Tuesday, September 30, 2014

10 Surprising Coffee Facts

Hi there! Thanks for taking time to click by today. How’re you doing? Okay? Good! Mosey on over to the coffee urn and pour yourself a big mugga... then delicately lift a virtual treat with your thumb and middle finger and place it on your plate. Say... how much do you know about your morning cup of joe? I liberated this article from ‘Care2’. Saw some interesting facts there and thought I’d pass them along. Some of these coffee facts just might surprise you!
Coffee is a controversial beverage. Is it healthy? Is it unhealthy? How much is too much coffee? I hope you’ll find these coffee facts interesting! There’s also a recipe for pumpkin spice latte!

1. French press coffee may raise your cholesterol.
Wait! But there’s no cholesterol or saturated fat in coffee! That’s true.  

2. Coffee may prevent depression.
A new study in The journal Molecular Endocrinology looks at how French press coffee raises cholesterol, and it definitely gave me pause when it comes to that afternoon cup!

The study found that cafestrol, a compound in coffee, interacts with your liver to raise cholesterol. The really interesting thing? Even decaf coffee contains cafestrol.

There are a couple of points that struck me about this study:
  1. It’s not just French press. All coffee contains cafestrol, but paper filters get it out of your cup. Along with French press, boiled coffee and espresso drinks contained the highest levels of the compound.
  2. It takes a lot of coffee. According to a related study, you’d have to drink five cups of French press coffee a day for almost a month to see a 6-8% increase in blood cholesterol levels.
So, what does this all mean for the average coffee drinker? 
What we consider “a cup” of coffee is often more than a cup, and most espresso drinks contain more than one shot of espresso, so you’d want to be keeping track not of how many mugs you’re drinking but how much coffee is in those mugs. If you’re drinking just 1-2 shots of espresso a day or 8-16oz of French press coffee (1-2 cups), you’re probably fine.

Die-hard coffee drinkers might want to take heed. Instead of espresso drinks or French press, go for drip coffee to satisfy your need for caffeine.

In a survey of over 50,000 women, researchers found that 2-4 cups of coffee per day reduced incidence of depression by 15 to 20 percent.

3. Out of creamer? You can lighten coffee with coconut milk!

It’s called Bulletproof Coffee, and if you like coconut, you are going to love this!

4. Not all coffee is vegan.

In fact civet coffee production not only involves animals but is under investigation for animal cruelty. Civets are those Indonesian animals that munch on coffee beans and ‘civet coffee’ in produced from civet droppings (scat). It is the most expensive coffee in the world!

5. Fancy coffee concoctions often contain GMOs. 

If you are trying to avoid GMOs, you may want to think twice about that pumpkin spice latte.
  • pumpkin-flavoured syrup – artificial flavouring aside, there are two potential GMOs here. If the syrup is made from corn syrup, you’re looking at GMO corn. If it’s made from sugar, that sugar most likely comes from GMO sugar beets. A lose-lose.
  • milk or soy milk – Starbucks doesn’t serve organic milk, so those cows most likely grew up eating GMO corn and alfalfa. I’ve seen organic soy milk at some Starbucks, but if they’re serving up conventional soy milk, it’s almost certainly made with GMO soybeans.
You might be feeling a little bit blue right now, but don’t worry – I can help! You don’t have to order a tall mug of spicy GMOs. Make your own pumpkin spice latte. It’s cheaper, healthier, and you can make it totally GMO free!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe makes 2 servings

Not only is this recipe GMO free, it actually includes real pumpkin, unlike most pumpkin spice latte recipes at big coffee shops.

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup of good, strong coffee (or two shots of espresso, if you have access to an espresso machine)
  • maple syrup, to taste
1. In a small saucepan, heat the first four ingredients on medium low heat, stirring constantly. You want to heat the milk and dissolve the pumpkin puree, but you don’t want it to boil. Stir until it’s heated through and there are no pumpkin lumps remaining.
2. Divide the coffee between two large mugs. Top off with the pumpkin-milk mixture, and sweeten with maple syrup to taste, if you want.

6. Coffee might prevent type 2 diabetes.

A recent study found that 2-3 cups of coffee per day could reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 25 percent.

7. We drink about 1400 million cups of coffee every day.

That’s right! Worldwide, we are consuming 1.4 billion cups of java daily.

8. It takes 130 litres (over 34 gallons) of water to produce the beans for 1 cup of coffee.

Coffee is not the most water-efficient drink, that’s for sure.

9. Coffee may protect women from endometrial cancer.

A massive survey found that coffee – decaf or regular – can reduce endometrial cancer risk by around seven to eight percent.

10. Contrary to conventional wisdom, coffee grounds are not great for your garden, even for plants that like acidic soil.

Coffee grounds are okay on your garden in moderation, but it’s easy to overdo it. Where can they be most beneficial? In your compost bin.
Well there you go. See...read my blog and learn interesting stuff!

See ya, eh!


Source: www.care2.com

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Pregnant Man or How to Confuse an Arizonan Court

Well hey there! Great to see you today! Thanks for clicking by. Got any confusing thoughts running through your brain? Well pour yourself a mug of Espresso today and grab a sugar-free virtual muffin while I add to your confusion. See...ah never mind...just read on...

In August, a state appeals court in Arizona overruled a lower court and decided that Thomas and Nancy Beatie could divorce, after all. 

The first judge had determined that their out-of-state marriage was not valid in Arizona because they were both women, but Thomas has had extensive surgery and hormone therapy and become a man -- although he is also the spouse who bore the couple's three children, since he made it a point to retain his reproductive organs. [Associated Press via KSAZ-TV (Phoenix), 8-14-2014] 

Thomas Trace Beatie, a trans man, had gender reassignment surgery in 2002 and became known as "The Pregnant Man" after he became pregnant through artificial insemination in 2007.

He was born on January 20, 1974 in Honolulu, Hawaii. At the age of 10, he started to identify with the male gender. However, as a teenager Beatie was a female model and Miss Teen Hawaii USA pageant finalist. At 23 years of age, he began testosterone hormone treatment to make the transition to living life as a man.In Hawaii on February 5, 2003, Thomas Beatie married Nancy Gillespie. From 2008 to 2010, he gave birth to all three of his children.

So let's see if I've got this right. The children's father is actually their mother and their mother is their mother and we have no idea who the actual 'father' is because s/he was artificially inseminated, eh! Got it! (?)

Shame they got divorced because they do have three great looking kids! T'is a strange world in which we live.

See ya, eh!

Bewildered Bob


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Beer Pipeline - What a Concept!

Well, hello there. Heard the woosh; looked over and you already had your mug poised under the spigot. Good to see you! Thanks for dropping by. Help yourself to a virtual muffin or doughnut while you're over there. Say, Belgium has come up with a unique way to cut down on trucks (lorries) in the city of Bruges.

A 3km (1.86 mile) beer pipeline is to be installed under the medieval city of Bruges, to cut the number of lorries on its streets. It will link the De Halve Maan brewery to a bottling plant. Here is a taste of the journey

In the years since the De Halve Maan brewery opened a bottling facility outside Bruges in 2010, the company’s faced a tricky logistics problem. It still brews beer at its original site downtown, just as it has for nearly five centuries. To get all that delicious beer to the new factory for filtration, bottling, and shipping, it uses trucks. Trucks that burn fuel, spew carbon and clog the city’s cobblestone streets (which surely froths all that beer).

No more. The city council has approved the brewery’s unusual but clever plan to save time and money while reducing emissions and congestion. It will build a pipeline to ferry the good stuff across town, underground. Yes, you read that right: A beer pipeline.

Instead of making the 3-mile drive in one of dozens of tankers that traverse town each day, the award-winning beer will flow through a 1.8-mile polyethylene pipeline, making the trip in 15 to 20 minutes. The pipeline will move 6,000 liters of beer every hour, De Halve Man CEO Xavier Vanneste told Het Nieuwsblad.
The residents of Bruges will be happy to get all those trucks off the street, but we assume they’re at least kind of hoping for a burst pipe and streets filled with free beer. 

While they're at it, why not connect up all the pubs along the way? Next project could be an inter-city pipeline...hold on a minute...why not to all members of the EU?

"A pint of your best, please, Innkeeper!"

See ya, eh!


PS: Great film that...In Bruges, I think it was called...or just Bruges. Very dark plot.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Russian Student Covers Her Car in One Million Swarovski Crystals

Привет! (Privet!) = Hi in Russian...a tip off to today's topic. How're you doing? I'm glad you could click by. Fill your mug and grab a virtual treat while I tell you about someone with more money than...well, you know.

21-year-old Daria Radionova has been attracting a lot of attention on the streets of London with her swanky, crystal-encrusted car. The Russian student apparently wasn’t content with her Mercedes CLS 350; she wanted something more ‘unique and special’. So she spent £20,000 (a little over $30,000) to coat the luxury vehicle in a million Swarovski crystals.

The sparkly car is currently parked outside the Levin Hotel in Knightsbridge, in West London. The neighborhood is well-known for rich Arab kids speeding around in their garish supercars during the summer. Among the well known cars in the area are a gold Range Rover, and an assortment of Rolls Royces, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis. Daria had to do something different if she wanted her car to stand out, so she chose to cover every last inch of it with crystals, including the door handles.

I hope she has insurance, a 24-hour security guard, alarm systems, et al. I'd even recommend a force-field if she can figure out how to set it up - or more likely, pay someone to do it, eh! Although Knightsbridge is a respectable area, once the word gets out, the undesirables may come looking.

Me? I'll stick with my eight year old Nissan...until we win the lottery, that is. Then watch out!

See ya, eh!


Friday, September 26, 2014

This 8-Year-Old Kid Makes Over $1 Million a Year Playing with Toys

Whoa! I heard a woosh, turned to my right and there you were... standing, holding your mug under the spigot while eying the virtual doughnuts, muffins and assorted pastries next to the coffeepot. Dig in. Hey...I want you to introduce you to someone...

Meet Evan, a cute little 8-year-old with the world’s best job. He rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars while doing what all kids do – playing with toys. He is the face of EvanTubeHD, a family-friendly YouTube channel that reviews toys and video games. Evan’s videos regularly exceed a million views and the channel earns him a whopping $1.3 million a year.

This is one of those internet success stories that make you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” It started out as a playful project between Evan and his father Jared – they would make stop-motion videos using clay models of Angry Birds. “When we started, we were making about a video per month as a fun little project,” Jared recalled. “It was interesting to see who was tuning in.”

The videos were so cute that they started to get really popular, and when their first video hit 1 million views, Jared realized how huge it was getting. It wasn’t long before the channel became a serious business model. “By doing toy reviews that are a bit ‘out of the box’, we try to provide information about the product as well as have that creative flair,” he said.

So...get those kids and grand-kids out there contacting toy companies, doing toy reviews and posting them on YouTube, sending them to newspapers, toy mags, etc. You never know, eh. Maybe a good way to help support grandpa and grandma in their golden years.

See ya, eh!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Retired Teacher Spends 60 Years Folding Paper Planes

Hey there! Great to see you today. Wassup? Got time for a mug of coffee and a virtual treat? Of course you do. Speaking of having time, read this...

Xu Shuquan, a retired primary school teacher from Chengdu city in Sichuan Province, has dedicated the past 60 years to folding paper planes. 

The 70-year-old now has a collection of 10,000 planes of different sizes, colors and shapes, in addition to various paper dolls and models of the 12 zodiac signs.

What’s so great about a grown man making paper planes, you ask? Well, Xu’s planes aren’t like those simple ones that kids make. He uses a complicated ancient origami-like folding technique called ‘Zhezhi’ to make a variety of aircraft models – from jumbo jets to fighter planes.

Oh yeah? When I was teaching and I caught a student making paper airplanes instead of paying attention, I used an ancient technique, too. It was the CRUMPLE technique - a manoeuver so swift that the student barely had time to hide it on the shelf under his desk before it was whipped out and held aloft (as planes should be) before the technique was applied and I continued my stroll up and down the rows of desks.

Me? I'd rather be on a plane going somewhere... hopefully with no crumbling technique, missile targeting or other nasty, life-ending situation being applied.

See ya, eh!


PS: Teaching has often been called the most stressful job in the world and I can see where an ex-teacher might prefer the quiet of a nice little padded room full of paper. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ice cream taken to dangerous heights

Sawatdee, krup! Hey...great to see you. Thanks for that last minute hip tuck to avoid the coffeepot on your spiral down from the cybersky. Whew! That was close. Now that you're here, fill your mug and entice a virtual muffin onto your plate. Save some room though in case you want to try one of Bangkok's latest treats. Y'know, the occasional building in Bangkok has been known to, like, collapse. Well here's a Bangkok highrise that may do the same if it is not ingested quickly enough...

Emack and Bolio” might not sound as catchy as “Ben and Jerry,” but it won’t be long before their names become just as big – or bigger – when it comes to who serves a more exciting scoop of ice cream around here.

Wait till you see what “Emack & Bolio’s” is able to pull off from behind that small counter, and you will know exactly why everyone has been getting all excited about paying this shop a visit.

Located on the sixth floor of Central World, in downtown Bangkok, this recently opened creamery stand flew all the way from Boston, Massachusetts,  to receive some very bubbly attention from local fans. Every day, the place can expect a long line of ice-cream lovers who queue up for a taste test even when seats are not plenty enough to accommodate everyone for an eat-in.

What’s the reason behind the long queue?

Well, first of all, the flavor variety is amazing. You can expect anything from creamy flavors to tangy sorbets. Secondly, the scoops are gigantic, and thirdly, the cones are marshmallow-coated.

If that’s not already enough to get you out of your chair, let me tell you what they can do with those scoops and those cones.

Yes, you’ve seen it in kids’ cartoons; yes, you’ve drawn it in your childhood doodling; but have you ever actually thought about the possibility of having one  handed to you in real life? Seven+ tall scoops stacked up on a single waffle cone? It’s a dream come true, really.

Emack & Bolio’s actual menu offers a cone of two-to-three scoops or a giant bowl of 10. When you are looking for something as awesome as the pictures here, you will have to ask them nicely for it, and I guarantee they will respond to you with a “CHALLENGE-ACCEPTED” smile. As for how tall it can go, that is really up to your luck.

FYI, the store’s record so far is at nine-scoops tall. 

We've been to Central World many times. Two huge anchor stores, hundreds of shops, cinemas, restaurants and even an ice skating rink on the top floor which, if I remember correctly is the 7th. That's where the Canadian Ex-pat hockey team takes on the world, eh. (I kid you not).

Can't wait to revisit...and now there is something else to look forward to... a new yummy Bangkok highrise!  

See ya, eh!


(Source: Coconuts Bangkok)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Where not to stay!

Guten tag! Und how are you this fine day? Nice to see you. Glad you missed the coffeepot on your spiral down from cyberspace. You're getting good at that! Fill your coffee mug and tease a virtual doughnut onto your plate ...you look famished! Say ...thinking of going to Berlin, Germany? Here's a place you may not want to stay...

Food looks good! Rooms look good. All the amenities, but for one quirky little detail the travel brochures may not mention...

The "trendy" 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, located adjacent to the Berlin Zoo and offering some of the best views of the city from its floor-to-ceiling windows, has famously positioned the rest rooms of its Monkey Bar in front of the windows where those heeding nature's call are clearly visible to gawkers.

Guests are merely warned, by the Trip Advisor website and by the hotel itself (with the admonition, "Please be careful. Not only the monkeys are watching"). [Daily Mail (London), 7-30-2014] 

Of course, after a dozen tankards of hearty German ale and a few 'schnapps' thrown in, who cares!


See ya, eh!


Monday, September 22, 2014

World’s First Street Lane for People Who Walk While Texting

Hey there! Ni Hao! (which usually signals a post involving China, right?). How're you doing today? Great, I hope. Pour yourself a mug of Joe and massage a virtual treat or two onto your plate, why don't'cha? Speaking of China...

When authorities in Chongqing city realized that they’re never going to be able put a stop to texting while walking, they decided to go for minimizing the risk instead. So they set up a special lane for pedestrians who are hopelessly addicted to their mobile phones.

The lane was created on Foreigner Street – a tourist hot-spot in Chongqing – in order to reduce collisions. So the sidewalk is basically divided into two halves – one labeled ‘cell phones, walk at your own risk’ and the other marked ‘no cell phones’.

Do you text while walking? Me? Never. On the rare occasion when I absolutely need to text something, it can still wait till I can sit down in a Tims, order myself a nice Dark Roast...or more likely a decaf with a hazelnut shot in it, and then get on with the text. But, it was bound to happen. Tokyo will be next, I expect. 

There's a billboard here in Cornwall that says, "DON'T GET CAUGHT IN-TEXT-ICATED!"

See ya, eh!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Have you joined Netropolitan yet?

An absolutely fabulous day to you! May your Bentley never get bent and your racehorses die of old age. Apart from that, what's happening? Glad you could guide your private Lear (or is that leer?) down in time for a porcelain mug of gourmet coffee and a virtual parfait! Sound high-faluting? Read on...

‘Netropolitan’ is a new social networking website that caters exclusively to the ultra-rich. Described as ‘the online country club for people with more money than time’, the website costs a whopping $9,000 to join. And that’s just the initiation fee; there’s also an annual membership fee of $3,000.

That sounds like an exorbitant amount, considering the fact that popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter are free of charge. The whole thing almost sounds like a prank, but Netropolitan founder James Touchi-Peters assures us that the service is quite real.

“This is 100 percent real, and I believe there is a need and an audience for this service,” said Touchi-Peters, 48, a composer and former conductor of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra. He got the idea for Netropolitan when he had trouble relating to the people he met on other social websites.

He's probably right. The ultra-rich move in slightly different circles from the rest of us. Closest I've ever come to hobnobbing with them was one time when I was in a bar in Loews Monte Carlo (working on setting up a convention) and the owner of the hotel came in with his entourage. I happened to be standing close to one of several beautiful young ladies in the group and asked her, "And what do you do?" to which she replied, "Oh, I don't do anything?" Conversation over.

I don't think I'll be signing up for Netropolitan anytime soon - even when we win the lottery!

See ya, eh!


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Car-free Days in Bangkok!

Sawatdee, krup and hi there! How’s tricks? Ready for a mug of coffee and a virtual treat? Of course you are and who wouldn’t be, eh? Well now, y’know that we lived in Bangkok for a number of years, right? Unbelievable number of cars with millions of vehicles coming into the city every day. Traffic can be horrendous. The recent innovations of more expressways criss-crossing the city, Skytrain and subway have all done their part to relieve some of the pressure, However, Bangkok has nowhere near the road space it needs to handle the amount of traffic. Police do the best they can to manage the congested intercections. So, why not try a car-free weekend, eh?

City Hall is to close several major roads to all motorised vehicles for a "car-free day" this weekend to encourage the use of public transport.

The two middle lanes of Silom Road, from Sala Daeng to Narathiwat Ratchanakharin, will be closed from midday until 10pm on Saturday. All lanes on the same stretch of road will then be closed from 10pm on Saturday night until 6am on Monday, according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

More than 20,000 cyclists are expected to meet at Sanam Luang on Sunday at 8am. They will form a convoy and cycle to Silom, riding along Ratchadamnoen, Si Ayutthaya, Ratchaprarop and Ratchadamri roads.

The three left-most lanes on Ratchadamri Road in front of CentralWorld shopping centre will be closed from 1am to 6pm on Sunday.

The BMA advised motorists to avoid the Silom area during the weekend and the convoy route between 8.30-9.30am on Sunday. 

I can imagine the chaos for those who are unaware of the closings. Those who know ahead of time are likely to take it in stride as Bangkokians, and indeed, most Thais, do. Don't be surprised to see an inordinate number of vendors and food carts setting up on the car-free streets. That's what usually, strike that, always happens. Great food, too!

See ya, eh!