Mushrooms

•April 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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For thousands of years, Eastern cultures have revered mushrooms’ health benefits. Mushrooms have long been celebrated as a source of powerful nutrients, but they can also help Americans meet the dietary recommendations set forth in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Because Americans often eat mushrooms and when they do, they tend to eat a healthier diet, these positive benefits of mushrooms can have potential impact.

Often grouped with vegetables, mushrooms provide many of the nutritional attributes of produce, as well as attributes more commonly found in meat, beans or grains. Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium (8%), riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and more.

Nutrition researchers, communicators, and government and industry organizations who participated in the Mushrooms and Health Summit in Washington, DC, in September, 2013 explored the current state of the science. Summit proceedings, published in the Journal of Nutrition provide a review of the research supporting mushrooms as a food to help Americans eat healthy, responsible, sustainable diets.

Mushrooms are fungi, which are so distinct in nature they are classified as their own kingdom – separate from plants or animals. While commonly placed in the vegetable category for dietary recommendations, mushrooms are, however, not a vegetable based on their cellular organization and composition such as chitin and ergosterol. In fact, as the authors of a recent Nutrition Today article noted, mushrooms’ nutrient and culinary characteristics suggest it may be time to re-evaluate food groupings and health benefits in the context of three separate food kingdoms: plants/ botany; animals/zoology and fungi/mycology.

Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. B vitamins also play an important role in the nervous system.

  1. Pantothenic acid helps with the production of hormones and also plays an important role in the nervous system.
  2. Riboflavin helps maintain healthy red blood cells.
  3. Niacin promotes healthy skin and makes sure the digestive and nervous systems function properly.

Mushrooms are also a source of important minerals:

  1. Selenium is a mineral that works as an antioxidant to protect body cells from damage that might lead to heart disease, some cancers and other diseases of aging. It also has been found to be important for the immune system and fertility in men. Many foods of animal origin and grains are good sources of selenium, but mushrooms are among the richest sources of selenium in the produce aisle and provide 8-22 mcg per serving. This is good news for vegetarians, whose sources of selenium are limited.
  2. Ergothioneine is a naturally occurring antioxidant that also may help protect the body’s cells. Mushrooms provide 2.8-4.9 mg of ergothioneine per serving of white, portabella or crimini mushrooms.
  3. Copper helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Copper also helps keep bones and nerves healthy.
  4. Potassium is an important mineral many people do not get enough of. It aids in the maintenance of normal fluid and mineral balance, which helps control blood pressure. It also plays a role in making sure nerves and muscles, including the heart, function properly. Mushrooms have 98-376 mg of potassium per 84 gram serving, which is 3-11 percent of the Daily Value.

Beta-glucans, found in numerous mushroom species, have shown marked immunity-stimulating effects, contribute to resistance against allergies and may also participate in physiological processes related to the metabolism of fats and sugars in the human body. The beta-glucans contained in oyster, shiitake and split gill mushrooms are considered to be the most effective.

Mushrooms and Cancer

Scientists at City of Hope were some of the first to find a potential link between mushrooms and a decreased likelihood of tumor growth and development in cells and animals. City of Hope researchers now plan to apply this research to human clinical trials.

Mushroom Antioxidants and Immunity

Mushrooms are the leading source of the essential antioxidant selenium in the produce aisle. Antioxidants, like selenium, protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases. They help to strengthen the immune system, as well. In addition, mushrooms provide ergothioneine, a naturally occurring antioxidant that may help protect the body’s cells.

Mushrooms and Weight Management

Mushrooms are hearty and filling. Preliminary research suggests increasing intake of low-energy-density foods (meaning few calories given the volume of food), specifically mushrooms, in place of high-energy-density foods, like lean ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after the meal.

Sodium and Umami in Mushrooms

Mushrooms and ground meat blend seamlessly to add an extra serving of vegetable to the plate by enhancing or extending the meat. It works because finely chopped, umami-rich mushrooms look similar and take on the flavor properties of meat and other flavors. Add nutrients to America’s iconic foods without losing taste or satisfying texture.

Mushrooms and Vitamin D

When building your plate to maximize vitamin D, consider mushrooms – they’re the only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle and one of the few non-fortified food sources. In fact, the IOM recognizes them as the exception to the rule that plant foods don’t naturally contain vitamin D.

Mushrooms and MyPlate Recommendations

MyPlate – which replaced the Food Pyramid – is a simple visual reference and educational tool that reminds Americans how and what to eat to best meet the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. Thanks to their nutrient-profile and versatility, mushrooms are uniquely suited to do just that. Fresh mushrooms can be added to everyday dishes to provide an extra serving of vegetables and deliver important nutrients including niacin, selenium, and riboflavin. Mushrooms also have vitamin D, ergothionene, and potassium.* Read on to learn more about mushrooms’ role on the plate.

Mushrooms Are Gluten Free

Often grouped with vegetables, mushrooms provide many of the nutritional attributes of produce, as well as attributes more commonly found in meat, beans or grains. Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium, yet they provide several nutrients that are typically found in animal foods or grains.

Like all fruits and vegetables, mushrooms are naturally gluten free, and make a delicious and nutritious addition to a gluten-free diet.

Original article: http://mushroominfo.com/benefits/

All this sounds really glorious, but I have to admit I don’t like mushrooms… yet.

I am working on it.

The Gamble of Kings

•April 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment

crowns and dice

The Dying Lion

•April 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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The Lion Monument (German: Löwendenkmal), or the Lion of Lucerne, is a sculpture in Lucerne, Switzerland, designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewn in 1820–21 by Lukas Ahorn. It commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris, France. Mark Twain praised the sculpture of a mortally-wounded lion as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”

Background

From the early 17th century, a regiment of Swiss mercenaries had served as part of the Royal Household of France. On 6 October 1789, King Louis XVI had been forced to move with his family from the Palace of Versailles to the Tuileries Palace in Paris. In June 1791 he tried to flee abroad. In the 1792 10th of August Insurrection, revolutionaries stormed the palace. Fighting broke out spontaneously after the Royal Family had been escorted from the Tuileries to take refuge with the Legislative Assembly. The Swiss Guards ran low on ammunition and were overwhelmed by superior numbers. A note written by the King has survived, ordering the Swiss to retire and return to their barracks, but this was only acted on after their position had become untenable.

Of the Swiss Guards defending the Tuileries, more than six hundred were killed during the fighting or massacred after surrender. An estimated two hundred more died in prison of their wounds or were killed during the September Massacres that followed. Apart from about a hundred Swiss who escaped from the Tuileries, the only survivors of the regiment were a 300 strong detachment which had been sent to Normandy a few days before August 10. The Swiss officers were mostly amongst those massacred, although Major Karl Josef von Bachmann — in command at the Tuileries —was formally tried and guillotined in September, still wearing his red uniform coat. Two surviving Swiss officers achieved senior rank under Napoleon.

Memorial

The initiative to create the monument was taken by Karl Pfyffer von Altishofen, an officer of the Guards who had been on leave in Lucerne at that time of the fight. He began collecting money in 1818. The monument was designed by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, and finally hewn in 1820–21 by Lukas Ahorn, in a former sandstone quarry near Lucerne. Carved into the cliff face, the monument measures ten meters in length and six meters in height.

The monument is dedicated Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti (“To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss”). The dying lion is portrayed impaled by a spear, covering a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis of the French monarchy; beside him is another shield bearing the coat of arms of Switzerland. The inscription below the sculpture lists the names of the officers and gives the approximate numbers of soldiers who died (DCCLX = 760), and survived (CCCL = 350).

The monument is described by Thomas Carlyle in The French Revolution: A History. The pose of the lion was copied in 1894 by Thomas M. Brady (1849–1907) for his Lion of Atlanta in the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mark Twain on the Monument

The Lion lies in his lair in the perpendicular face of a low cliff — for he is carved from the living rock of the cliff. His size is colossal, his attitude is noble. His head is bowed, the broken spear is sticking in his shoulder, his protecting paw rests upon the lilies of France. Vines hang down the cliff and wave in the wind, and a clear stream trickles from above and empties into a pond at the base, and in the smooth surface of the pond the lion is mirrored, among the water-lilies.

Around about are green trees and grass. The place is a sheltered, reposeful woodland nook, remote from noise and stir and confusion — and all this is fitting, for lions do die in such places, and not on granite pedestals in public squares fenced with fancy iron railings. The Lion of Lucerne would be impressive anywhere, but nowhere so impressive as where he is.

— Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad, 1880

From Wikipedia: http://goo.gl/Lsiif

This is a magnificent sculpture and a breath taking tribute

Orion III Space Plane

•April 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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The Orion III is a fictional passenger spaceplane seen in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

It is a two-stage space shuttle launched on a reusable winged booster. It is equipped with aerospike rocket engines and jet engines for atmospheric flight. Pan American World Airways operates the Orion III, just as it operates the Aries IB.

In early stages of planning for the film, the spaceplane’s engines on the back were designed to break away from the passenger section of the plane.

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•April 24, 2015 • Enter your password to view comments.

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The Hot Blood of the Earth

•April 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

lava

Magma (from Greek μάγμα, “thick unguent”) is a mixture of molten or semi-molten rock, volatiles and solids that is found beneath the surface of the Earth, and is expected to exist on other terrestrial planets. Besides molten rock, magma may also contain suspended crystals, dissolved gas and sometimes gas bubbles. Magma often collects in magma chambers that may feed a volcano or turn into a pluton. Magma is capable of intrusion into adjacent rocks (forming igneous dikes and sills), extrusion onto the surface as lava, and explosive ejection as tephra to form pyroclastic rock.

Magma is a complex high-temperature fluid substance. Temperatures of most magmas are in the range 700 °C to 1300 °C (or 1300 °F to 2400 °F), but very rare carbonatite melts may be as cool as 600 °C, and komatiite melts may have been as hot as 1600 °C. Most are silicate mixtures.

Environments of magma formation and compositions are commonly correlated. Environments include subduction zones, continental rift zones,mid-ocean ridges and hotspots. Despite being found in such widespread locales, the bulk of the Earth’s crust and mantle is not molten. Except for the liquid outer core, most of the Earth takes the form of a rheid, a form of solid that can move or deform under pressure. Magma, as liquid, preferentially forms in high temperature, low pressure environments within several kilometers of the Earth’s surface.

Magma compositions may evolve after formation by fractional crystallization, contamination, and magma mixing. By definition rock formed of solidified magma is called igneous rock.

While the study of magma has historically relied on observing magma in the form of lava outflows, magma has been encountered in situ three times during geothermal drilling projects—twice in Iceland (see Magma usage for energy production below), and once in Hawaii.

From Wikipedia: http://goo.gl/hDxPw2

The Earth was built as a shrine to Man, not the other way around.

It’s strength and balance and beauty waxes and wanes according to Man’s stewardship of it.

The Earth is alive and this is it’s hot blood.

Wood Floors

•April 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

planks

 
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