Tag Archives: aristotle

quotation: Men cling to life even at the cost of enduring great misfortune. Aristotle


Men cling to life even at the cost of enduring great misfortune.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Discuss

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Beethoven’s 5th Piano E-flat major, Op. 73 (Emperor) – Daniel Barenboim, great compositions/performances


© Beethoven’s 5th Piano E-flat major, Op. 73 (Emperor) – Daniel Barenboim (whole concert)

People and places: Emeril Lagasse


Emeril Lagasse

Lagasse is a celebrity chef and restaurateur. He gained fame when his restaurant, “Emeril’s,” in New Orleans, Louisiana, was named Esquire magazine‘s “Restaurant of the Year” in 1990. He went on to become the host of the popular TV shows The Essence of Emeril and Emeril Live. Lagasse delivered his cajun-and-creole-based recipes with catchphrases like “BAM!” and “Kick it up a notch!” He has also starred in his own sitcom and voiced a character in what Disney film? More… Discuss

quotation: I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man. Alexander Hamilton


I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man.

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) Discuss

word: stentorian


Word of the Day

stentorian

Definition: (adjective) Extremely loud.
Synonyms: booming
Usage: He was woken by the stentorian voice of his teacher, demanding to know why he wasn’t paying attention. Discuss

quotation: Democracy … arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal. Aristotle


Democracy … arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal.

Aristotle (384 BC322 BC) Discuss

quotation: God is truth and light his shadow. Plato


God is truth and light his shadow.

Plato (427 BC-347 BC) Discuss

Low calories diet: Asparagus officinalis A low calories diet for diabetes sufferers, and healthy people alike (from wikipedia)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
For the botanical genus, see Asparagus (genus). For the colour, see Asparagus (color).
Asparagus officinalis
Asparagus-Bundle.jpg
A bundle of cultivated asparagus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Asparagoideae
Genus: Asparagus
Species: A. officinalis
Binomial name
Asparagus officinalis
L.

Asparagus officinalis is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial[1] plant species in the genus Asparagus. It was once classified in the lily family, like its Allium cousins, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family Amaryllidaceae and asparagus in the Asparagaceae. Asparagus officinalis is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia,[2][3][4] and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.

Biology

 

Asparagus is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 100–150 centimetres (39–59 in) tall, with stout stems with much-branched feathery foliage. The “leaves” are in fact needle-like cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 mm (0.24–1.26 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) broad, and clustered 4–15 together. The root system is adventitious and the root type is fasciculated. The flowers are bell-shaped, greenish-white to yellowish, 4.5–6.5 mm (0.18–0.26 in) long, with six tepals partially fused together at the base; they are produced singly or in clusters of two or three in the junctions of the branchlets. It is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, but sometimes hermaphrodite flowers are found. The fruit is a small red berry 6–10 mm diameter, which is poisonous to humans.[5]

Plants native to the western coasts of Europe (from northern Spain north to Ireland, Great Britain, and northwest Germany) are treated as Asparagus officinalis subsp. prostratus (Dumort.) Corb., distinguished by its low-growing, often prostrate stems growing to only 30–70 cm (12–28 in) high, and shorter cladodes 2–18 mm (0.079–0.709 in) long.[2][6] It is treated as a distinct species, Asparagus prostratus Dumort, by some authors.[7][8]

History

Asparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour, diuretic properties, and more. It is pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC. In ancient times, it was also known in Syria and in Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season, and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans even froze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. Emperor Augustus created the “Asparagus Fleet” for hauling the vegetable, and coined the expression “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action.[Note 1][9][10] A recipe for cooking asparagus is in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third-century AD De re coquinaria, Book III.

The ancient Greek physician Galen (prominent among the Romans) mentioned asparagus as a beneficial herb during the second century AD, but after the Roman empire ended, asparagus drew little medieval attention.[11][Note 2] until al-Nafzawi‘s The Perfumed Garden. That piece of writing celebrates its (scientifically unconfirmed) aphrodisiacal power, a supposed virtue that the Indian Ananga Ranga attributes to “special phosphorus elements” that also counteract fatigue. By 1469, asparagus was cultivated in French monasteries. Asparagus appears to have been hardly noticed in England until 1538,[Note 2] and in Germany until 1542.[10]

The finest texture and the strongest and yet most delicate taste is in the tips.[12] The points d’amour (“love tips”) were served as a delicacy to Madame de Pompadour.[13] Asparagus became available to the New World around 1850, in the United States.[10]

Uses

Asparagus
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 85 kJ (20 kcal)
 
3.88 g
Sugars 1.88 g
Dietary fibre 2.1 g
 
0.12 g
 
2.2 g
 
Vitamins
Vitamin A equiv.

(5%)

38 μg

(4%)

449 μg

710 μg
Thiamine (B1)
(12%)

0.143 mg

Riboflavin (B2)
(12%)

0.141 mg

Niacin (B3)
(7%)

0.978 mg

(5%)

0.274 mg

Vitamin B6
(7%)

0.091 mg

Folate (B9)
(13%)

52 μg

Choline
(3%)

16 mg

Vitamin C
(7%)

5.6 mg

Vitamin E
(7%)

1.1 mg

Vitamin K
(40%)

41.6 μg

 
Trace metals
Calcium
(2%)

24 mg

Iron
(16%)

2.14 mg

Magnesium
(4%)

14 mg

Manganese
(8%)

0.158 mg

Phosphorus
(7%)

52 mg

Potassium
(4%)

202 mg

Sodium
(0%)

2 mg

Zinc
(6%)

0.54 mg


Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Only young asparagus shoots are commonly eaten: once the buds start to open (“ferning out”), the shoots quickly turn woody.[14]

Water makes up 93% of Asparagus’s composition.[15] Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium,[16][17] as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.[citation needed] The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound.

The shoots are prepared and served in a number of ways around the world, typically as an appetizer[18] or vegetable side dish. In Asian-style cooking, asparagus is often stir-fried. Cantonese restaurants in the United States often serve asparagus stir-fried with chicken, shrimp, or beef. Asparagus may also be quickly grilled over charcoal or hardwood embers. It is also used as an ingredient in some stews and soups. In recent years asparagus eaten raw, as a component of a salad, has regained popularity.[19]

Asparagus can also be pickled and stored for several years. Some brands label shoots prepared this way as “marinated”.

Stem thickness indicates the age of the plant, with the thicker stems coming from older plants. Older, thicker stalks can be woody, although peeling the skin at the base removes the tough layer. Peeled asparagus will however poach much faster.[20] The bottom portion of asparagus often contains sand and dirt, so thorough cleaning is generally advised before cooking.

Green asparagus is eaten worldwide, though the availability of imports throughout the year has made it less of a delicacy than it once was.[6] In Europe, however, the “asparagus season is a highlight of the foodie calendar”; in the UK this traditionally begins on 23 April and ends on Midsummer Day.[21][22] As in continental Europe, due to the short growing season and demand for local produce, asparagus commands a premium price.

White asparagus in continental northwestern Europe

Typical serving of asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and potatoes.

 

Typical serving of asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and potatoes.

Asparagus is very popular in the Netherlands, Spain, France, Poland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, and is almost exclusively white; if not, it is specified by the local language term for “green asparagus”. White asparagus is the result of applying a blanching technique while the asparagus shoots are growing. Compared to green asparagus, the locally cultivated so-called “white gold” or “edible ivory” asparagus, also referred to as “the royal vegetable”,[13] is less bitter and much more tender.[citation needed] Freshness is very important, and the lower ends of white asparagus must be peeled before cooking or raw consumption.

To cultivate white asparagus, the shoots are covered with soil as they grow, i.e. earthed up; without exposure to sunlight no photosynthesis starts, so the shoots remain white in colour.

Only seasonally on the menu, asparagus dishes are advertised outside many restaurants, usually from late April to June. For the French style, asparagus is often boiled or steamed and served with hollandaise sauce, melted butter or olive oil, Parmesan cheese or mayonnaise.[23] Tall, narrow asparagus cooking pots allow the shoots to be steamed gently, their tips staying out of the water.

During the German Spargelsaison or Spargelzeit (“asparagus season” or “asparagus time”), the asparagus season that traditionally finishes on 24 June, roadside stands and open-air markets sell about half of the country’s white asparagus consumption.[24]

Effects on urine

The effect of eating asparagus on urine has long been observed:

“[Asparagus] cause a powerful and disagreeable smell in the urine, as every Body knows.” (Treatise of All Sorts of Foods, Louis Lemery, 1702)[35]
“asparagus… affects the urine with a foetid smell (especially if cut when they are white) and therefore have been suspected by some physicians as not friendly to the kidneys; when they are older, and begin to ramify, they lose this quality; but then they are not so agreeable.” (“An Essay Concerning the Nature of Aliments,” John Arbuthnot, 1735)[36]
“A few Stems of Asparagus eaten, shall give our Urine a disagreable Odour…” (“Letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels,” Benjamin Franklin, c. 1781)[37]
Asparagus “…transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.” Marcel Proust (1871–1922)[38]

There is debate about whether all—or only some—people produce the smell, and whether all (or only some) people identify the smell. It was originally thought this was because some of the population digested asparagus differently from others, so some people excreted odorous urine after eating asparagus, and others did not. In the 1980s three studies from France,[39] China and Israel published results showing that producing odorous urine from asparagus was a common human characteristic. The Israeli study found that from their 307 subjects all of those who could smell ‘asparagus urine’ could detect it in the urine of anyone who had eaten asparagus, even if the person who produced it could not detect it.[40] However, a 2010 study[41] found variations in both production of odorous urine and the ability to detect the odour, but that these were not tightly related. It is believed most people produce the odorous compounds after eating asparagus, but only about 22% of the population have the autosomal genes required to smell them.[42][43][44]

In 2010, the company 23andMe published a genome-wide association study on whether participants have “ever noticed a peculiar odor when you pee after eating asparagus?”[45] This study pinpointed a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in a cluster of olfactory genes associated with the ability to detect the odor. While this SNP did not explain all of the difference in detection between people, it provides support for the theory that there are genetic differences in olfactory receptors that lead people to be unable to smell these odorous compounds.

Chemistry

 

Asparagus foliage turns bright yellow in autumn

Certain compounds in asparagus are metabolized to yield ammonia and various sulfur-containing degradation products, including various thiols and thioesters,[46] which give urine a characteristic smell.

Some[47] of the volatile organic compounds responsible for the smell are:[48][49]

Subjectively, the first two are the most pungent, while the last two (sulfur-oxidized) give a sweet aroma. A mixture of these compounds form a “reconstituted asparagus urine” odor. This was first investigated in 1891 by Marceli Nencki, who attributed the smell to methanethiol.[50] These compounds originate in the asparagus as asparagusic acid and its derivatives, as these are the only sulfur-containing compounds unique to asparagus. As these are more present in young asparagus, this accords with the observation that the smell is more pronounced after eating young asparagus. The biological mechanism for the production of these compounds is less clear.[citation needed]

The onset of the asparagus urine smell is remarkably rapid. The smell has been reported to be detectable 15 to 30 minutes after ingestion.[51][52]

Gallery

 

quotation: At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. Plato


At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.

Plato (427 BC-347 BC) Discuss

quotation: Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. Aristotle


Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Discuss

quotation: Aristotle


We praise a man who feels angry on the right grounds and against the right persons and also in the right manner at the right moment and for the right length of time.

Aristotle (384 BC322 BC) Discuss

quotation: “A friend is a second self”. Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)


A friend is a second self.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Disc

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QUOTATION: Aristotle


Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.

Aristotle (384 BC322 BCDiscuss

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QUOTATION: Aristotle


All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Discuss

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QUOTATION: Plato (427 BC-347 BC)


All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince.

Plato (427 BC-347 BC) Discuss

 

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Today’s Birthday: Alexander The Great (356BCE)


Alexander the Great (356 BCE)

The son of Philip II of Macedon, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle and became king at 20. One of the greatest generals in ancient history, he conquered much of Greece and Persia before his troops mutinied at the prospect of having to sack India as well. At the age of 33, he died of a fever on his way home after more than a decade of conquest. His empire was the greatest that had existed until that time and spread Hellenism far and wide. What city did Alexander name after his horse? More… Discuss

Quotation of the Day: Aristotle – Democracy = the power of the poor over the rich


In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.

Aristotle (384 BC322 BCDiscuss

  1. Was there ever a democracy since his time? 
  2. Was there a democracy during his lifetime? 
  3. Will there ever be a democracy based on the need of the majority over the power of the few?

Quotation of the Day: Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)


At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Discuss