This week I created some buttons that, if you have your own blog, you can put in your sidebar. Hopefully you find one of the two pictures inoffensive enough to have on your blog. If not, I should have one of me in a doctor’s jacket and stethoscope next week, which should be quite pleasing to those few girls out there that like their men in uniforms… Now, on with the show!

ask-me-anything-seb-thought-bubble-stroke.jpg

Dear Dr Moses, Parter of the Seas,

Is it true that you can’t go swimming until half an hour after eating or is it a myth? If not, why not?

- Naturally Buoyant from Boston [Perhaps I should provide a way of uploading photos to accompany questions... -S]

Now this is one I’ve always wondered about! First, the kind of exercise is irrelevant — running, cycling, swimming — they are all equally bad after eating! This is because your body requires a lot of energy to digest food. Your stomach and intestine require a lot of oxygen, and thus blood, to successfully process your meal. But if you exercise, oxygen is required by your legs and arms, and heart — and there’s only so much oxygen to go around! That’s when your muscles cramp: your leg muscles spasm because they’re not receiving enough oxygen.

The problem with swimming in specific is: if you have cramps in your legs you might drown. Cramps while running or cycling are obviously not as dangerous (unless you face plant the curb).

Also worth noting is that if you must swim after eating, eat something light — fruit or carbs. Fats and proteins are harder to digest and require more time (and energy) for your intestine and stomach to process completely. You should probably wait 2 or 3 hours after a big, fatty meal before swimming.

Apparently there’s also a rumour/myth that you can pass out from swimming after eating. It’s not impossible, but it’s much more likely to be caused by some other physical condition: a fever that raises your body temperature so high that jumping into cold water causes shock, and thus making you pass out (and then drowning!). Your body temperature goes up a little after eating, which is probably where this rumour comes from.


Dear Seb,

I have a blog stalker!

He leaves epic comments on my blog and is overly touchy-feely when we chat online. He hugs and kisses and…  he’s just too nice, creepy-like. This has gone beyond just ‘Mr Nice Guy’ and it’s freaking me out!

I think he’s made of marshmallows and vaginas [Beautiful imagery -S]. I can tell he’s a total Mommy’s boy, and he’s overly emotional.  He annoys the hell out of me, and though I’ve blocked him because I don’t have the heart to tell him he’s smothering me on the internet, he sends me emails every day saying he loves me and misses me. LOVES me?

I’ve had about four conversations with him, during which I found myself leaning back in my computer chair, gasping for breath as I felt I was being suffocated with false affections… WTF do I do?

Sincerely,
Smothered in the States

I think this is a problem that many bloggers might’ve experienced, or may experience one day: the scary commenter that both makes your skin crawl and drives other commenters away. The chat and email situation is another thing entirely — you can block his emails, don’t forget, just as you’ve already blocked his chatter!

But the blog stalking, well, that’s potentially a whole lot more sticky. If he’s as benign as he appears, you probably have nothing to worry about — but stalking is the kind of thing that starts off as a flight of fancy, a mere crush, but quickly turns into something a whole lot more sinister!

There’s a lot of resources on the Internet about dealing with real-world stalkers, but very little on the topic of blog stalking. I would suggest you take sensible precautions:

  • Blog under a pseudonym — You’ll still have a problem here if you’ve given your full name and location in the past, but this should at least stop the ‘opportunist’ predators.
  • Self-host your blog — If you host your own blog (WordPress or TypePad, for example), you have a lot of control over who reads your entries. You can always turn your blog ‘private’ too, but that’s admitting defeat, and you shouldn’t suffer at the grubby, spindly hands of a stalker!
  • Change your address/contact details — This is the best real life way to escape a stalker too! Think about changing your blog and/or email address. Again, this is letting the stalker win — sucks.
  • Contact his/her ISP — If you have their personal details (which is likely, considering they have probably made contact), you can probably contact their Internet provider and have them suspended for harassment. This isn’t a simple task though and you should probably contact the police before you try to do it yourself!

If all else fails: send him a photo of a hairy, fat trucking type that can’t see his own penis  — claim that’s what you really look like, and that pretending to be someone else is your method of escaping the daily grind.

Fat man. Could be a truck driver. Shame there's no beard...


Seb the Biologist!

Quickly, I don’t know how long I’ve got to live!

I’m swallowing and hence withholding burps; am I going to explode?!

Hiccup,
Suck ‘n Blow in the South East

No. You might fart more though, which could be embarrassing. Stop being a damn drama queen! (This was actually sent a few days ago, so the person that sent it might have exploded before reading my soothing words. In which case, I guess I’m partially to blame…)


That wraps up another week! Thanks to all the people that sent in questions — I’ll try to get to the ones I missed next week. If you could throw me some travel-related questions or something to do with computer games, that’d be great! The wittier and more complex the better. Ask me anything. And put my buttons on your sidebar.

Goo. All over his face.
Oooh, a butterfly!

Sebastian

I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.

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