Three Things We Were Told Are Bad But Are Good If Used Properly (and How To Do Them Wrong)

“Sola dosis facit venenum.” The dose makes the poison.

This is the most basic principle of the study of Toxicology. It’s the simple fact that anything can be made lethal or even just detrimental by misusing or abusing it.

So why do so many people still insist that some things are just plainly bad for you?

I hate the idea of being told that something has no practical benefit and I often check out as soon as someone that thinks that way speaks. To me, it’s an indicator of narrow-minded and unquestioning thinking that I have no respect for.

So today, let’s discuss the things that we are told will put us in an early grave that, in reality, can be beneficial as long as you aren’t stupid about using them.

Marijuana

Eh, I would have put the snakes and the staff head around and on top of the center leaf, but the point is clearly made. Source: Weedist

Eh, I would have put the snakes and the staff head around and on top of the center leaf, but the point is clearly made.
Source: Weedist

As always let’s get the big one out of the way from the get-go.

EVERYBODY knows that there is a long list of medical uses for marijuana. What’s more, the LD50 (the dosage of a substance required to cause death in 50 percent of cases) of THC is so astronomically high as to be practically impossible; especially when you compare it to its effective dosages and even MORE especially when you compare it to the LD50 of alcohol and tobacco.

That said, you CAN get stupid with the stuff. People whose brains are still developing (read: under 18) are at risk for a loss of mental faculties and, needless to say, you shouldn’t be driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence. But seeing as those problems tend to drop off after legalization, the problem seems self-correcting. Still, it’s best to bake responsibly.

Caffeine

As someone who works overnight shifts for a living, I practically live on coffee. So all that caffeine can’t be good for me, right?

Well, much like our friend weed above, the ratio of caffeine’s effective dose and its LD50 are massive. You would need to drink 80 to 100 cups of coffee in one sitting to have a 50/50 shot at getting penciled in for a visit from Azrael.

That said, it’s not impossible. Reported deaths from caffeine overdoses are usually from those abusing pep pills or mainlining pure caffeine. And that’s to say nothing of the risks of Stimulant Psychosis that comes with abuse; especially for those who already suffer Psychosis through conditions like Schizophrenia.

But, for most normal and healthy humans, even the withdrawal symptoms are more like minor hindrances than serious issues. Just make sure that you stick to the coffee and energy drinks for your buzz.

Video Games

Can we start calling IQ points 'Brain Levels?

Can we start calling IQ points ‘Brain Levels?” I feel that would make my life more fun.
Source: LifeHacker

Not a drug, I know. But it’s still an issue… Why it’s still an issue I’ll never know.

All my life I was told that Video Games were bad for me and that I was going to grow up to be a mentally warped, violent freak for playing them.

But here’s the thing, while games can increase aggressive tendencies (as most competitive activities do), evidence shows the rate of violent crime DROPS with new major releases as a result of providing a time waster for those destructive desires. Also, as I mentioned last week, gaming provides useful mental exercise for those looking to keep their minds sharp.

But on the subject of exercise, let’s not forget that gaming is a largely sedentary hobby. So, it may behoove you to drop the controller once an hour to go on a 10-minute walk. Also, maybe we should replace the chips and energy drinks we often nurse with roasted nuts and iced tea.

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The Agent’s Best Worst Birthday Ever

Yes, it was worse than this.
Source: Billboard

So, now that Halloween is officially over (I personally don’t stop celebrating until Thanksgiving), I can start talking about other things that happened last month. Things like how my birthday was both the most painful experience I’ve had in recent memory and yet one of the best from a personal growth standpoint.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned how I normally love the month of October because my birthday coincides closely with Halloween. However, this year was quite difficult to enjoy.

A fair chunk of the issue is that this is my first year living on my own since getting out of college. As such, I’ve had to dedicate a huge swath of time and energy to making a comfortable life for myself. This means that most of my time has been spent away from friends, family, and even my roommate.

But it was the day of my birthday that hit me the hardest. I had just pulled up to my apartment after working all night. I was exhausted and emotionally drained after a half-hour of repetitive complaints from my boss that I had no power to fix; a daily morning routine for me for what felt like several months at this point.

I saw that my parents had called my cell phone, so I returned the call. After what felt like several minutes of explaining that I had to work that night and that I couldn’t see them, I had had a moment of lucidity.

I had not seen anything outside of the walls of my apartment or the rest stop that I work at since I moved. In my attempts to escape the trappings of my old reclusive live, I was stuck in a brand new box without the people I cared so much about.

As the realization that I was falling back on my shut-in behavior that I tried to distance myself from came over me, I wept. I wept like I never had in years. I just fell on the steering wheel of my car as I sat parked in front of my building and started sobbing. I had finally been broken.

But then, a strange thing happened. As I did my usual run of posts on Twitter and Facebook, I read the birthday wishes that others had sent me. It reminded me that there were those out there that still remember me and cared enough to take five seconds to let me know that. Still, it wasn’t the same as seeing a smile face.

That’s when my roommate came knocking at my bedroom door. She grabbed my best friend from work, got me a key lime pie, and didn’t want me leaving for work that night without it. Something about that small gesture just made the whole day seem worth being pulled out of bed. I went in to work that night with no regrets.

If there are two lessons to be taken from this, I’d say that the first it’s that – as sappy as it my be – there’s a reason that you’re here on this earth; because at least one person cares enough to need you in their live.

The other, less romantic lesson is that so-called ‘mature adult responsibilities’ will always be B.S. until they can be made to not interfere with the time you should be spending with the people that actually matter in your life.