History of Computer Animation

What is Jurassic Park, Titanic, Godzilla and other blockbuster movies without computer animation? They will surely turn out to be not as good as we have seen them in the big screen. Computer animation has greatly revolutionized the movie industry.

In computer animation, animated moving images are generated using computer graphics, normally in 3D but 2D graphics are still widely used for low-bandwidth stylistic and faster renderings. The computer animation that is being used today is essentially a modern version of the traditional animation process that uses frame-by-frame 2D illustrations and 3D models. However, since computer is used in the process, generated images are more controllable. Filmmakers greatly benefit from this technology because they no longer have to hire extras to shoot crowd scenes or to construct miniatures and use props for effect shots. Computer animation also allows for the creation of images that are not feasible using traditional technologies.

The history of computer animation dates back in the early 1940s when various researches and experiments in computer graphics were conducted. One of them was John Whitney. However, it was only in the early 1960s when this technology has been fully explored because of the introduction of digital computers. By that time, computer animation was mainly used for engineering, scientific and research purposes. It was only in the mid-1960s when computer animation started to be used for artistic experimentation and then in the mid-1970s when it started to be recognized in the public media. Most of the early computer animations were produced at Bell Telephone Laboratories and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Much of the early computer animations used two-dimensional imagery. It later on evolved into three-dimensional realism. It was in the late 1980s when photo-realistic 3D images started to appear in movies. By the mid-1990s, it has become so advanced that it was already possible to create an entire movie out of 3D animation.

One of the earliest movies that used computer animation was Futureworld which was released in 1976. It was a sequel to the movie Westworld which features a society where humans and robots live together. Futureworld used 3D imagery, featuring a computer-generated face and hands created by Fred Parke and Edwin Catmull who both graduated from the University of Utah. But it was not until 1995 when the first full-length computer animated film was released, which was Pixar’s Toy Story. It was a groundbreaking movie and was the start of many other movies that were fully computer-animated. And the most recent blockbuster movies like Shrek 2, Avatar, Toy Story 3, and Cars 2, among others are all a product of computer animation.

Currently, any development in the technologies used in computer animation is presented in the annual SIGGRAPH conference. It is a gathering that tackles on interactive techniques and computer graphics and is attended by thousands of participants.

Computer animation plays an important role in the film industry. Knowing its history will let you understand how this technology evolved. And it allows you to explore many other possibilities using this creative technology.

3D Animation Simplified

Do you want to know what I do for a living? Well I’m a certified freelance 3D animator, and dare I say a good one at that. With all the repeat projects and the permanent ones that are under my portfolio, coupled with the long list of companies that always utilize my services, convince me of the general quality of my work. Being nice and approachable also helps as who wouldn’t like that.

Your next question probably is going to be on what particular things do I usually work on and what the heck is a 3D animator? Well, our work, to put it simply, is all about imagination and the ways we put it into a tangible object, say a movie or a short film, but it’s not limited to those things and the possible uses of 3D animation is virtually endless, and I think, that as advance as it is now, we are only barely scratching the surface of it’s possible uses.

A 3D animator makes imaginary worlds appear so real that you would say it’s not anymore the drawings and sketches that they really are. We make images stand up and move around backgrounds that also move as well. Lighting, shadows, motion, movement are always considered and scrutinized very carefully with every frame so that we can make the make-believe believable. We try our very best to make fictional things become reality to whoever sees them.

So you can very well see the great effort we put into each and every one of our projects, and sometimes it gets the better of us and in fact, the attrition rate among our ranks is very high. Back problems, especially the lower left back pain variety is very prevalent, usually caused by sitting too much and the withholding going to the bathroom, are kind of inevitable because we really just can’t leave our work whenever we wanted to.

Me for example, I have been experiencing a sort of right side back pain on and off these past couple of weeks. One time it got so painful that I checked with a doctor about it, expecting to hear something that I will be regretful of. I’ve done my research and saw several nasty diseases like UTI, lumbar muscle strain, slipped disc and gallbladder problems to name a few, and all the doctors got to do now is pick among them, I just really need to know which.

My diagnosis was sciatica, which seems to be the result of improper posture, especially during sitting, which I also tend to do a lot of when I am working. So I’m basically flummoxed with my situation. Maybe I should start practicing my seating properly with a straight back and stuff. It’s like grade school all over again.

So the next time you watch any 3D animated film, keep in mind the hard work and long hours that was invested doing it. And if you are really interested in being one of us, do continue with your dream and persevere. The rewards are truly worth it.

Work, Work, Work

I was commissioned to do a short animation piece that tackles the various nuances, of all the things, nodular acne. Why would anyone do that I thought, much less pay for one. But I’m not one to complain as it is me one who is on the receiving end of the payment and their money is as good as anyone’s last time I looked. Besides, I need several new pairs of shoes as my old ones I can’t use anymore, thanks to my bunions and stuff. So let’s just say the money would be very welcome and will eventually be put to good use.

So the problem is on how will I portray nodular acne, without the animation sequence becoming some sort of an alien horror flick? Hmm. Would I portray it as some sort of character that comes out of the skin like a mascot or something? Would I include it in a story, or make a story about how it appears? Or maybe I’ll just do it in such a way that it will look like an infomercial kind of animation sequence or something like that. Got to check with the customer first to make sure of how he wanted it portrayed.

Nodular acnes are those pimples that are particularly big and very painful to deal with. They start as that painful bump on your face that you seem to wonder of where they came from, or of how you managed to get it. It affects several layers of your skin and hurts very much. They grow mostly on the face and body, and are responsible for the bad rap that pimples commonly possess, as they are the ones that usually leave behind unsightly scars and pockmarks on the face.

I remember having them not so long ago in my teens. I used to be afraid of going out when I had them, as I am sure I wouldn’t hear the end of it from my knucklehead friends. I used to pick at it at first, trying hard to squeeze it out, but it won’t, and all I did was to worsen it. I’m glad that I didn’t carry much of the holes in my face when I grew up to be an adult, else I wouldn’t be this handsome, haha.

I learned how to deal with them the hard way and only after many tries. It only took a warm towel over the face to hasten its ripening then just leaving it alone did the trick. I thought that it died of loneliness or something as I never did pay any attention to it unlike the first times I had them.

Well back to reality for me, had enough reminiscing for the day as I remember that I still have shoes to buy, so back to work. Maybe I’ll do a love story animation wherein Mr. Acne died in the end, but not without exploding and leaving a huge crater first. Now that would be a sight.

Seesaw Weight

My job is making me really fat. So fat that today I am having such pretty hard time picking things up from the floor, which really was not the case just last year. I am feeling a little bit sluggish with my movements and either the dry cleaning service is doing something bad with my clothes, as they seem to be shrinking, or I am really getting bigger. I believe the latter is more correct if we were to base it from what my friends say about me, and believe me they are not the least flattering.

Another thing that proves my case is the stretch marks located in various parts of my body. I remember having tons of them especially in the belly area and also in the flaps on my arms. I was fat, then I became thin again in the middle part of last year, and if I remember it correctly, it was due to the fitness craze I got myself into that time, as it was a pretty much popular thing back then and I sort of joined the bandwagon. I also went to the wedding of my sister and I had to trim down if I was to fit into the tux given to me.

I used to crash diet during those times and should’ve known I couldn’t keep it up for long as I gained all the weight back in a fraction of the time I spent losing it, probably gained much more than I lost. That rollercoaster weight loss did bring chaos to my body as I suffered from a variety of illness, least of which was not a few bouts of diarrhea and general weakness in my body. That was also the time I grew my very own farm of stretch marks.

My body was fine to begin with, and then I gained weight and had to lose it again in a short period of time. Such rapid expansion and contraction didn’t give the skin on my body the proper time to heal itself, which thereby caused stretch marks to develop on areas that experienced the most movement. Instead of worrying about losing weight, my thoughts then went into how to remove stretch marks, and believe me I did search online and found this site gotstretchmarks.net.

Several of the most common things I saw that are used to fight stretch marks were lotions and creams, particularly Vitamin E oil, moisturizers, egg oil, Tretinoin, Retin-A, Lextrin, glycolid acid and many other manufactured things. Of course there were also the use of exercise to re-stretch the offending stretch marks as well as surgeries like the tummy tuck, abdominoplasty and the use of lasers for treatment. There is even the tattoo over stretch marks route, for those people who are desperate enough to do such procedures.

But unfortunately, the one thing that worked best for me with regards to stretch marks and it removal is, sadly getting fat again. Yep. Unfortunately that’s what it took to at least even out those ridges in my belly, and I didn’t have to do anything for it as it just occurred matter-of-factly. I’ve somewhat came full circle and I’m the least bit excited on the ride developing in front of me. I’m not ready for the next round.

Meet my New Friend, Mr. Bunion

I recently went to my doctor to get my left foot checked as some kind of growth developed there. It’s kind of a swelling at first, but hardened like the skin around it after a few days. It’s also painful to the touch that I haven’t worn any shoes since the day it appeared, good thing I haven’t disposed of the flip flops from my last vacation else I’d be going barefoot.

The problem started when I bought myself a new pair of shoes that I would use during my morning exercise, yes I started jogging again and it feels great. The shoes were not exactly cheap but were so very nice looking that I bought them instantly. Of course I did try them on before buying, and even though they were a little bit tight on the sides, I just thought they would later expand when I put them to good use. Apparently I was wrong.

After three uses, the shoes never did expand on its own instead they seem to tighten up more around my toes. Never knew that shoes would shrink like clothes when it becomes wet or something. But ever the hopeful creature I was, I continued wearing them every morning, them being very expensive did not help either. But that’s until after I couldn’t really get them off one morning after a particularly long jogging session with a friend of mine.

I tried to get my shoes off but really can’t as it was too painful to do so. It was on the right side of my left foot, pinky finger side that is, and it took my friend yanking it while I was not looking, to eventually get it off. There on the side was a visibly red swelling and very much painful too that I never wore the shoes back again that day, contenting myself to walk back to the house with only one shoe. Of course my friend laughed all the way back to our house, but that’s really what friends are for right?

The doctor said I got myself tailors bunion, like these, from the wearing of those ill-fitting, expensive shoes of mine. I wondered of what causes bunions really, and is it that easy to get them? So I asked my doctor who then explained to me that upon seeing my foot, he knew right away I had preexisting conditions for bunion formation. He also asked if anybody in my family has it, which I answered in the affirmative, as according to him, bunions are also hereditary.

So I guess I really have bunions. I was put under ice and pain reliever therapy, that is, I was to put ice and take pain relievers whenever it acts up again. The doctor strongly recommended against using the new shoes again as it was them that exacerbated my situation. Well what else can I really do but obey. I sometimes think I’m jinxed with regards to exercising as something always comes up when I do it. We’ll see next time.

A Day at the Beach

Have you ever had sunburn so bad that you feel like crawling out of your skin? Well I did a couple of days ago and to say that I learned my lesson well would be a huge understatement, as I would never ever do again what I did that day. I hope.

It being summer and all, the genius in me decided to go to the beach and take a little sun on a whim. I decided it was perfectly alright to go, even if I haven’t had any sunscreen available. I just got a towel and drove to the beach. I was wearing Hawaiian shorts that time by the way. So I was with no food, no umbrella, no clothes, nothing. Besides, it’s not on a whim anymore if I prepared for it, I told myself. So off to the beach I went with my towel.

I arrived at the beach expecting a bright sunny day but all I saw were dark clouds hovering all over the place. So I sat near an old couple thinking I should wait this one out and that the sun would come out eventually, its summer right?

An hour passed and still no sun in sight. The elderly gentleman on my right was already sleeping and his wife was reading a book. A cool wind was blowing and the skies were overcast so I decided that it’d be great if I took a nap while waiting for the sun to come out. I was not going anywhere until I got my sun, so I unfurled my towel neatly, stretched my body belly down, and slept I did.

I woke up with a gentle nudge from the old man who said that they were about to leave and that vinegar for sunburn works wonders, he added. Half awake, I smiled and waved goodbye at them. I kept thinking about what the old man said about sunburn and thought that maybe it was just a dream or something. I was about to go back to sleep but I felt a little hot so I turned.

I turned to a light so bright it almost blinded me. It’s like the heavens opened up and the angels were coming to get me or something. But I felt really hot, is heaven this hot? Not only that, I didn’t really managed to do a full turn as my back won’t allow me to. In fact I can’t really move without some part of my body screaming in pain. I looked at my watch and was shocked that I’ve been sleeping for almost two and a half hours.

I slept more than two hours under the sun, two hours cooking my back to a tender crisp, how did I not wake up from all that heat? Well done, that’s how my back was as second degree sunburn, similar to what is describe here, seemed to be the order of the day. I got up fearful of my car and of how am I going to drive home in that condition. The whole of my back down to the back of my legs were hurting. How am I going to get myself home?

But I did make it home. That day I will remember for a long time as it was also the day I managed to break my cursing record. I was spewing obscenities non-stop on my drive home that it would make Eminem shy. I am not going to the beach in the near future and that I am very sure of.

Give Respect, Even if Others Do Not

I have always been curious about what really makes people tick, what sets them off, what makes them tame and maybe also everything in between if possible. Maybe it’s also human nature to want to know about such things, but I really don’t know. Maybe the big brother in me is beginning to rear its somewhat snooping head. Either that or I have too much time on my hand, probably the latter sums up much of it.

One thing that fascinates me no end is relationships, especially the ones between two people of opposite sex. Many manuals and instruction sheets have been written about it, but still there are some that can’t quite get it down. Maybe luck is really not on their side or something. Fortunately they are of the minority else we would not have enough people to populate the Earth, now we don’t really want that, do we.

Everyone enters into a relationship with the good of the other party, as well as his own, in mind. The problem arises when one’s needs get the better of the other and no common ground is reached. Either no one wants to sacrifice or someone really feels the urge to disengage, maybe due to some things that happened that are particularly not of their liking.

Either someone is insecure about something in their partnership, say, maybe trust was lost, or maybe there is a general sense of negativity in the union that one of the involved, thinks of eventually breaking free and does things to that end, even if his intention was not to show such, but thoughts usually translate into actions without us being aware of them, so I guess that’s that. These kinds of things breed contempt inside a person and the corresponding relationship anxiety between the pair is the beginning of the end of the relationship if the problem is not acknowledged or tackled early.

I’m afraid that is the extent of my knowledge about the thing, in fact my head hurts just thinking about it. Do we really need to delve deeper into that? I don’t think so as it is such a pretty simple thing if you think about it. You do good things and everything is well, you deviate from what is expected and everything goes south from there, kind of like most things in our world.

So they begin to take supplements for anxiety(source:http://www.treatmyanxiety.net), take prescription drugs, they cry a lot, and sometimes, they begin to drink themselves silly. Well I really hate to be them but that’s life happening, it’s natural to be that way. I’m very glad I never had to experience separation with regards to relationships and such. The very first relationship I found myself in, kind of stuck and I only had one love and we’re still together today. Now how’s that for luck?

The only advice I could give you with regards to entering into a relationship, is to learn to be respectful of everything all the time. It should work on any kind of relationship, even already troubled ones. You should try it sometimes.

What I Feel about Rabbits

The rabbit, an inconspicuous little animal that you think you really know about but eventually rarely see. Where are they usually? Are they native to our land and have you seen one already, not counting the ones on television or the internet that is. You seem to really know what rabbits are, their likes and what-have-you, but have you seen one in person? Have you held one lately? I guess not, so how come do we have this familiarity with it?

I have asked myself that question after doing the drawings for one that is supposed to be included in an animation project that I have been commissioned to do. My thinking about it literally stopped the pencil in my hand from moving any further, I really had to think about it. Do I know rabbits good enough to justifiably draw it as close to being natural as possible? Can people tell that I didn’t have the chance to see a live rabbit in person up to now? Is it important?

I remembered Bugs Bunny, Roger Rabbit, the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, the Energizer Bunny, and heck I even knew of the killer rabbit of Caerbannog, yes I saw that film forgive me, and who wouldn’t know about the Turtle and the Hare, your childhood is not very good if you haven’t heard that one. They may all be from several bunny breeds, as their different looks may prove, but they are all rabbits still.

Rabbits seem to be as mainstream as dogs and cats are, and you really can see them everywhere, either an image, a depiction, or a description of them somewhere, somehow. I also remember a cereal I used to eat when I was younger that has a rabbit on its label, I think it was called Trix or something, made me think of why use a rabbit instead of the more popular dog or even the usual cat while we’re at it.

Such the mystique the rabbit has on me that I even know of several bunny facts, even if I still haven’t had the chance to meet one in person. Did you know that rabbits don’t sweat? They just can’t, they instead use their big ears to regulate their body temperature and stuff. Or the fact that rabbits can see things behind them without even turning a bit? Unfortunately though, they have a blind spot in front of them.

Rabbit are also neither a day animal nor nocturnal, but they are crepuscular, which means they are more active during the times of dusk and dawn, talk about weird. And yes, rabbits are little baby factories capable of producing of up to ten little bunnies every month. Now imagine leaving a male and a female rabbit in the wild and returning a year later. You would eventually go back to a sea of rabbits that would truly be a site to behold, if not to fear that is.

I could go on and on with this rabbit thing, just don’t ask me of how it feels to hold one as I have yet to do that. I don’t know really, maybe it is both in the rabbit’s and my fate that we would not get to see each other in person up to now. Maybe in the near future that would change. Here’s to hoping that it would not happen soon.

Started to Exercise Again

I had tingling feet when I woke up this morning. It’s really not on both of them and just the left one seems to be acting strangely. I purposely tried to get out of bed early this day as it was to be the second day that I will go jogging. Yep, I just started what I have been planning for a long time, to exercise and try to lose some weight.

I’m not getting any younger and the tire on my belly seems to be inflating somehow and that made me a little bit conscious of myself. I didn’t mind it really but it’s beginning to be more visible now and my clothes are shrinking because of it. I know you had to keep these sorts of things checked as it may affect your health, so I decided to do something about it.

The first day was very tiring to say the least. I haven’t walked a lot lately and there I was, trying to jog around the block. I was drenched with sweat even before I had started, probably because of anticipation of the task at hand, and you could very well imagine what came next. I was panting so hard, I would’ve made any dog jealous and it took about two hours’ worth of alternately walking, jogging and sitting to finish the short distance.

I was very much exhausted but was at the same time also very happy and proud of myself for doing it. The occasion would’ve been much more glorious if I hadn’t stepped rather awkwardly on that forsaken rock on my way home. I sort of twisted my ankle a bit but never thought much about it until later that afternoon when it began to swell a little. I must have had a sprained foot or something similar.

I remembered an old remedy that my mom used to do on us when we were little and it involved gently rolling your feet on a bottle continuously to somehow ease the pain from these kinds of injuries. There was nothing to lose if I tried so I went ahead and did it.

I was pleasantly surprised that it did ease the pain a lot when I did it, and although it hurts pretty much in the beginning, the effort was worth it. The swelling eventually subsided and only a slight stiffness in the area remained. Guess you could say that old remedies do have some truth behind them as they do really work. I just took some pain reliever to help with the remaining pain and hoped for the best.

I eventually decided to forego jogging altogether for some rest as I was afraid I might worsen the sprain if I ran on it on such short notice. I just promised myself to continue my jogging again once this thing resolves itself somehow. I did go back to bed and slept like a baby. Maybe because I was so tired from yesterdays adventure and my muscles are still aching because of it. Anyways, I’m just happy I got to start exercising.

Mumbo INFP INFJ Jumbo

I recently came across an article which describes several types of people according to their preferences and views of things. It’s called the Myers-Briggs personality type pairing and it seeks to find which types of people may be attracted or compatible to which types of personality and vice versa.

The basic premise of the pairings is that besides the common things that attracts us to each other like physical traits, race, religion, educational level, and age among other things, there is also this powerful aspect of attraction that makes relationships last longer. It is the attraction of two human beings that is based on personality types.

Personality type dictates what a person would generally do in any given situation, at any given place and at all times. It is their core beliefs and tendencies which enable them to respond to any stimulus from the outside world in their own way, detached from what others may think and may or may not conform to the norm.

Two such examples of partnership between personality types are the INFJ relationship and the INFP relationships. INFJ (introversion, intuition, feeling, judging) people are typically caring and sensitive kinds of partners who gives their all to show what they feel to the ones they love. Although they may tend to be sort of a general perfectionist, they are very sincere to a fault and very dedicated to do everything possible, to keep the relationship going.

INFP (introversion, intuition, feeling, perception) people on the other hand are the dreamers and the idealist who are driven with a strong sense of good and bad. They always try to find the meaning of things and love their partners unconditionally, just not conventionally as they always seem to do things imaginatively and indirectly. INFP’s are generally a people’s kind of person but may not look it, as they always keep their thoughts to themselves.

So what does this really mean for us lowly mortals, who generally just dive into the next relationship available to us and don’t really know if it will be good or bad for us? Well, I don’t really know either and your guess is as good as mine. Last I heard relationships were undecipherable things on what really makes it work. And every people entering it are at the mercy of the fates that we generally have no control of whatsoever.

I may be biased about it, probably because I have been a victim of sorts with regards to this relationship thing. Maybe I should really learn about this personality type pairing thing so that I would have a fair chance of landing my fair lady sometime soon. Nah, I think this is just another way to muddle things up. When you’re in a relationship, you really don’t have time to think about these things right? Maybe in the beginning yes, but when you’re already knee deep in one, you just sort of wing it from there or something. It does take a great amount of effort and dedication to make one work out. But I think it’s eventually still up to the fates to decide.

My Cat

For lack of better things to do let’s talk about cats today, cats and everything about them that I can think of. Now that can be a hard thing depending on which side of the fence you are in right now. Cats, you either love them or hate them, there is no in between, there is no gray area, only black and white. Me? I think I can consider myself on the right side of the force this time, and to quote a famous Yoda saying which can also be translated with people’s love for cats or the lack thereof, “Do or do not, there is no try”.

So what is it about cats that polarize people into either loving them to bits, or hating them to the point of ridiculousness? Maybe it has got something to do with the cat’s penchant of being aloof, of not minding anything at all besides itself, even to its owners who does not seem to mind and still love them. I still love them, even if it takes countless hours of petting and a box full of their favorite food just to get their attention.

I don’t know, maybe it’s their let go attitude that attracts me to them. They’re just there in the corner, accompanying me when I’m doing my work, not bothering or anything, they are just there, like the lamp or the unmoving cabinet. It somehow assures me that I’m not alone and that there’s someone there with me. Sometimes I get a bonus and she will sit on my lap for lack of better things to do. Sometimes she gets between my legs and purrs herself to sleep. It’s the little things like that which I like most.

I would have gotten my hands on a new cat if not for the strange emotional parting I suffered with the old one. Her name was Chelsea and she was with me for five years before her untimely demise. I got her, or she got me actually, already full grown. She had the gall to scratch on my workroom window in our house while I was there doing my work, maybe the cold was strong enough to drive her into doing such “uncatly” thing. I eventually relented and let her in and that started our relationship.

Five years with nary an eventful time to speak of, she is just there in the corner, watching me intently or something. Sometimes I think that she is only resting her tired old body from years of straying, which would’ve been a really hard thing even to cats. Maybe she is sick with something. Roundworms in cats are typical to strays like her who have no access to any healthcare.

She is listless most of the time, maybe because she is fat or just plain old. I’ve heard that pancreatitis in cats is the leading cause of death in cats. Maybe she had it as I have noticed something different with her during her last days with me. She rarely ate and her breathing was fast and hard, she was lethargic and was also looking dehydrated, all classic signs of pancreatitis. I would’ve helped her if I knew she was sick but she didn’t come home the next day. I kept waiting for a week but still no cat to be heard of. Typical of her that even in death, she chose not to be bothered.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Last week I had red bumps all over my body for three straight days, not only that, it was also accompanied by constant sneezing. It was an event which really freaked me out totally and you would freak out too if you happen to see me during those days. They are no ordinary bumps and they were more close to welts than bumps really, as they are elongated red swellings, the kind you might have when you got yourself whipped or something.

It came from out of nowhere and I just noticed them when I scratched on my forearm as it felt somewhat itchy. After some vigorous scratching, the kind I always do the first time something itches so that it won’t anymore, I continued with my work. My attention was veritably glued to the computer monitor as the job at hand was sort of intricate that I didn’t notice that my whole arm was already covered with red blotches, not only my arms but my body as well.

I can’t remember what caused it and I was never allergic to anything before this episode. I pride myself on being made of sturdy stuff and am resistant to most any common diseases, but it seems that isn’t true anymore. I woke up, readied myself for work, drank coffee and toast, came to the office, worked hard, ate only corn during lunch as the work I’m doing needed almost all my attention, finished the item, rested a little while reviewing the finished animation and now this. What? Am I allergic to corn now? Are these things supposed to be some kind of corn allergy symptoms? I can’t remember for the life of me, me being allergic to corn, ever in my entire life.

The explanation coming from the doctor was somewhat vague to me, probably because it is only now that I’ve heard of this thing or maybe I was in denial or something, but in gist, he said that what was happening to me was in fact “leaky gut syndrome”.

He said that I somehow disrupted the balance of beneficial bacteria in my digestive tract, of all places why there I thought. He added that it is usually caused by someone being on birth control pills, taken antibiotics for a time, or has been habitually eating processed foods. Well I’m not on the pill or been taking antibiotics, so maybe it’s the third I am guilty of.

The doctor explained that when there is no balance in the digestive tract, yeast begins to grow unabated, which thereby undermines the immune system that has the digestive system as its base. The yeast outbreak eventually creates perforations in the intestines allowing yeast and some other forms of toxins to get into the bloodstream, thereby starting allergic reactions, some, even to substances that you once weren’t allergic to before.

Maybe some weird form of yeast allergy or something and the doctor told me to lay off processed foods for a while or risk compromising my immune system further. I think I’m sort of very inclined to follow his advice this time.

Warning Signs that you Should Not Take for Granted

Sitting down for long periods of time is dangerous to your health. Besides pooling the fats into your waistline adding unwanted girth to it, studies say that sitting down indefinitely are being linked to lower levels of good cholesterol as well as slower metabolic functions and susceptibility to infections and swelling. We all know that all these items are related to, and eventually lead to certain poor health in general and heart problems in particular.

Having a job that requires you to be seated most, if not all, of the time, I think is more hazardous than having a job that sees you standing regularly. When you are sitting for long periods of time, you are prone to several kinds of situational illnesses that even if you are just there, doing nothing in particular, it will happen to you.

I’m not telling you these things just because of a whim or something trivial in nature. I’m telling you this as a warning of sorts. You see I have a friend who is also into animations and films, who also recently experienced his third heart attack in as many years. Good thing for him as the two previous ones were of the mild variety, leaving him virtually untouched save for some minor inconveniences like the on again and off again pain in right arm and the bouts of forgetfulness that sometimes takes the better of him, but the third one really got him good as it left the right side of his body paralyzed. Now he can’t really do the things he used to do, least of all doing animation which was also his life’s passion.

Last time I talked with him, he kept complaining of his numbness in left arm problem and how it makes it difficult to do his job properly. It usually requires precision movements among his two hands and arms just to do a frame of animation, what more an entire feature film of it, he really had a hard time with that. I suggested he lay low for a while and rest, but his gung-ho attitude to his work really made that impossible. His diet also didn’t help.

Numbness in the left arm usually signals irritation, damage or compression of nerves most likely in the vertebrae located in the neck area, but in his case, it can also be a sign of latent heart problems, as what we had found out later. He said that it started as a little numbness in the left arm which kind of radiated up until his elbow; he felt no pain in his heart only a feeling of great pressure in the middle part of his chest, he felt labored in his breathing and the next thing he knew, he was already lying in a hospital bed.

It’s his third time with that so probably he’ll take much better care of himself right now. He will always be reminded of that once he looks at his limp left arm hanging taut beside him.

Smoking Kills

I have been trying mightily hard to convince my friend to finally quit his smoking addiction. I keep telling him that smoking is really bad for his health and although he knows it, he seems incapable of stopping. Either he does not really want to stop or smoking has finally gotten control over him. He said that he already tried it many times but ultimately failed in each and every one of them. He said that every time he tried to quit, things just seem to always push him towards smoking again, be it seeing an ashtray or a cigarette lighter lying around, it never fails to remind him of the kind of rush and feeling that only smoking cigarettes can brings to him.

I have enumerated to him all the disadvantages of being a smoker. From all the sickness that he is bound to get, to the little things like how much he can save if he’s not buying cigarettes, or the effects of secondhand smoke to his family, especially his children who are still little. Never mind him being a bad example to his young ones who might think that smoking is good just because dad does it or something like that, yet he still persist on his ways. Maybe smoking is really that addictive that he sacrifices all of these things for a puff of smoke.

Imagine the surprise I got last week when we met during a meeting for an animation project for which we are both contributors. I didn’t notice it immediately, not until we had a chance to talk after a brief break in the middle of the presentation. He always smoked outside during these intermissions, but today I was glad he didn’t. I teased him about it and asked of when did he finally quit, and what made him do it.

He said his doctor one day gave him a choice between bronchitis vs. pneumonia, after he consulted with the doctor with regards to his chronic cough, which doesn’t seem to stop with whatever medicine he takes for it. The doctor then stern-faced said to him that he has the former of the two, and although it’s still mild in form, also based of his lab tests and x-rays, might eventually get chronic if he still doesn’t kick his habit immediately.

Thinking about his family and their future together, he got really scared and finally decided to quit altogether. He said it was apocalyptically hard the first couple of days and he almost went mad from quitting. Sleeping offered no solace as his dreams were always about smoking and stuff and his terrible coughing did not help either. But he did manage to quit eventually with the help of his family, particularly his wife who was the strong one, during his down days.

Now, a couple of months since he last smoked, he looks like a changed man. He even gained a lot of weight from what he says is him recovering his sense of taste back. His bronchitis seems to have receded from what he says as alternative bronchitis remedies that his doctor had devised for him. Items like ginger, garlic, turmeric, eucalyptus oil, salt water and honey to name a few, are always given a slot in every meal and its working great for him. He says that he has no trouble breathing now and that his cough has also vanished.

I congratulated him for his momentous choice and it is also such good feeling, knowing that he finally realized the error of his ways. I just hope other smokers realize the many mistakes that they are making right now, hopefully before it’s too late.