More Healthy Foods

This sweet orange-hued fruit is loaded with potassium, fiber and vitamins A and C, as well as beta-carotene and lycopene. And while fresh apricots contain lots of potassium, the dried version actually contains more of the nutrients than the fresh version, according to the New York Times. Research has also suggested that apricots could help to decrease liver cancer risk because of their levels of vitamin E.

Asparagus is loaded with nutrients like vitamins A, B6, C and E, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chromium and fiber. Plus, Eating Well reports that it has lots of glutathione, which helps to fight against harmful free radicals and carcinogens. Just 5 ounces of the veggie contains enough folic acid to meet 60 percent of our recommended daily intake of the nutrient.

The iron-packed herb, popularly used in Italian and Thai cooking can help to quell anxiety and even kill skin-borne bacteria when applied topically. Animal studies have also suggested that basil could play a role as an anti-inflammatory, painkiller and antioxidant.

Black Pepper
Black pepper, which comes from the Piper nigrum plant, has been linked with health benefits ranging from fighting bacteria, to helping the digestive system. Plus, a recent study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that pipeline in black pepper, which is the compound responsible for its spicy taste, could impact the production of fat cells by affecting gene activity

Black Rice
Like brown rice, black rice is packed with iron and fiber because the bran cover that is removed to make rice white remains on the grain. This darker version has even more vitamin E, and contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than blueberries.

A cup of carrot sticks or slices provides you with a whopping 400 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, part of the reason carrots get their well-deserved reputation for boosting eyesight. But the crunchy veggie is also a great source of fiber, potassium and vitamins C and K. Like sweet potatoes, they get their orange hue from beta carotene, which can help your immune system and skin.

Chili Peppers
Do yourself a favor and turn up the heat! The compound responsible for a hot pepper’s kick, capsaicin, can fight diabetes and cancer and may even promote weight loss.

Citrus Fruits
Oranges earned a spot on our original list, but grapefruit, lemons, limes and tangerines all deserve a shout out, too. Of course you probably know that all citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, but they also all contain fiber, which can help you stay full for longer. Citrus fruits also contain a compound that seems to reduce stroke risk according to a recent study.

Smelly, sure, but garlic boasts a heaping serving of antioxidants that appears to protect against breast, prostate, colon and other cancers. It’s also a natural immunity booster, fighting off bacteria and viruses alike, and can keep your ticker in tip-top shape, too.

Hemp Seeds
Although hemp is most often associated with its hazier, mostly illegal botanical cousin marijuana, this plant is a source of complete vegetarian protein that is easily digestible for people. With high levels of omega-3 and omega-6, researchers are particularly interested in the potential for hemp to help prevent heart disease and athleroscerosis. Some studies have already shown that the lineoleic acid in dietary hempseed can help prevent high blood pressure. Hemp seeds, which have no psychotropic effect, are available in many forms: roasted as snacks, pressed as an oil or ground into a flour. There’s hemp milk, hempseed butter and even hemp cheese.

Jicama, the sweet-fleshed, high fiber root vegetable that grows in Central and South America, is actually a health food. It’s a high-volume, low calorie food with a great deal of fiber, which is an essential part of a healthy diet. Jicama is also high in vitamins C and K.

Kiwis are technically berries and so it isn’t surprising that they are just as nutritionally jam-packed as well-known super foods like blueberries. The fruits have high levels of vitamins C and E, potassium and the antioxidant lutein, which has been shown to not only help prevent free radical cellular damage, but also help protect eyesight by playing a role in preventing macular degeneration. One Norwegian study found that eating two kiwis per day additionally thinned the blood of study subjects, helping to prevent blood clots.

Chock full of fiber, pectin and vitamins A, C, and B6, mangoes can play a role in boosting immune response, protecting eyesight, managing cholesterol and blood sugar and even cancer prevention. In fact, one study found that dietary mango pulp helped protect against cellular damage in mice, thanks to an abundance of the antioxidant lupeol.

These little fruits are a rich source of heart protective monounsaturated fats, but they also help prevent the inflammation that can contribute to arthritis, type 2 diabetes and possibly cancer, thanks to a phytochemical called oleocanthal. What’s more, some evidence suggests that olives may boost cognitive function, or at least help prevent decline, thanks to the polyphenol hydroxytyrosol.

You many not enjoy the experiencing of slicing them, but onions are worth a few cutting-board tears. Onions have been linked to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as reduced heart attack and heart failure risk. A National Cancer Institute study found that eating 10 grams of onions (or scallions or garlic, both close relatives) a day was linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer. And red onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties.

Perhaps most well-known as a pizza topper, this unassuming spice packs some surprising power. Just half a teaspoon contains the same antioxidants as 3 cups of raw spinach. One tiny teaspoon has a gram of fiber and 14 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin K, which can help keep bones healthy and strong.

This brightly-colored fruit is loaded with immunity-boosting vitamins A and C and may help with digestion. That reddish color is due in part to lycopene, which, in conjunction with papaya’s other carotenoid, beta-cryptoxanthin, seems to fight cervical cancer in particular.

A cup of pineapple chunks contains over 130 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C for a healthy immune system. Pineapple juice contains an enzyme called bromelain, which may fight inflammation, blood clots and even help the body absorb antibiotics.

Just a teaspoon of this seasoning delivers 7 percent of your daily recommended iron intake, and it’s also a good source of vitamins A, C, E and K. The antioxidant-rich oils in the versatile herb were shown to boost brain power in aging rats.

Gobekli Tepe: Oldest Monumental Architecture of Planet

Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey’s stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization. Located 35 miles north of Turkey’s border with Syria, Gobekli Tepe consists of 20 T-shaped stone towers, carved with drawings of snakes, scorpions, lions, boars, foxes and other animals. The amazing thing about them is they date back to 9,500 BC, 5,500 years before the first cities of Mesopotamia and 7,000 years before the circle of Stonehenge.

Scientists say that back then humans hadn’t even discovered pottery or domesticated wheat. They lived in villages, had no agriculture and only relied on hunting and gathering to survive.

Göbekli Tepe had already been located in a survey in 1964, when the American archaeologist Peter Benedict mentioned the site as a possible location of stone age activity, but its importance was not recognized at that time. Excavations have been conducted since 1994 by the German Archaeological Institute (Istanbul branch) and Sanliurfa Museum, under the direction of the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt from the University of Heidelberg. We now know that Gobekli Tepe is 7,000 years older than Stonehenge, making more than a site of stone age activity as Benedict characterized it.

Gobekli Tepe changes everything archaeologists discovered so far and it is considered the most important archaeological find in recent history. Klaus Schmidt, the man who first discovered Gobekli Tepe says the carvings might be the first human representation of gods.

Gobekli Tepe Carving

At nearly 12,000 years old, Gobekli Tepe is an enigma to archaeology. Consisting of a series of stone circles, made up of T-shaped pillars bearing exquisite carvings of animals, birds, insects and abstract human figures, this ritual complex was constructed at the end of the last Ice Age by unknown peoples, who rose far beyond the conventional understanding of the hunter-gatherers who occupied the Eurasian continent at this time. Why were these amazing stone circles buried overnight, sometime around 10,000 year ago? It is an enigma that seems to start in Africa some 17,000 years ago, and ends with not only the creation of civilization down in the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia, but also in the sudden emergence of the ancient Egyptian civilization, where the story continues with the discovery in 2008 of a cave underworld beneath the plateau at Giza. Powerful evidence suggests that this underground complex existed ever before even the Pyramid Age, and might well reflect an African origin to the roots of ancient Egyptian religion. It might also hold the key to answering claims that in the vicinity of the Sphinx is a lost Hall of Records.

Gobekli Tepe Carving

The unexplained 12,000 year old underground city, in southeastern Turkey, is made of massive carved stones, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who apparently had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. Göbekli Tepe (Turkish for “Potbelly hill”) is a hilltop sanctuary erected on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge.

Gobekli Tepe Site Reconstruction

Until excavations began, a complex on this scale was not thought possible for such an ancient community so ancient. The massive sequence of stratification layers suggests several millennia of activity, perhaps reaching back to the Mesolithic Period. The oldest occupation layer (stratum III) contains monolithic pillars linked by coarsely built walls to form circular or oval structures. Göbekli Tepe has revealed several adjacent rectangular rooms with floors of polished lime, reminiscent of Roman terrazzo floors.

So, the structures not only predate pottery, metallurgy, and the invention of writing or the wheel; they were built before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, i.e., the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry around 9000 BC. But the construction of Göbekli Tepe implies organization of an order of complexity not formerly associated with Paleolithic societies.

At present, Göbekli Tepe raises more questions for archaeology and prehistory than it answers. We don’t know how a force large enough to construct, augment, and maintain such a substantial complex was mobilized and paid or fed in the conditions of pre-Neolithic society. We can’t “read” the pictograms, and don’t know for certain what meaning the animal carvings had for visitors to the site. The variety of fauna depicted, from lions and boars to birds and insects, makes any single explanation problematic.

The reason the complex was eventually buried remains unexplained. Until more evidence is gathered, it’s difficult to come to any concrete theories about the originating culture.

World War I Recruitment Posters

The pin-up girl poster was designed by Howard Chandler Christy.

Soldiers were often recruited by promising to show them the world. Here is the Marines’ version of that concept. This poster was released in 1917, so it was very unlikely that any of the recruits inspired by this artwork by James Montgomery Flagg actually saw any cheetahs during their time in service during the war.

While America’s recruitment efforts usually focused on specific branches, there are still a few designs just urging people to get out there and fight. This one is particularly powerful as it shows Uncle Sam standing over a seemingly violated Lady Liberty telling the viewer “It’s up to you. Protect the nation’s honor.”

WWI was the first war to make us of airplanes. U.S. soldiers involved in this division were part of Army’s Air Service, which eventually became the U.S. Air Force. With posters featuring great artwork like this design by Charles Livingston Bull, and the opportunity to learn to be a pilot at the beginning of the aviation industry, it’s easy to imagine that the Air Service had a lot of recruits, even though it was incredibly dangerous.

The National Guard was fairly new during WWI. In fact, over 40% of the U.S. soldiers in France during WWI were in the National Guard.

he U.S. needed artisans and mechanics for the war effort. Rather than going after people who already were familiar with these trades, this recruiting poster promised to train anyone interested to become a mechanic — offering them a great opportunity to land a job in a booming industry when they returned home.

Kenyon Cox’s image of a strong, powerful woman bearing a sword was awe-inspiring as a recruitment poster, convincing many young men to enlist and fight for their country.

The Marines have always put bravery over all else, so while many people might be put off by the idea of being the first to fight, those aren’t the people this ad, by Sidney H. Riesenberg, was targeting anyway.

To be fair, this poster, by James Henry Daugherty, was released just after the war, but it’s hard to leave out of this collection when it has such fantastic artwork and a classic message inspiring people to see the world by joining the Navy.

August William Hutaf’s design for the Tank Corps is truly fantastic. My only question: is the cat terrified because the Tank Corps roughed him up or is he angry because he is symbolizing the roughness of the Tank Corps?

The power of this poster, designed by I. B. Hazelton, is its simplicity. All you need to know is that men are needed for the Army and that you can help, beyond that, the wonderful artwork speaks for itself.

Rush Limbaugh: Still the Worst Person in the World

Calling Rush Limbaugh the Worst Person in the World seems redundant at this point, but he once more raised his gnarly head to prove the point earlier this week. And he did so in a rather Freudian manner.

Here’s the transcript the offending segment:

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Okay, folks, it’s a moment of truth. We are mere hours away now from Tropical Storm Isaac, which everybody is desperately hoping becomes a hurricane. I can’t believe this. They are desperately hoping that it becomes a hurricane. It’s the Democrats’ wet dream that this thing hit New Orleans. So, you know me. My middle name is Solutions. I have some ideas for the Republicans. How to deal with the tropical storm, slash, hurricane hitting New Orleans.

The first thing we do is offer to send 500 bus drivers to New Orleans, paid for by us, to make sure that the buses that were not used by the Democrat mayor during Hurricane Katrina will be used to evacuate people should it become necessary. The second thing that I think the Republicans ought to do is send bags of money instead of sand. Bags full of money to shore up the levees in New Orleans. This would accomplish many things. A, it would show our compassion. B, we could have Romney’s five sons who CNN last night asked, “What’s it like to be rich as sin,” or whatever. They did. Piers Morgan asked Romney’s sons, (paraphrasing) “What’s it like to be stinking rich?” So we have Romney’s five sons deliver the bags of money to shore up the levees.

Now, this will accomplish much. It will show our compassion, and it will do something else. Once we publicize that we have sent 500 bags of money — well, whatever number of bags, bags filled with money to shore up the levees, what will happen? The poor of New Orleans will storm the levees and steal the bags, thereby putting themselves at risk for the eventual flooding that will happen once they remove the bags of money. And that way the Republicans can get rid of even more Democrats in Louisiana and shore up the state for themselves. How about those two ideas, folks? Am I not thinking or am I thinking?

Limbaugh’s middle name is “Solutions?” Well it seems to me that someone else in history had a solution involving the deaths of minorities as well. If Rush could grow a mustache and tone down his rhetoric he could qualify as a modern day surrogate, perhaps.

Mitt and Birtherism

There’s been a lot of controversy in the last few days about Mitt Romney raising the “birther” argument in Michigan last week. He calls it an attempt at good humor. Others call it race-baiting, or racial coding for the Republican red-necked base. The explanation in this cartoon seems to me to be just about right on.

Have You Ever Wondered?

If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?

If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

Instead of talking to your plants, if you yelled at them would they still grow?  Only to be troubled and insecure?

Is there another word for synonym?

Isn’t is a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do a ‘practice’?

When sign makers go on strike, is anything written on their signs?

When you open a bag of cotton balls, is the top one meant to be thrown away?

Where do forest rangers go to ‘get away from it all’?

Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food?

Why do they report power outages on TV?

What do you do when you see an endangered animal that is eating an endangered plant?

Is it possible to be totally partial?

What’s another word for thesaurus?

If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?

Would a fly without wings be called a walk?

Why do people who know the least know it the loudest?

If the funeral procession is at night, do folks drive with their headlights off?

If a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, will it make a sound?

If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?

When it rains, why don’t sheep shrink?

Should vegetarians eat animal crackers?

If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

Why is the word abbreviation so long?

When companies ship Styrofoam, what do they pack it in?

If you’re cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read all right?

Uses for Coffee Around the Home

1. Skip the toxic abrasive cleaners for pots and pans and use a handful of coffee grounds instead.
2. Scour (non-porcelain) sinks with coffee grounds.
3. Clean old food off of dishes. Be aware not to use coffee grounds on materials that might be absorbent or porous so that you don’t end up with brown stains.
4. Scrub your grill or electric griddle.
5. Coffee grounds can also be used as a deodorizer. Place grounds in a jar or dish to absorb odors from refrigerators and freezers.
6. Leave a dish of coffee grounds out to absorb odors in rooms that have an unpleasant odor.
7. Deodorize a car that may have had one too many fast-food items left in it.
8. Place a layer of grounds in your ashtrays to greatly reduce the stench of old cigarette butts.
9. Rub on hands to remove food prep odors.
10. Use wet grounds when cleaning your fireplace or wood stove to keep the dust and ash from flying. You could also use wet grounds for the same purpose in a pellet stove, but take care to not allow the burn pot to get clogged, so I would use very sparingly in this case.
11. Use coffee grounds for natural ant control. Place dried grounds in the areas ants frequent. The smell is a deterrent.
12. Dye paper, fabrics, or other porous materials with a strong coffee solution.
13. Cover up scratches in furniture. Dab a strong solution of coffee onto the scratch. Naturally, this works best on darker woods.
14. Use coffee grounds as a non-toxic, fully degradable fertilizer. Coffee grounds are a good source of nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, potassium and other trace minerals. While you need to be aware that not all plants love coffee, such as tomatoes, most are enriched by the added nutrients.
15. Coffee grounds are an excellent nutritional addition to compost.
16. Use as a non-toxic bug repellant. Use a solution of coffee to spray your plants. The smell is too strong for most bugs. You’ll need to re-apply after a rain.
17. Use coffee grounds to keep cats from digging and pooping in your garden.
18. Use coffee grounds to deter slugs and snails. Both the smell and the abrasive surface help keep these pests out of the garden.
19. Coffee can add nutrients to acid-loving plants. Simply pour any left-over coffee around the base of the plant.
20. Kill ants outdoors too. Just place grounds on the hills.
21. Rub grounds through hair and rinse to add softness and shine.
22. Add highlights to brown hair by soaking in coffee.
23. Use grounds as a facial scrub or mask.

So drink up and enjoy the many benefits that come even after your cup is empty.