Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

International Intrigue, Electoral Ethics

Holy Smokes, advisor to the potential president of Ghana . . . and free money! (Yeh, right.) Another candidate in my fraud file:

Do accept my apologies if my message does not meet your personal ethics. I want
to introduce myself and this business opportunity to you. I am John
Mahama, Ghanaian Presidential aspirant. I wish to know if you can assist me, I
made a lots of deposit with a security company in the UK and Beguim during my
Business trip to United Kingdom.

I am considering running for the presidency in Ghana, I deposited Ј6, 500, 000,
00 GBP. (Six Million Five Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling).With
Security Company in London and Beguim.

What do you think if you assist me in transferring these fund to your country
and use it to support me during my Presidential campaigns and you become the
adviser to the potential president of Ghana?

I can’t transfer these funds to my personal or relatives account as it may
invoke the interest of the Government and lead to impeachment.

Upon your acceptance to assist me in repatriating these funds to your country, I
will give you letter to the security company authorizing you to conduct Banking
activities on my behalf and 30% of this total funds will be given to you for
your assistance.

Kindly respond to me so that I can give you comprehensive details on what you
are to do next.

If you are willing to assist me and want to be my advicer in the fucture,kindly
contact me on my private mailbox (

John Dramani Mahama

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Communication, Financial Issues, Fund Raising, Lent, Scams | | Leave a comment

Smell More, Eat Less

This is another great find from Bottom Line Secrets; we often read things from them that haven’t yet hit the headlines or the TV news:

You probably associate delicious food aromas with wanting to eat more of whatever you’re smelling, whether it’s the scent of fresh-baked cookies or bacon sizzling in the skillet.

But a new study suggests that powerful food smells actually may help you eat less… and lose weight in the process.

René de Wijk, PhD, is a Dutch sensory scientist who studies how people react to the look, feel, taste and smell of food.

He wanted to explore whether the smell of food influences how big a bite we take, because previous studies have shown that when we take smaller bites, we feel full on fewer calories than when we take bigger bites.

Dr. de Wijk hooked 10 volunteers to machines that pumped a custard dessert directly into their mouths. (I know—I wish that I could have participated in this study, too.)

At the same time, the subjects were randomly exposed to either a slightly detectable aroma of natural cream…or a moderately detectable aroma of natural cream…or no aroma at all. During the experiment, the participants could press a button whenever they wanted to stop the flow of custard, which determined their “bite” size. The key result? People pressed the button more quickly—in essence, took smaller bites—when the aroma was stronger.

What surprised Dr. de Wijk was the fact that it didn’t take an overly strong scent to influence his subjects’ bite size. “Even the relatively weak aroma was associated with a smaller bite size. Most of the subjects were not even aware that an aroma had been presented—the decision to take a smaller bite was largely subconscious,” he said.

Dr. de Wijk theorized why the smell may have worked. “A cream aroma is associated with calories, and we regulate calories via bite size,” he said. Or, it could also be that we have an innate tendency to try to moderate intense sensations of any kind, so we take smaller bites as a protective measure. (Dr. de Wijk’s work has also shown that we take smaller bites from highly textured foods.)

“I would think that any foods that have intense flavors—and therefore intense scents—would result in smaller bite size and, therefore, you’d need less food to feel full,” he told me. So creamy aromas aren’t the only ones that might help you eat less. For example, aromas that are strongly spicy, meaty, buttery, fishy, vinegary, lemony, garlicky or oniony—anything other than bland—might also do the trick. And whatever the aroma, eating your food warm or hot might help you eat less than eating it cold, since warmth brings out aromas more strongly. Heat up those leftovers!

Source: René A. de Wijk, PhD, senior sensory scientist in the department of food and biobased research at Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands, and lead author of a study published in Flavour.

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Diet / Weight Loss, Experiment, Food | Leave a comment

Feast of Saint Michael and All the Angels

Underneath our daily readings in The Lectionary, there are readings for special days, feast days of the saints, written by James Kiefer. Today’s is very long and full of information, so I will only tempt you by printing the beginning, and you can read the entire article by clicking on the blue type here.

On the Feast of Michael and all Angels, popularly called Michaelmas, we give thanks for the many ways in which God’s loving care watches over us, both directly and indirectly, and we are reminded that the richness and variety of God’s creation far exceeds our knowledge of it.

The Holy Scriptures often speak of created intelligences other than humans who worship God in heaven and act as His messengers and agents on earth. We are not told much about them, and it is not clear how much of what we are told is figurative. Jesus speaks of them as rejoicing over penitent sinners (Lk 15:10). Elsewhere, in a statement that has been variously understood (Mt 18:10), He warns against misleading a child, because their angels behold the face of God. (Acts 12:15 may refer to a related idea.)

In the Hebrew Scriptures, it is occasionally reported that someone saw a man who spoke to him with authority, and who he then realized was no mere man, but a messenger of God. Thus we have a belief in super-human rational created beings, either resembling men in appearance or taking human appearance when they are to communicate with us. They are referred to as “messengers of God,” or simply as “messengers.” The word for a messenger in Hebrew is malach, in Greek, angelos, from which we get our word “angel” [Digression: angelion means “message, news” and euangelion means “good news = goodspell = gospel,” from which we get our word “evangelist” used to mean a preacher of the Good News of salvation, and, more narrowly, one of the four Gospel-writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.]

By the time of Christ, Jewish popular belief included many specifics about angels, with names for many of them. There were thought to be four archangels, named Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. An alternative tradition has seven archangels (see Tobit 12:15 and 1 Enoch 20). Sometimes each archangel is associated with one of the seven planets of the Ptolemaic system (the moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). Michael is associated with Saturn and Uriel with the Sun. The other pairings I forget, but I believe that you will find a list in the long narrative poem called “The Golden Legend,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (I believe that a pairing is also offered in the opening chapters of the Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, by Irenaeus of Lyons, but I have not the work at hand.)

Michael (the name means “Who is like God?”) is said to be the captain of the heavenly armies. He is mentioned in the Scriptures in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1 (where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he is said to have disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those of the great dragon). He is generally pictured in full armor, carrying a lance, and with his foot on the neck of a dragon. (Pictures of the Martyr George are often similar, but only Michael has wings.)

Gabriel (the name means “God is my champion”) is thought of as the special bearer of messages from God to men. He appears in Daniel 8:16; 9:21 as an explainer of some of Daniel’s visions. According to the first chapter of Luke, he announced the forthcoming births of John the Baptist and of our Lord to Zachariah and the Virgin Mary respectively.

Raphael (the name means “God heals”) is mentioned in the Apocrypha, in the book of Tobit, where, disguised as a man, he accompanies the young man Tobias on a quest, enables him to accomplish it, and gives him a remedy for the blindness of his aged father.

Uriel (the name means “God is my light” — compare with “Uriah”, which means “the LORD is my light”) is mentioned in 4 Esdras.

You can read the entire article by clicking here.

September 29, 2012 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Faith, Lectionary Readings, Spiritual | 2 Comments

Reformed Meat – Yes, You Are Eating It

Have you ever noticed how perfectly and uniformly formed the chicken is in the Chicken Tacos at Chilis? How the chicken in the chicken sandwiches at Olive Garden Feel in your mouth? I think there are a lot of preformed meats on our menus at some of the larger chain restaurants:

(from Bottom Line Secrets)

Meat Additive May Make You Sick

Meat glue, also called transglutaminase (nothing to do with so-called pink slime), binds together bits of meat into what looks like a prime cut. But: When not handled properly, meat glue can seal in E. coli and other bacteria present on raw meat. Self-defense: Check package labels—glued meats must include the words “formed” or “reformed.” Glued meats are commonly used in high-volume restaurants and banquet facilities. To be safe, eat meat cooked well-done.
Source: Suzanne Havala Hobbs, DrPH, RD, is a clinical associate professor in the departments of health policy and management and nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

September 29, 2012 Posted by | Cooking, Cultural, Food, Living Conditions, Restaurant | 2 Comments

Big Brother Exploring Crowd Control

I find this terrifying, on the lines of those loud, destructive aliens in that Tom Cruise movie about an invasion from outer space. Have you ever heard a noise so loud you couldn’t think? Couldn’t hear? Now imagine that noise in your mind! The potential applications for this technology whether for crowd control or warfare are appalling.

From Mandatory, via AOL News

Microwave Ray Gun

Under a research contract from the U.S. Navy, microwave ray guns are being developed by Sierra Nevada Corp. that are designed to beam sounds directly into people’s heads at a distance of up to several hundred yards away. The device—dubbed MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio)—exploits the microwave audio effect, in which short microwave pulses rapidly heat tissue causing a sound effect “loud” enough to cause discomfort or even incapacitation. While
supposedly intended for non-lethal use in crowd control, future military uses for this type of technology are sure to arouse the imagination.

September 28, 2012 Posted by | Experiment, Health Issues, Law and Order, Political Issues, Social Issues, Technical Issue, Tools | 4 Comments

Male Castration Increases Life Expectancy

I’m sorry, when I read this article, I couldn’t help laughing. I don’t think I know a single man who would choose a longer life at the cost of castration.

By: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Published: 09/24/2012 12:16 PM EDT on LiveScience

Castration & Life Expectancy: Eunuchs Live Longer Than Other Men, Study Shows

It’s a life-extending strategy most men probably won’t want to pursue, but new research suggests eunuchs live longer than non-castrated guys.

Historical Korean eunuchs — men who had their testicles removed in order to secure high positions in the palace hierarchy — outlived their non-castrated counterparts by as much as 20 years, the study finds. The results will be published tomorrow (Sept. 25) in the journal Current Biology.

In animals, castration tends to lengthen life span, likely because male sex hormones aren’t great for the health. Testosterone is an immune-system suppressor, for example, and can also increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.

But in humans, results have been mixed as to whether castration lengthens life span. One study on patients in a mental hospital found that it does, while another on castrated and non-castrated male singers found that it does not. Nevertheless, researchers have theorized that testosterone’s effects may be the reason women outlive men on average. Other research has suggested a genetic explanation for this life-span gap. [7 Ways to Live Past 100]

In the new study, Inha University researcher Kyung-Jin Min and his colleagues scoured the historical records from Korea’s Chosun (or Joseon) Dynasty, which ran from 1392 to 1910. Until 1894, castration was a way for men to gain access to political power and prestige in the dynasty. Eunuchs could achieve official ranks and marry and adopt girls and similarly castrated boys in order to maintain a family lineage. Eunuchs and male royal family members were the only men allowed to stay overnight in the royal palace.

In fact, eunuchs were used in many ancient empires to guard royal harems, given that they could not impregnate an emperor’s queen or mistress, according to “Hidden Power: The Palace Eunuchs of Imperial China” (Buffalo NY: Prometheus, 1990). Without children of their own, eunuchs were also thought to be more loyal and less likely to attempt to establish their own family dynasties.

By comparing an 1805 genealogy of eunuchs and their families with other court documents, Min and his colleagues were able to determine the life spans of 81 eunuchs. They then compared those life spans with those of non-castrated men of similar socioeconomic status living at the same time. These men were members of three prominent families, most of whom were martial officers or civil administrators.

They found that the average life span for a Korean court eunuch was about 70 years, plus or minus 1.76 years. That was 14.4 to 19.1 years longer than their average non-eunuch contemporaries, who tended to live between 50.9 and 55.6 years.

The differences couldn’t be explained by a cushy palace existence, the researchers wrote, because most eunuchs only went to the palace when on-duty and lived outside it. In fact, male members of the royal family, who spent all their time in palaces, had the shortest lives, making it to about 45 or 47 years of age on average.

September 27, 2012 Posted by | Aging, Experiment, Health Issues, Values | 2 Comments

Seattle Couple Does Not Win Parents of the Year

Woodinville Couple Caught Speeding with 3 Children in Trunk, State Patrol Says
A Woodinville couple was arrested Sunday after they were allegedly caught speeding on Interstate 405 with the woman’s three children and a small dog locked in the trunk, according to The Herald.

By Lisa Baumann

OUTSIDE SEATTLE — A local couple was arrested Sunday after they were allegedly caught speeding with the woman’s three children and a small dog locked in the trunk, according to The Herald.

The Woodinville woman was pulled over by a Washington State Patrol trooper just before 11 a.m. in Bothell going 77 mph in a 60-mph zone on Interstate 405, trooper Keith Leary said.

She didn’t say anything about the children until about 30 minutes into the roadside stop when the trooper heard thumping coming from the trunk and asked about the noise, the report said.

The children, an 8-year-old girl, and two boys, 5 and 7, were taken into protective custody – and reportedly fed lunch by troopers after the kids said they hadn’t eaten since the day before.

A guitar and a snowboard filled up the backseat, the report said. A search of the car reportedly turned up heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription pills in the car.

The woman, 28, and her fiancé, 27, were taken to the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of drug charges. The dog was taken to a shelter. The couple is expected to be criminally charged sometime before Wednesday afternoon.

It’s enough to make you wish people had to have a license to have kids . . .

September 26, 2012 Posted by | Crime, Family Issues, Pensacola, Seattle | 8 Comments

Dauphin Island and BBQ!

We got up early, remember? We worked up an appetite walking through the bird sanctuary and exploring the park and environs. One last stop to see those butterflies and we really need to get something to eat.

Fortunately, we passed just the place on the way in . . . Dauphin Island BBQ 🙂

My friends, this is not a fancy place. There is no indoor seating. You order at a window, and grab your plastic utensils, and then you wait for your name to be called. You can fill little cups with condiments, including, of course, Tony Chachere’s special spices, and then you sit at a picnic table and eat out of a styrofoam container. This may not be your style. We like all kinds of styles 🙂

By the time we decided, cars loaded with grandparents, children, lots and lots of children, parents, aunts and uncles, cars and trucks and big RV’s started pulling up and people crowding into Dauphin Island BBQ eager to eat. Clientele lining up:

We got there just in time. We got a good picnic table in the shade. I tried to order oysters, but since Isaac, oysters have been hard to come by. I had fried fish. It was hot and it was delicious.

AdventureMan ordered the pulled pork and said it was delicious:

Not elegant, but tasty, filling, and delicious. As you drive onto Dauphin Island, turn left and watch for this . . . umm . . .lighthouse. Dauphin Island BBQ is located just past this lighthouse-looking building.

If you want to stay on Dauphin Island, there is one Motel, several condominiums, and many rentals. One place to look for beach rentals is Trip Advisor. Trip Advisor also has a few hotel/B&B listings here, but be sure to tell TA to arrange by distance, or you may end up in Gulf Shores or Fairhope, LOL!

The one motel, Gulf Breeze Motel, is nothing fancy, but it is the best there is. Reviewers on Trip Advisor say ‘it’s not the Ritz’ but the prices are reasonable, and people seem to like it.

September 26, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Cooking, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Hotels, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Dauphin Island: Fort Gaines

Imagine you are a retired military man who likes birds and butterflies and gardens and photography and military history . . .

Now, imagine you can find all of the above on one island. Dauphin Island is a paradise for AdventureMan.

Imagine you are a woman who loves road trips, beautiful beaches, taking pictures, taking walks, beautiful scenery, especially beaches and wading birds . . .

And that is also all on the same island.

We can’t wait to go back to Dauphin Island. Birding season is just kicking up again, after the heat of the summer and the threat of hurricane season. The birds migrating south have their final rest on Dauphin Island, before heading out across the big Gulf of Mexico to warmer climates for the winter.

And there’s an old fort, too!

These forts were built to protect the American southern coast from a variety of enemies, including at one time, our fellow Americans. They are built solidly, with great big cannons.

So what is the fort defending against now?

There is another way to get to Dauphin Island from Pensacola, if you get there at the right time and there isn’t much of a line, because this little ferry can’t take a lot of cars. It goes to Fort Morgan, still in Alabama, but across Mobile Bay:

AdventureMan says the forts are built in the style influenced by Marc René, marquis de Montalembert, who is said to want to do for defense what Vauban had done for the attack.

September 25, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Building, Cultural, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Road Trips, Safety, Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brave Church Features Moslem Call to Prayer

Thank you, Hayfa; this is beautiful! He is singing “God is Great! God is Great! I testify there is no God but God, and Mohammed is his messenger.”

The Jews, the Christians and the Moslems all worship the one true God. The Kingdom of Heaven arrives when we all learn, as we are commanded, to live in peace with one another.

September 25, 2012 Posted by | Faith, Spiritual | Leave a comment