Video: The 500-Year Evolution of Kitchen Design

Watch the evolution of kitchen design over the last 500 years–spanning from 1600s Tudor to Stuart styles, Colonial to Victorian industrializations, and mid-century to modern aesthetics.

Watch video at You Tube (0:49 minutes) . . . . .

Pan-fried Sardine with Mixed Herb


2 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs (parsley, basil, oregano and marjoram), coarsely chopped + extra, to serve
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds sardines, cleaned with guts, heads and backbones removed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 lemons, cut into wedges
freshly cooked couscous, to serve (optional)


  1. Place the eggs in a bowl and whisk lightly.
  2. Combine the flour, bread crumbs, Parmesan, herbs, pepper, and salt on a large plate.
  3. Dip the sardine fillets into the beaten eggs. Dredge in the flour mixture, pressing the mixture firmly onto the fish.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the sardines 4 at a time until crisp and golden brown, 1-2 minutes each side.
  5. Serve hot with the lemon wedges and extra fresh herbs, and couscous, if liked.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Modern Mediterranean Cooking

Could Face Shields Replace Face Masks to Ward Off Coronavirus?

E.J. Mundell wrote . . . . . . . . .

Hundreds of millions of Americans heeded recent government advice and rushed to wear cloth face masks, hoping they might prevent transmission of the new coronavirus.

But there’s another option: The clear plastic face shield, already in use by many health care personnel.

Now, a team of experts say face shields might replace masks as a more comfortable and more effective deterrent to COVID-19.

“Face shields, which can be quickly and affordably produced and distributed, should be included as part of strategies to safely and significantly reduce transmission in the community setting,” said a trio of physicians from the University of Iowa.

Reporting in the April 29 Journal of the American Medical Association, experts led by Dr. Eli Perencevich, of the university’s department of internal medicine, and the Iowa City VA Health Care System, said the face shield’s moment may have come.

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began advocating the use of cloth masks to help stop COVID-19 transmission in April, laboratory testing “suggests that cloth masks provide [only] some filtration of virus-sized aerosol particles.”

According to Perencevich’s group, “face shields may provide a better option.”

To be most effective in stopping viral spread, a face shield should extend to below the chin. It should also cover the ears and “there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece,” the Iowa team members said.

Shields have a number of advantages over masks, they added. First of all, they are endlessly reusable, simply requiring cleaning with soap and water or common disinfectants. Shields are usually more comfortable to wear than masks, and they form a barrier that keeps people from easily touching their own faces.

When speaking, people sometimes pull down a mask to make things easier — but that isn’t necessary with a face shield. And “the use of a face shield is also a reminder to maintain social distancing, but allows visibility of facial expressions and lip movements for speech perception,” the authors pointed out.

And what about the ability of a face shield to prevent coronavirus transmission?

According to the Iowa team, large-scale studies haven’t yet been conducted. But “in a simulation study, face shields were shown to reduce immediate viral exposure by 96% when worn by a simulated health care worker within 18 inches of a cough.”

“When the study was repeated at the currently recommended physical distancing distance of 6 feet, face shields reduced inhaled virus by 92%,” the authors said.

No studies have yet been conducted to see how well face shields help keep exhaled or coughed virus from spreading outwards from an infected wearer, Perencevich and his colleagues said, and they hope that studies on that issue will be conducted.

And they stressed that face shields should only be one part of any infection control effort, along with social distancing and hand-washing.

There will never be any intervention — even a vaccine — that can guarantee 100% effectiveness against the coronavirus, the authors said, so face shields shouldn’t be held to that standard.

Dr. Robert Glatter is on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in his role as emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Reading over the new report, he agreed that “common sense” measures are crucial in curbing infections.

“One approach that makes the most sense, especially in light of the limitations of face masks and face coverings, is the use of face shields,” Glatter said.

“While we don’t have hard trials or data on the efficacy of face shields at this time, early data from their use in patients with influenza [which is droplet-spread] is promising,” he noted. “What’s clear is that their success in hospital settings provides the basis for their utility in the community setting as we relax physical distancing going forward.”

Source: HealthDay

Lessons From the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic

Alan Mozes wrote . . . . . . . . .

The virus struck swiftly, stoking panic, fear and mistrust as it sickened millions and killed thousands — and now, more than a century later, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic offers lasting lessons for a world in the grip of COVID-19.

“The questions they asked then are the questions being asked now,” said Christopher Nichols, an associate professor of history at Oregon State University, in Corvallis. “And while it’s very rare that history provides a simple straightforward lesson for the present, this is one of those instances.”

Experts say there are four key takeaways from 1918.

Here’s the first: As devastating as the current pandemic may be, the Spanish flu pandemic remains the worst in world history — by far, said E. Thomas Ewing, a history professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

By the time three waves of Spanish flu swept across the globe in 1918 and 1919, at least 50 million people were dead, including 675,000 Americans. (By comparison, flu pandemics in 1957, 1968 and 2009 claimed an estimated total of 225,000 Americans and 3 million people worldwide.)

Here’s the second takeaway: There are key differences between 1918 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Then, they didn’t even know it was a virus,” Ewing said. “There had been decades of research on microbes, so they understood that it was transferred person-to-person through respiratory drops, by coughing and sneezing. But viruses weren’t discovered until the 1930s, because they didn’t have powerful enough microscopes.”

As a result, testing wasn’t just hard to come by. It simply didn’t exist.

Spanish flu was also more infectious than COVID-19, caused symptoms much faster and was far more deadly, Nichols said. And unlike COVID-19, which poses the greatest risk to the elderly, Spanish flu targeted the young.

“It affected everyone young and old,” Nichols said. “But it disproportionately killed the healthiest among us — the all-American 22-year-old football player, the strongest lumberjack. People in their prime were getting struck down very quickly. So, the fear that animated people in the fall of 1918 was qualitatively different.”

The third takeaway: Despite those differences, the parallels between 1918 and 2020 are still striking. In both cases, there was no vaccine and no treatment for the disease along with an overriding fear that a besieged health care system might crack.

And here’s takeaway No. 4: In both pandemics, the most effective immediate response was — and is — social distancing, Nichols said.

“It was called ‘crowding’ control” back then, he said. “But whatever you call it, limiting contact worked in 1918 — and it works today.”

And the faster comprehensive closures and social distancing are put into place, the quicker a pandemic can be brought under control, Nichols added.

Those who lived through the Spanish flu learned that lesson the hard way, according to Carolyn Orbann, a medical anthropologist at the University of Missouri, in Columbia.

“As with all pandemics, in 1918 you had a tension between biological reality and socioeconomic reality,” she said. “Biology is not changeable. But behavior is. So yes, social distancing was absolutely a thing in 1918, and where it was practiced, it worked.”

But out of fear, panic, mistrust, special interests — and even sheer boredom, Orbann said, many were too slow to get on board and too quick to jump ship. Historians see the evidence in letters written at the same time by the same families.

“The mother is saying, ‘We all need to be patient, lay low and wait it out,’ while the daughter is saying she’s had enough of no school and no friends, and she’s planning a Halloween party, just as the highest number of deaths are happening,” Orbann explained.

That tension speaks to the absence of an early and forceful federal response in 1918, according to Nichols and Ewing. Instead, officials played down the risk and stalled for time.

Why? Some reasons were unique to 1918. “The Spanish flu hit during a pivotal stage of World War I,” Nichols explained.

By the time the first presumed U.S. case was identified in March 1918 at a Kansas army base, there was great concern about troops getting sick. That concern was well-founded: The close quarters of Army camps were petri dishes for illness, Orbann said.

“Boys would … come back in body bags in such numbers that eventually it became almost impossible to separate the war effort from the pandemic,” she said.

And early on, the federal government had reason to play down the 1918 outbreak, Nichols noted. Flu fatalities were low, the first nationwide draft was on and industries were nationalized, and thousands of troops were headed to the front lines in Europe. “The focus is entirely on the last big push to end the war,” he explained.

So, the advice from Washington, D.C., back then might sound familiar today: Don’t panic. It’s no big deal.

“At first, they tell the public it’s not a big problem, or — as the name suggests — that it’s a foreign disease that only affects ‘others,'” Nichols said.

It wasn’t until the fall, after a more virulent form of Spanish flu had emerged, that Washington, D.C., got tough. In the meantime, the absence of a federal response “left cities and states to go off on their own and make decisions for themselves.” Nichols said many chose the economy over public health — and they put off social distancing, with fateful results.

While cities like Seattle and San Francisco ordered people to wear masks if they were out in public, many others did not. New York City never closed schools, contending they were cleaner than homes — even though by October 1918, when deaths began to skyrocket, many cities did.

According to Ewing, “There were a lot of inconsistencies.”

Two studies published in 2007 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences looked at the effect of health measures in more than 15 cities in 1918, including mask laws, business-hour restrictions, and the shuttering of schools, theaters, churches and dance halls.

Both studies found that cities that acted earliest and most forcefully — like St. Louis, which imposed a near total lockdown within two days of its first Spanish flu case — had much lower peak death rates than cities that hedged their bets — like New Orleans, Boston and Philadelphia.

The point is not that social distancing is a total panacea, but that there’s no “business-as-usual during a pandemic,” Nichols said.

So, he said, the lesson from 1918 is clear.

“If public health is the main focus, then eradicate that from your mind,” Nichols said. “The Spanish flu tells us that social distancing works. And it works best if we act early, act fast and stick together — and base our decisions not on social or economic concerns, but on science and data and facts.”

Source : HealthDay

The Best Material for Homemade Face Masks May be a Combination of Two Fabrics

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear masks in public. Because N95 and surgical masks are scarce and should be reserved for health care workers, many people are making their own coverings. Now, researchers report in ACS Nano that a combination of cotton with natural silk or chiffon can effectively filter out aerosol particles — if the fit is good.

SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is thought to spread mainly through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or breathes. These droplets form in a wide range of sizes, but the tiniest ones, called aerosols, can easily slip through the openings between certain cloth fibers, leading some people to question whether cloth masks can actually help prevent disease. Therefore, Supratik Guha at the University of Chicago and colleagues wanted to study the ability of common fabrics, alone or in combination, to filter out aerosols similar in size to respiratory droplets.

The researchers used an aerosol mixing chamber to produce particles ranging from 10 nm to 6 μm in diameter. A fan blew the aerosol across various cloth samples at an airflow rate corresponding to a person’s respiration at rest, and the team measured the number and size of particles in air before and after passing through the fabric. One layer of a tightly woven cotton sheet combined with two layers of polyester-spandex chiffon — a sheer fabric often used in evening gowns — filtered out the most aerosol particles (80-99%, depending on particle size), with performance close to that of an N95 mask material. Substituting the chiffon with natural silk or flannel, or simply using a cotton quilt with cotton-polyester batting, produced similar results. The researchers point out that tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton, can act as a mechanical barrier to particles, whereas fabrics that hold a static charge, like certain types of chiffon and natural silk, serve as an electrostatic barrier. However, a 1% gap reduced the filtering efficiency of all masks by half or more, emphasizing the importance of a properly fitted mask.

Source: Science Daily

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