Monday, March 26, 2007

Rodents...Pest or Delicacy ?

Yuck ! When I read this article I almost threw up !

Apparently, in a region of Venezuela, rodents are a true delicacy. In other South American countries, capybara, the world's largest rodent is hunted for its hide.

If you are planning a visit to Venezuela, keep in mind that rodents are prized as a holiday treat.

In Venezuela, the meat of the capybara can get prices that are almost double that of beef. Part of that price is how difficult it is to hunt the capybara, and part of it is the flavor, which is "more like rabbit than chicken, though when dried with sea salt in Venezuela it acquires a fishy flavor."

To catch them, they are often hit with clubs or harpooned. This makes many visitors to the country resist eating the rodent, if not for the other long list of reasons. If you can get past the first wave of fear, you might like it. Many people in the United States claim, “Tastes just like rabbit, or chicken”.


Creamed Mice

Skin, gut and wash some fat mice without removing their heads. Cover them in a pot with ethyl alcohol and marinate 2 hours. Dice a piece of salt pork or sowbelly and cook it slowly to extract the fat. Drain the mice, dredge them thoroughly in a mixture of flour, pepper, and salt, and fry slowly in the rendered fat for about 5 minutes. Add a cup of alcohol and 6 to 8 cloves, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Prepare a cream sauce, transfer the sautéed mice to it, and warm them in it for about 10 minutes before serving.

Visiting Venezuela ? Anyone ?

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Gross-Out Quiz


Warning: This quiz contains information that you might rather not know.

How much do you really know about gross things? And we're not talking about things that try to gross you out, like horror films or Fear Factor episodes. We're here to see how well acquainted you are with some of the "grosser" corners of the natural world. Good luck.

1 The giant rafflesia, a type of lily, is the largest flower in the world. However, it is better known for smelling like
a) Cheese
b) Dirty socks
c) Rotting meat

2 In a single year, how many descendents can a pair of rats produce?
a) 15,000
b) 1,500
c) 150

3 Tapeworms, a type of intestinal parasite, can grow to be how big?
a) 10 inches
b) 30 feet
c) 70 feet

4 2,200 acres is the size of
a) The biggest spider web ever found
b) The biggest individual mushroom ever found
c) The biggest bat cave ever found

5 Ambergris, an essential ingredient of certain types of perfume, is
a) A fatty substance produced in the intestines of sick whales
b) An oil found in the core of rhinoceros horns
c) The earwax of elephants

6 True or false: Venus flytraps, a carnivorous plant, eat frogs.
a) True
b) False

7 Approximately how much dung does an adult elephant produce each day?
a) 30 lbs
b) 130 lbs
c) 330 lbs

8 "Good night, sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite." True or false: Bed bugs really exist.
a) True
b) False

9 The regal horned lizard isn't too big, but it repels predators in short order with what gross behavior?
a) It skewers them with its horn.
b) It spits a lethal poison.
c) It shoots blood from behind its eyes.


1. Rotting meat: The giant rafflesia, which can weigh 15 lbs and measure up to 3 feet wide, smells like rotting meat. The flowers emit the odor in order to attract carrion flies, which pollinate the flower.
2. 15,000 : As horrifying as it may be, a pair of rats can multiply so fast, they can have as a many as 15,000 descendents in a single year.

3. 30 feet : Tapeworms range in length from about .5 inches to about 30 feet.

4. The biggest individual mushroom ever found, an Armillaria mushroom, takes up more than 2,200 acres of underground space! Like all mushrooms, this one is a kind of fungus, and it is considered one of the largest known multicellular organisms on Earth. It was found in Oregon.

5. A fatty substance produced in the intestines of sick whales. Ambergris*, an essential ingredient of certain types of perfume*, is a fatty substance produced in the intestines of sick sperm whales. An extremely valuable natural product, ambergris prevents the evaporation of volatile oils used to make expensive perfumes. In 1955 a chemist developed a synthetic, much less expensive form of ambergris.

6. True : Venus flytraps do eat frogs! The plants, native to North and South Carolina, feed on insects and other small animals. The creatures are lured by sweet fluids exuded by the plant, which snaps blade-like leaves around its prey. Flytraps then digest their prey with glands located inside their leaves.

7. 330 lbs : Adult elephants poop about 330 lbs each day. Elephants don't have particularly efficient digestive systems, so about half of the food they consume ends up being passed through their body. Not only do they produce a lot of dung, but they do it frequently: Elephants go to the bathroom approximately 15-18 times per day, which works out to each dung pile being about 20 lbs.

8. True :Unfortunately, bed bugs* do indeed exist. They are tiny little flat bugs that hide during the day and come out to feed at night (when people are in bed--hence their name), sucking the blood of humans and other animals. Perhaps they should be called "vampire bugs" instead.

9. It shoots blood from behind its eyes. The well-camouflaged regal horned lizard* remains motionless if approached, but if picked up, it may attempt to disconcert its attacker by puffing up its body and squirting blood, sometimes as far as a few feet, from a reserve behind its eyes.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Did You Know What The 10 Most Commonly Misspelled Words Are?

Many otherwise intelligent and talented people have trouble spelling correctly, and yet a single misspelled work on a letter or important document creates a bad impression, and can even damage job prospects or networking opportunities. English can be a language full of spellings that look right but are dead wrong. Toss in those infuriating sound-alikes (they're/their/there, its/it's, except/accept), which computer spell checkers usually don't catch, and it's no wonder that 99% of us are often embarrassed and undermined by unwitting typos.

Here are the 10 Most Commonly Misspelled Words !

Incorrect — Correct

  1. Independant — Independent
  2. Accomodation — Accommodation
  3. Definately — Definitely
  4. Recieve — Receive
  5. Opportunites — Opportunities
  6. Thier — Their
  7. Occured — Occurred
  8. Infomation — Information
  9. Offical — Official
  10. Acitives — Activities

Spelling matters - if you want to create a good impression in your writing and get the right meaning across, it's important to spell correctly.


    accessory noun
    Spell accessory with a double c and a double s; the ending is -ory.
    Rule: Change the -y to -ies to make the plurals of words which end in a consonant plus -y (as in berry/berries): accessories.

    accommodate verb
    Spell accommodate with a double c and a double m; remember that there is an o before and after the m's.
    Related word: accommodation noun

    address noun and verb
    Spell address with a double d.
    Tip: please add your address.

    aggression noun
    Remember that aggression is spelled with a double g and a double s.
    Related words: aggressive adjective aggressor noun

    alcohol noun
    Spell alcohol with alco- at the beginning.
    Tip: drink a large cold orange juice, not alcohol.

    allege verb
    Remember that allege has a double l and is spelled with -ege at the end.

    amend verb
    Remember that amend and the related word amendment are spelled with a single m at the beginning.

    apologize or apologise verb
    Spell apologize and the related word apology with -olo- in the middle.

    apparent adjective
    There is a double p in apparent but only one r; the ending is -ent.

    argument noun
    There is no e after the u in argument, even though it comes from argue. It does not follow the usual rule that the final silent e is kept when adding endings that begin with a consonant.

    average noun and verb
    Spell average with an e after the v; the ending is -age.

    beautiful adjective
    Remember that beautiful and the related words beauty and beautify are spelled with beau- at the beginning.
    Tip: bare elegant arms are usually beautiful.

    belief noun
    Rule: Belief and the related word believe follow the rule i before e except after c (as in thief).
    Related word: believable adjective

    burglar noun
    Spell burglar with -lar at the end.
    Related word: burglary noun

    business noun
    Remember that business begins with busi-.

    cemetery noun (plural cemeteries)
    Remember that cemetery ends with -ery.

    changeable adjective
    Rule: Keep the final silent -e when adding endings which begin with a vowel to words which end in -ce or -ge (here, change), if this is needed to preserve the soft sound of the first part of the word: changeable.

    committee noun
    Spell committee with a double m, a double t, and a double e at the end.

    consensus noun
    Remember that consensus and the related word consensual are spelled with -sen- in the middle.
    controversy noun (plural controversies)
    Remember that controversy is spelled with -ro- in the middle.
    Tip: controversy arouses really opposing views.
    Related word: controversial adjective

    deceive verb
    Rule: i before e except after c (as in receive).
    Related word: deceit noun

    definite adjective
    Remember that definite ends with -ite.
    Related word: definitely adverb

    desperate adjective
    Spell desperate with -per- in the middle.
    Tip: perhaps he was desperate to escape.

    disappoint verb
    Remember that disappoint and the related word disappointment are spelled with one s and a double p.

    eighth adjective
    Remember that eighth is spelled with -hth at the end.
    Tip: Sam hoped that he wouldn't finish eighth.

    embarrass verb
    Remember that embarrass and the related word embarrassment have a double r and a double s.
    Tip: embarrassed, she was rosy red with severe shame.

    extraordinary adjective
    Spell extraordinary with extra- at the beginning (it is made up of the words extra and ordinary).
    extreme adjective and noun
    Remember that the ending of extreme is spelled -eme.

    fascinate verb
    Remember that fascinate and the related word fascination are spelled with an s before the c.

    fluorescent adjective
    Remember that fluorescent and the related word fluorescence begin with fluor-.

    friend noun
    Spell friend with -ie- in the middle.

    fulfil verb
    Spell fulfil with one l in the middle and one at the end (the spelling fulfill is American).
    Rule: Double the l when adding endings which begin with a vowel to words which end in a vowel plus l (as in travel): fulfils, fulfilling. fulfilled.
    Related word: fulfilment noun

    gauge noun and verb
    Spell gauge with -au- in the middle (the spelling gage is American).

    grateful adjective
    Remember that grateful begins with grate-.

    guarantee noun and verb
    Rule: Although most verbs ending in -e drop the final e before adding -ing (e.g. bake, baking), verbs ending in -ee, -ye, and -oe keep the final -e: guarantees, guaranteeing, guaranteed.

    harass verb
    Spell harass and the related word harassment with a single r and a double s.

    hypocrisy noun
    Remember that hypocrisy begins with hypo-; the ending is -isy.
    Related words: hypocrite noun hypocritical adjective

    humorous adjective
    Rule: When adding certain endings, such as -ous and -ist, to words that end in -our (in this case, humour), change -our to -or before adding the ending: humorous; humorist.

    immediate adjective
    Spell immediate and the related word immediacy with a double m.
    Related word: immediately adverb

    independent adjective and noun
    Remember that independent always ends with -ent.
    Tip: she's an independent agent.
    Related word: independence noun

    instalment noun
    Spell instalment with one l (the spelling installment is American).
    Rule: Drop the last l when adding suffixes (endings) which begin with a consonant to words which end in a double l (here, install): instalment.

    itinerary noun (plural itineraries)
    Remember that itinerary ends with -erary.

    liaise verb
    Remember that liaise is spelled with two i's, one before and one after the a.
    Tip: you must liaise with colleagues in Italy and Ireland.
    Related word: liaison noun

    licence noun
    Do not confuse licence with license. Licence is a noun which means 'a permit to do something' (a driving licence), whereas license is a verb meaning 'give a permit to someone: allow something' (the loggers are licensed to cut mahogany trees). In American English, both the noun and the verb are spelled license.

    maintenance noun
    Remember that maintenance is spelled with -ten- in the middle; the ending is -ance.

    manoeuvre noun and verb
    Spell manoeuvre with -oeu- in the middle; the ending is -re (the spelling maneuver is American). Related word: manoeuvrable adjective

    millennium noun
    Spell millennium with a double l and a double n. The plural can be spelled either millennia (like the original Latin) or millenniums.
    Related word: millennial adjective

    miniature noun and adjective
    Remember that miniature begins with mini-.
    Tip: a miniature minibus.

    minuscule adjective
    Remember that minuscule is spelled with a u after the n.

    mischievous adjective
    Rule: i before e except after c (as in thief). Remember that mischievous ends with -vous.

    misspell verb
    Spell misspell with a double s. The different forms of this verb are: misspells, misspelling; the past tense is misspelt or misspelled.

    naive adjective
    Remember that naive is spelled with -ai- in the middle. It can also be spelled naïve, with two dots over the i, as in the original French.
    Tip: she was naive, with an appealing innocence.
    Related word: naivety noun

    necessary adjective
    Remember that necessary and the related word necessity are spelled with one c and a double s.
    Tip: it's necessary for a jacket to have one collar and two sleeves.
    Related word: necessarily adverb

    negligible adjective
    Remember that the ending of negligible is spelled -ible.
    Related word: negligibly

    niece noun
    Rule: i before e except after c (as in thief).

    occasion noun and verb
    Spell occasion with a double c and a single s.
    Tip: a ceremony celebrating a special occasion.

    occur verb
    Rule: Double the last consonant when adding endings which begin with a vowel to words that end with a single vowel plus a consonant, if the stress is at the end of a word (as in refer): occurs, occurring, occurred.
    Related word: occurrence noun

    omission noun
    Spell omission with one m and a double s.
    Tip: the book has many serious and significant omissions.
    Related word: omissible adjective

    original adjective and noun
    Spell original with an i before and after the g.

    outrageous adjective
    Rule: Keep the final silent -e when adding endings which begin with a vowel to words which end in -ce or -ge (here, outrage), if this is needed to preserve the soft -ce or -ge sound: outrageous.

    parliament noun
    Spell parliament with -ia- before the m.
    Tip: I am a member of parliament.

    perceive verb
    Rule: i before e except after c (as in receive).

    possess verb
    Spell possess and the related words possession and possessive with a double s before and after the e.
    Related word: possessor noun

    potato noun
    The plural of potato is made by adding -es: potatoes.

    practice noun
    Do not confuse practice with practise. Practice is a noun meaning 'the action of doing something rather than the theories about it' (putting policy into practice), whereas practise is a verb meaning 'do something repeatedly to improve your skill' (they were practising for the Olympics). In American English, both the noun and the verb are spelled practice.

    presence noun
    Remember that presence ends with -ence.
    Related word: present adjective

    privilege noun and verb
    Remember that privilege ends with -ege.

    questionnaire noun
    Remember that questionnaire (a French word) is spelled with a double n and ends with -aire.

    really adverb
    Remember that really is spelled with a double l.

    receive verb
    Rule: i before e except after c.

    recommend verb
    Spell recommend and the related word recommendation with a single c and a double m.
    Tip: he recommended that I cut out milk and meat from my diet.

    restaurant noun
    Remember that restaurant is spelled with -au- between the t and r: it is a French word.

    restaurateur noun
    Although restaurateur (a French word) is related to restaurant, it is not spelled with an n before the second t.

    rhythm noun
    Remember that rhythm is spelled with rhy- at the beginning, then -thm.
    Tip: rhythm really has your two hips moving.

    secretary noun (plural secretaries)
    Spell secretary with an e after the r; the ending is -ary.

    seize verb
    Remember that seize and the related word seizure are spelled with the e before the i: they do not follow the rule of i before e except after c.

    separate verb and adjective
    Remember that separate is spelled with -par- in the middle.
    Tip: the rock split into two separate parts.
    Related word: separation noun

    similar adjective
    Remember that the ending of similar is spelled -lar.
    Related word: similarity noun similarly adverb

    skilful adjective
    Remember that skilful is spelled with one l in the middle (the spelling skillful is American).
    Rule: Drop the last l when adding suffixes (endings) which begin with a consonant to words which end in a double l (here, skill plus -ful): skilful.

    success noun
    Spell success and the related word successful with a double c and a double s.
    Related word: successor noun

    sufficient adjective
    Spell sufficient with a double f; the ending is -cient.

    suppress verb
    Spell suppress with a double p and a double s.

    surprise verb and noun
    Remember that surprise has an r before and after the p. Unlike most verbs ending in -ise, it cannot be spelled with an -ize ending.

    threshold noun
    Remember that threshold is spelled with a single h.

    tomato noun
    The plural of tomato is made by adding -es: tomatoes.

    tomorrow adverb and noun
    Spell tomorrow with a single m and a double r.
    Tip: tomorrow morning, rise refreshed.

    truly adverb
    Rule: Truly is formed from true plus the ending -ly; it is one of a group of words in which the final silent e is dropped before adding -ly.

    twelfth number
    Remember that twelfth has an f in the middle.
    Tip: go to the twelfth floor of the building.

    unfortunately adverb
    Spell unfortunately with -ately at the end (it is made up of the adjective unfortunate plus the ending -ly).

    until preposition and conjunction
    Spell until with a single l.

    vegetarian noun and adjective
    Remember that the beginning of vegetarian is spelled vege-; the ending is -arian.

    vehicle noun
    Spell vehicle with -icle at the end.

    vicious adjective
    Remember that the beginning of vicious is spelled vici-.

    weird adjective
    Remember that weird is spelled with the e before the i: it does not follow the usual rule of i before e except after c.
    Tip: a weird, eerie, inhuman sound.

    wilful adjective
    Remember that wilful is spelled with one l in the middle (the spelling willful is American).
    Rule: Drop the last l when adding suffixes (endings) which begin with a consonant to words which end in a double l (here, will plus -ful): wilful.

    withhold verb (withholds, withholding, withheld)
    Remember that withhold is spelled with a double h (it is made up of the words with and hold)

    For a longer list of words and hundreds of spelling tips see the Oxford A-Z of Spelling

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Why don't Hollywood actors dance?

    Regarding the dancing talent of Hollywood actors... well, arguments have gone on for years, in classrooms and coffee houses alike, about the bewildering inability of Hollywood stars to dance well or at all. The only thing we're all certain of is that at one point, they did know how!!!!!!

    Just consider Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the famous duo whose flashy prancing shot them to fame. Bewildered Hollyfans who expect more of their highly-paid stars did feel encouraged by the announcement that Moulin Rouge and Chicago would include dance numbers, but the hyperactive cuts during said dance numbers made it clear that even those Hollywood actors who would *like* to be able to dance can't manage to do so for periods any longer than two to three seconds.

    Happily, Hollywood has finally come to terms with its own ineptitude; Farah Khan, Bollywood dance master extraordinare, has been hired to choreograph a number in the Reese Witherspoon vehicle Vanity Fair. Perhaps this marks a new era for Hollywood, in which it will demand that its actors actually do something in return for their multi-million dollar paychecks.


    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Bizzzaro Bento Boxes

    I loved Japan and the Bento boxes that had rice, sushi, eggs, and a variety of Japanese food bites.

    Bentō is a single-portion takeout meal common in Japanese cuisine.

    A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables as a side dish. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquer ware. While bento are readily available at convenience stores and bento shops throughout Japan, it is still considered an essential skill of a Japanese housewife to be able to prepare an appealing boxed lunch.

    Bento can be very elaborate, aesthetically pleasing cuisine arrangements. Often the food is arranged in such a way as to resemble other objects: dolls, flowers, leaves, and so forth.

    Here is a Justin's website with some amusing Bento Boxes. He has a selection of the craziest Bento boxes made by Junko Terashima on his website.

    Cuisine, LLC
    Food is Culture . . . Culture is Food !
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    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Ladies, 2 cups of mint tea a day will help you reduce this

    For centuries, mint has been enjoyed for its wonderful aroma, its great taste, and its healing power.and has been a part of both the cuisine and the medicinal cultures of eastern societies. Mint is used in a variety of ways, but the most common is through the brewing of mint tea. According to a new study Mint Tea is a cure for hairy girls !!!!

    MINT tea helps women lose unwanted body hair, docs have discovered. Millions suffer from hirsutism — hair on the face, breasts and tummy — caused by high levels of male hormones called androgens. But a study of 21 women in Isparta, Turkey, found drinking two cups of mint tea a day reduced the hormone’s impact and lessened hair growth. Dr Mehmet Tamer said: “It could be a good natural alternative.”

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Every 18 hours, one of these opens up in the United States, What is it?

    Walgreens is opening one store every 18 hours across the country.

    "That's not unusual," Walgreens' Carol Hively said. "The demand for prescription drugs is increasing constantly and steadily, and will for years as baby boomers age."As baby boomers age, the rate of hospital and medical treatment climbs.That means more prescription medicines.Thus, we have another factor to marketability."What really impacts the number of stores in the area are medical services," Hively said. "If there are hospitals or medical treatment centers nearby, then that can increase the number of drug stores because the demand for prescriptions increases."

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    A BIG Thumbs Down to Dolce & Gabbana

    Barcelona-based womens-rights group Institute Català de Les Dones issued an open letter to the designers Dolce & Gabbana, asking them to pull their latest advertisement. The institute explained that the photography was inciting violence towards women. The ad features a bare-chested man pinning a scantily clad woman to the floor while four other men look on with detached expressions.

    Child pornography is rampant on the web and this kind of irresponsible behavior by materialistic designers is pathetic. They need to go back to see whether they forgot their brains in the dumpster. Advertising watchdog, Reuters, has metaphorically knifed coveted fashion house Dolce & Gabanna.

    Although, the fashion design house of Dolce & Gabbana has announced it will stop running an ad in Spain that shows a man holding a woman down by her wrists. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, announcing the decision to pull the ad, blamed Spain for being "behind the times." They suggested that if the Spanish feminists had their way most of the world's major museums would be closed.

    I feel they need to give a public apology for their advertising.

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    Dial-up Frenzy as 50 BMW M6's sell out in 92 seconds flat !

    The BMW M6 convertible may be capable of 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds, but luxury retailer Neiman Marcus sold its entire stock of 50 limited edition M6 convertibles in a record-breaking 92 seconds in October 2006.

    Source PR NEwswire

    The holidays are coming early for 50 Neiman Marcus customers who managed to place their calls intoBMW to order the new 2007 BMW M6 Convertible that was featured in thisyear's Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, as it went on sale today at 12 PM,EDT.

    As the clock struck noon, the 1-866-303-2696 phone lines werecompletely lit up with buyers who wanted to be sure they were among thefirst in the U.S. to own the just-introduced Limited Edition M6. TheConvertible sold out in a mere one minute, thirty-two seconds.

    Billed as the "must-have" automobile for the person who has everything,the luxury convertible made its U.S. debut at the unveiling of the NeimanMarcus Christmas Book in Dallas on October 3rd, 2006

    Only 50 of these new models, built especially for Neiman Marcus, are beingproduced in the inaugural year. They feature custom Ruby Black exteriorfinish accented with Piano Black trim elements, and power sports seatswrapped in a custom Gold Brown shade of supple BMW Individual Merinoleather. The car can launch you from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 exhilaratingseconds, and features a powerful 5.0-liter V-10 engine that produces 500horsepower.

    The Limited Edition 2007 BMW M6 Convertible is featured on pages 96-97of the 2006 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, and retails for $139,000.

    The Neiman Marcus edition M6, the star of NM's 2006 Christmas Book, featured a custom Ruby Black exterior finish accented with Piano Black trim elements, and power sports seats wrapped in a custom Gold Brown shade of supple BMW Individual Merino leather.

    At $139,000 each, the ever-so-special BMWs rang the register at a rate of $75,543 per second, if only for a minute and a half.