Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

Donate To Pacific Assistance Dog Society


Happy Holidays!


As you can tell, I haven't been posting this month. I've been dealing with a medical issue. I've decided not to stress about blogging for the rest of the year. I will be back going full tilt boogie in January of 2012.

See you then.

Mad

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sometimes I just need a little spice in my life. Not much. My body can't handle a lot. I'm sensitive to the smallest amount of spice. Sometimes I just get a craving. I was in the throws of one of those cravings when I bought a package of Kraft Tex Mex cheese with jalapeño peppers. I'd seen the commercials. I figured I was going to pay for what my taste buds wanted.

I don't know if I got a bad batch or what but I was sorely disappointed in this product. It was extremely bland. I had to add some hot sauce just to taste anything. Me. I'm so sensitive to spice that even a quarter of a teaspoon of chilli powder can have me in tears.

If there's anything worse than not getting what you expect from a  food related product I don't know what it is. I think next time I crave Tex Mex I'll just by a block of cheese and a jalapeño.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Broccoli Rice & Shrimp Soup



Do you ever buy too much of something? I don't know how I ended up with a bunch of extra broccoli but I'm glad I had this recipe tucked away in my files.

Ingredients
1/2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/4 pound small shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 small onion, finely diced
1 carrot, diced*
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup rice
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 head broccoli, trimmed and cut in to small florets
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or scallions (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Heat oil in a soup pot. Add shrimp and stir over medium heat until cooked through (3 or 4 minutes). Remove shrimp and set aside.
  • Add onion to the pot and stir for one minute. Add carrot, stock, rice, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add broccoli and continue simmering for another five minutes then remove from heat.
  • Add shrimp and stir to combine. 
  • Serve with a sprinkling of chives as garnish.
Serves 4.

*I like my soup "chunky" or rustic. I don't cut everything the same size or shape. Bigger pieces might take a little longer to cook. 

Mystical Connections
Broccoli - has a water element. Its energy is protection and its planet is the Moon.


As always, the magical information used in this post come from Wicca in the Kitchen.

Banana Bran Buttermilk Muffins


The other day I thought I'd be good and buy a high fibre cereal. Unfortunately I chose a no name brand.  I had to toss out my first (and only) bowl because it was just gross. So here I was, most of a box of bran cereal sitting in my cupboard. I had to find something to do with it. Luckily I had a muffin recipe filed away in my recipe box. I have no idea where it came from but it seems to be a pretty standard recipe.


Now, I've never made muffins by myself before. I've helped other people but this was my first solo effort. Who knew there was a trick to filling muffin tins with those little paper thingys in them? I ditched them for the second batch. I think those turned out pretty well. They're tasty too. This recipe makes 24 muffins.


Ingredients:


1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup white sugar
2 cup hot buttermilk
2 cup all-bran cereal
2 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3 pureed bananas
4 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 teaspoons baking powder




Directions:

  • Set oven to 375 degrees F. Move the oven rack to second lowest position.
  • Spray 12 muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray, and line with paper liners.
  • In a medium pot, heat the buttermilk.
  • Add cereal to the buttermilk and let sit until the bran has absorbed the liquid.
  • Meanwhile purée the banana.
  • Once the buttermilk has been absorbed, transfer the bran mixture to a large bowl, and add in the puréed banana; mix to combine.
  • Mix the two sugars together, then add to the bran/banana mixture with the egg, vanilla and oil; blend well to combine.
  • Mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and add to the banana mixture; mix gently to make a soft batter.
  • With an ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.
  • Bake about 22-28 minutes or until muffins test done.
This recipe is pretty sweet. I know that there is a way to exchange the white and brown sugar for honey but I'm not really sure how it would work. Honey burns more readily than sugar so cooking time would have to be reduced. Maybe I'll try it the next time I make these.


Mystical Connections:

Bananas: Their planet is Mars. Their element is Air. Their energies are spirituality, love and money. 

As always, the magical information used in this post come from Wicca in the Kitchen.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Kitchen Sink Breakfast Burritos


When I was a kid scrambled eggs were made with green onions and crisp bacon and served with toast. The first time I saw a burrito was at a 7/11 when I was in my 20s. Now I don't know how I lived without tortillas. Breakfast burritos are probably my favorite breakfasts. They're so easy to make and you can put just about anything in them.


This morning's breakfast was a bit of a mashup. I had some celery, green onions and an avocado that needed to be used up. I only wish I'd had some left over Italian sausage. I would have also liked some red bell pepper just for the color.


Ingredients 
2 green onions, sliced 
1 stalk celery, diced 
2 tsp. garlic, minced 
4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded 
1 avocado, sliced 
2 tbsp. sour cream 2 eggs 
2 8" flour tortillas 


Directions 
Sauté celery on medium high heat for 10 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add eggs and green onions; cook until eggs are done. Add cheese on top for a couple of minutes until melted.  Divide mixture between the flour tortillas add avocado and sour cream .


Mystical Connections:
Eggs have long been associated with fertility which only makes sense. Avocados belong to the planet Venus and have love energy.  Celery belongs to Mercury and are a fire element. They have sexual energy. The planet for cheese is Saturn. In ancient Greece wedding cakes were usually cheesecakes.

What was I thinking when I put these together?




About the image: I was too hungry to beautify my breakfast for you. I was about to dig in when I thought I should get a photo.


As Always, the magical information used in this post comes from Wicca in the Kitchen

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Foodspotting

I've joined Foodspotting. You can find me there as madison1964. I don't know how much I'm going to be adding this month. November is traditionally "hermit" month for me.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta Fazool)


I am a highly suggestible person. Whenever I hear That's Amore by Dean Martin I want pasta fazool. For those of you who aren't familiar with the song beyond “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie,” the second verse says, “When the stars make you drool just like pasta fazool.” I can't help it, I love the stuff. I've had many different varieties of this rustic dish. I've never had one I didn't like.


The best thing about pasta fazool is that it's easy. You can substitute almost any of the ingredients. You need pasta. You need some kind of stock. You need vegetables. You can use left over meatloaf or bacon or Italian sausage. Of course, you can make it vegetarian by using vegetable stock and leaving out the meat. Check out all my substitutions at the end of the recipe. 


Ingredients 
2 medium onions chopped 
3 medium stalks celery chopped 
2 medium carrots chopped 
6 cloves garlic minced 
1/2 lbs Italian sausage* 
1 qt chicken or vegetable stock** 
2 C chopped tomatoes*** 
3/4 C borlotti beans soaked overnight**** 
1/4 C chopped fresh basil 
1 bay leaf 
4 sprigs thyme 
salt and pepper to taste 
4 oz small, dried pasta***** 
Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving****** 


Directions 
Brown the sausage in your stock pot then remove them from the pot leaving the fat behind. Depending on how fatty the sausage is you might need to add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. 


Put the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in the pot and cook until the volume is reduced by half. This will give greater flavor to the dish. 


Add the stock, tomatoes, beans, basil, bay leaf, pasta and sausage to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and cover for an hour and a half if you are using beans you soaked over night. If you are using canned 45 minutes should be enough. Check the carrots and remove from heat when they are done. 


Serve with a nice Italian bread.


I like my pasta fazool more like a stew. If you want a soup add an extra 2 cups of stock. This recipe should feed six as a stew. 


*I ended up with really spicy sausage so I ignored all of the additional spices. 
**I used my own homemade chicken stock. It already had the spices required. 
***I didn't use the tomatoes because I'm not allowed to have them and it turned out fine. 
 ****You can use almost any bean you like. You can also use canned which will shorten the cooking time considerably. I ended up using canned cannelli beans because that's what I had on hand. 
*****I used small shell pasta. 
******I used Romano because I like the flavor better than Parmesan. 


While I was waiting for my stew to finish I decided to look up the magical correspondences for some of the ingredients. I went straight to my favorite bobok,Wicca in the Kitchen by Scott Cunningham. While he didn't have an entry for pasta fazool, he did have some interesting things to say: 
Beans – Their planet is Mercury. Their element is air. Their energies are money and sex. They are also somehow connected to wealth. I think of the phrase “bean counter” meaning accountant. Carrots – Their planet is Mars. Their element is fire. Their energy is sex. Carrots increase sexual appetite. I wonder if that's one of those rabbit things. Carrots are supposed to be good for the eyes. Tradition says rabbits have good eyesight because they eat carrots. Maybe the carrots make they procreate like bunnies.Onions – Their planet is Mars. Their element is fire. Their energies are protection and weight loss. Onions, bread and beer were staples of the ancient Egyptian diet. Onions were used in incantations meant to keep harmful ghosts from children.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oxfam's GROW Campaign

Click here to learn about Oxfam's GROW campaign.

Monday, September 19, 2011




I've just finished reading Mists of Avalon. All 876 pages of it. Take my advice and read the paperback. The hardcover is heavy. Worth the read though. I never made it through Le Morte d'Arthur. All that "dead white guy" chivalry crap. Mists of Avalon tells the story from the point of view of the women, especially the Pagan women.

I spent the early part of this week watching The Power of Myth on DVD. I had always ignoredJoseph Campbell because he was, after all, a dead white guy. And dead white guys tend to look at things from a certain point of view and get them wrong (like considering ancient Egyptian culture to be a "death cult"). I was surprised how much I actually liked Campbell. I ended up watching the series with a kind of sadness because it was filmed a couple of months before he died. I really wish I'd known him/had him for a teacher.

Anyway you might not think these two things are linked but they both say the same thing: all gods are one, all goddesses are one. It doesn't matter what you call the "divine". It's all the same. This is something I've always felt. You can call your "higher" power Yahweh, Allah, Buddha or Jim-Bob it doesn't matter.

I only have experience with Christianity. I was sent to a Catholic school so I sat through 12 years of religion/ethics classes and was forced to attend mass at regular intervals. I never believed.
"God against man. Man against God. Man against nature. Nature against man. Nature against God. God against nature. Very funny religion!" Daisetz T. Suzuki on Christianity.
I have a huge problem with "male-centric" religions. The idea that women cannot be priests because only men have a special relationship to the divine really pisses me off. Try suggesting to a Buddhist that the Dalai Lama might be reincarnated into the body of a female and you will experience a major cold front before they turn away from you.

This male focus is the main difference between Paganism and Christianity. While some Pagans have become "female-centric”, I feel that this is short sighted. You need both. The Goddess and the God. Working together with nature.

Mists of Avalon does a very good job at showing some aspects of Paganism. In fact, many Pagans credit that book with awakening their love of the Goddess. I found myself feeling very close to the priestesses of Avalon while reading the book. I had been meaning to read the book for years. I felt a little inferior because every other Pagan I know had read the book. Now I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

In case you are wondering, the author, Marion Zimmer Bradley, was a Christian.

In a strange co-inky-dink a re-run of Bones made me spray coke out my nose:
Booth: God doesn’t make mistakes.
Angela: "Putting Testicles on the outside didn't seem like such a good idea".  --- Aliens in a Spaceship (2006)

I’ve always felt there were a couple of design flaws in the human body. Not being male, I never considered the testicle issue but now I can see the point.

The other problem I’ve had with Christianity is it’s insistence that sex is bad and that women are the root of all evil. If we weren’t meant to celebrate our sexuality then our procreation would be just as matter of fact as that of any other animal. The female would go into heat and then the strongest male would mate with her.

Bradley’s book makes a very good comparison between the Christian view of sexuality and the Pagan view. Pagans say that all acts of love and pleasure belong to the Goddess. I would add the proviso that the acts are between consenting adults. As I’m fond of saying, consenting adults does not include children, animals or dead people. I think most Pagans would agree with me.

I think I’ll be suggesting Mists of Avalon to anyone who wants to know more about what Pagans believe. It’s as good a place to start as any.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Do Donut Peaches Sound Like a Good Idea?


The other day I found something new at my local market. Donut peaches. They look a little like radiation mutation peaches to me. I bought a few and when I got them home I was even more confused. One of them had a sticker that said Flying Saucer Peaches. A little online research leads me to believe they're the same thing.
The origins of the donut peach are in Asia, where flat peaches have been cultivated for centuries. In the mid-1800s, several varieties were exported to the United States, and Chinese flat peaches, as they were called, became popular for a brief time. The fruits fell out of fashion, however, and the flat peach was considered an essentially lost heirloom variety until the 1990s, when it began to enter widespread cultivation again. Source.

I didn't think they tasted any different from “normal” peaches. They were good but weird. You could easily eat one in three bites. I think I prefer taking my time with my usual peaches.  

I found this interesting video tutorial on painting donut peaches. In the beginning the artist gives you a bit of the mythology of the fruit.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Endgame Chess Party

image: Showcase


When I came across a chocolate chess set today I knew I had to write this post. My interest in chess has been rekindled by, believe it or not, a television show. Endgame was a “blink and you missed it” show about a Russian chess master, Arkady Balagan, who is unable to leave his Vancouver hotel room after witnessing the death of his fiance. To pay the bills he solves people's problems. Most of the time those problems involve a crime of some sort. Arkady uses the people around him to go out and get information. He then puts the pieces of the puzzle together.


I really liked the show. You can buy the 13 episodes on iTunes in Canada. I'm not sure about the rest of the world. If you live in Canada you can watch the show on the Showcase website.

There's hope that the show is not dead yet. Head over to Save Endgame.  They've got a petition going. They're also going to auction off some props/costumes from the show to The Canadian Mental Health Association. Pass it around. Support a good cause and maybe get yourself a unique piece of Canadian TV history.

And while you're waiting for the auction (or the second season of Endgame) you can bone up on your chess skills with your very own edible chess set. Maybe it will be winner eats all.



Chocolate Chess Pieces

image: Food Network



Ingredients:

24 ounces semisweet chocolate
24 ounces white chocolate

Directions:

Chop 24 ounces semisweet chocolate; microwave three-quarters of the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring until melted. Add the remaining chocolate; stir until smooth.
Fill 2 molds with the chocolate using a piping bag; scrape off the excess. Freeze 15 minutes, then pop out the pieces. Glue the halves together with melted chocolate.
Repeat with 24 ounces white chocolate, microwaving at 20-second intervals. Repeat as necessary until the set is complete. Wrap in plastic and freeze until ready to play.



Chess Board




Ingredients:

24 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate*
24 ounces white chocolate

Directions:

Chop 12 ounces semisweet chocolate; microwave three-quarters of the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring until melted. Add the remaining chocolate; stir until smooth.
Fill every second square of the mold with the chocolate using a piping bag; scrape off the excess.
Repeat with 12 ounces of white chocolate.
Freeze 15 minutes, then pop out the squares. Repeat three times (for a total of four - or you could buy four molds and do it all at once.) Glue the sides together with melted chocolate.

Wrap in plastic and freeze until ready to play.

*dark chocolate will look better but semisweet might taste better.

You can buy the molds for this project at Confectionery House. You'll need two chess piece molds and one to four chess board molds.

This recipe was expanded from one on the Food Network website.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Healthy Eating Tips

I saw this today and I think these are great tips. I'm going to go out and find her book.

Enjoy Your Meals Without Relying on Serving Size:

• Veggies are your buddies. Eat ‘em up; all your low-starchy veggies should be unlimited and enjoyed with every meal and snack from red peppers n’ hummus to morning omelets and dinner stir-fries.

• Roast, steam, poach, bake, braise and broil. No more fried food.

• Don’t confuse thirst and hunger. Sip a glass of seltzer with lime before you reach for food.

• Never travel alone. Pack veggies, nuts and dried fruits to keep you full on the go and help you avoid vending machines and temptations.

• Puree berries, melons and bananas to use as a spread atop toast, crackers, salads or sandwiches. You can also use these as homemade ‘ice-creams’ pureed with nut butters and cinnamon.

• Take a bag of frozen veggies out of the freezer in the morning, by the afternoon they’ll be ready to eat and perfectly defrosted to enjoy with your lunch.

• Avoid ‘fat free’ claims on packaging as you’ll be trading fats for loads of sodium or sugar instead.

• Enjoy a bit of lean protein with each meal to keep you full and keep your metabolism runnin’ steady and strong throughout the day.

• Say good-bye to store-bought chips and drive-through fries; create your own apple, parsnip, carrot and sweet potato chips and fries instead.

• Toast nuts n’ seeds in the oven. Try sweet (honey, cinnamon) or savory (chili powder, sea salt); store in a sealed container and use atop salads, as a snack or in stir-fries and pitas.

• Don’t fear fat. Avocados can be your best buddies. They’re loaded with healthy fats, high in fiber and add a creamy consistency to any meal from oatmeal to salsas.



Amie Valpone, HHP, AADP is a culinary nutritionist and author of The Healthy Apple.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Food Inc.



I finally found it on YouTube. Food Inc. is a good documentary that looks at who controls your food and what you are really eating.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

5 Minute Bread?

I've always wanted make bread a home but my few attempts have not turned out well. The method shown in the video below looks easy enough. I think I'm going to try it later in the week. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Call to Attend the Agriculture Committee Meeting

Public Notice:


Tuesday March 22, 11:00-1:00, Room 362, East Block, Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Come on out! Show your support for the motion for a moratorium on GM alfalfa!

Please note: It is fairly certain that this meeting will now happen but to double check on Monday and Tuesday see www.cban.ca/alfalfa for a posted update.

WHAT: Tuesday March 22, 11:00 - 1:00 the House of Commons Agriculture Committee is meeting a second time to discuss the motion for a moratorium on GM alfalfa. The Committee will vote on the motion on Tuesday unless the Conservatives stall the vote again by prolonging "debate". The motion will then go to the House of Commons for a vote.

WHY: A large audience of interested observers at the meeting will help push the moratorium through! It is a small room and an audience of 16 almost filled the gallery on March 10 when the motion was first debated. There is rarely a significant audience at the meetings and so it will be remarked on and show strong public support. Your presence at the Committee hearings will make a lasting impression to these MPs of the public support behind the moratorium. If the motion is passed, this impression will help Conservatives and Liberals to support the motion in the House of Commons.

On March 10, Conservative Agriculture Committee members delayed the vote on a motion but at the same time Conservative Saskatchewan MP Randy Hoback made sure to say that “The concern I have isn’t necessarily with the motion itself…When I go to my farmers in my area – we have a lot of alfalfa production – they’re concerned about Roundup Ready alfalfa…I don’t want to defend it [GM alfalfa].” Pierre Lemieux, Conservative Committee member and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture also said “There’s nothing wrong with this motion.”

TIMING: 11:00 - 1:00  the meeting will open to the public and the motions will be debated.

LOCATION: New Location on Parliament Hill! Room 362, East Block (the building East/Right of Centre Block/Peace Tower), Parliament Hill, Ottawa.

Read the Public Notice

PLEASE NOTE:
* Bring photo ID. You will not be permitted entry without your ID.
* Arrive 15 minutes ahead of time so you can go through security and get a pass.
* Please remember that observers to Committee hearings, just as to Question Period, cannot participate in the meeting and are asked to refrain from making loud comments etc. However, a nice round of applause after a good decision is not unprecedented and can be most welcome to Committee members who rarely get this feedback.
* A lunch will be brought in for the MPs to allow the Committee to meet over the lunch period, please note that food and beverages are for the MPs and we are asked to refrain from munching.
* There is a small waiting area outside the Committee room where we can wait - there is often another Committee that meets until 10:45.
* There are translation devices so that you can listen in English or French. Unplug these to unwind the cords. If the Bloc members speak and you do not speak French you will appreciate easy access to your device - Channel 1 should be English.
* CBAN Coordinator, Lucy Sharratt, will be attending and will arrive for 10:45.

Come on out to show your support, make change happen, and witness the results of your actions! Your presence could make a big difference.

Please contact me if you have questions. Best, regards, Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext. 25
Fax: 613 241 2506
coordinator@cban.ca
www.cban.ca

Support the Moratorium on GM Alfalfa! Take action at http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa


Monday, March 14, 2011

Irish Cream Chocolate Tart

In honour of Pi Day I present this recipe from Life Made Delicious. I haven't had a chance to make it yet but it is very much on my list.

Tart
1/2 pkg Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts, softened as directed on box (1 crust)*
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (300 mL) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup (75 mL) Irish cream liqueur or whipping cream
2 eggs

Topping
1/2 cup (125 mL) icing sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) cocoa
Dash salt
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) whipping cream
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
Additional cocoa, if desired
White chocolate curls, if desired


  • Heat oven to 425ºF. Remove crust from pouch; press in bottom and 1 1/2 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Place chocolate chips in medium microwavable bowl. Microwave on High 40 seconds. Stir; microwave 5 to 15 seconds longer or until chocolate is melted and smooth. Cool 3 minutes.
  • In large bowl, beat condensed milk, liqueur, eggs and melted chocolate with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Pour into cooled baked shell.
  • Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF; bake 20 to 30 minutes longer or until centre is set. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 1 hour. Refrigerate 2 hours.
  • In medium bowl, beat all topping ingredients except additional cocoa and chocolate curls with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread topping over tart; sprinkle with additional cocoa and garnish with chocolate curls. Store in refrigerator.

* Here is a recipe for making your own pie crust instead of using the store bought kind.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Land O'Lakes Boycott


Here's something I found at Searching For Sustenance:
To produce its Round-Up Ready Alfalfa seeds, Monsanto partnered with a company called Forage Genetics International, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O'Lakes Dairy Co-op.... [They] stand to make a fortune from polluting our food supply with untested and unlabeled GMOs.

I don't know about you but I'm getting sick and tired of having to constantly research companies that produce my food to make sure I know what I'm getting. This business of doing all the GMO dirty work through a subsidiary while promoting your products as "natural" or "healthy" is just plain underhanded and sneaky. Not to mention morally reprehensible.

Consumers have to stand up and tell food companies that they cannot mess with our food and not expect any consequences. Land O'Lakes needs to hear from you. Tell them why you will not be buying their products. Here's the contact information:

Chris Policinski
President and CEO
Land O’Lakes
4001 Lexington Avenue
Arden Hills, MN 55126-2998
651/481-2222
You can also write to Forage Genetics directly:
Forage Genetics International,
P.O. Box 339 Nampa, ID 83653-0339
(800) 635-5701 info@foragegenetics.com
Mark McCaslin, PhD, President - mccaslin@foragegenetics.com 


While I was reading the Land O'Lakes information I found a video you might enjoy:




Image: Farm Wars
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Changing the Food System

A TED talk by Ellen Gustafson from 30 Project and The Feed Foundation.




Food Issues

The Applied Research Center has just released a study called The Color of Food. It's no surprise to most people that people of color are at the bottom of the food industry job structure. It's also no surprise that they make less than a white male while doing the same job. How big the divide actually is will surprise people.

The Organic Consumer's Association is gearing up for Millions Against Monsanto campaign. Monsanto is the company that created most of the world's Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). They say that GMOs are safe but critics say that it's too early to tell. Keep in mind that this is the same company that created DDT and Agent Orange. Monsanto said those were safe too. In the US foods containing GMOs do not have to be labeled. If GMOs were causing problems we'd never know because we don't know we've eaten GMO food. For more information read Frankenfood: It's Alive and The Food Bubble.


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Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Little Bit Of Psychic History

When I was 12 I found a book in the library that showed me how to read fortunes with an ordinary deck of playing cards. For awhile I was busy reading the cards for classmates. Until one of the teachers caught me and had a fit. Fortune telling isn't allowed in Catholic schools. I ended up having to write an essay on the origin of cards. Talk about grown ups being totally clueless! That essay just fueled my interest in all kinds of divination.

When I was 13 Santa brought me an Aquarian Tarot Deck and a Ouija Board. I was a Catholic living in a Protestant house with a Christian figure giving me pagan gifts. No wonder I'm all over the map spiritually. Anyway. I never connected with that deck. The images just didn't move me in any way. In fact, I developed some kind of block and I've never been able to read fortunes with a tarot deck. I can't keep all the information on each card in my head. I can't even do it with playing cards any more.

Out of curiousity I looked up tarot card reading on YouTube. I found this long (and kind of boring) video that goes through all the cards and their meanings. I think if I listened to this a few times I might get it.






What do you think? Is it useful? Have you any other online tarot suggestions?
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

When is a Business Not a Business?

I found an article about a Meridan, Mississippi "fortune teller" who is challenging the laws that prohibit "his kind" from doing business inside city limits. The challenger, Sandy Mitchell, is a descendant of Meridian's "King and Queen of Gypsies."

One thing I couldn't help noticing about the article is whenever the relationship between the current Mitchell and the famous Mitchells is mentioned terms like "self proclaimed" show up. I find such terms very disrespectful. I would think that no one would be stupid enough to claim a relationship to a famous person that could easily be checked out in public records.

The other thing that surprised me was that this law forbidding fortune telling within city limits was still on the books. Really? It's the 21st Century for cripes sake. I'm surprised it took this long to get a court case going. I guess they do things differently down in Mississippi. The article mentions that if there was a change, such businesses would be restricted to a certain part of town.

I'm not going to get into the argument about whether or not someone should use his/her gifts for profit. To thine own self be true is what I say (thanks Will). If Mitchell legally makes his living reading tarot cards and he pays his taxes I feel he should be able practice his business just like anyone else. He should also be able to practice this business anywhere any other business is allowed.

I guess I'm naive to expect everyone be treated as equal.

Image: Deutscher Maler, 18. Jh. (Umkreis Samuel Beck/Seekatz): Die Wahrsagerin Oil on wood, 36.5 x 23 cm

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Friday, February 11, 2011

At Least There's No Burning Involved... Yet.

About a month ago the Catholic Truth Society published a book called Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Dangers. It is currently out of stock on Amazon. It even has a couple of "customer reviews".

Here's what the Catholic Truth Society website says about the book
An introduction to these phenomena and how to evangelise those involved. To marginalised and spiritually hungry generations the growing spiritual phenomena of Wicca and witchcraft have proved attractive, with much to offer: power, supernatural abilities and socially acceptable agendas such as eco-activism and feminism. This booklet examines their origins, history, beliefs and practices, and then explains Catholic teaching’s cogent assessment of them. Furthermore it explores why young people are attracted to Wicca, and describes ways in which it is possible to bring witches and wiccans to Christ and his Church.

Who the heck is buying this crap?

In the US only 22% of Catholics attend mass regularly. Not that this is unexpected. In 2009 the Catholic Church called for a ban on social networks. Hardly anyone noticed.

Now they're taking a stand against Harry Potter? Are these the death throws of an outdated and irrelevant church? One can only hope. I've got nothing against Christianity. I have a lot of hard feelings about Christian religions. I grew up Catholic. I know how bogged down in dogma it is. It's too bad. Some of the rituals are rather pretty.

Here's a question to take away with you: What is the difference between Catholics trying to convert pagans and Muslim extremists believing that anyone who is not Muslim should be converted or killed?
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