Gadget: Popcorn Maker

Popcorn Monsoon

Watch video at Vimeo (1:19 minutes) …..

Chinese Stewed Dish with Pork Ribs and Sea Cucumber


1 lb processed sea cucumber
2 lb pork ribs, cut in bite-size pieces
1 slice ginger
2 stalk green onion, 1 stalk cut into sections
4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cup chicken broth


1/8 tsp sesame oil
dash ground white pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dark say sauce
1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1½ tbsp oyster sauce


1½ tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water


  1. Cut sea cucumber into bite-size pieces. Blanch sea cucumber in boiling water with ginger, 1 stalk green onion and 1 tbsp wine for 5 minutes. Remove and drain.
  2. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a wok. Stir-fry sea cucumber for about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. With 1 tbsp oil remaining in wok, saute garlic until fragrant. Add ribs and toss well. Sprinkle 1 tsp wine. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or until ribs are tender.
  4. Return sea cucumber to the wok. Add seasoning ingredients. Cook for 5 more minutes over medium heat. Add green onion sections and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add thickening solution and cook until the sauce reboils and thickens. Remove and serve hot.

Source: Creative Chinese Seafood Dishes

In Pictures: Character Bento


Low Vitamin D Predicts More Severe Strokes, Poor Health Post-stroke

Stroke patients with low vitamin D levels were found to be more likely than those with normal vitamin D levels to suffer severe strokes and have poor health months after stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2015.

Low vitamin D has been associated in past studies with neurovascular injury (damage to the major blood vessels supplying the brain, brainstem, and upper spinal cord).

“Many of the people we consider at high risk for developing stroke have low vitamin D levels. Understanding the link between stroke severity and vitamin D status will help us determine if we should treat vitamin D deficiency in these high-risk patients,” said Nils Henninger, M.D., senior study author and assistant professor of neurology and psychiatry at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worchester.

Henninger and colleagues studied whether low blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, a marker of vitamin D status, is predictive of ischemic stroke severity and poor health after stroke in 96 stroke patients treated between January 2013 and January 2014 at a U.S. hospital.

They found:

  • Overall, patients who had low vitamin D levels –defined as less than 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) – had about two-times larger areas of dead tissue resulting from obstruction of the blood supply compared to patients with normal vitamin D levels.
  • This association was similar among patients who suffered lacunar strokes (in which the small, intricate arteries of the brain are affected) and patients with non-lacunar strokes (such as those caused by carotid disease or by a clot that originated elsewhere in the body).
  • For each 10 ng/mL reduction in vitamin D level, the chance for healthy recovery in the three months following stroke decreased by almost half, regardless of the patient’s age or initial stroke severity.

“It’s too early to draw firm conclusions from our small study, and patients should discuss the need for vitamin D supplementation with their physician,” Henninger said. “However, the results do provide the impetus for further rigorous investigations into the association of vitamin D status and stroke severity. If our findings are replicated, the next logical step may be to test whether supplementation can protect patients at high risk for stroke.”

Limitations of the study include that most of the participants were Caucasian and the results might not fully translate to other ethnic groups.

Source: American Heart Association

Today’s Comic