ME/CFS: Thiamine is key; coffee & tea inhibit it

As I’ve noted elsewhere, thiamine forms part of a suite of supplements that might counteract energy problems in ME/CFS. In any case, thiamine (or thiamin) is vital to energy production and other biological processes.

A lot of people think that coffee or tea is vital to getting enough energy, too. For years I was one of those people, and I looked for the instant tea with the highest tea and caffeine content. Yet I noticed over many hiatuses from tea – but not caffeine – that I actually felt moderately better without it. How could this be?

It turns out that tea, coffee, raw shellfish, raw freshwater fish, and other foods contain “anti-thiamine factors.” Continue reading


Who’s ‘Our Inner Ape’? Or, I got your hippie chimp right here, and it’s not a bonobo

Here’s a YouTube rendition of the slideshow I presented at Nerd Nite DC in 2016. The script follows the video. A shorter version is here.

A woman recently came up to tell me that bonobos were her favorite primates. “Not humans?” I asked, but I knew better. Thanks to primatological popularizers, bonoboism has become widespread. But people looking for a “hippie chimp” are lionizing the wrong species. Continue reading

Jakartans can’t be turned into pedestrians, so why try?

A few months ago, the New York Times published a pretty good article on why people in Jakarta walk so little. Since I studied this and related questions in-depth from 2010 to 2012, I have some quibbles and additions, but all in all I recommend it.

The article includes quotes from a pro-pedestrian activist. However, in a presentation of my research, I labeled the promotion of pedestrianism in Jakarta a “lost cause.” Continue reading

Human roadblocks should prompt a detour

In a recent op-ed article in the Guardian, Andrew Gilligan draws a political lesson from his tenure as cycling commissioner in London. It’s worth a full read. Gilligan points out that proposals to expand bicycling infrastructure – lanes and paths – have great popular support in Britain but often aren’t put into action. He blames politicians for succumbing to opposition by a vocal minority or for simply lacking initiative.

How might cycling advocates overcome roadblocks to democratically supported improvements? Continue reading

ME/CFS: My medications and supplements

Finding and affording a specialist for myalgic encephalomyelitis (aka chronic fatigue syndrome) is difficult, and the two I’ve consulted have different approaches. So I thought I’d share some of my experience.

Hopefully, the following list will help other people with the disease. Each item is on it due to either a doctor’s recommendation or a research finding.

Continue reading

Addressing Energy Problems in ME/CFS

In this video, I research ways to address energy problems in ME/CFS and try a couple of new approaches. One worked, albeit incompletely. The script, with links to sources and products, is below.

In a couple of other videos (here and here), I’ve discussed recent findings regarding energy problems in the cells of people with ME/CFS. (That’s myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome.) In this video, I try to figure out what I — a person with this disease — might do about it. And then I do it, with some success. As usual, I’ve simplified the biological details. Continue reading

ME/CFS: Dueling Hypotheses

Here’s a video with a simplified comparison of VanElzakker’s Vagus Nerve Infection Hypothesis and Eriksen’s “ectopic lympoid aggregates” hypothesis.

Here’s the script: Continue reading