Thursday, August 25, 2016

Charles Wright

“Language is the element of definition, the defining and descriptive incantation. It puts the coin between our teeth. It whistles the boat up. It shows us the city of light across the water.

Without language there is no poetry, without poetry there’s just talk. Talk is cheap and proves nothing. Poetry is dear and difficult to come by. But it poles us across the river and puts music in our ears.”

Writing

“Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends.

In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Five Boys with Squirtguns

My dog Lily started barking which is rare for her. I went to see what was up. Two of the five nine year old boys with squirt guns came into the yard to get water from my hose. I asked them to please leave the yard and they did. I thanked them. Then they asked me to please fill their squirt guns. I agreed and took the five day glow green and orange machine guns one at a time filling them up and handing them back to them. They were heavy! Then I shut the door and resumed working. They rang the bell and asked for more water and I refilled their squirt guns. They rang again, and again. Okay this is the last time because I have to get back to what I was doing. What are you doing? Cooking, I said. What are you cooking? Beets. They are good kids, I love them but they just need some clarity and boundaries and so do I.

Last Night

Last night the bowl of tomatoes were ripening before my eyes. I sliced them up and chopped a green cabbage into shreds. Then I made a mason jar full of buttermilk dressing with low-fat buttermilk, garlic dill kosher salt extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar and sriracha sauce and mustard. I ate it for breakfast too!
My husband said, "I've never seen anyone love vegetables as much as you do, you love every one of them even more than fruits or meat."

Jon Frankel: My Favorite Food Writer

Read

Cast Iron

Along with clothespins and wholesale fabric I am obsessed with CAST IRON.

Obsessed with Clothespins

Here

Before the Summer is Over

I hope to swim at horseneck beach at night and swim Pulaski Park Pond and Killingly Pond. I prefer COLD water. I also hope to cook out a bunch more times.

Advice for Lower back Pain Strain

WebMD rocks!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Meryl Streep

Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.
― Meryl Streep

I think the best role models for women are people who are fruitfully and confidently themselves, who bring light into the world.
― Meryl Streep

Put blinders on to those things that conspire to hold you back, especially the ones in your own head.
― Meryl Streep

The formula of happiness and success is just, being actually yourself, in the most vivid possible way you can.
― Meryl Streep

I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.
― Meryl Streep

I like who I am now. Other people may not. I'm comfortable. I feel freer now. I don't want growing older to matter to me.
― Meryl Streep

No one has ever asked an actor, 'You're playing a strong-minded man…' We assume that men are strong-minded, or have opinions. But a strong-minded woman is a different animal.
― Meryl Streep

Six Word Memoirs

Here

Herb Weiss: Taking Charge + Aging Boldly

Here
Don’t just grow older, take charge and age boldly! Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly is a collection of newspaper columns by Herb Weiss, an award winning journalist whose body of work is a treasury of well-researched stories and insightful interviews with experts and everyday people who have shared their observations about growing older.

Taking Charge covers a myriad of aging issues ranging from care giving and retirement planning to thoughts about spirituality and death. Through these stories, readers are empowered with practical tools to live a happy, engaged and empowered second half of life.

Taco Tuesday (One Dollar!)

Casa Vallarta
2022 Mendon Rd, Cumberland, RI 02864
Hours: Open today · 11AM–11PM
Phone: (401) 333-6900

Lara Herscovitch

I've been reflecting a lot about inspiration. I love the dual definition: being stimulated to do something, especially something creative, and taking in the air we need to live. Inspiration from within and without. Like plants; on the days water isn't falling onto us, we find another way to get it.

Swim in the Ocean

Before winter I hope to swim in the ocean and make hand-cranked ice cream. I don't even like ice cream (as much as I like broccoli or corn or grilled turkey breast) but I love my antique ice-cream maker! If I was really daring (and rich) I'd get a komodo (Big Green Egg) and make smoked turkey all year round.

Trimming the Shrubs

Our shrubs grow like hair. This morning my husband is out there trimming like mad. Some weeds have grown into trees and he's sawing them down. Nothing like visitors coming to get us to see things with new eyes. Also this is our last blast before the school year begins.

Ken Achity

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

See above. Norman Mailer said, “Writer’s block is a failure of the ego.” And Ray Bradbury: “Start doing more. It’ll get rid of all those moods you’re having!” When you think you’re blocked, you’re not. You just need to take a long walk and let your story figure itself out again so you can sit back down and write it. Good writing should be “automatic writing.”

What’s your advice to new writers?

Don’t confuse writing with rewriting. If you try to do both at the same time, you’ll sabotage yourself. Rewriting is what you start doing when you’ve completed your first draft. Good luck to you all.

Former professor Ken Atchity is a writer (of novels and nonfiction), producer of films for television and theater, literary manager, and publisher (Story Merchant Books). He can be reached at atchity@storymerchant.com.

Benjamin Franklin

“I see nothing wrong with retirement as long as it does not interfere with a man’s work.”

Schizo and Tobacco

I recently learned that tobacco is very helpful for folks who are schizophrenic. My neighbor Kyle's daily routine is walking around this 4 block area picking up cigarette butts to smoke. He goes to Walgreen's parking lot where smokers end their cigs to pop in the store and he hunts the abandoned butts down. My friend T and I want to help him out by planting cigs on his path so he still gets to hunt because that's his daily enjoyment. He goes by my house 18 times a day. Most people are scared of him but I tell them he's harmless and I explain the situation.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain.

Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.

In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body's natural painkillers and increases blood flow.

Share the Table, We are all Equal

When we can eat delicious home-cooked meals, spinach and arugula salads, with red onions, red peppers, farm fresh tomatoes, late summer local corn,local cucumbers, we are all equal. We are all happy. This is what life is about. Now get out the banjo and accordion and play some fresh local live music!

Rainbow Flags

I looked up and noticed rainbow flags and Puerto Rican Flag on the very top of the triple decker on my street. The rainbow flags had the planned Parenthood logo. COOL! I had to find out what this was about.

The Joys of Life

I hear the Brazilian music particularly the singing and accordion with a tuba and my neighbor, a beautiful young Brazilian woman is singing along, belting it out. On most afternoons delicious culinary aromas waft out of their apartment. She knows whats important; a walk in the park with her baby in the morning and cooking delicious meals for her husband the roofer in the afternoon.

Radio Ten Codes

I love them!
Will I be a detective at age 70? Yes!

Roll - Over Dreams

My definition of a rollover dream is a dream at dawn when I am rolling over.

Dream: I was somewhere and I had to pee but I let another person go first. When it was my turn I let it rip before I realized the toilet seat was closed. I flooded the nearby rugs with urine. Then I had a big problem. I had to find the hostess and tell her what I had done and offer to clean everything right away.

Dream: I was in grad school and I hated it. I was not doing my assignments. I walked out on my third class knowing I had ignored the first two classes. I needed a lift home.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Milkmen Mailmen Policemen

The new generation is friendly.

Milkmen are back in Vogue

Article

Irving Fields

“People ask me, ‘How do you remember so many notes?’” he once said. “It just comes to me. It’s like God is in my mind.”
Article

Woonsocket is MAKING IT HAPPEN!

Woonsocket is MAKING it HAPPEN. We are on the verge of a fantastic blast off. Fasten your seat belts. We have the park, the train is coming and the rest is already in place. Thanks to our great Mayor Lisa Baldelli Hunt and her stellar team, Woonsocket Rocks!

Standing Room Only

I can't work sitting anymore. I injured my lower back . But I like to work standing so it works out.

Night Light Picnic

Last night we had a picnic supper I made a quick dressing in a mason jar: buttermilk, olive oil, sriracha sauce, mustard, dill weed, garlic, red wine vinegar and salt. We ate spinach and arugula and a batch of fresh tomatoes from The Big Apple farm in Wrentham, oil cured olives, and a blob of goat cheese. We hung the little red lantern from the umbrella to barely light our plates. It was dark but there were no bugs. Lily sat with us. It was lovely.

One Brilliant Day

“The wind, one brilliant day, called
to my soul with an odor of jasmine.

"In return for the odor of my jasmine,
I'd like all the odor of your roses."

"I have no roses; all the flowers
in my garden are dead."

"Well then, I'll take the withered petals
and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain."

the wind left. And I wept. And I said to myself:
"What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?”

― Antonio Machado

Border of a Dream

“I thought my fireplace dead
and stirred the ashes.
I burned my fingers.”
― Antonio Machado, Border of a Dream: Selected Poems

Death

“Death is something we shouldn't fear because, while we are, death isn't, and when death is, we aren't.”
― Antonio Machado

Antonio Machado: Only Wakes Upon the Sea

Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road-- Only wakes upon the sea.

Antonio Machado

I.
Don't trace out your profile--
forget your side view--
all that is outer stuff.

II.
Look for your other half
who walks always next to you
and tends to be who you aren't.

― Antonio Machado

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Underwater Musings

(my first post ten years ago, Oct 22, 2006)

This is my first attempt at sonar. I write because I am often lonely and I love the company of words. Words are little sparks of sound with meaning, each with an ancestral heritage of its own. I write because it’s how I feel my way through the dark. Words are my path of bread crumbs which may lead me out of the forest or in deeper.

I would like to remain a ticklish dolphin well into my old age, swimming in the underwater sun patches at my local YMCA pool. I love to see the ancient ladies methodically swimming laps, flowing through the turquoise tinted water. Just to be near them is equal to being fed chicken soup by five grandmothers. These ladies swim daily. Some have translucent skin with blue and green veins, bruises, scars, and brittle bones. They all have rosy cheeks and hearty laughs. They are beautiful. This is the chlorinated community church of the underwater aqua mamas.

Life is not the thing that begins after you ban leaf blowers and clear away junk mail. Life includes all the things that come along including fear and centipedes. Life is now. I tell myself; swim, write, paint, play your horn, cultivate courage in spite of fear, celebrate absurdity, imagination, and have fun. Laugh and learn. Find out who you are. What else are we here for?

Sometimes I wake at 4 am, and I mix up a batch of sourdough and realize the mailmen and milkmen are already beginning their day and my musician friends are just getting to sleep, and I am upside down from the perspective of those living on the other side of the planet.

Picnic for Friends

I am so excited to prepare a picnic for friends that I woke at 3AM.

Charlie Russell, Genius

My neighbor Charlie is an amazing sculptor. See his art on facebook. I must introduce him to another genius artist, painter Dan Gosch.

The Nose Knows

The 10 Foods That Make Your Urine Smell The Most -

Wanting and Having

When I was a kid my mother took me to MILLER'S TOY STORE in Mamaroneck N.Y. and asked what I wanted for Christmas and my birthday 12/27. "I want a carrying case record player like Cynthia has," I said. "And for my birthday I want to go ice-skating in Rockefeller Center!"

My mother had other ideas. She felt if ever I got what I wanted I'd become spoiled. So every year she asked me but she gave me the same thing, magic markers and a drawing pad and a men's sweater.

"You were named after Emily Dickinson, she stayed in her room until she died. Then, after her death they found the poems," my sister said, in on the plan. I cried. This was the picture laid out for me. But I wanted to be a Broadway dancer in musicals or a skater like Peggy Flemming or a gymnast like Olga Korbut. Not some sick girl locked in her room.

I have been wanting to make pancakes for three weeks. This morning I was just about to mix up the buckwheat batter when a voice said. Oh just make toast, faggheddaboud it, it's fast and easy. And I said to myself no. no. no. I've had this argument with myself for weeks. I can have pancakes.

I made a batch of buckwheat pancakes from Bob's Redmill recipe on the flour bag using my sourdough starter. They came out great. My husband and I enjoyed them with currant jam and honey.

You are allowed to have your dreams.

I've discovered that I don't become spoiled at all, in fact I am filled with gratitude and happiness.

Alain de Botton

Good listeners are no less rare or important than good communicators. Here, too, an unusual degree of confidence is the key — a capacity not to be thrown off course by, or buckle under the weight of, information that may deeply challenge certain settled assumptions. Good listeners are unfussy about the chaos which others may for a time create in their minds; they’ve been there before and know that everything can eventually be set back in its place.
source

3AM:Trust the Magic

Its that magic time of year: late August. The Histamine High, as my doctor called it. The RI Ragweed allergy season is intense and if I don't ingest antihistamines decongestants and lots of coffee and take my puffer, my asthma inhaler I am doubled over in gastrointestinal agony. So I ride the wave for a few weeks until it's over. Once again swimming and writing are important daily grounding forces.
Yesterday we played the Looff Arts Festival and it was one of our greatest gigs ever. I had tweaked my back the night before from sitting 14 hours at a stretch at Bill's computer. I was walking like a 101 year old lady. I was very worried about how I would dance and parade while playing my saxophone. The show must go on, I told myself. So I gently stretched and swam in the local pool, and took ibuprophen. I read that walking was helpful so I walked my dog as usual. Then showtime arrived and the magic took over. Trust the magic!

Brene Brown Truthsayer


To me, a leader is someone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes. And so what I think is really important is sustainability.
Brene Brown

When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.
Brene Brown

The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you're enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.
Brene Brown

In my research, I’ve interviewed a lot of people who never fit in, who are what you might call ‘different': scientists, artists, thinkers. And if you drop down deep into their work and who they are, there is a tremendous amount of self-acceptance.
Brené Brown

I hesitate to use a pathologizing label, but underneath the so-called narcissistic personality is definitely shame and the paralyzing fear of being ordinary.
Brene Brown

Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It's the fear that we're not good enough.
Brene Brown

Perfect Stranger

You never know how much a person may be teaching and inspiring you.

Morgan Baden

“Figure out your childhood passion, because there’s something there from your childhood that you can turn into a career.”
Article

Where we Come Alive: Vulnerability

Article

Sharon Harrigan

Story

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Standing Room Only

I can't work sitting anymore it strains my lower back. I do prefer standing so that's cool.

Anne Lamott

We are saved by memories of love and beauty—maybe there’s more of that to come, if we keep on keeping on.

Save Yourself Because Your Family is LOST

In order for the scapegoat to have a family he has to perpetuate the myth that any day now he will be accepted. So he is complicit in his own demise. The role has been assigned. The karmic door is sealed and locked. The solution is to examine the myth closely and psychically retool your role for yourself. There's no hope for the family.

Filled

“Don't try to rush things: for the cup to run over, it must first be filled.”
― Antonio Machado

Men at Work

This morning on our downtown walk we saw the police doing something that looked like and archeological dig in front of headquarters. We crossed the street to get closer. They were putting up the Police Union Monument that has been moved from Hamlet Ave and Cumberland Hill Road intersection. It was fascinating to watch the granite slabs being placed with wedges, levels and putty. All of the retired detectives stood under the blue tent wearing their leather holsters, watching and discussing the procedure.

The Looff Arts Festival

Today we played at the Looff Arts Festival in east Providence and it was one of the best gigs we've ever had. It made me proud to be a Rhode Islander. I LOVE RHODE ISLAND!!!!

Louise Erdrich

I think you’re supposed to work in the dark, that the search and the writing itself is the reward.

The Fear

Last night my husband and I sat outside at dusk and ate cold leftovers and we talked about the fear.

Building a community web by walking, helps break down the fear. When people stay inside and watch TV on the fear machine they find themselves in a hostile world.

And the Fear

Mankind owns four things
That are no good at sea:
Rudder, anchor, oars,
And the fear of going down.
― Antonio Machado

Antonio Machado

I Have Walked Down Many Roads

by Antonio Machado

translated from the Spanish by Don Share


I have walked down many roads
and cleared many paths;
I have navigated a hundred oceans
and anchored off a hundred shores.

All over, I have seen
caravans of sadness,
pompous and melancholy men
drunk with black shadows,

and defrocked pedants
who stare, keep quiet, and think
they know, because they don’t
drink wine in the neighborhood bars.

Bad people who go around
polluting the earth . . .

And all over, I have seen
people who dance or play,
when they can, and work
their four handfuls of land.

If they turn up someplace,
they never ask where they are.

When they travel, they ride
on the backs of old mules,

and don’t know how to hurry,
not even on holidays.

When there’s wine, they drink wine;
when there’s no wine, they drink cool water.

These are good people, who live,
work, get by, and dream;
and on a day like all the others
they lie down under the earth.

― Antonio Machado, Times Alone: Selected Poems

My other Dream: A Poetry in the Park Festival Woonsocket

I'd be glad to make this happen. Poetry saves lives.

Now that we have the amazing park thanks to the vision and dream of Mayor Lisa, we can keep on building the dream!
Everything moves UP from here!!

Machado

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart. ”
― Antonio Machado

Paths

“Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking.”
― Antonio Machado

A Third Thing

“Between living and dreaming there is a third thing. Guess it.”
― Antonio Machado

Antonio Machado

“But don't hunt for dissonance:
There is no such thing;
People dance to all tunes.”
― Antonio Machado

Antonio Machado

In order to write poetry, you must first invent a poet who will write it.
― Antonio Machado

Walk as much as possible

To whatever extent possible, try to get up and move as much as possible. For example, this could mean a day of mainly rest, followed by a day that includes several short walks around the house, followed by a day with a short walk every hour or half hour, or longer walks as tolerated. Prolonged inactivity will stiffen your muscles and will likely lead to more pain. In general, walking is gentle on your back and promotes blood flow, which in turn helps speeds the healing process.
article

Ears are the new Fingerprints

Article


Are earprints the new fingerprints?
A technology developed by researchers in the United Kingdom uses a shape-finding algorithm to identify people via an unlikely source: their ears.
April 30, 2014
Are our ears as unique as our fingerprints?
That’s what UK scientists are trying to figure out. Researchers at the University of Southampton developed a new shape-finding algorithm that is 99.6 percent accurate for identifying a person. According to researchers, this new “image-ray-transform” process could be the world’s most accurate and least invasive way to identify people.


New technology
Fingerprints have long been used by government agencies to identify people. The United States FBI database alone holds 70 million fingerprints of criminals. But fingerprinting isn’t an exact science. Fingertips can be damaged with calluses, and fingerprints can rub off over time.

Iris scanning is also difficult, since the eye is such a small target and subject to fraud – it is even possible to use a hi-res image of an eye, rather than an actual eyeball, to fool the machine.

With these disadvantages in mind, scientists at the University of Southampton in the UK worked to develop a new technology that would be able to identify someone via a part of the body that barely ever changes: the ear.

“When you’re born your ear is fully formed. The lobe descends a little, but overall it stays the same. It’s a great way to identify people,” Mark Nixon, the leader of the research, told Wired Magazine.


How it works
According to Wired Magazine, ear identification uses computer vision to convert human features into IDs. Researchers in Southampton used this technology to create an “image-ray-transform” algorithm that can identify an ear with 99.6 percent accuracy.

The ray-producing algorithm looks for curved features in the ear. After the rays have found every part of the ear, another program turns these curves into a unique set of numbers – basically an “ear ID.”


Ups and downs
Like all technology, there are positives and negatives to using ears to identify people. Like iris scans, ear identification systems have limitations like hair covering the ears, difficult lighting conditions, and different IDs generated by different angles. For this reason, researchers stress that using the ear isn’t about replacing existing biometrics like fingerprints – but rather supplementing those technologies with another ID system.

Research into ear identification systems is still in its infancy, but as it gets quicker or more accurate, it could be used in many situations – like when a security camera grabs a profile view of a man robbing a bank. As Nixon told Wired Magazine:

“We’ve shown we can use ears, but can we process the data that comes from a sort of normal scenario? That’s the real challenge.”


More information
“Ears could make better unique IDs than fingerprints”
- Wired Magazine, November 2011

“Southampton scientists develop new method to identify people by their ears”
- University of Southampton, October 2010

H.P. Lovecraft

"I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interests me. What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams."

Heather McHugh

I have always lived on waterfronts. If you live on the edge of an enormous mountain or an enormous body of water, it's harder to think of yourself as being so important. That seems useful to me, spiritually.

Stud Finder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An ordinary multifunction stud finder, as available in hardware stores
Stud finder that utilizes a moving magnetic piston to locate studs under sheetrock, plaster or tile. Will also locate steel studs.

A stud finder (also stud detector or stud sensor) is a handheld device used to locate framing studs located behind the final walling surface, usually drywall. While there are many different stud finders available, they all fall into two main categories, magnetic stud detectors and electric stud finders.

Squeeze your Thumbs

The other day I needed x-rays taken of my teeth. Denise the dental-hygienist told me a secret she learned to prevent the gag reflex. Squeeze your thumbs. It worked. I told her it might be due to pressure points. Read more about it.

Friday, August 19, 2016

V.S. Naipaul’s Rules for Beginners

1. Do not write long sentences. A sentence should not have more than ten or twelve words.

2. Each sentence should make a clear statement. It should add to the statement that went before. A good paragraph is a series of clear, linked statements.

3. Do not use big words. If your computer tells you that your average word is more than five letters long, there is something wrong. The use of small words compels you to think about what you are writing. Even difficult ideas can be broken down into small words.

4. Never use words whose meaning you are not sure of. If you break this rule you should look for other work.

5. The beginner should avoid using adjectives, except those of colour, size and number. Use as few adverbs as possible.

6. Avoid the abstract. Always go for the concrete.

7. Every day, for six months at least, practice writing in this way. Small words; short, clear, concrete sentences. It may be awkward, but it’s training you in the use of language. It may even be getting rid of the bad language habits you picked up at the university. You may go beyond these rules after you have thoroughly understood and mastered them.

Share Food

The people who give you their food give you their heart.
- Cesar Chavez

George Bernard Shaw

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."
- George Bernard Shaw

Evolution of Sleep

When it comes to melatonin, humans and worms are so similar that they can both get jet lag.

The new study offers an intriguing idea for how our vertebrate ancestors adapted the melatonin genes as they evolved a complex brain.

Originally, the scientists argue, the day-night cycle was run by all-purpose cells that could catch light and make melatonin. But then the work was spread among specialized cells. The eyes now took care of capturing light, for example, while the pineal gland made melatonin.

The new study may also help explain how sleep cuts us off from the world. When we’re awake, signals from our eyes and other senses pass through the thalamus, a gateway in the brain. Melatonin shuts the thalamus down by causing its neurons to produce a regular rhythm of bursts. “They’re busy doing their own thing, so they can’t relay information to the rest of the brain,” Dr. Tosches said.

It may be no coincidence that in worms, melatonin also produces electrical rhythms that jam the normal signals of the day. We may sink into sleep the way our ancestors sank into the depths of the ocean.

Article

The telephone pole was approaching fast

Some of the craziest things are reported to police officers. Many of these have been reported in newspaper articles. This site is dedicated to sharing many of those funny police reports.

The following are short quotes of actual police reports. They are actual statements either taken directly off of insurance forms or things said directly to the officer taking the report. You know the police officer that took each funny police accident report had a good laugh. They were gathered from a number of sources. We hope you enjoy these quotes and get a good chuckle from them:

“I thought my window was down; but found it was up when I put my hand through it.”

“The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran over him.”

“I told the police I was not injured, but upon removing my hair, I found that I had a fractured skull.”

“Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have.”

“The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention.”

“No one was to blame for the accident, but it never would have happened if the other driver had been alert.”

“I had been driving for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.”

“A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.”

“I was taking my canary to the hospital. It got loose in the car and flew out the window. The next thing I saw was his rear end, and there was a crash.”

“I had been learning to drive with power steering. I turned the wheel to what I thought was enough and found myself in a different direction going the opposite way.”

“The accident happened when the right door of a car came around the corner without giving a signal.”

“The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.”

“To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.”

“I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows.”

“I was backing my car out of the driveway in the usual manner when it was struck by the other car in the same place where it had been struck several times before.”

“I saw the slow-moving, sad-faced old gentleman as he bounced off the hood of my car.”

“In my attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.”

“I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him.”

“I was unable to stop in time, and my car crashed into the other vehicle. The driver and passengers then left immediately for a vacation with injuries.”

“When I could not avoid a collision, I stepped on the gas and crashed into the other car.”

“I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment.”

“The accident occurred when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering it into the other vehicle.”

“My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle.”

“A truck backed though my windshield and into my wife's face.”

“The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.”

“I was on the way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident.”

“I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way.”

“An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle, and vanished.”

“The telephone pole was approaching fast. I was attempting to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.”
source

Morning is Sacred

When in transmit mode at bedtime I can't wait to wake up early the next day and I'll wake at 3 or 4 AM. In receive mode I dread morning, and as the day progresses I'll feel better.

This morning I got up at 4:AM and read. I listened to the police radio while I read the newspaper and washed the dishes.

Ogden Nash: Be My Love

Come live with me and be my love
And we will all the pleasures prove
Of a marriage conducted with economy
In the Twentieth Century Anno Donomy.
We’ll live in a dear little walk-up flat
With practically room to swing a cat
And a potted cactus to give it hauteur
And a bathtub equipped with dark brown water.
We’ll eat, without undue discouragement,
Foods low in cost but high in nouragement
And quaff with pleasure, while chatting wittily,
The peculiar wine of Little Italy.
We’ll remind each other it’s smart to be thrifty
And buy our clothes for something-fifty.
We’ll bus for miles on holidays
For seats at depressing matinees,
And every Sunday we’ll have a lark
And take a walk in Central Park.
And one of these days not too remote
You’ll probably up and cut my throat.”
― Ogden Nash, Hard Lines

I love you more than a duck can swim

More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That's how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That's how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.

I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
That's how you're loved by me.
― Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash

"Middle age is when you're sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn't for you."

Sorry, guys. We all played the Mom Lotto in the womb, and I won.

Blog

The Duck Refused Medical Treatment

Article

To season cookware is to varnish a relationship.


Rhik Samadder

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30 Handwritten Letters

By Renita Kalhorn

Jennifer Brace: Cultivate Confidence

No part of me has ever felt like I don’t belong here. And I approach things with confidence. I think that helps me earn a lot of respect from my coworkers. Even something as simple as sitting at the table in a meeting rather than staying off to the side and speaking up to make your voice get heard can reinforce your place on the team. Take it to heart that you’re a part of the team, you’re there for a reason and you have valuable input to give.
Article

My Attention Muscle Grew

Lynne Goldberg

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Steve Friedman

Anxiety and basketball.

Rhode Island Adventure

Today we went to restaurant depot a place I've wanted to go to for 21 years. We bought 8 pounds of kalamata olives, a bucket of refrigerated half sour pickles, cholula hot sauce, sriracha hot sauce, a gallon of molasses, a gallon of soy sauce, a number ten can of chopped tomatoes, 3lbs of gorgeous white fish, three bundles of fresh asparagus and a small mini-log of herbed goat cheese. I almost bought the Irish cheddar wrapped in green wax.

On the way home our 21 year old Honda broke down on 146 in North Providence at 4:30 PM. We called triple A. We ate ice cold pickles to cool off while we waited for the tow truck. Todd Brown KING'S TOWING showed up. "I normally drive in Scituate and Hope Valley," he explained. " Wow, Hope Valley, I love Long pond," I said. "You might see a fat tow-truck guy skinny dipping there on Sunday mornings," he said.
"I went to a nudist summer camp, when I was a kid, so nudity doesn't bother me," I said.
"Riding in the tow truck is fun, it's like being in the milk tanker truck for Munroe Dairy," I said. I got to do that when I made a calendar for them. We're their milkman band."
"I knew I recognized you. I've seen you in the July 4 parade. My parents were longtime Munroe Dairy customers they gave their milkman a key to come in and the code to deactivate the alarm so he could load the milk in the fridge and put the newspaper on the kitchen table. They tipped him fifty bucks a week, for that. I told my parents they were nuts and my father said 'Munroe Dairy's been doing this for over 100 years, of course I trust them.' My dad was a state police captain," he said.
"Do you know State Policeman Kenny Marandola, he's our new neighbor-landlord next door." I said.
"Nice guy!"

We finally got home and my husband had a beer, and I cooked a feast.

Acupuncture and Addiction

Article
But a major study published in 2002 in the Journal of the American Medical Association by docs at Yale, UCLA, Columbia, and other top academic centers came up with less enthusiastic acupuncture data. The study compared three "relaxation" techniques--acupuncture that was said to hit the right addiction spots versus acupuncture that did not hit these spots (this was the control) versus a "calming" video--among 600 coke addicts. While all three groups reduced their intake of cocaine, there was no difference on the crucial standard of retention or the duration of treatment, which is generally viewed as the best predictor of sustained recovery. Numerous studies of acupuncture for heroin users found that it helped them with the symptoms of withdrawal but didn't reduce relapse rates.

Sometimes the results may be less physical than emotional. Jim, a 51-year-old ex-con who received regular acupuncture treatments during his three months at the Circle Program at the Colorado Mental Health Institute, credits acupuncture with his newfound sobriety and claims he’s no longer the angry, emotionless man he used to be. “The more I did it, the more I was able to get in touch with my feelings,” he says. “I literally just started crying after the treatments. It’s highly unusual for me to let my guard down like that.”

While being a human pin cushion may sound painful, practitioners say that the needles don’t hurt. In fact they can do the opposite, helping some patients to relieve the pain they’ve grappled with for years. Morgon, a 28-year-old former crack addict who lives in Los Angeles and has been sober for four years, used to feel “like I had been hit by a truck every morning. Her back pain was so bad that “I couldn’t walk and would collapse if I stood up.” But once she got sober and started a regular acupuncture regimen, her ailments disappeared. “Acupuncture took away my problems completely,” she says. Of course, giving up her daily crack habit probably didn’t hurt.

Summer Cool Down

Beer, Seltzer and Orange Juice over ice.

Restaurant Depot

We bought pickles, olives, hot sauce, soy sauce, fish and asparagus. What a cool place.

Walking the Beat

Last night we met up with the retired police Detective Moreau who used to be a cop.
"I'd have to go around and check the doors on Main Street at night. That was old school," he said. "There was an amazing silence between midnight and 4 AM, that you can't get from being inside a cruiser. You'd hear people talking and yelling from blocks away. It was amazing what you'd hear."

Sneakers Bride

Article

Mr. Arthur Hiller

Writing about the movie after the novel was published, the critic Roger Ebert was as admiring of one as he was withering about the other. “The film of ‘Love Story’ is infinitely better than the book,” he wrote. “I think it has something to do with the quiet taste of Arthur Hiller, its director, who has put in all the things that Segal thought he was being clever to leave out. Things like color, character, personality, detail and background.”

Mr. Hiller’s emphatic, uncomplicated direction brought home the themes of class and generational reconciliation embedded in Mr. Segal’s story, while Francis Lai’s score took care of the sentiment.

Mr. Hiller is survived by his daughter, Erica Hiller Carpenter; his son, Henryk; and five grandchildren.

His wife, Gwen Hiller, a social worker and librarian, died in June, also at 92. She was born in Edmonton 10 days before her husband. Their family has noted that when they were schoolmates, he proposed to her when they were 8 years old. Their marriage lasted 68 years.

Article

That’s what saved me, helping these children.

Amid the chaos, Mr. Sofianis found a measure of salvation. His teenage son and daughter died recently of a rare form of epilepsy, over two successive Christmas Eves.

“One night, a kid landed on the beach who looked so much like my dead son,” he said. “I turned away in tears. How much can a person take? At least that boy lived.”

He pursed his lips, and gazed sadly at the sea: “That’s what saved me, helping these children. Because I couldn’t help my own.”

Article

The Obsessive Fascinate Me

“A general unease pervades, due in part to the feeling of being a bull in a china shop,” Mr. Heminway said, “but, more significantly, due to the suspicion that one is looking too deeply into the well, one is eavesdropping on the soul.”

To be sure, Mr. Korff lives and breathes this stuff — reading books about ceramics, checking the internet sites of Japanese dealers daily. “It’s the first thing I do when I get up in the morning,” he said. “It’s all-consuming.”

“Of all my clients, I don’t know of any who study the market, know the history, are more connected than he,” said Robert Yellin of the Yakimono Gallery in Kyoto. “He often gets information about what’s going on in Japan before I do. The guy is totally, ballistically nuts, in the most positive way.”

Wiry and diminutive (he’s 5-foot-4), Mr. Korff, 62, grew up in New York City, where his mother taught modern dance, and his father taught drama in YMCA’s. He spent his summers at Buck’s Rock, a creative work camp, since both parents were instructors there.

Mr. Korff’s obsessive personality is also evident in his collection of vintage steel bikes from the 1970s and ’80s — he owns 10 — which he rides exclusively. He cycles at least 40 miles a day around Prospect Park — except on Saturdays, when he runs six miles.

Article

Harnessing a Fluid

“I’m not the typical showman,” she adds, curling her feet up under her legs and reaching for another cigarette. “But at the same time, I want so badly to expose myself. I want to be understood and I want to be seen, and I want to do that in the rawest, purest, most naked way I can.”

An increasingly compelling and nuanced performer, Stewart describes the process at different times as “harnessing a fluid,” “tapping into a magic world” and “finding a portal.” It is, for her, an “explorative, meditative, moving, beautiful, transcendent experience that brings us all closer.”

During production, Stewart worked 18-hour days, six days a week, and when she wasn’t filming she was promoting her partnership with Chanel. “As a younger person, I would have lost steam: ‘I’m tired. I don’t feel good. I’m sick.’ Instead I tried to make myself more sick, more tired, just to see if there ever was a breaking point, and there wasn’t.”

Stewart has always had what she refers to as “high-functioning adrenal glands,” only now, it seems that she’s figured out a way to channel her anxiety productively, to enjoy the process of acting rather than simply enduring its trappings. When she notices me glancing at a leather-bound journal between us on the coffee table, she opens it to reveal poems she’s written over the years, mostly while flying. If she’s happy with how a poem has turned out, she transcribes it into the journal.

“Come,” she says, leading me upstairs to a cluttered garage. The disarray makes it feel like the most intimate room in the house. A canvas, painted almost entirely in black, rests against one wall. At the center is a man in repose, halfway between sleep and consciousness, surrounded by dark. Before I can react, she says, “Yeah, I mean, I’m not, like, good. It just feels nice to apply paint to something.”

Stewart is making a short film inspired by the image, which in turn evolved from one of her poems. “It’s basically about that moment when you wake up and you get dressed and you realize” — she slips into first person — “I’m not sad anymore. I’m not saturated anymore. I’ve been dropped back into everyone else’s reality and now I can live again.”
source

Lava meets Ocean

Info
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Lava from Hawaii volcano cascades into sea in vivid display
By CALEB JONES - Associated Press

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii (AP) — For the first time in three years, lava from a volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has crept down miles of mountainside and is dripping into the Pacific Ocean — where it's creating new land and a stunning show for visitors.
Thousands of people from around the world have swarmed Volcanoes National Park by land, sea and air to view the lava. They're also hearing and smelling it.
The billowy, bright-orange lava crackles and hisses, and reeks of sulfur and scorched earth, as it oozes across the rugged landscape and eventually off steep, seaside cliffs. When the hot rocks hit the water, they expel plumes of steam and gas — and sometimes explode, sending chunks of searing debris flying through the air.
The 2,000-degree molten rock is from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes. Its Puu Oo vent began erupting in the 1980s and periodically pushes enough lava seaward that people can access it.
Reaching the flow requires a boat, a helicopter or strong legs — the hike to the entry point, where the lava meets the sea, is 10 miles roundtrip on a gravel road surrounded by miles of treacherous, hard lava rock.
Pablo Aguayo, of Santiago, Chile, took a sunrise boat tour of the flow earlier this month.
"It's pretty amazing," he said. "You start in the middle of the ocean in the darkness, and you end up in this beautiful lava falls."
Aguayo said he could feel the lava's heat, and it smelled "super funny."
"It's like welding something," he said. "We have many volcanoes back home in Chile. We have plenty. But nothing like this."
His tour boat was a 42-foot aluminum catamaran operated by Lava Ocean Tours owner Shane Turpin, who said he navigates to within a few yards of the entry point for the best view.
On Aug. 9, a second branch of lava started to spill into the ocean, giving Turpin's passengers a look at two lava flows about 200 yards apart.
"Just to have one drip (of lava) touching the ocean is awesome," Turpin said as people snapped photos of the dual flows. "But to get a show like you're getting this morning, well, it sets the bar pretty high for a second trip."
Volcanoes National Park has seen an increase of about 1,000 to 1,500 visitors per day since the current lava flow reached the sea, boosting attendance to about 6,000 people daily, officials said.
Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane warns the area can be dangerous.
Hikers can get close enough that the soles of their shoes get hot. Also, the area is flanked by hardened lava rock as sharp as glass. Many people have suffered lacerations while trying to cross the jagged landscape, Ferracane said.
"Everybody wants to see the lava flow, but not everybody should be hiking out there," she said.
Additionally, when the lava reaches the ocean, it reacts with the saltwater and produces harmful hydrochloric acid, which wafts into the air, said Janet Babb, a U.S. Geological Survey geologist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
As it streams into the water, the lava creates a new landscape in a matter of moments. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Puu Oo flow alone has created about 500 acres of new land since it began erupting. The flow that began in May has created about 8 new acres.
Most of Kilauea's activity has been nonexplosive, but a 1924 eruption hurled ash and 10-ton rocks into the sky and left a man dead.
The 1983 Puu Oo vent eruption resulted in lava fountains soaring over 1,500 feet high. In the decades since, the lava flow has buried 48 square miles of land and destroyed many homes.
In 2008, after a series of small earthquakes rattled the island, Kilauea's summit crater opened and spewed lava and rock over 75 acres of the mountain, damaging the nearby visitor overlook.
It's hard to predict when the volcano will inflate or when the current flow will stop, Babb said. It could slow down any day or keep cascading into the sea for months.


source

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

David Bornstein

When local citizens acquire the capacity to work together in smarter ways, communities change. “We have to expand leadership to include the people who are most affected by problems.”
Article
David Bornstein is the author of "How to Change the World," which has been published in 20 languages

Arnold Toynbee

The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.

Certain Subjects Just Need Time

I don’t think that writer’s block exists really. I think that when you’re trying to do something prematurely, it just won’t come. Certain subjects just need time. . . . You’ve got to wait before you write about them.
- Joyce Carol Oates

Virginia Woolf

So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. But to sacrifice a hair of the head of your vision, a shade of its color, in deference to some Headmaster with a silver pot in his hand or to some professor with a measuring-rod up his sleeve, is the most abject treachery.

You Must do it for Love

You must do it for love. If you do it for money, no money will ever be enough, and eventually you will start imitating your first successes, straining hot water through the same old teabag. It doesn’t work with tea, and it doesn’t work with writing.
-Erica Jong

Rita Mae Brown

Trust your instincts, and never hope more than you work.

Ludwig van Beethoven

To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable!

Washington Irving

He is the true enchanter, whose spell operates, not upon the senses, but upon the imagination and the heart.

Thornton Wilder

If you write to impress it will always be bad, but if you write to express it will be good.

Mustard Molasses Marinade on Salmon

1⁄2 cup coarse grain mustard
1⁄2 cup molasses
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
6 (4 1/2 ounce) salmon fillets
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
Directions

Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl.
Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper.
Brush with half of mustard mixture.
Grill, covered with grill lid, over high heat 4-5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes with a fork.
Baste with remaining mustard mixture.
source

Classic Buttermilk Waffles

This recipe is for a very typical plain waffle, crisp and golden, perfect with maple syrup and butter or berries and whipped cream. When made with pastry flour it will be extra crispy, and light as air inside. When made with all-purpose flour the waffle has a bit more body — still light, but chewier on the inside. The optional pecan meal or almond flour add a nice nutty flavor.

Ingredients

2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups pastry flour OR 1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons sugar*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecan meal or almond flour, optional; for flavor
*Leave out the sugar if you want savory waffles, such as the type you'd use as a base for creamed chipped beef or fried chicken

Instructions

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring just until nearly smooth; a few small lumps may remain.
Spray your waffle iron with a non-stick cooking spray before preheating it. Cook waffles according to the manufacturer's directions. For an 8" round waffle iron, use about 1/3 cup batter; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the iron stops steaming.

source:
King Arthur Flour recipes.

Waffle and Pancake Party

Before it's too late I'd like to have a buttermilk pancake party. Outside using an extension cord, or using my grill.

Recruiting Police officers

NYT

Beets!

I like to peel, slice and pressure cook my beets for 3-5 minutes.
Ingredients:

3-6 medium beets, about 3" in diameter
1 -3 medium cloves garlic, pressed or chopped
2-6 tsp fresh lemon juice
1-4 TBS balsamic vinegar
3-6 TBS extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Fill the bottom of a steamer with water.

Steam peeled and sliced beets in Presto Pressure Cooker for 5 minutes. Beets are cooked when you can easily insert a fork on the tip of a knife into the beet. Save the stock!
Transfer beets to a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients while they are still hot.
Add cukes too and they will turn red.

Japanese Breakfast

In the morning I love to have leftover vegetables, beans and onions. Dinner for breakfast and Breakfast for supper. And dinner for lunch. Savory gal.

Go Towards Trouble

When I was diagnosed with severe asthma I took up the bari sax and swimming laps.

Run for your Life

When I was a child I had stomach aches every day. I was taken to every kind of doctor in the world. By age 13, I'd had it with my mother the doctor, psychiatrists, chiropractors, and the whole nine yards. I decided I would embark on healing myself. Step one start running, step two make my own natural food, bread, yogurt, granola, vegetables, rice and beans, nuts and seeds, and step three, become a vegetarian, step four, run away from home.

Kismet

I've lived here since 1988, in 2 more years is will be 30 years. When I am out walking I run into the people I have been looking for. Kismet.

Practice

There's nothing more fun than prepping a meal over the course of a few days, cleaning up the mess, and then opening your doors to appreciative eaters. I just have to learn how to not get anxious at my own dinner party. I get bubbles in my tummy when there's more than one guest. Practice.

Sleep

Well - Tara Parker-Pope on Health
Sleep
Ask Well: Can Naps Make Up for Sleep Deficits?
By Karen Weintraub

Q
There’s been lots of coverage lately about meeting exercise recommendations by completing small chunks of exercise throughout the day rather than one, continuous session. Does the same hold true for meeting sleep recommendations?

Reader Question •
A

No. Unfortunately, sleep does not work that way. Substituting periodic naps for one consolidated night of sleep creates severe sleep deprivation, said Dr. Daniel Buysse, a sleep expert and professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.

He and his colleagues once did an experiment in which volunteers agreed to alternate 30 minutes of sleep with 60 minutes of wakefulness for two and a half days straight. They ended up sleep deprived, he said, because sound sleep is not equally likely at all times of day. People have a better chance of falling quickly into deep, restful sleep at night than midday, even if they feel as though they could fall asleep at any time.

“Our biological clocks do not allow us to sleep as well during the day as at night,” he said. “All sleep is not necessarily equal.”

That’s why night workers get less sleep on average than people who work other shifts – and suffer health consequences as a result, he said.

But it’s always a good idea to make up for lost sleep, regardless of the time of day, said Dr. Ruth Benca, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

People used to think that it was better to pull an all-nighter than to break it up with a short nap, but that isn’t true, she said.

On the other hand, it may be helpful, she said, to take an afternoon nap to compensate for a short night of sleep, bringing a six-and-a-half hour night up to seven, for instance.

“If you have to stay awake for a prolonged period, you can mitigate that a little bit by taking some naps, but you can’t live your life like that,” Dr. Benca said. “Any sleep is better than no sleep, and more sleep is better than less sleep.”

Do you have a health question? Submit your question to Ask Well.

Bridging the Gap

Article

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Role Models

Article

Nastia Liukin

My mom always told me "Never quit on a bad day."

Fighting The Myth of The 'Hemingway Curse'

WGBH FM Radio Boston
Aug 16, 2016

Mariel Hemingway's family bears the scars of at least seven suicides. Although she was not even born when her grandfather, Ernest Hemingway, shot himself in 1961, Mariel grew up under the weight of the "Hemingway curse."

After struggling with her own mental health issues as a young actress, Mariel felt determined to fight the history of depression in her family. In 2013, Hemingway reflected on her grandfather's legacy and her sister's suicide in the documentary, "Running from Crazy." Now, Mariel is a mental health advocate and the author of several self-help books.

"I think we live in a world where creativity is defined by how much pain you go through, and that's a misinterpretation of artistry," she says. "I think if my grandfather were around today, he would go, 'Wow, I didn't have to suffer.'"

Today on The Takeaway, Mariel explains how she supports her two daughters, fights for mental health justice, and how she connects to her grandfather's writing. Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear our full interview with Mariel Hemingway.

Judy Collins an Athlete's Life

Article

Police ice cream truck to patrol Boston's mean streets

Let's do this in Woonsocket
http://www.autoblog.com/2016/08/03/police-ice-cream-truck-to-patrol-bostons-mean-streets/
Jason Marker
The Boston Police Department unveiled a new patrol vehicle that will help officers both fight crime and the summer heat–an ice cream truck.

According to WHDH, the new $89,000 truck, which is a refitted Ford Transit, is part of a community policing initiative called Operation Hoodsie Cup. Started in 2010, the program has distributed around 120,000 free Hoodsie Cups, an iconic New England ice cream treat made by the Hood company since 1947, to citizens throughout the city.

"If you had told me 30 years ago that the Boston Police Department would have an ice cream truck as part of its patrol force and my officers would be handing out Hoodsie Cups...I would've said you were crazy," PBD Commissioner William Evans told WHDH. "But, I absolutely love the new truck and everything this program represents. The goodwill it generates between my officers and our city's young people is undeniable and nothing short of remarkable. My only regret is that I wish we had started doing this 30 years ago."

Operation Hoodsie Cup is part of a growing trend of community based policing among the nation's police forces. They're not even the first to use ice cream. Police in Halifax, VA, recently began pulling people over for violating code 1.7.3.9, which makes it illegal to drive without an ice cream cone on a hot day. Introduced in 1994 as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, community based policing is promoted by the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Community based policing relies on more personal relationship between police and citizens to reduce crime and increase safety, and emphasizes proactive policing such as foot patrols, citizen involvement, increased officer accountability, and a decentralizing of police authority.

Buttermilk-Buckwheat Pancakes

Karen Mansur, Oldways and the Whole Grains Council

At our house, weekends are just not complete without a stack of homemade pancakes. Normally, I use whole white wheat flour, but this time I substituted half of the flour for buckwheat flour and fell in love! It's a perfect balance between delicate and hearty.
ingredients

3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup whole white wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 cups non-fat buttermilk, divided
vegetable oil
Instructions

1. Heat a large griddle pan over medium heat. Prepare batter while pan is heating.

2. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, salt, baking soda) in a large bowl.

3. In a medium bowl, stir egg and 1 cup of the buttermilk until combined, then slowly add in melted butter until incorporated.

4. Add the buttermilk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend. Add in the remaining buttermilk to batter. Stir only until everything is combined, batter may be slightly lumpy. Do not over mix.

5. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the pan with vegetable oil. Ladle 1/4 cup batter onto the hot pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the pancake to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbles come the surface. Flip the pancake and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories: 110 , Total Fat: 5 g, (Saturated Fat: 2 g), Sodium: 200 mg, Carbohydrate: 13 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 3 g.

makes: 12 6-inch pancakes
serving size: 2 pancakes

How Birds Keep Their Cool

By Catherine Griffin

As temperatures bake much of the United States and the nationwide drought continues, crops wither and fish die. But they aren’t the only ones suffering from the blazing summer. Birds are also trying to keep their cool. But they don’t sweat like humans, or even pant like dogs; instead, they have a variety of unique adaptations to help beat the heat.

In a study conducted on marsh sparrows in 2011, scientists found that bill size correlates to outside temperatures. Marsh sparrows with larger bills live in warmer climates, for example. The study noted that the tropical toucan also possesses a large bill, and has the ability to increase or decrease blood flow to its beak to either promote or prevent heat loss.

Laura Erickson of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, however, points out that the size of a bird’s bill isn’t the only factor that keeps it cool.

“In the case of the raven, the further north you go the bigger their bills are,” says Erickson. “But they need the bigger bill to chip into frozen carcasses in the winter.” Instead, some birds rely on a variety of behavioral adaptations in order to regulate their body temperatures.

Some birds, like the great blue herons that star on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s nest cam, will open up their wings on a hot day, allowing air to circulate across their bodies and sweep away the excess heat.

“We’ve watched the adults move their bodies to shade the chicks,” says Erickson. Great blue herons will also “droop” their wings in addition to opening them to protect their nestlings from the sun. But researchers can tell that the posture does more than just keep chicks cool, because the birds also do it when they're off the nest.

These are only a couple of behaviors that birds use. When it’s hot, some species will also resort to gular fluttering. The bird will open its mouth and “flutter” its neck muscles, promoting heat loss (think of it as the avian version of panting).

“If you think about a dog panting, their tongue isn’t only allowing evaporation, but is losing a lot of body fluid,” says Erickson. “Birds are much more efficient about water and water loss.”

Even so, birds still need to replenish fluids on a hot day. Installing a birdbath can provide feathered friends with a place to cool their heels in the summer, and get a drink. The water level shouldn’t be too high—only about an inch deep—and the bottom of the birdbath shouldn’t be too slippery. Replenish the water once every two or three days. Otherwise, the stagnant water can play host to algae and mosquito larvae, which can carry the West Nile virus as adults.

Almost as important as water is shade. Temperatures can be far cooler under trees or bushes, and birds often seek out these microclimates. Since a bird’s body temperature is much higher than that of humans—a golden crowned kinglet was once found to have a body temperature of 111 degrees Fahrenheit—it’s doubly important for them to cool off in a hurry. Proteins that shuttle vital information to a bird’s organs begin to break apart at temperatures that are only slightly higher.

Climate change is expected to make droughts more frequent and extreme temperatures more common. And some bird populations are already being affected by the consequences of global warming. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that tree swallows laid their eggs up to nine days earlier because of warmer temperatures in the spring. Several populations of birds, most notably warblers, have also shifted their home ranges northward, and migration patterns are changing to accommodate the change in climate.

Together, these shifts indicate that birds are learning how to adapt to springs that feel like summers, and summers that feel like scorchers.

Tuesday Baking and Grilling

I love Tuesdays.

Pressure Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

by Barbara Schieving

Cabbage leaves stuffed with a ground beef, pork and rice filling pressure cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce until they’re tender and ready to eat in minutes instead of hours.

Today’s post is a guest post from a loyal Pressure Cooking Today reader and a sweet, virtual friend. Carol’s been pressure cooking for years using a stove-top pressure cooker, and now loves pressure cooking with her electric pressure cooker.

* * * *

Stuffed cabbage rolls are something we love, but I don’t make them often because they take such a long time to bake–a good hour and a half to 2 hours. What if I could make them in the pressure cooker? That would save me a kaboodle of time. I grabbed my go-to recipe and gave it a try.

One of the things I love about this recipe is that I can get a lot of the prep work done for these early in the day. It makes putting it all together to cook fast and easy.

I used a mixture of lean ground beef and ground pork in these, but I’ve also made them with just ground beef and they’re delicious. I use whatever rice I have in the cupboard. I’ve even used leftover rice rather than cook a new batch. The filling is VERY forgiving.

The original sauce that I’ve made in the past uses tomato soup. It’s good, but I wanted to make a sauce that would give me plenty of liquid for the pressure cooker. I found this sauce in one of my pressure cooker cookbooks and adapted it to suit our tastes.

I got 15 average size cabbage rolls out of this recipe. The amount you get will depend on how large the cabbage is that you use. Just make sure not to overfill the pressure cooker with the rolls. It’s better to cook them in 2 batches than run the risk of the pressure cooker not coming to pressure because it’s too full. Once I stack the rolls in the pressure cooker and pour the sauce over the top of them, I take a long handled spatula and gently press all along the outer edge of the rolls to allow the sauce to run down the sides of them. I also add some of the cooked chopped cabbage left from the head to the sauce.

Since we like our sauce on the thicker side, once the rolls were cooked, I removed them from the pressure cooker to a platter, selected “Sauté”, brought the sauce to a boil and thickened it with a little cornstarch and water. The sauce was then poured over the rolls and dinner was served.

All it took was 18 minutes of cook time and 15 minutes under natural pressure to give us the most AMAZING stuffed cabbage rolls I’ve ever made. They’re tender and flavorful and that touch of Worcestershire really adds a nice pop to the homemade tomato sauce. This is the ONLY way I’m going to be making stuffed cabbage rolls from now on.

If you love stuffed cabbage, but don’t like all the time it takes to cook them, let your pressure cooker do the work. You’ll be glad you did!

Carol

Ingredients

1 cup brown or long grain white rice
1 large head cabbage
1 large egg
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, finely minced then "pasted"
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 lb. ground pork*
*You can substitute all ground beef for the pork if you prefer
Sauce:
2 tablespoon butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced, then "pasted"
2 (14 1/2 oz. each) cans diced tomatoes with their juice
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoon low sodium instant beef bouillon
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire black pepper or freshly ground black pepper
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon cold water
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Directions
Cook the rice according to the package directions. Fluff with a fork and set the pan aside.
Fill a large deep pot half full of water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Remove the core from the cabbage and place it, core side down, in the boiling water. Cover and let the head of cabbage boil for 7-8 minutes. Remove the softened outer leaves and place them on a plate to cool. Cover the pan and cook the cabbage for 6-8 minutes, checking and removing the outer leaves as they soften, placing them on the plate to cool. When you get down to the center of the cabbage and the leaves are too small for rolls, cover the pan and cook the cabbage until crisp-tender. When done, remove the cabbage from the heat, coarsely chop it and set it aside.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to turn light golden brown. Add the garlic and cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, vinegar, bouillon, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire (or black) pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well, taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat. Stir in some of the chopped cooked cabbage. Set the sauce aside.
For the filling, in a large bowl, beat the egg, then stir in the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cooked rice. Add the ground beef and pork and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands until all the ingredients are well combined.
Lay one of the cabbage leaves flat on a work surface with the stem end in front of you. Take 2 generous tablespoonfuls of the filling and place it at the bottom of the cabbage leaf. Fold the 2 sides in and roll away from you, making sure filling stays in the center and away from the top edge, until you reach the top of the leaf. You can secure the roll with a toothpick if you like-I don't find it necessary. They stay together quite well once rolled, and if they do start to unroll, they can be easily tucked back together.
Repeat this with the remaining filling and cabbage leaves. I usually get 15 rolls out of the batch of filling.
Place the rack in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Pour in 1 cup water. Place 7-8 cabbage rolls on the rack. Cover the rolls with about 1/3 of the sauce. Add a second layer of rolls to the pressure cooker, alternating the direction of the second layer. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the rolls. After adding the last bit of sauce, take a plastic spatula and gently go around the outer edge of the rolls to allow some of the sauce to drip down around the rolls. Make sure not to overfill the pressure cooker. It's easy enough to cook these in 2 batches, if necessary.
Lock the lid in place, choose High pressure and set 18 minutes cooking time. When the beep sounds, turn off the pressure cooker, unplug it, wait for 15 minutes, then use Quick Pressure to release any remaining steam.
Gently remove the cabbage rolls from the pressure cooker to a platter.
Select "Sauté" and bring the sauce to a boil.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth and the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the sauce and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
Serve the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Makes about 15 rolls.

Notes
Pressure Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls adapted from Mr. Food magazine May/June 2000. Sauce adapted from Miss Vickie's Big of Pressure Cooker Recipes.

Tip: Love this suggestion from Donna: “I do one thing differently that is unique and easy. The night before core your cabbage deeply and then place in freezer overnight, no need to wrap. When ready to make rolls run cabbage under hot water or let sit in large pot hot water. Remove leaves gently. Leaves will defrost and are so much easier to work with then boiling & dealing with a hot head of cabbage, just remember to core & freeze night before.”

Tzatziki Sauce (Yogurt and Cucumber Dip)


Recipe by: Lobbylady Allrecipes.com
"Drain some low-fat yogurt overnight to make this yummy cucumber dressing. This is a delicious topping for grilled chicken or meat. It's also a great dip for veggies and pita chips."

1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Line a colander with two layers of cheesecloth and place it over a medium bowl. Place the yogurt on the cheesecloth and cover the colander with plastic wrap. Allow yogurt to drain overnight.
Lay grated cucumber on a plate lined with paper towel; allow to drain 1 to 2 hours.
Combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, parsley, mint, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Beets

Making pickled beets. More vinegar!

Overnight Marinade

I made a marinade with soy sauce, sriracha sauce, mustard, vinegar, ginger and garlic. I put in 5 pounds of boneless chicken breasts. We'll grill them over hardwood charcoal. They will be fantastic sliced thin cold over a bed of greens.

Sourdough Day

Baking five loaves of sourdough bread.

Laundry Joy

I love hanging out my clothes on the clothesline.