The truth about health supplements

Thought Provoking

Sometimes, a well-designed graphic can illustrate a point better than an article. Nice to see information that is backed up by scientific proof on the issue of health supplements.

Snake Oil?

Browse more infographics.

This image is a “balloon race”. The higher a bubble, the greater the evidence for its effectiveness. But the supplements are only effective for the conditions listed inside the bubble.

You might also see multiple bubbles for certain supps. These is because some supps affect a range of conditions, but the evidence quality varies from condition to condition. For example, there’s strong evidence that Green Tea is good for cholesterol levels. But evidence for its anti-cancer effects is conflicting. In these cases, we give a supp another bubble.

There is a newer version of the graphic here. This includes garlic which I always thought helped with cholesterol.

Villa Preview 2012

Football, Sport

The Guardian previews Aston Villa ahead of the new English premier league campaign. It seems quite lightly optimistic in tone but still, when compared to the years of 5th and 6th place finishes quite depressing for me. But I doubt how it can get worse after last year even if we did avoid relegation.

So, all in all, the new Villa manager has quite a job on his hands, although it is one that he should relish. The fans will be right behind him and the only immediate pressure Lambert will be under is the pressure that he puts on himself. Serve up some expansive football and avoid being mentioned in the same breath as a relegation battle and Villa, after two miserable years, will be heading in the right direction. That, together with some more good news about Stilian Petrov winning his battle against acute leukaemia, should give Villa supporters something to smile about.

Guardian writers’ predicted position 12th

Frugal Helsinki

Finland, Helsinki, Travel

The New York Times Frugal Traveler feature has visited Helsinki. There are some nice tips here although I’m not much of a berry or porridge fan.

The most inviting bar on the block was Molotow, which had a cheap Finnish beer starting at 3.80 euros for a half-liter, and lots of other choices as well, but the best spot of the evening was a bit of a hike, several blocks farther north, the irresistibly friendly and funky confines of Magneetti bar, to which Kati Kallioniemi had given the irresistible description: “It seems like a normal bar, but all my friends met their boyfriends there.” With social booths cramped together in one room, and a darker space of candlelit tables in the other, I could certainly see how that had happened.

Hot PMI!

Economy, Finance, Ireland, Thought Provoking

The hottest country in Europe for PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) in July is…

What is PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) anyway? According to Investopedia:

PMI is a very important sentiment reading, not only for manufacturing, but also the economy as a whole. Although U.S. manufacturing is not the huge component of total gross domestic product (GDP) that it once was, this industry is still where recessions tend to begin and end. For this reason, the PMI is very closely watched, setting the tone for the upcoming month and other indicator releases.

The magic number for the PMI is 50. A reading of 50 or higher generally indicates that the industry is expanding. If manufacturing is expanding, the general economy should be doing likewise. As such, it is considered a good indicator of future GDP levels. Many economists will adjust their GDP estimates after reading the PMI report.

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