February 6, 2012 archive

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Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

All Kinds of Kale

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Kale is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables (genus Brassica), so named because their flowers have four petals in the shape of a cross. A nutritional powerhouse that tastes wonderful when properly cooked, kale is one of nature’s best sources of vitamins A, C and K and a very good source of copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. The flavonoids and sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates are believed to have antioxidant properties, as are two other compounds that kale delivers, zeaxanthin and lutein, both thought to play a role in protecting the eyes.

These greens are hearty, and they maintain about 50 percent of their volume when you cook them, unlike spinach, which cooks down to a fraction of its volume. The various types of kale also maintain a lot of texture, which makes them perfect for stir-fries. Make sure to remove the ropy stems and wash the leaves in at least two changes of water, as organic kale can be very attractive to aphids. Aphids won’t hurt you, but it might take a few rinses to clean them off the leaves.

Spicy Stir-Fried Tofu With Kale and Red Pepper

Kale is a good choice of greens for a stir-fry because it retains its texture.

Orecchiette With Tomato Sauce and Kale

When tomatoes are out of season, canned tomatoes are a good substitute in this Apulian-style meal.

Savory Bread Pudding With Kale and Mushrooms

This satisfying dish, made with low-fat milk, puts stale bread to good use.

Risotto With Red Kale and Red Beans

Despite what you may have heard about risotto, this colorful dish doesn’t require constant stirring.

Mediterranean Fish Chowder With Potatoes and Black Kale

Using precut frozen fish makes this dish economical as well as delicious.

On This Day In History February 6

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

February 6 is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 328 days remaining until the end of the year (329 in leap years).

On this day in 1952, Elizabeth II becomes the first Queen regnant of the United Kingdom and several other realms since Queen Victoria, upon the death of her father, George VI. At the exact moment of succession, she was in a treehouse at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya.

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, born 21 April 1926) is the Queen regnant of 16 independent sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. In addition, as Head of the Commonwealth, she is the figurehead of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations and, as the British monarch, she is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Elizabeth was educated privately at home. Her father, George VI, became King-Emperor of the British Empire in 1936. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, in which she served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. After the war and Indian independence George VI’s title of Emperor of India was abandoned, and the evolution of the Empire into the Commonwealth accelerated. In 1947, Elizabeth made the first of many tours around the Commonwealth, and married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. They have four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.

In 1949, George VI became the first Head of the Commonwealth, a symbol of the free association of the independent countries comprising the Commonwealth of Nations. On his death in 1952, Elizabeth became Head of the Commonwealth, and constitutional monarch of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon. Her coronation in 1953 was the first to be televised. During her reign, which at 58 years is one of the longest for a British monarch, she became queen of 25 other countries within the Commonwealth as they gained independence. Between 1956 and 1992, half of her realms, including South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (renamed Sri Lanka), became republics.

In 1992, which Elizabeth termed her annus horribilis (“horrible year”), two of her sons separated from their wives, her daughter divorced, and a severe fire destroyed part of Windsor Castle. Revelations on the state of her eldest son Charles’s marriage continued, and he divorced in 1996. The following year, her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris. The media criticised the royal family for remaining in seclusion in the days before Diana’s funeral, but Elizabeth’s personal popularity rebounded once she had appeared in public and has since remained high. Her Silver and Golden Jubilees were celebrated in 1977 and 2002 respectively, and planning for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 is underway.

No title

How radioactive is that fish in rads,

Let met pull out my Becquerel exchanger.

Whoa! That’s high.  Let me calculate lifespan

Against protein requirements.

The mercury dropped in the mouth of a dying day,

Not because a poet had died, but because

A poet had not lived.  Would Don Delillo

Fill the gap?  It seems not, here.

Jesus, the guy can write about small things,

A sparrowfall, Hitler studies, breath-mints,

the way his daughter held his hand, not

to cling, but to re-assure him, against himself.

How fragile.  How angry is the chimp?

I’ll ask you about that later.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


A Superbowl Sunday

Yes I am watching the Superbowl but I was also streaming the latest videos from Project Camelot.  I have to maintain some semblance of normalcy for my fellow peasant coworkers at my military industrial complex paint drying factory.  I have to sort of understand why they get all excited by such trivial drivel.  Now I don’t actually mean to say that in any sort of derogatory way.  I truely feel sorry for them not having any sort of clue about the reality of their American experiences and belief systems.

Its sort of a Stanford Prison experiment exercise.

Pique the Geek 20120205: Carbon NMR Spectrometry

NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) spectrometry is one of the big guns in organic chemistry and biochemistry for determining how atoms are strung together in molecules.  There are many different kinds, but the two of greatest utility to chemists are proton NMR and carbon-13 NMR.  A friend of mine asked me for some help for his daughter who is studying the subject in Organic Chemistry right now, so I thought that I might as well use it as a topic for this series.

Before we get deep into the subject, note that some authors refer to NMR spectrometry and others to NMR spectroscopy.  I prefer the former term because the connotation of spectroscopy, to me at least, has to do with lenses, prisms, and diffraction gratings, making it an optical method.  There are no analogous devices in NMR, so I prefer spectrometry.

All NMR has some features in common, so we might as well cover the basics first.  By the way, this has nothing to do with nuclear energy, and the only radiation present is in the radiofrequency range, so it will not fry you.

This is heavily connected with quantum mechanics, but I shall try to use analogies that are more easily visualized than a bunch of equations.  I do not intend for this to be a graduate level abstract.

withholding my vote

I used to love to vote. There was something powerful about flexing my civic muscle and flicking a voting lever. I loved the older ladies from the League of Women Voters who’d volunteer and sit for hours at school cafeteria tables with big ledgers and match voters to their names there. I loved signing my name in that big book, and I enjoyed the sense of belonging to this tribe of Americans. And yes, I always felt proud to finally walk into the voting booth, make my voice heard, and perform my civic duty….

That said, I’m not voting in the 2012 national American elections.

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Voting has, for me, deteriorated to this: pulling the lever for brand-name candidates who will do the least amount of damage to my country while in office.

That’s how if now feels. The lesser of two evils? It’s even more dire: it’s voting for the saner of two evils.

cross posted at writing in the rAw and daily kos