Chuckles of the Day

Gone fishing!

One Saturday morning a fisherman gets up early, dresses quietly, gets his lunch made, puts on his long johns, grabs the dog and goes to the garage to hook up his boat to the truck and head down the road.

Coming out of his garage, rain is pouring down in a torrential downpour. There is snow mixed in with the rain, and the wind is blowing 50 mph.

Minutes later, he returns to the garage. He comes back into the house and turns the TV to the weather channel. He finds it’s going to be bad weather all day long, so he puts his boat back in the garage, quietly undresses and slips back into bed.

There he cuddles up to his wife’s back, and whispers, “The weather out there is terrible”.

To which she sleepily replies, “Can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in that gale?”

* * * * * * *

One Wish…

A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer. All of a sudden, he said out loud, “Lord grant me one wish.”

Suddenly the sky clouded above his head and in a booming voice the Lord said, “Because you have TRIED to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.”

The man said, “Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over anytime I want.”

The Lord said, “Your request is very materialistic. Think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking. The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of another wish, a wish you think would honor and glorify me.”

The man thought about it for a long time. Finally he said, “Lord, I wish that I could understand women. I want to know how they feel inside, what they are thinking when they give me the silent treatment, why they cry, what they mean when they say ‘nothing’, and how I can make a woman truly happy.”

“How wide do you want the bridge to be and how many lanes should it have?” said the Lord.

Science-based Hiccups Intervention

Will Sansom wrote . . . . . . . . .

Researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) and colleagues worldwide describe a new science-based intervention for hiccups in a research letter published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

In the publication, the scientists coined a new term for the intervention: the “forced inspiratory suction and swallow tool,” or FISST. The team also reported the results of a survey of 249 users who were asked whether it is superior to hiccup home remedies such as breathing into a paper bag.

The need

“Hiccups are occasionally annoying for some people, but for others they significantly impact quality of life,” said Ali Seifi, MD, associate professor of neurosurgery in UT Health San Antonio’s Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine. “This includes many patients with brain and stroke injury, and cancer patients. We had a couple of cancer patients in this study. Some chemotherapies cause hiccups.”

Simple tool

FISST is a rigid drinking tube with an inlet valve that requires forceful suction to draw water from a cup into the mouth. The suction and swallow simultaneously stimulate two nerves, the phrenic and vagus nerves, to relieve hiccups.

Forceful suction induces the diaphragm, a sheaf of muscle that inflates the lungs during breathing, to contract. The suction and swallow also prompt the epiglottis, a flap that covers the windpipe during swallowing, to close. This ends the hiccup spasms.

User feedback

FISST stopped hiccups in nearly 92% of cases, users self-reported. In terms of satisfaction, 226 of 249 participants (90.8%) affirmatively answered questions about whether they found the tool easy to use.

On a different measure, subjective effectiveness, 183 of 203 participants (90.1%) indicated that FISST was effective when they used it. Fewer participants answered this question, possibly because it was last in the survey, Dr. Seifi said.

The tool, developed at UT Health San Antonio by Dr. Seifi with input from medical students, is being marketed by a Colorado company under a license agreement with the university and has been accepted by a major supermarket chain to be placed on shelves, Dr. Seifi said.

About the study

The research project began with 600 individuals who, because they stated they had hiccups, received FISST. Of this population, 290 persons responded to a survey about their experience with using the device, compared to other remedies they have used. Of them, 249 fully answered the survey and were included in the research analysis.

The scale was 1 to 5, with 5 meaning the respondents were very happy with FISST and 1 meaning that they preferred to use home remedies.

The respondents were primarily adults over 18 (70%) and were half female and half male. Nearly 80% of the respondents were white.

As far as frequency of hiccups, 69% reported having them at least once a month, and most cases (65%) were transient, less than two hours in duration.

Clinical trial is goal

Future directions include conducting a double-blind clinical trial in Europe and America that gives FISST to one group of trial enrollees and a non-functional, sham device to another group. The challenge is developing something that resembles FISST but doesn’t work, Dr. Seifi said.

Source: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

What’s for Lunch?

Conger Eel Tempura Cold Udon Set Meal at Sukesan Udon (資さんうどん) in Fukuka, Japan

The price is 890 yen (tax included).

Could Fish Oil Supplements Help Fight Depression?

Robert Preidt wrote . . . . . . . . .

Fish oil supplements are often touted as good for your heart health, but a new study finds they may also help fight depression.

“Using a combination of laboratory and patient research, our study has provided exciting new insight into how omega-3 fatty acids bring about anti-inflammatory effects that improve depression,” said lead author Alessandra Borsini, a postdoctoral neuroscientist at King’s College London.

Borsini said it’s been known that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory effects, but exactly how that happens has been unclear.

“Our study has helped shine a light on the molecular mechanisms involved in this relationship, which can inform the development of potential new treatments for depression using omega-3 PUFA,” Borsini said in a university news release.

Previous studies have shown that people with major depression have elevated levels of inflammation, but no proven anti-inflammatory treatments for depression exist.

The patient portion of this new study included 22 people with major depression.

Once a day for 12 weeks, they were given one of two omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) — either 3 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or 1.4 grams of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

EPA and DHA are omega-3 PUFAs found in oily fish.

Byproducts of EPA and DHA were measured in the patients’ blood before and after treatment, and their depression symptoms were assessed.

Treatment with both omega-3s was associated with a significant improvement in depression, with an average 64% drop in symptoms for the EPA group and 71% in the DHA group. It does not prove cause-and-effect, however.

The findings were published June 16 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

The levels of EPA and DHA used in this study can’t be achieved by eating oily fish, the researchers noted.

Senior study author Carmen Pariante, a professor of biological psychiatry, said the research has provided vital information to help shape clinical trials of therapeutic approaches with omega-3 fatty acids.

“It is important to highlight that our research has not shown that by simply increasing omega-3 fatty acids in our diets or through taking nutritional supplements we can reduce inflammation or depression,” she said. “The mechanisms behind the associations between depression and omega-3 PUFA are complicated and require further research and clinical trials to fully understand how they work and inform future therapeutic approaches.”

Source: HealthDay

Sweet and Sticky Nutty Chicken


900 g boneless and skinless chicken (breast and thigh), cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
1 heaped tsp garlic paste
2 tsp soft brown sugar
125 g unsalted peanuts
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
8 spring onions, trimmed and cut into 4 cm lengths
1 large red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp mirin (Japanese cooking wine) or dry sherry
2 tbsp rice vinegar
200 ml chicken stock
juice of 1/2 lime
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp chili flakes
100 g bean sprouts


  1. Place the chicken pieces in a large non-metallic bowl and add the soya sauce, ground ginger, garlic and sugar. Mix really well, cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but 8 hours is ideal.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Put the peanuts into a small roasting tin and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, giving the tin a shake a couple of times. Allow to cool and then place in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin until they are lightly crushed. Set aside.
  4. Heat a wok until really hot and then add your vegetable and sesame oils. Add the spring onion and chili, then stir-fry for a minute. Toss your marinated chicken in the cornflour and then add to the wok with the remaining marinade. Stir-fry for about 7-8 minutes until browned all over.
  5. Mix together the mirin, rice vinegar, chicken stock, lime juice, lemon juice and chili flakes and add to the wok. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes, stirring regularly.
  6. As the liquid reduces down, the sauce will get good and sticky and start coating the chicken.
  7. Stir through the bean sprouts, scatter the bashed peanuts over the top and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: My Family Kitchen

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