Calories

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Calories

Unread postby Intercourseman72 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:34 pm

This will be a highly abridged refutation of calories in calories out and I may elaborate on specifics later.

The Tautology

First off, saying you gain weight because you ate too much doesn't explain anything at all. It simply means that more energy went in to your body than went out, so you increased in mass. This is not necessarily true, but I'll go along with it for now. We can also say that an larger mass of metabolically active tissue (tissue that requires energy) requires more calories, and thus, you eat more because you are fat. This is like saying the music is loud because the volume is turned up. It's just a really vacuous statement that doesn't explain anything meaningful.
Kids who grow to be bigger and taller required a surplus of calories. Does that mean if you eat 15 bacon sandwiches a day at age 30 that your chances of growing taller and increasing muscle is as likely as it was at age 13? It obviously wouldn't be, and it's due to your body's production of regulation of certain hormones.

Further analysis. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1474

Insulin and Fat

On the topic of fat, it's imperative to understand the most profound effects of insulin and the foods that cause insulin to be active. What insulin doesn't do is cause your body to use your fat reserves for energy. Glucagon is the metabolic hormone that draws upon fat reserves and insulin prevents your body from releasing glucagon. So already, you cannot mobilize fat with insulin being active. When active, it will transport glucose and store it in your organ and muscle cells. Carbohydrate is what causes the strongest insulin response, but can increase even further when combined with dietary fat. Fat, however, induces no insulin response by itself and protein only a small one. The glucose is stored as glycogen, and any glycogen that is not later used for energy will be stored as fat. If you overwhelm your system with excessive amounts of insulin and blood sugar for a long enough time, you will become more resistant to insulin. The receptors in your organ and muscle cells will reject more the glucose that insulin is trying to store in order to maintain a level blood sugar level. However, your fat cells can store glucose indefinitely and not become insulin resistant while the rest of your cells do. This is the primary danger and cause of obesity. It's when the foods that you eat nourish your more metabolically active tissues less and dump everything into your fat cells. This is why obese people tend to have severe muscular atrophy. Doug McGuff M.D. mentioned that when looking at morbidly obese people in CT scans, their abdominal muscles are millimeters thin. Their muscles are starving, but their fat keeps growing.

Fat Thriving and Muscle Starving

With a case of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, you can cut your calories as much as you want with no regard to what sorts of foods you eat and still increase your fat stores and gain weight. All that is needed are enough calories from sugar to fill up your glycogen stores, have the excess sugar be digested in the liver and converted into fat via lipogenesis and then stored. Fat can be maintained with a very low caloric intake, so it doesn't take much to sustain it if the hormonal environment is dysfunctional enough. So when you get specific enough, you can explain when you get fat with calories in/calories out, but by itself, Ci/Co useless at best and harmful at worse. It doesn't consider the types of foods you eat and only calories in total.

Hunger and Fullness

Other hormones to consider are leptin and grehlin. Leptin is your bodies satiety signal and grehlin is its primary hunger signal. Both hormones are sensitive to blood sugar levels (I'm almost certain on this, if not, they are highly related to insulin) and this is why you get hunger after eating a highly insulin stimulating meal 2-3 hours later, even if it was a ton of calories. A big mac has a lot of fat and a lot of carbs(the most profound way to stimulate insulin), so it makes sense that it wouldn't be very sating for long.

Sex Hormones

Estrogen and progesterone (testosterone, but in a more indirect way) play a major in fat distribution. Women with more estrogen will store more fat around their butts and thighs, women with more progesterone will store more around their breasts, women with more even levels will have fat fairly evenly distributed. People with hyperinsulinemia tend to store fat disproportionately around their guts (but the lower abdominals is where fat usually comes off last before your butt padding). Testosterone is key when producing muscle mass, which is much more metabolically active than fat and allows for greater amounts of glycogen storage (and remember that your body stores glycogen in your muscle and organ cells before storing glucose in fat). So sex hormones are less important, but still very important to consider.

Losing Fat

When your body stops producing insulin and blood sugar levels dip, glucagon is activated to increase blood sugar levels. It does this through glycogenolysis where it converts glycogen (chains of glucose) into glucose and releases it into the blood stream. It also induces lipolysis, which breaks down lipids into fatty acids, which then can be used by the Krebs cycle for beta-oxidation and produce (I think) about 3 times as much ATP by producing ketones than when using glucose for energy. It also breaks down triglycerides. This means glycogen and fat digestion and is crucial when concerning fat loss.

The body is infinitely more complex and fascinating when considering the hormonal environment and how it relates to fat storage, muscle gain, satiety, and anything else that involves health and fitness. WAY better than Calories in/Calories out.

Btw, had I not anticipated being logged out, this entire post would have been eaten and I would have had to re-type it all out. Just for your FYI, DVR.
Last edited by Intercourseman72 on Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calories

Unread postby Azmodan Kijur » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:01 pm

As refutations go, it's a pretty well laid out one. You are rejecting the idea of calories in and calories out being the cause of people being fat. Actually, not really rejecting ... that's the wrong phrasing for it. You are more arguing for the complexity of the human digestive system (and us as complex animals) it would seem.

And you are correct. We are complex bastards. Take the neural fibers that make up our upper brain functions. Nothing inside the wiring there is simple. We have several places across the brain mass that patterns for speech - one allowing us to recognize the individual words we need, another to shape the air passing our lips and tongue to make the words, another to form sentences. It is a frighteningly complex function, one that I have marveled at from time to time myself. Imagine, a series of selective pressures coupled with natural genetic mutation created our ability to vocalize in a consistent and coherent manner. It might be the first out of the gate, but it got the job done. Amazing complexity from iterations of simplicity, reacted onto itself over and over again across generations. It is humbling to think about ...

Bringing that back to the point at hand, yes, you are correct. The digestive system is very complex, so much so that making any generalist statement might appear foolhardy. And yet, the fact remains that, despite the actual chemical reactions and complex bio-systems that are in play when one consumes sustenance, the state of being overweight is a direct result of the intake of too much energy into the bodies system. Yes, I am aware that sex hormones aid in the determination of fat layout in the body. Yes, I am aware that insulin and various hormones wreak havoc on your body, both in the feeling of hunger / fullness and in the processing of signals for the brain to commence or halt consumption. Those are both true. But the underlying nature of the formula cannot be waylaid or deflected simply because the body does chemistry when we eat. The role of insulin in fat production is present, but I fear you may be exaggerating its overall effects. Some that have claimed that it is solely responsible must have been baffled by recent findings indicating that protein consumption promotes a strong insulin response in the blood stream.

As I said, the chemistry and bio-chemical component is present in fat production. We can consider that this is what is going on "under the hood" as it were. But the simple naked reality is that, among all these chemicals and such, the underlying fact that it still boils down to energy in / energy out. Calories in and Calories out. How can I say that?

Well, first I have the simple anecdotal story of my own. I was fat, quite fat. I decided to monitor my caloric intake and found that I was eating 3,400 a day (hovered around there). So I cut my caloric intake to a little over half - 1,800 or so. I measured, I watched, and (most of all) controlled my intake. And I lost weight. I lost it rapidly. Very rapidly. No exercise, no special diets (like eating carrot sticks and beet juice alone). I ate what I always ate. I just didn't eat as much. I made my meals efficient, but nothing more. And I lost. I lost like a bastard. 40 pounds in 4 months. So I can tell you from my position alone that it is a simple matter of food in and food out. You can't gain weight if you don't eat the food to gain it with. Yes, there are some with a genetic disorder to be big, but even that needs help. Besides, the incidences of that in the human population are something on the order of 0.00001% or less. It is ridiculously remote for someone to be fat and not be an over eater.

A quick story for you. My Father was a fisheries observer. he sailed out with the fishermen and watched them to ensure they were meeting regulations. On one of the Draggers, he knew a man we'll call Bob. Bob was a big man, very very big. He was so fat that he was at risk for his health. While Dad was onboard, he spoke to Bob and such and noticed that Bob basically ate fairy farts for meals. He was on a diet, trying to lose weight. He told my father as much. But he wasn't losing a gram. My father actually brought that up when I and Apocalypse started our diets - this was after it was quickly showing results. So, like the auditing bastard that I am, I questioned him about Bob. Eats fairy farts, eh? Are you certain that he never ate without you around or anyone else? Some people are addicted to food - they LOVE it. Like a nympho likes sex. Dad thought about it and later sheepishly admitted that I had a point. He remembered an incident on the boat ... if you know fishing draggers, they have a cook that will plan for the entire crew of men for food. One day, they had pork chops. But if you know the kind of men that these are, you know that they can be picky assholes. So only half of the chops were taken. Bob was among those that did not have one. A little after supper, Dad happened into the mess hall (he has this knack for being in the right place at the right time) only to find Bob busily and mechanically finishing off the left over pork chops. All 15 of them. Bob was ashamed and asked Dad not to let on. Wasn't his place to do so, so Dad kept mum about it. Dad said he thought it over and could recall numerous incidences where Bob was eating between meals while "dieting". Bob was addicted to food and loved eating. Simple as that.

Dad was skeptical of the weight loss program of myself and Apoc. Skeptical until he saw it working. Hard to deny it works when you can far watch the pounds melt off your two eternally overweight boys. So he tried it - said he always had a few too many pounds on him. If it worked at all, he should be able to lose those using our method. Yep, it worked. He accepts it now - calories in and calories out. My uncle on my fathers side is a short, but exceedingly fat man. Why? He overeats. Dad visits my Grandmother and the uncle (who lives with her) regularly. He sees the man eat and eat and eat and eat. However, there was a time, some years ago, when Nan was sick (she had a heart attack and required double bypass surgery) and the uncle was left to fend for himself. Without her stocking and preparing food for him, he melted down. Inside of 6 week, if I recall correctly, he went from 220 - 230 area to 160 pounds. He didn't just melt, he imploded. Why? He didn't have any food to eat. Simple as that. You can gain it if you don't eat it.

I watched a piece from the BBC on weight. They had two girls, best friends and such, one was overweight and one was relatively normal. The overweight one marveled that the skinny one ate what she wanted and never gained a gram. So they (the host and producers) wanted to see if this was true, because we've all heard it. The guy or girl that eats as they please and never gains weight. They must have amazing metabolisms. So they gave them a mild radioactive dye and told them to go about their lives (and diets) for several days. Then they measured their waist with the dye allowing them to calculate caloric intake. Surprise, surprise, the overweight friend was eating more. Much more - between 1.5 and 2 times the amount of the other. The skinny one was not eating as she pleased. At gatherings, she ate what the rest ate. But she didn't eat much outside that. She'd have a muffin for breakfast, nothing else while the other had eggs, bacon, toast and so forth. Interestingly, the overweight one had the more efficient metabolism - her body burned calories better than the skinny one.

The same piece had a man and woman that were both overweight who complained that no matter the amount of dieting or exercise that they did, they were forever overweight. Showed the hosts their diet and such. All looked good. So the show had them secretly followed and taped. Yep, their diet at home was great. But the lady had a habit of entering stores mid-morning during her patrols (she was some sort of street cleaner, I believe) and coming out with food in both hands, eating like there was someone ready to snatch it away. The look on her face and the husbands face when they showed that video to them was priceless.

Another British show was sort of a biggest loser thing, only they would match a chronically fat to a chronically thin and have them swap diets. Pretty simple. One was a large African woman and a small Scottish woman. They swapped - the results were hilarious. The African woman was perplexed - how did the little woman live on these morsels of food. The little one was likewise floored - she could not stuff the food that the other one ate in no matter how hard she tried. Funniest part was this big glass tube where the producers dumped the daily diet of each woman individually. The little woman's diet was about a foot tall, the larger ones diet was about 5 feet tall. That was for one day. The big one managed to drop her portion sizes during the process and, as a result, dropped a pile of weight.

A final item of British note. One other piece had the shows producers take 50 fat people (volunteers) and put them in a facility where they tightly controlled eating and diet. Each one lost their weight when the intake amount was controlled. Each and every one. Some complained about being hungry, but you can easily imagine that this was due to their being used to eating an entire pizza and a plate full of chips for an afternoon snack. The body needs time to adjust. Mine did too. Tried to trick me with the hunger pangs for a bit. I got cute and fed it a rice cake at the right time. A cake that was worked into the calories that I needed to eat. Just before supper was when it would happen. After two weeks or so, my body got the hint and gave up on it.

The actual complexity of the human body makes "Calories in and Calories out" look somewhat simplistic. But for the average Joe, it also makes the entire process easy to understand. Don't eat more that you require and you will not gain weight. Period. No tricks, no jokes, no magic, no special foods or diets. It is all a matter of food in and food out.
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Re: Calories

Unread postby Intercourseman72 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:51 pm

Ok, so apparently anecdotal accounts and quasi-scientific docudramas on tv and reality shows count as science in this category.

Very well. I myself used to buy into this thing that if you consume more than you expend you gain weight and attempted to use this formula to gain weight myself. When I first started working out I gained somewhere around 10 pounds but topped off after about 3 months and have actually lost a little weight since then. I was discouraged that I wasn't gaining any weight so I stuffed myself like any idiotic bodybuilder would do with a total lack of scientific knowledge or application of logical thought to such a process. I would refuse to eat less than 600 calories per meal and made sure I ate no less than 5 meals per day and often more at a body weight of around 120 pounds and 3-4 weekly workouts at moderate intensity. Gained no weight despite sticking to it for about 9-10 weeks. No less than 3000 calories per day and usually more with a daily requirement of no more than 2500 for 65-70 days and no weight increase. I maintained right around the same body fat percentage and muscle mass as well. Since then, I've adopted far more effective methods of strength training and dieting. My strength increases noticeably after every workout and I still eat as I please with a whole lot of fat and protein but lots of booze as well. I have gone from 6% body fat to 4% and can look at my abs like a medical diagram. I don't count calories anymore, so I don't have that stat on hand, but I regularly eat at buffets and load my plate 2-3 times and can go through slabs of ribs while living a very sedentary lifestyle. I can get into some actual science as to why my workouts are a likely contributor to my fat loss, but want to stay on topic for now.

Second is a man named Arthur Jones. If you don't know him, youtube him and google him. You'll never forget him the first you see him speak or read his writings. I think it was when he was during the 1950s when he was training about 4 hours a day 6 days a week in 100 degree mindlessly trying apply the "more is better" diatribe to working out and the "calories in calories out" farce to try to gain weight. He was something like 170 pounds and consumed about 18000 calories per day and drank 3 gallons of butter milk to help him consume something about twice what Michael Phelps consumes when competing during the Olympics. He gained no weight during such a time. If you think he could have ever conceivable burned such an amount of calories with physical activity and his basal caloric requirements, I have nothing further to say to you. The excess calories were most likely excreted instead of stored as fat or made into muscle.

So there, it's your anecdotal accounts vs mine and we are no closer to a better understanding of this topic. This is why you need to provide some actual science. When dealing with the human body, there are a million and a half confounding variables, so you can't ever be even close to sure of what causes what when looking at a single case. You have understand the bio-chemistry in order to get any semblance of understanding of how the body loses fat, gains fat, increases muscle, loses muscle, water retention, excretion, etc.

About that British "experiment" where they controlled for one entire variable, I will respond with The Biggest Loser return gainers. After being screamed at by Jillian Michaels and forced into losing weight in a highly controlled environment meant for tv drama, yeah, you see people losing weight. What happens AFTER? They gain like they never did before. Just to troll you, here's a foxnews link describing the winners of the show.
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/20 ... st-losers/
The ones who keep off the weight don't just eat a "sensible diet" to keep off their pounds, but they instead train like elite athletes. And these are just the winners. The ones who get sent home with their tails between their legs gain their fat back and then some sometimes during the same 13 week season. My guess is that it's due to a decrease in metabolism (mainly controlled by the thyroid gland) and when they go back to eating what they like, not only do their hunger signals become dysfunctional again, but their bodies are conditioned to storing more body fat. Or you could just say they decide to force feed themselves more calories than they ever had before with the absurdly simplistic Ci/Co. Can't be sure, like I've, which is why you need science and not pop culture and personal tales.

About the only thing you mentioned that related to the science was "recent findings indicating protein consumption to high insulin spikes" while of course not citing any sources. Not a big deal though, google is pretty damn handy when looking up something general and accessible like "protein and insulin response".
For what it's worth, here's an abstract from 1984 http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/7/5/465.short
and from 1987 with the full text available http://www.ajcn.org/content/46/3/474.abstract but I don't know about recent findings. Both of these sources support my point about protein and fat being better for level insulin and blood sugar and they were both on the first page in the google search. I guess I better stay away from the low-carb think-tank know as google web search.

You didn't respond to a single one of my points and provided not one detail in your barren analysis of my post. I will later elaborate on some of my points. You are welcome to respond to them if you want, but I will post anyway if nothing else but to lay out some ideas I may not have articulated to my liking.

The state of being over fat (not overweight) is not a result of consuming too much. Consuming too much is a result of hormonal imbalances. That is my argument and, unlike you, I have substantiated it and will continue to do so.

The "average joe" who ever that may be, does not benefit from a simple, intuitively satisfying falsehood. This is as bad as trying to treat high cholesterol as a cause of heart disease instead of a symptom. It's ass backwards.

Fucking post eating, how does it work?
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Re: Calories

Unread postby willow » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:13 am

time for another TV reference :P Azmo can get this one if he checks the CBC.ca website. Im too lazy to find the name but a google search will do it.
In BC they took an aboriginal community and placed them willingly onto a strict diet based on traditional nutritional standards. Basically modern foods flushing out a balanced version of their traditional diet and it was completely contrary to government standards. IIRC they argued that it would not really be suitable to eurocanadians however it was consistent with what they had evolved to require, digest and metabolize.

I think it might be fair to argue if you want to eat 'right' you should find out what people you are genetically rooted in and mimic their traditional dietary needs. dont be fuckin with evolution :P

just my 2 cents, seems logical to me. horridly impractical but still. I must concede though that the both of you know far far far more about this subject then I do. I just know I should eat less crap *cough*coke*cough* It remains my largest source of sugar and daily carbs.... but but but the caffine is such a sublime drug... i needs it....
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Re: Calories

Unread postby willow » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:17 am

go figure, its called "My Big Fat Diet" http://www.cbc.ca/thelens/bigfatdiet/

Directed by Mary Bissell, My Big Fat Diet chronicles how the Namgis First Nation goes cold turkey and gives up sugar and junk food for a year in a diet study sponsored by Health Canada and the University of British Columbia. Through the stories of six people, it documents a medical and cultural experiment that may be the first of its kind in North America.

My Big Fat Diet, like Super Size Me, looks at the problem of obesity, through the eyes of a man who straddles two cultures, Western and First Nations. It also looks at the history and present-day status of traditional food gathering, and the link between individual health and that of the immediate environment.
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Re: Calories

Unread postby Intercourseman72 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:44 pm

That's kind of like the paleolithic diet. You don't go out and hunt your own wildebeest, but you try to eat as close nutritionally as your pre-historic ancestors would have as possible. Some changes have occurred in our abilities to metabolize some foods, lactose digestion after 18 months being a prevalent one, but the changes are not nearly as radical as our changes in diet since agriculture and animal domestication. It's a similar concept and I find that the science supports it a great deal.
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Re: Calories

Unread postby Intercourseman72 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:31 pm

So I see that your dad, Azmodan, is a skeptical guy and likes empirical evidence before believing in something. If you would like you could pay for him to fly down here and stay with me and watch me maintain my lean abdominals. I will maintain a six pack with a very specific method for not gaining fat. What I will do is drink 10-15 beers a day, smoke weed and get really stoned, eat nothing but pizza, fastfood, spaghetti and meatballs, or just whatever I feel like. I will also do this for six weeks, maybe more if your pops needs some more empirical evidence to be convinced. I am 100% sure this will work because I did this for my entire freshman year in college and still had a six pack. I saw lots of guys who drank more and ate worse than I did but still had good physiques. You could probably go to a frat house at your local university and see plenty of young adult males binging on this kind of stuff and still have good physiques.

This method is proven to work and works very well for many people. It worked for me and lots of other people around me and for a much greater variety of genetic types than you, your brother, and your father. It's as simple as just eating and drinking whatever the hell you want with little to no exercise and you can get ripped abs just like me. Oh yeah, and I guarantee that I won't sneak in tape worms into my food or secretly exercise really hard to burn off all the calories and stuff. Your dad can follow me around like an FBI agent and inspect all of my food.
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Re: Calories

Unread postby Intercourseman72 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:35 pm

Ok, I used to be a financial wreck. I drank 2 cases of beer a day, paid for premium cable, internet, had an apartment in Manhattan, gambled in Vegas every weekend, stayed at the nicest hotels in Vegas, won the lottery 2 years ago, solicited the most expensive prostitutes in Tokyo twice a week and hired a nude paint artist to paint my mansion by imprinting her body all over the walls and ceiling.

Since then, I sold my mansion and apartment, bought a decent sized 3 bedroom house, stopped watching TV and paid for decent but not great internet, stopped gambling, drank moderately, fornicated only with women who would sleep with me after 6-8 beers, opened a savings account and deposited what I had left over from winning the lottery and am now a successful millionaire.
See?
All you have to do to be a millionaire is live reasonably. It's as simple as that. For the average joe, this is great advice.
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Re: Calories

Unread postby Azmodan Kijur » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:28 am

:lol:

I was not implying that my anecdotes were evidence, but my experience has been that the calories are, indeed, king. The main point to take from my post is that for all the biological constraints and chemistry, I am still the master of my body to a fairly large extent. My body might wish to force me to gain weight, but if I don't feed it the calories necessary to do that, I defeat a very large portion of its ability to do that.

That said, I do concede that calories, while king, are not 100% of the process. Biochemistry is an important matter and may actually act to defeat attempts to get lean.

On your anecdote, I have seen the same individuals. Seemingly eat what they want. But like I found with many I know, they don't eat like that all day long. They might have a surprise piece of pizza midday, but have only a couple fries for supper. Thus the overall caloric intake during the day remains rather low. And I also concur on another point with you - it is the calories, not what you are eating. Doesn't seem to matter much if it is hamburgers or carrot sticks. If you don't overeat, then you're fine. Eat reams of fat and such and stay within the caloric limits and you're good. :)
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Re: Calories

Unread postby Intercourseman72 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:53 pm

Like I said, you are welcome to take me up on this offer.

And not only are you implying your anecdotes are evidence, you outright state that they are. Some factor(s) of your diet worked for your particular genetic makeup and now you are like, "see, it works amazingly, people should go by it". Re-read my fictional tale about finances to get the metaphor.

And oh, you've seen the same individuals I have? Have you ever seen them down cases of beer (lots of calories in beer)? The answer is no to both.
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