What are the evocative sounds and smells of your childhood? The sensations that you didn’t notice

What are the evocative sounds and smells of your childhood? The sensations that you didn’t notice at the time but which take you back immediately? For me one of them is the slight smell of phenolic resin from an older piece of consumer electronics that has warmed up; it immediately has me sitting cross-legged on our living room carpet, circa 1975. “Get ready for a life that smells of hot plastic, son!” John Atherton [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.That phenolic smell has gone from our modern electronics, not only because modern enclosures are made from ABS and other more modern plastics, but because the electronics they contain no longer get so hot. Our LCD TV for instance nowadays uses only 50 watts, while its 1970s CRT predecessor would have used several hundred. Before the 1970s you would not find many household appliances that used less than 100 watts, but if you take stock of modern electrical appliances, few use more than that. Outside the white goods in your kitchen and any electric heaters or hair dryers you may own, your appliances today are low-powered. Even your lighting is rapidly being taken over by LEDs, which are at their heart low-voltage devices. There are...

Why Your BCAA Supplement May Be Doing More Harm Than Good

Walk into your local GNC and you’ll see all the latest supplements to hit the market, all claiming to be the missing link you need in your dietary regimen to attain those elusive gains you’ve been searching for. Among these products are branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs.) BCAAs have come to be revered as one of the holy grails of muscle growth and recovery. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and subsequently of muscle (in addition to hair, nails, skin, etc). There are 20-22 total amino acids, and our body can synthesize some of these to rebuild tissue, but there are just 9 “essential” amino acids (EAAs). Our body cannot obtain these “essential” amino acids from our diet. Three of the 9 essential amino acids make up BCAAs. Walk into your local GNC and you’ll see all the latest supplements to hit the market, all claiming to be the missing link you need in your dietary regimen to attain those elusive gains you’ve been searching for. Among these products are branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs.) BCAAs have come to be revered as one of the holy grails of muscle growth and recovery. Amino acids are the building blocks of prote...