Friday, June 26, 2009

Life is a Metaphor

A metaphor is a figure of speech using a word or phrase that usually means one thing to refer to something else. It's an analogy that compares two unlike elements to make a point, a comparison between two things that are not likely or obvious.

"Life is like a pair of red stilettos" is a comparison of two unlike elements to make a point. I'm not exactly certain what the point is, but it's probably very titillating.

However, "Life is like a pair of red stilettos" is actually a simile.

A simile is a comparison of two unlike things using the word "like" or "as" whereas a metaphor is a comparison of two unlike things using a variation of the verb "to be."

And such nonsensical gibberish is the precise reason I majored in mathematics in college rather than anything that involved the precision of the English language. The precision of mathematics is based on logic and reason. The precision of the English language is based on a set of rules made by some pompous Englishman with a persecution complex and limp wrists.

One of my favorite similes was uttered by General Norman Schwarzkopf during the Gulf War when he said, "Going to war without the French is like going deer hunting without an accordion."

Believe it or not, the following is a list of similes and metaphors used in essays by high school students in the land of the free and the home of the brave..

1) He was as tall as a six-foot-three tree.

2) Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

3) The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

4) From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 instead of 7:30.

5) She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6) John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

7) Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

8) The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.

9) He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

10) She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 legs missing.

11) He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.

12) He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

One of my old college roommates was a lot like a metaphor. He was as tall as a five-foot-eleven tree and often reminded me of a garbage truck backing up, although I don't recall hearing any bells.

Quote for the Day – "Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard from no more – it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Bill Shakespeare

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where red stilettos are forbidden by law. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Into the Mystic

Once you accept your own death, you're free to live.

Somewhere around 2,500 years ago, a fellow named Plato wrote THE MYTH OF ER.

Er was slain in battle. His body was laid to rest on a funeral pyre, a pile of material to later be burned.

Twelve days later, he came back to life and spoke of his experience in the afterlife.

His soul had left his body and was greeted by a group of other souls. Then he traveled with the group through a series of passageways into another realm. Er was now in a gateway domain where individual souls were being judged by divine beings who were able to perceive everything the souls had done while in their carnal (earthly) dimension. But Er was not judged. He was told it was not yet his time to enter the heavenly realm and that he must return to his body to inform the rest of the carnal word what was beyond their physical reality.

Having returned, Er told those present about witnessing the heroes of legend making choices for future lives.

Although considered to be a mythological tale, Plato was describing the phenomenon of "near death experience." And by the planning of future lives, he was also introducing an aspect of reincarnation.

In modern terms a near death experience (NDE) occurs when a person is clinically dead for a period of time and then brought back to life, sometimes through resuscitation and sometimes by natural circumstances.

People who have experienced an NDE generally have a similar experience and go through the same steps.

1) A sense of being dead, plus an overall feeling of tranquility and love.
2) The sensation of floating upward out of their physical body and witnessing what is taking place below.
3) Passing through a tunnel or narrow passageway.
4) Being greeted by deceased friends and relatives, as well as highly spiritual beings.
5) Encountering a divine bright light and being beckoned (welcomed) by it.
6) Going through a review of their entire life and comprehending how their actions affected others.
7) When told they were to return to their carnal body, they did so reluctantly.
8) After returning to their earthly existence, they had a new perspective on life and no longer feared death.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, approximately eight million Americans claim to have had an NDE.

If there's another realm of existence beyond our earthly presence, perhaps there's some way to explore it.

Dr. Michael Newton, among others, has done just that. Dr. Newton, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in Counseling psychology and is a certified master hypnotherapist. Some of his published works include DESTINY OF SOULS, LIFE BETWEEN LIVES and JOURNEY OF SOULS. He specializes in explaining our immortal life in the spirit world.

While most of those who explore such things concentrate on hypnotically regressing people into past lives, Dr. Newton narrows in on the state of being between lives within a higher spiritual (ethereal) domain.

Based on over 7,000 hypnotic regressions of people into the life between lives region, Dr. Newton has documented a spiritual dimension consistent with near death experiences, but much more profound.

The descriptions of this realm have been consistent among the participants with minor individual differences.

1) The journey into this spiritual dimension begins by meeting one's spirit guide and soul group.
2) One then meets with a council of wise, elevated souls familiar with one's soul journey.
3) Universally reported by all participants is the selection of a future life (on an earthly plane of existence).
4) The selection of a future life is based on the uniqueness of the individual soul's journey.
5) This spirit realm is one of love, kindness and compassion, as well as order, planning and direction.
6) Souls are multi-dimensional. Soul energy is in the human body while the soul remains active in the realm.

Life on this earth is full of pain, suffering and injustice. It's a plane of existence to cleanse our immortal souls.

Death may be the greatest of all human blessings. When we enter the Great Beyond, we enter a sphere of love and compassion. Some might call it heaven.

Quote for the Day – "Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death." Ayn Rand

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where immortality is the norm, followed by death. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Glycemic Index

I weighed myself the other day for the first time in two months. I was surprised how much stronger the earth's gravitational force had become in just 60 days.

Whenever you eat, food is converted to blood sugar, called glucose. This is particularly true when eating carbohydrates.

Blood sugar is the fuel that makes the body go. Every cell in your body depends on blood sugar for energy to stay alive and perform its function. Without it, you would go into a coma and soon die.

The pancreas creates insulin which is released into the blood stream in response to elevated glucose levels. Without the insulin, blood glucose levels would rise excessively, creating a condition known as hypoglycemia.

If your insulin production is defective you may be subject to diabetes.

Type-1 diabetes is when your body doesn't produce enough insulin.

Type-2 diabetes occurs when you produce sufficient amounts of insulin but your cells have developed a resistance to it, potentially damaging your system (kidneys, eyes, nerves, vital organs).

A diet low in carbohydrates is helpful for managing glucose levels and losing weight but it isn't that simple.

The key to good health and losing weight is to avoid spikes in insulin levels.

If you skip meals and compensate for it with high-carbohydrate snacks, you're putting you body on a blood sugar roller-coaster ride.

The same is true if you eat one or two huge meals per day and little else in between. Your blood sugar spikes upward, causing your insulin levels to spike upward.

Twenty-five percent of all the glucose in your bloodstream goes to your brain. When these levels spike, you can become sluggish and forgetful. If you eat a lot of the wrong carbohydrates for breakfast you become lethargic by mid morning. Then you need a donut or some pastry to give you another temporary quick fix.

Spikes in glucose and insulin levels turn on the hunger switch. And everything you eat that is not burned up as energy is stored as fat.

It's a lot easier to control weight if you're not hungry most of the time.

In 1981, Dr. David Jenkins, a Professor of Nutrition at the University of Toronto, attempted to establish the type of foods that were best for people suffering from diabetes. He found that certain foods traditionally defined as complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes, led to a rapid rise in blood glucose while some foods high in sugar appeared to digest more slowly leading to a more gradual rise in blood glucose.

This discovery led to an additional method of classifying foods (carbohydrates) called the Glycemic Index.

Foods that digest rapidly, leading to a rapid release of glucose into the bloodstream, thereby causing spikes in glucose and insulin levels, are known as high glycemic index foods.

Foods that digest more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, are known as low glycemic index foods.

In order to stabilize blood glucose, reduce body fat and boost energy levels, it's important to consider the types of carbohydrates you eat.

Foods that contain low glycemic levels will minimize the production of insulin. As an added bonus, this will decrease hunger and increase energy levels, encouraging your body to burn more fat.

You can get a Glycemic Index chart on the Internet or in many health books.

Generally, almost all grains (bread, rice, etc.) are high glycemic.

Except for bananas, dates, figs, mangoes, papayas and raisins, most fruit is low glycemic. Except for carrots, corn, squash, parsnips and potatoes, most vegetables are low glycemic. Since meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy products are low in carbohydrates they are also low glycemic.

I am not a nutritionist. If your health is important to you, this may be something to explore.

By the way, food is also psychologically addictive. It's a substitute for love, an emotional fix, a sign that something is eating us. If you feel empty inside, you satisfy it by filling up inside. This can only be overcome by recognizing the problem and getting over it.

I've apparently spent much of my life substituting for love. To overcome it, I got a new puppy.

Quote for the Day – "Never eat more than you can lift." Miss Piggy

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where obesity is widespread. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Being a Survivor

All organic life forms, including humans, are created by magic and exist primarily by the willful instinct to survive.

Survivor is a CBS TV reality show where a bunch of “real” people are sent to a remote location, with very little food or equipment, and attempt to “survive” in their new surroundings while being followed closely by cameramen and sound technicians who are probably trying very hard not to giggle.

Reality TV is about as close to reality as I am to winning Miss Congeniality in the next Miss America contest.

At first, the 16 contestants are split into two tribes, usually consisting of four men and four women each. Every three days, the tribes compete in an elimination contest. The losing tribe is required to vote one of their members out of the tribe and thereby out of the competition.

After the tribes have been scaled back to about half the original size, the two tribes merge and start another round of contests where the winner of each event is immune from being ousted during the next vote.

When it gets down to the last two contestants, the previous seven voted off choose the winner. The lone survivor wins a millions dollars, an automobile from one of the sponsors and a spot on the David Letterman Show where they will be ridiculed before hundreds of TV viewers.

To become a contestant, you must fill out a lengthy questionnaire, include a health certificate signed by a physician and submit a short video of yourself explaining why you should be chosen. Out of several thousand applications, the field is narrowed to a few hundred based on the video presentation. This is where reality ends and something even stranger than reality begins.

The producers of the show tend to favor videos depicting bizarre behavior by the sort of humanoids that cause apes to reject the theory of evolution. If you leap out of a Dumpster with a rose between your teeth or fall out of a tree wearing a Zorro outfit, you have a much better chance to be selected than if you were reasonably normal. Apparently being loud and obnoxious helps as well, especially if you are prone to yell “whooooo” and “yahoo” after every action, such as winning a contest or tying your shoes.

Then after a series of interviews, the final 16 “real” people are selected.

Even though the 16 contestants are not exactly a representative slice of the human race, you can still learn a lot about human behavior by observing them in action.

Invariably, within each tribe, a person will immediately take it upon himself/herself to be the leader and begin barking orders. In almost every Survivor contest this was the first person voted out of each tribe, regardless of how competent the person was or how hard he/she worked.

Apparently, the human race doesn't care much for eager self-appointed leaders no matter how competent they are.

For some, life on Planet Earth is a struggle for supremacy. But for most of us, it's a struggle for survival. And the struggle for survival is hard enough without being under someone else's ambitious command.

After the gung ho leader is eliminated, the tribes tend to typically split into responsible workers and irresponsible loafers. The workers resent the loafers because the workers must work harder to make up for the time the loafers spend loafing. The loafers resent the workers because they resent being made to feel guilty for loafing.

This also seems to mirror the human race in the struggle between those who take responsibility by providing for themselves and those who feel entitled to the fruits of the labor of others.

During the course of the contest, as contestants are eliminated one by one, alliances are formed among various schemers seeking to manipulate the voting process. They have more power and control as a group. In the real world, these manipulators would gang up on others by joining unions or political parties.

In the first Survivor contest, the most manipulative person won. Over the next couple of years, the winners were the ones who acted the most honorably throughout the contest. This too is evident in everyday life where who you are or how you play the game often has no bearing on winning or losing.

In TV Survivor, the best strategy seems to be to keep a low profile, do your fair share of the work, refrain from criticizing others and accept your fate when the outcome is out of your hands.

That may not be such a bad strategy for survival in the “real” world either.

We are immortal mortals, eternal beings within infinity. Our purpose is not survival, it's to reach a state of bliss regardless of circumstances.

Quote for the Day – "A warrior considers himself already dead, so there is nothing to lose. The worst has already happened to him, therefore he's clear and calm." Carlos Castaneda (shaman)

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and keeps a low profile on the road to infinity. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Black Gold

The USA controls three percent of the world's proven oil supply yet consumes 25 percent of the world's oil, thereby allowing foreign governments, corrupt political leaders and terrorists to have leverage on our economy. Under these conditions, oil industry conglomerates reap astronomical profits and cause economic instability.

But suppose the supply of oil was somehow regenerating itself and not in danger of being depleted after all.

Dr. Thomas Gold is a physicist at Cornell University. Some of his accomplishments include landmark research on the workings of the ear, developing the mathematics of the rules of cosmology, and overseeing the construction and operation of the world's largest radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

Dr. Gold is also a proponent of the abiotic theory of oil. Developed by the Russians in the 1950s, the abiotic theory states that oil is not derived from decayed plant and animal life, but is rather a bio-product of a continual biochemical reaction below the surface of the earth that is forced to attainable depths by the centrifugal forces of the earth's rotation. In other words, oil is continually being produced (created) deep within the planet.

THE DEEP HOT BIOSPHERE: THE MYTH OF FOSSIL FUELS is Dr. Gold's groundbreaking book, published in 1998, that promotes the idea that oil is not a fossil fuel and, contrary to popular belief, is a renewable resource.

While conventional scientific wisdom dictates that life is formed on the Earth's surface, with the aid of the sun, Dr. Gold believes that most living entities reside deep within the Earth's crust at temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Celsius, living off of methane and other hydrocarbons.

Although highly regarded as a physicist, Dr. Gold has had a history as being a maverick. In the 1950s, the first radio astronomers discovered odd radio sources in the sky and thought they were unusual stars. Dr. Gold claimed they were actually distant galaxies. Years later, with new technology, Dr. Gold was proven to be correct.

In the 1960s, a different type of radio source was detected in the skies, flashing on and off with regularity. Dr. Gold wrote that these pulsars were neutron stars, the existence of which had been predicted but had never been seen. Although many of his colleagues scoffed at this explanation, once again Dr. Gold was proven to be correct.

Jerome R. Corsi (PhD from Harvard) is the author of 18 books, including ATOMIC IRAN and UNFIT FOR COMMAND. Craig R. Smith, Chairman of the board of Swiss America Trading Company, is the author of 24 scholarly books. Corsi and Smith have co-authored BLACK GOLD STRANGLEHOLD, which shares the notion that oil is continually created deep inside the planet and contends that the so-called scarcity is a marketing ploy to charge higher prices.

If Corsi, Smith and Dr. Gold are correct, this may be both a blessing and a curse. An endless supply of oil would probably mean an endless supply of air pollution from automobiles. This is bad news. Many people believe auto emissions trapped in the atmosphere create a global warming resulting in changing global weather patterns.

But suppose global warming is cyclical in nature and/or caused by natural forces beyond human control.

Corsi and Smith argue that global warming is unrelated to the burning of hydrocarbon fuels. They point out that carbon dioxide is far less than one percent of the atmosphere; not abundant enough to make a difference.

The energy emitted from the sun varies in intensity and studies have shown that fluctuations in activity on the sun have an effect on the temperature of Earth's atmosphere. According to Sallie Baliunas (Ph.D., Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), the sun is presently the most active it's been in 400 years.

There has also been an increase in the number of underwater volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean over the last few decades. This generates warmer water temperatures and thereby contributes to global warming as well.

Life is full of contradictions. We may or may not ever run out of oil and global warming (if it even exists) may or may not be caused by humans. In any event, it gives scientists a couple more quandaries to resolve.

Science is like beauty -- the truth is always in the eye of the beholder.

Quote for the Day – "Global warming is indeed a scam, perpetuated by scientists with vested interests, but in need of crash courses in geology, logic and the philosophy of science." Martin Keeley (BBC News)

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and in need of a crash course in the understanding of the female mind. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Gift from the Evil Empire

During the first week of June in 2009, President Obama made a trip to Egypt to speak to the Muslim world. It is his belief that if you are nice to people they will be nice to you. Former President Bush had a slightly different approach to foreign policy. You're either with us or against us – bring it on.

Osama Bin Laden, the founder of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, released a tape during the goodwill trip proclaiming that Obama is sowing seeds of hatred toward the United States. He urged all Muslims to continue to exterminate all infidels who have not converted to the holy teachings of Islam.

As every Redneck south of Boone, Kentucky and north of Bogalusa, Louisiana knows, being nice to a skunk or getting into a pissing contest with a skunk yields the same results. No matter what you do, you always come out smelling the same.

Skunks come in two varieties. There's the two-legged species that stink up the world with their offensive behavior and the four-legged species that stink up the world with their offensive odor. Sometimes the two-legged species also emits an offensive odor, usually due to a lack on interest in bathing or too many bean burritos.

I recently trapped one of the four-legged species under my dwelling. It had been permeating my residence with its pungent scent on occasion, usually when I listened to some rock-n-roll on the radio. When a country tune would come on, the aroma seemed to dissipate. It either likes country music or it drives him into the woods.

Instead of euthanizing the poor creature, I decided to turn it loose in an environment where it would be with its own kind. So I named it Squirt and shipped him off to the following address, along with the following note.

Osama bin Laden
Cave #23
Sulaiman Mountain Range, Pakistan

Dear Osama:

How is the Jihad going? Hope all is well with the five wives and 24 kids.

Enclosed you'll find a gift. It's a cute little animal indigenous to our country, the evil empire known as the United States of America. It's called a skunk and his name is Squirt. A skunk is from the Mephitidae family of medium-sized mammals and is sometimes known as a polecat in southern sections of the evil empire.

Squirt would be a perfect addition to your cave. Skunks are nocturnal carnivores. While you and your close associates (Mohatma, Ishmar, Alibaba, Mo and Curly) are sleeping at night, Squirt will be busy consuming garbage and insects thereby helping to keep your cave tidy and pest-free.

Another wonderful feature of Squirt is that he emits a very unusual odor whenever he gets riled up, which could happen frequently when he mingles with two-legged cave dwellers. This odor provides several benefits.

First of all, it will discourage outsiders, such as tax collectors, Jehovah Witnesses or representatives of the evil empire, from entering your cave and interrupting your discussions on how to destroy the western world.

Since it has probably been quite some time since you and your associates have taken a bath or been to a Laundromat, Squirt will provide you with a special new fragrance. This will eliminate that pesky body odor and cave musk, and make you more popular with the local virgins.

If you get tired of Squirt you can always eat him for supper. I suggest a light marinade, a pinch of garlic and some lemon juice. It tastes a bit like roasted goat entrails so you and your associates should enjoy it.

Skunks are black and white, just like your view of the world. You can save the hide and make a cap out of it. It would be a clever fashion statement. Just remember when wearing it -- eyeballs in front, tail in back.

By the way, the fellows at the local VFW Club all wish you well and would like to invite you to come on down to do some turkey hunting with them. Be sure to wear very bright clothing. Although the fellows at the VFW will be in camouflage, you should be easily spotted in the woods in case you get lost.

There are a lot of caves in this area so accommodations wouldn't be a problem. Remember to leave your AK-47 at home though. The airlines have become a bit fussy these days, ever since September 11, 2001, about carry-on items. I suspect an AK-47 probably wouldn't get through a metal detector. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Good luck with the Jihad and have a happy day.

Sincerely, Bret Burquest

P.S. Squirt hasn't been cave trained and skunk droppings can be quite slippery. Those of us in the evil empire wouldn't want you to get hurt before we had a chance to meet face to face and resolve our silly dispute.

Quote for the Day – "Exclusiveness is a characteristic of high society, the Mensa Society, evil cave dwellers and the skunk." Bret

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where he lives in harmony with most four-legged creatures. His blogs appear on several websites, including

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Life is like a box of chocolates -- it’s full of temptation and eventually becomes empty.

The cacao tree, also known as “Theobroma cacao” to those who prefer scientific names, is native to the tropical, equatorial slopes of the Andes in South America. Theobroma is Greek for “food of the Gods.” The ancient Aztecs worshipped the cacao tree and used the beans as currency.

Their main god, Quetzalcoatl, was the guardian of the cacao tree, considered the source of strength and wealth. The Aztecs crushed the beans into a paste, added spices, and drank it. Cacao seeds (beans) are the source of cocoa, cocoa butter and chocolate.

Early explorers brought the cacao bean back to Europe in the 1500s. With the invention of the moulding process in the 1800s, cacao beans were crushed into a fine powder, heated, and poured into moulds, forming shapes as it cooled. Thus the first chocolate candy bar came into being.

All modern commercial chocolate products contain substantial amounts of sugar, which may partially explain why chocolate can be so addictive.

According to research at New York University, there is a genetic reason some people crave sugary foods. Researchers identified a gene that was different between groups that craved sweets and those who didn’t. An ability by prehistoric humans to identify nutritional foods, such as fruits, while avoiding bitter plant material, which could be toxic, may have led to a genetic trait present today through human evolution.

Chocolate, like other sweet foods, stimulates the release of endorphins, natural body hormones that generate feelings of pleasure. A craving for chocolate could be a craving for pleasure.

From a chemical point of view, chocolate is the world's most perfect food. There are over 300 chemicals in chocolate, many of which may also promote craving.

For example, chocolate contains magnesium and iron, thus would satisfy anyone with a shortage of these minerals, such as pregnant women.

Chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine, a stimulant of the central nervous system.

Another stimulant present is theobromine, which relaxes the muscles in the linings of the lung. This compound is safe for human beings but metabolizes more slowly in dogs and other domestic animals, and could even kill them.

Many studies show that some chocolate ingredients affect the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transport electronic signals between nerve cells in the brain, causing changes in emotions and sensations.

Chocolate contains tryptophan, which creates a neurotransmitter called serotonin. High levels of serotonin can produce feelings of ecstasy. Coincidentally, the designer drug called Ecstasy also works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.

Another chemical named phenylethylamine works as an amphetamine by stimulating the brain’s pleasure centers, generating feelings of excitement, attraction and apprehension.

Anandamide is another neurotransmitter in chocolate that acts on the same brain structure as THC, the active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). They also discovered other similarities between chocolate and marijuana, but can't remember what they were.

However, the amount of tryptophan, phenylethylamine and anadamine in chocolate is so small, one would have to consume vast quantities to produce an euphoric state similar to street drugs.

According to neuroscientist Daniele Piomelli, chocolate works “indirectly” to produce its high. It contains chemicals known to slow down the breakdown of certain compounds, therefore prolonging the action of the natural stimulation in the brain.

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, including procyanidins, epicatechins and catechins. These compounds are antioxidents, which lower oxidation levels in LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase levels in HDL (good) cholesterol. They also reduce blood clotting, increase blood vessel flexibility and improve blood flow.

A study conducted at Harvard University suggests those who eat chocolate three times a month will live almost a year longer than those who don’t.

Chocolate is terrific stuff. It tastes great, gives you an emotional lift and promotes a natural high.

But don’t tell the government about it or they’ll take that away from us too.

Quote for the Day – "Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you're gonna get." Forrest Gump

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where life is like a box of chocolates. His blogs appear on several websites, including