Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Prayers for Joshua

I have never met this little guy. Maybe I met one or both of the parents I don't know. Graham and Myrna have been dear friends for the last 13 years. Breaks your heart to read this. This is not a chain letter . Do not forward or anything. Just a little prayer every time you think of this will be fine. I read the parents plea and they are leaving it to God's will. Their faith is strong. People like that deserve our thoughts and prayers at this very trying time .


Hi everybody,

After a couple of weeks of ups and downs for Joshua, it had seemed he was slowly starting to improve but today a series of serious setbacks have left Joshua in gravely serious condition. Below is a letter from his Mom and Dad to go to everybody who has been praying for Joshua. He and his parents desperately need our prayers and any other sacrifices we can make for them. Thank you everybody for your faithful prayers.

Graham and Myrna

Here’s the letter from Brenda and Arnel, Josh’s Mom and Dad


We received disheartening news today. The past few days, Joshua has been stable and it seemed that his lungs were showing some improvement. They tried to wean Joshua off the life support machine on Monday but it was unsuccessful. When they reduced the blood flows from the machine to allow Joshua to oxygenate his blood by himself, he couldn't cope. This is due partly to the pulmonary hypertension that Joshua developed and mostly because the lung tissue is still diseased. They put Joshua through a CT scan today and it showed that there are some improvement in his right lung but the left lung showed air pockets in all the wrong places. They thought that his left lung was improving because his X-rays showed that there was air entry when there was none before. However, the CT scan showed that even the little air pressure from the ventilator that they were giving Josh to keep his lungs open, has torn through his left lung. The doctor who told us this news says that he is losing hope that Josh will be able to get off the machine. They have exhausted whatever they can do to treat his lungs. They will give him seven days on ECMO to wait and see again, if his lungs will heal itself. Today would be his 25th day on the machine. The longer he is on the machine, the more likely complications will arise.

These next seven days are crucial. If a complication arise, ie. bleeding or infection, they might have to take Joshua off the machine and given that his lungs are not well, yet, he will not likely survive. If after seven days, he remains stable and without complications, then the doctors will reassess what to do next. Maybe they'll leave him on the machine again, maybe his lungs are strong enough to be weaned off the machine again. Only God knows. We are still hoping that God will intervene. He can heal Josh, if he wills it. We are praying for a miracle. God may still show his glory in Josh these next seven days. It could, otherwise, also mean our last seven days with Josh. Please pray for Arnel and I, that we may have the courage to walk this path and the strength to carry this cross, regardless what the outcome will be. The doctor made it sound like we should start making arrangements for his funeral. Our hearts are heavy but we will hope against all odds because we believe that God will work everything out for the good.

Thank you for your prayers and support in this most difficult time.

In Christ,
Arnel and Brenda

My Own Approach to Blogging

Blog Entry

Back on April 18th someone else's blog entry caught my eye about the approach to blogging itself. Of course this made me think what my approach is. The voices in my head started paraphrasing a scene from Apocalypse Now . "Approach ? I don't see an approach". Anyway for better or for worse this is what I came out with. Why not share me yours?


My reaction _

I never comment on multiply blogs of people that do not know me. But just as your subject caught my eye I felt I had to share my struggles with blogging. Some artists claim that were liberated by being restricted. It was that very barrier that gave them the ability to think outside of the box. You mentioned it yourself- "without getting paid for it!". With no advertisers to please ,no quotas to hit , heck write what you want , when you want. I read through just now your Pampanga Food Road Trip. It certainly deserved more comments.

If you browse through my blog , you will notice I am sharing chapters of the book The Art of War. Which can be renamed Art of Life. I mentioned Enter the Dragon and how a line there "The Art of Fighting Without Fighting" is in the spirit of Art of War where the best way to win one is not to have one.

Since the only person I ultimately hope to please is myself , I just write about anything I am thinking about. My topics are all over the place. Just like the first playlist I uploaded to Multiply. Just as my horizons have broadened by trying to listen and read different people 's views , I also try to refer the few that read me to different people like Bob Lefsetz who writes about music and the industry. Notice I count them as two separate entities.

In the same way , blogging is the art of writing without writing. You may not get paid for it but you also do not pay to get it read in Davao, Manhattan or Dubai. That famous line "dance like no one is watching". I really write like no one is reading since that's often the case. My own girl friend has yet to join Multiply and has not accessed my google blogger in months. Then again with that much exposure to my thoughts directly she may best spend her little on line time elsewhere.
Anyway hope what I said shows you there is more than one way to skin a cat.

original post

The Art of Blogging

Apr 18, '08 9:31 PM
for everyone
Last night I had dinner with a friend I hadn't seen in months. Both of us having busy schedules, meeting up for dinner or a quick cake-and-wine-affair has been quite a challenge lately. Over cheese naan, palak paneer & mutton masala at New Bombay, I got an update on life as it happened over the past few weeks. As references kept being made to items posted on my friend's blog, I decided to access the site. Poring over archived random posts, i began to appreciate the art of blogging. Hats off to those who actually take time to maintain a blog. It's actually a lot of hard work...imagine planning your layout, thinking up what to post among the many mundane tasks one does in a day, even taking photos and video to fully capture a moment. That's almost like creating a mini presentation each time without getting paid for it!

After reading the last post, I appreciated bloggers most for giving others a sneak peek into their lives. As being together 24/7 is close to impossible, having the opportunity to take part in one's life through their blog helps keep friends connected albeit virtually. Whether one is in Makati or Manhattan, Davao or Dubai...heck, we're all just a blog away and it IS turning out to be a small world after all.

Bob Costas and Anton Ego on the reality of the Internet April 29 2008

Listen to the whole thing. I won't bother transcribing. It's only 5 minutes. Or you can download the whole show based on the link above. It's an audio show so it's only about 8 MB. Even though the launching pad is sports he could really be talking about anything on the Internet. All those voices in unison saying "It sucks!". Reminds of the Anton Ego quote below from Ratatouille . Puts things in perspective .


Anton Ego: In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I read Chapter 5 and I see a lot of things like asset allocation, divide and conquer , doing the unconventional , mix and match , being creative, getting the timing right. One of the most important concepts he says here is whether you have a small or large army. Coordination within that army is more more important.



Chapter Five: Force

Sun-tzu said:

Generally, commanding of many is like commanding of a few.

It is a matter of dividing them into groups.

Doing battle with a large army is like doing battle with a small army.

It is a matter of communications through flags and pennants. ?

What enable an army to withstand the enemy's attack and not be defeated are uncommon and common maneuvers. ?

The army will be like throwing a stone against an egg;

it is a matter of weakness and strength. ?

Generally, in battle, use the common to engage the enemy and the uncommon to gain victory.

Those skilled at uncommon maneuvers are as endless as the heavens and earth, and as inexhaustible as the rivers and seas. ?

Like the sun and the moon, they set and rise again.

Like the four seasons, they pass and return again.

There are no more than five musical notes, yet the variations in the five notes cannot all be heard.

There are no more than five basic colors, yet the variations in the five colors cannot all be seen.

There are no more than five basic flavors, yet the variations in the five flavors cannot all be tasted. ?

In battle, there are no more than two types of attacks:

Uncommon and common, yet the variations of the uncommon and common cannot all be comprehended. ?

The uncommon and the common produce each other, like an endless circle.

Who can comprehend them? ?

The rush of torrential waters tossing boulders illustrates force.

The strike of a bird of prey breaking the body of its target illustrates timing. ?

Therefore, the force of those skilled in warfare is overwhelming, and their timing precise. ?

Their force is like a drawn crossbow and their timing is like the release of the trigger. ?

Even in the midst of the turbulence of battle, the fighting seemingly chaotic, they are not confused.

Even in the midst of the turmoil of battle, the troops seemingly going around in circles, they cannot be defeated. ?

Disorder came from order, fear came from courage, weakness came from strength. ?

Disorder coming from order is a matter of organization, fear coming from courage is a matter of force, weakness coming from strength is a matter of formation. ?

Therefore, those skilled in moving the enemy use formation that which the enemy must respond. ?

They offer bait that which the enemy must take, manipulating the enemy to move while they wait in ambush. ?

Those skilled in warfare seek victory through force and do not require too much from individuals.

Therefore, they are able to select the right men and exploit force. ?

One who exploits force commands men into battle like rolling logs and boulders.

Logs and boulders are still when on flat ground, but roll when on steep ground.

Square shapes are still, but round shapes roll. ?

Therefore, those skilled in warfare use force where the troops in battle are like boulders rolling down a steep mountain.

This is force. ?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

This is so cute

Nothing like hand made stuff by little people who put what they know into making them. I don't have a fridge to hang them up on, so I guess you guys seeing it will be the next best thing.

Made by Matthew and Andrew

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Have Another Coke Light

Read all this and tell me if Nutrasweet should have been approved. "Aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods". I heard this back in 1995 from a doctor who spoke in a seminar. Sample guy who first told me to avoid all pork products. Dr. Ted Brewer. Apparently he does not have a website.


Aspartame, NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Equal-Measure



Aspartame sugar substitutes cause worrying symptoms from memory loss to brain tumours. But despite US FDA approval as a 'safe' food additive, aspartame is one of the most dangerous substances ever to be foisted upon an unsuspecting public.

Originally published in Blazing Tattles, Vol. 4, Nos. 4, 5, 6, April-June 1995
P.O. Box 8609, Tampa, FL 33674-8609, USA
by Claire W. Gilbert, Publisher & Editor
Blazing Tattles

� 1995 by Mark D. Gold, 35 Inman St, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Phone: (617) 497 7843,
Web page:

Aspartame is the technical name for the brand names, NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. Aspartame was discovered by accident in 1965, when James Schlatter, a chemist of G.D. Searle Company was testing an anti-ulcer drug. Aspartame was approved for dry goods in 1981 and for carbonated beverages in 1983. It was originally approved for dry goods on July 26, 1974, but objections filed by neuroscience researcher Dr John W. Olney and Consumer attorney James Turner in August 1974 as well as investigations of G.D. Searle's research practices caused the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put approval of aspartame on hold (December 5, 1974). In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle and made Searle Pharmaceuticals and The NutraSweet Company separate subsidiaries.

Aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods. Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death as recently disclosed in a February 1994 Department of Health and Human Services report.(1) A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include:
Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.

According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:(2)
Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.

Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: Aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. The book, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by James and Phyllis Balch, lists aspartame under the category of "chemical poison." As you shall see, that is exactly what it is.

Dr Russell L. Blaylock, a professor of Neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi, recently published a book thoroughly detailing the damage that is caused by the ingestion of excessive aspartic acid from aspartame. [Ninety nine percent of monosodium glutamate 9MSG) is glutamic acid. The damage it causes is also documented in Blaylock's book.] Blaylock makes use of almost 500 scientific references to show how excess free excitatory amino acids such as aspartic acid and glutamic acid in our food supply are causing serious chronic neurological disorders and a myriad of other acute symptoms.(3)


Aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain by facilitating the transmittion of information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate or glutamate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are referred to as "excitotoxins." They "excite" or stimulate the neural cells to death.

Aspartic acid is an amino acid. Taken in its free form (unbound to proteins) it significantly raises the blood plasma level of aspartate and glutamate. The excess aspartate and glutamate in the blood plasma shortly after ingesting aspartame or products with free glutamic acid (glutamate precursor) leads to a high level of those neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain.

The blood brain barrier (BBB) which normally protects the brain from excess glutamate and aspartate as well as toxins 1) is not fully developed during childhood, 2) does not fully protect all areas of the brain, 3) is damaged by numerous chronic and acute conditions, and 4) allows seepage of excess glutamate and aspartate into the brain even when intact.

The excess glutamate and aspartate slowly begin to destroy neurons. The large majority (75%+) of neural cells in a particular area of the brain are killed before any clinical symptoms of a chronic illness are noticed. A few of the many chronic illnesses that have been shown to be contributed to by long-term exposure excitatory amino acid damage include:

Multiple sclerosis (MS), ALS, memory loss, hormonal problems, hearing loss, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, hypoglycemia, AIDS dementia, brain lessions, and neuroendocrine disorders.

The risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and persons with certain chronic health problems from excitotoxins are great. Even the Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology (FASEB), which usually understates problems and mimmicks the FDA party-line, recently stated in a review that "it is prudent to avoid the use of dietary supplements of L-glutamic acid by pregnant women, infants, and children. The Existence of evidence of potential endocrine responses, i.e., elevated cortisol and prolactin, and differential responses between males and females, would also suggest a neuroendocrine link and that supplemental L-glutamic acid should be avoided by women of childbearing age and individuals with affective disorders."(4) Aspartic acid from aspartame has the same deleterious effects on the body as glutamic acid.

The exact mechanism of acute reactions to excess free glutamate and aspartate is currently being debated. As reported to the FDA, those reactions include:(5)
Headaches/migraines, nausea, abdominal pains, fatigue (blocks sufficient glucose entry into brain), sleep problems, vision problems, anxiety attacks, depression, and asthma/chest tightness.

One common complaint of persons suffering from the effect of aspartame is memory loss. Ironically, in 1987, G.D. Searle, the manufacturer of aspartame, undertook a search for a drug to combat memory loss caused by excititory amino acid damage. Blaylock is one of many scientists and physicians who are concerned about excititory amino acid damage caused by ingestion of aspartame and MSG. A few of the many experts who have spoken out against the damage being caused by aspartate and glutamate include Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D., an experimental psychologist specializing in research design. Another is Olney, a professor in the department of psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University, a neuroscientist and researcher, and one of the world's foremost authorities on excitotoxins. (He informed Searle in 1971 that aspartic acid caused holes in the brain of mice.) Also included is Francis J. Waickman, M.D., a recipient of the Rinkel and Forman Awards, and Board certified in Pediatrics, Allergy, and Immunology.

Other concerned scientists include: John R. Hain, M.D., Board Certified Forensic Pathologist, and H.J. Roberts, M.D., FACP, FCCP, Diabetic Specialist, and selected by a national medical publication as "The Best Doctor in the US"

John Samuels is concerned, also. He compiled a list of scientific research sufficient to show the dangers of ingesting excess free glutamic and aspartic acid.

And there are many more who can be added to this long list.


Phenylalanine is an amino acid normally found in the brain. Persons with the genetic disorder, phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot metabolize phenylalanine. This leads to dangerously high levels of phenylalanine in the brain (sometimes lethal). It has been shown that ingesting aspartame, especially along with carbohydrates can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine in the brain even in persons who do not have PKU. This is not just a theory, as many people who have eaten large amounts of aspartame over a long period of time and do not have PKU have been shown to have excessive levels of phenylalanine in the blood. Excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain can cause the levels of seratonin in the brain to decrease, leading to emotional disorders such as depression. It was shown in human testing that phenylalanine levels of the blood were increased significantly in human subjects who chronically used aspartame.(6) Even a single use of aspartame raised the blood phenylalanine levels. In his testimony before the US Congress, Dr Louis J. Elsas showed that high blood phenylalanine can be concentrated in parts of the brain, and is especially dangerous for infants and fetuses. He also showed that phenylalanine is metabolised much more effeciently by rodents than by humans.(7)

One account of a case of extremely high phenylalanine levels caused by aspartame was recently published the the "Wednesday Journal" in an article entitled "An Aspartame Nightmare." John Cook began drinking 6 to 8 diet drinks every day. His symptoms started out as memory loss and frequent headaches. He began to crave more aspartame-sweetened drinks. His condition deteriorated so much that he experienced wide mood swings and violent rages. Even though he did not suffer from PKU, a blood test revealed a phenylalanine level of 80 mg/dl. He also showed abnormal brain function and brain damage. After he kicked his aspartame habit, his symptoms improved dramatically.(8)

As Blaylock points out in his book, early studies measuring phenylalanine buildup in the brain were flawed. Investigators who measured specific brain regions and not the average throughout the brain notice significant rises in phenylalanine levels. Specifically the hypothalamus, medulla oblongata, and corpus striatum areas of the brain had the largest increases in phenylalanine. Blaylock goes on to point out that excessive buildup of phenylalanine in the brain can cause schizophrenia or make one more susceptible to seizures.

Therefore, long-term, excessive use of aspartame may provided a boost to sales of seratonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac and drugs to control schizophrenia and seizures.


Methanol/wood alcohol is a deadly poison. Some people may remember methanol as the poison that has caused some "skid row" alcoholics to end up blind or dead. Methanol is gradually released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounter the enzyme chymotrypsin.

The absorption of methanol into the body is sped up considerably when free methanol is ingested. Free methanol is created from aspartame when it is heated to above 86 Fahrenheit (30 Centigrade). This would occur when aspartame-containing product is improperly stored or when it is heated (e.g., as part of a "food" product such as Jello).

Methanol breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. An EPA assessment of methanol states that methanol "is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic." The recommend a limit of consumption of 7.8 mg/day. A one-liter (approx. 1 quart) aspartame-sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users of aspartame-containing products consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily or 32 times the EPA limit.(9)

Symptoms from methanol poisoning include headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis. The most well knowm problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, obscuration of vision, retinal damage, and blindness. Formaldehye is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication, causes birth defects.(10) Due to the lack of a couple of key enzymes, humans are many times more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Therefore, tests of aspartame or methanol on animals do not accurately reflect the danger for humans. As pointed out by Dr Woodrow C. Monte, Director of the Food Science and Nutrition Laboratory at Arizona State University, "There are no human or mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic, teratogenic, or carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl alcohol."(11)

He was so concerned about the unresolved safety issues that he filed suit with the FDA requesting a hearing to address these issues. He asked the FDA to "slow down on this soft drink issue long enough to answer some of the important questions. It's not fair that you are leaving the full burden of proof on the few of us who are concerned and have such limited resources. You must remember that you are the American public's last defense. Once you allow usage (of aspartame) there is literally nothing I or my colleagues can do to reverse the course. Aspartame will then join saccharin, the sulfiting agents, and God knows how many other questionable compounds enjoined to insult the human constitution with governmental approval."(10) Shortly thereafter, the Commissioner of the FDA, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages, he then left for a position with G.D. Searle's Public Relations firm.(11)

It has been pointed out that some fruit juices and alcoholic beverages contain small amounts of methanol. It is important to remember, however, that methanol never appears alone. In every case, ethanol is present, usually in much higher amounts. Ethanol is an antidote for methanol toxicity in humans.(9) The troops of Desert Storm were "treated" to large amounts of aspartame-sweetened beverages which had been heated to over 86o F. in the Saudi Arabian sun. Many of them returned home with numerous disorders similar to what has been seen in persons who have been chemically poisoned by formaldehyde. The free methanol in the beverages may have been a contributing factor in these illnesses. Other breakdown products of aspartame such as DKP (discussed below) may also have been a factor.

In a 1993 act that can only be described as "unconscionable," the FDA approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items that would always be heated to above 86�ree;F (30�ree;C).


DKP is a by-product of aspartame metabolism. DKP has been implicated in the occurance of brain tumors. Olney noticed that DKP, when nitrosated in the gut, produced a compound which was similar to N-nitrosourea, a powerful brain tumor causing chemical. Some authors have said that DKP is produced after aspartame ingestion. I am not sure if that is correct. It is definately true that DKP is formed in liquid aspartame-containing products during prolonged storage.

G.D. Searle conducted animal experiments on the safety of DKP. The FDA found numerous experimental errors occured, including "clerical errors, mixed-up animals, animals not getting drugs they were supposed to get, pathological specimens lost because of improper handling," and many other errors.(12) These sloppy laboratory procedures may explain why both the test and control animals had sixteen times more brain tumors than would be expected in experiments of this length.

In an ironic twist, shortly after these experimental errors were discovered, the FDA used guidelines recommened by G.D. Searle to devlop the Industry-wide FDA standards for Good Laboratory Practies.(11)

DKP has also been implicated as a cause of uterine polyps and changes in blood cholesterol by FDA Toxicologist Dr Jacqueline Verrett in her testimony before the US Senate.(13)

The components of aspartame can lead to a wide variety of ailments. Some of these problems occur gradually, others are immediate, acute reactions.

There is an enormous population of people who are suffering from symtpoms contributed to by aspartame, yet they have no idea why herbs or drugs are not helping relieve their problems. There are other users of aspartame who appear not to be suffering immediate reactions to aspartame. But even these individuals are susceptible to the long-term damage caused by excitatory amino acids, phenylalanine, methanol, and DKP. A few of the many disorders that are of particular concern to me include the following.

Birth Defects.
Dr Diana Dow Edwards, a researcher was funded by Monsanto to study possible birth defects caused by the ingestion of aspartame. After preliminary data showed damaging information about aspartame, funding for the study was cut off. A Gentetic Pediatrician at Emory University has testified that aspartame is causing birth defects.7360-367.

In the book, While Waiting: A Prenatal Guidebook by George R. Verrilli, M.D. and Anne Marie Mueser, it is stated that aspartame is suspected of causing brain damage in sensitive individuals. A fetus may be at risk for these effects. Some researchers have suggested that high doses of aspartame may be associated with problems ranging from dizziness and subtle brain changes to mental retardation.

Cancer (Brain Cancer).
In 1981, Satya Dubey, an FDA statistician, stated that the brain tumor data on aspartame was so "worrisome" that he could not recommend approval of NutraSweet.(14) In a two-year study conducted by the manufacturer of aspartame, twelve of the 320 rats fed a normal diet and aspartame developed brain tumors while none of the control rats had tumors. Five of the twelve tumors were in rats given a low dose of aspartame.(15) The approval of aspartame was a violation of the Delaney Amendment which was supposed to prevent cancer-causing substances such as methanol (formaldehye) and DKP from entering our food supply. The late Dr Adrian Gross, an FDA toxicologist, testified before the US Congress that aspartame was capable of producing brain tumors. This made it illegal for the FDA to set an allowable daily intake at any level. He stated in his testimony that Searle's studies were "to a large extent unreliable" and that "at least one of those studies has established beyond any reasonable doubt that aspartame is capable of inducing brain tumors in experimental animals...." He concluded his testimony by asking, "What is the reason for the apparent refusal by the FDA to invoke for this food additive the so-called Delaney Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act? .... And if the FDA itself elects to violate the law, who is left to protect the health of the public?"(16)

In the mid-1970s it was discovered that the manufacturer of aspartame falsified studies in several ways. One of the techniques used was to cut tumors out of test animals and put them back in the study. Another technique used to falsify the studies was to list animals that had actually died as surviving the study. Thus, the data on brain tumors was likely worse than discussed above. In addition, a former employee of the manufacturer of aspartame, Raymond Schroeder told the FDA on July 13, 1977 that the particles of DKP were so large that the rats could dicriminate between the DKP and their normal diet.(12)

It is interesting to note that the incidence of brain tumors in persons over 65 years of age has increase 67% between the years 1973 and 1990. Brain tumors in all age groups has jumped 10%. The greatest increase has come during the years 1985-1987.(17)

In his book, Aspartame (NutraSweet). Is it Safe?, Roberts gives evidence that aspartame can cause a particularly dangerous form of cancer - primary lymphoma of the brain.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is actually recommending this chemical poison to persons with diabetes. According to research conducted by H.J. Roberts, a diabetes specialist, a member of the ADA, and an authority on artificial sweetners, aspartame:
1) Leads to the precipitation of clinical diabetes.
2) Causes poorer diabetic control in diebetics on insulin or oral drugs.
3) Leads to the aggravation of diabetic complications such as retinopathy, cataracts, neuropathy and gastroparesis.
4) Causes convulsions.

In a statement concerning the use of products containing aspartain by persons with diabetes and hypoglycemia, Roberts says: "Unfortunately, many patients in my practice, and others seen in consultation, developed serious metabolic, neurologic and other complications that could be specifically attributed to using aspartame products. This was evidenced by:
"The loss of diabetic control, the intensification of hypoglycemia, the occurrence of presumed 'insulin reactions' (including convulsions) that proved to be aspartame reactions, and the precipitation, aggravation or simulation of diabetic complications (especially impaired vision and neuropathy) while using these products.

"Dramatic improvement of such features after avoiding aspartame, and the prompt predictable recurrence of these problems when the patient resumed aspartame products, knowingly or inadvertently."

Roberts goes on to say:
"I regret the failure of other physicians and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to sound appropriate warnings to patients and consumers based on these repeated findings which have been described in my corporate-neutral studies and publications."

Blaylock stated that excitotoxins such as that found in aspartame can precipitate diabetes in persons who are genetically susceptible to the disease.(5)

Emotional Disorders.
A double blind study of the effects of aspartame on persons with mood disorders was recently conducted by Dr Ralph G. Walton. Since the study wasn't funded/controlled by the makers of aspartame, The NutraSweet Company refused to sell him the aspartame. Walton was forced to obtain and certify it from an outside source.

The study showed a large increase in serious symptoms for persons taking aspartame. Since some of the symptoms were so serious, the Institutional Review Board had to stop the study. Three of the participants had said that they had been "poisoned" by aspartame. Walton concludes that "individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to this artificial sweetener; its use in this population should be discouraged."(18) Aware that the experiment could not be repeated because of the danger to the test subjects, Walton was recently quoted as saying, "I know it causes seizures. I'm convinced also that it definitely causes behavioral changes. I'm very angry that this substance is on the market. I personally question the reliability and validity of any studies funded by the NutraSweet Company."(19)

There are numerous reported cases of low brain serotonin levels, depression and other emotional disorders that have been linked to aspartame and often are relieved by stopping the intake of aspartame. Researchers have pointed out that increasing in phenylalanine levels in the brain, which can and does occur in persons without PKU, leads to a decreased level of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, which leads to a variety of emotional disorders. Dr William M. Pardridge of UCLA testified before the US Senate that a youth drinking four 16-ounce bottles of diet soda per day leads to an enormous increase in the phenylalanine level.

With the large and growing number of seizures caused by aspartame, it is sad to see that the Epilepsy Foundation is promoting the "safety" of aspartame. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 80 people who had suffered seizures after ingesting aspartame were surveyed. Community Nutrition Institute concluded the following about the survey:

"These 80 cases meet the FDA's own definition of an imminent hazard to the public health, which requires the FDA to expeditiously remove a product from the market."

Both the Air Force's magazine Flying Safety and the Navy's magazine, Navy Physiology published articles warning about the many dangers of aspartame including the cumlative deliterious effects of methanol and the greater likelihood of birth defects. The articles note that the ingestion of aspartame can make pilots more susceptible to seizures and vertigo. Twenty articles sounding warnings about ingesting aspartame while flying have also appeared in the National Business Aircraft Association Digest (NBAA Digest 1993), Aviation Medical Bulletin (1988), The Aviation Consumer (1988), Canadian General Aviation News (1990), Pacific Flyer (1988), General Aviation News (1989), Aviation Safety Digest (1989), and Plane and Pilot (1990) and a paper warning about aspartame was presented at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association (Gaffney 1986).

Recently, a hotline was set up for pilots suffering from acute reactions to aspartame ingestion. Over 600 pilots have reported symptoms including some who have reported suffering grand mal seizures in the cockpit due to aspartame.(21)

One of the original studies on aspartame was performed in 1969 by an independent scientist, Dr Harry Waisman. He studied the effects of aspartame on infant primates. Out of the seven infant monkeys, one died after 300 days and five others had grand mal seizures. Of course, these negative findings were not submitted to the FDA during the approval process.(22)

Why don't we hear about these things?

The reason many people do not hear about serious reactions to aspartame is twofold:
1) Lack of awareness by the general population. Aspartame-caused diseases are not reported in the newspapers like plane crashes. This is because these incidents occur one at a time in thousands of different locations across the US.
2) Most people do not associate their symptoms with the long-term use of aspartame. For the people who have killed a significant percentage of the brain cells and thereby caused a chronic illness, there is no way that they would normally associate such an illness with aspartame consumption. How aspartame was approved is a lesson in how chemical and pharmaceutical companies can manipulate government agencies such as the FDA, "bribe" organizations such as the American Dietetic Association, and flood the scientific community with flawed and fraudulent industry-sponsored studies funded by the makers of aspartame.

Erik Millstone, a researcher at the Science Policy Research Unit of Sussex University has compiled thousands of pages of evidence, some of which have been obtained using the freedom of information act 23, showing:
1. Laboratory tests were faked and dangers were concealed.
2. Tumors were removed from animals and animals that had died were "restored to life" in laboratory records.
3. False and misleading statements were made to the FDA.
4. The two US Attorneys given the task of bringing fraud charges against the aspartame manufacturer took positions with the manufacturer's law firm, letting the statute of limitations run out.
5. The Commissioner of the FDA overruled the objections of the FDA's own scientific board of inquiry. Shortly after that decision, he took a position with Burson-Marsteller, the firm in charge of public relations for G.D. Searle.

A Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) was conducted in 1980. There were three scientists who reviewed the objections of Olney and Turner to the approval of aspartame. They voted unanimously against aspartame's approval. The FDA Commissioner, Dr Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. then created a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the PBOI findings. After it became clear that the Commission would uphold the PBOI's decision by a vote of 3 to 2, another person was added to the Commission, creating a deadlocked vote. This allowed the FDA Commissioner to break the deadlock and approve aspartame for dry goods in 1981. Dr Jacqueline Verrett, the Senior Scientist in an FDA Bureau of Foods review team created in August 1977 to review the Bressler Report (a report that detailed G.D. Searle's abuses during the pre-approval testing) said:
"It was pretty obvious that somewhere along the line, the bureau officials were working up to a whitewash." In 1987, Verrett testified before the US Senate stating that the experiments conducted by Searle were a "disaster." She stated that her team was instructed not to comment on or be concerned with the overall validity of the studies. She stated that questions about birth defects have not been answered. She continued her testimony by discussing the fact that DKP has been shown to increase uterine polyps and change blood cholesterol and that increasing the temperature of the product leads to an increase in production of DKP.(13)

Revolving doors
The FDA and the manufacturers of aspartame have had a rovolving door of employment for many years. In addition to the FDA Commissioner and two US Attorneys leaving to take positions with companies connected with G.D. Searle, four other FDA officials connected with the approval of aspartame took positions connected with the NutraSweet industry between 1979 and 1982 including the Deputy FDA Commissioner, the Special Assistant to the FDA Commissioner, the Associate Director of the Bureau of Foods and Toxicology and the Attorney involved with the Public Board of Inquiry.(24)

It is important to realize that this type of revolving-door activity has been going on for decades. The Townsend Letter for Doctors (11/92) reported on a study revealing that 37 of 49 top FDA officials who left the FDA took positions with companies they had regulated. They also reported that over 150 FDA officials owned stock in drug companies they were assigned to manage. Many organizations and universities receive large sums of money from companies connected to the NutraSweet Association, a group of companies promoting the use of aspartame. In January 1993, the American Dietetic Association received a US$75,000 grant from the NutraSweet Company. The American Dietetic Association has stated that the NutraSweet Company writes their "Facts" sheets.(25)

Many other "independent" organizations and researchers receive large sums of money from the manufacturers of aspartame. The American Diabetes Association has received a large amount of money from Nutrasweet, including money to run a cooking school in Chicago (presumably to teach diabetes how to use Nutrasweet in their cooking).

A researcher in New England who has pointed out the dangers of aspartame in the past is now a Monsanto consultant. Another researcher in the Southeastern US had testified about the dangers of aspartame on fetuses. An investigative reporter has discovered that he was told to keep his mouth shut to avoid causing the loss of a large grant from a diet cola manufacturer in the NutraSweet Association.

What is the FDA doing to protect the consumer from the dangers of aspartame?

Less than nothing.

In 1992, the FDA approved aspartame for use in malt beverages, breakfast cereals, and refrigerated puddings and fillings. In 1993 the FDA approved aspartame for use in hard and soft candies, non-alcoholic favored beverages, tea beverages, fruit juices and concentrates, baked goods and baking mixes, and frostings, toppings and fillings for baked goods.

In 1991, the FDA banned the importation of stevia. The powder of the leaf has been used for hundreds of years as an alternative sweetner. It is used widely in Japan with no adverse effects. Scientists involved in reviewing stevia have declared it to be safe for human consumption - something which has been well known in many parts of the world where it is not banned. Everyone that I have spoken with in regards to this issue believes that stevia was banned to keep the product from taking hold in the US and cutting into sales of aspartame.(26)

What is the US Congress doing to protect the consumer from the dangers of aspartame?


What is the US Administration (President) doing to protect the consumer from the dangers of aspartame?


Aspartame consumption is not only a problem in the US. It is being sold in over 70 countries throughout the world.

- instant breakfasts
- breath mints
- cereals
- sugar-free chewing gum
- cocoa mixes
- coffee beverages
- frozen desserts
- gelatin desserts
- juice beverages
- laxatives
- multivitamins
- milk drinks
- pharmaceuticals and supplements
- shake mixes
- soft drinks
- tabletop sweeteners
- tea beverages
- instant teas and coffees
- topping mixes
- wine coolers
- yogurt

I have been told that aspartame has been found in products where it is not listed on the label. One must be particular careful of pharmaceuticals and supplements. I have been informed that even some supplements made by well-known supplement manufacturers such as Twinlabs contain aspartame.

The information I have related above is just the tip of the iceberg as far as damaging information about aspartame. In order for the reader to find out more, I have included some resources below.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mariah Madness

As usual written by Bob Lefsetz. I was never a fan of hers. Just so you know my favorite female musicians : Anita Baker, Sade , Carole King , Amanda Marshall, Jann Arden. Skinhead O'Connor. I don't like singers devoid of song writing skills like Celine Dion. I told you before. Song Writing is a lost skill. One day I will delve into that.


I challenge you to sing three of her songs. Hell, I challenge you to NAME three of her songs!

Let's see... There's "Vision Of Love", a teenager demonstrating melisma for all to see, unleashing upon us countless copycats with vocal training, but no ability to write meaningful music. Then there was "We Belong Together"... Histrionics on steroids, if that concept is even possible. Then... There was that video of her being a bad girl in the bathroom, directed by Brett Ratner. And the one of her on the roller coaster. Oh yeah, and the one of her shaking her mini-tits, before she got that porn star boob job, in the school hall. But what were those records again? And what were the verses of "Vision Of Love" and "We Belong Together"? In both cases I can only remember the single line from the chorus.

Hell, I'm no Elvis fan. But rather than tote up the reasons why he's no match for the Beatles, I'll tell you I can sing UMPTEEN of his hits. From "Hound Dog" to "Suspicious Minds". Maybe because they're classic songs, hits no matter who might have done them. Maybe because I was subjected to many on Top Forty radio again and again. To say that Mariah has eclipsed Elvis' string of number one hits is akin to saying that some quarterback playing Arena football has got a better passing record than Dan Marino... THAT'S RIGHT, THEY'RE DIFFERENT LEAGUES!

Elvis was competing against everybody, when the whole world was watching.

The whole world isn't even listening to music anymore. Hell, there are hundreds of cable channels and multiple video games with a greater visceral effect than ANY of Mariah's hits. Music counted because that's where the innovation was, that's where the flavor was. What exactly is Mariah Carey saying? I'm an uneducated twit who loves junk food who must be supported by the public because I demand so?

And we've got a mainstream media lapping this shit up. Hyping Mariah like someone cares. Well, SOMEONE does, but not many. She's a sideshow for those lost in the twentieth century.

Not only are many not paying attention to music, a great percentage of those who do ARE NOT LISTENING TO TOP FORTY RADIO!

That's the only place Mariah counts. It's like she's the star shotmaker on an NHL team. Interesting if you're into hockey, but most people DON'T GIVE A SHIT! Saying 500,000 people bought her record the first week out is like saying 1 in 600 people voted in an election... HUH? That's how few care about Mariah. In a country of 300 million, she doesn't mean DIDDLY SQUAT!

But that's the main asset a major label has today. Its media relationships. With favors traded for years, labels can count on a sycophantic media wined and dined into pledging fealty to run nincompoops like Mariah Carey up the flagpole. Come on, her album is a train-wreck. It's like having Quincy Jones, Trent Reznor and Tiny Tim make a record. It's like having the body of an Aston Martin powered by a four-banger with a manual transmission out of a Ford Focus. E=MC2 isn't a record, it's a PRODUCT, constructed by an industry that's lost touch with what the consumer desires. People don't want flash, they want SUBSTANCE! Something meaningful, that they can sink their teeth into.

Enough with the lowest common denominator tripe. Didn't we learn that a great percentage of the public is fed up in last week's debate? I mean if they're booing at a debate, what do you think they'd do if Mariah Carey took the stage? Laugh? Leave? No one who is not a fan gives a shit. And we're lucky, she's running for President of a club we're barely aware of, that we don't have to pay attention to.

Ooh... In an era when the Raconteurs and Elvis Costello release instant albums, sans endless hype, we've got a paint by numbers album massaged into nothing over YEARS marketed for months so that a big first week SoundScan number will be achieved. If this is the game you're playing, I hope no one is watching your expense reports, that you've got a blank check. Because you're wasting tons of money on one act who's only as good as her last record. Yup, Mariah is one stiff away from playing theatres, at best. Hell, she doesn't kill on the road, she doesn't play ten arena dates in one town, that's the classic rock acts. And, don't tell me it's apples and oranges, she's constantly comparing herself to Elvis and the Beatles, but the Eagles can do ten times her live business, and they didn't even have TEN number one singles, never mind the twenty Mariah's going to achieve to become BIGGER THAN THE BEATLES!

But when the Eagles reigned the first time, it was about the album, about FM, about the MUSIC! The trappings were close to insignificant. Band made record, then raped and pillaged on the road, little girls sacrificing their virginity to musicians who wrote songs that changed their lives. If you want one night with Mariah, based on the vapid shit she's released, then you must not be married, you must only visit prostitutes, because you're not CAPABLE OF HAVING A MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION, the underpinning of a great relationship!

Mariah is a cartoon. But she's no match for Veronica. And she's certainly no Betty.

But I don't read comic books anymore. Oh sure, there's a Comic-Con, but it's easy to ignore. Just like Mariah Carey and her music.


Visit the archive:

A Joke I first heard from Gabe Kotter

The housewife answered a knock on the door and found a total stranger standing on the doorstep.
'Excuse me for disturbing you, ma'am,' he said politely, ' but I pass your house every morning on my way to work, and I've noticed that every day you appear to be hitting your son on the head with a loaf of bread!'
'That's right.'
'Every day you wallop him on the head with a loaf of bread, and yet this morning you were hitting him with a chocolate cake....?'
'Well, today is his birthday!'

You re So Vain The Plot Thickens

I am once again in curmudgeon mode. With hopes I will succeed Andy Rooney. As you may know I love music. I love it's history. Of course with love comes hate sometimes. I just hate flavor of the month exploitation. People who are truly incapable of coming up with something original to draw attention to themselves resort to ripping off somebody else's hard earned success.

I can be quite the pop music ostritch. I found out reading my niece's blog that somebody shamelessly remaked the Carly Simon song You're So Vain. I am not slamming her for not knowing any better because once upon a time I thought the Bee Gees et al, version of Sound Pepper was better than the Beatles. Of course I barely knew the Beatles back in 1978 .

No Camille, Tito Ed has no beef with you. It's with the idiots that go through the motions creating 'product'. The original song by Carly was so personal. It had mystery because it was so personal. Those were Carly's words and thoughts. As you read the story , more and more people were curious who those thoughts and words were directed to. And God Bless her she still won't budge. It's like a harmless version of wondering where Jimmy Hoffa is.

Anyway something so personal should remain associated with Carly Simon. Not with someone going through the motions with the words. Not with someone who was not born when this mystery was hatched (whoever that singer is). The mystery is not hers. The irony is not hers. I actually first heard about this mystery listening to Casey Kasem's American Top Forty back in the late 70's.

What does this new guy/ girl have to do with the built up irony? Nothing really. I never heard the remake nor did I Google how it came to be. I am just speaking from the side of how something with meaning and history can be exploited for cheap attention. But the record execs don't care. They don't make a cent of people like me.

If I had my way this song will only be associated with Carly Simon. If I had my way there would be no more new music till people can somehow learn how to write music that stands on it own. My blog editorial on the death of songwriting will one day be written. This is Andy Rooney till the next edition of Sixty Minutes


As you can read from the links're_So_Vain

"You're So Vain" is a song written and performed by Carly Simon released in December 1972.

The song is a critical profile of a self-absorbed lover. The song was a number-one hit (it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in early 1973, and also spent two weeks at the top of the Adult Contemporary chart, her first #1 song on either chart), and spawned what many fans consider to be the biggest musical mystery of the era. There has been much debate over whom exactly the song is about. Popular guesses on the subject include Mick Jagger (who sang uncredited backing vocals on the song), Cat Stevens, Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson (with whom she had had brief relationships), unfaithful fiancé William Donaldson, and Simon's ex-husband, James Taylor.

In January of 1973, You're So Vain was the # 1 hit song on the radio. Carly had just married fellow pop-superstar James Taylor a month before, so when You're So Vain hit the airwaves, it stirred intense curiosity about which one of her previous lovers was the subject of this wry nod to the male ego. click here to read the lyrics

Was it Mick Jagger? Cat Stevens? Warren Beatty? Kris Kristofferson? It was common knowledge that she had been involved with each of them in the past.

Carly has never revealed who she had in mind when she wrote You're So Vain, and over 30 years later interviewers are still asking her this same question........

You're So Vain - The original song that started it all.

Rolling Stone - 1973

RS: Some people think "You're So Vain" is about James.

Carly: No, it's definitely not about James, although James suspected that it might be about him because he's very vain. No, he isn't, but he had the unfortunate experience of taking a jet up to Nova Scotia after I’d written the song. He was saved by the fact that it wasn’t a Lear.

RS: You mentioned the "contest" going on about who it's about. What would be the clearest statement you would want to make on who the song was about?

Carly: The contest is run by this man in Los Angeles named Winkler, and he had his listeners call in to cast their ballot as to who they thought the song was about. Kris Kristofferson is leading.

A lot of people think it's about Mick Jagger and that I have fooled him into actually singing on it, that I pulled that ruse. And some of the people think it's about James. But I can't possibly tell who it's about because it wouldn't be fair.

The Washington Post - 1983

WP: Who was ‘You’re So Vain about? Mick Jagger?

Carly: No.

WP: Warren Beatty?

Carly: It certainly sounds like it was about Warren Beatty. He certainly thought it was about him - he called me and said thanks for the song….

WP: You had gone with him?

Carly: Hasn’t everybody?

WP: No.

Carly: That only means you haven’t met him, though at the time I met him he was still relatively undiscovered as a Don Juan. I felt I was one among thousands at that point – it hadn’t reached, you know, the populations of small countries….

FAME - 1989

For the record, Simon acknowledges the song is a little about Beatty; it's a composite of three men from her L.A. days. Warren, it seems, was not a particularly good boyfriend.

"And I never took him seriously," she says. "He was great fun and very, very, bright. But noooo ... as a boyfriend.

A lot of women like somebody who's that smooth. In the beginning Warren was pretty good at pretending he was only smooth on the outside and a bowl of jelly on the inside. But he doesn't do that secondary act very well now." Carly Simon

VH1 - One to One - 1990

"People have been questioning for a long time, who it's about - I mean, who I wrote the song about.

It always strikes me as funny. That people would be THAT into what I was thinking about, that's the greatest ego trip anybody could have....that they would be THAT interested in what you were thinking about when you wrote a song.

And for that very reason, of course, I can never give it away." Carly Simon

Phil Donahue - 1990

An audience member asks Carly: Was You're So Vain about Warren Beatty? And did Mick Jagger sing vocals on that?

Carly: I've never, ever told who You're So Vain is about. But I will tell you since you're so very pretty in that pink's about the young Oprah Winfrey.

Primetime Live - 1990

Diane Sawyer: You're So Vain is about...we've heard Mick Jagger and Warren Beatty.

Carly: Who cares, I can't believe people care, you know? It was a riddle a long time ago and it's best, as all those riddles are, it's best unsolved.

NBC Interview - 1994

Bob Costas : Carl Bernstein told me once that he had sealed the identity of Deep Throat in some sort of envelope and I guess he stuck it beneath a tree someplace deep in the forest with instructions on how to find it - to be opened 50 years after his death. And only then the identity of Deep Throat could be revealed.

Carly: I have right here. (reaching into her pocket)

Bob Costas : Have you done the same thing with the identity of the person you're mocking in You're So Vain?

Carly: Well, you know people have always asked me this. I don't know why people are so interested in that. I suppose it was at a time in my life in which I was garnering a great deal of sort of tabloid press - in terms of who I was going out with. It's the kind of thing that if I actually tell, it'll lose the whole mystique. What's the point of telling? Why bother to tell?

Bob Costas : Is it a person or a composite of people?

Carly: It was a dog actually. Yes, it was a person!

Bob Costas : No, I mean a single person. I wasn't suggesting it was outside of humankind. (laughing). Was it a single person or a composite of objectionable traits in a variety of people?

Carly: Hardly objectionable! I think it's a very attractive man. I think it's a very complicated man who is obviously concerned with his image, but obviously worthy of my love or my interest. I don't LOVE just anyone. You know, he's gotta have a certain amount of character. If he was only vain it would be boring, but there's a lot more to him. He hobknobs with the underworld.

This Morning - 1995

Mark McEwen: How did you get Mick Jagger to sing on You're So Vain?

Carly: I guess it was kind of chance in a way. I was in London, it was 1972 and he happened to call at the studio while I was doing the background vocals with Harry Nilsson. Mick said "Hey, what cha doin'?" and I said "We're doing some backup vocals on a song of mine....why don't you come down and sing with us?"

So Mick and Harry and I stood around the mike singing you're so vain and Harry was such a gentleman - he knew the chemistry was between me and Mick; in terms of the singing, so he sort of bowed out saying "The two of you have a real blend - you should do it yourselves."

And that's how it happened.

MM: So, who is You're So Vain about?

Carly: I don't know.

MM: We've heard it was Warren Beatty. It was Mick Jagger. But you've never really said who it was.

Carly: Yeah.

Charlie Rose - May 2000

CR: Tell us about You're So Vain

Carly: Well, there was originally a song that had the melody of what is now You're So Vain, called Bless You Ben. It went "Bless you Ben, you came in, where nobody else left off.....There I was, by myself, hiding up in my loft"....

It never went anywhere, I could never fall in love with it. And then I was at a party and somebody walked in and my friend said to me "Doesn't he look like he's just walked on to a yacht?". So, I thought to myself - hmmm, let me write that in my notebook.

And then one day, when I was playing Bless You Ben on the piano, I substituted "You walked into the party, like you were walking onto a yacht" and the exchange was equal. And it felt natural and it felt good and then I could get into that man, I knew who I was talking about.

CR: Warren Beatty?

Carly: Well.....not at all.

CR: Not at all?

Carly: Well, maybe a little bit.

CR: Was it one man? Was it Warren or was it a composite for you?

Carly: Most songs are a composite....most songs are.

CR: Was this one?

Carly: I don't know.

Pure Oxygen - 2000

PO: Warren Beatty or Mick Jagger?

Carly: Neither

PO: You're kidding me?

Carly: I may be kidding you.

PO: You won't tell?

Carly: No, I won't tell.....well, it's certainly not, not about Warren.


"You're So Vain was just a series of lines in a notebook for a long time. There was You're so vain you probably think this song is about you and You walked into a party like you were walking onto a yacht. And then one day I figured out 'Hey, these two could be about the same person.'" Carly Simon

Sunday Morning - 2001

Rita Braver: Everyone thinks You're So Vain is about Mick Jagger.

Carly: Oh, they don't really think that.

RB: Yes - they do.

Carly: Okay.

RB: Is it?

Carly: Oh, no, no, no.

RB: And then I read it might be about Warren Beatty?

Carly: Oh, you know, don't listen to what other people tell you.

RB: Well, do you want to solve that mystery for me?

Carly: You know, I could never really solve it because if I did, then no one would have anything to talk to me about.

on Janet Jackson's song Son Of A Gun - 2001

"The apricot scarf was worn by Nick....there's nothing in the words that refer to Mick" Carly sings

Possible Dreams Auction - 2003

Carly's participation in this year's charity auction created an intense media buzz when she offered to reveal the identity of the person(s) she had in mind when she penned the song "You're So Vain" to the highest bidder, but only after they agreed to abide by a confidentiality agreement.

Shortly after this news was printed in People magazine, the Associated Press picked up the story and newspapers, television and radio shows around the world immediately followed.

The news scrollers on all the major cable networks began carrying Carly's name across the bottom of the television screen. conducted a viewer's poll where Beatty's name earned 54% of the vote. Matt Lauer reviewed the list of usual suspects with Anthony DeCurtis (of Rolling Stone magazine) on The Today Show. Roger Friedman of Fox News went on record with his firm opinion that song was about Warren Beatty. The BBC's Up All Night radio show interviewed Carly fans live from the US to get their opinion on who the song was written about and why this mystery has such long lasting appeal.

FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=Possible Dreams Auction 2003 - Photo courtesy of The Vineyard Gazette"

On August 4th, the gavel cracked at $50,000 for Carly's "Dream Secret". The winner (Dick Ebersol - an NBC executive) and nine of his friends will join Carly at her home in a few weeks, at which time she will sing You're So Vain while her guests enjoy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and vodka on the rocks. At midnight, Mr. Ebersol alone will learn Carly's closely guarded secret.

"Carly told me that I could offer up to the entire world, a clue as to what she'll tell me when we have this night in about two weeks. And the clue is: the letter 'E' is in the person's name." Dick Ebersol on NBC's Today Show - Aug. 5th, 2003

CNN - People In The News - 2004

Paula Zahn : Long ago, you once admitted that it could potentially be a composite of a number of men that were dear to you in your life. Whether that be Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty or maybe even a little bit of James Taylor in there?

Carly: Well, I guess for those who are interested in clues - the name of the person it was about had an "E" in it.

PZ: Oh, well thank you...that's very helpful Carly. That could be Mick, Warren or James. We still have the same three in the pot.

Carly: Maybe I could disclose another letter. OK, it also has an "A".

PZ: (Laughter) Ok, we'll be asking you about this for the next thirty years.

Carly: Well listen, two vowels ain't bad!

Regis & Kelly - 2004

Regis : Isnt' it time for you to tell the world - who's the guy you're singing about? Is it Warren Beatty? Is it Mick Jagger? Or is it me? Tell us!

Carly: If I tell it, it's going to come out in dribs and drabs. And I've given out two letters already, and "A" and an "E". But I'm going to add one to it. I'm going to add an "R", in honor of you.

USA Today - June, 2005

"It's about Mark Felt!" Simon, 59, joked by phone Wednesday from her home in Martha's Vineyard, referring to the former FBI official who has said he was Deep Throat. You're So Vain was a No. 1 hit in January 1973, six months after the Watergate break-in that led to President Nixon's downfall.

But unlike the Watergate principals, Simon says she'll never reveal the answer, not even when she or the song's subject dies. "I don't see why I ever would. What would it advance? I wrote that song in the days when people kept confidences to themselves, whereas now, people expose them so easily and readily for the benefit of their next movie sale."

She finds it "bizarre" that fans are still speculating about her lyrics three decades later. "If people knew who it was to begin with, it might not have become a hit."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Callin Out Around the World I Cried At Work Today.

Callin Out Around the World I Cried At Work Today.
I have no problem admitting it to all the 3 or 4 people out there in blog land. Greg emailed me and notified in a few words that Danny Federici died. Greg knew me in the mid eighties in the height of my Springsteen mania. I still love his stuff but sometimes his library gets lost with all the other music I have learned in the last 20 years. Anyway the E Street band was a heck of a combo. It will take a long time to explain my long time love for Bruce Springsteen's music and Danny's contribution to that but let me give you some links later that might explain it better than I can.
The great musician/ song writer Nigel Tufnel once called the key of D Minor the saddest of all keys. Songs in that key made him "Weep Instantly". Well some of the songs I swear that are in D Minor include
Romeo and Juliet ( , quite a few Joe Jackson and Randy Newman songs and ultimately Racing in the Street by Bruce Springsteen. You can read about the actual song in one of the links below. I have included the original and the live version. As you can imagine this is the first song I think of when I think of the late Danny. The song itself is beautiful and haunting from the Bittan piano and the moment Bruce sings.
The Song is about finding hope from hopelessness.

"Some guys they just give up living /And start dying little by little, piece by piece".
It's about being transient.
"We only run for the money got no strings attached/ We shut 'em up and then we shut 'em down".
One of the saddest lines in a song with atmosphere to match
" She sits on the porch of her daddy's house /But all her pretty dreams are torn /She stares off alone into the night /With the eyes of one who hates for just being born."

Ultimately the attempt at redemption:
"Tonight my baby and me we're gonna ride to the sea
And wash these sins off our hands"

You don't owe me anything. Just take seven minutes and listen to this song. Listen to the outro that starts with Roy Bittan's trying to put the song to rest then Federici's organ coming in. Not to duel but to fill in the gaps . Just beautiful. The live version has a different interplay and must be heard as well. Both versions provided. Who knows , you might cry at the same parts as I did. God bless you Danny Federici.

Racing In The Street
I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a 396
Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor
She's waiting tonight down in the parking lot
Outside the Seven-Eleven store
Me and my partner Sonny built her straight out of scratch
And he rides with me from town to town
We only run for the money got no strings attached
We shut 'em up and then we shut 'em down
Tonight, tonight the strip's just right
I wanna blow 'em off in my first heat
Summer's here and the time is right
For goin' racin' in the street
We take all the action we can meet
And we cover all the northeast state
When the strip shuts down we run 'em in the street
From the fire roads to the interstate
Some guys they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up
And go racin' in the street
Tonight, tonight the strip's just right
I wanna blow 'em all out of their seats
Calling out around the world, we're going racin' in the street
I met her on the strip three years ago
In a Camaro with this dude from L.A.
I blew that Camaro off my back and drove that little girl away
But now there's wrinkles around my baby's eyes
And she cries herself to sleep at night
When I come home the house is dark
She sighs "Baby did you make it all right"
She sits on the porch of her daddy's house
But all her pretty dreams are torn
She stares off alone into the night
With the eyes of one who hates for just being born
For all the shut down strangers and hot rod angels
Rumbling through this promised land
Tonight my baby and me we're gonna ride to the sea
And wash these sins off our hands
Tonight tonight the highway's bright
Out of our way mister you best keep
'Cause summer's here and the time is right
For goin' racin' in the street
Copyright © Bruce Springsteen (ASCAP)

Springsteen Mourns E Street Keys Man
He was the man whose keyboard part characterised Born In The USA, whose accordion defined Sandy, and whose solo on Hungry Heart added a sense of melodrama. Indeed, to many his playing lay at the very heart of the E Street Band’s rich and soulful sound, stretching back as it did to the late ‘60s when he and the young Bruce Springsteen played The Upstage Club in Astbury Park as punk kids. Hence, the death of E Street Band keyboard player Danny Federici on Thursday April 17 was announced with grave sadness which included a simple, heartfelt statement from Bruce on his own website.
The statement from Springtseen on read as follows:
"Danny and I worked together for 40 years - he was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure natural musician. I loved him very much...we grew up together."
Aside from Bruce’s comments, the website eulogized Federici further and confirmed that the 58 year-old had been battling melanoma for the last three years, before passing away at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Federici’s last appearance with the E Street Band was during a special performance in Indianapolis when he appeared onstage during parts of the set. His death has seen Springsteen cancel his shows in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando on Friday April 18 and Saturday April 19 respectively.
MOJO would like to send our condolences to the Federici and E Street Band families. A full appraisal of Federici’s talent will appear in a future issue of MOJO magazine.