Daily Archives: May 17, 2014

Matepiece: Yerba Mate


matepiece: Yerba Mate

matepiece: Yerba Mate

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Yerba mate (from Spanish [ˈʝeɾβa ˈmate]; Portuguese: erva-mate [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmatʃe]) is a species of the holly (family Aquifoliaceae), with the binomial name of Ilex paraguariensis.


Yerba_mate_young_plant (Ilex Paraguariensis)

Yerba_mate_young_plant (Ilex Paraguariensis)

Yerba mate (from Spanish [ˈʝeɾβa ˈmate]; Portuguese: erva-mate [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmatʃe]) is a species of the holly (family Aquifoliaceae), with the binomial name of Ilex paraguariensis.

It is well known as the source of the beverage called mate, Chimarrão, Tererê (or Tereré) and other variations, traditionally consumed in subtropical South America, particularly northeastern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.[1] It was first used and cultivated by the Guaraní people and in some Tupí communities in southern Brazil, prior to the European colonization. It was scientifically classified by the Swiss botanist Moses Bertoni, who settled in Paraguay in 1895.

Yerba mate, erva mate, mate, or maté
Ilex paraguariensis
Ilex paraguariensis
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Aquifoliales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Genus: Ilex
Species: I. paraguariensis
Binomial name
Ilex paraguariensis
A. St. Hil.

Use as a beverage

Main article: Mate (beverage)

Steaming mate infusion in its customary gourd

The infusion, called mate in Spanish-speaking countries or chimarrão in south Brazil, is prepared by steeping dry leaves (and twigs) of the mate plant in hot water rather than in boiling water. It is consumed similar to a tea, more traditionally hot, but sometimes cold.

Drinking mate with friends from a shared hollow gourd (also called a guampa, porongo or mate in Spanish, or cabaça or cuia in Portuguese, or zucca in Italian) with a metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish, bomba in Portuguese) is a common social practice in Uruguay, Argentina and southern Brazil among people of all ages.

Yerba mate is most popular in Uruguay, where people are seen walking on the street carrying the “mate” and “termo” in their arms and where you can find hot water stations to refill the “termo” while on the road. In Argentina, 5 kg (11 lb) of yerba mate is consumed each year per every man, woman, and child, while in Uruguay, the largest consumer of mate per capita, 10 kg (22 lb) of yerba mate is consumed per person per year.[5]

The flavor of brewed mate resembles an infusion of vegetables, herbs, and grass, and is reminiscent of some varieties of green tea. Some consider the flavor to be very agreeable, but it is generally bitter if steeped in boiling water. Flavored mate is also sold, in which the mate leaves are blended with other herbs (such as peppermint) or citrus rind.[6]

In Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, a toasted version of mate, known as mate cocido (Paraguay), chá mate (Brazil) or just mate, is sold in teabags and in a loose leaf form. It is often served sweetened in specialized shops or on the street either hot or iced with fruit juice or milk. In Argentina and southern Brazil, this is commonly consumed for breakfast or in a café for afternoon tea, often with a selection of sweet pastries.

An iced, sweetened version of toasted mate is sold as an uncarbonated soft drink, with or without fruit flavoring.[7][better source needed] In Brazil, this cold version of chá mate is specially popular in South and Southeast regions, and can easily be found in retail stores in the same cooler as soft-drinks.[8] Mate batido, which is toasted, has less of a bitter flavor and more of a spicy fragrance. Mate batido becomes creamy when shaken. Mate batido is more popular in the coastal cities of Brazil, as opposed to the far southern states, where it is consumed in the traditional way (green, consumed with a silver straw from a shared gourd), and called chimarrão.and in Argentina, this is called cimarrón.[9]

In Paraguay, western Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul, west of São Paulo) and the Litoral Argentino, a mate infusion is also consumed as a cold or iced beverage and called tereré or tererê (in Spanish and Portuguese, respectively), and is usually sucked out of a horn cup called guampa with a bombilla. Tereré can be prepared using cold or iced water (the most common way in Paraguay) or using cold or iced fruit juice (the most common way in Argentina). The “only water” version may be too bitter, but the one prepared using fruit juice is sweetened by the juice itself. Medicinal herbs, known as yuyos, are mixed in a mortar and pestle and added to the water for taste or medicinal reasons. Tereré is most popular in Paraguay, Brazil, and the Litoral (northeast Argentina).[10]

In the Rio de la Plata region, people often consume daily servings of mate. It is common for friends to convene to matear several times a week. In cold weather, the beverage is served hot and in warm weather the hot water is often substituted with lemonade, but not in Uruguay. Children often take mate with lemonade or milk, as well.[citation needed]

As Europeans often meet at a coffee shop, drinking mate is the impetus for gathering with friends in Argentina, southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Sharing mate is ritualistic and has its own set of rules. Usually, one person, the host or whoever brought the mate, prepares the drink and refills the gourd with water. In these three countries, the hot water can be contained in a vacuum flask, termo (appropriate for drinking mate in the outside) or garrafa térmica (Brazil), or in a pava (kettle), which only can be done at home.[citation needed]

The gourd is passed around, often in a circle, and each person finishes the gourd before giving it back to the brewer. The gourd (also called a mate) is passed in a clockwise order. Since mate can be rebrewed many times, the gourd is passed until the water runs out. When persons no longer want to take mate, they say gracias (thank you) to the brewer when returning the gourd to signify they do not want any more.[citation needed]

During the month of August, Paraguayans have a tradition of mixing mate with crushed leaves, stems, and flowers of the plant known as flor de Agosto[11] (the flower of August, plants of the Senecio genus), which contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Modifying mate in this fashion is potentially toxic, as these alkaloids can cause a rare condition of the liver, veno-occlusive disease, which produces liver failure due to progressive occlusion of the small venous channels in the liver.[12]

In South Africa, mate is not well known, but has been introduced to Stellenbosch by a student who sells it nationally. In the tiny hamlet of Groot Marico in the northwest province, mate was introduced to the local tourism office by the returning descendants of the Boers, who in 1902 had emigrated to Patagonia in Argentina after losing the Anglo Boer War. It is also commonly consumed in Lebanon, Syria and some other parts of the Middle East, as well as amongst communities of expatriate from the Southern Cone.[13]

Chemical composition and properties

Xanthines

Yerba mate contains three xanthines: caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, the main one being caffeine. Caffeine content varies between 0.7% and 1.7% of dry weight[14] (compared with 0.4– 9.3% for tea leaves, 2.5–7.6% in guarana, and up to 3.2% for ground coffee);[15] theobromine content varies from 0.3% to 0.9%; theophylline is present in small quantities, or can be completely absent.[16] A substance previously called “mateine” is a synonym for caffeine (like theine and guaranine).

Preliminary limited studies of mate have shown that the mate xanthine cocktail is different from other plants containing caffeine, most significantly in its effects on muscle tissue, as opposed to those on the central nervous system, which are similar to those of other natural stimulants.[citation needed] The three xanthines present in mate have been shown to have a relaxing effect on smooth muscle tissue, and a stimulating effect on myocardial (heart) tissue.[citation needed]

Mineral content

Yerba mate also contains elements such as potassium, magnesium and manganese.[17]

Health effects

As of 2011 there has not been any double-blind, randomized prospective clinical trial of mate drinking with respect to chronic disease.[18] However, yerba does contain polyphenols, which may benefit the immune system,[19][20] relieve allergies,[21] reduce the risk of diabetes and hypoglycemia in mice,[22] contain compounds that, when extracted from green tea burns more calories,[23] acts as an appetite suppressant and weight loss tool,[24][25] increases the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the heart,[26] may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes,[27] increases mental energy and focus,[28][29] improves mood,[30] and promotes a deeper sleep, however sleep may be affected in people who are sensitive to caffeine.[28][31]

Lipid metabolism

Some non-blinded studies have found mate consumption to be effective in lipid lowering.[18] Studies in animals and humans have observed hypocholesterolemic effects of Ilex paraguariensis aqueous extracts. A single-blind controlled trial of 102 volunteers found that after 40 days of drinking 330 mL / day of mate tea (concentration 50g dry leaves / L water), people with already-healthy cholesterol levels experienced an 8.7% reduction in LDL, and hyperlipidemic individuals experienced an 8.6% reduction in LDL and a 4.4% increase in HDL, on average. Participants already on statin therapy saw a 13.1% reduction in LDL and a 6.2% increase in HDL. The authors thus concluded that drinking yerba mate infusions may reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases.[32]

Cancer

Any hot consumption of mate is associated with oral cancer[33] esophageal cancer, cancer of the larynx,[34] and squamous cell of the head and neck.[35][36] Studies show a correlation between temperature and likelihood of cancer, making it unclear how much a role mate itself plays as a carcinogen.[34]

A study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer showed a limited correlation between oral cancer and the drinking of large quantities of “hot mate”.[37] Smaller quantities (less than 1 liter daily) were found to increase risk only slightly, though alcohol and tobacco consumption had a synergistic effect on increasing oral, throat, and esophageal cancer. The study notes the possibility that increased risk could be credited to the high (near-boiling) temperatures at which the mate is consumed in its most traditional way, the chimarrão. The cellular damage caused by thermal stress could lead the esophagus and gastric epithelium to be metaplastic, adapting to the chronic injury. Then, mutations would lead to cellular dysplasia and to cancer.[38] While the IARC study does not specify a specific temperature range for “hot mate”, it lists general (not “hot”) mate drinking separately, but does not possess the data to assess its effect. It also does not address, in comparison, any effect of consumption temperature with regard to coffee or tea.

Obesity

Few data are available on the effects of yerba mate on weight in humans and further study may be warranted.[39]

Mechanism of action

E-NTPDase activity

Research also shows that mate preparations can alter the concentration of members of the ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (E-NTPDase) family, resulting in an elevated level of extracellular ATP, ADP, and AMP. This was found with chronic ingestion (15 days) of an aqueous mate extract, and may lead to a novel mechanism for manipulation of vascular regenerative factors, i.e., treating heart disease.[40]

Antioxidants

In an investigation of mate antioxidant activity, there was a correlation found between content of caffeoyl-derivatives and antioxidant capacity (AOC).[41][42] Amongst a group of Ilex species, Ilex paraguariensis antioxidant activity was the highest.[41]

History

Main article: History of yerba mate

Yerba mate growing in the wild

Mate was first consumed by the indigenous Guaraní and also spread in the Tupí people that lived in southern Brazil and Paraguay, and became widespread with the European colonization.[citation needed] In the Spanish colony of Paraguay in the late 16th century, both Spanish settlers and indigenous Guaranís, who had, to some extent, before the Spanish arrival, consumed it.[citation needed] Mate consumption spread in the 17th century to the River Plate and from there to Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru.[citation needed] This widespread consumption turned it into Paraguay’s main commodity above other wares, such as tobacco, and Indian labour was used to harvest wild stands.[citation needed]

In the mid 17th century, Jesuits managed to domesticate the plant and establish plantations in their Indian reductions in Misiones, Argentina, sparking severe competition with the Paraguayan harvesters of wild stands.[citation needed] After their expulsion in the 1770s, their plantations fell into decay, as did their domestication secrets.[citation needed] The industry continued to be of prime importance for the Paraguayan economy after independence, but development in benefit of the Paraguayan state halted after the War of the Triple Alliance (1864–1870) that devastated the country both economically and demographically.[citation needed] Some regions with mate plantations in Paraguay became Argentinean territory.[citation needed]

Lithograph of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, a 19th-century ruler of Paraguay, with a mate and its respective bombilla

Brazil then became the largest producer of mate.[43] In Brazilian and Argentine projects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the plant was domesticated once again, opening the way for plantation systems.[citation needed] When Brazilian entrepreneurs turned their attention to coffee in the 1930s, Argentina, which had long been the prime consumer,[44] took over as the largest producer, resurrecting the economy in Misiones Province, where the Jesuits had once had most of their plantations. For years, the status of largest producer shifted between Brazil and Argentina.[44]

Now, Brazil is the largest producer, with 53%, followed by Argentina, 37% and Paraguay, 10%.[4]

There is a Parque Historico do Mate, funded by the State of Parana, Brazil, to educate people on the sustainable harvesting methods needed to maintain the integrity and vitality of the oldest wild forests of mate in the world.[3]

Nomenclature

The name given to the plant in Guaraní, language of the indigenous people who first cultivated and enjoyed mate, is ka’a, which has the same meaning as “herb”.[citation needed] Congonha, in Portuguese, is derived from the Tupi expression, meaning something like “what keeps us alive”, but a term rarely used nowadays.[citation needed] Mate is from the Quechua mati,[45] a word that means container for a drink, infusion of an herb, as well as gourd.[46] The word mate is used in both, Portuguese and Spanish languages.[citation needed]

The pronunciation of yerba mate in Spanish is [ˈʝe̞rβ̞ä ˈmäte̞][45] The accent on the word is on the first syllable, not the second as might be implied by the variant spelling “maté”.[45] The word hierba is Spanish for “herb”; yerba is a variant spelling of it which was quite common in Argentina.[47] (Nowadays in Argentina “yerba” refers exclusively to the “yerba mate” plant.[47]) Yerba mate, therefore, originally translated literally as the “gourd herb”, i.e. the herb one drinks from a gourd.[citation needed]

The (Brazilian) Portuguese name is either erva-mate [ˈɛʁvɐ ˈmätʃi] (also pronounced [ˈɛrvɐ ˈmäte] or [ˈɛɾvɐ ˈmätɪ] in some regions), the most used term, or rarely “congonha” [kõˈɡõȷ̃ɐ], from Old Tupi kõ’gõi, which means “what sustains the being”.[48] It is also used to prepare the drinks chimarrão (hot), tereré (cold) or chá mate (hot or cold). While the chá mate (tea) is made with the toasted leaves, the other drinks are made with green leaves, and are very popular in the south of the country and Mato Grosso. Most people colloquially address both the plant and the beverage simply by the word mate.[8]

Both the spellings “mate” and “maté” are used in English, but the latter spelling is never used in Spanish where it means “I killed” as opposed to “gourd”.[49] There are no variation of spellings in Spanish.[45] The addition of the acute accent over the final “e” was likely added as a hypercorrection, indicating that the word and its pronunciation are distinct from the common English word “mate“.[50][51][52][53][54]

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Gunpowder tea (green tea): From Wikipedia


Gunpowder tea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

China-Zhejiang.pngGunpowder tea (; pinyin: zhū chá) is a form of green Chinese tea produced in Zhejiang Province of China in which each leaf has been rolled into a small round pellet. It is believed to take its English name from the fact that the tea resembles grains of black powder. This rolling method of shaping tea is most often applied either to dried green tea (the most commonly encountered variety outside China) or Oolong tea.

Chinese Gunpowder Green Tea
Type: Green

Other names: Lo Chu Ch’a, Zhu Cha, 珠茶
Origin: Zhejiang Province China and others

Quick description: Popular worldwide. Flavor varies according to the growing location of tea used for production

Gunpowder tea production dates back to the Tang Dynasty 618–907. It was first introduced to Taiwan in the 19th century. Gunpowder tea leaves are withered, steamed, rolled, and then dried. Although the individual leaves were formerly rolled by hand, today most gunpowder tea is rolled by machines (though the highest grades are still rolled by hand). Rolling renders the leaves less susceptible to physical damage and breakage and allows them to retain more of their flavor and aroma. In addition, it allows certain types of oolong teas to be aged for decades if they are cared for by being occasionally roasted.

When buying gunpowder tea it is important to look for shiny pellets, which indicate that the tea is relatively fresh. Pellet size is also associated with quality, larger pellets being considered a mark of lower quality tea. High quality gunpowder tea will have small, tightly rolled pellets.[citation needed]

Varieties

When sold as a variety of tea, gunpowder tea has several varieties:

  • Pingshui gunpowder (平水珠茶): The original and most common variety of gunpowder tea with larger pearls, better color, and a more aromatic infusion, which is commonly sold as Temple of Heaven Gunpowder or Pinhead Gunpowder, the former, a common brand of this tea variety.[1][2]
  • Formosa gunpowder: A gunpowder style tea grown in Taiwan near Keelung, it is claimed to have its own characteristic aroma, different from that of Zhejiang Province gunpowder grown in mainland China. Formosa gunpowder teas are typically fresh or roasted oolongs.
  • Ceylon gunpowder: A gunpowder variant grown in Sri Lanka, usually at altitudes exceeding 1,800 metres (6,000 ft), see Green Ceylon teas.

Several types of green teas are commonly rolled into “gunpowder” form, including Chunmee, Tieguanyin, Huang Guanyin, and Dong Ding, as well as many other oolong and higher-end jasmine teas.

Etymology

In Chinese, gunpowder tea is called zhū chá (; literally “pearl tea” or “bead tea”; not to be confused with boba tea).

The origin of the English term may come from the tea’s similarity in appearance to actual gunpowder: greyish, dark pellets of irregular shape used as explosive propellant for early guns. The name may also have arisen from the fact that the grey-green leaf is tightly rolled into a tiny pellet and “explodes” into a long leaf upon being steeped in hot water. Another explanation is that the tea can also have a smoky flavor.

It is also possible that the English term may stem from the Mandarin Chinese phrase for “freshly brewed”, gāng pào de (), which sounds like the English word “gunpowder.”

Brewing methods

While brewing methods vary widely by tea and individual preferences, 1 teaspoon of looseleaf tea is recommended for every 150ml (5.07 oz) of water. Ideal water temperature for this type of tea is between 70 °C (158 °F) to 80 °C (176 °F). For the first and second brewing, leaves should be steeped for around one minute. It is also recommended that the tea cup or tea pot used should be rinsed with hot water prior to brewing the tea to warm the vessels. When brewed, gunpowder tea is a yellow color.

The flavor of brewed gunpowder tea is often described as thick and strong like a soft honey, but with a smokey flavor and an aftertaste that is slightly coppery. This type of tea is often seen as having a flavor that is somewhat grassy, minty, or peppery.

Use in the Maghreb

Moroccan tea ritual

Gunpowder tea is exported to the Maghreb where it is used in the preparation of traditional North African mint tea. The Moroccan tea ritual is at the heart of any social gathering, from an informal visit to a neighbour to lavish soirees with dignitaries. A minimum of two cups need to be drunk so as not to offend the host. Moroccan mint tea is made by adding mint and sugar or honey to gunpowder tea after brewing.

 

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Green tea: Is made from the leaves from Camellia sinensis


  • Green tea is made from the leaves from Camellia sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originated in China, but it has become associated with many cultures throughout Asia. Green tea has recently beco…
     
  • en.wikipedia.org
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UPLOADER’S COMMENT: Hey you guys, I’m so happy you all did like the video I uploaded! I knew that this rare piece of art was somewhere and somehow I found it loooooong time ago, I have this music video actually in high quality! I didn’t know too that a lot of you wanted it so badly! I only thought about posting this these days, so here it is for you all, Michael is an amazing singer, go out there and buy his brilliant CD! ;D

Official music video for Me And Mrs Jones, song taken from the number 1 album “Call Me Irresponsible“. Buy Michael Bublé’s amazing album “Call Me Irresponsible”, featuring “Me And Mrs Jones” right now digitally at iTunes Music Store:

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Erroll Garner – They can’t take that away from me (From the “Concert by the sea” – album)


Erroll GarnerThey can’t take that away from me

From the “Concert by the sea” – album.

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make music part of your life series: Larry Coryell at the Jimi Hendrix 69th Birthday Celebration “Blue Monk” “Jam 292″


Larry Coryell at the Jimi Hendrix 69th Birthday Celebration “Blue Monk“. “Jam 292″ Video by Larry Blumnstein Video Productions.
—————————————-­—————————————-­—
(This an instrumental Jimi and Larry use to Jam together with back in the day and the final cut is called Jam 292 by Jimi Hendrix from the Blues album.)

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Larry Coryell: Kowloon Jag (Live at Yoshi’s 2013)

Last year at Yoshi’s, Larry Coryell played his final retro performance on stage to a packed house.
The whole show was filmed in its entirety and promises to further cement Coryell into music history as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Larry Coryell: Guitar
Julian Coryell: Guitar
Cindy Blackman Santana: Drums
George Brooks: Sax
Gary Brown: Bass

http://www.facebook.com/barefootboyproductions

Directed by Daniel E. Meza

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Gallery

NEW IMPRESSIONS FROM THE TRAIL AND ROSES (MY PHOTO COLLECTION)


GREAT COMPOSITIONS/PERFORMANCES: Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture Op.21 by Masur, LGO (1997)


Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture Op.21 by Masur, LGO (1997)

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture Op.21

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Kurt Masur, Conductor

Live at Gewandhaus, Leipzig

 

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MAKE MUSIC PART OF YOUR LIFE SERIES: Igor Stravinsky – Pétrouchka (1911)/ Mitropoulos


Igor Stravinsky: Pétrouchka (1911)/ Mitropoulos

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I. Fête populaire de la semaine grasse – Le tour de passe-passe – Danse russe
II. Chez Pétrouchka
III. Chez le maure – Danse de la ballerine – Valse. La ballerine et le maure
IV. Fête populaire de la semaine grasse (vers le soir) – Danse des nousnous – Danse des cochers et des palefreniers – Les déguisés

— cover image by Mikhail Fokine

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GREAT COMPOSITIONS/PERFORMANCES: Franz Schubert – Piano Sonata in A major, D 664 (Op. 120) / Klára Würtz, piano.


Klára Würtz, piano.
Franz Schubert – Piano Sonata in A major, D 664 (Op. 120)
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante
III. Allegro

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MAKE MUSIC PART OF YOUR LIFE SERIES: Maurice Ravel – Suite Ma mère l’Oye / Mother Goose Suite


Maurice Ravel – Suite Ma mère l’Oye / Mother Goose Suite

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), France

- Suite Ma mère l’Oye / Mother Goose Suite

I. Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant / Pavane of Sleeping Beauty [1:44]
II. Petit Poucet / Little Tom Thumb [3:24]
III. Laideronnette, Impératrice des Pagodes / Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas [3:41]
IV. Les Entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête / The Conversation of Beauty and the Beast [4:27]
V. Le Jardin féerique / The Fairy Garden [4:07]

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sian Edwards

 

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Saint of the Day MAY 17 : St. Paschal Baylon – Franciscan lay brother and mystic


Saint of the Day

Image of St. Paschal Baylon

St. Paschal Baylon

Franciscan lay brother and mystic. Born to a peasant family at Torre Hermosa, in Aragon, on Whitsunday, he was christened Pascua in honor of the feast. According to accounts of his early life, … continue reading

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QUOTATION: “Abstain and enjoy”. Aesop (620 BC-560 BC)


Abstain and enjoy.

Aesop (620 BC-560 BC) Discuss

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: Toshogu Haru-No-Taisai


Toshogu Haru-No-Taisai

This festival provides the most spectacular display of ancient samurai costumes and weaponry in Japan. The Toshogu Shrine, in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, was built in 1617 to house the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), the first of the Tokugawa shoguns. On the first day of the festival, dignitaries and members of the Tokugawa family make offerings to the deities of the shrine, and warriors on horseback shoot at targets with bows and arrows. The next morning, more than 1,000 people take part in the procession from Toshogu to Futarasan Shrine, including hundreds of samurai warriors. More… Discuss

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: Edward Jenner (1749)


Edward Jenner (1749)

Jenner, an English surgeon, discovered the smallpox vaccine and laid the foundations of modern immunology. Apprenticed to a surgeon at 13, Jenner then studied under John Hunter, a pioneer in morphology. Jenner found that people who had been sick with the relatively harmless disease cowpox did not contract smallpox. His invaluable experiments, beginning in 1796 with the vaccination of eight-year-old James Phipps, proved that cowpox provided immunity against smallpox. What killed Jenner in 1823? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: Brown v. Board of Education Decided (1954)


Brown v. Board of Education Decided (1954)

In 1951, a class action suit was filed against the Board of Education of the City of Topeka, Kansas, by 13 African-American parents on behalf of their children. The plaintiffs argued that segregating schools along racial lines violated the students’ 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law. The case was heard by the US Supreme Court, which unanimously agreed that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” What future Supreme Court judge represented the plaintiffs? More… Discuss

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West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt Past Point of No Return


West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt Past Point of No Return

Experts say that a large section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has reached a state of irreversible retreat. Its continued melting will raise sea levels as much as 4 ft (1.2 m) over the next few hundred years and could trigger a chain reaction of additional melting of nearby parts of the ice sheet, causing sea levels to rise even more. Even if we were to curb our greenhouse gas emissions, we could not now reverse or even halt the melt. The best we could hope for is to slow the ice loss. More… Discuss

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Sirius


Sirius

Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. Located in the constellation Canis Major, it is one of the stars nearest to Earth. Because Sirius appears to follow at the heels of Orion the hunter, it is often called the “Dog Star.” Many cultures have attached special significance to Sirius. Ancient Egyptians equated it with the goddess Sopdet, while the ancient Romans associated its rising at dawn with the hottest part of the year—the “dog days.” What controversies has Sirius inspired? More… Discuss

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