Video: Pounding Mochi with the Fastest Mochi Maker in Japan

Mitsuo Nakatani is a mochi master, and to watch him do his work is a genuine thrill. Turning sticky rice into Japan’s traditional soft and chewy treat requires pounding, flipping and smashing the glutinous rice at high speeds in perfect coordination with a team. While visitors come to Nakatani’s mochi shop to taste the best, they stay to watch him make it.

Watch video at You Tube (2:34 minutes) . . . .

Burger with Grilled Thai-flavour Turkey Patty


1/2 cup sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup thin cucumber slices
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-1/4 teaspoons sriracha sauce
4 brioche buns
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves


1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric, ground
1 teaspoon jalapeño, finely chopped
3 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer until sugar dissolves. Cool slightly before adding mixture to cucumber slices to pickle for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat grill and plancha to medium-high heat. Mix turkey with seasoning ingredients in a large bowl. Form four evenly sized patties.
  3. Drizzle vegetable oil over the plancha and grill patties for four minutes per side until fully cooked or until internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Allow to rest for a few minutes.
  4. Mix mayonnaise and sriracha sauce together. Spread one tablespoon of mayonnaise mixture on both top and bottom of each bun. Place pickled cucumber slices on the bottom bun and place burger on top. Top the burger with basil and mint leaves before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chef Dale MacKay

In Pictures: Tacos of Restaurants in the U.S.

104-year-old Scientist David Goodall ‘Welcomes Death’ at Swiss Clinic

Sheena McKenzie, Melissa Bell, Saskya Vandoorne and Ben Westcott wrote . . . . . . .

A 104-year-old Australian scientist who is set to end his life at a clinic in Switzerland later this week told CNN that his life was no longer worth living and said he hoped his story would lead to the legalization of assisted dying in other countries.

David Goodall, a respected botanist and ecologist, is due to die at the Life Circle clinic in Basel on Thursday, after traveling to Europe from his home town of Perth, Australia earlier this month.

The grandfather-of-12 and longtime member of pro-euthanasia group Exit International said his life stopped being enjoyable “five or 10 years ago,” in part because of his failing mobility and eyesight.

“My life has been out in the field (working), but I can’t go out in the field now,” said Goodall, who must be pushed everywhere in a wheelchair, during an exclusive interview with CNN in his hotel in Basel on Tuesday.

“I would love to be able to walk into the bush again, and see what is all around me,” said the father-of-four, who during his long life has had three wives and moved to Australia from London as a child.

“I could still enjoy birdsong,” he added. “But my lack of vision would seriously impair it.”

Goodall said he would have preferred to have died when he lost his driver’s license in 1998, adding that the loss of independence at 94 was a big moment in his life.

“At my age, I get up in the morning. I eat breakfast. And then I just sit until lunchtime. Then I have a bit of lunch and just sit. What’s the use of that?” said the scientist, who flew business class to Europe earlier this month after supporters raised $20,000 for his campaign.

Fighting ‘cruel’ laws

Euthanasia is illegal in Australia, though the state of Victoria is planning to allow assisted dying from mid-2019. Goodall’s home state of Western Australia is currently debating whether to introduce the policy.

Several US states have a form of physician-assisted suicide, as do a small number of countries including Japan, Belgium and Switzerland.

Goodall attempted to take his own life a few weeks ago but ended up waking up in hospital instead, where doctors judged that he was a risk to himself. He was only discharged after an independent psychiatric review commissioned by his daughter.

The scientist described his treatment as “cruel,” adding, “they oblige one to stay alive, when one hasn’t got anything to live for.”

Goodall said he felt “resentful” that he had to travel to Switzerland to die, and hoped that his story would lead the Western Australian government to change its laws.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said of his death in two days time. “I’m happy that this period beforehand has been used to interview me, and I’ve brought the ideas of euthanasia to light.”

“What I would like is for other countries to follow Switzerland’s lead and make these facilities available to all clients, if they meet the requirements, and the requirements not just of age, but of mental capacity.”

Goodall: I don’t fear death

Goodall said he did not fear death, but instead will “welcome it when it comes.”

“The process of dying can be rather unpleasant, but it need not be — and I hope it won’t be for me,” he said.

On Thursday, doctors will place a intravenous needle filled with sodium pentobarbital into Goodall’s arm and he will administer the lethal drug himself.

Exit International founder Philip Nitschke told CNN earlier in May that the option of traveling to Switzerland for medically assisted suicide was open to anyone, provided they had sound reason and fulfilled certain criteria.

“My belief is that any rational adult should have the ability to access the drugs which would give them a peaceful, reliable death,” said Nitschke, whose organization was instrumental in helping Goodall organize the trip.

Aging ‘disgracefully’

While a little hard of hearing, and reliant on Nitschke to push his wheelchair, Goodall appeared to have lost none of his sense of humor on Tuesday, wearing a top inscribed with the words “Aging Disgracefully.”

Born in London in April 1914, just months before the outbreak of World War I, Goodall said he remembered “creeping under a table in northern London suburbs to escape the air bombs being dropped.”

The respected botanist and ecologist went on to hold academic positions across the world, including in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.

After his retirement in 1979, Goodall edited a 30-volume series entitled Ecosystems of the World, written by more than 500 authors. In 2016, the professor was awarded the prestigious Order of Australia Medal.

Some of his happiest memories of his life included his many trips abroad, including to Fiji and Sweden.

His advice for young people on how to live a good life was “to take whatever opportunities arise — as long as those opportunities don’t involve harm to other people.”

When asked what his final thought would be before his life ends on Thursday, Goodall was sharp as ever.

“I’ll be thinking about the needle and hoping they aim right!” he replied.

Source : CNN

New Link Between Gut Microbiome and Artery Hardening Discovered

The level of diversity of the ‘good bacteria’ in our digestive systems has been found to be linked to a feature of cardiovascular disease – hardening of the arteries – in new research by experts at the University of Nottingham and King’s College London.

The gut microbiome is under increasing scrutiny in medical research as it is known to affect many different aspects of our health, including our metabolism and auto-immune system. A lack of diversity or range of healthy bacteria in the gut has previously been linked to various health problems, including diabetes, obesity and inflammatory stomach and bowel diseases.

Now for the first time, researchers have found a link between gut bacteria and arterial stiffening which suggests that targeting the microbiome through diet, medication and probiotics may be a way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The British Heart Foundation and MRC-funded research has been published in the European Heart Journal1.

The gut microbiome has been implicated in a variety of potential disease mechanisms including inflammation which can predispose people to heart disease. The hardening of the arteries that happens at different rates in different people as we age, is known to be a factor in cardiovascular risk.

The researchers examined medical data from a group of 617 middle-aged female twins from the TwinsUK registry – a national registry of adult twins recruited as volunteers for data-based research. Measurements of arterial stiffening using a gold-standard measure called carotid-femoral pulse-wave velocity (PWV) were analysed alongside data on the composition of the gut microbiomes of the women.

The results of the analysis revealed that there was a significant correlation in all the women between the diversity of the microbes in the gut and the health of the arteries. After adjusting for metabolic variations and blood pressure, the measure of arterial stiffness was higher in women with lower diversity of healthy bacteria in the gut. The research also identified specific microbes which were linked to a lower risk of arterial stiffening. These microbes have also previously been associated with a lower risk of obesity.

The research concludes that cardiovascular risk that is not explained by the usual risk factors could in the future be enhanced by analysing the health of the gut microbiome. This could be particularly useful in stratifying cardiovascular risk in younger people and in women. The gut microbiome could also be the target for nutrition-based health interventions – for example, a high-fibre diet is known to improve the quantity and diversity of useful microbes in the gut. In fact, the composition of the gut microbiome may contribute to the mechanism whereby dietary fibre intake influences cardiovascular risk, but more research into this mechanism is needed.

Source: University of Nottingham

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