Monday, August 10, 2009

Health Pointers - VCO - Virgin Coconut Oil

I am doing two jobs at the same time, vacuuming the floor while writing this posting. How convenient. The whirring of the robot vacuum cleaner with its soft lights blinking soothes the nerves or is it the thought of the job being made easy that is soothing? I wonder.

I mentioned a trip to my Alma Mater in my earlier posting here. I had for sometime been looking for virgin coconut oil (VCO) which is touted as one natural oil whose food value exceeds other oils in the market. There are even claims that the developed world, in their quest to promote their agricultural products like soya and peanuts, has hoodwinked the whole world by falsely claiming superiority of their product over coconut oil and claiming VCO for causing adverse health conditions like high cholesterol. The truth is out now. Numerous research and studies have been conducted on the virtues and intrinsic values of VCO. You can read all of them by searching VCO on the net and, is one of them that provides a wealth of information. When I was a little kid I remember granny, both sides, and mum too using coconut oil for almost anything, cooking and frying, keeping some in a jar and placing nice smelling flower petals in it which is later used as hair-oil, taking some in a small bowl and placing one or two cloves of pounded garlic in the oil which is later used in massaging tired legs and muscles, and a myriad of other uses, too many to mention. As a kid I used to have skin problems especially at the back of the knee and at the fold of the forearm which was well treated with coconut oil. Mum would rub coconut oil on my tummy whenever I complained of tummy aches. There are many more uses of coconut oil. However, over the years, the dependence on coconut oil waned with the onslaught of advertisements over the health values of peanut oils, soya oils, polyunsaturated oils and others of similar lies. The demand for VCO slowly decreased over the years until it is so difficult to get any now! Very strong and very subtle this onslaught by the super nations to deny a share in the market for edible oil from the developing countries, the third world and the backward nations, most of all of which has plentiful coconuts.

I checked out the shops, supermarkets and hypermarkets for VCO but none of them carry it in their stock. I then tried several pharmacies and one of them had it in capsule form which was not what I want. Ram even tried making VCO but it is quite a hassle as it takes quite several hours to produce it and all you get in the end is just two or three tablespoons of oil from one coconut. A couple of weeks ago I visited a couple, a very close family friend, in fact he was my housemate when we were bachelors and we were just starting work then. We are close but we rarely meet as we now live in different towns. This couple operates a spa and a healing outlet. Naturally when we were there the topic of our discussion was the spa and health. That’s when I mentioned VCO and they were aware of the high value of it in terms of maintenance of good health and healing. They mentioned that one department in my Alma Mater, the Chemical Engineering School runs a research centre, the Chemical Engineering Pilot Plant (CEPP). It is at this school that they obtain technical support for their spa. One of the research products of CEPP is VCO. This product is sold to the public. So, it will be very convenient for me to obtain VCO. Special classes are conducted in CEPP for entrepreneurs to learn the technique and the machineries necessary to produce VCO in commercial scales. I will consider attending one of this classes later.

So it was, one fine day last week, we drove to my Alma Mater in KL, braving the traffic jams, and located this CEPP outlet. True enough, they have VCO for sale and they also have other products made in the pilot plants which are located in the main campus in JB, some 350 kilometers south. We got the VCO that we want and we found out that the person who is in-charge of this outlet lives not too far away from my house. How very convenient. We need not brave the KL traffic jams now to obtain our VCO supply. Furthermore my youngest sister and her husband lecture at the south campus in JB. They did check out the availability of VCO supply at the main CEPP outlet there and there were plenty of different packing sizes. So I can be assured of regular supply of VCO.

I encourage readers of my postings to search VCO on the net and read of the possible benefits that can be derived from the use of VCO. Have fun reading and try VCO out sometime. I hope it will be beneficial to you as well……….

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Petaling Jaya.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Blind Cleaner

One lazy weekend, some fortnight ago, Tessa showed me a flyer from a stack of flyers that were just pushed aside in a corner of the mini-kitchen table in our house. I have seen these flyers that occasionally came through our mailbox but have not bothered to read any of them. This particular flyer caught Tessa’s eyes and she passed it on to me while enquiring if I am not interested in it. On reading it my inquisition got the better of me and started reading every detail available. I even visited the website given on the flyer. They were having a promotion at one of the shopping malls and that day, a Sunday, was the last day of the promotion. I have resolved not to go to any of the shopping malls on a weekend much so on a Sunday as the place will be very crowded and before anything else you will have to go round and round looking for parking space. Once you park your car you will have to jostle with the crowd in the elevators, escalators, and in some popular shop outlets too. Children, young and not so young, with parents chasing, teenagers in groups and young couples will be taking over most of the spaces in the complex. In short, you will not have peace shopping!! To get out of the complex will be another hassle, too many cars coming in and going out at the same time. The politicians ask us to be resilient and withstand the economic downturn. Huh! What downturn!! Are these people in the malls just whiling away their time and not shopping?

The next day, a Monday, Ram and I was out for some errands and also visited my ‘Alma Mater’ to check out some products from a pilot plant that is run on a research basis (this will be a subject of my posting later). We had some time after lunch and decided to visit the actual showroom of the product mentioned in the flyer. The showroom is located in Sunway Mas Commercial Center, a satellite town not too far away from our house, within a new development area of PeeJay North. I am not familiar with this area but I managed to get route guidance over the phone from the guy in the showroom. This guy turned out to be the big boss himself and when we arrived at the showroom he was alone, as all his team members were dismantling their stuff at the promotional site in the shopping mall. He said that they got home very late in the night the previous night and hence took their time to dismantle and sort things out this being a Monday. He proceeded to demonstrate the gadget and mentioned that he had been studying similar products for quite a number of years and only now found one that had addressed the flaws found in all the previous products.

The product is a robotic vacuum cleaner. Ram calls it the blind cleaner. It moves around according to design and would go anywhere as long as its path is not impeded. It will change direction when it touches an object or when it reaches the edge of a floor or a fall off like the stairway drop etc. The guy who demonstrated the cleaner to us has, over the past several years, studied various robotic cleaners, their design and function, their construction and most of all their performance. There were several detrimental flaws in these previous cleaners that have been removed from this particular design. One example is: when the cleaner touches an object, like the leg of a chair, or the bottom of a cabinet or anything similar, it will retract a few centimeters backwards from its path and then turn to its side. The previous ones do not retract but would turn as soon as they touch an object, and by turning it sometimes scratches the object. This cleaner is designed to move in a square direction, circular direction clockwise and anti-clockwise, zig-zag direction and cris-crossing direction. It will retract and change direction when it reaches the edge of a floor, say at the staircase and will not fall. The design comes with two sets of brushes, one rotating long brush at the mouth of the vacuum inlet and another one circular brush that dislodge dirt and dust from the floor especially at the edges. There is also an Ultraviolet light incorporated to destroy any bacteria collected.
Looking For The Charger
One interesting in-built feature is the ability of the cleaner to find its charger once the battery is almost depleted. It will move around and look for the charger and when it come close docks itself to recharge. On one occasion when it was docking I told Ram that the baby has found its mother and is now breast feeding….. ha ha ha! So, the cleaner is good to work on its own. You can leave the house when it is at work, no problem. You can even set for it to continue working after it has been fully recharged.

Baby Getting Close To Mum!!

Mum Found

Docking Onto Charger

Charging Starts,.....

We have had the set working quite well and I think frequency of mopping the floors can now be reduced, provided vacuuming is done frequent enough, thus less strain on us. If only a mobile robotic floor mopper can be designed……….. ha ha ha! wishful thinking…..

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Petaling Jaya