Aug 7, 2015

Brown Sugar, White Sugar

To get sugar from plant form to powder form takes much water. Water naturally dissolves sucrose, even when it is still in the plant. boiling, either by turning up the heat or exposing the water to a vacuum turns sucrose into molasses. When it cools and is centrifuged the molasses turns into brown sugar crystals, because the pure crystals will still be covered with a thin layer of molasses.

Brown sugar, with its tiny bit of syrup has only slightly less concentrated sweetness, and 0.23 fewer calories per gram, than white sugar. This layer can be boiled farther and centrifuged again until it becomes naturally white sucrose crystals.

Cookies made with all white sugar spread wider. Cookies made with brown sugar do not spread as much. The hygroscopic brown sugar absorbs more liquid and keeps dough together.

Converting Temperatures Centigrade and Fahrenheit

An easy conversion to remember is: Fahrenheit to Celsius: Subtract 30 and divide by 2. Celsius to Fahrenheit: multiply by 2 and add 30.

(For exact conversions:  Fahrenheit to Celsius : subtract 32 and divide by 1.8. Celsius to Fahrenheit : Multiply by 1.8 and add 32)

During 1742, Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius created a temperature scale which was the reverse of the scale now known as Celsius: 0 represented the boiling point of water, while 100 represented the freezing point of water. His scale was reversed in 1744. For scientific use, Celsius is the term usually used, with centigrade in common, but decreasing use.

Fahrenheit is a temperature scale based on one proposed in 1724 by the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. The scale is usually defined by two fixed points: the temperature at which water freezes into ice, 32 degrees, and the boiling point of water, 212 degrees.

Today, the Fahrenheit scale is used primarily in the United States and some Caribbean countries. The rest of the world uses the Celsius scale. It does not matter which scale you use at this time of year where I live, it is just called HOT! In Antarctica it is COLD!

Three Uses for Rosemary

Use Rosemary stalks to skewer meats and vegetables as they actually contain the same oils and scents as rosemary leaves.

Pick the thickest stalks, scrape off the leaves, and pierce them through a couple of inch-sized pieces of meat, lamb, chicken, or fish and it infuses flavor from the inside.

For more delicate fish, you could also layer a bunch of stalks to create a lattice and add some slices of lemon, then put the fish directly onto this homemade roasting rack for additional flavor.

Add rosemary stalks to a fireplace for a natural forest smell in your living room. In many complementary medicines, the smell of rosemary is said to give you more energy. It was also used by the ancient Romans as incense and by the Elizabethans to improve memory.

Perseid Meteor Shower

On August 12 we get to see a great display in the night sky. The Perseid meteor shower is considered to be among the best of the annual meteor displays thanks to its high rates. Observers can sometimes see up to 90 meteors an hour during the shower.

Last summer, the moon was brilliant and presented a problem for those who wanted a dark sky to watch the shower. But in 2015, the moon will be a couple of days before new and will not rise until just before daybreak, leaving much of the night dark for prospective observers.

Dragon Fruit

The drought in California is causing many citrus fruit growers to swap crops which require less water. Many are switching to wine grapes, among others. One of the new crops also gaining popularity is dragon fruit, or Pitaya. It is in the succulent family and grows over much of Central and South America as well as in most Asian countries.

Dragon fruits have a number of phytonutrients and are rich in antioxidants. They contain 10 percent of the daily value of vitamin C, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and B1, B2, and B3 vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and carotene. Dragon fruits have zero complex carbohydrates. It also has a high fiber content and one has just 60 calories.

The seeds of dragon fruits are high in polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that reduce triglycerides. Eating dragon fruit can also help rid the body of toxic heavy metals and improved eyesight.

Inside the dragon fruit is white with edible little black seeds, like kiwi. You can cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the fruit and chop into bite size chunks. It tastes like a bland kiwi. It also has the same consistency. Wegman's sells it for about $5.00 a pound and Amazon about $6.00. Average fruit size is about 300 g (10 ounces), but can range to over a pound.

Safety App

There is an interesting app for Android and iOS users called SafeTrek that you can use when in unfamiliar or potentially dangerous areas. It was originally developed by college students for college students and is extremely easy to use.

Start the app and hold a finger on the onscreen button. If you release the button and do not enter a 4 digit security code, local police will be notified of your location, name, and emergency. The price is $3 per month. LINK

Climb a Tree to Get Smart

Dynamic activities like climbing a tree could be a simple way to improve your working memory, according to new research.

Researchers found activities that require awareness of the position of different body parts and strength to complete movement, are linked to benefits of an individual’s working memory. These activities include anything from climbing a tree to balancing on a beam.

They evaluated participants between the ages of 18 and 59 while testing their working memory before and after the completion of various dynamic activities, such as climbing a tree, walking on narrow beams, running barefoot, and navigating obstacle courses. The study found that participants experienced a 50 percent improvement in their working memory after completing these exercises. Just a few minutes of such activity can produce beneficial effects on working memory.

“By taking a break to do activities that are unpredictable and require us to consciously adapt our movements, we can boost our working memory to perform better in the classroom and the boardroom,” study leader Ross Alloway said. He emphasized that by doing physical activity that makes us think, we are exercising our brains as well.

Those in the medical field say working memory helps humans actively process information, making it easier to perform day-to-day tasks and often increasing performance. The findings were published in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skill. Some of us are already smart enough to not climb a tree.


Men may be more biologically focused, with sexual problems stemming from more influence on veins arteries and nerves, but they are also influenced by stress and fatigue. Women may have more of a psychological influence, but are also subject to hormonal shifts and biological facets.

Pharmaceutical medications for the treatment of sexual problems are only available for men. These drugs, like Viagra and Cialis, are used to treat erectile dysfunction. However, the FDA is expected to approve the drug flibanserin this month, for the treatment of low libido in women.

Ginseng was shown to be effective at treating erectile dysfunction in several double-blind, placebo-controlled studies.

Free Friday Smile