Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Microwaved Water Kills Plants - Study Finds

Hey everyone,

Some time ago I saw this post on Facebook and it irritated a part of my brain that some would say is oversensitive to these kinds of things. But ill let you decide.

Before I get started let me say that one of my biggest pet peeves is the misuse of the words “theory” and “research”. A theory is not just a guess that you base on hearsay or feelings. It is a conclusion based on careful examination of facts and evidence (don’t get me started on the misuse of those two words). Likewise research isn’t what you do when you see a post on Facebook and follow it up with a 5-minute Google search. Research is a systematic investigation to find out the facts and evidence. *1

Please see the pictures at the bottom of this post to read what was originally posted to Facebook. I will sum it up. The claim is that microwaved water will kill plants and therefore will kill you. Since this blog post will have to have several follow up blog posts I will hold off on my point-by-point criticism of the Facebook post. But I am fired up for a rant so stay tuned.

My integrity dictates that I must have an open mind. So maybe its true that microwaved water kills plants. We shall find out. Please review my procedures and correct any mistakes or make suggestions how I can do this better. I haven’t done a scientific experiment since college.

If I am wrong and microwaved water does kill plants I will be excited! But I will still be skeptical. This experiment should be done several times and repeated by others.

How can I make this experiment better?
What variables aren’t being controlled for that could affect the results?
Am I missing anything? Please criticize me.

Science! Lets Do it!

Question: Does microwaved water kill plants?

Hypothesis: I doubt that microwaved water kills plants. However heated water could kill plants.


I wish to duplicate the results of the Facebook post so I will try a few things I believe will do it.

Step 1) Six bean plants will grown to the multiple leaf stage over a few weeks. They will be watered with filtered water before the experiment begins. There will be identical soil and lighting conditions for all of the plants.

Step 2) Water plants every 2 days after the experiment begins in the following manner.

Plant A – Microwave 1 oz. of filtered tap water for 2 minutes & pour immediately around plant.
Plant B – Boil 1 oz. of filtered tap water on the stove and pour immediately around plant.
Plant C – Microwave 1 oz. of filtered tap water for 2 min and let cool for 30 min then pour around plant.
Plant D – Boil 1 oz. of filtered tap water on the stove and let cool for 30 min then pour around plant.
Plant E – Water plant with filtered tap water as it comes out of the tap half way between hot and cold.
Plant F – Water plant with 1 oz. of Red Bull fresh from the fridge. Use a new can for every watering.

Step 3) Observe which if any plants die and how quickly. Observe if the leaves or stem appear damaged, discolored or adversely affected. Observe if any of the plants grow wings.

Plant A – Will die in short order. The plant will limp over and wilt like the way cooked asparagus does. The heat will cook the plant. However 1 oz. of water may be cooled sufficiently by the soil and not harm the plant afterall. 2*
              - The heat may cause chemicals in the plastic containers to break down and that could kill the plants.
Plant B – Same as plant A.
Plant C – No adverse effects. Plant will grow as normal.
Plant D – Same as plant C.
Plant E – Same as plant C and D.
Plant F – Will grow wings. Just kidding. I have no idea what will happen. Maybe the acidic CO2 in the water will damage the plant. Maybe the sugar will cause microorganisms to grow in the soil and stifle the plants growth. Maybe the caffeine will damage the plant in unforeseen ways. Maybe the soil will filter anything bad from the Red Bull and the plant will absorb only the water.

*Please note that I am not speaking to the claim that microwaving proteins denatures them or that microwaves can break down other nutrients. Nor am I attempting to counter the claim that it would somehow be unhealthy if it were in fact true that microwaves damage nutrients in food. The Facebook post was all over the place and full of hype and fear rhetoric. There is too much to handle in one post.

* I am not going to speak to the issue that chemicals like fluoride and chlorine present in the tap water may be bad for plants. The same water is used for all 6 plants so the chemicals present in the water is a controlled variable.

*1 I acknowledge that qualifications and credentials count in science. Since I don’t have any feel free to discount this entire endeavor. Perhaps it is best to ask a real scientist at a university or a lab to plan and carry out an experiment to answer this question.

*2 Since different sized containers are being used this is a problem with the experiment.  Larger volumes of soil may cool the water better and may filter out so called “radiolytic compounds”. Furthermore; it is my understanding that when water is broken down by radiation it forms O2, O3 and H2 gasses which then reform back into water or dissolve into the atmosphere. Either way those gasses shouldn’t cause harm to the plants. But to control this as best I can I will use the same sized containers for Plant A & B and the same but different sized container for Plants C & D. Plants E and F will not be the same sized containers.


Thursday, 18 July 2013

5 Things To Get More Sleep

Hey everyone,

Today I was thinking about the things I need to survive and I put them on a scale of urgency. Air is obviously is the most urgent thing I need to survive. I can only live for a few minutes without it. Then comes water at possibly surviving a few days without. Then sleep is the next urgent as I can probably survive a week or so without it (if being a usless human being counts as being surviving. Then food, I have been told, isn’t absolutely necessary for survival for several weeks.

The surprising thing for me is that sleep is on that list. I came to this realization recently after hearing something about a sleep study on tv. (Unfortunately I am unable to find the study). But apparently sleep disorders are chronic in society and contribute to many problems like weight gain, depression and a whole bunch of diseases like cancer and heart disease. (It seems like everything causes those things.)

So, since sleep is so important to overall health and since I am a health nut of sorts; owning a fitness studio and all; I have decided I am going to start taking some easy steps to get more sleep.

1)  Phone goes into airplane mode at 9:30pm. I am setting the alarm to ring at 9 so I have some time to finish all my social-media-time-wasting.

2)   Since I can’t sleep if I am hot and sweaty I am going to try taking a cold shower before bed.

3)   I am going to try to actively clear my mind BEFORE laying down. So many thoughts spiral around at bedtime its amazing I fall asleep at all!

4)   I am not going to eat any high glycemic foods before bed. Actually I am going to avoid eating anything before bed.

5)   I am going to wake up at the same time every morning. As much as I love to sleep in it really messes up my sleep cycles.

If you follow me on twitter @CityMotionRD you may have seen my tweets about turning my phone off at 9:30 so this wont be news to you. But if you haven’t this is why I don’t respond past that time ANYMORE! This also goes for any computer time, tv watching or other distracting electronic stuff. The vice of staying up late and poking around on social media is causing me to loose sleep. I am chronically tired and get bouts of anxiety that I know are because I don’t sleep enough.

So here goes!

What are your thoughts?

What do you do to get more sleep?

What do you think about #2 "cold showers"?


The other day Krystal invited her mom and sister over and we were all sitting in the living room and I just fell asleep in my easy chair. So I am hoping that getting more sleep will curb my afternoon drowsiness and give me more energy. Its really bad PR to the in-laws when I just pass out in front of them!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Why I Wash My Dishes By HAND!

Hey Everyone,

We all have the same problem. Dishes pile up everyday! It never ends! But while most modern people use their dishwashing machines I prefer not to! Let me tell you why; but first let me tell you about the connection between dishwashing machines and feminism.

You see dishwashing machines and many other appliances like washing machines and electric ovens, have freed up time for women! It wasn’t that long ago when women did all the cooking and cleaning! Those household tasks along with the other stereotypical gender roles would consume a woman’s entire day, week and life! I am aware of how these machines have brought women out of subservient roles and more in line with equality in society. But feminism isn’t what I am here to talk about.

I am a family man with 4 kids. I have a full time job and my better half Krystal is the president of City Motion Fitness in Red Deer. Our family is probably no different from any other in that we pile up dishes to the ceiling every day! But why do I prefer to wash them by hand? My habit in the kitchen is to clean as I cook. Why run the dishwasher for items that I can quickly rinse clean? My philosophy is to leave the kitchen cleaner when I am done cooking than when I started. Often I will have all the dishes done right around the time that supper is served.

Here are 4 reasons I prefer to wash dishes by hand:

1) My dishwashing machine is noisy and I hate listening to it when I just want to relax. My house is already Zen-Free thanks to kids shouting and slamming doors; I don’t need to add to the disarray. I can get my dishes done in half the time with no noise! Unless I crank the stereo…which I have been known to do!

2) Next, I am mindful of energy consumption. I live in Alberta and somewhere there is a coal burning plant just puking out the smoke so I can live the modern life. For this reason I don’t leave any appliances on and I turn off the lights when I am not in the room. I could write a 10 page post sustainability. But suffice it to say that dishwashers use a lot of energy. By choosing to wash by hand I am lowering my carbon footprint.

3) Another reason is I actually get my dishes clean! I have a brand new Whirrlpool dishwasher and it never fails to leave a few dishes dirty. So rather than upping the mode from light to heavy I just grab a scrub pad and in no time my man hands have done the job that a coal powered chemical squirting noise machine couldn’t do in an hour!

4) Finally I mindfully seek discomfort to enhance my gratitude in life. Think about it. Do you get all flustered when there is a slight discomfort in your life? We rush and rush and demand all material pleasures right here right now. For me dishwashing by hand slows down my life. It makes me more aware of all the wonderful things in my life and I am grateful! Also I hope that I am setting an example for my kids to not be selfish and inpatient. For more conversation I recommend reading Dan Ouwehand's Post titled "First World Problems, and the Spoiled Rich Kids Who Have Them: Us."

These are the reasons that make me a dishwashing by hand believer. What are your reasons for either side?


I remember when I first met krystal. She was a single mom with two boys and a full time job and she didn’t have a dishwasher! I would come over to her house and clean her dishes for her. She often was amazed that I could clean them all so fast! My man hands are perfect for rapid and thorough dishwashing!