COKE ZERO

Paul O’Donnell (on yesterday’s nutrition tips): “If you are a Diet Coke guy, try Coke Zero. I’ll bet my subscription fee you’ll switch.”

☞ According to this, “Coke Zero is sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium (ace-k) and has zero calories. The only chemical difference between Coke Zero and Diet Coke is that Coke Zero has about half the aspartame but has more ace-k.”

So can we even taste the difference? Well, a software development team blind tested Diet Coke, Classic Coke, and Coke Zero and reports: “Adam, Brian, and I all correctly identified the three flavors of Coke. Adam and I choose Coke Zero as the best, while Brian favored Coke Classic. Tim thought Coke Zero was Coke Classic and he also thought it was the best tasting. So, Coke Zero is our big winner.”

ALMOND MILK

Kristen Eisenman: “Almond Milk is a great tasting alternative to cow milk. The Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla is great in cereal or in Rooibos Tea and only has 40 calories per cup. The Chocolate makes a great Mocha. Check it out.”

TAURUS

I love that Ford’s new Taurus is getting great reviews. I have just two quibbles. First, instead of 18mpg city / 28 mpg highway, I’d prefer a car that does twice as well, even if there aren’t 263 horses pulling it. Second, why are some of these cool safety options options?

Adaptive Cruise Control: it maintains a set speed, but also keeps a driver-defined distance from vehicles ahead, and will use active braking when necessary to slow the Taurus to maintain that distance.

Collision Warning: audible and visual alerts warn a distracted driver about a potential frontal collision and pre-arms the brakes to provide full power when the driver hits the brake pedal.

Blind Spot Monitoring: Keeps an electronic eye on a driver’s blind spots and warns drivers using an orange icon in the mirror and on the digital IP readout.

Cross Traffic Alert: Helps drivers detects oncoming traffic approaching the vehicle from the side while reversing out of a parking space.

MORE SLIME

George Mokray: “[Given your recent interest in slime], you might want to take a look at PetroAlgae (bulletin board symbol PALG). They have a combined fuel and food algae system that is beginning to get some press. If you do take a look, let me know what you think as I am considering investing a nickel.”

☞ I don’t know nearly enough to assess their prospects – which I hope are good – let alone guess whether it could possibly be worth its current $1.3 billion valuation – which I doubt. Certainly it would have been a better buy a few months ago at 25 cents than fifty times higher today at $13.

GLOBAL WARMING = LESS PRODUCTIVITY

Yes, yes, moving most of the world’s cities inland is going to be expensive . . . but here’s the other thing: we tend to get less done when it’s hot. NPR seems to be surprised by this, as if it weren’t completely obvious why tropical, torpid, sluggish, lethargic, lazy-hazy economies have underperformed brisk ones. But the study NPR reports on takes an interesting twist: it compares output of the same countries based on how hot their year was. It turns out that economic output even within the same country goes down when the temperature goes up.

But did we really need graduate degrees to figure this one out?

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