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Friday, November 17, 2021

artificial flavor
Hailed by the head of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons as “a triumph of science”, the FDA has lifted the 14-year ban on the use of silicone-gel breast implants in the United States.

No word on how this impacts the price of bikini tops or Life Savers.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/17/2006 10:14 PM
Category: Comedy, Science, Women
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As they say, it’s all about location, location, and location. Take that real-estate mantra to the nth degree, and you have Teardowns.com, whose existence results from the surprisingly cost-effective concept of buying the property and doing an extreme remodeling on the dwelling:

Small, old houses in hot teardown towns have little chance of surviving after their long-term owners leave. The rooms in these homes may be too cramped and the ceilings too low. There’s no easy way to open up the kitchens and dining rooms to form the entertainment spaces popular today. There are no master suites, family rooms or home offices.

“The old houses just don’t have all the bells and whistles that home buyers want,” says Linda Ritter of Tiburon Homes, which redevelops about 10 to 12 properties a year in the Chicago suburbs.

“Most of the property value is in the dirt,” says Brad Crumpecker, of Xchange Properties in Dallas.

Am I right in thinking that this trend has been well-established in Florida? For at least the past 10 years, I’d see teardown construction every time I’d drive through the residential neighborhoods around Tampa Bay, particularly in St. Pete Beach and other beach communities. Lots of those areas consist of the original houses built there: Bungalows and 1950s-era cracker shacks. When new buyers come in and pay a couple of million dollars for the lots, the last thing they want is to live in a dilapidated hut. When you’re spending that kind of money, it’s a foregone conclusion that you’d invest in major reconstruction too.

So it looks like Florida was ahead of the curve on this trend, and it’s now spreading to other regions.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/17/2006 10:00 PM
Category: Business, Florida Livin'
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As I mentioned, I’ve embarked upon a most enlightening nutritional quest: To see if drinking three cans of Enviga per day will, as claimed by the marketing hype, lead to increased calorie consumption.

I started on Wednesday. I’ll update my progress here on an every-other-day basis; I think daily would get tedious, both for me and anyone actually interested enough to follow this. That schedule would land an upcoming update right on Thanksgiving Thursday. So I’m looking forward to washing down the turkey and stuffing with a cold can of calorie-burning refreshment.

As for the experience so far… I’ve kept to the three-per since Wednesday (as I write this, I’m actually halfway through today’s second can, a Berry-flavored one). While the taste is pleasant enough, I found yesterday that I really need to space out the intake. One in the morning, for that wake-up jolt of caffeine, was fine. But then having the next two within the following four hours was a little much for me — by the time I left the office, I was feeling light-headed.

Lesson learned. I’m not planning on hitting today’s third can until tonight.

I don’t expect to notice any kind of physiological effect just yet (unless that mentioned light-headedness came from a metabolic reaction). I should note, though, that the negative-calorie claim was scrutinized a month ago, and found suspect. So will my whole purpose here be for naught? We’ll see.

Lastly, on procurement of said product: It seems to be fairly easy to find in Manhattan. No luck with the sidewalk newsstands, but retail stores are stocked with it. In fact, I’ve been able to load up at Duane Reade, where the refrigerated cases have manufacturer coupons offering three cans for the price of two — could there be a more perfect fit? Plus, the price is pretty reasonable, at about $1.49 per can. I don’t know if that’s just the intro test-market price-point; regardless, I’ll take it.

That’s plenty for now. Next update on Sunday.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/17/2006 02:26 PM
Category: Food, New Yorkin', Science
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