Posts Tagged ‘Research’

Uses of Hydrogen Peroxide – HYDROGEN PEROXIDE MAGIC!

August 26, 2013

Ever since I started using Hydrogen Peroxide to get rid of armpit stains, to clean cookie sheets, as a miracle cleaner in my kitchen and bathroom, and to make my own “oxi clean”…I ALWAYS have at least one bottle of the stuff under my kitchen sink, under my bathroom sink, AND in the laundry room. This stuff is amazingly versatile!

But it wasn’t until recently, after doing some IN DEPTH research on the subject, that I came to realize what a “miracle substance” hydrogen peroxide really is! It’s safe, it’s readily available, it’s cheap, and best of all, it WORKS! It works for a LOT of stuff!

Hydrogen peroxide should really be called oxygen water, since it is basically the same chemical make up as water but with an extra oxygen atom (H2O2). Because of this it breaks down quickly and harmlessly into oxygen and water.

Some other interesting facts about hydrogen peroxide:

It is found in all living material.
Your white blood cells naturally produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to fight bacteria and infections.
Fruit and vegetables naturally produce hydrogen peroxide. This is one of the reasons why it is so healthy to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
It is found in massive dosages in the mother’s first milk, called colostrum, and is transferred to the baby to boost their immune system.
It is found in rain water because some of the H20 in the atmosphere receives an additional oxygen atom from the ozone (O3) and this H2O2 makes plants grow faster.
Next to Apple Cider Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide ranks up there as one of the best household remedies.

Besides the obvious (cleansing wounds), did you know that it is probably the best remedy to dissolve ear wax? Brighten dingy floors? Add natural highlights to your hair? Improve your plants root systems? The list goes on and on!

There are SO many uses for this stuff that I’ve started replacing the cap on the hydrogen peroxide bottle with a sprayer because it’s easier and faster to use that way.

I have compiled a rather impressive list of uses for 3% hydrogen peroxide that I hope will have you as thrilled and bewildered as I was!

Wash vegetables and fruits with hydrogen peroxide to remove dirt and pesticides. Add 1/4 cup of H2O2 to a sink of cold water. After washing, rinse thoroughly with cool water.

In the dishwasher, add 2 oz. to your regular detergent for a sanitizing boost. Also, beef up your regular dish soap by adding roughly 2 ounces of 3% H2O2 to the bottle.

Use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash to freshen breath. It kills the bacteria that causes halitosis. Use a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water.

Use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make a paste for brushing teeth. Helps with early stages of gingivitis as it kills bacteria. Mixed with salt and baking soda, hydrogen peroxide works as a whitening toothpaste.

Soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide between uses to keep it clean and prevent the transfer of germs. This is particularly helpful when you or someone in your family has a cold or the flu.

Clean your cutting board and countertop. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse clean. (I’ve been using it for this a LOT lately!)

Wipe out your refrigerator and dishwasher. Because it’s non-toxic, it’s great for cleaning places that store food and dishes.

Clean your sponges. Soak them for 10 minutes in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse the sponges thoroughly afterward.

Remove baked-on crud from pots and pans. Combine hydrogen peroxide with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Come back later with a scrubby sponge and some warm water, and the baked-on stains will lift right off.

Whiten bathtub grout. First dry the tub thoroughly, then spray it liberally with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit — it may bubble slightly — for a little while, then come back and scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat the process a few times.

Clean the toilet bowl. Pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl, let stand for 20 minutes, then scrub clean.

Remove stains from clothing, curtains, and tablecloths. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a pre-treater for stains — just soak the stain for a little while in 3% hydrogen peroxide before tossing into the laundry. You can also add a cup of peroxide to a regular load of whites to boost brightness. It’s a green alternative to bleach, and works just as well.

Brighten dingy floors. Combine half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of hot water, then go to town on your flooring. Because it’s so mild, it’s safe for any floor type, and there’s no need to rinse.

Clean kids’ toys and play areas. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe cleaner to use around kids, or anyone with respiratory problems, because it’s not a lung irritant. Spray toys, toy boxes, doorknobs, and anything else your kids touch on a regular basis.

Help out your plants. To ward off fungus, add a little hydrogen peroxide to your spray bottle the next time you’re spritzing plants.

Add natural highlights to your hair. Dilute the hydrogen peroxide so the solution is 50% peroxide and 50% water. Spray the solution on wet hair to create subtle, natural highlights.

According to alternative therapy practitioners, adding half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to a warm bath can help detoxify the body. Some are skeptical of this claim, but a bath is always a nice way to relax and the addition of hydrogen peroxide will leave you – and the tub – squeaky clean!

Spray a solution of 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide on leftover salad, drain, cover and refrigerate. This will prevent wilting and better preserve your salad.

Sanitize your kids’ lunch boxes/bags.

Dab hydrogen peroxide on pimples or acne to help clear skin.

Hydrogen peroxide helps to sprout seeds for new plantings. Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution once a day and spritz the seed every time you re-moisten. You can also use a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 32 parts water to improve your plants’ root system.

Remove yellowing from lace curtains or tablecloths. Fill a sink with cold water and a 2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Soak for at least an hour, rinse in cold water and air dry.

Use it to remove ear wax. Use a solution of 3% with olive or almond oil. Add a couple drops of oil first then H2O2. After a few minutes, tilt head to remove solution and wax.

Helps with foot fungus. Spray a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on them (especially the toes) every night and let dry. Or try soaking your feet in a peroxide solution to help soften calluses and corns, and disinfect minor cuts.

Spray down the shower with hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria and viruses.

Use 1 pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of water to clean humidifiers and steamers.

Wash shower curtains with hydrogen peroxide to remove mildew and soap scum. Place curtains in machine with a bath towel and your regular detergent. Add 1 cup full strength 3% hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle.

Use for towels that have become musty smelling. 1/2 cup Peroxide and 1/2 cup vinegar let stand for 15 minutes wash as normal. Gets rid of the smell.

Use hydrogen peroxide to control fungi present in aquariums. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt your fish. Use sparingly for this purpose.

De-skunking solution. Combine 1 quart 3% H2O2, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon Dawn dish detergent, 2 quarts warm water.

Source : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=209271939235775&set=a.170185703144399.1073741826.170176546478648&type=1

Noble Prize : Winning Formula

October 24, 2012

Top ten myths about introverts

July 9, 2012

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

 

Source : http://jerrybrito.org/post/6114304704/top-ten-myths-about-introverts

History of CHICKEN

June 19, 2012
How the Chicken Conquered the World
The epic begins 10,000 years ago in an Asian jungle and ends today in kitchens all over the world
By Jerry Adler and Andrew Lawler
Smithsonian magazine, June 2012
The chickens that saved Western civilization were discovered, according to legend, by the side of a road in Greece in the first decade of the fifth century B.C. The Athenian general Themistocles, on his way to confront the invading Persian forces, stopped to watch two cocks fighting and summoned his troops, saying: “Behold, these do not fight for their household gods, for the monuments of their ancestors, for glory, for liberty or the safety of their children, but only because one will not give way to the other.” The tale does not describe what happened to the loser, nor explain why the soldiers found this display of instinctive aggression inspirational rather than pointless and depressing. But history records that the Greeks, thus heartened, went on to repel the invaders, preserving the civilization that today honors those same creatures by breading, frying and dipping them into one’s choice of sauce. The descendants of those roosters might well think—if they were capable of such profound thought—that their ancient forebears have a lot to answer for.

Chicken is the ubiquitous food of our era, crossing multiple cultural boundaries with ease. With its mild taste and uniform texture, chicken presents an intriguingly blank canvas for the flavor palette of almost any cuisine. A generation of Britons is coming of age in the belief that chicken tikka masala is the national dish, and the same thing is happening in China with Kentucky Fried Chicken. Long after the time when most families had a few hens running around the yard that could be grabbed and turned into dinner, chicken remains a nostalgic, evocative dish for most Americans. When author Jack Canfield was looking for a metaphor for psychological comfort, he didn’t call it “Clam Chowder for the Soul.”

How did the chicken achieve such cultural and culinary dominance? It is all the more surprising in light of the belief by many archaeologists that chickens were first domesticated not for eating but for cockfighting. Until the advent of large-scale industrial production in the 20th century, the economic and nutritional contribution of chickens was modest. In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond listed chickens among the “small domestic mammals and domestic birds and insects” that have been useful to humanity but unlike the horse or the ox did little—outside of legends—to change the course of history. Nonetheless, the chicken has inspired contributions to culture, art, cuisine, science and religion over the millennia. Chickens were, and still are, a sacred animal in some cultures. The prodigious and ever-watchful hen was a worldwide symbol of nurturance and fertility. Eggs hung in Egyptian temples to ensure a bountiful river flood. The lusty rooster (a.k.a. cock) was a universal signifier of virility—but also, in the ancient Persian faith of Zoroastrianism, a benign spirit that crowed at dawn to herald a turning point in the cosmic struggle between darkness and light. For the Romans, the chicken’s killer app was fortunetelling, especially during wartime. Chickens accompanied Roman armies, and their behavior was carefully observed before battle; a good appetite meant victory was likely. According to the writings of Cicero, when one contingent of birds refused to eat before a sea battle in 249 B.C., an angry consul threw them overboard. History records that he was defeated.

But one major religious tradition—ironically, the one that gave rise to matzo-ball soup and the Sunday chicken dinner—failed to imbue chickens with much religious significance. The Old Testament passages concerning ritual sacrifice reveal a distinct preference on the part of Yahweh for red meat over poultry. In Leviticus 5:7, a guilt offering of two turtledoves or pigeons is acceptable if the sinner in question is unable to afford a lamb, but in no instance does the Lord request a chicken. Matthew 23:37 contains a passage in which Jesus likens his care for the people of Jerusalem to a hen caring for her brood. This image, had it caught on, could have completely changed the course of Christian iconography, which has been dominated instead by depictions of the Good Shepherd. The rooster plays a small but crucial role in the Gospels in helping to fulfill the prophecy that Peter would deny Jesus “before the cock crows.” (In the ninth century, Pope Nicholas I decreed that a figure of a rooster should be placed atop every church as a reminder of the incident—which is why many churches still have cockerel-shaped weather vanes.) There is no implication that the rooster did anything but mark the passage of the hours, but even this secondhand association with betrayal probably didn’t advance the cause of the chicken in Western culture. In contemporary American usage, the associations of “chicken” are with cowardice, neurotic anxiety (“The sky is falling!”) and ineffectual panic (“running around like a chicken without a head”).

The fact is that the male of the species can be quite a fierce animal, especially when bred and trained for fighting. Nature armed the rooster with a bony leg spur; humans have supplemented that feature with an arsenal of metal spurs and small knives strapped to the bird’s leg. Cockfighting is illegal in the United States—Louisiana was the last state to ban it, in 2008—and generally viewed by Americans as inhumane. But in the parts of the world where it is still practiced, legally or illegally, it has claims to being the world’s oldest continual sport. Artistic depictions of rooster combatants are scattered throughout the ancient world, such as in a first century A.D. mosaic adorning a house in Pompeii. The ancient Greek city of Pergamum established a cockfighting amphitheater to teach valor to future generations of soldiers.

The domesticated chicken has a genealogy as complicated as the Tudors, stretching back 7,000 to 10,000 years and involving, according to recent research, at least two wild progenitors and possibly more than one event of initial domestication. The earliest fossil bones identified as possibly belonging to chickens appear in sites from northeastern China dating to around 5400 B.C., but the birds’ wild ancestors never lived in those cold, dry plains. So if they really are chicken bones, they must have come from somewhere else, most likely Southeast Asia. The chicken’s wild progenitor is the red junglefowl, Gallus gallus, according to a theory advanced by Charles Darwin and recently confirmed by DNA analysis. The bird’s resemblance to modern chickens is manifest in the male’s red wattles and comb, the spur he uses to fight and his cock-a-doodle-doo mating call. The dun-colored females brood eggs and cluck just like barnyard chickens. In its habitat, which stretches from northeastern India to the Philippines, G. gallus browses on the forest floor for insects, seeds and fruit, and flies up to nest in the trees at night. That’s about as much flying as it can manage, a trait that had obvious appeal to humans seeking to capture and raise it. This would later help endear the chicken to Africans, whose native guinea fowls had an annoying habit of flying off into the forest when the spirit moved them.

But G. gallus is not the sole progenitor of the modern chicken. Scientists have identified three closely related species that might have bred with the red junglefowl. Precisely how much genetic material these other birds contributed to the DNA of domesticated chickens remains a matter of conjecture. Recent research suggests that modern chickens inherited at least one trait, their yellow skin, from the gray junglefowl of southern India. Did a domesticated breed of G. gallus spread initially from Southeast Asia, traveling either north to China or southwest to India? Or were there two separate heartlands of domestication: ancient India and Southeast Asia? Either scenario is possible, but probing more deeply into chicken origins is hindered by an inconclusive DNA trail. “Because domesticated and wild birds mixed over time, it’s really difficult to pinpoint,” says Michael Zody, a computational biologist who studies genetics at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

The chicken’s real star turn came in 2004, when an international team of geneticists produced a complete map of the chicken genome. The chicken was the first domesticated animal, the first bird—and consequently, the first descendant of the dinosaurs—thus honored. The genome map provided an excellent opportunity to study how millennia of domestication can alter a species. In a project led by Sweden’s Uppsala University, Zody and his colleagues have been researching the differences between the red junglefowl and its barnyard descendants, including “layers” (breeds raised to produce prodigious amounts of eggs) and “broilers” (breeds that are plump and meaty). The researchers found important mutations in a gene designated TBC1D1, which regulates glucose metabolism. In the human genome, mutations in this gene have been associated with obesity, but it’s a positive trait in a creature destined for the dinner table. Another mutation that resulted from selective breeding is in the TSHR (thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor) gene. In wild animals this gene coordinates reproduction with day length, confining breeding to specific seasons. The mutation disabling this gene enables chickens to breed—and lay eggs—all year long.

Once chickens were domesticated, cultural contacts, trade, migration and territorial conquest resulted in their introduction, and reintroduction, to different regions around the world over several thousand years. Although inconclusive, evidence suggests that ground zero for the bird’s westward spread may have been the Indus Valley, where the city-states of the Harappan civilization carried on a lively trade with the Middle East more than 4,000 years ago. Archaeologists have recovered chicken bones from Lothal, once a great port on the west coast of India, raising the possibility that the birds could have been carried across to the Arabian Peninsula as cargo or provisions. By 2000 B.C., cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia refer to “the bird of Meluhha,” the likely place name for the Indus Valley. That may or may not have been a chicken; Professor Piotr Steinkeller, a specialist in ancient Near Eastern texts at Harvard, says that it was certainly “some exotic bird that was unknown to Mesopotamia.” He believes that references to the “royal bird of Meluhha”—a phrase that shows up in texts three centuries later—most likely refer to the chicken.

Chickens arrived in Egypt some 250 years later, as fighting birds and additions to exotic menageries. Artistic depictions of the bird adorned royal tombs. Yet it would be another 1,000 years before the bird became a popular commodity among ordinary Egyptians. It was in that era that Egyptians mastered the technique of artificial incubation, which freed hens to put their time to better use by laying more eggs. This was no easy matter. Most chicken eggs will hatch in three weeks, but only if the temperature is kept constant at around 99 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity stays close to 55 percent, increasing in the last few days of incubation. The eggs must also be turned three to five times a day, lest physical deformities result.

The Egyptians constructed vast incubation complexes made up of hundreds of “ovens.” Each oven was a large chamber, which was connected to a series of corridors and vents that allowed attendants to regulate the heat from fires fueled by straw and camel dung. The egg attendants kept their methods a secret from outsiders for centuries.

Around the Mediterranean, archaeological digs have uncovered chicken bones from about 800 B.C.. Chickens were a delicacy among the Romans, whose culinary innovations included the omelet and the practice of stuffing birds for cooking, although their recipes tended more toward mashed chicken brains than bread crumbs. Farmers began developing methods to fatten the birds—some used wheat bread soaked in wine, while others swore by a mixture of cumin seeds, barley and lizard fat. At one point, the authorities outlawed these practices. Out of concern about moral decay and the pursuit of excessive luxury in the Roman Republic, a law in 161 B.C. limited chicken consumption to one per meal—presumably for the whole table, not per individual—and only if the bird had not been overfed. The practical Roman cooks soon discovered that castrating roosters caused them to fatten on their own, and thus was born the creature we know as the capon.

But the chicken’s status in Europe appears to have diminished with the collapse of Rome. “It all goes downhill,” says Kevin MacDonald, a professor of archaeology at University College in London. “In the post-Roman period, the size of chickens returned to what it was during the Iron Age,” more than 1,000 years earlier. He speculates that the big, organized farms of Roman times—which were well suited to feeding numerous chickens and protecting them from predators—largely vanished. As the centuries went by, hardier fowls such as geese and partridge began to adorn medieval tables.

Europeans arriving in North America found a continent teeming with native turkeys and ducks for the plucking and eating. Some archaeologists believe that chickens were first introduced to the New World by Polynesians who reached the Pacific coast of South America a century or so before the voyages of Columbus. Well into the 20th century, chickens, although valued, particularly as a source of eggs, played a relatively minor role in the American diet and economy. Long after cattle and hogs had entered the industrial age of centralized, mechanized slaughterhouses, chicken production was still mostly a casual, local enterprise. The breakthrough that made today’s quarter-million-bird farms possible was the fortification of feed with antibiotics and vitamins, which allowed chickens to be raised indoors. Like most animals, chickens need sunlight to synthesize vitamin D on their own, and so up through the first decades of the 20th century, they typically spent their days wandering around the barnyard, pecking for food. Now they could be sheltered from weather and predators and fed a controlled diet in an environment designed to present the minimum of distractions from the essential business of eating. Factory farming represents the chicken’s final step in its transformation into a protein-producing commodity. Hens are packed so tightly into wire cages (less than half a square foot per bird) that they can’t spread their wings; as many as 20,000 to 30,000 broilers are crowded together in windowless buildings.

The result has been a vast national experiment in supply-side gastro-economics: Factory farms turning out increasing amounts of chicken have called forth an increasing demand. By the early 1990s, chicken had surpassed beef as Americans’ most popular meat (measured by consumption, that is, not opinion polls), with annual consumption running at around nine billion birds, or 80 pounds per capita, not counting the breading. Modern chickens are cogs in a system designed to convert grain into protein with staggering efficiency. It takes less than two pounds of feed to produce one pound of chicken (live weight), less than half the feed/weight ratio in 1945. By comparison, around seven pounds of feed are required to produce a pound of beef, while more than three pounds are needed to yield a pound of pork. Gary Balducci, a third-generation poultry farmer in Edgecomb, Maine, can turn a day-old chick into a five-pound broiler in six weeks, half the time it took his grandfather. And selective breeding has made the broilers so docile that even if chickens are given access to outdoor space—a marketing device that qualifies the resulting meat to be sold as “free-range”—they prefer hanging out at the mechanized trough, awaiting the next delivery of feed. “Chickens used to be great browsers,” says Balducci, “but ours can’t do that. All they want to do now is eat.”

It is hard to remember that these teeming, clucking, metabolizing and defecating hordes awaiting their turn in the fryer are the same animals worshiped in many parts of the ancient world for their fighting prowess and believed by the Romans to be in direct communication with Fate. A chicken bred for the demands of American supermarket shoppers presumably has lost whatever magical powers the breed once possessed. Western aid workers discovered this in Mali during a failed attempt to replace the scrawny native birds with imported Rhode Island Reds. According to tradition, the villagers divine the future by cutting the throat of a hen and then waiting to see in which direction the dying bird falls—left or right indicates a favorable response to the diviner’s question; straight forward means “no.” But the Rhode Island Red, weighted down by its disproportionately large breast, always fell straight forward, signifying nothing meaningful except the imminence of dinner.

Santería—the religion that grew up in Cuba with elements borrowed from Catholicism, native Carib culture and the Yoruba religion of West Africa—ritually sacrifices chickens, as well as guinea pigs, goats, sheep, turtles and other animals. Devotees of Santería were the petitioners in a 1993 First Amendment case, in which the Supreme Court unanimously overturned local ordinances banning animal sacrifice. The case pitted a Santería church, Lukumi Babalu Aye, and its priest, Ernesto Pichardo, against the city of Hialeah, Florida; many mainstream religious and civil-rights groups lined up with the church, while animal-rights proponents sided with the city. “Although the practice of animal sacrifice may seem abhorrent to some,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the decision, “religious beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent or comprehensible to others in order to merit First Amendment protection.”

Chickens make wonderful pets, as breeders will tell you, especially if they think they could interest you in buying some chicks. They are as colorful as tropical fish but more affectionate, as cute as guinea pigs but better tasting, and, according to Jennifer Haughey, who raises chickens near Rhinebeck, New York, “far better mousers than our cats.”

What characteristics do chicken-owners value most? To Barbara Gardiner Whitacre, who raises five breeds of chickens in upstate New York, a leading criterion is egg color—the deep chocolate-brown eggs of her Welsummers, the jade green of the Ameraucana, the speckled olive of Ameraucana hens after a Welsummer rooster got loose and created an inadvertent cross. Also, hardiness, cuteness and a willingness to brood—to sit on a nest full of fertilized eggs until they hatch, contributing their own labor to the farm economy. The eggs don’t even have to be their own: As necessity dictates, Whitacre will substitute eggs laid by another hen, or even a duck. Unfortunately, these qualities are sometimes in conflict. She raises a breed called Silkies, with good looks to spare, bearing luxuriant feathers of an exceptional fluffiness. However, they also have blue skin and dark blue, almost black, meat and bones, which means they’re not the first thing you think of when company’s coming for dinner. Two years ago, Whitacre reluctantly sampled two Silkie roosters. “Of course, it was utterly delicious and tender, but blue-gray meat?” she recalls. “And the bones really are freakish-looking. So now if I can bring myself to use one for food, I generally use it in a dish with color: a nice coq au vin or something with tomatoes and thyme.” This is a prejudice not shared by some Asian cultures, which prize Silkies for food and medicinal purposes. Whitacre was surprised to see whole frozen Silkies, which each weigh only about a pound and a half, selling for more than $10 in her local Asian market.

Exotic and heritage breeds of chicken go for considerable sums of money—as much as $399 for a single day-old chick, as listed on the website of Greenfire Farms, where the names of the breeds are almost as beautiful as the birds themselves: the Cream Legbar, with its sky-blue eggs; the iridescent, flamboyantly tailed and wattled Sulmatler; the Jubilee Orpingtons in speckled brown and white, like a hillside on which the springtime sun has begun to melt the winter snow. The Silver Sussex, according to the website, looks “like a bird designed by Jackson Pollock during his black and silver period.” An advantage of many heritage breeds—an advantage for the chickens, that is—is that they spread their egg-laying careers over several years, unlike commercial varieties, bred for production, that are washed up in half that time.

And, for some chickens, the day comes when they are no longer wanted. That’s when the man of the house marches into the yard, puts the bird in the back seat and drives to Whitacre’s farm, leaving the chicken with her, whimpering that he just can’t bring himself to do what has to be done.

As he walks away, Whitacre sometimes says to herself, “I’m going to process eight birds today, mister. What’s wrong with you?”

Let us now praise chicken in all its extra-crispy glory! Chicken, the mascot of globalization, the universal symbol of middlebrow culinary aspiration! Chicken that has infiltrated the Caesar salad and made inroads on turkey in the club sandwich, that lurks under a blanket of pesto alongside a tangle of spaghetti and glistens with teriyaki sauce. Chicken that—marinated in yogurt and spices, grilled on a skewer and then set afloat in a mild, curry-flavored gravy—has become “a true British national dish,” on no less authority than former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook. In a 2001 address that has gone down in history as “the chicken tikka masala speech,” he chose that cuisine to symbolize his nation’s commitment to multiculturalism. The most frequently served dish in British restaurants, Cook said, was “a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences. Chicken tikka is an Indian dish. The masala sauce was added to satisfy the desire of British people to have their meat served in gravy.” The great event took place in the early 1970s in an Indian restaurant in Glasgow, according to a Scottish MP who urged the European Union to grant the dish a “protected designation of origin.” This did not sit well with chefs in New Delhi, one of whom described chicken tikka masala as “an authentic Mughlai recipe prepared by our forefathers who were royal chefs in the Mughal period,” which covered roughly the 16th through 18th centuries.

If there’s an American counterpart to the tikka masala story, it might be General Tso’s chicken, which the New York Times has described as “the most famous Hunanese dish in the world.” That might come as news to chefs in Hunan, who apparently had never heard of it until the opening of China to the West in recent decades. The man generally credited with the idea of putting deep-fried chicken pieces in a hot chili sauce was the Hunan-born chef Peng Chang-kuei, who fled to Taiwan after the Communist revolution in 1949. He named the dish for a 19th-century military commander who led the suppression of the Taiping Rebellion, a largely forgotten conflict that claimed upwards of 20 million lives. Peng moved to New York in 1973 to open a restaurant that became a favorite of diplomats and began cooking his signature dish. Over the years it has evolved in response to American tastes to become sweeter, and in a kind of reverse cultural migration has now been adopted as a “traditional” dish by chefs and food writers in Hunan.

But increasingly, as foreign observers have noticed, “chicken” to the Chinese, at least those who live in the cities, means what’s served at KFC. Since the first drumstick was dipped into a fryer in Beijing in 1987, the chain has opened more than 3,000 branches around the country, and is now more profitable in China than in the United States. Numerous reasons have been advanced for this success, from the cleanliness of the restrooms to the alleged resemblance of Colonel Sanders to Confucius, but it apparently does not reflect a newfound Chinese appetite for the cuisine of the American mid-South. “You can find bone-in fried chicken there,” notes Mary Shelman, a Kentucky native and the head of the agribusiness program at Harvard Business School. “But it’s always dark meat, which the Chinese prefer, and it’s one menu item out of around 30, and it’s not the most popular.” The chain has thrived by offering the Chinese customers food they were already familiar with, including (depending on the region) noodles, rice and dumplings, along with chicken wraps, chicken patties and chicken wings, which are so popular, Shelman says, that the company periodically has to deny rumors it has a farm somewhere that raises six-winged chickens.

If it did, you could be sure, chicken hobbyists would be clamoring to buy them for their flocks, fancy restaurants would add them to their menus and food bloggers would be debating whether the first, second or third pair made the best Buffalo wings. The globe-spanning chicken is an epic story of evolutionary, agricultural and culinary success, outnumbering human beings on the planet by nearly three to one. Yes, we get to eat them, but we also feed them. And they provide—along with omelets, casseroles, fricassees, McNuggets and chicken-liver pâté—an answer to the question that every 6-year-old boy, visiting a natural history museum for the first time, has asked his parents: “What did a dinosaur taste like?”

It tasted like chicken.

Courtesy : Hirak Roy

ABC on Why to Visit Temples ? (Scientific Reason)

April 3, 2012

WHY TO VISIT TEMPLES ?
(Scientific Reason)

There are thousands of temples all over India in different size, shape and locations but not all of them are considered to be built the Vedic way. Generally, a temple should be located at a place where earth’s magnetic wave path passes through densely. It can be in the outskirts of a town/village or city, or in middle of the dwelling place, or on a hilltop. The essence of visiting a temple is discussed here.

Now, these temples are located strategically at a place where the positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic and electric wave distributions of north/south pole thrust. The main idol is placed in the core center of the temple, known as “*Garbhagriha*” or *Moolasthanam*. In fact, the temple structure is built after the idol has been placed. This *Moolasthanam* is where earth’s magnetic waves are found to be maximum. We know that there are some copper plates, inscribed with Vedic scripts, buried beneath the Main Idol. What are they really? No, they are not God’s / priests’ flash cards when they forget the *shlokas*. The copper plate absorbs earth’s magnetic waves and radiates it to the surroundings. Thus a person regularly visiting a temple and walking clockwise around the Main Idol receives the beamed magnetic waves and his body absorbs it. This is a very slow process and a regular visit will let him absorb more of this positive energy. Scientifically, it is the positive energy that we all require to have a healthy life.

Further, the Sanctum is closed on three sides. This increases the effect of all energies. The lamp that is lit radiates heat energy and also provides light inside the sanctum to the priests or *poojaris* performing the pooja. The ringing of the bells and the chanting of prayers takes a worshipper into trance, thus not letting his mind waver. When done in groups, this helps people forget personal problems for a while and relieve their stress. The fragrance from the flowers, the burning of camphor give out the chemical energy further aiding in a different good aura. The effect of all these energies is supplemented by the positive energy from the idol, the copper plates and utensils in the *Moolasthan*am / *Garbagraham*. *Theertham*, the “holy” water used during the pooja to wash the idol is not
plain water cleaning the dust off an idol. It is a concoction of Cardamom,*Karpura* (Benzoin), zaffron / saffron, *Tulsi* (Holy Basil), Clove, etc…Washing the idol is to charge the water with the magnetic radiations thus increasing its medicinal values. Three spoons of this holy water is distributed to devotees. Again, this water is mainly a source of magneto-therapy. Besides, the clove essence protects one from tooth decay, the saffron & *Tulsi* leafs protects one from common cold and cough, cardamom and *Pachha Karpuram* (benzoin), act as mouth fresheners. It is proved that *Theertham* is a very good blood purifier, as it is highly energized. Hence it is given as *prasadam* to the devotees. This way, one can claim to remain healthy by regularly visiting the Temples. This is why our elders used to suggest us to offer prayers at the temple so that you will be cured of many ailments. They were not always superstitious. Yes, in a few cases they did go overboard when due to ignorance they hoped many serious diseases could be cured at temples by deities. When people go to a temple for the *Deepaaraadhana*, and when the doors open up, the positive energy gushes out onto the persons who are there. The water that is sprinkled onto the assemblages passes on the energy to all. This also explains why men are not allowed to wear shirts at a few temples and women are requested to wear more ornaments during temple visits. It is through these jewels (metal) that positive energy is absorbed by the women. Also, it is a practice to leave newly purchased jewels at an idol’s feet and then wear them with the idol’s blessings. This act is now justified after reading this article. This act of “seeking divine blessings” before using any new article, like books or pens or automobiles may have stemmed from this through mere observation.

Energy lost in a day’s work is regained through a temple visit and one is refreshed slightly. The positive energy that is spread out in the entire temple and especially around where the main idol is placed, are simply absorbed by one’s body and mind. Did you know, every Vaishnava(Vishnu devotees), “must” visit a Vishnu temple twice every day in their location. Our practices are NOT some hard and fast rules framed by 1 man and his followers or God’s words in somebody’s dreams. All the rituals, all the practices are, in reality, well researched, studied and scientifically backed thesis which form the ways of nature to lead a good healthy life.

The scientific and research part of the practices are well camouflaged as “elder’s instructions” or “granny’s teaching’s” which should be obeyed as a mark of respect so as to once again, avoid stress to the mediocre brains.

George Carlin’s view on changing Life !

March 9, 2012

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.

We’ve added years to life not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour.

We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less.

We plan more, but accomplish less.

We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

~ George Carlin ~

Birth of Ram and The Ramayana !

March 7, 2012

Was Ram Born on 10th January 5114 BCE ?

Bharath Gyan, a Chennai-based NGO engaged in research on India’s traditions and culture, has produced a report which states that Lord Ram did indeed exist, and even put a date on his birth: January 10, 5114 BCE (Before the Christian Era).The Colonial British historians who came to shape our thoughts about 200 years back called Ramayana and other texts of India as mythological.

How right were they in their branding Indian Itihaasa as mythological? In the last decade or so, the scientific advancements that have taken place, have helped scientific historians revisit the text for historical proofs.

Bharath Gyan has researched information on Rama from a rational, scientific and logical perspective to try and understand if Rama has in reality been a historical person.

LITERARY

In the Ramayana text the family tree of Rama starts tracing his lineage right from Kashyapa Aditi to his times and after his times down to the times of Mahabaratha. This means at least 50 generations on either sides of Rama have been named and their achievements mentioned.

These names and their achievements have been cross verified in other literary texts of other periods of time when those kings who were the ancestors or successors to Rama lived. Such detailed lineage on either side along with their correlation in other texts would be possible if the persons mentioned therein are historical.

In the Tamil text Aga na nooru which belong to the Sangam literature period Rama is mentioned by name in the 70th song of Neithal Thinai. This indicates that he was not only popular in his region but was discussed by the pre-historic tamil scholars also.

During the Mughal times Begum Hamida Banu, wife of Humayun and the mother of Akbar prepared the Persian version of the Ramayana as it was a historical text of her land. Akbar prepared one more Ramayana during his times as Emperor. These texts are richly painted and are today in various museums of the world. These were not prepared as religious text but as historical texts of the land they ruled.

GEOGRAPHY

Ramayana as a text is geographically very correct. Every site on Rama’s route is still identifiable and has continuing traditions in the form of temples to commemorate Rama’s visit.

In those remote days no author had the travel facility to concoct a geographically credible story and building it into local folklore.

ARCHAEO-ASTRONOMYCan we give a date to Rama?

The concept of describing dates astronomically has been a practice in India since days bygone and thus lot of Indian literature are embedded with such astronomical data.

This is a technique of charting the future or past sky using a scientific tool. This tool helps to arrive at planetary positions given a date in future or past and vice-versa i.e. given a set of planetary configurations, arrive at the date either in future or in the past.

Such tools are collectively called Planetarium software. There are probably over 50 such different software available. Each software can be used specifically for a particular application, like, plotting the current night sky chart, predicting eclispes and the likes. When spacecrafts are launched to visit far-off planets like Jupiter and Saturn, it would take a travel time of well over 12 years for the spacecraft to reach these planets. This software helps determine orbital positions of the planets when the spacecraft reaches their orbits. For this, a high level of precision is required in the software.

Unlike any other civilization so far, the literature of the Indian civilization is characterised for being embedded with night sky observations. Feeding the observations of the planetary configurations into the Planetarium software gives us the English calender dates when these configurations could have occured in the past. When these dates are logically arranged along with the events, it helps us to scientifically assign dates to events mentioned in Indian legends and historical texts, and validate them.

Thus the astronomical remains left behind in our literature can be analysed scientifically to arrive at historic dates for various events. This approach is parallel to archaeology where physical remains are analysed to arrive at historic dates and hence gives rise to a new branch of scientific dating which may be called Archaeo-astronomy. Various modern day researchers have made use of this software to arrive at such historic dates for various events described in the Indian literature.

They have collated the outputs of such credible work which are worthy of standing up to cross validation. In the context of the Historicity of Rama, the works of Shri. Pushkar Bhatnagar, as brought out in the book “Dating the Era of Lord Ram” form the basis of what is presented here to understand the dates of the events in Rama’s lifetime .

This particular text, Ramayana, when analysed from a scientific perspective using such Archeo-Astronomy techniques, shows tremendous internal consistency between the events described astronomically and the storyline based elapse time between those events. This method puts forth the below mentioned dates for the events that occur in the Ramanaya legend.

Sri Rama Navami – Birth day 10th January 5114 BCE

Birth of Bharatha 11th January 5114 BCE

Pre coronation eve 4th January 5089 BCE Khar

Dushan episode 7th October 5077 BCE

Vali Vadham 3rd April 5076 BCE

Hanuman’s Visit to Lanka 12th September 5076 BCE

Hanuman’s Return from Lanka 14th September 5076 BCE

Army March to Lanka 12th September 5076 BCE

It is indeed noteworthy to observe that these dates are internally consistent

While the purpose of this software was different, it has now thrown open a potential for a new branch of science which can be named Archeo Astronomy as just like archeology it can help date events as described in literature. This software has now become declassified and is available for public use. This modern method of – Archeo Astronomy is still not accepted or practiced by traditional historians as it requires knowledge of traditional astronomy, mathematics as well modern day sky chart reading techniques all of which go into the realm of science.

This branch of archeology requires and will create a new breed of archeologists and has the potential to date more events from our vast store of literature than traditional archeology can.

Search Engine’s dirty secrets !

April 13, 2010

HOW much does a web search cost? You don’t pay up front, but there are costs nevertheless, and they are not just measured in dollars.

The term search “engine” is apt. Searches are powered by millions of computers packed into warehouses, all wired together to function as a single system. Like any system, it obeys the laws of thermodynamics, and therefore wastes energy.

The first law says it takes energy to do work, even if that work is only to move electrons across silicon wafers. The second law says that no engine is perfect, meaning some of the input gets lost as heat. This is the entropy, or disorder, arising from your search.

A successful results page brings clarity and order to your corner of the universe, but down in the server farms things get messy. Thermal motion of silicon atoms agitates air molecules behind the CPU racks, heating them up. More energy must be fed in to power the computer fans and air-conditioning units needed to remove this heat from the warehouses.

Whatever you search for, it boils down to the same cycle: move atoms, then cool atoms. Both these steps consume energy. How much? Let’s run through some numbers, using the leading search engine as our guide.

Whatever you search for, it boils down to the same cycle: move atoms, then cool atoms

IT research firm Gartner estimates Google’s data centres contain nearly a million servers, each drawing about 1 kilowatt of electricity. So every hour Google’s engine burns through 1 million kilowatt-hours. Google serves up approximately 10 million search results per hour, so one search has the same energy cost as turning on a 100-watt light bulb for an hour.
This doesn’t bode well. Even though the average American performs just 1.5 searches per day, it is hard to imagine that this will not rise dramatically.

The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that data centres are responsible for 1.5 per cent of US energy use. How much more will that be when we, and our gadgets, are doing hundreds of searches per day? Or when the planet’s 6 billion inhabitants all want equal access? We’ve all heard the future of information architecture is cloud computing. It just might be a cloud of carbon dioxide.

%d bloggers like this: