August 26, 2015
25 Maps That Will Change The Way You See The World in an entertaining YouTube video
How talk radio pioneer and story teller Jean Shepherd (and his devoted fans) concocted a wildly preposterous hoax – and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
The Power of the Post-it From Harvard Business Review
Imagine that you really need to convince someone to do something, such as following through on a task. You might be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to get someone to comply with your request is through a tiny nuance that adds a personal touch—attaching a sticky note.
Febreze banishes bad odors by using air-freshening molecules that form a cage to trap smelly compounds, making them 'invisible' to your nose. Odor neutralizing sprays contains a type of chemical called cyclodextrin which is shaped like a cage and can trap odor molecules in the air. Once captured compounds that cause odors can't reach smell receptors. A video released by the American Chemical Society explains how odor neutralizing sprays work
Delinquent dog walkers beware The Spanish city of Tarragona
The city plans to start DNA testing dog droppings to catch owners who fail to clear up after their pets. Tarragona official will work to create DNA database of registered dogs. Droppings found on street or parks can be matched through database. Caught pet owners will cover cost of DNA testing as well as paying fine.
Forbidden from leaving their New York apartment, the Angulo brothers learnt about life only from movies. The Wolfpack explores what happened to them when they broke free.
The filmmaker Crystal Moselle remembers the first time she saw the Angulo brothers, walking down First Avenue in April 2010, wearing shades and identical suits, à la Reservoir Dogs, their long black hair down to their waists. “It felt like coming across a lost tribe from the Amazon”, she says. The resulting documentary that she made about them, The Wolfpack, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance earlier this year, falls somewhere between François Truffaut’s L’enfant sauvage (1970) and Jean-Pierre Gorin’s Poto and Cabengo – the 1980 documentary about the Georgia twins whose childhood was so secluded that they invented their own language to communicate with one another.
Men in shorts Adolf Hitler Had This Photo Of Himself Banned as "beneath one's dignity".
Unharmed and intact after fire
A violent fire at a military base near Madrid spared nothing except a small statue and surrounding vegetation.
The events took place at the El Goloso military base, located near the Spanish capital, seat of the nation's armored infantry brigade "Guadarrama." According to several Spanish news sites, including Infovaticana and Religión en Libertad, a fire broke out that was impossible to control, burning most of the surrounding vegetation.
Once the flames were extinguished, to the soldiers’ surprise, in the middle of the charred area, stood a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes—totally undamaged! What's more, the soldiers were shocked to see that the grass near the statue had not been touched by the flames and that it was even still surrounded by vases filled with flowers, also intact, as if the flames had respected the space around the statue.
The fire took place on July 30, in the middle of the heat wave which had descended upon Spain. The soldiers could not explain why the statue had suffered no damage nor why the flowers had not even been blackened or withered by the heat. The story quickly spread though social networks, some suspecting a fraud, but further investigations have dispelled all possible doubts. In the photographs, one can easily see that the ground is completely burnt, except near the statue.
Health Roundup: Programming cancer cells, stomach bug and lung disease, coffee and tea
Scientists have turned cancerous cells back to normal by switching back on the process which stops normal cells from replicating too quickly. For the first time aggressive breast, lung and bladder cancer cells have been turned back into harmless benign cells by restoring the function which prevents them from multiplying excessively and forming dangerous growths.
Scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, US, said it was like applying the brakes to a speeding car. So far it has only been tested on human cells in the lab, but the researchers are hopeful that the technique could one day be used to target tumors so that cancer could be ‘switched off’ without the need for harsh chemotherapy or surgery.
Bacteria that is common among patients with pulmonary conditions can be detected by a simple breath test and can treated with antibiotics. The bacteria helicobacter pylori often found in pulmonary disease patients with levels of the bacteria up to three times higher in COPD patients
Tea contains dark-colored tannins that make it bitter and stain the teeth. Casein, the main protein in milk, binds to the tannin and prevents staining. Milk is more effective than whitening toothpaste and as good as bleaching
Green tea could lower the risk of colon cancer, say researchers at Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea. Compounds in green tea prevent rogue cells that could lead to polyps from developing. They are testing this in a study involving 180 people who have had polyps - benign growths - removed from their colon; these polyps can be a precursor to colon cancer. The patients will be given a daily green tea extract pill (nine cups of green tea) or no treatment. The researchers believe compounds in green tea prevent the rogue cells that could lead to polyps from developing
Coffee could prove to be a powerful medicine for bowel cancer patients. A study of 1,000 patients that looked at caffeinated coffee and cancer recurrence found the disease was almost half as likely to return in men and women who drank at least four or five mugs a day. It is thought the caffeine cuts inflammation which the cancer feeds on.
The research, from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, found that consuming around 460mg of caffeine a day cut the odds of bowel cancer coming back by 42 per cent.It also made people 33 per cent less likely to die from cancer or any other cause.
Smaller amounts of caffeine brought lower benefits. A mug of instant coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine and an espresso, the base for many High Street coffees, 80mg.
'You'd have to drink six glasses of almond milk to get the same amount of protein as just half a cup of nuts' New video reveals truths about six 'healthy' eating habits
August 24, 2015
What happens when a whole way of life disintegrates before your eyes?
Augustine lived through such a time. The men coming home from World War One did as well. It might feel as if we’re living through such a time right now. One way to navigate treacherous times is to learn from those who have traversed similar moments before. And a penetrating new book by historian and King’s College professor Joseph Loconte can help us do exactly that.
A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War takes us into the wartime lives of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. More importantly, it takes us into their postwar lives as well. How did they cope? How did they rebuild? And how did they help others do the same?
The trauma of the Great War is almost impossible to comprehend. More than sixteen million were killed. That again plus five million more were wounded. And those who recovered physically were often irreparably scarred in other ways. Shell shock, what today we would call PTSD, had longterm effects. Suicide and alcoholism often finished what bullets and bombs could not. According to one contemporary study of shell-shocked American, “[S]even years after the war less than 40 percent were regarded as functioning normally, and nearly 20 percent were found to be a burden to society.”
But the far-reaching crisis of faith may have surpassed all others. For those that endured it, the cataclysm and its aftermath was like the end of the world. What was left to believe in? Writes Loconte,
For the intellectual class as well as the ordinary man on the street, the Great War had defamed the values of the Old World, along with the religious doctrines that helped to underwrite them. Moral advancement, even the idea of morality itself, seemed an illusion. . . . [T]he war to make the world safe for democracy, the holy war to advance Christian ideals, was an unholy delusion.
The pre-war Myth of Progress….was proclaimed from nearly every sector of society. Scientists, physicians, educators, industrialists, salesmen, politicians, preachers—they all agreed on the upward flight of humankind. Each breakthrough in medicine, science, and technology seemed to confirm the Myth….. And then it all went to hell.
When the survivors cleared the rubble, many mistook the Myth for Christianity itself and tossed both in the garbage bin.
August 17, 2015
In the footage from Melbourne Aerial Video (at the link), a Wedge-Tailed Eagle flies up to the drone and hits it directly. The drone sputters and falls to earth. The eagle was unharmed, according to a statement on YouTube. "She was massive, and used talon's to 'punch' the drone out of the sky," the statement said.
The instinct of dogs to chase felines out of their territory might be more reasonable than you think. Fossils have revealed the two species have a rocky past after the introduction of cats to the Americas had a devastating effect on the continent's species of wild dogs. In fact, it is thought that competition from cats caused up to 40 species of dog to become extinct in the region millions of years ago.
The dog family, which includes wolves and coyotes, originated in North America about 40 million years ago. They reached maximum diversity in the continent 22 million years ago when, at their peak, more than 30 species roamed the land mass at the same time.
However, since they were introduced dozens of species have emerged and become extinct over a period of millions of years.
Only nine species of canid inhabit the continent today, including the domestic dog.
An international team, including scientists from the Universities of Gothenburg, Sweden, São Paulo, Brazil and Lausanne, Switzerland, published the findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The team studied 2,000 fossils to reach their conclusions.
San Francisco's Public Works agency has painted nine urine-soaked walls with a pee-repellant material called Ultra-Ever Dry.
The town’s summer siesta tradition is so deep-rooted the mayor has enshrined his citizen’s right to an afternoon snooze in law. Ador could be the first town in Spain to actually make taking a siesta obligatory by law. Mayor of Ador, Joan Faus Vitòria, has ordered that that town’s inhabitants stay quiet between 2pm and 5pm. "Everything closes between 2pm and 5pm," a town hall spokesman told The Local. "Bars, shops, the swimming pool, everything."
In 1855, under the direction of then-Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, Congress appropriated $30,000 for "the purchase and importation of camels and dromedaries to be employed for military purposes." Davis believed that camels were key to the country's expansion westward; a transcontinental railroad was still decades away from being built, and he thought the animals could be well suited to haul supplies between remote military outposts. By 1857, after a pair of successful trips to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the U.S. Army had purchased and imported 75 camels. Within a decade, though, each and every one would be sold at auction
The El Portal Fire burns on a hillside in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park on Sunday evening July 27, 2014. Long exposure photograph by Stuart Palley.
These are wonderful. Everyday For 5 Years This Japanese Artist Creates A Fun Miniature Diorama
August 16, 2015
Secret to a lasting marriage: Being happy for one another
Have you ever waited with excitement to share some amazingly good news with your partner, only to experience a surge of frustration and resentment when he or she barely reacts to your announcement? As a society, we place a huge amount of emphasis on being there for each other when we’re in need, but past research has actually shown that relationship satisfaction is influenced as much, if not more, by how we react to each other’s good news. Whereas emotional support from a partner when we’re down can have the unfortunate side-effect of making us feel indebted and more aware of our negative emotions, a partner’s positive reaction to our good news can magnify the benefits of that good fortune and make us feel closer to them.
Now an unusual brain-imaging study, published recently in Human Brain Mapping, has added to this picture, showing that the relationship satisfaction of longtime married elderly women is particularly related to the neural activity they show in response to their husbands’ displays of positive emotion, rather than negative emotion.
The secret to a lasting marriage? Being happy for one another! Brain scans reveal how strong couples share each other's joy
How your partner reacts to your good news could reveal how long your relationship will last. This is according to a new study that looked at the brains of happily married couples to find out their secret to a lasting marriage. Researchers in Canada studied the brain signals of married, elderly women, while they watched their husbands experience positive emotions….Those who saw their partner as their 'best friend' reported the highest happiness levels.
Dr Welch, who is the author of Love Factually, cites how happy couples mirror one another's facial expressions more than unhappy couples do. ‘That may actually be why happy couples tend to look more and more alike as the decades pass,’ she said.
"A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores" Terry Pratchett
August 15, 2015
Advice for parents
Our culture is rich with esteem-boosting platitudes for young dreamers, but the assurances are dishonest and dangerous
‘What it essentially says to our children,’ adds Penelope Trunk, author of Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success (2007), ‘is that, if they don’t achieve their dreams, they have no one to blame but themselves.’ Indeed, the transition to adulthood is already overwrought, and it’s made only more difficult when you think you can do anything and then feel completely incompetent when you can’t.
Unrealistic plans lead to a waste of time and money. When a C‑student spins her wheels planning on medical school, other, more lucrative and realistic careers – say in business or education – fall by the wayside. And the ambition gap has led to increased dissatisfaction across working life. Deloitte’s 2010 Shift Index revealed that 80 per cent of workers were dissatisfied in their jobs. By 2013, the figure had jumped to 89 per cent.
The shift in expectation has resulted in tremendous anxiety over achieving these goals and, paradoxically, sheer delusion…..Instead of emphasising you’re special, you’re great, ‘teach self-control and hard work,’ Twenge says. ‘Those two things are actually connected to success.’
‘[Adults] should say: be what you’re capable of,’ says Gwenyth, ‘not you could be anything. I’m not very good in dance. That’s like telling me I could be a professional dancer. No. No, I couldn’t be.’
What a poll revealed about the 59 Life lessons EVERY parent should teach their children
Remembering to say please and thank you is the most important life lesson we can teach our children, according to 80 per cent of the nation's parents. A new poll of things every parent should instill in their child reveals that respecting your elders was voted second (75 percent) while having good table manners came third (73 percent).
August 14, 2015
"Tasting an heirloom cultivar prepared in the classic way is like discovering a lost masterwork,’ says Shields, a professor of literature at the University of South Carolina. ‘It’s like listening to Thomas Tallis’s Spem in Alium, a Renaissance choral masterpiece for eight five-part choirs. When you hear it, you sense what heaven must have sounded like then. It’s the same when you taste restored cultivars prepared using recipes of an earlier time.’
Shields puts it this way: ‘There is a group of us who want to know the deep flavours of what has endured longest. Those ingredients that mattered for so long that they became “the taste” of the time, the points of reference against which all innovations were measured. For me, those ingredients constitute the canon, and the dishes of the time frame them.’
Neimark describes how a pure flavor like Watermelon molasses was recreated and tasted.
Watermelon molasses had not been made since the Civil War.
Shields recalls the taste as a revelation on the tongue. ‘It had a base note of sugary molasses and a middle range of this deep watermelony thing and a sort of honeysuckle top note. And I thought to myself, of all the lost melons of yesteryear, this is the one I wished would return. And it has. It’s the taste of the past but it’s also the taste of the future.’
From there, on 19 April 2015, a popular antebellum cocktail was reborn: Brandy Smash, a mixture of Bradford watermelon molasses and watermelon brandy, syrup, water over crushed ice and an orange garnish. …[that] tasted like ‘pure summer in a glass’.
How a farmer, a professor and a chief collaborated on the Rebirth of the Bradford Watermelon
Armed with an amazing story, an insatiable desire to farm, and the heritage seeds of quite possibly the best watermelon ever created, I did what came naturally. I planted the biggest field of Bradford watermelons our family had ever grown…a half acre. It may not sound like much, but it was quite risky when the last of the seed of Bradford watermelon on the planet could be contained in a couple of mason jars!
I arrived in Charleston on a Friday morning with my big white truck and a gooseneck trailer loaded with 45 seedmelons carefully placed in bed of hay one layer deep. Thomas stopped traffic while I squeezed my way into several parking spaces on Bay Street. Needless to say we drew the attention of a small crowd of onlookers as a procession of white-suited chefs carried these 40 pound melons single file across the street and into the kitchen. With a little luck, by the end of the day we would have the first batch of Bradford watermelon molasses in 125 years and the first batch of rind pickle since my Grandmother passed away in 2006.
From those 45 melons we extracted almost 80 gallons of beautiful red juice, eventually reduced down to about 8 gallons of molasses through the simple yet extremely time consuming task of slowly simmering and stirring. …..All of the batches were exceptional and not anything like molasses that folks are familiar with! The color is phenomenal. The fragrance is the essence of watermelon infused with caramel! The taste is otherworldly.
August 13, 2015
Health Roundup: Universal plaque-busting drug, saturated fat and fish oil for psychosis
A virus found in sewage has spawned a unique drug that targets plaques implicated in a host of brain-crippling diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).
Results from tests of the drug, announced this week, show that it breaks up plaques in mice affected with Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, and improves the memories and cognitive abilities of the animals. Other promising results in rats and monkeys mean that the drug developers, NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals, are poised to apply for permission to start testing it in people, with trials starting perhaps as early as next year.
The drug is the first that seems to target and destroy the multiple types of plaque implicated in human brain disease. Plaques are clumps of misfolded proteins that gradually accumulate into sticky, brain-clogging gunk that kills neurons and robs people of their memories and other mental faculties. Different kinds of misfolded proteins are implicated in different brain diseases, and some can be seen within the same condition (see “Proteins gone rogue”, below).
Researchers trawled through the health records of hundreds of thousands of patients and found no statistical link between eating saturated fat and falling ill with heart disease, strokes or type 2 diabetes. The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, raise further doubts about 32-year-old guidelines that warn people to avoid butter, full-fat milk and other meat and dairy products with high levels of saturated fats.
Academics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, looked at 12 previous studies, involving between 90,000 and 340,000 patients in each study, and calculated the overall link between saturated fat and different health conditions.
It's just that people who reduce their intake of fat usually end up eating more sugar, white flour and empty calories, said co-author Russell de Souza, an assistant professor and registered dietitian at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. His review, which examined 73 earlier studies, was published in the BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal.
For children, the government still advises diet sodas anytime, milk once in a while
David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital said the government still hasn’t completely caught up with the science.
The National Institute of Health’s We Can! program, which aims to help children maintain a healthy weight, steers families toward low-fat foods. The program lists diet soda and ketchup as foods to eat “almost anytime,” but says low-fat milk should be consumed only “sometimes.” The NIH program puts whole milk in the most restricted category as cookies, doughnuts and French fries, to be consumed only “once in a while'.
Young people who take omega-3 are at lower risk of schizophrenia. Those at risk of the mental illness were four times less likely to suffer psychotic episodes up to 7 years after three months taking supplement. Scientists say no other intervention - including drugs - are as effective
3. Pre-Cook Poached Eggs in Their Shells…..You simply prick the ends of your eggs with a pin, to let the air escape, and then dip them in the boiling water for 10 seconds, with the shells on. Then, when you crack the eggs into the water, they will hold their shape incredibly well. And remember, add a splash of vinegar to your water, too.
7. Add Oil to Your Butter When Sautéing…..As Julia explains, by adding a little oil (peanut or olive) to unsalted butter, you fortify it, preventing it from burning. Do it every time, it's so great not to see your butter turning dark brown
1. Make cheap wine taste better - Probably everyone has heard of the idea of letting wine breathe, especially young wine. ...
The point of aerating the wine is to let as much of the liquid come into contact with air as possible, so let’s do that. Get two pitchers. Pour the wine into one, and then pour it back and forth between the two pitchers about 15 times. It will taste better. If you don’t believe it, do the pitcher trick with half of the bottle and use the other half as a control, and see if it doesn’t.
4. Water your guac - Guacamole goes brown in the fridge pretty fast. We won’t bore you with the chemistry, but the culprit is air. No matter how tightly you seal the container, some is going to get in there. One quick fix is to pour a thin layer of water on top. The water will block the air from the guacamole, keeping it nice and green. Just pour the water off when you’re ready to eat it.
8. Keep tomatoes fresh - air is the enemy. Store tomatoes with the stem side down, because that’s where the air gets in the most quickly, and you’ll add shelf life to your tomatoes. Also, keep them at room temperature, not in the fridge.
When sliced perpendicular to the muscle fibers, a cut of flank can be just as tender as a cut of expensive New York strip steak…..
They took a flank steak (which has wide muscle fibers) and a section of strip loin (which has thin muscle fibers) and cooked both to an internal temperature of 130 degrees. Then they used the “ultra sensitive” CT3 to test how much force is required to bite into each cut of meat when carved with and against the muscle fiber grain. When cut against the grain, the flank took—on average—about 383 grams of force to bite 5 millimeters into the meat, versus 1729 grams when cut with the grain. Perhaps even more notably, the strip cut tested 590 grams with the grain vs. 329 grams against.
And I almost forgot. Don't feel guilty about skipping breakfast. It doesn't lead to weight gain. You might even lose weight. How the government nutritionists may have gotten it wrong