Alex Recommends: Vitamin D

Today in our inaugural Alex Recommends feature, I am recommending Vitamin D!

Vitamin D

A few weeks ago, I went to my doctor complaining of aches and pains, and generally feeling icky. It had been going on for months, and was really dragging me down. I was surprised that one of the first things she said was, “you’re probably really low on Vitamin D.”

If you’d asked me before this week, I would have said 90% of the things people say about vitamins are bullshit. I really still think that. Except for this one. Actually, this attitude caused me to not take her advice, and I didn’t take any vitamins at all for the next three weeks until I went to see her again. At which point my lab results had come back and she said, “Oh, your Vitamin D is basically zero. Please take some.” So she actually prescribed Vitamin D for me (50,000 units, once a week!), and told me to also take the over the counter stuff from the organic part of the grocery store.

Guys – It’s been almost a week, and I feel like a new person. Seriously, I feel better than I can remember feeling in a really long time. I have more energy, less pain, and a better mood than I can ever remember having. It’s almost embarrassing how simple the solution was!

When you think about it, it makes sense – we law students don’t get outside much (I for one am always inside since I work full time and am also in school full time, so it’s often dark when I go to work and dark when I come home), and to top it all off I live in Seattle so there’s never any sun anyway. Actually, after I looked it up, I found that the Pacific Northwest has the highest incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS) of anywhere in the world. Some people think it’s because we’re all so low on Vitamin D.

I had no idea!

So today, I recommend to all of you law students: Get thee to a grocery store and add Vitamin D to your daily routine. I imagine that within 1 week you will find yourselves feeling much better, even if you didn’t know you were feeling bad. And how could you argue with something that can prevent MS, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and other nasties?? You can’t, that’s how.

And that’s it for today’s Alex Recommends. What will I recommend next? Stick around to find out!


5 Android Apps to Make a Law Student’s Life a Little Better

Update: If you got here by link or bookmark — Please update your information!  We’ve moved to our permanent address, and you can read this entry there, at: Trial and Error.


I hate the iPhone.  Wm! has one, but I think it’s lame.  I actually downloaded an app on my phone that I call the “Lame Phone Detector,” and when I wave it over an iPhone, it beeps.  Bahaha.  I also think Blackberries are the stupidest thing humanity has ever invented, and I say that being fully aware of this monstrosity. Obviously, I, and every other reasonably prudent person, uses an Android phone.  I have therefore put together a list of all the apps that I think make a law student’s life a little better – be it through fun procrastination or great task management, these are the ones I recommend.

I currently use the Motorola Droid, so be aware that these apps have only been tested by me, on my Droid.  If you have an HTC phone, they might clash with your Sense UI… hopefully at the end of this week I’ll be getting an HTC phone with Sense, so I will test them then!  Here we go!

1) Astrid To-Do
We Love Astrid
We love Astrid!

Astrid is amazing – it’s a tiny little widget that sits on your home screen and fixes your life.  This is above and beyond the best task management app available for Android, and I know for a fact it works on HTC devices too.  It’s totally free, and it offers truly powerful task management with very little intrusiveness.  As a bonus, it plays nicely with Google Calendar, adding your to-do items to your calendar (public or private) with just the touch of a button.  I’d forget my ass if I didn’t have Astrid to remind me.

2) AP News
(no link, in the Android market)
AP News app
This is the best news app available on Android.  It’s highly customizable, you get your local news and only the regional, sports, or whatever coverage you want – meaning, no junk headlines.  The one drawback I’ve found is that it’s conspicuously missing a widget, you have to open the program to see the news, and there’s no little headline banner refreshing on your home screen. Still, I strongly recommend it – it’s the best way to get the news while waiting for the bus…

3) One Bus Away (thanks, wm!)
Paul Watts
Android Screenshot
Another free app you shouldn’t live without… if you’re living in Seattle. Available for both the iPhone and Android, totally free and open source, this app will tell you where your bus is and how much longer you need to stand in the rain. Excellent for planning when to leave the house, and soothing the rage of being soaked and freezing 10 minutes after your bus was supposed to arrive.

4) Enjoy Sudoku
By Enjoy Sudoku for Android
PalmOS version of Enjoy Sudoku

This is the best Sudoku game on the Android market. Come on, we can’t always study. The beauty of this game is the simple lessons that replace the “hint” or “solve” option on other games. Rather than giving you the answer, this game teaches you the best way to get the answer. I started on Easy and am now playing Difficult – so satisfying! It’s well worth the $1.99

5) Google Star Map
From Google

Going on a date? Looking up at the stars? Bring out your Android phone, fire up Sky Map, and really impress him/her! Just point your phone at the sky, and the GPS determines where you are pointing, and overlays a constellation map on your view of the stars. How romantic!