Jun 27, 2014

Happy Friday

You can't pull happiness from your neighbor's garden, you must grow your own.

I grow my own happiness and it blossoms every time I enjoy a Happy Friday!

In the Middle

We all look at records for first and last, top and bottom, largest and smallest, and left and right. Sometimes it is its own reward to be in the middle. Here are a few examples of things that celebrate being in the middle.

Next week, July 2, at noon is the exact middle of the year. It has 182 days before it and 182 days following.

There is a obelisk monument located at U.S. Highway 2 and North Dakota Highway 3, in Rugby, North Dakota, United States  that claims to be the middle of North America. Rugby was named after the town of Rugby in Warwickshire, England (yes, where rugby football was born). It is approximately 15 miles (24 km) from the geographic center of North America, but that is close enough according to locals. (The Geographic Center of the Contiguous United States is located about two miles northwest of Lebanon, Kansas.)

A view of the picture below shows a monument in Ecuador dedicated to being the center of the globe. It commemorates the 200th anniversary of the French Geodesic Mission which charted the equator and measured the shape of the earth. The San Antonio de Pichincha, Mitad del Mundo also has a  painted line on the pavement marked Latitude 0° 0' 0", where visitors take a photo straddling both hemispheres. The original calculations have been proven incorrect by more accurate modern technology and the actual equator line runs about 240 meters north of the monument, but that is close enough for locals.

At exactly 45 degrees latitude, 90 degrees longitude, in  the town of Rietbrock, Wisconsin, Untied States is the exact center of the Northern half of the Western Hemisphere. It is here that the 90th Meridian of Longitude bisects the 45th Parallel of Latitude meaning it is exactly halfway between the North Pole and the Equator and is a quarter of the way around Earth from Greenwich, England. The marker is about 1063 feet away from the actual 45x90 spot, but that is close enough for the locals.

The equator monument, is at Pontianak on the Indonesian side of the island of Borneo. This monument marks where the exact middle of the world used to be.

Due to constant global shift, the true Equatorial line was recorded a short distance south of the monument and, according to GPS readings, the line continues to move south, but that is close enough for the locals.

Before you ask, there is no middle of the universe. According to standard theories of cosmology, the universe began about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Expansion is the same everywhere, it is not expanding out from a center into space, but is expanding equally at all places. So I have come to the end of the middle, Happy July.


Speaking of middle, here is where the tragus is located.

Sleep Juice

New research  finds drinking tart cherry juice twice a day can help you sleep nearly 90 more minutes a night. Cherry juice is a natural source of the sleep-wake cycle hormone melatonin and amino acid tryptophan. The ruby red pigments in tart cherry juice, contain an enzyme that reduces inflammation and decreases the breakdown of tryptophan.

Researchers from Louisiana State University had seven older adults with insomnia drink eight ounces of Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks, followed by two weeks of no juice, and then two more weeks of drinking a placebo beverage. Compared to the placebo, drinking the cherry juice resulted in an average of 84 more minutes of sleep time each night.

Another thing you might try is kiwi. Eating two kiwi fruits an hour before bed was shown to increase sleep time by 13% and decrease mid-sleep waking periods by 29% after just four weeks. Zzzzzz

What's in a Name, Salisbury Steak

This dish was created by and named after James Salisbury in 1886 as a treatment for many afflictions such as gout, bronchitis, and tuberculosis. He believed that well-done ground beef should be eaten three times a day and a glass of hot water be taken before and after each meal.

J.K. Rowling

In 2004, she became the first person to become a billionaire by writing books. I plan to be the second, as long as I can hang in there for about 542 more years.

Color Me Purple

Purpura is the Latin name of a particular kind of shellfish which, when ground up, produces a bright purple dye, which in turn was taken from the Greek word porphura to describe the same sea creature. The word purpura later began to refer to the dye, and eventually the color of this dye. This dye was very expensive, and purple was considered a color of royalty throughout Europe. When this dye was exported to England, the word purple was imported into English as well. Today "purpura" is used by doctors to describe purplish discolorations of the skin.

The Egyptian queen Cleopatra loved purple. To obtain one ounce of Tyrian purple dye, she had her servants soak 20,000 Purpura snails for 10 days.
In Thailand, purple is worn by a widow mourning her husband's death.
A “purple heart” is a U.S. military decoration for soldiers wounded or killed in battle.
Purple is a royal color.
Purple robes are an emblem of authority and rank.
“Purple speech” is profane talk.
“Purple prose” is writing that is full of exaggerated literary effects and ornamentation.
Leonardo da Vinci believed that the power of meditation increases 10 times when done in a purple light, as in the purple light of stained glass.
Purple in a child's room is said to help develop the imagination, according to color theory.
Richard Wagner composed his operas in a room with shades of violet, his color of inspiration.

Ten Crazy US Driving Laws

In Alaska it is illegal to tie a dog to the roof of your car.
In San Francisco it is illegal to dry your car with used underwear.
In Florida, if an elephant is tied to a parking meter, the attendant must deposit money in the meter.
In Nevada it is illegal to ride a camel on the highway.
In Alabama it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.
In Illinois it is illegal to change clothes inside a car, except during a fire.
In Montana it is illegal to leave a sheep unescorted in a truck.
In Georgia it is illegal to drive through playgrounds.
In Oklahoma it is illegal to read a comic book while driving.
In Massachusetts it is illegal to drive with a gorilla in the back seat of your car.

Sweet Potato vs. White Potato Myth Debunked

The differences are much less than some experts would have us believe. These two tubers are very similar. The myth seems to stem from the fact that people tend to eat sweet potatoes baked or boiled, not fried, but more than a third of all white potatoes are consumed as either chips or French fries, so the sweet potato would appear to be less fattening by cooking style, not nutritional fact.

In a 100-gram portion, the white potato has 92 calories, 21 grams of carbs, 2.3 grams of fiber, 2.3 g of protein and 17% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. White potatoes are higher in essential minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.

The same amount of sweet potato has 90 calories, 21 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 35% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and 380% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A.

Another difference is that sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels rise after eating. Foods that have a low glycemic index do not cause a quick spike in blood sugar. As a result, people do not experience the same sugar highs and lows, which can lead to hunger and the consumption of extra calories. In other words, foods with lower glycemic indexes, like sweet potatoes and brown rice, make you feel full longer. However, baked white potatoes typically are eaten with cheese, sour cream, or butter. These toppings all contain fat, which also lowers the glycemic index of a meal.

Bottom line, the form in which you consume a potato, such as baked vs. fries is a more important difference than the type of potato.  Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same, but they are cousins and come from a different plant family.

Jun 20, 2014

Happy Friday

You can't be a liver of life to the fullest if your liver won't let you.

I live my life to the fullest every time I enjoy a Happy Friday!

Happy Summer 2014

Tomorrow June, 21, 2014 marks the beginning of summer in the US and is also the longest day of the year.

Socks and Puppets

Socks have been around as a form of footwear for thousands of years. They initially started as matted animal hair shaped to fit inside a shoe or around the foot and ankle. The ancient Greeks were known to have used this technique as far back as 750 BC. The Romans innovated with thick fabrics that were wrapped around the legs to form a shaped sock.

Knitting was invented in Egypt during the 12th century AD by nomadic sheep herders who would create fabric through the simple use of knotting wool yarn using straight twigs. The technique had advantages over traditional weaving and allowed any shepherd and his wife to produce a more valuable product instead of just selling their wool. The practice quickly spread from Egypt throughout the Middle East and into Europe. Muslim knitters in Spain started developing a variety of knitting stitches that allowed them to create shaped fabrics, the sock being one of the first knitted items of clothing to be produced.

In 1589, William Lee of Calverton in England invented the first knitting machine which overnight transformed knitted garments into something almost everyone could afford. Knitting is credited with transforming the textile industry and became the precursor to the industrial age.

In China and Japan during the first millennium BC puppets were being intricately carved from wood. Puppets were being used in India by the 11th century as devices to give morality stories a visual impact that words couldn't convey. Puppets have been used to represent good, evil, jealousy, and greed without running the risk of identifying individuals who might exact revenge against the storyteller. In ancient India puppets were constructed from carved sticks, and were often elaborately decorated. Sock puppets were likely invented when knitted socks became more widely in use.

As the puritan movement in England gained momentum, traditional puppetry was banned along with all other forms of theater. During these years in England and France, radicals would organize secret theater shows and used puppets, as they were easier to transport and conceal than sets, costumes, and large bands of actors. Socks and very basic stages made of suspended fabric hung behind a table became a popular way of getting around the ban. It was about this time that the puppet character Punch was created.

After the return of the monarchy and the end of puritan times Punch and Judy, puppets became more commonly associated with glove or hand puppets. Children used discarded socks that could be decorated to mimic a hand puppet.

Recently the term sock puppet is also used to describe a fictitious identity used online to promote a particular point of view or defend a person who is seen as controversial.

Tape Tip

How to keep sticky tape from sticking to itself, without folding it over.

Embalming Facts

This was something of a surprise to me. No state requires routine embalming and some do not require it at all. It is also not required for cremation if performed immediately. Some states require embalming for remains that are to be shipped out of state. Embalming provides no public health benefit, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Canadian health authorities. Hawaii and Ontario forbid embalming if the person died of certain contagious diseases.

Modern embalming consists primarily of  washing with a germicide-insecticide-olfactant. removing all blood and gases from the body and the insertion of a disinfecting fluid.  Funeral home effluent is not regulated, and waste is flushed into the common sewer system or septic tank. Embalming does not preserve the body for any great length of time. It also serves no useful purpose in preventing the transmission of communicable disease. Refrigeration is just as effective as embalming for short periods of time, such as for viewing.

The US Federal Trade Commission says, "Except in certain special cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing. If you do not want embalming, you usually have the right to choose an arrangement that does not require you to pay for it, such as direct cremation or immediate burial." Refrigeration is an alternative to maintain a body while awaiting a funeral service or when there is a delay in making arrangements.

Charges for embalming, dressing, and cosmetology can be covered under one charge and can vary from $500 to $1500, or more. Sheltering and refrigeration of a body for up to 3 days can vary from no charge to a few hundred dollars.

Beware Hot Spots

Comcast is doing something different, adding your router output as free WiFi to others passing by. It is also an opt-out solution, which means it is enabled by default and you need to turn it off. It also does not pay you for this use by others.

Comcast is quietly turning on public hotspots in its customers’ routers and turning private homes into public hotspots. Other Comcast customers get free Wi-Fi wherever there is a Comcast box and the company gets to build out a private network to compete with telecoms, but using your resources.

Fifty thousand users with basic modems that Comcast cable provides have already been turned into public hotspots in Houston, and there are plans to enable 150,000 more.

It is using your private residence as a corporate resource and using your electricity, your Internet connection, and potentially opening up your private browsing to hackers. Comcast says these two streams are independent, but that has never stopped hackers. There is also nothing to stop someone from downloading illicit material, software, and other junk from your hotspot, implicating you if caught. Remember, if there is a line out, that means there is also a line in. Caveat Emptor Comcast users.

Five Food Hacks

To cook potatoes evenly, drop in cool water, not hot. Hot water will make the outsides mushy and not cook the insides evenly. Allowing to water to warm up with the potatoes cooks the outside and inside evenly. Potatoes are more dense than veggies.

Heat the pan before cooking veggies. Preheating the pan and using a bit of olive oil keeps the veggies from sticking and helps them evenly brown without making them mushy.

Meat should never be tossed into a cold pan, in the oven or on the stovetop.

Slicing onions vertically is to slice along with the fibers of the onion. When you slice with the fibers, the onion pieces hold up a bit better as they cook. If you do not want them to retain the shape, cut along the side like circles or dice them and they will be more mushy.

Cakes should be light and airy and one way to help is to alternately mix in dry and wet ingredients. It is bubbles, unpopped and whole, that give an open crumb in cakes. When you are beating sugar into softened butter or when you are beating eggs into a froth, you are making bubbles. Adding dry ingredients keeps the bubbles from popping and makes for a light, airy cake. Dump and stir is better for more dense things, like brownies.

Sit Straight, Be Confident

In a recent study, participants were asked to think about and write down their best or worse qualities while they were sitting down with their back erect and pushing their chest out in a confident posture, or slouched forward with their back curved. Then, participants completed a number of measures and reported their self-evaluations. Researchers found the effect of the direction of thoughts (positive/negative) on self-related attitudes was significantly greater when participants wrote their thoughts in the confident posture. The postures did not influence the number or quality of thoughts listed, but did have an impact on the confidence with which people held their thoughts.

Mason Jar Cooking

Mason jars have been around for years and only recently have folks begun to use them for cooking things in a microwave. Taking soup to work and heating in a mason jar is an old standby for office workers, but have you thought of doing this for the family?

Many other things can be cooked in mason jars for individual servings and no mess. It works for mac and cheese (with bacon bits of course). Try cobblers and pies, just be sure to put the fruits on the bottom and dough on top. Same trick for pizza, put the dough on top, so it can rise.

Have not tried this, but will do so soon. The recipe calls for putting fruit in the bottom of a small mason jar and filling it halfway with pancake mix (the mix rises from cooking), or dropping in some chocolate chips on top of the mix, then microwaving for 60 - 90 seconds. Great way to make individual pancakes quickly and with less dirty pans. A side benefit of Mason jar cooking is strict portion control, which is good if you are trying to watch your weight.

Friday Votes

I steadfastly stay away from politics on this forum, so the following is just a statement of fact. The US Senate had four votes on Friday during 2013 and no Friday votes during 2014. My conclusion is that they must need the Friday time to read and digest my Friday Thoughts.

Free Smile Friday

Jun 13, 2014

Happy Friday

It is no coincidence that all the greatest works of art and literature were created before the snooze button.

It is also no coincidence that the greatest Fridays happen when you have a Happy Friday!

Essential Oils

An essential oil is a concentrated liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, or ethereal oils. An oil is 'essential' in the sense that it carries a distinctive scent, or essence, of the plant. Essential oils do not form a distinctive category for any medical, pharmacological, or culinary purpose. They are not essential for health.

is best for blood-pressure reduction. In a 2013 study, women who smelled clary sage experienced reduced blood pressure and breathing rates. They were also able to relax during a stressful medical exam. Sage also increases memory and attention.

Peppermint is best for stress relief. Research shows that breathing in eau de peppermint can decrease the body's levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. It also reduces fatigue.

Orange is best for decreasing anxiety. A study found that people who sniffed it before a stressful test were able to stay calm under pressure without anxiety spikes.

Rosemary is best for enhancing brainpower. Breathing it in can improve speed and accuracy during demanding mental tasks, per a 2012 study. Other research found its scent left people feeling refreshed and mentally stimulated. It also has been known to reduce fatigue.

Cinnamon is best for improving focus. It may stoke the area of the brain that governs alertness. Research found that drivers were more focused after breathing in cinnamon-oil scents.

Lavender increases relaxation and relieves some symptoms of PMS. A 2013 study found that it also eases pre-period symptoms such as mental confusion and depression. It also reduces some migraine pain.

Olive Oil  may help you lose weight, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Nutrition. It says the scent of olive oil might help you feel full.

A diffuser is the most effective way to unleash essential oils into the air, but you can add one or two drops of oil into a bowl of steaming hot water. Another option is to place one drop of oil on a cotton ball, put it under your nose, and inhale normally for one to two minutes.

Essential oils should never be used for more than one hour at a time. Look for 100 percent pure and organic oils free of fillers, pesticides, and synthetic chemicals.

Island in a Lake

The largest island on a lake which is itself on an island in a lake is eighty two acre Treasure Island (Ontario, Canada) in Lake Mindemoya, which is on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron.

Manitoulin Island contains two more, Lake Manitou and Lake Kegawong. Each of these lakes also have islands within them.

Monty Python

Speaking of essential, Monty Python just updated one of its songs for the World Cup. LINK  The timeless comedy troupe is doing ten reunion shows in London starting next month.

In addition, a box set of all their albums is also coming out. It will be called Monty Python's Total Rubbish: The Complete Collection. The set contains remastered versions of all nine UK-released albums.

Their final live show next month is to be broadcast into 450 UK cinemas and 1,500 worldwide. It will be on my calendar and always better to watch with a crowd, because laughing obscures the next rapid fire bit of humor and it is difficult for a person to take it all in at one time.

Smile, Be Happy

In one set of studies, depressed participants were invited to take a few minutes once a day to relish something that they usually hurry through, such as eating a meal or taking a shower. When it was over, they were instructed to write down in what ways they had experienced the event differently as well as how that felt compared with the times when they rushed through it.

In another study, healthy students and community members were instructed to savor two pleasurable experiences per day, by reflecting on each for two or three minutes and trying to make the pleasure last as long and as intensely as possible. In all these studies those participants prompted to practice savoring, regularly showed significant increases in happiness and reductions in depression.

Researchers told people to smile and the subjects actually felt happier. More than 26,000 people were randomly assigned to groups and asked to carry out various exercises designed to make them happier. When it came to increasing happiness, those altering their facial expressions came out on top.

Dale Carnegie

 His teachings never go out of style. Here are a few worth adopting.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Smile.
- Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Monkey Business

This is a bit out of the ordinary, but came across this site and felt the need to share. If you have a friend or family member that needs cheering up, or has a birthday, or anniversary or whatever. You can buy them a monkey phone call. You can order from this site http://www.monkeyphonecall.com  and they will call your friend/victim, explain the reason for the call and make monkey sounds into the phone. We are never too old to be silly.

Wordology, Ultimate and Penultimate

When 'ultimate' it is used as an adjective it describes something that is the best, highest, or the most extreme example. As a noun the word ultimate means the final or last in a series or the best, greatest, and most extreme.

Penultimate means the second-to-last item in a series of things. It does not signify a large or vast number of variables, or the abundance of something. It is one.

To clarify, Chapter 14 in a 15-chapter book is the penultimate chapter and the ultimate chapter would be the 15th chapter, not necessarily the best or most exciting.

High Temperature

Summer will soon be here and with it high temperatures. When it comes to body temperature, anything up to 102°F is mild and can be treated by drinking plenty of fluids. To quickly bring down a temperature above that, put an ice pack under your arm or near your groin. Icing either spot will cool your body's core. Another remedy is to take a cool, but not cold bath.

For children, take a pair of cotton socks that are long enough to cover the child's ankles. Thoroughly wet the socks in cold tap water. Wring out excess water. Put the socks on the child's feet and repeat process when the socks dry out.

Free Friday Smile

Jun 6, 2014

Happy Friday

Smiles are like kisses. You must share to enjoy.

I always share smiles while enjoying a Happy Friday.

Happy National Doughnut Day

Every first Friday in June, doughnut (donut) lovers all rise to celebrate a wonderful circle of sweet, doughy goodness that has a day set aside for holey honor. The day was created by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the men and women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I. A military doctor, Morgan Pett was sent to a military base and, on his way he stopped at a bakery and picked up 8 dozen doughnuts to give to the wounded soldiers. During  the Second World War, Red Cross Volunteers also distributed doughnuts.

Three more less well known doughnut holidays are International Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day, June 8; National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day, September 14; and Buy A Doughnut Day, October 30.

Stop by your favorite donut shop today as many American doughnut stores offer free doughnuts on National Doughnut Day.

More Types of Eggs

There are many more types than the typical eggs we are used to for breakfast. I found a few to be interesting.

Shark eggs are strangely shaped eggs sometimes called a mermaid’s purse. These consist of an egg case in a thin capsule made of collagen. They often are square or rectangular with stringy or pointy corner horns, but can come in a variety of odd shapes. Shark eggs can wash up on the beach and are often hand-sized, although the largest recorded was over six feet (2m) long. Female sharks lay fertilized eggs onto the sea floor where they stay until they hatch, not needing any more attention from their mother. Some shark eggs contain several baby sharks which cannibalize each other before hatching to ensure that only the strongest baby survives.

Octopus eggs are soft, translucent and often stuck on overhangs of rock or coral. The females lay hundreds of thousands of eggs at a time and will stay to guard them against hungry predators until they hatch. This often takes so long that she begins to starve and some octopuses will eat their own arms to survive. Once hatched, they feed on microscopic organisms like plankton until they grow large enough to live on the sea floor as adults.

Fish eggs are released as unfertilized eggs until and the male injects them with sperm. In some species, the male and female might never meet each other. Most have nothing more to do with the eggs and leave them to develop on their own. Millions of soft eggs are laid at once, so hungry predators will usually not destroy all of them before they hatch. Some eggs are laid on secure surfaces like rocks whereas others drift freely in the water, sometimes for up to hundreds of kilometers.

We are familiar with bird and reptile eggs, which are internally fertilized eggs and most are protected until they hatch. Bird egg shells are made from calcium carbonate, which is also the major component of sea shells and pearls. For camouflage, some egg shells are colored or patterned with various other chemicals.

Dinosaur eggs sometimes contain fossilized baby dinosaurs inside. Dinosaur eggs have many shapes, such as elongated spheres, teardrops, and spherical. Some dinosaurs laid many eggs in a nest and protected them while others laid eggs indiscriminately before abandoning them. There are many types of dinosaur eggs, with the largest being over 23 inches (60cm) long and 7.8 inches (20cm) wide.

Sponge, jelly, and coral eggs are similar way to most fish. They do not have males and females. Instead, simple male and female organs both occur on a single creature, which release eggs and sperm into the water. Some reproduce asexually without male and female organs, by simply releasing some of their cells to grow directly into new individuals without needing to be fertilized.

Insect eggs are formed from stored sperm from a single mating, which is also used for subsequent fertilization. Insects will lay many eggs at once, and sometimes construct extravagant nests or nurseries for them. Some eggs are laid in water and the newborn insects spend the first portion of their life aquatically before emerging into the air. Many insects will care for their eggs after they are laid, with some ants and termites even controlling the humidity and pH for them.

Amphibian eggs are often laid in water, surrounded by a gel to keep them all together. When they hatch, the offspring are called ‘tadpoles’ and have gills, but no legs. They swim around like fish, although initially they also lack a mouth and live directly off the yolk left over from their egg by absorbing it through their skin. Eventually, tadpoles grow mouths, legs, lungs, lose their tail, and become fully adult. Some frogs carry their eggs to protect them or if there is not enough water available.

Platypus eggs are an anomaly as platypuses are mammals. They are warm-blooded, have hair, and produce milk. While the egg is still inside a mother, she supplies it with nutrition from her own body, similar to other mammals. Monotreme eggs are small, white, and spherical. They are laid in small numbers and are fastidiously cared for by their mother in her burrow until 4 to 6 months after hatching. Platypuses do not have nipples to produce milk. They sweat milk which their newly-hatched young drink.

What's in a Name, Jalapeños

While known in its native Mexico as huachinango or chile gordo, to the rest of the world Jalapeños get their name from the town of Xalapa or Jalapa.

Wordology, Anti-Proverbs

Also called perverbs (a contraction of perverse proverbs), thses are permutations of common proverbs. a known saying that has been modified in a way that makes it surprising, confounding or otherwise humorous. There are dozens of ways of altering proverbs, common sayings and phrases. It has been suggested that the original meaning of the term perverb was to describe two proverbs that had been spliced together like a sort of whole-sentence portmanteau. Take the perverb “every dog has a silver lining,” a combination of “every dog has its day” and “every cloud has a silver lining.” As with the further examples below, you can see that the two hybridized proverbs are not random; rather, they follow a certain format that both have in common:
"Taste makes waist"
“Time flies like the wind, but fruit flies like a banana”
"Nothing succeeds like excess."
"When marriage is outlawed, only outlaws will have in-laws."
“The road to hell is the spice of life.”
"If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to tweet about it, did it really happen."

Anti-proverbs can take other forms beyond this type of splicing, as in “a penny saved is a penny taxed” and “slaughter is the best medicine.”

Super Spices

Very interesting that many spices, which have been around for years are only recently 'discovered' to have beneficial health properties. Here are a few.

Cayenne pepper has been used as a healing spice for hundreds of years. Capsaicin, which gives the spice its kick, can boost metabolism, helping to burn extra calories, and increase enzyme production. It is thought to act as an anti-inflammatory and is so powerful that capsaicin can be found as the active ingredient in both over the counter and prescription ointments for arthritis and muscle pain. It can be used to stop nosebleeds by mixing one half teaspoon of cayenne pepper into a glass of warm water and drink it. Cayenne has the ability to ease upset stomach, ulcers, sore throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs, and diarrhea. It can ease the digestive tract by increasing gastric juices. It is also good to put out in the yard to keep away squirrels and rabbits.

Cinnamon benefits, which I have written about before, continue to be added to. According the American Diabetes Association, regular consumption of between one and six grams of cinnamon helps reduce blood glucose, triglyceride and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It can also help manage short-term spikes in blood sugar. That makes it good to add to high carbohydrate foods such as oatmeal and rice pudding, which tend to spike blood sugar levels. It also contains strong antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties making it an excellent addition when trying to fight a cold. Try sprinkling some in your coffee or even using it in a face mask combined with a little coconut oil to help fight acne. Sprinkle some on cookies or doughnuts for an extra beneficial kick.

Clove is usually the spice we think of to kill pain and sooth toothaches. Gently bite on a whole clove to release the oils and move them around to a sore tooth. Clove tea can help reduce, or even prevent, colds while also working as a natural expectorant to get rid of excess phlegm. Cloves used to be put in cigarettes, but are now outlawed in the US. Cloves stuck in oranges have been long used to add a pleasant odor to a room and are often used for decorative aromatherapy. In Chinese medicine, cloves are considered acrid, warm, and aromatic, entering the kidney, spleen, and stomach and their ability to warm the middle, also to treat hiccoughs. Other findings concluded that cloves can also boost insulin function in the body.

Curcumin was first isolated a few hundred years ago and numerous therapeutic activities have been assigned to turmeric for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains, and liver disorders. Extensive recent research has proven that most of these activities are due to curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, and other chronic illnesses. Turmeric is the name of the spice we use that is derived from the plant Curcuma longa, is a gold-colored spice is commonly used in India for health care, for the preservation of food, and as a yellow dye for textiles.

Ginger is best known to help soothe a queasy stomach and help reduce pain and inflammation. It is also useful for arthritis, migraines, or menstrual cramps. It might also help reduce pain. Fresh ginger is more potent than the powdered variety and can be added to herbal teas, baked goods, and added to fruit or vegetable juices.

German Beer

Food website Chefkoch.de claimed at a rate of one per day, trying every German beer would take more than 13 years. Trying Bavaria’s 4,000 types would take almost 11 years.

Free Friday Smile