A generation ago the health experts considered all cholesterol to be unhealthy, and thought we raised our cholesterol through our poor diets. It is now known that there is a distinction between good cholesterol (HDL) and bad (LDL), and that diet does not seem to be the real culprit with cholesterol problems.


The dietary link to cholesterol is confusing because the connection is not direct. Reducing the cholesterol in the food will do little if a person is still unhealthy; the body seems to manufacture or retain the bad cholesterol that it already has. Living a healthy lifestyle, including a good diet, will significantly help cholesterol. It is the overall health that appears important, not a single food factor.


While eating cholesterol rich foods may not significantly raise your cholesterol levels it is believed that eating foods with Phytosterols will help reduce them. Phytosterols are similar enough to cholesterol so that they compete for absorption in the intestines. Simply put, if you eat more Phytosterols you absorb less cholesterol from bile and dietary sources. Avocado, flax seed and peanuts are good sources of Healthy phytosterols.


It is possible to increase good cholesterol through aerobic exercise, weight loss, increasing consumption of soluble fibre and decreasing simple carbohydrates; but this matter is not that simple. Healthy bodies do have higher levels of HDL, but just raising HDL alone does not improve health. Dietary and exercise improvements are still recommended for general health, and this will indirectly help the cholesterol situation.


Policosanol Australia

Policosanol, like foods containing Phytosterols, helps the body realign cholesterol levels. This is a fairly natural product derived from sugar cane plants. Supporting the effectiveness of policonsanol Cuban researchers found it has no unwanted side effects. It effectively lowers cholesterol and fights cardiovascular disease in the process.



A wall decorated as a monthly calendar. Thirty or more numbered squares, each about a foot in size, made for a useful and pleasing wall decoration. Pity that the weeks and months don’t align; we have to continually adjust.


Designer clocks- it isn’t hard to buy a generic wall clock. Any clock with a flat face can be fitted with a decal, and the design options are limitless. We particularity like clocks decorated with classic album covers and books.


Wall 3D effects. Don’t like a flat wall! Have an optical illusion, or anything that creates depth.


Pictures of the sky on the ceiling, to give a great sense of space.


Skulls images in pink. This is the oddest combination of masculine and feminine, but we are fascinated by it.


Fish and aquatic animals on the windows. Make the outside world seem like a huge aquarium.


We have seen many decals put on musical instrument such as guitars. We have also seen decals of guitars applied elsewhere. We’re not sure if there are too many instances of this working both ways. Guitar decals and decals of guitars.


Anything that personalizes a laptop computer.


Plastic model decals have always remained popular. Now with 3D printing we can create any model, and then use custom decals to supply the fine details.



pj tours

What should I wear on a Blue Mountains Day Tour?

The weather varies from summer to winter; and it will tend to get colder after dark. It tends to be slightly lower in temperature than the coast. Summer is moderately warm and sunny; wear a hat and use sunscreen; a jacket might be advisable at night. Winter can literally get icy; appropriate cold condition clothing is essential.

Consult the weather report the night before your tour:


The only consistent requirement is comfortable walking shoes.


Can’t I just take a train to the Blue Mountains?

You can take a train to the general area, but getting around will require a car or bus connections. There are some good bus routes, but PJ tours remains popular because we look after all the travel details and include the best sites.


What is the historical background?

The first white settlement was in Sydney 1788. There were several known attempts to cross the Blue Mountains in the following years. An 1813 attempt by Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth was successful, hence the sites names after them. A road was built in 1814, and the first buildings in 1816. Train-lines were slowly constructed during the 1860s.

There may have been Europeans who crossed the mountains early on, but this was kept secret as authorities at the time did not want the convicts to see this as a possible means of escape. Of course, the indigenous Aborigines had already occupied and cross the mountains for centuries.

Why the name and Colour?

There were some other names for the region back in the 1780s. It was briefly called Carmerthen and Lansdowne Hills, but the name Blue Mountains soon came to be preferred. The colour of the region, when seen at a distance, is thought to be caused by light scattering off oil particles in the atmosphere. These particles are from the large number of eucalyptus trees in the mountains.

On a Blue Mountains day tour will I see Kangaroos and wildlife?

In the wild, quite possibly. At a zoo, quite definitely.  Featherdale Zoo will even let you take photographs with some animals.



TECH ROLL – Retractable fly Screen Australia

There are various types of flyscreen. There are different types of mesh, different types of enclosures and different means of installation; all of which can be made permanent of movable, all of which can all be combined in several ways.




This is a cheap material and suitable for both fixed and movable applications. It keeps out all flying insects, but provides no security benefits to potential human intruders.



This is long lasting and strong, highly resistant to rust, and is as effective against insects as any other mesh. But as aluminium does not paint easily the bare metal look cannot be varied.


Stainless Steel.

This is by far the strongest mesh, and proves very difficult for potential thieves. Unlike other options it can also be coloured with powder coating. It is completely rust resistant unless exposed to very strong corrosive agents.



Screens can be permanently fixed to the window or made retractable.


Most flyscreen doors are hinged. Windows can effectively and inexpensively be made the same way. There needs to be sufficient room for the apparatus to swing open and shut, but otherwise this is an effective system of opening the whole window.


Sliding flyscreens

These are like sliding doors. Indeed, some large enclosures use sliding flyscreen doors. Windows are also very neatly done this way. They are moderately inexpensive and their only disadvantage is that they will only cover half of the available space; the other half is the space they slide into. As the other half is usually a fixed window that does not require a screen this is rarely a problem.


Retractable Fly Screen Australia

These are the most discreet option, short of removing the screen altogether. Flexible screens can retract into an enclosure and roll into a small space. Being controlled by an electronic remote or simple rods and cords these are the ultimate in convenience.


Alternately, some people prefer not to use screens at all in seasons where insects are not a problem. Magnetic screens easily attach to metal window frames, and can be rolled up and store elsewhere during the offseason.


Retractable fly screen Sydney

Talk to your local retractable insect screen distributor about which option is best for you. Screen last for many decades, so choose something you will be proud to have long term.





If we are in better physical and mental health our lives are better. This doesn’t remove life’s challenges, problems and losses, but it does allow us to better handle them. Being healthy means thinking more clearly and feeling more alive.


Chia seeds- there are more than a few of these so called ‘super-foods’ in the press. These seem a little overrated; even as they do contain several healthy compounds they are not all that different to other food we already eat, or should be eating. In many cases these come from areas of the world where there were some deficiencies in the local diet. The individuals who ate Chia seeds and Goji berries got the essential ingredients that the rest of the population was lacking; hence these products goat a great local reputation.


That being said, adding Goji berries and Chia seeds to your diet is far better than taking supplements. And they might actually do something we haven’t yet discovered.


Olive oil/flaxseed oil- a generation or two ago we thought that all oils were causing health problems and acne. The truth was that we ate the wrong types of oil; rather like putting the wrong fuel in a car. Any oil that stays solid at body temperature seems to be an issue. Good oils like olive oil or flaxseed seem to be necessary for good health, and help get rid of the bad substances. Use them in salads and for cooking, though keep the temperatures low, because oil breaks down if it is too hot. Google to find the ‘smoke point’ of each oil, and cook under that temperature.


Coconut oil has received a lot of press lately. It is natural, stable at high cooking temperatures, and seems to have no end of health benefits.


Cinnamon: This seems to help concentration and stabilize blood sugar levels. We only use a small amount, maybe half a teaspoon per day, so it is quite cheap.


Raw cocoa powder. Chocolate has significantly risen in reputation as of late. Despite our earlier misconceptions it has no real link to weight gain or acne. And its antioxidant content is very good for us. Raw cocoa powder is the super healthy, unprocessed version of chocolate powder. Without the added sugar or fat this raw cocoa power is a great source of energy and antioxidants.


Spirulina: A form of algae that is full of vitamins and antioxidants. Add a tablespoon a day.


Beetroot powder: This is another additive that seems to be good for a lot of things. The fact that it lowers blood pressure is reason enough to add it to our diet.


Some, perhaps all, problems in life are a symptom of a meta-problem. If we can fix our underlying health problems we find that a lot of other issues are easier to handle.





Each country if different, and has different immigration laws.  Most immigration laws are sensible; you cannot enter a country if you appear dishonest or might pose a threat to others. Some laws are odd.

Not being able to enter a country because of a contagious disease seems quite understandable. And we can extend this to a medical condition that is a threat to the immigrating individual; they would be better off with medical support in their home country, and not spending an overseas visit in a foreign hospital. We understand that no country wants immigrants to be a drain on the health care system. New Zealand takes this to the extreme and refuses entry to people who are overweight. As New Zealand

People have been refused visas for:

  • Texting a message that was perceived as threatening. Two British tourists were detained over a text hat said they would ‘destroy America’, by which they meant ‘party’
  • For making a lot of visits to counties considered a threat. Visiting a lot of Muslim countries (even those who have nothing to do with terrorism) can cause problems.
  • Writing research papers on illegal activities. Writing on and researching drugs or money laundering is probably not going to look good.
  • For criticising the government, especially the US president.
  • Being unable to prove you have sufficient funds. Apparently Bitcoin in not sufficient.
  • For old legal offences. Some people have been refused entry because they took part in protests 20 years before.
  • Looking like you intend to work. A work visa is a different thing. Some countries protect their jobs. If you carry a guitar you many need to assure them that you will not use it for busking.
  • Many student visas applications are not made through registered migration agents. Many visas are cancelled for this reason.
  • A study visa for one university may not be transferable to another. US authorities have sent students back home because the student had transferred university courses without making the appropriate change on the visa.

Just to make things complex, temporary visas and permanent residency are different. With a temporary visa you have to prove you will leave in the allotted time, before the visa runs out. With permanent residency you have to prove that you intend to stay. There have been cases of people in Canada being refused a visiting visa but them being granted permanent residency.



Korean BBQ, or Gogigui, is very much a social event. Tables at Korean BBQ restaurants are set up with charcoal or gas grills, so diners can cook their own meat. An overhead fan is provided to remove any fumes.

While westerners usually don’t cook meat seated around a barbecue in the middle of the table the arrangement is not too unfamiliar. Fondue parties with cheese or chocolate use a central pot on the table, with Italian Bagna Cauda and Asian hot pot dishes also using a community central pot. The difference is that the Korean version concentrates on different meats.

Korean BBQ uses very thinly sliced meat, usually beef, pork or chicken, though there are sometimes also sausages. This meat is sometimes marinated with various combinations of soy, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and pepper. At other times the meat is un-marinated, and so thin that it cooks almost instantaneously Marinated ribs are also quite popular.

Side dishes are always served with Korean Restaurant BBQ; an all meat diet is probably not healthy. Green onion salad, cucumbers, yellow pickled radish, sprouts and of course rice and always served. Often people wrap their meat in lettuce.


NorthRocks Dental

Wisdom Teeth at Carlingford Dental.

Wisdom teeth are the third molars that emerge later in life, generally in the late teens or early twenties. In some cases they are simply an extra tooth at the back of the mouth, but many individuals find that one or more of their wisdom teeth causes problems. Wisdom teeth are notorious for not emerging properly into the mouth and remaining partly overgrown by gum. This tends to produce ongoing pain and leave the individual open to infections and decay where the tooth and gum meet. In some cases more serious problems can occur.

It is not always widely appreciated just how beneficial dental care has been to the population. Dental problems that could have been fatal in earlier periods of history, such as an abscess, can presently be treated with minor inconvenience. Problems with wisdom teeth, which have been found in archaeological sites dating back several thousand years, could potentially lead to fatal infections. With so many people suffering some form of wisdom tooth problem it is modern dentistry that has prevented at least some of them from dying prematurely.

In addition to the few individuals who have no trouble with emerging wisdom teeth some individuals never develop wisdom teeth at all. This is a genetic trait; wisdom teeth are almost unknown in some indigenous populations such a Mexico.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Carlingford

It is best to have wisdom teeth looked after at the first sign of problems. The inconvenience is short lived and soon forgotten. It has been endured by almost all individuals at some point; most never have any related issues after that time.

Carlingford Dental

Carlingford dentist at North rocks has the latest 3D X-ray machine. This provides the best way to assess a dental problem and ascertain the best solution. Talk to the Carlingford dentist at the first sign of wisdom teeth trouble.


ICER OCEANIA – Tyre and Brake Advice Part 2

TEXT ICER OCEANIA – Tyre and Brake Advice Part 2

Brake Pads

Brakes can be made to last longer, while maintaining good performance, with good driving technique.

Sudden stops put a lot of stress and wear on brakes. The force involved goes up as the square of the speed, which is high school physics. Double the speed means four times the force, which the brakes have to turn into heat.

Look at places where other drivers develop a pattern of slowing down. If you can predict this you can slow down in advance, giving your brakes an easier time.

Carry less weight if possible. This is usually a small matter, but if the luggage is heavy enough to affect handling it will be putting a bigger strain of you brakes. When the heavy load in inevitable you will have to adjust your driving accordingly.

Replace brake fluid on a regular basis, especially on older cars. Replacement fluid is inexpensive, while old fluid attracts water and corrodes the system’s insides. It is worth replacing the fluid to maintain the vehicles performance.

Never compromise safety; if a situation forces you to stop suddenly, then act accordingly. Extending brake life is commendable, but brake pads are inexpensive compared to other components like transmissions, or crashed vehicles.

Talk to you brake pad suppliers if you have any questions.

For Brake pads Sydney based ICER Oceania has a full brake pads catalogue, including European aftermarket brake pads.



It’s not really debatable if Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS Foam) is recyclable; it’s just not widely accepted. The material is a problem due to the shear amount produced, and because it does not disappear on its own accord. But there have been several recycle methods discovered. It is dealing with the physical bulk of EPS foam and implementing the recycling methods on a large scale that presents difficulties. The issue is practicality, not possibility.

Polystyrene can have the air extracted and be turned into resin. This is useful for making plastic products, and is much cheaper than new resin. This is one approach to recycling, turning the old product into something new.

Another approach to recycling is reducing the material to its components and reusing it, hopefully in the natural environment. The odd discovery that mealy worms can digest polystyrene means than the material can be used for animal feed. Mealy worms can live on a healthy diet of EPS and little else. They, in turn, can be used for fish bait or bird food. Though considered pests in other circumstances mealy worms do have this practical recycling use; and feeding them recycled polystyrene would prevent them from eating useful products like grain.

EPS can be dissolved by Limonene, an oil derived from oranges and other citrus fruits. This process occurs at room temperature. The resulting material from is still has to be reprocessed or recycled, but the reduction in bulk, as huge issue with recycling is massively reduced.

The bulk issues with EPS are usually solved with machine processing. This does not change the material at a chemical level; it just removed the air, about 98% of foam’s physical size. This makes transport much easier.

According to some sources the alternatives to EPS may be worse than EPS. And every time an alternative is discovered there is always the risk that it may cause some yet undiscovered side effects in the future. EPS Recycling with EPS Equipment looks to be viable, especially if methods can be used to break it down without using further energy.