How this very special razor will help everyone

  • You are never too old to learn from a puppy
  • Find out how to keep your bones healthy
  • These are the simple ways to increase calcium levels

You join me today as an old dog has learnt a new trick.

None of us are too old to be shown the error of our ways, or in this case how I could have handled things better.

The story begins with BT…

“Good morning, can you tell me why my internet has stopped working… I have paid the bill I am sure.”

Yours truly after waiting for an age to be routed to a call centre in down town Mumbai.

“Am I speaking with the bill payer?” The agent asked. “Can you tell me the first line of the address and the postcode and also the telephone number you are enquiring about?”

So began a long series of questions about who I was, where I was and what had happened.

Eventually it was established that my hard earned cash was propping up their pension funds, that Bristol wasn’t a hamlet without telephone lines and that I was entitled to a broadband service based upon the tariff I was paying.

“There is no reason from the networks perspective that your internet should be down, Sir,” said the very pleasant young man I was talking to. “We will have to send an engineer to visit you, but I must warn you that if there is found to be a problem inside the house you may have to pay for repairs.”

There was no surprise in that.

A time and date was agreed and I waited to rejoin the modern world once again.

The appointed day came and no engineer darkened the door…. so I am on the phone again.

“Ah, unfortunately the engineer has been delayed by a previous issue and we will need to rebook, Sir.”

A problem that was to repeat itself several times until at last an engineer did arrive and proudly announced that there was no internet service apparent.

“I could have told you that,” I said, “in fact I have told BT that for the last week.”

Our gallant technician disappeared for half an hour to ‘have a look at the cabinet.’

On his return he said it should all be fixed, and indeed the lurid world on the internet came back into our lives.

It appeared that another engineer had been connecting one of my neighbours to the ‘new superfast broadband’ but had inadvertently cut me off… in fact had pulled the wires out of our connection in the cabinet.

Over dinner with my beloved family I was ranting about the fact that BT and technology seemed to hate me when my newest bit of education occurred.

“Dad, it’s just Hanlon’s Razor in action,” said my eldest son. “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

It was a profound moment for me as I thought about what he said and realised that Mr Hanlon was spot on. Of the many things that wind me up I always assume that they have it in for me…

…when in reality I am just dealing with idiots.

Doesn’t that make you feel better? Worth thinking about how much energy you put into worrying about this stuff when in fact just call them fools and move on.

Enough of inner peace and calm, time for a few health tips.

I want to cover an issue that both men AND women should think about. But especially women concerned about osteoporosis…

How to keep your bones strong and healthy as you age

I’ve culled some fantastic information over time about healthy bones and I thought I would share them with you today.

  • Absorption of calcium by the intestines diminishes with age, although elderly persons need just as much, if not more than younger adults.
  • Daily calcium intake among the elderly is generally insufficient – about 600 to 700 milligrams. This is not enough to maintain normal bone structure. Result?
  • The body starts using up calcium stored in bones, and bone mass diminishes. As both men and women grow older they need between 900 and 1000 milligrams of calcium per day to maintain bone mass stability. Woman after menopause need between 1200 and 1500 milligrams.
  • Taking calcium supplements can reduce loss of bone mass by about 50%. The incidence of displaced vertebrae and hip fractures is also greatly reduced.
  • Calcium acts primarily by slowing down the secretion of parathyroid hormones that stimulate bone re-absorption. As one report submitted to the International Colloqium on nutrition for the Elderly stated: ‘Recommending an increase in milk and dairy product intake has proven highly effective for the prevention of osteoporosis in elderly subjects.’
  • It is easy for most persons to absorb the minimum daily requirement, simply by eating a few dairy products, which are the main nutritional source.
  • Each of the following contains about 300 milligrams of calcium:
  • One glass of milk
  • 2 servings of yogurt
  • 1 ounce (30 grams) of cheddar cheese
  • 10 cubes of soft Swiss cheese
  • 3 to 3.5 ounces (80 to 100 grams) of camembert cheese
  • 10 ounces (300 grams) of cream cheese

As you can see, obtaining 1200 milligrams of calcium during the course of the day is not difficult (a pint of milk, two servings of yogurt, 2 ounces or 60 grams of cheddar cheese, for example).

Fruits and vegetables also contain calcium, but in much smaller amounts: to obtain 10 ounces (300 grams) of calcium you’d need to eat a 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of oranges, or 2 pounds (850 grams) of cabbage. In addition, the calcium contained in fruits and vegetables is a harder to absorb than the calcium in dairy products.

Exceptions are walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, which contain relatively large amounts of calcium.
Other foods, like whole grains contain only very small amounts.

Silica is another element that is indispensable for persons suffering from osteoporosis. It is even more effective when used as a preventative measure, since it facilitates calcium bonding. Silica is contained in plants with hard stems and leaves (horsetail), fruit, grain husks, as well as onions, garlic and shallots.

Some medicines prevent the absorption of minerals, and especially calcium. If you are taking medication, ask your doctor about this possible side effect, and take mineral supplements if necessary.

There is also a need to increase your Vitamin D intake as well, and also vitamin K and Omega 3 oils – some high quality fish oils allow you to do this in a single supplement.

I hope this list of bone related facts helps those of you who are concerned about the effects of ageing on the skeleton.

Until Friday I hope you have a stress free time, because there are certainly a few idiots about to prove Mr Hanlon correct!

Yours, as always,

Ray Collins