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Thursday, January 11, 2007
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:11 AM   1 comments
Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Used traditionally by nomadic mountain warriors of the Galla tribe in Ethiopia, where the plant is indigenous, coffee was first eaten as afood sometime between 575 and 850 C.E. - long before it was made into a hot beverage in 1000 - 1300 C.E. Originally, coffee beans were crushed into balls of animal fat and used for quick energy during the long treks and warfare. The fat, combined with the high protein content of raw coffee (not present in the beverage), was an early type of "energy bar" ( a recipe for Bunna Qela - dried coffee beans - found in modern Ethiopian cookbooks echoes this early coffee preparation; it recommends mixing fire-ropasted beans with salt and butter spiced with onion, fenugreek, white cumin, sacred basil, cardamon, oregano, and tumeric). Concentrated nourishment coupled with caffeine had the added benefit of incuding heightened acts of savagery during warfare. Other tribes of Northeast Africa reputedly used the beans as a porridge or drank common and long standing in its native range before outsiders began their torrid affair with the frangrant bean.

While the Galla and other groups who used coffee traditionally have their own stories of its origins, the Western myths of coffee's incoporation into out culture are variously divine or serendipitous and are closely associated with Islam. One well known legend has it that coffee was discovered by a young Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi (which means "hot" in ancient Arabic), who noticed his goats behaving frenetically after eating red berries from a nearby busg. Curious and hoping to energize himself, Kaldi tried some. To his delight, his tiredness quickly faded into a fresh burst of energy, and he began dancing about excitedly with his goats. The daily habit that Kaldi soon developed was noticed by a monk from a local monastery. The monk tried the fruits himself, and, noticing the effect, came upon the idea of boiling the berries to make a drink to help the monks stay awake during the long religious services. News of the berry rink spread rapidly throughout all the monasteries in the kingdom, the more zealous monks drank it to spend a longer time praying.

Another legend linked to Islam holds that the Angel Gabriel came to a sickly Mohammed in a dream, showing him the berry and telling the prophet of its potential to heal and to stimulate the prayers of his followers. In fact, Islam and the coffee bean seem to have spread through the Arabisn peninsula during the same period, so it is perhaps not surprising that they are associated with each other. Subsequent antipathy toward coffee on the part of some Islamic authorities shows, however, that this identifications was not absolute.

In what was to become a recurring pattern of introduction, early users valued coffee as a medicament more than as a beverage. Although some authorities date coffee's first cultivation back to 575 C.E. in Yemen, it was not until the tenth century that the bean was described in writing, first by the philosopher and astronomer Rhazes (850 - 922 C.E.), then by the philosopher and physician Avicenna of Bukhara (980 - 1037 C.E.) Referring to a drink called Bunchum, which many believe to be coffee, Avicenna wrote " It fortifies the members, it cleans the skin, and dries up the humidities that are under, and given an excellent smell to all the body".

By the late 16th century, European travelers to the Middle East had described the drink in their travel journals, noting that it was commonly used as a remedy for a whole litany of maladies, particularly those relating to the stomach. During this time German physician and botanist Leonhard Rauwolf included in his travel journal from the Middle East one of the earliest European accounts of coffee and the already popular coffee habit he fond there:"they have a very good drink they call Caube (coffee), that is almost as black as ink and very good in illness, chiefly that of the stomach; Of this they drink in the morning early in open places before everybody, without any fear or regard, out of China cups, as hot as they can".

As Islamic law prohibits the use of alcohol, the soothing cheering effect of coffee helped it to become an increasingly popular substitute in Islamic countries, particularly Turkey. During the 16th century most coffee beans were procurred from Southern Yemen, although a limited amount came from Ceylon, where the Arabs apparently been cultivating it since about 1500. Mocha, on the Red Sea in Yemen, and Jidda, the port of Mecca, were the main ports of coffee export. Under the expansive Ottoman Empire of the Middle Ages, coffee, increasingly celberated for more than its medical wonders, continued to grow in popularity and to reach a wider area. The drink came to be considered as important as bread and water and declared to be nutritive, refreshing weary Turkish soldiers and easing the labor pains of women, who were allowed to drink it. In fact, a Yurkish law was eventually passed making it grounds for divorce if a husband resuded his wife coffee. Eventually, the Turkish would kaveb gave rise to the English coffee as well as the French Cafe and the Italian Caffe.

By the mid-16th century the drink had become so popular that drinkers in Constantinople, Cairo, and Mecca formed specail areas in which to drink it: the world's first coffeehouses. Such establishment became centers for playing chess and otehr games, discussing the news of the day, singing, dancing, making music and, of course, drinking coffee. Known as "schools of the cultured", these gathering palces became popular with all classes and increased in number quickly.

The enthusiasm for coffee in this milieu would be startling even for the most committed modern coffee fiend. One fo the earliest paeans to coffee was written in 1587 by Sheik Ansari Djezeri Hanball Abnd-al;-Kadir:

Oh coffe, you dispel the worries of the Great, you oint the way to those who have wandered from the path of knowledge. Coffee is the drink of the frineds of God, and of His servants who seek wisdom.

.....No one can understand the truth until he drinks of its frothy goodness. Those who condemn coffee as causing man harm are fools in the eyes of God.

Coffee is the common man's gold, and like gold it brings to every man the feeling of luzury and nobility ... Take time in your preparations of coffee and God will be with you and bless you and your table. Where coffee is served there is grace and splendor and friendshop and happiness.

All cares canish as the coffee cup is raised to the lips. Coffee flows through your body as freely as your life's blood, refreshing all that it touches; look you at the youth and vigor of those who drink it.

Whatever tastes coffee will forever forswear the liquor of the grape. Of drink of God's glory, your purity brings to man only well-being and nobility."

(Source: Abstracted from the book THE COFFEE BOOK by Nina Luttinger and Gregory Dicum)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:16 PM   0 comments
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Family relationships are some of the most complicated and yet profoundly important ones in our live. Expressing thanks can open new doors, ease family tensions, or simply brighten the day of the family member who has especially touched our lives. So many times we are more inclined to thank the stranger on the street that our own family -- but, we must remember that gratitude regularly expressed and accepted can change the entire dynamic of a family, and it must start somewhere. Why not with you?

- Your Child -

1. Verbal affirmation.
For young children, hearing that they have done a good thing will make them feel appreciated and also make them more inclined to repeat that good deed in the future. While there are many ways to say thanks, sometimes the best method is still the old fashioned verbal Thank You!

2. Hold a fmily night.
If a child has done something particularly special, hold a family night in their honor. Allow them to pick their favorite meal and a game or movie for after dinner. Expressing gratitude by making the child the center of family attention will boast their feelings of self-worth and serve as encouragement for all members of the family to imitate the good works of the one being honored.

3. Give more freedom.
Sometimes a child has been so well behaved and respectful of the rules you have set up that you may want to express thanks by allowing a rule to be relaxed or an exception made. If you know there is something your son, or daughter has been wanting to do but has not done because it would break your rules, consider finding a compromise or guidelines that will be within the guidelines of what your family consoders acceptable and also give them something they want.

4. Do their chores.
Just like adults, children love a day off of work. If your child has been doing a great job helping around the house, or has done all their chores for a given time, then consider thanking them by surprising them with a day or even a week off from the chore you know they dislike the most.


5. A night out.
Everyone needs a break from the rputine and a nice evening out sometime. Thank particularly overworked or low-on-money siblings by sending them a gift card to their favorite restaurant or nightspot.

6. Public affirmation.
Offer up a verbal thank you in front of the family at the next gathering. Something as simple as offering a toast at dinner in their honor can mean a lot to a sibling who feels overlooked or underappreciated by the family.

7. Return the favor.
Sometimes the best way to express thanks is to offer to return the favor that someone has done for you, and then actually do so when the opportunity arises. The need you have this month may be the need you can fill in your sibling's life down the road.


8. Send a family photo.
To personalize a thank you note to extended family members, include an old family photo or a recent photo of the xtended family with your family. Write on theback of the photo a reason why it is meaningful or what memory it beliongs to mind. This not only allows the family member to know you are thankful but also makes them feel more personally included in your life.

9. Always send acknowledgement.
Always acknowledge gifts or acts of kidness that you have received from extende family members. Many family disputes can be traced bak to hurt feelings stemming from a lack of response to a gift or kind act.

If you want to express gratitude in an uncoventional way, consider donating to your relative's favourite charity in their honor. You will not only be sending your thanks but also helping others at the same time. Just find out what cause(s) they support, and request that your relative received a note letting them know a donation was made in their honor as an act of gratitude and lvoe.


11. Memory book.
Say thank you for the life your parents have provided you by creating a family memory book in their honor. Gather family photos, pictures from vacations and other family memories, and put them all together as a wonderful walk down memory lane. Find many great memory-book accents and ideas.

12. Weekend away.
Consider how many family vacations, trips, or other fun activities your parents provided for you over the years. If finances allow, thank them by providing them with a weekend to get away from it all at their favorite vacation spot.

13. Time.
In may cases, there is nothing you can do that will thank parents better than offeing to spenmd your time with them.

(Source: 101 WAYS TO SAY THANK YOU by: Bonnie Ceban)
posted by infraternam meam @ 10:22 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
1. When Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had their first biological child, in May, they named her:
a. Shiloh
b. Shamu
c. Apponmattox
d. Gia

2. People's cover photo of Brangelina and their new baby was taken in which exotic locale?
a. Namibia
b. Zambia
c. Saudi Arabia
d. Malibu

3. Were Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn engaged this year?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Only Courtney Cox really knows

4. At her wedding, what did Katie Holmes say when the minister asked if she would take Tom Cruise as her husband?
a. "Yes"
b. "I do"
c. "I will"
d. " Uh ... is it Ok to talk now, Tom?"

5. What is the meaning of "Suri", the name Tom and Katie gave their baby girl?
a. Hebrew for "Princess"
b. Latin for "Joy"
c. Sanskrit for "See, he is too heterosexual"
d. It's an acronym for "Scientology's Universal Ruler Infinitum!"

6. What prompted the Department of Child and Family Services to visit Britney Spears' home in Malibu?
a. Paris Hilton was coming to baby-sit
b. Spears drove with Sean Preston in her lap
c. Sean Preston requested reassignment to the Jolie-Pitt family
d. The nanny dropped Sean Preston on his head

7. Which communications device was not used by a star this year as a weapon?
a. Blackberry
b. Crystal-encrusted Blackberry
c. Crystal meth-encrusted Blackberry
d. Hotel telephone

8. Mayor Daley declared Oct 13 "Diddy Day". What did Diddy do to deserve a day?
a. changed his name to P. Daley
b. Included Daley campaing song on his new album
c. Contributed to AIDS research
d. Agreed never to move to Bridgeport

9.Why did Nicole Kidman's new husband, Keith Urban, enter rehab this fall?
a. Just could not sit through one more Country Music Awards show
b. Drug and alcohol abuse
c. Easier to sneak a hit in rehab where Niciole wasn't always watching him
d. Got addicted to vitamins after Tom Cruise told him they cure alcoholism

10. Which plea agreement did Mel Gibson accept for his drunk driving?
a. Perform 200 hours of community service
b. Screen "Apocalypto" to L.A. area gangs
c. Attend AA meetings for a year
d. Human sacrifice

11. Why did Lindsay Lohan want to talk to Al Gore?
a. Wanted to lead in "An Inconvenient Truth"
b. To see if Karenna will be her new BFF
c. To repair her media image
d. Wanted his endorsement for "Herbie: Fully Loaded" DVD

12. What did Ryan Phillipe tell In TOuch about why he and Reese Witherspoon are divorcing?
a. Her Oscar is so not an issue
b. She won't dress up as June Carter for him
c. Look how dumping the blond ball-and-chain boosted Nick Lachey's career
d. Reese named her production company Type A films.

(Source:CHICTRIB TEMPO by: Lucinda Hahn ctc-tempo@tribune.com)

1. (a) Shiloh
2. (a) Namibia
3. (c) only Courtney Cox really knows for sure
4. (b) "I Do"
5. (a) Hebrew for "Princess"
6. (d) the nanny dropped Sean Preston on his head
7. (c) crystal meth-encrusted Blackberry
8. (c) contributed to AIDS research
9. (b) drug abd alcohol abuse
10.(c) attend AA meetings
11.(c) to repair her media image
12.(a) her Oscar is so not an issue.
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:36 PM   0 comments
Monday, January 01, 2007
What's the word on the street? With the help of Paul McFedries of WordSpy.com and Aaron Peckham of Urban Dictionary, we drew up a list of neologisms that got people talking in 2006.

Thanks to Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and their celebrated screen tragedy, there's now a term to describe a union between a gay man and a straight woman or a gay married man having an affair.

CELEBUTARD n. A celebrity widely perceived as un-intelligent. We're not naming any names. Paris Hilton.

CIVIL WAR n. Not a new term, but Iraq's deteriorating "sectarian violence" - to use President George W. Bush's preferred phrase - had people asking, is it or isn't it?

FED-EX n. So long, K-Fed. The tabloids found a new name for kevin Federline after his breakup with Britney Spears.

LIQUID TERROR n. After terrorists plotted to board planes in London with liquid explosives, this term was coined for the latest suspected terrorist tactic.

MACACA n. A racial slur? A kind of monkey? Virginia Senator George Allen, who used it at a campain rally whne he spotted an Indian-American volunteer from his opponent's camp, might define it as "the end of my re-election campaign."

MCSTEAMY n. He's no McDreamy, but Grey's Anatomy's newest character, Dr. Mark Sloan, usually known by his nickname, had fans buzzing.

SEASON CREEP n. Spring seemed to come early this year - and summer lasted a bit longer. What's to blame? Most scientist say global warming.

THE DECIDER n. A self-coined sobriquest for Bush, who bestowed the label on himself when explaining his initial rejection of calls for Donald Rumsfeld to step down as Secretary pf Defense.

WIKIALITY n. Wikipedia + reality = truth based on consensus rather than fact. The growing popularity of the online encyclopedia, for which the public and edits entries, gave rise to the term.

(Source:TIMEMAG/Notebook by Carolyn Sayre)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:59 PM   0 comments
What do these two actors, three politicians and four musicians have in common? They all took the stage in 2006 and got us talking. But it wasnt' always for the right reasons. Not all these performances are to be remembered.

JESSICA SIMPSON got so flustered at the Kennedy Center Honors as she was singing 9 to 5 to Dolly Parton that she stopped midway and fled the stage -- hardly an argument for women in the workforce.

MICHAEL RICHARDS, a.k.a. Seinfeld's Kramer, lit into a heckler during his stand-up act, calling him a "nigger", joking about lynching and proving that as far as racist rants go, drunken anti-Semitism (a la Mel Gibson) is so last season.

JOHNNY DEPP, as Captain Jack Sparrow, steered critically disliked Pirates of the Carribean II to the biggest opening-weekend take ever; $132 million. A royalty check to Keith Richards personlity is in the mail.

THREE 6 MAFIA has more fun than anyone else at the 2006 Oscars. The rappers gave the nights' most energetic song performance - It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp, from the film Hustle and Flow.Then they won for Best Song, which led host Jon Stewart to observe, "Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars. Three 6 Mafia, one."

JOHN KERRY doesn't want you to get stuck in Iraq. I mean, get, us stuck in Iraq. The vet botched his anti Bush punch line, making it sound antimilitary. Kids, if you cant' tell a joke right, especially during elections, don't tell it at all.

JIM MEGREEVEY, the former New Jersey Governor, was the ,most contrie of Oprah's celebrity apologizers/ Two years after saying "I am gay American" he talked tactfully about the trysts, even though he wasnt' promoting a book. Oh wait, he was.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, President of Pakistan, charmed the media - including a hilarious stop on The Daily Show - while promoting his aptly titled memoir, In the Line of Fire. Guess he takes those assasination attempts with a sense of humor.

(Source:TIMEMAG/Notebook by: Jeninne Lee-St. John)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:40 PM   0 comments
2006 was a good year for .....

March of the Penguins won an Oscar, and Mumble, the star of the huge hit Happy Feet, won our hearts.

With their spunky attitude and streetwise style, the oat-eyed dools had their best year ever, tallying $2.5 billion-plus sales and relegating Barbie to the uncool girls table.

Don't cry for Argentina. The popularity of its wine is soaring, Varieties like Malbec (ground in the Mendoza region) are winning over U.S. oenophiles with their bold flavors.

Smile, Mickey. The High School Musical album got to No. 1 TV show, and the Pirates of the Carribean sequel triumphed at cinemas.

Sales of fuel-efficient models like the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa rose more than 40 percent over '05, in step (for a while) with gas prices.

Turns out they don't cause cancer after all, according to a new Danish study.

2006 was a bad year for .....

Jessica and Nick, Whitney and Bobby, Reese and Ryan, Pam and Kid Rock...
Thanks for the memories.

Bans on carrying liguids led flyers to check - and airlines to lose - more bags than ever. Nearly twice as many bags were lost in October 2006 as in October 2002.

Like phone botths before them, public mailboxes are on their way out. With fewer people mailing letters and bills, 10 percent of the boxes were removed because of lack of use.

Another order of onion rings, please. E.coli outbreaks sickened hundreds of Americans who ate spinach, lettuce and tomatoes contaminated by the bacteria.

Exhausted after busy '05,s torm chasers got to rest up in a season that saw no Atlantic hurricanes hitting the U.S. But in 2007 is expected to be another record setter.

Shunned by Wendy's in June, the bad fat is also on its way out at Denny's, Loews and New York City eateries.

(Source: TIMEMAG/NOTEBOOK Dec.2006)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:20 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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