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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Andre Rieu ... Je t'aime

"The purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” 
A wonderful quote by Leo Rosten that, perhaps, should also have included 'to know thyself ', 'to understand and be tolerant of others' and 'to love'.

Food for Thought : Fall is on the way

Although it does not start for almost one more month , according to most , fall is almost here . It is important for children and adults to keep up healthy nutrition and physical activity habits during the fall months when schedules may not be structured . 
Here are a few tips to help you and your child to keep up good nutrition and fitness habits while being in  school  or work :

1 .   Sign your child up for an organized sport or physical activity class such as soccer or football after school . 
For young children , pick something that you and your child can do together . For older children , find something that encourages socialization .

2.   Set your family after school activity time  . Going to a park , riding a bike or even taking a short walk in your neighborhood can easily be done once the temperature cools a little .

3 .   Spice up your family's menus . This is the prefect time to let your children experiment with new recipes and to help them learn cooking skills . Choose age appropriate tasks to let them practice during the weekends  . Tasks such as planning the week's menu , making a grocery list or starting dinner can easily be done by older children.
-- The Carano's Famous Hot Dog & Fries  --by Jonny Carano--
4        natural casing all-beef franks 
4        fresh hot dog buns 
1        small white onion, finely chopped 
8        jarred sport pickled peppers (or sub pickled hot peppers) 
Homemade Bread and Butter Relish, for serving, (recipe follows )
Yellow mustard, for slathering 
Hand Cut Fries with Celery Salt, for serving, (recipe follows )

Homemade Bread and Butter Relish: 
1       cup bread and butter pickles, finely diced 
1       tablespoon pickled cherry peppers, finely diced 
1       teaspoon sugar 
Hand Cut Fries with Celery Salt: 
Vegetable oil 
4       large russet potatoes, scrubbed 
Celery salt, for sprinkling

1 .   Set up a large pot with a steamer insert and steam the franks until warm, about 5 minutes. When the franks are almost done, place the buns on top of the franks to steam, 1 to 2 minutes. Place the franks in the buns and top each with some of the onions, 2 peppers, some Homemade Bread and Butter 

2 .  Relish and slather with mustard. To serve, top the franks with a handful of Hand Cut Fries with Celery Salt, wrap each frank in foil and let steam, 2 to 3 minutes, before eating. Eat on the towel-lined trunk of a car.

Homemade Bread and Butter Relish: 
Combine the pickles, peppers and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Serve. Yield: 1 cup.

Hand Cut Fries with Celery Salt: 

1 .   Fill a 6-quart heavy pot or Dutch oven two-thirds of the way full with oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until a deep-fat thermometer registers 375 degrees F.

2 .   Cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick sticks. Fry the potatoes in batches, until golden brown, 8 minutes per batch. Transfer the potatoes with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with celery salt and serve immediately.

Words of Wisdom:

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” 

“Life is not discovery of fate; it is continuous creation of future, through choices of thoughts, feelings and actions in the present.” 

“The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.” 

“I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life and don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” 

“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” 

A proud grand-poppa               G .

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
For the past five years , I have been complaining about my husband to everyone who would listen , it seems like . He was so irritating to me in a thousand different ways and after I had talked to him about it forever . I took to talk to other people . Earlier this year , a friend of mine lost her husband to cancer . She had been a big complainer about him too . I have watched though , how grief has changed her view of him and their relationship. She seems to be filled with remorse about his death and about how she was unkind to him , even though she admits he was also unkind to her . This has got me to thinking : I don't want to die mad at my husband or at myself . I really would like to have a happy marriage , but I don't have a clue as to how to mend our old wounds . What do you suggest ?
Reclaiming Love
 Dear  Reclaiming Love,
Your marriage has become dysfunctional and you are talking to everyone about it except the person you should be talking to. Have you ever wondered how your constant carping makes your husband feel? You have lost the ability to see things from your husband's perspective . He does have one , you know.
Be grateful that your eyes have been opened to the possibility of change !  There's hope for you if your husband feels the same way. I think that beneath the hostility and apathy, you both long for a safe harbor. Now, let go of your anger and go home and tell your husband  about your revelation .
 Tell him you want to have a healthier , happier marriage  and that you hope he wants that , too. Suggest that you and he get counseling support to help guide you both in the right direction to a more loving place.
Do your best to remember all the happy times that you spent  together . What did you enjoy  doing when you first got married ? What made you smile ? That's a good starting point. Talk to each other  about dating again .  Take it slow, with a renewed  commitment.

Dear Maxy ,
One of my new friends from work likes to write me texts and other messages to get together and update me about various things . She never spell my name right , which drives me up the wall . My name is not difficult , but even if it were , it is written in my signature on my emails and my stationery . I have written her back and always spell out my name , hoping she will notice . So far , she's oblivious . Is it rude for me to point out how to spell my name ? It irritates me every time I see that she spells it wrong. What should I do ?
Spell Check
 Dear Spell Check ,
I am a believer in telling people up front, rather than hoping they will figure it out .  You cannot expect her to read your thoughts or feel your frustration. Chances are, your new eager friend  is so excited  about connecting with you  that she has no idea  that she is offending you by misspelling your name .
 Stewing about it is not good for you and may spoil a relationship that might be fun and mutually enjoyable. You may also get the same result if you get annoyed and reprimand her.  So, the next time you text her, simply say , "FYI" : This is how you spell my name ."

Dear Maxy ,
I am a 29-year-old married woman with a 14-month-old son . My husband and I live one hour away from his dad and stepmother , "Gladys" and two hours from my parents .We all get along great .
When I decided to go back to work , both my mother and Gladys volunteered to watch my son two days apiece . I pay a neighbor to watch him the remaining day , especially since she has two kids of her own and I want my son to have some socialization . It's a perfect setup , and every is happy except my husband's mother , who lives in another state . She is furious that I allow Gladys to watch my son , stating that she was "not related" and not really his grandma" and she will never love him like a real grandma should .
My mother-in-law wants me to have the neighbor watch my son for the two days Gladys is now taking and she even offered to pay the neighbor so it would not come out of my pocket .
My husband has a close relationship with his mother and a polite one with Gladys . (His mother never allowed him to get close to his stepmother, even though she didn't come into the picture until years after the divorce). He's on the fence about this arrangement. But , Maxy , I love Gladys . She is a retired kindergarten teacher who is wonderful with my son .
My MIL is giving me a headache over this . I always thought we had a great relationship and her demands blindsided me . Now she's angry that I have allowed Gladys to have a relationship with our son altogether . I haven't mention any of this to Gladys , but I'm sure she would be heartbroken. She truly loves our son and he loves her . What should I do ?
Caught Between Two MILs
Dear  Caught  Between two  MILs ,
Shame on your mother-in-law  for being  so  jealous and bitter  that she would interfere in your child rearing decisions and prevent your son and grandson from  having a loving relationship  with Gladys .  In all honesty, it is none of her concern. 
If your husband has no logical objections to the arrangements you have made for your baby's care, then I hope he has the gumption  to tell his mother that  her input is always respected, but these are not her decisions to make. 
He, or you should also be very honest with her and say that it's time she put her hostility away and accepted Gladys as a family member who is important to you and to your son. Gladys is not going to go away and your MIL's bitterness is only hurting herself and damaging her relationship with the family.
Enough already .

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pritty Pitchers

Ica, France   

Secluded beach Amalfi Coast, Italy

Assos, Kefalonia Island, Greece

Millau Viaduct, France

Switchback Mountain, Tianman Hwy, China

Gate opening to Lake Como, Northern Italy

Astronomical clock, Prague, Czech Republic

Pulpit Rock, Norway

 Sheeps Highway, Ireland
Dorset, England

Turquoise River, BC , Canada

Vinhedos do Douro, Portugal

Artic Cathedral, Norway
Peles Castle, Romania
Victoria Falls, Africa

Rocky village, Liguria, Italy
Balls Pyramid off the Eastern coast of Australia

Massive Vietnam cave discovered in 2009

Lightning on Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Cutting Watermelon in Twenty Seconds

Eight Year Old Saves Her Baby Brother from Kidnapper

A menacing kidnapper fled down the street. In his arms was a toddler who was just snatched from a playground.
But, not so fast - it was big sister to the rescue!
The brave eight-year-old raced after the kidnapper. She wouldn't let him get away with her baby brother.  Not far behind was her older brother, a 10-year-old boy in hot pursuit with the baby's stroller.
Now the Wright siblings are being credited with doing the right thing by thwarting the kidnapping of their little brother in Sprague, Washington.
Delicia and her big brother Brenden were playing in a park near their babysitter's house with their baby brother Owen, who is just 22-months-old.
The kidnapper grabbed little Owen and took off. A surveillance camera outside a grocery store captured the frightening figure running down the street.
Delicia screamed and took chase, drawing the attention of some teens.
One teen told INSIDE EDITION: "It really turned into blood-curling screaming."
Another added: "When you kind of pick up there's a girl running behind him, he's running down an alleyway with a kid - things don't look right."
In a 911 call, a caller told the dispatcher: "A man grabbed a two-year-old baby child, and was running with it. The little kid started screaming."
The kidnapper eventually put Owen down in a vacant lot before escaping.
Kathleen Baty, the personal safety expert known as 'The Safety Chick,' says making a racket is exactly the thing to do in such an emergency.
Baty said, "Using your voice. Using your words. Screaming, yelling, 'Help!' 'Stranger danger!' 'This is not my father!' Can be the real difference between life and death."
She added: "Instill in your kids that when they are out in the public and some adult comes up to them they need to have that gut reaction and go the other way and yell and scream as loud as they can."

Bravissima! Delicia. Not all super heroes are grown-ups

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings
To make the shortbread cookie crumbs for the crust, seal the cookies in a heavy plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs.


  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (about 7 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • Lemon slices, cut into quarters (garnish)


For curd:
Mix sugar and cornstarch in heavy large saucepan. Gradually add lemon juice, whisking until all cornstarch dissolves. Whisk in eggs and yolks. Add butter. Stir over medium heat until curd thickens and boils, about 12 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Chill until cold, at least 6 hours. (Can be made 1 week ahead.
Press plastic wrap onto surface of curd and keep chilled.)
For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 8-inch-diameter springform pan with nonstick spray. Blend cookie crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press onto bottom of pan. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool.
For mousse:
Pour 5 tablespoons water into small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place 1 3/4 cups lemon curd in large bowl. Stir 3/4 cup curd in another small saucepan over medium-low heat until very warm.
Stir gelatin mixture over medium-low heat until dissolved and liquid is clear (do not boil). Whisk warm gelatin mixture into 3/4 cup warm curd. Gradually whisk gelatin-curd mixture into curd in large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until whites are thick and glossy. Fold whites into curd mixture in 3 additions. Using same beaters, beat cream in another medium bowl until peaks form. Fold into egg white-curd mixture in 3 additions. Pour enough mousse over cooled crust to fill pan completely. Pour remaining mousse into small bowl and reserve. Cover and chill mousse cake, reserved mousse, and remaining curd overnight.
Using long thin knife, cut around cake to loosen. Remove pan sides. Gently spread 3/4 cup of remaining curd over cake. Transfer reserved mousse to pastry bag fitted with small star tip. Pipe rosettes of mousse around top edge of cake. Chill cake until ready to serve. (Can be made up to 8 hours ahead.)
Arrange lemon slices between rosettes. Cut cake into wedges.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Food for Thought : 'Got Milk'

6 Health Benefits of Milk

1. Glowing Skin:
Cleopatra took milk baths to help her skin stay soft, supple and glowing. You can do the same, or you can drink a few glasses of whole milk each day to get its benefits. Milk has several nutrients which help skin look its best. It has lactic acid which can act as an exfoliant and enzymes to help smooth skin. It also has amino acids that help keep skin moisturized. Milk can help prevent damage from environmental toxins because it has antioxidants. However, if you have a sensitivity to milk or dairy products, milk can actually aggravate your skin.

2. Healthy Bones and Teeth:
Milk is a great source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones. Not only do young children need it while their bones are growing, but adults need it to keep their bones strong and to prevent osteoporosis. Milk is also great for strong teeth, and it helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. In order for the calcium to be absorbed by the body, vitamin D must be present. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, buy milk that is fortified with extra vitamin D to ensure that your body absorbs the calcium.

3. Muscles:
Milk contains protein, which helps to rebuild muscles. Drink a glass of milk after you exercise to give your body what it needs to recover. It will help to keep soreness at bay while replenishing fluids that you lost during your workout.

4. Weight Loss:
Studies show that women who drink low-fat or skim milk lose more weight than those who exclude milk from their diet. It is a great appetizer and it makes a healthy snack. Add a glass to your dinner, or drink a glass while eating a piece of fruit.

5. Less Stress:
Milk is a great way to de-stress at the end of the day. A glass of warm milk will help to relax tense muscles and soothe frayed nerves. Milk has also been proven to reduce symptoms of PMS and boost energy. The next time you are feeling frazzled, try drinking a glass of milk while you soak in a bubble bath.

6. Healthy Body:
Milk has properties that lower high blood pressure and risk of strokes. It reduces the liver's production of cholesterol, and it can act as an antacid. Vitamins A and B in milk can help build good eyesight. Milk has also been show to help lower risk of certain cancers.
There are several varieties of milk on the market, such as whole, 2%, low-fat and fat free. If you are concerned about the growth hormones used in milk, choose to go the organic route. With all of the types of milk available, you should be able to find something that fits your diet and nutritional needs.

                                   Berry Breakfast Smoothie :
Wake up to a delicious blend of banana, strawberries, blueberries and peanut butter. This fruit smoothie recipe is a good 
Don't let its pink-liciousness fool you. The berries turn on detoxifying enzymes and ginger stimulates digestion 

Serves:  6 Prep / Total Time: 20 minutes

3               Cups frozen unsweetened raspberries    
2 -1/4       Cups chilled unsweetened almond or rice milk 
3/4           Cup  frozen pitted unsweetened cherries or raspberries  
4- 1/2      teaspoons honey  
6             teaspoons  finely grated fresh ginger 
3             teaspoons ground flaxseed  
6             teaspoons  fresh lemon juice 

Combine all ingredients in blender, adding lemon juice to taste. Puree until smooth. Pour into 2 chilled glasses.

Words of Wisdom :

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun.

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.

The secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don't find very often, then that is what love is all about.

A  proud grand-poppa            G.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The scariest thing about global warming? Giant, super-fast spiders

New research suggests that climate change could make spiders not only more numerous but larger and faster on their feet
Macro photos of jumping spiders
How would you like this critter to be even bigger? 

Forget floods, droughts, sea-level rise and even the melting polar ice caps. Here’s a really compelling reason to worry about global warming. Spiders.
Research has already suggested that there will be more of them – and they will grow bigger – as temperatures rise. Now a new study, published in the journal Experimental Biology, has concluded that they are likely to be able to run faster and therefore, be harder to catch.

 Warm weather speeds up the spiders' joints (AP)
It all comes down to how the arachnids move. Instead of using muscles, they rely on fluid to move their limbs. And as it heats up, the fluid’s ebb and flow gets faster. So the researchers found that while they moved sluggishly at a cool 59F (15C), they sprinted around at three times the speed when the thermometer rose to a stifling 104F (40C).
They sped up mainly by taking more steps, which also made them clumsier because they were unable to control their limbs so well. So there you have it: more bigger, speedier spiders, which are more liable to stumble into your bath.
Memo to Miss Muffet: our response to those insisting that we will easily adapt to climate change has to be: “No whey!” I am leaving this planet on the big mother ship headed into the cosmic void.

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I met a woman at a conference I attended and learned that she had years of experience in the business I just got involved in . Once I learned that , I basically stalked her . Every time we saw each other , I asked her as many questions as I could so that I could learn from her . I feel like I may have turned her off but I didn't want her to leave without gaining wisdom from her . I really do hope that we can stay in touch . How can I reach out to her to keep the conversation going ?
Wannabe , Miami
Dear Wannabe ,
Send this woman a thank-you-note , telling her how grateful you are to have met her . Apologize  for seeming a bit pushy ... admit that you were just excited to meet someone in your field . Ask her if she would be willing  to mentor you . Be specific in your request . Ask if she would be willing to talk to you about business and answer questions at arranged times during the year . Ask if she would be willing to give you advice if you come upon a professional stumbling block . Thank her in advance for considering your request . Then back off until you hear from her .

Dear Maxy , 
I went to a business conference that was focused around women . I had a great time and made a lot of good connections . I also noticed that several of the women attendees brought their husbands . The men didn't participate in the day-time activities , but I often saw them at night in the hotel restaurant or walking around on the property . I didn't know that was an option . I bet my husband would have enjoyed being at a resort location if we could just hang out together at night . How can I make this happen at my next conference ? Don't get me wrong ---I don't feel like I missed out on anything . There were activites for attendees every night, so I was busy , but my husband and I haven't had a vacation in a long time . Sneaking in a mini-vacay .
Splitting the Difference
Dear Splitting the Difference,
It is not unusual for families to tag along during professional conferences in the summer . Sometimes it can be just a spouse . Other times , spouses and children come to these events and hang out with the conference attendee parent during off-hours . Depending on the nature of the conference, sometimes there are family activities built into the agenda so the family members are not peripheral to the event .
In the future , check with the conference organizers to get their view on bringing spouses .

Dear Maxy ,
I chose to go to a university in another state . The tuition is very expensive and recently my family has hit a rough financial patch . My parents originally gave me their blessing to leave the state and my mom has planned to pretend we live in Florida to give me in-state tuition .
My older sister is calling me selfish for allowing my mom to go through with this plan because it is illegal . I reminded my sister that our mother told me I could got to the school , so our parents will figure out the financial aspect . I feel bad being the reason my mother is breaking the law , but she told me I could go . What should I do ? 
Small-Town Budget Biloxi , Mississippi
Dear Small-Town Budget ,
As you might imagine , I cannot and definitely will not  suggest that you or your mother  break the law . I can tell you what some people have done  that is effective and not illegal . If your mother knows someone in the neighboring state  who would let her stay there, at least part-time , so that she legitimately has an address  in that state , do that . Perhaps your mom can spend weekends there or visit once a week or so . I know a family who actually moved to a different state and lived with their friends for four years  so their child could go to school for a dramatic discount . You can figure this out without breaking the law . And you'll feel much better about it.

Dear Maxy ,
Over the years , I have often visited a beach community and had a great time with the people there . I haven't been there in awhile , though, because of work and health issues . I have been invited to come to come for the weekend soon , and I am a little nervous . I have gained a lot of weight and really don't feel attractive . I am afraid that people will look at me on the beach in a swimsuit and make comments under their breath . I am not sure how I will be able to handle that if it happens . I already feel uncomfortable about where I am . Should I stay home ?
Beached Whale
Dear Beached Whale,
While you are especially self-conscious about your changing body, there is a high probability that there will be every size, shape and configuration of bodies on the beach when you visit  this summer. Most women wish their bodies were different (honestly ). But you will notice they are out there swimming and sun-bathing, regardless.
Instead of  bemoaning your state, consider yourself part of a community of people who want to share the sunshine and the fun, rather than scrutinize bodies . 
Resist the temptation to judge others or worry about being judged. Focus instead on the good time you are having .

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Blind teen with autism wows crowd at Fenway with U.S. anthem

BOSTON -- Christopher Duffley, youtube sensation and recording artist, sings the national anthem at Fenway Park on August 17, 2015. He is 14 years old, and happens to be blind and autistic!!
He was invited to sing before a Cleveland Indians-Boston Red Sox game and received a loud and long ovation from the players and fans.
Christopher, from Manchester, New Hampshire, was born prematurely and weighed only 1 pound, 12 ounces at birth. He became blind due to Retinopathy of Prematurity.
He paused before starting the anthem when the microphone didn't appear to be working. The crowd gave him encouragement and a loud ovation -- as did the players from both dugouts -- as he waved before starting.
When it was over, the ovation went on even longer.

Unbeelievable..Bee High Fives Rescuer

A man discovered a large and very dehydrated European bumblebee hanging out in his kitchen. 
Instead of freaking out and moving the bee outside, he helped rehydrate it and they exchange a friendly goodbye.
Dolph C. Volker, who is an animal advocate and the author of Dire Encounters: Man Meets Wolf, noticed that the bee hanging around and he was quick to help get it on it’s way.
Volker filled the base of his palm with wild honey and then picked up the bee so it could consume it.
He filmed the entire encounter and it definitely has the internet buzzing.
During the video you can see the bee consuming the honey, so focused it doesn’t even flinch when Volker strokes and pets its back.  
When the bee is satisfied, Volker takes it outside to set it free, but not before they exchange a friendly high-five.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A few weird and scary things

Eyelash Mites
The eyelash mite is a parasite found in the follicles of human faces, primarily in the nose, cheeks and most especially the eyelash area. They measure an incredible 0.012–0.016 inches long! They're pretty harmless to humans, but still, how gross is it that we live our daily lives with worm-like parasites feeding off our oils?!

Pacu Fish
A relative of the piranhas, with a mythical taste for biting off men's testicles,was found in a New Jersey lake this weekend, setting off fears about the spread of invasive species.
The fish, a South American pacu, is usually found in the Amazon and tributary rivers.It is known for its teeth, which bear an eerie resemblance to human teeth. Pacus primarily eat plants and are considered mostly harmless to people, despite their kinship with piranhas. But they do occasionally eat other fish and can potentially outcompete native species or spread parasites or disease.

The Euthanasia Coaster
How's this for twisted? The Euthanasia Coaster is an art design for a steel roller coaster that is literally designed to kill the people riding it. Designed by Julijonas Urbonas of the Royal College of Art in London, the purpose is to take lives "with elegance and euphoria." With one gigantic lift hill and seven inversions, this is one ride you don't want to go on if you are interested in staying alive.

Without going into too much graphic detail, scaphism is an ancient Persian form of torture and execution that will chill you to the bone. The poor victims were trapped between two boats or crammed into a hollow tree, and force fed  milk and honey until they got diarrhea. Then they were covered in milk and honey, especially in the eyes, ears, nose and other orifices. They would be laid out in a swampy area or left stuffed in the tree until the feces attracted insects of all varieties . The insects would gradually eat the victim alive and lay eggs in their orifices or under their skin. Sometimes they were left there for weeks. Exposure and starvation aided in their deaths. Fun, huh?

Oscar The Therapy Cat
Rhode Island's Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is home to a therapy cat with a special and frightening gift: he predicts when patients will die. As of January 2010, Oscar the cat has predicted the impending death of an estimated 50 terminally ill patients.
It's believed that Oscar smells biochemicals that are released by dying cells in the body. Oscar is so correct in his predictions that staff members reportedly notify family members if he is seen sleeping in a patient's room for extended periods of time.

The Phantom Time Hypothesis
This is one Wikipedia page you can really get lost in. This historical theory was created and published by German historian Heribert Illig, in which he proposes that the year 613 was actually followed by the year 911. In other words time did not exist between those years.
There is evidence to back this up. There are no archaeological artifacts, works of art or remains of buildings from this time period. Also calculations based on the relation between the Julian calendars and astronomy all combine to point in his favor.

The Aokigahara Forest
Aokigahara is a forest at the base of Mount Fuji, commonly called either the "Sea of Trees" or "Suicide Forest." Along with the Golden Gate Bridge, it's one of the most common places for suicide in the entire world.
The forest is notorious for its rocky caverns and being eerily quiet. It's also associated with demons in Japanese mythology and is believed to be haunted. Because of this, an annual body search is undertaken in the forest each year.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Good Samaritans co-operate to lift taxi off trapped woman

Amateur footage has emerged of the moment 30 bystanders lifted a taxi off a woman, who was trapped underneath its wheels.
It is understood that the pedestrian was dragged under the wheels of a London black cab while crossing King William Street outside the Bank of England. There are still stellar people in the world. Pay it forward folks.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Food for Thought : August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month

 August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. The breastfeeding campaign, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, hopes to empower women to commit to breastfeeding by highlighting new research showing that babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses, and may be less likely to develop childhood obesity.

In celebration of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, we've compiled the following guide to serve as your one-stop resource for the information and support you'll need to be successful at breastfeeding. Arm yourself with information now, and you'll thank yourself later for giving your baby the best possible start in life.

The Support You Need
The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding 
From the proper latch to the perfect nursing bra--everything you need to know to make breastfeeding work for you and your baby.

More Nursing Know-How 
Breastfeeding can be difficult for some women in the first few weeks, but it gets easier and more natural with time. Here, you'll find answers to our readers' most frequently asked questions about breastfeeding.

Where to Get the Support You Need 
Boutique-style stores that specialize in breastfeeding--with bras, pumps, lotions, potions and virtually everything else in between--are sprouting up in cities nationwide. Check our guide to see if there's one near you.

Support Systems
Breastfeeding may be more difficult than you expect. The right help can make all the difference.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding
Miracle of Mother's Milk
It will make your baby healthier and smarter. There are lifelong benefits for you, too.

Words of Wisdom :

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.

Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen... yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.

I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.

When I was 20, I thought I was 30 - but I was so far from it. When you're young, you want everything to happen now. As you mature, you can look back and see all the great things you achieved with time and patience.

A proud grand-poppa          G.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Francis Oldham Kelsey Dies at 101

Frances Oldham Kelsey
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

If there is one singular work that would define Francis Oldham Kelsey, that would be her crusade against thalidomide. With her passing at the age of 101, the tenacious physician is remembered for her firm stand against the dangerous drug and for keeping it away from U.S. consumers.
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Kelsey died barely a day after she was awarded the Order of Canada during a private ceremony at her daughter's home here.
Dr. Kelsey After an early career in the academe, Kelsey worked as a drug reviewer for the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). One of her first works was to examine the drug thalidomide, which was then already approved for use in Canada and in 20 other countries as a cure for morning sickness and insomnia among pregnant women. Despite pressures from the manufacturer, Kelsey withheld the approval until further studies are conducted.
She also requested for more information from drug makers that would counter the claim of an earlier study that documents the nervous system side effect of the drug. Kelsey's firm stand was eventually vindicated after it was found that thalidomide is linked to birth defects in Europe. Likewise, birth defects were also reported in Canada, Australia and Japan. Further research found out that thalidomide pierced through the placental barrier which leads to birth defects among the newborns. Thalidomide lawsuits have been eventually slapped against the manufacturers.
Last Thursday, Kelsey was honored with the insignia of Member of the Order of Canada. According to Kelsey's daughter, Christine Kelsey, the ceremony was originally slated last September, but her mother's weakening health made it impossible for her to make it to the ceremony.
In 2010, the British government issued an official statement, apologizing for the effect of the drugs to the victims. The government also agreed to pay £20 million ($31 million) to the victims. In Australia and New Zealand, a class action lawsuit against British manufacturer Diageo Scotland Ltd was settled. The victims were compensated with 89 million Australian dollars ($81 million).

Internet freaked out after 'demon baby' appears in 4D ultrasound

The creep levels in this photo are off the charts! (Photo: Imgur)The creep levels in this photo are off the charts

When 4D ultrasounds were introduced nearly two decades ago, expecting parents were thrilled! Having the option to see every shape and curve of an unborn child was far more exciting than a blurry, grey 2D scan. 
But some parents are now reconsidering the more expensive option – 3D and 4D ultrasounds are generally offered through private clinics – after a nightmare-inducing image was posted on Reddit by the parental couple.

One husband stated, “Wife and I went to get a ‘4D’ ultrasound of our unborn child. Saw this picture. Changed our minds. The photo  looks to be the demon child of Skeletor from the 80s cartoon, He-man".
The frightening image shows a photo of the unborn baby with hollow eyes, fangs and a skeletal nose, looking directly at the camera with a sinister grin. The unborn baby, which is identified as a girl in another scan, also appears to be hoisting up a beer bottle.
The Reddit post spurred a host of comments, which ranged from fearful to sarcastic.
“Is there such a thing as a prenatal exorcism?” one poster wrote.
“The 4th dimension is whichever one this creature came from,” another commenter posted.
Ultrasounds, which are also called sonograms, are a noninvasive diagnostic test that uses sound waves that form a visual image of the baby, placenta, and uterus. It’s a common practice that helps expecting parents and doctors get a sense of how the fetus is developing.
3D and 4D ultrasounds were introduced in 2000, giving parents the option of seeing their baby in more detail. Most hospitals don’t offer the service. Instead, private clinics allow expecting parents to arrange viewing parties with family and friends, complete with photos of their babies, who some times end up looking like a creature from another dimension. I found it damn spooky. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss. You take your chances when you have a kid anyway, never knowing exactly what is going to come out. That baby is a mother's nightmare.

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I got a call over the weekend from a guy I used to have a crush on . Nothing ever happened and this was years ago , when I saw his name on the phone , my heart fluttered . I did not answer because I was busy hanging out with my family . I'm sure he called for a business reason . We have worked on projects together in the past . He is totally on the up-and-up. It's me who is all hot and bothered about it . I know it's professional for me to call back , but I don't want to sound crazy . How can I get my professional voice on when I automatically think about dating him ? We are both in long term relationships. It my body that kind of takes over and gets me all upset . 
Hot and Bothered
Dear hot and bothered ,
It's good that you have acknowledged your sexual attraction to this man . You have to come to grips with your libido rather than your colleague? It is completely normal to be attracted to another man while you are in a long term relationship.
However, give some thought to the future. Things that start off hot generally cool down quickly and what is left can get quite uncomfortable in these situations, especially if you have to work with him again. So restrain yourself if you are considering seeing this man clandestinely.  Remember that only 10% of affairs go on to be long-term relationships. 
If you cheat on  your partner, you will likely end up with no one.
Before you return his call, take a minute to cool down, consider the consequences and put your professional face on. Converse with him in a friendly but detached way and if he wishes to collaborate on a project, give yourself a little space to consider it before you decide.
Passion for a colleague is exciting but hardly a terminal condition and if you keep a level head you'll find that it fades away.

Dear Maxy ,
My stepmother never went to college . Now that my sister has almost graduated and I am headed off to college , she has gotten hostile whenever we mention higher education . she rudely questions us whenever we talk about what we want to learn about or even read . My mother and father both have master's degrees , but my stepmother worked after high school , she works in a skilled trade that she learned , and she really loves it . She makes good money , and we have never belittled her . How can we deflect her cattiness when we are doing anyting wrong ?
Scholarly Struggles 
Dear Scholarly Struggles , 
Chances are your stepmother has always felt somewhat
insecure and a bit inferior, scholastically, to your father and mother, who have master's degrees.  This situation was exacerbated when you and your sister also exceeded her level of education. And so she is acting out her feelings with hostility.
Put yourself in her shoes and you may feel a little empathy for her situation. 
Have your conversations about school with your sister more discreetly and privately. If your stepmother happens to hear you, just tell her you are trying figure out what to do with your life just like she did. Remind her that she made her own choices in life, did very well, and is happy with her decisions and you are merely trying to do the same.

Dear Maxy ,
I had my high school graduation party at a local restaurant (because our house is too small) . My father claimed he was unable to pay for it and insisted I cover the bill , close to $1,300 saying he will pay me back later .
I realize that my parents business goes through hard times , but dad still manages to eat out frequently . He's terrible with money and I'm not sure he will ever pay me back . I told him That I expected complete repayment by the middle of August and if I didn't get it , I'll start by selling his vast collection of unused music instruments . He dosen't believe me .
I am paying for my first year of college through grants , scholarships , from savings and the money I earn from my job .
I never expected anything from my parents because I knew they can't afford much . But I had no idea I was going to be stuck with the bill for the party . 
What do I do ?
Farmer's Daughter
Dear daughter , 
Don't turn this situation into major rift between you and your dad . He should not have stuck you with the bill for a party neither of you could afford . But selling his musical equipment isn't the answer either . In fact it would create a worse situation.
Try to remain calm  and work out a payment plan with Dad , in writing , with the amount he needs to pay each week until an agreed total is reached . It may take longer than mid-August , and you might also consider paying for part of the bill because the party was for you . But it's better than the all-out war you are contemplating  .
I suggest you  involve your mother in this transaction since she  too has a say in the family finances and may bring a more level head  to the discussion .
I understand your disappointment in your father but 'he is who he is' and will never change. He's the only dad you will ever have and I know he loves you in his way. It may be hard to remember sometimes, but you love him too.
It sounds like you are working very hard to assure your future, with no help from family. I wish you the very best of luck.

Dear Maxy ,
My husband's parents lives several states away . They both are in poor health , one worse than the other . I fear that when one passes away , my husband will want us to move and take care of the other one . 
We have two young children and this would involve us leaving our jobs . When we visit I am miserable the entire time and have no desire to move .
We could not ask the remaining parent to move , either , because they both have jobs as well .
Our marriage is struggling right now , so living in separate states would not help us repair our problems . And then there's the fact that I would want my husband to do this for his parents . So how can I deny him this ? 
Unhappy Wife
Dear Unhappy ,
In all fairness , you cannot deny him helping his surviving parent.  But that doesn't mean all of you moving across the country . If the parent is near retirement age, it makes more sense for her/him to relocate to where you live, upon retirement. Your  family and your home is already established. You and your husband need to stay in your jobs to support a growing family. And you would have to uproot your children's lives and schooling . It is more logical to move one person than four. 
You and your husband should have this conversation  now and talk about realistic alternatives, including retirement facilities or assisted living  communities nearby, and the type of medical facilities and senior assistance  in the area . If the two of you cannot reach an agreement , I recommend asking an unbiased, third party to act as mediator .