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Forks Over Knives March 31, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.

Last night, we watched Forks Over KnivesI recommend it with whole heart and no reservations.

Following the path of scientists who have documented the direct correlation between diet and disease, it’s a film that changes lives.

It’s a film that is saving  lives.

Most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.

Something that the Meat and Dairy industries would prefer us not to know.

A plant-based diet is far more healthful than one that emphasizes animal products:

* Plants contain antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water, all of which are health-promoting.

* Meat has minimal nutrients and also contains health-damaging saturated fat, cholesterol, steroids, hormones, high levels of pesticides, excess protein and other undesirables.

The film documents positive health changes in firefighters, cancer patients, over-medicated individuals with no energy, heart attack survivors.

Adopting a whole foods plants based diet got them off their meds, extended their lifetimes, and improved the quality of their lives.

They want you to see this film.  So do I.

When we take responsibility for our health and switch to a whole food plant based diet, the risk of death from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke,  hypertension, and cancer drops dramatically.

It’s that simple.

For more information:  Forks Over Knives

Related posts:  Tammy’s Top Ten Reasons To Become A Vegetarian * Food, Inc. * The Age of Mis-Information * Great Nutrition Starts On Your Plate * 10 Ways to Fiber Up Your Diet Food Matters ~ You Are What You Eat * Only A Fool Would Say That

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Tale of Radishes and Cookies March 30, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Mindfulness, People.

Psychologists performed a study described in an article and video by Dan Heath:  Why Change is So Hard ~ Self Control is Exhaustible.

An excerpt from the article/video:

Students come into a lab. It smells amazing—someone has just baked chocolate-chip cookies

On a table in front of them, there are two bowls.  One has the fresh-baked cookies. The other has a bunch of radishes


Some of the students are asked to eat cookies but no radishes. Others are told to eat radishes but no cookies.

Then, the two groups are asked to do a second, seemingly unrelated task—basically a kind of logic puzzle where they have to trace out a complicated geometric pattern without raising their pencil. Unbeknownst to them, the puzzle can’t be solved.

Dan Heath, co-author of Switch ~ How To Change Things When Change Is Hard, concludes his anecdote with:

The scientists are curious how long they’ll persist at a difficult task. 

The cookie-eaters try again and again, for an average of 19 minutes, before they give up.

But the radish-eaters—they only last an average of 8 minutes. 

What gives?

The answer may surprise you:  They ran out of self-control.

James-the-CatHmm . . . I’m not convinced.

The idea that the subjects “ran out of self-control” is only ONE possible explanation for the difference . . . NOT a foregone conclusion.  Other possibilities abound.

Perhaps the people who ate the cookies:

A.  had more energy for puzzle solving due to a spike in glucose levels.
B.  didn’t realize the puzzle couldn’t be solved due to brain fog.
C.  wanted to cooperate because they’d been given fresh-baked cookies.

Likewise, perhaps the subjects offered radishes instead of cookies:

A.  stopped sooner because they were hungry and wanted to go to lunch.
B.  realized, with no sugar high, that the puzzle couldn’t be solved.
C.  resented being offered radishes instead of cookies and didn’t cooperate.

The study, as described, reminds me of something I might have set up and conducted in my freshman dorm for extra credit in Psychology 101.

Scruffy-CatEven then, with no training, I would have factored in the  immediate short-term effects of reward (chocolate chip cookies) and punishment (raw radishes) on subjects.

Perhaps there was more to the study than shared in the video.

Let’s hope so.

All I can conclude from this study (as recounted) . . . if we want people to participate and cooperate fully when we ask them to solve impossible puzzles, we should serve cookies, not radishes.

Let yourself be drawn by the pull of what you really love.  ~ Rumi

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts: Ego Depletion (additional data on the radish/cookie study) * Lazy or Exhausted ~ Radishes or Cookies (T4D) * Don’t Monkey With Equitable Pay (T4D)

Lights Out! March 30, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Nature, Sustainable Living.

Tomorrow night’s the night . . . lights out for one hour:

We have the power to change the world:

 We only have one planet.  You can help protect it. Participate in the world’s largest single campaign for the planet: Earth Hour. It starts by turning off your lights for an hour at 8:30 pm on March 31, 2012 in a collective display of commitment to a better future for the planet.  Think what can be achieved when we all come together for a common cause.

Aah . . . that’s better!

I’m A “Free Radical” March 29, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.

Wikipedia ~ Batesian Mimicry (in Public Domain)

Last night, I met someone.

For the first time.

After a few preliminary inquiries, he proceeded to tell me that I needed to “get involved in the community.”

“What do you mean?”

“Get out and volunteer.  Work with Habitat for Humanity to build houses.”

“Not a chance.”

With an all-too-obvious scathing sneer, in a tone dripping with scorn and condescension, he put me under his microscope, “Oh, you don’t volunteer?  You have to be paid?”

“Nope.  That’s got nothing to do with it.  An entire page on my resume is devoted to past volunteer efforts.  Here’s the thing:  I don’t want to build houses.  Not my forte or strength.  Not my cause.  Not how I want to spend my “giving back” time.”


This is not the first such exchange I’ve had since moving here.

Remember “I can’t eat THAT!” (if not, click here) . . . she also wanted to tell me exactly how I should spend my time.

Other virtual strangers have told me I have to join a church . . . get involved in the local theatre . . . assist with food drives . . . {{insert your pet cause here}}.

I finally figured out why these people are so insistent and bossy in their efforts to “pin me down.”

Free radicals roam the body, creating havoc.  Anti-oxidants latch on to free radicals to neutralize them and escort them safely out of the body.

Wikipedia ~ Batesian Mimicry (in Public Domain)

These folks obviously feel that I’m a free radical . . . apt to wreak havoc in the local community unless they, acting as anti-oxidants, neutralize me by fitting me into a box of their choosing.

Rather like pinning a butterfly to a board to create order from chaos.

I will admit to being free.  But I’m not a radical . . . or a rabble rowser.


Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to ponder:  Stop trying to fit in when you were born to stand out.

Threats In Europe, by John Cleese March 28, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, People, Writing & Writers.

Wikipedia ~ Tea Plant (in Public Domain)

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.”

Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.”

The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.

Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

John Cleese – British writer, actor and tall person

A final thought:  Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray.

Welcome back to 430 BC.

Granny1947 sent me this in an e-mail this morning.  I had to share.  Want to eliminate the middle man? Talk to Granny. 

Reverse Reciprocity March 28, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Mindfulness, People.

I had long suspected, based on the sterile nature of comments they posted, that a few habitual visitors did not enjoy their cyber excursions to SLTW.

I could almost hear them dragging their feet down the cyber corridor each time they came round.

Instead of dropping by for a cozy cyber chat, they popped in, did a bit of speed reading, and left post-haste.

Like paying a weekly visit to a dowager aunt out of familial obligation (or the desire for testate inheritance), they tossed comments into the reply box at regular intervals to maintain the appearance of reciprocity.

A politically correct “tit for tat.”

I decided “enough of that!”  I don’t need reluctant visitors dropping by to boost my head count ~ that benefits no one.

Wikipedia ~ Petri Dish (in Public Domain)

To test my theory, I conducted an experiment, using “reluctant visitors” as lab rats and guinea pigs.

First, I set up the equipment ~ petri dishes, sterile gloves, face masks, lab aprons.

Oops . . . wrong experiment.

My simple cyber experiment required no control groups.  I did not have to administer or distribute placebos.

In fact, I didn’t have to do anything at all.  I merely refrained from commenting on their blogs for a day or two.

As anticipated, as soon as they no longer got a “piece of cheese” from me, their visits dwindled and stopped in short order.

Reverse reciprocity, like reverse psychology, often reveals what politically correct behavior attempts to hide.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What about you?  Do you ever make obligatory visits to blogs you don’t  enjoy out a sense of political correctness, obligation, or the desire for reciprocity?

Chicken-Little-PosterStop it.
I mean it.

The sky will not fall.  The stars will not collide.  The world will not stop spinning on its access.

But you will feel greater harmony within . . .

Quote:  Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Related post:  When We Stop Striving To Be “Someone”

Warning: Slow Load March 27, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogging, Humor.

I unsubscribed from several blogs this week because they l~o~a~d  s~o  s~l~o~w  that my computer gets distracted and drifts off to do something else.

Leaving me hanging . . .
Like a chad . . .
Twiddling my thumbs . . .

Waiting . . .

Still waiting . . .
Still waiting . . .

In each case, the bouncer at the front  door would NOT let me leave without signing the guest registry . . . even though my computer was FROZEN in cyber space and unable to respond to commands.

My only recourse?  Sneak out the back door by closing my browser.

I’m not up to speed on all the things that slow down the speed of websites opening their drawbridges to allow visitors to cross over the cyber moat but one of the prime offenders is . . . over-sized red suspenders.

Attribution: WyrdLight.com

Or any other photograph that is larger than needed for web viewing.

Before uploading graphics to your post, cut them down to size.  Resizing won’t hurt them.

But it will make your cyber castle more accessible to peasants.

Like me.

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Defining Moment March 26, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Word Play.

All summer, I anticipated . . . college loomed.

As fall approached, I packed with enthusiasm: fan, umbrella, lamp, raincoat, study pillow, toiletries, typewriter, wastebasket, clock, bed linens . . .

The list expanded daily to respond to eventuality.

Ready . . . Set . . . Go!

Wikipedia ~ College of W&M, Wren Building (in Public Domain)

Arrived in Williamsburg, I embraced the tasks of unpacking, meeting and greeting room and dorm mates, and learning the ins and outs of life on campus . . . with an equal degree of fervor and unbridled enthusiasm.

Bags unpacked and class schedule memorized, a bout of homesickness  arrived on my doorstep, adding an ironic twist to the tale ~ excitement and anticipation fled . . . chased away by a first cousin, once removed, dread.

Confessing my concerns to a classmate resulted in a hasty march down Duke of Gloucester street to the King’s Arm Tavern for a Jefferson Cup filled with that ubiquitous symbol of Southern Hospitality . . . front porch and rocking chairs optional . . . my first Mint Julep!

A chilled beverage & warm welcome.

Courage reinforced, we traipsed back to campus with Fife and Drum escort, as cannons thundered from the Green of the Powder Magazine, marking a  defining moment in history.

No retreat.  No surrender.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The scariest moment is always just before you start. ~ Stephen King

Jumble Prompt:  Summer, Fervor, Ironic, Degree, Tavern, Cannon

Cryptoquote to Ponder:  Our deeds determine us as much as we determine our deeds. ~ George Eliot

Life . . . Sweet & Savory Pleasures March 25, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Poetry, Travel & Leisure.

Sandbar Beach Cafe
Kalik beer and college tunes
Sidewalk souvenirs

Sweet Berries custard
drips down delighted faces
“Let’s not waste a drop”

At Gulf Coast Cafe
we consume carbohydrates
devouring the view

A simple supper:
dirty rice, fresh green beans, ice
cold watermelon

Starfish Company
Rustic waterfront tables
Hungry pelicans

Fragrant bread paired with
melted Raclette fuels heated
poker tournament

Fried Green Tomatoes
share the stage with tossed salads
and assorted sides


 Potatoes, onions
Celery, carrots, peppers
A good day for soup

The Gulf Coast beckons
Lobster Roll and Key Lime Pie
On Siesta Key

Starry night smiles
Bolt appears . . . fresh hot buttered
popcorn disappears

Lunch at Tuscany
allows us to digest tour
of Freedom Village

Vacation’s end calls
for impromptu fun ~ ping-pong
paddles and peach pie

Tall tower offers
shade, capturing sea breezes
Kayaks paddle by

Coffee on the deck
A quiet conversation
Time flies so quickly

Labor Day Crab Fest
Celebrating Time’s Passage
Summer’s end, again

Aah . . . that’s better!

Happy Birthday, Bro! March 25, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Humor.

Yo Yo Little Bro . . . you are older than you’ve ever been before but you are still far too young to receive a Birthday Greeting from The President!

Quotes to Ponder:

* About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age.

* Looking fifty is great . . . if you’re sixty. ~ Joan Rivers

* Despite medical advances, there is still no cure for the common birthday.

* Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened. ~ Cora Harvey Armstrong

* Birthdays are good for you ~ the more you have, the longer you live.

* A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday, but never her age. ~ Robert Frost

Tigger-Looking-At-His-Tail* Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative. ~ Maurice Chevalier

* If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself. ~ Ubie Blake

* Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed.

* No wise man ever wished to be younger. ~ Jonathan Swift

* A man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. ~ Muhammad Ali

Aah . . . that’s better!