Tag Archives: Australia

this day in the yesteryear: Cowra Breakout: One of the Biggest Escapes in History (1944)


Cowra Breakout: One of the Biggest Escapes in History (1944)

During World War II, Japanese prisoners of war at a camp near Cowra, Australia, orchestrated one of the largest prison escapes of the war. Armed only with makeshift weapons, hundreds of Japanese prisoners stormed the machine gun posts and overwhelmed the guards. Some prisoners, rather than escaping, attempted or committed suicide, or were killed by fellow soldiers. The breakout resulted in the deaths of four Australian soldiers and 231 Japanese prisoners. How many managed to escape? More… Discuss

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Leonard Cohen: “… what comes after America.”


Leonard Cohen:”… what comes after America.”

 

Published on Apr 5, 2015

today’s holiday: Tonga Emancipation Day June 4


Tonga Emancipation Day

June 4 is a national holiday in the Kingdom of Tonga, celebrating its full independence from Britain. On June 4, 1863, King George Tupuo I abolished the system of serfdom in the island nation of Tonga. The historic occasion is remembered on Emancipation Day, which is celebrated just after the conclusion of the annual three-day Ha’apai Festival. The Ha’apai Festival begins on Tonga’s outer islands and ends on Lifuka Island on June 4th. Both the festival and Emancipation Day are marked with feasts and dancing. More… Discuss

great compositions/performances: Maurice Ravel – Sonatine pour piano: Gabriele Tomasello, piano.


Maurice Ravel – Sonatine pour piano

today’s birthday: Francis Younghusband (1863)


Francis Younghusband (1863)

Younghusband was a British Army officer and explorer remembered for his travels in the Far East and Central Asia. In 1887, he journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass of the Karakorum range. In 1904, he led a military expedition that participated in the massacring of Tibetan troops and forced a treaty upon Tibet that opened it to Western trade. Apparently, he later regretted his role in these events. What changed his mind? More… Discuss

New at my Browser: Lightshot — screenshot tool for Mac & Win


LIGHTSHOT ADD-ON WORTH A TRY

LIGHTSHOT ADD-ON WORTH A TRY

Lightshot — screenshot tool for Mac & Win.

today’s birthday: Frederick Russell Burnham (1861)


Frederick Russell Burnham (1861)

Burnham was an American adventurer whose outdoorsmanship helped inspire the founding of the international scout movement. He was born on an Indian reservation to a missionary family and became a horseback messenger for Western Union Telegraph Company at age 13 and soon after a scout and tracker. After two decades of ranging in the Southwest and Mexico, he moved to Africa to become the British army’s chief of scouts during the Boer War. His tracking skills earned him what nickname in Africa? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony Premieres in Vienna (1824)


Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony Premieres in Vienna (1824)

The Symphony No. 9 in D Minor is the last complete symphony composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. One of the best known works of the Western repertoire, it is considered one of Beethoven’s greatest masterpieces. Incorporating part of Johann Schiller’s “Ode to Joy,” sung by soloists and a chorus, it is the first symphony in which a major composer utilizes human voices on the same level as instruments. How many standing ovations reportedly followed its premiere performance in 1824? More… Discuss

Best classical music: Haydn – Symphony No 101 in D major, Hob I-101, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Eugen Jochum, conductor, Live recording, January 1973


Haydn – Symphony No 101 in D major, Hob I-101 – Jochum

Just a thought: “AUSTERITY is the direct result of cannibalistic banking (lender’s) schemes.”


Just a thought: “AUSTERITY is the direct result of cannibalistic Banking (Lender’s) schemes.”

-George-B.


Copyright © 2015 [George-B]. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Nikolaj Rimski-Korsakov – The Invisible City of Kitezh , great compositions/performances


Nikolaj Rimski-Korsakov – The Invisible City of Kitezh

today’s holiday: Nauru Independence Day (2015)


Nauru Independence Day (2015)

This island in the Pacific Ocean gained independence from Great Britain on January 31, 1968. It had been governed by Australia. Independence Day is a national holiday in Nauru. More… Discuss

magical realism: LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE, BY (AFTER) Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel



Like Water For Chocolate

Published on Mar 5, 2012/84,343 viws

This adaptation of the novel by Laura Esquivel was sanctioned by the writer herself; she was going to come over for the premiere in Edinburgh 2003 but then had to back out due to work commitments. Starring Kate Ward, who went on to train at ‘The Central School of Speech and Drama’ this show was our first ‘Sold Out Show’ at the Edinburgh Fringe; in fact we arrived to find out that every single seat had been sold. Happy days!

also read HERE

Like Water for Chocolate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
For the film based on the novel, see Like Water for Chocolate (film). For the album by Common, see Like Water for Chocolate (album).
Like Water for Chocolate
Like Water for Chocolate (Book Cover).png

U.S book cover
Author Laura Esquivel
Country Mexico
Language Spanish
Genre Romance, Magical realism
Publisher Doubleday, 1992 (Mexico)
Perfection Learning, 1995 (U.S)
Pages 256 (Spanish)
ISBN Spanish: 978-0385721233
English: 978-0780739079

Like Water for Chocolate (Spanish: Como agua para chocolate) is a popular novel published in 1989 by first-time Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel.[1]

The novel follows the story of a young girl named Tita who longs her entire life to marry her lover, Pedro, but can never have him because of her mother’s upholding of the family tradition of the youngest daughter not marrying but taking care of her mother until the day she dies. Tita is only able to express herself when she cooks.

Esquivel employs magical realism to combine the supernatural with the ordinary.[2]

Plot

The book is divided into 12 sections named after the months of the year, starting with January. Each section begins with a Mexican recipe. The chapters outline the preparation of the dish and ties it to an event in the protagonist’s life.[3]

Tita de la Garza, the novel’s main protagonist, is 15 at the start of the story. She lives with her mother Mama Elena, and her older sisters Gertrudis and Rosaura, on a ranch near the Mexico – US border.

Pedro is a neighbor and another main protagonist with whom Tita falls in love at first sight. He asks Mama Elena for Tita’s hand in marriage, but Mama Elena forbids it, citing the De la Garza family tradition that the youngest daughter (in this case Tita) must remain unmarried and take care of her mother until her mother’s death. She suggests that Pedro marries Tita’s sister, Rosaura, instead of Tita. In order to stay close to Tita, Pedro decides to follow Mama Elena’s advice.

Tita has a love of the kitchen and a deep connection with food, a skill enhanced by the fact that Nacha, the family cook, was her primary caretaker as Tita grew up. Her love for cooking also comes from the fact that she was born in the kitchen.

Pedro and Rosaura have a son, Roberto. Rosaura is unable to nurse Roberto, so Tita brings Roberto to her breast to stop the baby from crying. Tita begins to produce breast milk and is able to nurse the baby. This draws her and Pedro closer than ever. They begin meeting secretly, snatching their few times together by sneaking around the ranch and behind the backs of Mama Elena and Rosaura.

Tita’s strong emotions become infused into her cooking, and she unintentionally begins to affect the people around her through the food she prepares. After one particularly rich meal of quail in rose petal sauce flavored with Tita’s erotic thoughts of Pedro, Gertrudis becomes inflamed with lust and leaves the ranch in order to make ravenous love with a revolutionary soldier on the back of a horse, later ending up in a brothel and subsequently disowned by her mother.

Rosaura and Pedro are forced to leave for San Antonio, Texas, at the urging of Mama Elena, who suspects a relationship between Tita and Pedro. Rosaura loses her son Roberto and later becomes infertile from complications during the birth of her daughter Esperanza.

Upon learning the news of her nephew’s death, whom she cared for herself, Tita blames her mother. Mama Elena responds by smacking Tita across the face with a wooden spoon. Tita, destroyed by the death of her beloved nephew and unwilling to cope with her mother’s controlling ways, secludes herself in the dovecote until the sympathetic Dr. John Brown soothes and comforts her. Mama Elena states there is no place for “lunatics” like Tita on the farm, and wants her to be institutionalized. However, the doctor decides to take care of Tita at his home instead. Tita develops a close relationship with Dr. Brown, even planning to marry him at one point, but her underlying feelings for Pedro do not waver.

While John is away, Tita loses her virginity to Pedro. A month later, Tita is worried she may be pregnant with Pedro’s child. Her mother’s ghost taunts her, telling her that she and her child are cursed. Gertrudis visits the ranch for a special holiday and makes Pedro overhear about Tita’s pregnancy, causing Tita and Pedro to argue about running away together. This causes Pedro to get drunk and sing below Tita’s window while she is arguing with Mama Elena’s ghost. Just as she confirms she isn’t pregnant and frees herself of her mother’s grasp once and for all, Mama Elena’s ghost gets revenge on Tita by setting Pedro on fire, leaving him bedridden for a while and behaving like “a child throwing a tantrum”.[4] Meanwhile, Tita is preparing for John’s return, and is hesitant to tell him that she cannot marry him because she is no longer a virgin. Rosaura comes to the kitchen while Tita is cooking and argues with her over Tita’s involvement with Rosaura’s daughter Esperenza’s life and the tradition of the youngest daughter remaining at home to care for the mother until she dies, a tradition which Tita despises. She vows not to let it ruin her niece’s life as it did hers. John and his deaf great-aunt come over and Tita tells him that she cannot marry him. John seems to accept it, “reaching for Tita’s hand…with a smile on his face”.[5]

Many years later, Tita is preparing for Esperanza’s and John’s son Alex’s wedding to one another, now that Rosaura has died from digestive problems. During the wedding, Pedro proposes to Tita saying that he does not want to “die without making [Tita] [his] wife”.[6] Tita accepts and Pedro dies having sex with her in the kitchen storage room right after the wedding. Tita is overcome with sorrow and cold, and begins to eat matches.[7] The candles are sparked by the heat of his memory, creating a spectacular fire that engulfs them both, eventually consuming the entire ranch.

The narrator of the story is the daughter of Esperanza, nicknamed “Tita”, after her great-aunt. She describes how after the fire, the only thing that survived under the smoldering rubble of the ranch was Tita’s cookbook, which contained all the recipes described in the preceding chapters.

Characters

  • Josefita (Tita) de la Garza – main character; a talented cook and Pedro’s lover
  • Pedro Muzquiz – Tita’s lover, marries Rosaura to be closer to Tita.
  • Elena de la Garza (Mama Elena) – Tita’s mother who Tita thinks is cruel and controlling.
  • Gertrudis De La Garza – Tita’s older sister, Mama Elena’s illegitimate daughter. She runs away with Juan.
  • Rosaura De La Garza – Tita’s oldest sister who marries Pedro; had a son(Roberto)who died. She later had a daughter (Esperenza)
  • Dr. John Brown – the family doctor who falls in love with Tita and has a son from a previous marriage.
  • Nacha – the family cook. She was like a mother to Tita.
  • Chencha – ranch maid for Mama Elena and her family; Married to Jesus
  • Roberto Muzquiz – son of Pedro and Rosaura. He dies young.
  • Esperanza Muzquiz – daughter of Pedro and Rosaura, she marries Alex Brown. She is also the mother of the narrator.
  • Alex Brown – son of John Brown, marries Esperanza.
  • Nicolas – the manager of the ranch.
  • Juan Alejandrez – the captain in the military who took Gertrudis and eventually marries her.
  • Jesus Martinez – Chencha’s first love and husband.

Self growth

At the beginning of the novel, Tita was a generally submissive young lady. As the novel progresses, Tita learns to disobey the injustice of her mother, and gradually becomes more and more adept at expressing her inner fire through various means. At first, cooking was her only outlet, but through self-discovery she learned to verbalize and actualize her feelings, and stand up to her despotic mother.

Cruelty and violence

Mama Elena often resorts to cruelty and violence as she forces Tita to obey her. Many of the responsibilities she imposes on Tita, especially those relating to Pedro and Rosaura’s wedding, are blatant acts of cruelty, given Tita’s pain over losing Pedro. Mama Elena meets Tita’s slightest protest with angry tirades and beatings. If she even suspects that Tita has not fulfilled her duties, as when she thought that Tita intentionally ruined the wedding cake, she beats her. When Tita dares to stand up to her mother and to blame her for Roberto’s death, Mama Elena smacks her across the face with a wooden spoon and breaks her nose. This everyday cruelty does not seem so unusual, however, in a land where a widow must protect herself and her family from bandits and revolutionaries. However, many readers feel that her setting Pedro on fire and almost killing him is much more severe than her previous actions.

Tradition

The romantic love that is so exalted throughout the novel is forbidden by Tita’s mother in order to blindly enforce the tradition that the youngest daughter be her mother’s chaste guardian. However, the traditional etiquette enforced by Mama Elena is defied progressively throughout the novel. This parallels the setting of the Mexican Revolution growing in intensity. The novel further parallels the Mexican Revolution because during the Mexican Revolution the power of the country was in the hands of a select few and the people had no power to express their opinions. Likewise, in Like Water for Chocolate, Mama Elena represents the select few who had the power in their hands, while Tita represents the people because she had no power to express her opinions but had to obey her mother’s rules.

Food

Food is also one of the major themes in the story which is seen throughout the story. It is used very creatively to represent the characters feelings and situations.

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

January 26

1699   The Treaty of Karlowitz ends the war between Austria and the Turks.
1720   Guilio Alberoni is ordered out of Spain after his abortive attempt to restore his country’s empire.
1788   A fleet of ships carrying convicts from England lands at Sydney Cove in Australia. The day is since known as Australia’s national day.
1861   Louisiana secedes from the Union.
1863   President Lincoln names General Joseph Hooker to replace Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac.
1875   Pinkerton agents, hunting Jesse James, kill his 18-year-old half-brother and seriously injure his mother with a bomb.
1885   General “Chinese” Gordon is killed on the palace steps in Khartoum by Sudanese Mahdists in Africa.
1924   Petrograd is renamed Leningrad.
1934   Germany signs a 10-year non-aggression pact with Poland, breaking the French alliance system.
1942   American Expeditionary Force lands in Northern Ireland.
1943   The first OSS (Office of Strategic Services) agent parachutes behind Japanese lines in Burma.
1964   Eighty-four people are arrested in a segregation protest in Atlanta.
1969   California is declared a disaster area after two days of flooding and mud slides.
2005   Condoleezza Rice is appointed to the post of secretary of state. The post makes her the highest ranking African-American woman ever to serve in an U.S. presidential cabinet.
Born on January 26
1715   Claude Helvétius, French philosopher.
1826   Julia Dent Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant.
1880   Douglas MacArthur, U.S. general in World War I, World War II and Korea.
1893   Bessie Coleman, pioneer aviator.
1944   Angela Davis, American activist.

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.WM3UfAYG.dpuf

today’s holiday: Australia Day (2015)


Australia Day (2015)

The anniversary of the first British settlement in Australia on January 26, 1788, was formerly known as Foundation Day or Anniversary Day. Captain Arthur Phillip and his company of British convicts arrived first at Botany Bay, and when that proved to be unsuitable, they moved on to Port Jackson, where the city of Sydney was eventually established. First officially celebrated in 1818, Australia Day has been a public holiday since 1838. It used to be observed on either January 26 or the nearest Monday, but, since 1994, it has been observed on January 26 with celebrations all over the country. More… Discuss

Franz Schubert: “Gretchen am Spinnrade” Op.2, D-118


Saint of the Day for Thursday, January 15th, 2015: St. Paul the Hermit


Also known as Paul the First Hermit and Paul of Thebes, an Egyptian hermit and friend of St. Jerome. Born in Lower The baid, Egypt, he was left an orphan at about the age of fifteen and hid during … continue reading

Preti, Mattia - St. Paul the Hermit - c. 1656-1660

Preti, Mattia – St. Paul the Hermit – c. 1656-1660 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More Saints of the Day

today’s birthday: Edward Teller (1908)


Edward Teller (1908)

Teller was a Hungarian-born physicist who worked on the first atom bomb and the first hydrogen bomb. After studying with Werner Heisenberg in Germany, Teller came to the US in 1935 to escape the Nazis. Six years later, he began working on the physics of the hydrogen bomb. He took the lead on that project and was instrumental in making possible the first successful US explosion of the device in November 1952. Soon after, he alienated much of the scientific community by speaking out about what? More… Discuss

this pressed: Inspector general: Some NY police use chokehold as first response|info 24.us


NEW YORK (Reuters) – A new inspector general blasted the New York City Police Department on Monday for failing to punish officers who used banned chokeholds on citizens, sometimes as a first response in a confrontation.

The first official report by police Inspector General Philip Eure comes a month after New York was shaken first by a grand jury’s decision not to indict an NYPD officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner and then by the killing of two NYPD officers by a gunman avenging the Staten Island man’s death.

It looked at 10 recent cases in which the NYPD’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), an independent agency tasked with investigating excessive force claims, concluded officers used chokeholds, which are banned by police department regulations. The cases were documented between 2009 and July 2014 and do not include Garner’s death on July 17, 2014.

Among the 10 cases was a Bronx high school student who was walking away from school officials disciplining her on Jan. 8, 2008, and was placed in a chokehold by a police officer assigned to the building, the report said.

EW YORK (Reuters) – A new inspector general blasted the New York City Police Department on Monday for failing to punish officers who used banned chokeholds on citizens, sometimes as a first response in a confrontation.

The first official report by police Inspector General Philip Eure comes a month after New York was shaken first by a grand jury’s decision not to indict an NYPD officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner and then by the killing of two NYPD officers by a gunman avenging the Staten Island man’s death.

It looked at 10 recent cases in which the NYPD’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), an independent agency tasked with investigating excessive force claims, concluded officers used chokeholds, which are banned by police department regulations. The cases were documented between 2009 and July 2014 and do not include Garner’s death on July 17, 2014.

Among the 10 cases was a Bronx high school student who was walking away from school officials disciplining her on Jan. 8, 2008, and was placed in a chokehold by a police officer assigned to the building, the report said.

via Inspector general: Some NY police use chokehold as first response.

2015 Golden Globes – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (Full Monologue HD) Cosby


2015 Golden Globes – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (Full Monologue HD) Cosby

CRUX: 2014: The year in review in Catholicism


2014 snapshot

 

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM NEVER GOING BACK AGAIN Genial Musical composition!


The Secret World of Dragonflies|National Geographic: Season’s Greetings from EUZICASA!


The Secret World of Dragonflies

article: The Ganges River: GANGES (GANGA) – view it on euzicasa


Article of the Day:

“The waves belong to the Ganges, not the Ganges to the waves. A man cannot realize God unless he gets rid of all such egotistic ideas as “I am such an important man” or “I am so and so”. Level the mound of “I” to the ground by dissolving it with tears of devotion.”

Ramakrishna, as quoted in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (1942) as translated by Swami Nikhilananda, p. 385

The Ganges River

Sacred to Hindus, the 1,560-mile (2,510-km) Ganges River in northern India rises from the Gangotri glacier in the Himalayas and empties into the Bay of Bengal after branching into many distributaries. Although the river is highly polluted due to its proximity to major population centers, a rare species of freshwater dolphin and a critically endangered type of shark live in its waters, and its fertile plain supports many crops. About how many people are thought to live in the Ganges basin? More… Discuss

GANGES or GANGA – A COMPLETE Documentary


Playlist Immigration  msnbc 11/20/14 President Obama announces immigration action President Obama addresses the nation to announce the details of his executive action on immigration.

Playlist Immigration msnbc 11/20/14 President Obama announces immigration action President Obama addresses the nation to announce the details of his executive action on immigration.

 

Double Dipping (dig-mouth-dig 2X)”| National Geographic (An experiment forces people to think about what they’re doing when they dip a chip)


Double Dipping

word: glorify


glorify 

Definition: (verb) To honor with praise, admiration, or worship.
Synonyms: exalt, extol, laud, proclaim
Usage: People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbors. Discuss.

this Pressed: At @FAOnews conference, @Pontifex urges concrete action in global nutrition challenge— United Nations (@UN)


this pressed: For two kids and two parents, one-on-one time a must – CSMonitor.com



Bureau of Land Management/AP/FILE
View Caption

A mom stays at home with her older son while her husband takes their younger son on a trip. She learns that time alone with her older son is invaluable in building communication, trust, and appreciation for him as an individual.

By Eliana Osborn, Correspondent November 19, 2014

via For two kids and two parents, one-on-one time a must – CSMonitor.com.

today’s holiday: Marshall Islands President’s Day


Marshall Islands President’s Day

The Republic of the Marshall Islands has designated November 17 as President’s Day, a day to remember the nation’s first president, Amata Kabua. Kabua started his career as a school teacher and rose to become paramount chief of the Island of Majuro and head of state of the Marshall Islands. He served five terms as president of the Marshall Islands, beginning in 1979 when the country became independent and continuing until his death in 1996. More… Discuss

Gymnema sylvestre: used for thousands of years as tea for various ailments of the digestive system and Type 2 daibetes


Gymnema sylvestre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Gymnema sylvestre
Gymnema sylvestre.jpg
in Karyavattam University Campus of Kerala, India.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Genus: Gymnema
Species: G. sylvestre
Binomial name
Gymnema sylvestre
R. Br.

Gymnema sylvestre (Sinhala: මස්බැද්ද / Masbadda)(Malayalam:ചക്കരക്കൊല്ലി ,Tamil:சிறுகுறிஞ்சா) is an herb native to the tropical forests of southern and central India and Sri Lanka. Chewing the leaves suppresses the sensation of sweet. This effect is attributed to the eponymous gymnemic acids. G. sylvestre has been used in herbal medicine as a treatment for diabetes for nearly two millennia,[1] and though there is insufficient scientific evidence to draw definitive conclusions about its efficacy[2] two small clinical trials have shown gymnema to reduce glycosylated hemoglobin levels.[3] Common names include gymnema,[4] cowplant, Australian cowplant, gurmari, gurmarbooti, gurmar, periploca of the woods, meshasringa (मेषशृंग), Bedki cha pala (बेडकीचा पाला) and miracle fruit[5][6](also a common name for two unrelated plants).

Chemical composition

The major bioactive constituents of G. sylvestre are a group of oleanane-type triterpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids. The latter contain several acylated (tigloyl, methylbutyroyl etc.,) derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid (DAGA) which is the 3-O-glucuronide of gymnemagenin (3,16,21,22,23,28-hexahydroxy-olean-12-ene). The individual gymnemic acids (saponins) include gymnemic acids I-VII, gymnemosides A-F, and gymnemasaponins.[citation needed]

G. sylvestre leaves contain triterpene saponins belonging to oleanane and dammarene classes. Oleanane saponins are gymnemic acids and gymnemasaponins, while dammarene saponins are gymnemasides. Besides this, other plant constituents are flavones, anthraquinones, hentriacontane, pentatriacontane, α and β-chlorophylls, phytin, resins, d-quercitol, tartaric acid, formic acid, butyric acid, lupeol, β-amyrin-related glycosides and stigmasterol. The plant extract also tests positive for alkaloids. Leaves of this species yield acidic glycosides and anthroquinones and their derivatives.[citation needed]

Use as herbal medicine

The effects of the herb are not entirely known. Gymnema reduces the taste of sugar when it is placed in the mouth. From extract of the leaves were isolated glycosides known as gymnemic acids, which exhibit anti-sweet activity.[7] This effect lasts up to about 2 hours. Some postulate that the herb may block sugar receptors on the tongue. This effect was observed in isolated rat neurons.[8]

The active ingredients are thought to be the family of compounds related to gymnemic acid: purified gymnemic acids are widely used as experimental reagents in taste physiology[9] and have also an anti-diabetic effect in animal models,[10] reduce intestinal transport of maltose in rats when combined with acarbose,[11] and reduce absorption of free oleic acid in rats.[12]

Historically, the leaves were used for stomach ailments, constipation, water retention, and liver disease;[citation needed] however, these claims are not supported by scientific studies.[13]

A water-soluble extract of G. sylvestre caused reversible increases in intracellular calcium and insulin secretion in mouse and human β-cells when used at a concentration (0.125 mg/ml) without compromising cell viability. This in vitro data suggests that extracts derived from G. sylvestre may be useful as therapeutic agents for the stimulation of insulin secretion in individuals with type 2 diabetes.[14] The rise in insulin levels may be due to regeneration of the cells in the pancreas.[15] G. sylvestre can also help prevent adrenal hormones from stimulating the liver to produce glucose in mice, thereby reducing blood sugar levels.[16] Clinical trials with type 2 diabetics in India have used 400 mg per day of water-soluble acidic fraction of the Gymnema leaves administered for 18–20 months as a supplement to the conventional oral drugs. During GS4 supplementation, the patients showed a significant reduction in blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin and glycosylated plasma proteins, and conventional drug dosage could be decreased. Five of the 22 diabetic patients were able to discontinue their conventional drug and maintain their blood glucose homeostasis with GS4 alone. These data suggest that the beta cells may be regenerated/repaired in Type 2 diabetic patients on GS4 supplementation. This is supported by the appearance of raised insulin levels in the serum of patients after GS4 supplementation.[17] Though for the moment G. sylvestre cannot be used in place of insulin to control blood sugar by people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, further evidence of its positive effect is accumulating[18][unreliable source?]

Alternative names

Despite the part used being the leaf, one common name of this species is miracle fruit,[4][5][6] a name shared by two other species: Synsepalum dulcificum and Thaumatococcus daniellii.[5] Both species are used to alter the perceived sweetness of foods.

In English the species is also known as gymnema, cowplant, and Australian cowplant.[citation needed]

This species also goes under many other names such as; Gurmari, Gurmarbooti, Gurmar, periploca of the woods and Meshasringa. The Hindi word Gur-mar (Madhunaashini in Sanskrit, Chakkarakolli in Malayalam,Podapatri in Telugu), literally means sugar destroyer. Meshasringa (Sanskrit) translates as “ram’s horn”, a name given to the plant from the shape of its fruits. Gymnema derives from the Greek words “gymnos” (γυμνὀς) and “nēma” (νῆμα) meaning “naked” and “thread” respectively; the species epitheton sylvestre means “of the forest” in Latin.[19]

 

todays holiday: Plebeian Games


Plebeian Games

The Roman leader Flaminius is thought to have instituted the Plebeian Games in 220 BCE. They originally may have been held in the Circus Flaminius, which he built. Later, they may have moved to the Circus Maximus, a huge open arena between the Palatine and Aventine hills. The Games were dedicated to Jupiter, one of whose feast days was November 13, and included horse and chariot races and contests that involved running, boxing, and wrestling. The festival lasted from November 4-17, and its first nine days were devoted to theatrical performances. More… Discuss

Just a thought: Take a full sensorial visit in nature:… by George-B


Just a thought: “Take a full sensorial visit in nature: No, not the tunnel type, meant to exclude senses but one, rather a total immersion in nature: see everything, hear everything, experience everything, without judgement, with the sole purpose of…being in that moment!” -George-B

qauotation: “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” Herman Melville


It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Herman Melville (1819-1891) Discuss

Today’s holiday: Räben-Chilbi


Räben-Chilbi

Every year on the second Saturday in November, the town of Richterswil, Switzerland, celebrates a holiday named Räben-Chilbi, the largest turnip festival in Europe. On this day, school classes and clubs prepare for the “Räbeliechtli” procession, for which displays made from carved turnips lit with candles make their way around town. Approximately 26 tons of turnips and 50,000 candles are used each year. In addition, a wide variety of music and entertainment is part of the celebrations. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Angam Day


Angam Day

Nauru is an island in the Pacific, about 2,200 miles northeast of Sydney, Australia, and 2,400 miles southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii. Over the past 100 years, the existence of Nauruans has been threatened a number of times—by tribal disputes in the 1870s and by an influenza epidemic in 1919. During World War II, two-thirds of the population were deported by the Japanese to the Caroline Islands to build airstrips. Angam (“hope”) Day on October 26 commemorates the various occasions when the Nauruan population has reached 1,500, considered the minimum number necessary for survival. More… Discuss

Hopping Relatively Recent Development in Kangaroos


Hopping Relatively Recent Development in Kangaroos

Kangaroos are known for their characteristic hop, but they didn’t always get around like this. Analysis of the fossilized bones of extinct kangaroos called sthenurines finds that they were not anatomically cut out for hopping and likely got around instead by walking in much the same manner that humans do. Sthenurines lived in Australia from about 13 million years ago to about 30,000 years ago, going extinct around the same time that humans arrived on the continent, quite possibly as a result of human activities. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Ben Chifley (1885)


English: Australian Labor Party leaders Ben Ch...

English: Australian Labor Party leaders Ben Chifley (middle) and Herbert Evatt (left) with British Prime Minister Clement Attlee (right) at the Dominion and British Leaders Conference, London, 1946. http://www.pictureaustralia.org Image number M1409:31 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ben Chifley (1885)

 

Chifley was the 16th prime minister of Australia, serving from 1945 to 1949. Originally an engine driver, Chifley got his first taste of politics helping to establish the Australian engine drivers‘ union. He went on to become an active member of the Labor Party and held a parliamentary seat from 1928 to 1931. As prime minister, he oversaw reforms in immigration and citizenship, social services, and banking. One of the few successful referenda to modify what document took place during his term? More…

 

today’s birthday: Duke Kahanamoku (1890)


Duke Kahanamoku (1890)

Kahanamoku, known as the “Big Kahuna,” was an Olympic champion swimmer who is generally credited with introducing the modern sport of surfing to the West, starting with Australia and California about 1912. He revolutionized sprint swimming with the flutter kick and became the first person to be inducted into both the Swimming Hall of Fame and the Surfing Hall of Fame. On dry land, he had a brief movie career and was sheriff of Honolulu, Hawaii. He won admiration for what heroic act in 1925? More… Discuss

just a word: promontory


promontory 

Definition: (noun) A high ridge of land or rock jutting out into a body of water; a headland.
Synonyms: foreland
Usage: Two miles farther on we were stopped by the promontory which shelters the bay from the southerly winds. Discuss.

La prise de la Bastille (Sketch Guru – my art collection)


Prise de la Bastille (MyArtCollection)

Prise de la Bastille (MyArtCollection) 

I sketch this painting with Sketch Guru on my Android phone 🙂 http://bit.ly/sketchguru

After that, I turned to Fast Stone Image Editor to resize, adjust colors and crop…

 

this day in the yesteryear: Ned Kelly Is Captured (1880)


Ned Kelly Is Captured (1880)

Ned Kelly is Australia‘s most famous bushranger and, to many, a folk hero who defied colonial authorities. Ned’s trouble with the law began when he was just a teen, and what started as minor scrapes with authorities escalated into more serious crimes, including the bank robberies and murders that eventually led to his execution. Despite Kelly’s misdeeds, many believe that he and his family were unfairly targeted by police. In its last stand, the Kelly gang utilized “body armor” made out of what? More… Discuss

Tiananmen Square Anniversary


[youtube.com/watch?v=PRxgjT6QGvQ]
Tiananmen: Australias Witnesses – The rarely heard perspectives of Australia‘s embassy staff

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In the weeks leading up to June 3, 1989 tens of thousands of students massed in Beijing’s enormous central square, drawn together by the death of liberal Communist Party figure Hu Yaobang and their collective desire for significant and immediate change. They wanted their hard-line leaders to yield and reform.
They wanted a free, fairer China. For China’s communist rulers it was a great affront to their authority. A provocation. They answered with soldiers, tanks and wholesale slaughter. “We went to see the two major student leaders and that’s when one told us crying that that night the soldiers would come, that there would be a lot of bloodshed, that a lot of people would die.” PETER EVERETT Defence Attaché, Australian Embassy Beijing, 1989. A lot of people did die. Precisely how many, we’ll never know. And to this day many Chinese themselves don’t even know the massacre took place. Despite the warp-speed advances in China’s economy and — to a limited extent — its openness, Tiananmen is still an officially forbidden subject. Until now the collective perspectives of Australia’s witnesses to Tiananmen have pretty much stayed under wraps as well. But in this extraordinarily revealing Foreign Correspondent key Embassy staffers have assembled for the first time to give their accounts of what happened.

ABC Australia – Ref 6149

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Tiananmen Square Anniversary

Each year thousands of people in Hong Kong, China, gather on June 4 to commemorate the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre with a candlelight vigil. On that day in 1989, Chinese government tanks rolled into Beijing‘s Tiananman Square, killing hundreds of demonstrators calling for democratic reforms in China, and injuring 10,000 more. Since 1997, the Chinese government has discouraged the Hong Kong commemorations and pressured foreign news correspondents not to cover the yearly event. In the year 2002 about 45,000 people attended the vigil. More… Discuss

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news: Poison Toad Invades Madagascar


Poison Toad Invades Madagascar

The Asian common toad, a relative of the cane toad that has devastated wildlife in Australia, has been spotted in Madagascar, raising concerns of an impending ecological disaster similar to that seen in Australia. The cane toad was intentionally introduced to Australia in the 1930s in an effort to control the population of an agricultural pest, but it produces a toxin that is deadly to the birds, mammals, and reptiles that prey on it too. It is thought that the poisonous Asian common toad may have reached Madagascar by stowing away on a cargo ship, as the first sightings took place in Toamasina, the island nation‘s main port. More… Discuss

[youtube.com/watch?v=SjWcLEos8ZQ]
As a commemoration of The 60th. anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation of Tuesday 2nd. June 1953 at Westminster Abbey I thought it appropriate to post the full version in one video of the much celebrated colour film chronicle of this most sacred & ancient event. (I’d hoped to have had this uploaded pre 2nd. June. Technical issues needed to be overcome before it could be posted. Although The Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend In NSW is still a fitting day for this posting.) Continue reading

today’s holiday: National Reconciliation Week


National Reconciliation Week

Australia sets aside the week between May 27 and June 3 to honor the culture and history of its Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, and to promote reconciliation and forgiveness for the treatment that these indigenous peoples have suffered at the hands of white Australians. Since it was first held in 1996, National Reconciliation Week has featured various activities designed to promote understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, such as the People’s Walk for Reconciliation across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2000. More… Discuss

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NEWS: UNESCO Worries Great Barrier Reef “in Danger”


UNESCO Worries Great Barrier Reef “in Danger”

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and a dumping ground for dredged sediment if reef authorities have anything to say about it. A plan has been approved to dispose sediment there in January as part of a project to expand the Abbot Point port and make it one of the world’s biggest coal ports, and this has UNESCO worried. The reef is already facing decline as a result of climate change, pollution, and other human activities, and the dumping could do further damage. UNESCO is now considering listing the natural wonder as a World Heritage in Danger site. More… Discuss

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NEWS: DINGO NO WILD DOG


Dingo No Wild Dog

Analyses of Australian dingo specimens predating the 1788 arrival of European settlers suggest that the dingo is not a kind of wild dog as previously believed but is in fact its own species. Evidence suggests that dingoes made their way to Australia some 3,000 to 5,000 years ago and bred in isolation until domestic dogs were brought to the continent by Europeans. Since that time, dingoes have widely bred with feral dogs, becoming more dog-like in both appearance and DNA and thus more difficult to classify. Given these new findings, researchers have proposed reinstating the species name Canis dingo, first adopted in 1793 by German naturalist Friedrich Meyer.More… Discuss

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ARTICLE: THE DEATH WAIL


The Death Wail

The death wail is a cry of mourning performed ritually in response to the death of a loved one. Though found in numerous cultures, it is closely associated with Australian Aboriginal peoples. Some accounts of the death wail describe its presence in conjunction with fighting and disputes. For instance, Edward Eyre, a British colonial administrator in 19th-century Australia, documented its usage between members of two rival tribes. Where can you listen to an 1898 recording of a death wail? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE OPENS (1932)


Sydney Harbour Bridge Opens (1932)

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia‘s major landmarks, connecting Sydney’s central business district with the North Shore. Nicknamed the “coat hanger” because of its arch-based design, it is among the world’s widest and longest bridges, and it towers as much as 440 feet (134 m) above the harbor. Despite opening during the Great Depression, the bridge was heralded by lavish festivities. How did a member of a right-wing paramilitary group interrupt the bridge’s ribbon-cutting ceremonyMore… Discuss

 

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: RUPERT MURDOCH (1931)


Rupert Murdoch (1931)

Australian-American publishing magnate Rupert Murdoch established News Corporation as a holding company, but it has since developed into a worldwide communications empire. Included among the many assets of Murdoch’s News Corporation are powerful media holdings in Australia and New Zealand; the prestigious Times of London and other British papers; and the New York PostTV Guide, and HarperCollins book publishers in the US. What scandal rocked Murdoch’s company in 2011? More… Discuss

 

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