep tonight.

Take care of yourselves.

- Oscar

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New Blog.

Afternoon folks.

Just letting you know, I have a new blog up at

(Don't worry, it's not an emotional title, a play on the fact I spend my party-time indoors reading books.)

This blog will now get back on track to be the hard-hitting, fast-paced, action-packed rollercoaster of a read that it usually is. Well, I'll be posting more about health and less about me.

Anyway, I'll leave you with this lovely song I found thanks to:


Enjoy, take care, don't be no square.

- Oscar.

Pessimism & Employment.

Hello, and might I say a hearty Good Evening to all those living in the Brisbane area, as you had most certainly better be toasty warm in this weather. Haven't been this cold in years!

First off, I'd just like to say that I received the shining symbol of wonder in the post today. That's right, a letter from your local psycho-analysis team! Alright, so it's not gold-trimmed and from the team, but, as I'm still in the "Stats-and-rats" part of my study, I'm extremely glad to be have landed a semi-stable job that ties in with my course. Wine and celebratory obligations for all!

Before I was able to check my mail, however, I attended a short lecture in which the basic characteristics of a pessimist were summed up. To the left are some of the phrases you might catch yourself using if you're feeling rather down. Pessimism is in no way a self-loathing mind set, as the picture may suggest. But nor is it witty cynicism, hyper-intelligent acceptance of the world. It has been over-analysed and magnified by media, psychologists and even philosophers to the point where it has almost changed meaning completely.

If you open a door expecting an angry lion on the other side, you're ridiculous.

If you open a door expecting another room or appropriate scenery, you're a realist.

If you open a door expecting cake or some other enjoyable pleasure, you're an optimist.

If you go to open a door, but then think you're too pathetic and sit down in the corner and cry, you're self-loathing.

If you open a door expecting to get your sleeve caught, which will in turn rip your shirt, you're a pessimist.

(That needed to be in bold & italic for those who didn't want to hear that many scenarios. Hear? I mean read. Audio-scripting would be fun though. Except I have a ridiculous accent. I'll give you a hint. I love St Patricks day.)

Being a pessimist, on a general, everyday basis, just means that you expect the worst out of most situations, almost regardless of the premises. Once you exceed a rational amount, then you're just being ridiculous, and will be paid the appropriate amount of attention. Which is none.

Pessimists are no more prepared for the worst than others in most cases. Because we are talking about the situational mind-set, and not something more deep-seated, even neurological maybe, they simply will not be shocked when it happens. It's like that guy who sits on the couch when you're putting up paintings, and he just casually calls out that they're going to drop, but you ignore him and keep putting them up, until they eventually all come crashing down and leave you an embarrassed, dusty fool.

Comes from experience.

Anywho, let's cut to the point. Obviously a negative outlook will produce a negative emotional rotation, on any scale. I'm not advocating being blindly optimistic, and I'm not advocating being the joy-kill of every party you make yourself aware at. It is best to find a balance just right for the day, where you're ready if things hit the fan, but you do not dwell on it for extended periods of time.

Anyway, have a fantastic day, thank's a bunch for your time :D

- Oscar.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Creative Outlets.

Gentlemen, let me begin by thanking all of you again for your support and contribution to this blog. It is greatly appreciated. I hope we continue to be good friends for a long time to come.

I know that a few of you guys are music producers/artists/or just enjoy enriching culture. Whether you do this professional or not, it is certainly true in most cases that this is a creative outlet. Regardless of whether you're a maths teacher (Although, I find maths to have an extremely artistic and creative side.), nearly every human being has/needs an outlet into which he can pour his ideas and creativity into. This may be a series of projects or a life-long passion, it's obviously unique to the individual.

A creative outlet is not something that should be viewed as "against the stream" or strictly for those not adhering to conservative lifestyle. This should be something that everyone can enjoy, whether you find yourself sketching in between work shifts or playing around with theoretical money, there is not set standard, nor a limit, as to what you can and cannot do.

The benefits? Having a private, enjoyable hobby will not only create that 'me-time' everyone needs, but helps to develop mini-goals and a sense of purpose and achievement. For me, I have my beloved blog, my psych studies, and a recently purchased guitar. Needless to say I'm not Jeff Beck. But I'm getting there.

I have previously mentioned the urge to create. This ties into this post, as it is important to understand that everyone does have an urge to build, whether it is literally or metaphorically speaking.

I hope you enjoy your outlet and make the most of your potential. That's it for tonight, take care of yourselves.

- Oscar.