High-spirited pranksters have been whooping it up on April 1st for hundreds of years. Historians are pretty much unanimous in accepting that, throughout history, most cultures set aside at least one day of the year where it is accepted and encouraged to “prank” your friends. Though the idea of practical joking has spawned numerous television shows like Candid Camera, Just For Laughs and Punk’d and hilarious tongue-in-cheek spoofs like the one featured on The Kroll Show.
The idea of setting aside one specific day per year to indulge your inner prankster seems to work for most of us over the age of eight. The ancient Greeks and Romans had the spring festival of Hilaria, (so now you know where that word comes from) a celebration to honour the somewhat mysterious and fun-loving goddess, Cybele.) April Fool’s Day, landing as it does at the end of Lent, is the perfect timing for a day of merriment and saucy, good-natured impertinence.
Today, in the second in a series of posts examining the building blocks of our bodies, we are getting know Potassium, one of the vital elements that we need on a daily basis for metabolic function, for basic health and well-being. When it comes to potassium, most budding chemist know that its atomic number is 19 and its symbol is K, and athletes know that this important element somehow keeps them from cramping during extended periods of exercise; jocks know that bananas are a good source of it, and Gatorade and other sports drink makers add it to their sugary concoctions to give them that extra edge. When we perspire, and when athletes sweat heavily, we lose mostly water-which is why it is important to keep hydrated-and sodium and chloride. (By the way, if your sweat is really salty, if you get caked in white powder once it dries, you are ingesting too much sodium; not a good thing).
We also lose other electrolytes like potassium, magnesium and calcium, needed to maintain fluid balance, regulate the pH in our blood and assist in normal muscular function. Continue »
Nutritionists are almost unanimous when it comes to espousing the health benefits of whole grains. So today let’s talk about one of the healthiest whole grains out there – freekeh.
Unlike refined flours, whole grains have their germ, endosperm and bran intact, providing fibre, plant protein, complex carbohydrates, fats and oils and a multitude of vitamins and minerals. Continue »
“Now, in a study of more than 2,000 recipes, scientists have discovered the secret behind curry’s popularity on a molecular level. They claim that unlike Western dishes that tend to pair similar flavours together – such as beer and beef – Indian dishes use at least seven ingredients that do not contain overlapping flavours.” – The GuardianContinue »
Tomorrow, March 17, is Saint Paddy’s day. So for those of us who missed the brutish fun of the Ides of March, we needn’t sulk, there is a lot of revelry to be had on this day. Although it has been an official Christian Feast Day since the sixteen hundreds, March 17 has, like a pop/country song, crossed over; it is now one of the more raucous of celebrations in the spring calendar, celebrated annually all over the world.
One of the reasons it has grabbed our attention is because March 17 falls pretty much in the middle of Lent for Catholics, the six week period of abstinence that precedes Easter. On Saint Paddy’s day, the Church lifts its prohibition of alcohol, the one day in Lent when you can drink and party. So it’s no wonder that this feast day caught on, for Irish, for Catholics, and for those of us that sat next to them in class and studied their ways. Continue »