Food Art: Daikon Chain

The chain was created by a Japanese Chef from a whole daikon

Watch video at You Tube (6:09 minutes) . . . . .


Alkalne Diet Founder Faces up to 3 Years in Prison

Lindsay Dodgson wrote . . . . . .

The man who created the alkaline diet, a bogus eating regimen based on the idea that certain foods cause your body’s pH levels to become acidic, faces up to three years in prison, the BBC reported.

Robert Young, who wrote the book “The pH Miracle,” claimed that diseases were caused by acidity in the blood. That claim had influenced one of the most popular food writers in the UK, Natasha Corrett. Young was convicted last year on two charges of practicing medicine without a license after he was found to have bought his doctorate online, according to the BBC.

Young was convicted last year on two charges of practicing medicine without a license after he was found to have bought his doctorate online, according to the BBC.

The alkaline diet gained some traction after Kate Hudson lauded it at this year’s Golden Globes as the way she stays in shape, but the idea has been around for a while. The idea behind the alkaline diet is that certain foods like meat, wheat, and sugar cause your body to produce acid, which leads to health problems such as bone loss, muscle loss, and back pain.

But what you eat has very little effect on the acid concentrations in your blood. As my colleague Jessica Orwig reported, blood pH levels hover around 7.4 — neither extremely acidic (pH level of 0) or basic (pH level of 14).

While what you eat can affect the acidity of your urine, your kidneys work hard to keep your blood pH levels steady. One small study, for example, found that a diet high in protein and low in carbs had a strong effect on urinary acidity but appeared to cause very little change in blood pH.

The BBC reported that Young advised a woman who was dying from breast cancer, British army officer Naima Houder-Mohammed, who paid Young thousands of dollars for his alkaline treatment, which predominantly consisted of baking soda administered intravenously. According to the BBC, Houder-Mohammed and her family ended up paying Young more than $77,000 (£62,700) for the treatment and his advice.

Houder-Mohammed stayed at Young’s facility, the “pH Miracle Ranch,” for three months, according to the BBC, until her condition worsened and she was taken to the hospital. She died at age 27.

In 2011, the Medical Board of California began an investigation at Young’s ranch, where it discovered that none of the 15 cancer patients Young treated there outlived their prognosis. One woman died from congestive heart failure after being given 33 intravenous sodium bicarbonate drips over 31 days at a cost of $550 each, according to the BBC.

Source: Business Insider

Read more:

The dying officer treated for cancer with baking soda . . . . .

Chocolate Strudel


1 cup regular flour
1/2 a beaten egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
a few drops of vinegar
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled


3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup vanilla sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup heavy cream
a pinch of ground cinnamon
2 tbsp fine sugar
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, grated
2-1/2 oz chopped walnuts
confectioner’s sugar


  1. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Beat together the egg, salt, water, vinegar and 1-1/4 tbsp of the melted butter. Pour this mixture into the well. Mix all the ingredients together to a dough.
  3. Knead the dough on a well-floured board until smooth and elastic (this will take about 15 minutes).
  4. Put the dough into a floured bowl and cover with a cloth. Leave for 15 minutes.
  5. While the dough is resting make the filling.
  6. Beat together the butter and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy.
  7. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.
  8. Add the walnuts, cream, cinnamon, chocolate and raisins and mix well.
  9. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, and then gradually beat in the fine sugar. Fold this mixture gently into the chocolate mixture.
  10. Cover the work surface with a large, clean cloth and dust the cloth with flour.
  11. Put the dough into the middle of the cloth and brush the top with melted butter. Working around the dough, roll it out to a thickness of 1/8 inch.
  12. Brush it with more butter and, using four hands (you’ll need to enlist help!), stretch the dough outwards as thinly as possible. Try to work around the dough so it does not tear. Cut the dough into a rectangle measuring 14- x 18-inch.
  13. Butter a large cookie sheet. Spoon the filling onto the strudel pastry, leaving a margin of 2 inches around three of the edges. Fold the margins over the filling and brush the remaining pastry with the melted butter. Gently lift the cloth so that the dough rolls itself up. Roll the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, basting with melted butter once or twice, until golden and crisp.
  14. Remove the strudel from the oven and dust with confectioner’s sugar. Cut into pieces and serve warm or cold.

Makes a 14-inch strudel.

Source: Chocolate Cooking

In Pictures: Food of Restaurants in Washington, USA

One of the Restaurant: La Masseria Ristorante

Personality Traits Linked to Differences in Brain Structure

Our personality may be shaped by how our brain works, but in fact the shape of our brain can itself provide surprising clues about how we behave – and our risk of developing mental health disorders – suggests a study published today.

According to psychologists, the extraordinary variety of human personality can be broken down into the so-called ‘Big Five’ personality traits, namely neuroticism (how moody a person is), extraversion (how enthusiastic a person is), openness (how open-minded a person is), agreeableness (a measure of altruism), and conscientiousness (a measure of self-control).

In a study published today in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, an international team of researchers from the UK, US, and Italy have analysed a brain imaging dataset from over 500 individuals that has been made publicly available by the Human Connectome Project, a major US initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health. In particular, the researchers looked at differences in the brain cortical anatomy (the structure of the outer layer of the brain) as indexed by three measures – the thickness, area, and amount of folding in the cortex – and how these measures related to the Big Five personality traits.

“Evolution has shaped our brain anatomy in a way that maximizes its area and folding at the expense of reduced thickness of the cortex,” explains Dr Luca Passamonti from the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge. “It’s like stretching and folding a rubber sheet – this increases the surface area, but at the same time the sheet itself becomes thinner. We refer to this as the ‘cortical stretching hypothesis’.”

“Cortical stretching is a key evolutionary mechanism that enabled human brains to expand rapidly while still fitting into our skulls, which grew at a slower rate than the brain,” adds Professor Antonio Terracciano from the Department of Geriatrics at the Florida State University. “Interestingly, this same process occurs as we develop and grow in the womb and throughout childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood: the thickness of the cortex tends to decrease while the area and folding increase.”

In addition, as we get older, neuroticism goes down – we become better at handling emotions. At the same time, conscientiousness and agreeableness go up – we become progressively more responsible and less antagonistic.

The researchers found that high levels of neuroticism, which may predispose people to develop neuropsychiatric disorders, were associated with increased thickness as well as reduced area and folding in some regions of the cortex such as the prefrontal-temporal cortices at the front of the brain.

In contrast, openness, which is a personality trait linked with curiosity, creativity and a preference for variety and novelty, was associated with the opposite pattern, reduced thickness and an increase in area and folding in some prefrontal cortices.

“Our work supports the notion that personality is, to some degree, associated with brain maturation, a developmental process that is strongly influenced by genetic factors,” says Dr Roberta Riccelli from Italy.

“Of course, we are continually shaped by our experiences and environment, but the fact that we see clear differences in brain structure which are linked with differences in personality traits suggests that there will almost certainly be an element of genetics involved,” says Professor Nicola Toschi from the University ‘Tor Vergata’ in Rome. “This is also in keeping with the notion that differences in personality traits can be detected early on during development, for example in toddlers or infants.”

The volunteers whose brains were imaged as part of the Human Connectome Project were all healthy individuals aged between 22 and 36 years with no history of neuro-psychiatric or other major medical problems. However, the relationship between differences in brain structure and personality traits in these people suggests that the differences may be even more pronounced in people who are more likely to experience neuro-psychiatric illnesses.

“Linking how brain structure is related to basic personality traits is a crucial step to improving our understanding of the link between the brain morphology and particular mood, cognitive, or behavioural disorders,” adds Dr Passamonti. “We also need to have a better understanding of the relation between brain structure and function in healthy people to figure out what is different in people with neuropsychiatric disorders.”

This is not the first time the researchers have found links between our brain structure and behaviour. A study published by the group last year found that the brains of teenagers with serious antisocial behaviour problems differ significantly in structure to those of their peers.

Source: University of Cambridge Research

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